Are you looking for the top English-taught universities in Russia? If you are, you are in luck because your search has come to an end. In this guide, you’ll not only find the top English-taught universities in Russia but you’ll gain important information about the things you know about studying in Russia.

Russia is the largest country on earth by area, covering more than 17,125,191 km² (i.e., one-eighth of the Earth’s inhabitable landmass). In Europe, Russia is the ninth most populous country with a population of 145.5 million. The capital of Russia is Moscow, which also doubles as the largest city entirely within Europe.

Russia isn’t known for its size alone, the country is also regarded as the birthplace of Vodka. It’s also home to Lake Baikal (the world’s oldest and deepest freshwater lake in the world), the Red Square, Matryoshka Dolls, and top-quality education. Despite being a popular destination for vacation and education, Russia isn’t an English speaking country. Russian is the official language in Russia. Due to that reason, English-speaking foreigners in the country might find it difficult to school in the country.

However, that shouldn’t deter you from bagging a Russian degree. Even though there are Russian-taught universities in the country, there are also English-taught universities and in today’s guide, I’ll be giving you a list of the top English-taught universities in Russia.

Universities in Russia

Russia has a long academic tradition and even today, it’s a highly educated country. Universities in Russia have spawned several great minds, and amongst them, you’ll find several notable Nobel prize winners.

Unlike before, Russia has started making strides in modernizing its higher education system and opening it up to foreign students. Every year, Russian universities are offering more and more new English-taught programs. Although a majority of them are duplicates of Russian-taught originals, that doesn’t mean that the number of unique programs isn’t growing still.

At the same time, the government-led “project 5-100” aims to place at the very least, 5 Russian universities among the top 100 most respected global university rankings. The initiative has started producing results as more than a dozen of Russian universities are now among the world’s top 500 universities and its results keep improving yearly.

At the time of this writing, the most prestigious university in Russia is the Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU). However, there are other countless great universities in the country as well and we’ll be looking at them shortly when we get to the “top English-taught universities in Russia” section. In conclusion, if you wish to study in Russia in English, there are over 500 Bachelor’s programmes, Master’s Programmes, and PhD options for you to choose from.

Tuition fees in Russia

As a foreign or international student studying in Russia, one of the first things you’ll realize is that the tuition fee for Russian universities is relatively affordable. Most of the study programmes—regardless of the degree (Bachelor’s or Master’s)—cost below 5,000 euros per year, and many are under 2,000 euros per year.

There’s more. Students seeking admission into Russian universities from certain regions who have an outstanding academic track record may qualify for a government scholarship. The scholarship covers their tuition and in some cases, the cost of living as well.

How to study in English in Russia

Although the number of English-taught programs in Russia keeps increasing yearly, knowing how to study in English in Russia is key, if you must study in Russia in English.

The majority of courses taught entirely in English are available at the master’s level. But that doesn’t mean that there are English-taught programs for the Bachelor’s level. If your chosen course is not available in English at the Bachelor’s level, Russian universities offer preparatory language courses to help international gain the necessary skills to enable them to study in Russia.

The precise requirements to get admitted and start studying in an English-taught program at a Russian university varies. In general, most universities will require you to provide the following documents:

  • A certificate or diploma that certifies your previous education
  • A cover letter
  • A proof of your English proficiency with the required score on a test such as TOEFL or IELTS (native English speakers are exempted)

Some universities might go ahead to ask for a CV, references from teachers, a portfolio, and a phone or Skype interview in English.

Top English-Taught Universities in Russia

Earlier, I mentioned that a majority of courses or programmes are offered at the Masters’s level but at the same time, some Russian universities are offering English-taught undergraduate programmes. Hence in this section, I’ll be grouping the English-taught universities into two sections; one for undergraduate programmes and the other for postgraduate programmes.

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Without further ado, let’s dive into the list of the top English-taught universities in Russia.

Top undergraduate English-taught universities in Russia

1. Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (МосковскийФизико-Техническийинститут)

Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, also known as Physics is a public research university that prepares specialists in theoretical and applied physics, applied mathematics, as well as other related disciplines located in Moscow Oblast, Russia.

The university’s main campus is located in Dolgoprudny. Dolgoprudny is a northern suburb of Moscow. Although the university’s main campus is located in Dolgoprudny, its Aeromechanics department is based in Zhukovsy, a south-eastern suburb of Moscow. The university is one of the Russian top universities; in 2016 and 2018, the university was ranked among the top 100 most prestigious universities in the world by the British magazine Times Higher Education.

The university has a total of 11 departments and 10 out of them have an average of 80 students admitted annually. Many students studying in the university apply immediately after graduating from high (i.e., at the age of 18) and child prodigies can be admitted at a younger age. Admission into the university is really competitive and sometimes aspirants will have to reapply in subsequent years to get admitted.

Traditional, to get admitted, you’ll have to take oral and written exams in both physics and mathematics, write an essay, and finally have an interview with the faculty. The interview is the most important aspect of the selection as it determines whether you’ll be admitted or not. There are cases where applicants with low scores were admitted after the interview and top-scoring applicants were rejected.

