Russian System of Higher Education

Russian Educational System
Higher Education
Duration and Mode of Study
Admission Requirements
Grading System
Graduation Requirements
Academic Positions and Titles

The Structure of Educational System in Russia

  • pre-school education
  • secondary education (compulsory secondary education: primary school, secondary school, complete secondary education)
  • professional education (professional schools and colleges)
  • higher education (universities, institutes, academies: Bachelor’s, Master’s, Specialist Degrees)
  • post graduate education (graduate school and post-doctoral programs, Ph. D. and Doctor of Science degrees)

Higher Education

Higher education in Russia is offered by public and private higher educational institutions. They must possess

  • a license for educational activity,
  • a national accreditation certificate which gives the right to issue state-recognised degrees.

Traditionally the duration of study at universities in Russia was 5 years. University graduates received a specialist degree, which gave them an opportunity to apply for graduate school.

In 2011 all Russian universities adopted a two-level system of higher education. Since then, they have been offering Bachelor’s and Master’s programs. At present, specialist degree programs are preserved for a limited number of fields of study.

Duration of Study

  • Bachelor’s degree 4 years
  • Master’s degree 2 years
  • Specialist degree 5 years
  • Graduate school, Ph.D. and Doctor of Science degree 3-4 years

Mode of Study

  • Full-time
  • Distance
  • Blended

Admission Requirements

To be admitted to any university program, a prospective student must take exams in 3 subjects.

Since 2009 Russian secondary school graduates are admitted to universities on the basis of the results of the Unified State Exams. Students must take these exams during the last year of secondary school.

Foreign students take entrance exams on the basis of test materials designed at the University. Foreign students are obliged to take the Test of Russian as a Foreign Language (TORFL). The minimal level of competence in the Russian language required for entering the University is TORFL (TRKI) CEFR level 1 (B1).

Admission requirements at the Master’s and Ph.D. level are determined on the basis of the state educational standards.

Grading System

University grading system is based on combination of a 5-point scale, which is traditional for Russian educational system, a 100-point scale, and the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) Grades.

Detailed information on NSTU Grading System


Graduation Requirements

Bachelor’s and Specialist Programs: graduation state exams and a graduate thesis or project.

Master’s Programs:
research work and a Master’s thesis.

Ph.D. and Post-Doctorate Study: academic degrees of Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Science are awarded upon public presentation of the dissertation. The results of research work of a postgraduate student must be published in scientific journals. For a Doctor of Science degree, research results must be published in monographs.

Academic Positions and Titles

Lecturer and Senior Lecturer positions can be held by university graduates holding Specialist or Master degree.

Assistant Professor position can be held by postgraduates.

Associate Professor position can be held by researchers holding a Ph. D. degree.

Professor position can be held by researchers holding a Doctor of Science degree.

Academic title of Associate Professor is awarded for research and academic achievements to university faculty holding a Ph. D. degree and the position of Associate Professor.

Academic title of Professor is awarded for research and academic achievements to university faculty holding a Doctor of Science degree and the position of Professor.