Study in Russia: Colleges, Scholarships, Fees, Intake | MSM Unify

Study in Russia

World-renowned for its mastery in the fields of mathematics and sciences, Russia proves that it has more to offer. Thousands of international students prefer to study in Russia. Wondering why?

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Russia is no longer a desolate nation but one of the most sought-after study destinations in the world. International students flock to the country each year since it is one of the most affordable places to study. Russia’s educational system is of high caliber with top-notch instruction. As a result, higher education in Russia is widely regarded as one of the world’s best.

The country has a rich history, beautiful natural environment, amazing art and culture, and a low cost of living. Browse more to figure out why more and more international students across the globe choose to study in Russia.

Why Study in Russia?

Solid Academic Reputation. Russia has produced a long list of individuals who significantly contributed to society throughout history. Over 40 of these are Nobel laureates, giving Russia the academic reputation that is of the highest standard.

Top-Notch Institutions. Education is highly valued in Russia, as evidenced by the fact that many of its higher education institutions ranked highly in the 2023 QS World University Rankings and other global rankings.

High Literacy Rate. High-quality education for all Russian residents has been a long-standing legacy in Russia’s schooling system. Education in Russia delivers a literacy rate of 99%, which is higher than that of most European nations.

Limitless Study Opportunities. International students in Russia have plenty of options for getting an education in the country: 776 universities in 82 regions, more than 400 programs of study, and over 650 subjects in various levels of study.

Affordable Education. Higher education in Russia is comparatively more inexpensive than in most countries. Applying for a government grant is one way to study in Russia for free.

Good Standard of Living. Aside from an excellent reputation in education, student life in Russia is outstanding. In fact, Moscow came in at 25th on the QS Best Student Cities list in 2022. Almost 300,000 international students are currently finishing their degrees in Russian universities.

Global Leader in Math and Science. Russia has long been considered a global leader in the fields of mathematics and other sciences. When you study in Russia, you have the ability to gain profound expertise in the areas where you want to succeed.

In 2019-2020, there are 315,000 international students who chose to study in Russia, or about 8% of the total student population, as per the statistics. More than 4 million students are enrolled in Russia in 2020-2021, both Russian and foreign, according to the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of Russia.

Education System

It takes four years to complete primary (elementary) schooling in Russia, followed by five years of primary general education (lower-secondary) and two to three years of secondary schooling. The completion of a study requires a total of 11 years, broken down as follows: 4+5+2 years. Upper-secondary students can also enroll in vocational-technical programs.

Schooling in a public school is free, and some private institutions also offer the same opportunity but it is limited. To study in Russia without breaking the bank, there are different ways for you to be eligible for free tuition, like scholarships, sponsorships, grants, aid, and loans.

Academic Excellence

There are currently 48 Russian educational institutions listed under the QS World University Rankings, with most being universities that welcome international students. Government efforts like the Russian Academic Excellence Project help in ensuring the quality of study in Russia remain top-level, and that Russian universities can keep on par with global research and education standards.

Placing first in Russia and 75th in the world, Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU) was recognized by Quacquarelli Symonds in its World University Rankings 2023. The Bauman Moscow State Technical University followed at 230th on the list.

Top Education Providers

Since the Soviet era, Russia has maintained a system of universal, high-quality education for all its citizens. Moscow and St. Petersburg are home to Russia’s most prestigious universities. In order to gain admission and to study in Russia’s best unis, applicants must meet rigorous admissions criteria and sit for a specialized exam each year.

Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU)

This Russian university is one of the most prominent, and one of the most famous educational institutions in the country. MSU excels in the fields of mathematics, humanities, and natural sciences. International students enter this university for its expansive pool of academic programs and research opportunities in this institution.

Aside from academic excellence, MSU also boasts of its rich campus life, diversity mainly due to thousands of international students, and its attractive location as it’s located in the capital of the country.

St. Petersburg University

St. Petersburg University (SPbU) was Russia’s first university, opening its doors in 1724. In today’s world, St. Petersburg University is one of the world’s most important educational, scientific, and cultural institutions. QS ranks it among the top 300 universities worldwide and second in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

According to the QS Graduate Employability Ranking, SPbU is Russia’s second-best university for connecting employers and students. Multidisciplinary education programs are designed by this top-notch institution, which combines theoretical problems with real-world applications.

Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT/PhysTech)

The MIPT is considered one of the leading universities in Russia in the fields of technology and physics. Many graduates of this university went on to become reputable experts and recipients of prestigious awards, with some being Nobel laureates. 

Students in MIPT are honed to become knowledgeable and experienced individuals in their fields. As early as their second year in the university, students are involved in research works in first-rate educational and research institutes.

