Education in Russia

, updated on June 6, 2016
Education in Russia

Primary and Secondary Education

Russian children undergo an 11-year course of study, which begins between the ages of 6 and 8.

The education system is divided into 3 stages:

Stage 1 — (elementary) Grades 1-4

Stage 2 — (middle) Grades 5-9. Pupils must pass a special exam to graduate from middle school. The exam tests their knowledge of a wide range of subjects. After passing the exam, pupils may choose to attend a traditional high school or a vocational school.

Grades 1-9 are obligatory under the Russian Constitution.

Stage 3: (high) Grades 9-11. The Russian high school curriculum is designed to prepare pupils to enter university. In order to graduate, pupils must pass the Unified State Exam (USE), which also serves as an entrance exam to Russian universities.

Pupils must pass the USE in order to matriculate at a Russian university.

Post-Secondary Education

Russia’s higher education system consists of universities, academies and institutes. They award three types of degrees, depending largely on the rigorousness of the course of study: bachelor’s degrees (the lowest level), specialist or master’s degrees (the middle), and Ph.D.s (the highest).

There are more than 100 institutes of higher learning in St. Petersburg, from historic, state-run universities to brand-new, private colleges.

A complete ranking of St. Petersburg’s colleges and universities is available here:

Student Visas

Most foreigners need a student visa to study in St. Petersburg (or any other Russian city).

Three-month student visas are issued by local branches of the Interior Ministry, which also issues multiple-entry visas for up to 1 year.

Students may receive single-, double-, or multiple-entry visas. Students must have a contract and an invitation from the college or university they wish to attend. Not all institutions are eligible to invite foreign students.

St. Petersburg’s Most Popular Colleges and Universities

St. Petersburg State Theatre Arts Academy —

St. Petersburg State University —

St. Petersburg State Polytechnical University —

Baltic State Technical University “Voenmeh” —

St. Petersburg State Culture and Art University —

Russian Language Courses

Want to learn Russian? Here are some useful links to Russian language courses and private tutors who can help you “govorit po-russki”.

EducaСentre —

Benedict School —

Russian tutors —

Translation by Igor Todorov and Jonathan Earle

About Ekaterina Kazmina

I love St. Petersburg and sincerely wish more people from all over the world come here and see its beauty!


  1. eldho basil

    August 29, 2014 at 11:52 am

    Hi.. I am from India. I would like learn Russian can I get a invitation from your college and fee ?

    • Polina Polyakova

      September 4, 2014 at 1:58 pm

      Hi! I suggest you to check out these schools and organizations. All of them provide visa support
      St.Petersburg State University –
      Saint-Petersburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry –
      IQ Consultancy -

  2. shakeel

    September 23, 2015 at 10:00 pm

    Hi dear polina plz tell me what is yearly rassian language tuition fees in college’s

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