How to Apply to a University
in St Petersburg

St.Petersburg universities offer several types of education. Firstly, there is full-time attendance, when you need to be present at the university classes during the day. Secondly, there is the evening option, when you attend classes in weekday evenings and weekend days. Thirdly, you may choose part-time enrolment, where students listen to introductory lectures and subsequently study at home in accordance with a specially developed curriculum, and then come to the university to pass tests and exams. There are several levels of higher education: You can study in programme that award a Bachelor's, Specialist, Master's, or Postgraduate Degree as well as professional training programme or career advancement programme, or you can simply come to study Russian language.

Step 1: Choose Programme & University

In St.Petersburg, prospective students have a huge range of options:

  • You have access to the most diverse choice of subjects, from mathematics and natural sciences to drama;
  • 44 public universities are ready to welcome you;
  • You can study for a Bachelor's, Specialist or Master's Degree, a doctorate, professional training or career advancement, and also learn Russian.

At St.Petersburg universities, you can study to join almost any profession currently in demand on the global market. Applicants only need to select the programme that is best for them. Decide on your criteria (subject, form of study, and instruction language) and start your search.

Educational programs search

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Step 2: Learn about Financing & Scholarships

Both foreigners and Russian citizens can study at St.Petersburg universities at the expense of the Russian government or on a private basis.

Study Funded by the Russian Federation

There are three options for enrolment in state-funded places. Candidates can:

  • Become a winner of one of the Academic Competitions held in Russia or abroad;
  • Pass the Unified State Examination or entrance exams;
  • Pass competitive selection for a government scholarship (quota).

Self-funded students

If they have their own funds for study, applicants can select an educational institution and communicate with its representatives. Universities generally ask to send an initial application by email, and to support it with the proper documents.

Step 3: Prepare your Document Package


  • Copy of a document detailing your education (diploma, transcript), listing subjects studied and grades achieved (with translation into Russian)
  • Copy of identification
  • Completed form (The form is issued by a university or a Rossotrudnichestvo office)
! All documents must be translated into Russian and duly certified (notarised or certified at a consular department of an embassy) You can obtain the complete list of documents and the procedure for certification in universities.


  • Application for admission, indicating chosen subject and form of study
  • Document confirming your identity and citizenship (original and notarised translation into Russian).
  • An education certificate indicating subjects studied subjects and grades (original and notarised translation into Russian).
  • Statement on standard medical form indicating no contraindications for studying in Russia, with note on results of HIV test (or medical certificate).
  • Photographs in specified form.
! You can obtain a medical certificate in your home country. The most important thing is that it must be valid in Russia (translated and certified) and meet the requirements of your university. In a number of cases, certificates provided during application for a student visa are suitable. The certificate may be also obtained upon arrival in the Russian Federation (Form 086). Check the details from international offices of universities.

Get more information about the documents required at each stage by contacting:

  • International offices of universities (if you are enrolling independently);
  • Rossotrudnichestvo offices or a Russian embassy in your country (if you are participating in competitive selection for a government scholarship).

In most cases, documents require certification in the applicant's home country. Applicants from some countries will also have to go through a procedure of recognition of their diplomas or certificates in Russia.

Step 4: Undergo Competitive Selection



When enrolling at a St.Petersburg university on the usual terms, the applicants submit the results of the Unified State Examination (EGE) or pass admission tests. The EGE is the exam taken by all high school graduates in Russia. Its results are accepted for enrolment at Russian universities. International applicants can also take the EGE for enrolment to a university. All necessary information can be found on the exam's official website. In addition, universities conduct admissions tests in the form of a written or oral examination on the discipline corresponding to the chosen subject. Enrolment decisions are made based on their results. Some universities conduct separate admissions exams for international students.


Every year dozens of academic competitions at various levels are held in Russia and abroad. Winners and other participants who place highly in some of these competitions can expect enrolment in Russian universities without examinations or under preferential conditions. Foreigners can participate in international and Russian competitions as well as in those specially held for them by various groups of universities. How to take part in Academic Competitions.


Many Russian universities conduct tests individually or jointly and select talented international applicants based on the results. Representatives of universities visit various countries or send tests assignments to their colleagues abroad. The applicants with the best test results can expect preferential terms when enrolling at Russian universities.

Step 5: Get an Invitation and Apply for a Student Visa

Applicants from countries with a visa free system with Russia can enter its territory by presenting their passport (the list of countries which have a visa free system with Russia is available on the Russian Foreign Ministry website). In all other cases, applicants must present a student visa in addition to a document proving their identity.

An invitation is required to apply for a student visa:

  • Invitations to Russia are issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia and the General Administration for Migration Issues of the Interior Ministry of Russia.
  • Applicants who obtained their place at a university in Russia through competitive selection (quotas) get their invitation at the instruction of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia. At a Rossotrudnichestvo office, they are given the six-digit number of their invitation which they then quote when submitting the visa application.
  • If the applicant obtained their place at the university through a standard procedure or is a fee-paying student, the invitation will be sent by the university. You will need an original invitation to submit the visa application.
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