Preparatory Department for Foreigners: Learn Russian, Enter University


23 October 2017 © SUSU

Study in Russia does not necessarily require Russian language proficiency. Foreigners can enrol at a preparatory department which offers courses in Russian and profession-oriented subjects. After taking a preparatory course, prospective students can apply to any Russian university for a Russian-taught education programme.

Universities offer international prospective students training options that differ in education levels (preparation for undergraduate, graduate or postgraduate studies), academic areas (engineering or humanitarian programmes), lengths of study, number of disciplines, study periods and tuition fees.

Preparatory course for study in Russia

A nine-month intensive course in Russian and several profession-oriented subjects would be a classical preparatory department training option. On top of that, Universities arrange various events to help prospective students learn about Russian culture and customs and facilitate their adaptation to new environment.

A majority of universities offer preparatory courses for different education levels (for example, for bachelor’s and master’s degree students). As a rule, courses start in September-October and end in June-July. However, many universities are willing to enrol students in preparatory groups later in autumn. Contact university staff to for details and application deadline.

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In the first semester, prep students normally take Russian (four to five hours every day). In the second semester, profession-oriented subjects are added to the study plan depending on the chosen University department the student’s future occupation.

University of Tyumen Preparatory Department offers foreigners four academic fields to choose from: engineering and technology, economics, humanities and natural sciences. The same four fields are available at South Ural State University. Higher School of Economics offers three academic fields: economic sciences, humanities and engineering and technology.

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National Research Tomsk Polytechnic University offers five academic fields: engineering and technology, natural sciences, economic sciences, life sciences and humanities. I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University and Far Eastern Federal University have bespoke preparatory department programmes for future medics. Aside from learning Russian, international prospective students have thorough grounding in biology, chemistry and other subjects.

Length of preparatory programme

Along with the standard one-year course, universities can offer shorter or longer preparatory courses (a few months up to two years) which can start in autumn, winter or spring. Some universities postpone the beginning of studies for the students who are to receive their certificates in autumn or winter. For example, Samara University offers a shorter intensive preparatory course to international students who cannot arrive in October. It begins in February and ends in June. A similar study timeframe is available at Siberian Federal University Preparatory Department; the programme starts in winter and lasts one semester, with further study option.

Prospective students wishing to gain thorough knowledge can choose a longer course. Nizhni Novgorod-based Lobachevsky University offers a preparatory department programme which begins in spring and lasts three semesters. 

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Some Russian universities only run Russian language courses; their preparatory departments do not provide training in other disciplines. They would normally be the choice of international students who already have basic education and seek to enrol for graduate, specialist or postgraduate studies or medical internship in Russia.

Saint Petersburg Electrotechnical University "LETI” offers bespoke three- to six-month Russian language programmes. A special course lasting one month up to one year has been designed for prospective postgraduates. Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University offers a practical course of Russian as a Foreign Language. International applicants can choose the language level: basic, general or advanced as well as the course length.

Preparatory Department tuition fees for foreigners

Tuition fee depends on the course length. For example, the Preparatory Departments of Samara University and Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology charge 120,000 rubles ($2,000) for a one-year programme. Tuition fee for two-semester training is 130,000 rubles ($2,200) at Saint Petersburg Electrotechnical University “LETI” and 84,000 rubles ($1,400) at Kazan Federal University. Preparatory course for the applicants seeking specialist’s degree at I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University costs 231,000 rubles ($3,850).

There are options for the applicants wishing to study Russian without taking additional subjects. Tuition fee for Russian as a Foreign Language at Ural Federal University is 65,000 rubles ($1,080). National Research Nuclear University MEPhI offers a ten-month course in Russian as a Foreign Language for 160,000 rubles ($2,670).

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Tuition at preparatory departments is free for the foreigners who enjoy Russian government scholarship and have stated in their application that they do not speak Russian and need pre-university training. For self-funding students, it is usually sufficient to leave one’s application on the chosen university’s website in order to enrol at a preparatory department. Next, the applicant has to send the copies of the required documents, sign the contract and make a pre-payment.

After passing the exams, preparatory department graduates receive a certificate of proficiency in Russian. They can apply for a basic programme at the same university after preparatory training or any other Russian university.

Preparatory programmes for international prospective students

Choose an appropriate programme, create your personal account on our website and send an application to the chosen university; you can expect a reply within ten days. You can ask all the questions that interest you and apply to several universities simultaneously, it’s free.

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Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University, Kaliningrad

Preparatory Department for undergraduate and graduate students

Application dates: 1 April – 31 July

Period of study: October – July

Tuition fee: 108,000 rubles ($1,800)

Individual course in Russian as a Foreign Language

Applications will be reviewed on a case by case basis

Length of study: options available

Tuition fee: 600 rubles ($10) per hour

More information 

Higher School of Economics, Moscow

Preparatory Department (admits foreigners with or without basic Russian skills)

Application deadline: 15 August (online applications open throughout the year; applications past the deadline are set aside for the next year).