However, in recent years, oral exams have been scrapped but you’ll still have to take the interview as it still remains an important part of the selection process. You’ll only be exempted from taking the exams if you are a national top performer in physics and mathematics competitions but you’ll have to still undergo an interview to get admitted.

Education is free at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology for most students following the traditions of the Soviet education system. In addition to the free education, students can also receive small scholarships of about $70 – $105 for bachelor’s and $110 – $140 for master’s per month depending on the student’s performance.

Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology is among the list of the top English-taught universities in Russia as they offer English-taught programmes in Aerospace Engineering, Computer Science, and Biomedical Engineering.

2. National Research Nuclear University MEPhI (Moscow Engineering Physics Institute)—Национальныйисследовательскийядерныйуниверситет

The National Research Nuclear University MEPhI was founded in 1942, although at the time as the Moscow Mechanical Institute of Munitions but it was later renamed the Moscow Mechanical Institute. It maintained that name until 1953 when it was renamed again but this time to Moscow Engineering Physics Institute until 2009.

In 2009, the Russian Government issued an order on behalf of the Russian President’s Degree on the 7th of October 2008 which was to create National Research Universities in the country. Thus, the institute was granted or given a new status. It was reorganized and its aim was changed from training skilled personnel for the Soviet military and atomic programs (which was its original aim) to preparing specialists by giving them secondary professional, postgraduate professional, Higher professional, and additional professional education, including scientific and educational activities.

The university has nine main departments (institutes or faculties) and offers Bachelor’s, Master’s as well as postgraduate degrees in physics, computer science, mathematics, and other areas. Asides from the study programs, the facility has a Neutrino Water Detector NEVOD and a 2.5 MW (thermal) pool-type research reactor. The university offers English-taught courses in several subjects making it a part of the top English-taught universities in Russia.

3. National Research University Higher School of Economics (Национальныйисследовательскийуниверситет «Высшаяшколаэкономики»)

Higher School of Economics (HSE) University is a public research university that was founded in 1992 and whose headquarters is located in Moscow, Russia. The university has four campuses; the main campus is located in Moscow while the other three are located in Perm, Nizhny Novgorod, and Saint Petersburg.

The university is widely recognized as one of the most prestigious universities in Russia not only by the Russians but also by the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Higher School of Economics was the first educational institution in the country to successfully introduce Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in 2009; the university has also taken part in the development and implementation of the Unified State Exam to modify the health care and education systems in the country.

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There’s not a level limit at the university as you can study at all levels. Students in the university can pursue training in several fields such as the Social Sciences, Humanities, Engineering, Mathematics, Chemistry, Biotechnology, Economics, Law, Physics, Engineering, and Biology, as well as in creative disciplines. What’s more, the Higher School of Economics is the only university in Russia to be ranked among the top 100 universities in the world by the Times Higher Education Young University Rankings.

The university is among the top English-taught universities in Russia and some of the English-taught programs include Mathematics, Russian Studies, Business, Management and Economics, and Politics. Some of the university’s English-taught programs are double degree programs and they run in conjunction with the University of London.

4. People’s Friendship University of Russia (Российскийуниверситетдружбынародов)

The People’s Friendship University of Russia, popularly known as RUDN University, is a public research university that was established in 1960, located in Moscow, Russia. The university came from the resolution made by the Council of Ministers of the USSR and the Central Committee of the CPSU to help nations to assist countries that recently gained independence from colonial powers.

The university was created to train highly qualified national personnel from Asia, Latin America, and Africa. Additionally, the university also offered higher education for Soviet youth and also furthered Soviet foreign policy goals in nonaligned countries.

The university has about 5000 staff and among them, you’ll find 807 associate professors, 442 professors and Doctors of Science, 91 academicians and Corresponding Members of academies of Russia, 56 PFUR teachers and professors who are full members of international academies and learned societies, 50 Honoured workers of Science of the Russian Federation, as well as other general staff.

In the RUND University you can pursue and obtain a Bachelor’s degree (4 years of study), Medical Doctor degree (6 years of study), PhD (3 years after Master’s or Specialist), State Specialist degree (5 years of study), Master’s degree (2 years of study after B.Sc.), and D.Sc. (2 – 3 after PhD). RUND University also offers courses in English in humanities subjects (Politics, History) as well as linguistics, state and municipal management and regional studies. The university is one of the top English-taught universities in Russia.

5. Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University (Санкт-ПетербургскийполитехническийуниверситетПетраВеликого)

Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University is a major Russian technical university located in Saint Petersburg. Just like the Higher School of Economics, this university abbreviated as SPbSTU for short is considered to be one of the top research facilities in the country, not only by Russians but also by CIS member states. In addition, it’s a leading educational institution in the fields of mathematics, chemical engineering, applied physics, industrial engineering, aerospace engineering, as well as other academic disciplines.

