Study in Russia: the ultimate guide for a Master in 2024

The Ultimate Guide to Studying in Russia in 2024

Browse all master programmes in Russia

  • Sep-Jun Academic Year
  • 38 Listed Institutes
  • 283,000 Int. Students
  • 5,698,000 Students
  • 143,400,000 Population

Study in Russia

Russia is the largest country in the world, home to some highly prestigious universities. From athletes like Anna Kournikova and Maria Sharapova, to composers like Tchaikovsky, or Shostakovich, and great authors like Tolstoi, Nabokov, or Dostoyevsky (…and all other “-evsky”s, and “-ov”s and “-ova”s), Russia gave us of the most influential people in history. Moscow and  Saint Petersburg are Russia’s largest cities and two world-famous student hubs.

Why study in Russia?

1. Russian universities are well-respected worldwide

Russian universities have a great reputation, both locally and internationally. They are present in global university rankings and stand out from the rest when it comes to disciplines like Physics, Engineering, Medicine, and Social Sciences.

2. Studying and living in Russia is affordable

Compared to their Western counterparts, Russian universities are very affordable. Tuition fees range between 1,450 and 7,500 EUR per year, and only a few study programmes cost more than 10,000 EUR.

Living costs are also very low; most international students can handle all monthly expenses with a budget of 300–600 EUR.

3. There are thousands of scholarships available

During the past years, Russia invested a lot to attract international talents. So far, over 300,000 students choose to move to Russia and get an undergraduate or (post) graduate degree there.

Available scholarships and state-funded spots allow 15,000 students not to worry about tuition fees or living costs.

The investment part we've mentioned above isn't only limited to scholarships and grants. Russian dormitories and campuses are modern, with the same high level of comfort and utilities you'd expect from any other Western country.

4. Enjoy modern facilities and campuses

Universities also pride themselves with cutting-edge technologies, laboratories, and research centres — facilities that are there to help students achieve their academic goals.

Which universities and colleges to attend in Russia?

There are approximately 850 universities in Russia, and among the best ones are:

What is it like to study in Russia?

Most people who studied there praised the welcoming environment, and how teachers were easily approachable and willing to help. The selection process is very competitive, the environment dynamic, and the atmosphere multicultural.

Also, the universities encourage students to study on their own, giving them only guidelines and allowing them to go wild with the subjects. For this, they provide great facilities and amazing libraries.

What to study in Russia?

Russia, being the behemoth country we know and love, is famous for covering all fields and offering Master’s degrees in all disciplines, ranging from Business Administration to Russian Studies (which sounds amazing, honestly).

Russia is famous for covering all fields and offering Master’s, Bachelors and PhD degrees in all disciplines.

Here are some of the most popular Bachelors in Russia:

If you're looking for Masters, there are plenty to choose from:

How to apply

In Russia, the Ministry of Education and Science created a website that connects students with universities. You can find here contacts from the international department, descriptions for the programmes, and the curator’s phone number.

After you have settled on the university and programme, the documents you will need to present are:

  • Application for admission
  • Your ID
  • Previous education certificates
  • A medical certificate
  • Passport photographs

You should note that all documents should be presented with an official copy, translated to Russian.

Helpful ways to make sure you qualify for a Russian university

Take Preparation Courses

These kinds of courses enable degree-seeking students to get an extra educational boost just before they start their Master’s degree or other post-graduate degree programmes.

Try a pre-M.B.A., pre-Law, or pre-Medicine programme, as well as any other foundation or preparation courses that will allow you to study in the degree programme of your choice.

Improve your English through an English-language prep course

If you’re attending a degree programme in Russia, you will need to prove that your language skills are good enough to participate in the classes and understand the lectures. These courses will also prepare you for any of the English-language tests that universities require.

English-language tests

In order to follow a Master’s degree in English in Russia, you will have to submit, besides an English certificate, your previous diploma and a cover letter.

The English certificates accepted by Russian universities and organisations are the basic ones, like:

Some universities also accept GRE and GMAT certificates. Please refer to their webpage.

Still, be aware that some programmes may require you to submit your CV, a portfolio, references from teachers, and an interview in English, via phone or Skype.

* In the current situation, there is a lot of uncertainty about the economic, safety situation and right to free speech in Russia. International students should inform themselves carefully and be in touch with their consular services for advice. Here’s a link to Studyportals’ statement on the war in Ukraine.

Living in Russia

Let's take a closer look at tuition and living expenses in Russia:

Tuition fees in Russia

Russian universities are very affordable, especially when compared to similar institutions from Western countries. International students usually pay:

  • 1,475–10,600 EUR/year for Bachelor's degrees
  • 1,770–5,540 EUR/year for Master's degrees
  • 1,475–7,600 EUR/year for Specialist's degrees (degrees awarded after at least 5 years of study, e.g. Medical degrees)

Students can also apply for scholarships to support their education in Russia.

Accommodation, food and other expenses

As we've established before, Russia is really affordable. Monthly living costs amount to 300–600 EUR.