Period of study: October – July

Tuition fee: 135,000 rubles ($2,250); payments are accepted in rubles only, dollar-denominated prices are shown as reference

Preparatory Department for graduate students (training is provided to foreign citizens speaking Russian as a foreign language)

Applications open throughout the year (contract signing periods: September, January)

Period of study: October – May

Tuition fee: 72,000 rubles ($1,200); payments are accepted in rubles only on a semester basis, dollar-denominated prices are shown as reference

Intensive course in Russian as a Foreign Language

Application deadline: 1 November (online applications open throughout the year; applications past the deadline are set aside for the next year).

Period of study: January – June

Tuition fee: 67,500 rubles ($1,125); payments are accepted in rubles only, dollar-denominated prices are shown as reference

More information

Far Eastern Federal University, Vladivostok

Preparatory course

Application deadline: 1 June

Period of study: September – July

Tuition fee: 110, 000 rubles ($1,830)

Study programme: Russian as a Foreign Language

Application deadline: three months before the expected course start date

Period of study: one to ten months

Tuition fee: 20,000 rubles ($330) per month

More information

ITMO National Research University, St Petersburg

Preparatory programme for international prospective students

Application dates: May – September

Period of study: October – June

Tuition fee: 138,000 rubles ($2,300)

More information

Kazan Federal University, Kazan

Preparatory Department for undergraduate and graduate students

Applications open 1 February – 1 June

Period of study: September – June

Tuition fee: 92,400 rubles ($1,540)

More information

Saint Petersburg Electrotechnical University “LETI”, St Petersburg

Preparatory department for undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate students

Application dates: May – August

Period of study: October – June

Tuition fee: 130,000 rubles ($2,170)

More information 

I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, Moscow           

Training for enrolment at a university specializing in health care, life sciences and pharmaceutics

Applications open till August

Period of study: October – June

Tuition fee: 231,000 rubles ($3,850)

Russian as a Foreign Language (an intensive course for foreigners planning to enrol for medical internship or postgraduate studies)

Applications open till August

Period of study: October – June

Tuition fee: 231,000 rubles ($3,850)

More information

National University of Science and Technology MISiS, Moscow

Preparatory Department for citizens of former Soviet republics

Application dates: 1 September – 25 November

Period of study: December – July

Tuition fee: 70,000 rubles ($1,170)

Preparatory Department for citizens of countries outside the former Soviet Union

Application dates: 20 June – 31 October

Period of study: September – August

Tuition fee: 150,000 rubles ($2,500)

More information

National Research Nuclear University MEPhI, Moscow

Russian as a Foreign Language (preparatory course for bachelor’s and master’s students)

Application dates: anytime

Course length: nine months starting upon the arrival of all students of the group, but not later than mid-November

Tuition fee: 160,000 rubles ($2,670)

More information

Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Moscow

Preparatory Department for undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate students

Application dates: anytime

Period of study: October – July

Tuition fee: 120,000 rubles ($2,000)

More information  

Lobachevsky University, Nizhny Novgorod

Preparatory Department for bachelor’s and master’s students (2 semesters)

Application deadline: 1 August

Period of study: September – June

Tuition fee: 100,000 rubles ($1,700)

Preparatory Department for undergraduate and graduate students (3 semesters)

Application deadline: 15 January

Period of study: March – June next year

Tuition fee: 120,000 rubles ($2,000)

More information

Peter the Great St Petersburg Polytechnic University, St Petersburg

Preparation for university enrolment (standard course)

Application dates: from February onwards

Length of study: September-November – June-July

Tuition fee: 195,000 rubles ($3,250)

Preparation for university enrolment (intensive course)

Application dates: from February onwards

Length of study: November – July

Tuition fee: 175,000 rubles ($2,920)

Russian language studying programme "Preparation for the first certification level"

Application dates: from February onwards

Length of study: September-November – June-July

Tuition fee: 170,000 rubles ($2,830)

More information

Tomsk State University, Tomsk

Pre-University Training Department (for bachelor’s, master’s and specialist's degree students)

Application deadline: 1 October (10 January as classes start date is possible for students having basic Russian language skills)

Period of study: October – June

Tuition fee: 160,000 rubles ($2,700)

More information

University of Tyumen, Tyumen

Russian language courses

Application dates: from April onwards

Period of study: full course (two semesters, from September till June), intensive programme (one semester, in autumn or spring)

Tuition fee: 66,000 rubles ($1,100); 55,000 rubles ($915)

More information

Ural Federal University, Yekaterinburg

Preparatory Department for international students

Application deadline: 15 August

Period of study: September – June

Tuition fee: 136,000 rubles ($2,270)

Course in Russian as a Foreign Language

Application dates: applications open throughout the year (students are divided into groups according to their language proficiency level)

Period of study: two weeks to ten months

Tuition fee: 130,000 rubles ($2,170) for ten months

More information

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