The university houses one of the country’s most advanced research labs in hydro-aerodynamics. SPbSTU offers academic programs at the Bachelor’s, Master’s, as well as, Doctorate levels. The university is composed of structural units called institutes and those institutes are dived into three categories namely: Engineering Institutes, Physical Institutes, and Economics and Humanities Institutes. The university has a total number of 30,197 students of which 2,916 are foreigners or international students and a total of 5,274 staff of which 3,300 are teaching staff.

The University is among the top English-taught universities in Russia—it offers English-taught Bachelor’s degree in International Business with a tuition fee of ₽262,000 (approximately $4000).

Top postgraduate English-taught universities in Russia

6. Moscow State University (Московскийгосударственныйуниверситетимени М. В. Ломоносова)

Moscow State University ‘M. V. Lomonosov’ is a public research university founded in 1755 by Mikhail Lomonosov, located in Moscow, Russia. The university is a top-performing university in Russia and in 2019, one Turing Award winner, six Field Medal winners, and thirteen Nobel laureates were affiliated with the university. Also in 2019, the university was the highest-ranking Russian educational institution according to the QS World University Rankings.

The University has 15 research institutes, 43 faculties, 6 branches, and over 300 departments. Moscow State University employs over 15,000 support staff and 4,000 academics. About 5,000 scholars work at the university’s research institutes as well as other related facilities. Over 40,000 undergraduates and 7,000 advanced degree students are enrolled. Additionally, over 5,000 specialists participate in the refresher courses for career enhancement. Yearly, the university host an approximate figure of 2,000 students, graduate students, and also researchers from all over the world.

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The university offers Biology, Political Science, Business School, Economics, and many other programs in English. The Moscow State University is one of the top English-taught universities in Russia.

7. National University of Science and Technology MISiS (НациональныйисследовательскийтехнологическийуниверситетМИСиС)

The National University of Science and Technology (MISiS) is a public Technological university in the field of metallurgy and steelmaking, located in Moscow, Russia. The university is a leading university of the Higher Metallurgical Education Association, whose members include universities from Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and Russia. In addition, the university has joint degree programmes with the Institut National Polytechnique de Lorraine in Nancy, France, and the Freiberg University of Mining and Technology in Freiberg, Germany.

The university has about 16500 doctoral, graduate, and undergraduate students and a faculty of about 1,200 staff including 350 associate professors and 326 professors. The university offers English-taught programmes in the areas of Physics and Astronomy and Materials Technology. MISiS is one of the top English-taught universities in Russia.

8. Novosibirsk State University (НовосибирскийГосударственныйУниверситет)

Novosibirsk State University is a public research university founded in 1958, located in Novosibirsk, Russia. The university was founded on the principles of the combination of education and science, early participation of students in research activities and the engagement of leading scientists in its teaching programmes.

In 2020, the university had conducted training on 43 bachelor’s (4-year study) programmes, 7 specialist’s (5-year study) programmes, 1 specialist’s (6-year study) programme, 93 master’s (2-year study) programmes, 9 residency’s (2-year study) programmes, 25 graduate school (3-year study) programmes, 32 graduate school (4-year study) programmes all taught in Russian, and 5 master’s (2-year study programs), 1 residency’s (2-year study) programme taught in English.

Novosibirsk State University is among the top English-taught universities in Russia.

9. National Research Tomsk Polytechnic University (НациональныйисследовательскийТомскийполитехническийуниверситет)

The National Research Tomsk Polytechnic University, TPU for short, is historically the fourth technical university in Russia and doubles as the first one in Asian Russia. The university is a member of 12 international associations and consortiums, such as the European Association of Research Management and Administrations (EARMA), the Consortium Linking Universities of Science and Technology for Education and Research (CLUSTER), and the Conference of European Schools for Advanced Engineering Education and Research (CESAER). The university was also a member of EUA (European University Association) up until March 2022.

The university offers 29 bachelor’s degree programmes, 32 master’s degree programmes, 9 specialist degree programmes, 19 postgraduate programmes, and 31 research degrees. Tomsk Polytechnic University offers English-taught master’s degree programmes in subjects or courses such as nuclear medicine, physics, and big data solutions. The university is among the top English-taught universities in Russia.

10. Ural Federal University (Уральскийфедеральныйуниверситет)

The Ural Federal University named after the first President of Russia B. N. Yeltsin is one of the leading educational institutions in the Ural region of Russia and doubles as one of the 10 Russian Federal Universities. In the Ural region, the university acts as both a research and innovation centre and also corporates with the Russian Academy of Sciences.

The university provides educational programmes in the four main areas of knowledge and 108 academic majors. In addition, the university has actively developed links between intermediate educational institutions and the university. The university works consistently to establish strategic partnerships with employers in order to develop the regional economy.

The Ural Federal University offers 13 fully English taught master’s degree programmes and 1 taught partially in English. Ural Federal University is one of the top English-taught universities in Russia.

Other top postgraduate English-taught universities in Russia include:

  • Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT)
  • National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE)
  • People’s Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University)
  • Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University
  • St Petersburg State University

There goes our list of the top English-taught universities in Russia

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