Here's a breakdown of the average expenses:

  • accommodation (university dormitory): 5.60–56 EUR/month
  • accommodation (rent apartment): 170–395 EUR/month
  • food & groceries: 120–150 EUR
  • monthly transport pass: 5 EUR (discounted for students)
  • recreation and entertainment: 40–60 EUR

About Russia

* In the current situation, there is a lot of uncertainty about the economic, safety situation and right to free speech in Russia. International students should inform themselves carefully and be in touch with their consular services for advice. Here’s a link to Studyportals’ statement on the war in Ukraine.

The Russian Federation is situated in the eastern part of the Europe and the northern part of Asia. The capital city of the Russian Federation is Moscow. The population of the Russian Federation is 144 million with a density of 8.7 people per 1 sq. km.

Fun facts about Russia

Quick! When you think of Russia, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? If you said “vodka”, shame on you for being so culturally insensitive! Still, we can’t judge, because, on our research, we uncovered that:

  • There are over half a million alcohol-related deaths in Russia each year;
  • The word “vodka” comes from the Russian word “voda”, which means “water”;
  • During times of economic disparity or high inflation, teachers can be paid in vodka. Teachers only, though, so don’t go asking for a raise at your part-time student job.

Also, besides being huge fans of “water that burns”, you should know that Russians also possess some quirks that can only make you smile and shrug, saying to yourself “that’s Russia for you”. For instance:

  • The Imperial Russian Olympic Team arrived in London 12 days late for the games, in 1908, because they were not using the Gregorian calendar yet (not because of the vodka, as we first assumed);
  • Japan and Russia still haven't signed a peace treaty to end World War II, due to a territory dispute. So, yes, technically, Russia and Japan are still fighting World War II to this day;
  • In 1959, Russian Scientists domesticated Foxes just as if they were dogs. And the best part of this fact? It’s an ongoing project. Guys: foxes can fetch in Russia. This is huge!
  • In Megion, a region in West Siberia, the mayor banned excuses. And you have to assume he proclaimed it in the thickest accent ever, while twirling his moustache and laughing maniacally;
  • There is a day, Subbotnik, when citizens go out to sweep and tidy up the streets;
  • Also, in Russia, there’s a “Temple of all Religions”, where different peoples are welcomed, in order to pray peacefully together;
And, if that didn’t bring a smile to your lips, then you should also know that a museum in Russia hires cats to protect the artwork there against rodents. 

Universities, colleges and schools in Russia






Nizhniy Novgorod




Interested in scholarships for Russia? Check out our scholarship search page.

How to Apply to a Master's in Russia

If you've decided to study a Master's degree at a university in Russia, you will have to gather the right documents to prove that you fit the university requirements. Provide complete personal information, previous qualifications, financial information, and a personal statement.

What documents do I need to provide to apply in Russia?

You will need to go through 2 sets of documents, in order to apply to a university in Russia.

First, you will need to undergo an initial application, where you will present:

  • Copies of your transcripts and diploma, and a listing of the subjects and the grades you had over the course of your higher education;
  • Copy of your ID or passport;
  • A completed form from the Rossotrudnichestvo office;
  • Two photographs.

These documents have to be translated in Russian by an official, so be sure to take care of this very important step.

Afterwards, you will need to cover the official submission of documents to the university. This second step will take place after you arrive in Russia, so it’s very important to double-check the list, and be sure you have them on you. These documents consist of:

  • The application for admission;
  • Your ID or passport;
  • Your diploma, with grades and subjects, both in original and a notarised translation;
  • A standard medical form, where you are deemed eligible to study;
  • 2 photographs.

Remember that these lists may vary depending on the university you apply to or on the programme you wish to follow.

Prove your English skills

If you wish to study in English, you will need to confirm your level of proficiency.

That’s why, besides the standard documents you will need to submit, you will also have to include:

  • A TOEFL or IELTS certificate;
  • A CV;
  • References from teachers;
  • Undergo an interview via Skype or phone;
  • A cover letter.

Application deadlines for Russia

Like the list of documents, deadlines may vary depending on the university and the programme you wish to follow.

But, as a general rule, the dates you should pay attention to are:

  • For non-EU students: end of May;
  • For EU students: beginning of July.

Still, we advise you to research and ask the university what the deadlines are, seeing how they can vary.