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Scholarships and Financial Assistance

To those who plan to study in Russia that are enrolled in a state-funded university or have been awarded a scholarship need not pay tuition fees. There will be a monthly allowance of 1,484 RUB for undergraduate students and 2,921 RUB for postgraduate students, as of 2020.

The Russian government provided 15,000 scholarships in 2020. These awards are made available by state-funded and public educational institutions. They cover the following areas:

  • a full tuition fee with the chosen course of study
  • student housing at a university (if slots are available)
  • monthly stipend while they pursue their education

How to apply for a government scholarship

  1. Find information about the selection for international student scholarships through
  2. Contact the home country’s representative and get the necessary details about available scholarships and programs.
  3. Register on the website by filling out an electronic form, then submit the application.
  4. Wait for an invitation for the selection process (exams, tests, interviews).
  5. Based on the results of exams, find the name on the list of candidates for scholarships.
  6. Prepare additional requirements upon being listed.
  7. Wait for a university’s letter of enrolment confirmation along with the next steps to be followed.


The country’s official language is Russian with 81% of its citizens speaking it as their main language. All state-accredited educational institutions, with the exception of pre-schools, use Russian as their primary teaching language. Its citizens can receive basic education in their native languages.

There has been an increase in demand from international students for English-language programs, particularly for undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia’s two most important international centers, are the most common locations for English and Russian language study programs. As an international student in Russia, it will be incredibly beneficial to learn Russian in order to communicate effectively.

How Much Money is Required to Study in Russia?

Tuition Fee

In the world of international higher education, Russia is among the countries with the lowest tuition costs. It is less expensive than the tuition fees in other nations, including the United States and Europe.

Listed below are average, minimum, and maximum tuition fees per degree upon study in Russian universities.

Bachelor's degree Specialist's degree Master's degree Postgraduate degree
average cost
240,000-260,000 RUB/year
240,000-260,000 RUB/year
260,000-280,000 RUB/year
280,000-300,000 RUB/year
minimum cost
122,500 RUB/year
122,500 RUB/year
147,000 RUB/year
79,300 RUB/year
maximum cost
880,000 RUB/year
632,580 RUB/year
460,000 RUB/year
413,000 RUB/year

Cost of Living

When you study in Russia, you can afford to live comfortably on a modest budget. Students typically need between 23,000 and 30,000 RUB/month or 230,000 and 300,000 RUB/year to cover their expenses. While the cost of living in Moscow and St. Petersburg is high, university dorms are relatively inexpensive.

Here is a table of the average expenses of living in the country.

Expense Monthly cost (RUB)
Accommodation (University Dorm)
Accommodation (Rental Apartments in Moscow and St. Petersburg)
Accommodation (Rental Apartments in Novosibirsk)
Culture, Sports, Entertainment
Internet, Mobile Phone

Students can lighten the expenses by taking on part-time jobs

How to Apply

The requirements for studying in Russia vary depending on the target institution including but not limited to the program applied for, past grades, and interview and admission exam results. Below are the steps you can take in applying:

  • Be prepared. First, choose a degree program you’re going to apply to and a university where you want to study in Russia. It is also a good idea to look into the tuition fees, as well as scholarships you can avail of to help lessen your expenses.
  • Ready your documents. Universities usually have a list of the necessary documents needed for application, and it helps to have them prepared beforehand.
  • Go into the admission process. The admission process usually includes exams and interviews, which are crucial for getting into the target university.
  • Be invited. Once you are accepted into your chosen university, you just have to wait for an invitation. The next step is to apply for a student visa.

What are the Requirements to Study in Russia?

International students who enroll in a Russian university typically need to provide five documents:

  1. Application form
  2. Copy of passport
  3. Certificate of education level
  4. Two medical certificates
  5. Copy of identification

Student Visa in Russia

A passport and a visa are required for the majority of overseas candidates who want to study in Russia. The following nations are exempt from the requirement for a visa: Azerbaijan, Abkhazia, Southern Ossetia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Armenia, and Uzbekistan.

Student Visa Application Process:

There are a few steps to applying for a Russian student visa.

  • Obtain the invitation for a Russian student visa (Visa Support).
  • Fill in the online application for a student visa for Russia.
  • Gather all the documents needed for a student visa for Russia.
    • Documents Required for a Student Visa:
      • Passport and a copy of the front page
      • Official invitation for entry to Russia
      • Application form
      • Photograph 3.5 x 4.5 cm
      • HIV-negative status certificate
      • Parental consent (for applicants under 18)
  • Submit all the documents to the Russian Consulate.
  • Pay the student visa fee.
  • Wait from 1 to 10 days to receive the visa.

Russia is a remarkable place that can make your studies worthwhile. With its world-class approach and inexpensive education, matched with diverse culture and tradition, you are in for a treat!

Jumpstart your international studies with MSM Unify. We will guide you on your way to success. Follow us to know more about how you can study in Russia.

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