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Postgraduate Study in Russia

Postgraduate Study in Russia

Study in Russia postgraduate is the initial stage of postgraduate education, aimed at training researchers, colleges and universities teachers. 

For entering it is required to have a Master’s or a Specialist’s degree, to pass the entrance exams and the competitive selection. Postgraduate education in Russia is 3 years. The main objective of a young scientist is to conduct a full study with elements of scientific novelty and to successfully defend a thesis to obtain the PhD. In addition, postgraduate students have an individual learning plan and examination dates on the core subjects.

Each postgraduate student is assigned a scientific supervisor who helps to choose the thesis topic and oversees the writing process. Postgraduate students have the right to hold the position of a technician or an assistant at the department.

Directions and Programmes

Russian universities offer a wide range of graduate programmes in humanities, natural sciences, technical fields. For example:

  • Nonlinear problems mathematical modeling;
  • Technological processes automation;
  • Architecture;
  • Astrophysics;
  • Biology, biomedicine, biophysics;
  • Accounting analysis;
  • Genetics;
  • Journalism;
  • Computer science and computer engineering;
  • Law (constitutional, international, administrative, criminal);
  • History, cultural studies;
  • Forensics;
  • Mechanical engineering;
  • Nanotechnology;
  • Material development technology;
  • Innovation management and more.

In addition to the core subjects, postgraduate study includes modern methods of data processing and systematization. These skills will be useful when writing the thesis. The postgraduate programmes of Russian universities by the area of study are available here.

How International Student Can Enroll for Postgraduate Studies

For graduate admission, it is required to have a Master’s or a Specialist’s degree, or submit an equivalent educational document confirming the obtaining the second academic degree. The availability of own scientific publications or a paper on the supposed thesis topic is a plus.

Applicants take entrance exams in:

  • Relevant discipline;
  • Foreign language (Russian or English);
  • Philosophy (history of science).

Postgraduate admission is competitive based on the test results and oral interview. For the period of studies in Russia a student visa is issued. It can be obtained at the visa application center or the Russian Federation Consulate (Embassy) on the territory of your country. Learn more about the educational visa and the current immigration legislation here.

Language Courses

Postgraduate study in Russia often conducted in Russian. But several universities offer international students English-language programmes. For example, Ontology and epistemology (HSE University, Moscow), Organic chemistry (UrFU, Ekaterinburg), Standardization and quality control of medicines (RUDN University, Moscow).

Many universities create own courses of intensive study of the Russian language (Modern Russian: language of business and colloquial in RUDN University, Individual course of Russian as a foreign language in IKBFU, etc.). The language programmes are from 20 hours to 1 year. You can choose a course that matches your training level.


The cost of postgraduate study in Russia under contract is from RUB 72,000 ($1,200) a year. You can consider postgraduate admissions to the universities included in the World University Rankings:

  • RUDN University (Moscow);
  • HSE University (Moscow);
  • FEFU (Vladivostok);
  • KFU (Kazan);
  • MIPT (Moscow);
  • SUSU (Chelyabinsk) and other universities.

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