Interesting programmes for you

Find Master's Degrees in Russia

Discover other countries

The Netherlands is a very popular study destination. Internationals choose this beautiful country because Dutch universities are some of the best in Europe, the living standards are high, foreigners are always welcome, and you get to live in one of the happiest and safest countries in the world. The Netherlands is also renowned for innovative technologies and engineering solutions, which is reflected in the wide range of Engineering degrees offered by universities. English is spoken by around 90% of Dutch citizens, so forget about language barriers. Also, bike lanes and the “cycling culture” will help you to stay fit and healthy, and there are diverse job opportunities and internships for international students.
Finland is an excellent choice for all internationals and especially for EU/EEA students who can study at local public universities for free. The beautiful Nordic country has one of the best education systems in the world and ranks among the safest and happiest nations in the world. You can also choose from over 400 English-taught programmes. In your spare time, you can explore the breathtaking Finnish nature and landscapes, as well as the numerous lakes that give the country the nickname ‘The Land of a Thousand Lakes.’ From here, you can easily travel to neighbouring countries like Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Russia, or Estonia.
Ireland is among the top countries in the world in terms of quality of life, peace, safety, and development. It represents an appealing blend of beautiful landscapes, English-speaking environments, and a strong, welcoming, and rich culture — of which the Irish people are very proud. International students also enjoy the full support of Irish universities, which hire and train staff that are able to help with accommodation, studies, visa details, or any other challenge.
Norway is a paradise for anyone who wants to study abroad for free. Public universities don’t charge any tuition fees. This policy applies to all international students, regardless of their nationality. The academic standard is very high, and professors are easy to approach, always willing to go the extra mile for their students. Additionally, classes are organised in small groups, which further improves learning and cooperation. You can choose from a wide range of English-taught programmes, and you don’t need to worry about language barriers outside of classes either, because most Norwegians speak English as a second language. Internationals should find it easy to adapt to Norway’s society, which is based on equality and fair opportunities — reflected both in the legal system and in people’s behaviour.
Greece is the cradle of European civilization and the birthplace of philosophy. Greek universities and colleges have a long history in academics, attracting international students from all over the world. Classes are not typically formal, so you can expect open discussions between students and professors, in line with the classical philosophical debate tradition. EU/EEA students don’t pay any tuition at public universities, while non-EU/EEA citizens pay low fees. In Greece, you’ll also enjoy the well-known local hospitality and the wonderful Mediterranean climate. There are many landmarks and monuments waiting to be explored, including the Acropolis, Delphi, the Parthenon, and many others.
Sweden is a very ambitious, eco-friendly, and visionary country. For example, by 2040, it aims to produce all its energy from renewable sources. Universities play an important role in achieving development goals, thanks to their world-class research facilities. If you’re from the EU/EEA, you can study at public universities for free. As a student, you will discover and easily adopt the three main values of Swedish society: freedom, equality, and sustainability. These values are reflected in every aspect of the local society, and you’ll quickly learn to appreciate them. Language barriers are also almost non-existent since around 80% of Swedes speak English.
Switzerland has one of the most advanced free-market economies, which is reflected in the high living standards and the satisfaction of people living here. In terms of higher education, Swiss universities are constantly ranked among the best in Europe, and they shine in areas like Business, Tourism, Culinary Arts, and Engineering. When compared to Western universities, tuition fees in Switzerland are affordable, and all studies — especially PhD programmes — are world-class. You’ll have the opportunity to develop in a multilingual environment and try learning international languages like German, French, or Italian. If you settle down here, the unemployment rates are low, and salaries are well above the European average.
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
Universities in the UK are some of the most highly regarded in the world, and for good reasons. Some of the world's most highly regarded research takes place in British universities, which are regularly featured in international rankings. While studying in the UK, you will be able to develop in a highly multicultural environment with high chances of pursuing lucrative careers after graduation. The teaching in the UK is designed to encourage new idea generation, encouraging individual research and group cooperation, through class discussions and creative assignments.
Canada is one of the most popular study destinations in the world due to its high focus on the quality of its universities and its emphasis on attracting international students who can later immigrate. Canadians are very welcoming to international students and they invest a lot into making sure students are safe, treated fairly, and enjoy their stay in the country. Study in one of the strongest economies in the world while enjoying a high living standard and a flexible study environment. Classes have smaller student groups ensuring everyone gets the attention they need, and encouraging group assignments and debates.
United States
United States
The United States is home to some of the most prestigious universities and colleges in the world. With over 150 universities featured in international rankings, the U.S. has some of the best business schools, medical schools, and engineering schools. Universities and colleges in the U.S. are well known for academic flexibility and ways to customize your study experience with optional studies and extracurricular activities. Depending on where you will be studying, you will be able to visit iconic places like the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Goldengate Bridge, The Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, Disney's Magic Kingdom Park, and much more.
Israel attracts international students through high standards of education and a wide range of English-taught degrees. Local universities shine in areas like Technology, Sciences, Business, and Entrepreneurship. In fact, Israel is a renowned land of innovation, having earned itself the nickname ‘Start-Up Nation’. While living and studying here, you will discover a wonderful culture developed throughout 4,000 years of history; different cultural influences are noticeable everywhere, especially in Israeli food, art, and history. In major cities, English is widely spoken, so communication shouldn’t be a problem. In your spare time, you can visit one of the over 400 nature reserves and 80 national parks.
By studying in Australia you will take advantage of the great student environment both inside and outside classrooms. In addition to some of the best business and engineering schools in the world, you will be able to explore a greatly developed country that still retains its wild side with its warm climate, beautiful beaches, and the Great Outback, with over 500 national parks. Many Australian universities provide internships and work placements, preparing students early on for the job market.


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