Russia is an excellent country in which to study for your higher education, with the condition that you speak Russian. Like a lot of the Eastern Bloc countries, Russia has focused its research and academic capabilities at state level for decades.
This means that the best medical schools – and universities in general – are state-owned, run by the Russian government. Despite challenges with funding especially, Russian medical schools continue to provide high-quality tuition for medical students in the 21st century.
Russia can currently be proud to have 30 schools in the Top 100 Medical Universities according to the World Health Organization’s directory. This is proof of their great tuition and medical research facilities. If you are interested in studying in Russia, while immersing yourself in a completely different culture, then you can consider one of the following best medical schools in Russia.
How much does it cost to study Medicine in Russia?
It is not expensive to follow a medical degree in Russia, especially if you are coming from a Western country. Compared to Europe and the United States, tuition in Russian medical schools is kept low by decision of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation. The amount is influenced by the lower household spending power in Russia compared to other countries.
A Medical degree falls under the Specialist degree category and it comes up to – on average – $4,460 to $4,920 per year.
How long does it take to complete a Medicine degree in Russia?
It will take four years to obtain a Bachelor’s degree which qualifies you as a nurse or paramedic, or five years to qualify as a dentist or pharmacist. To become a clinical doctor, you have to complete a six-year program as a specialist degree.
Top Medical Schools in Russia
1. M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University
Moscow State University is the top medical school in Russia according to international rankings. The Faculty of Medicine was inaugurated in 1992. Its curriculum has a particular focus on natural sciences and biology, but also features some liberal arts courses in Russian history, the history of medicine, ethics, philosophy, and others.
You have a choice of 12 different departments in which to specialize, and you will have the opportunity to also conduct research in Moscow clinics and labs as part of your degree. Moreover, Moscow State University has partnerships in place with hospitals, government research units, academies, etc., and also offers the opportunity of studying abroad during the course for top students.
In order to gain admission, you have to take chemistry and a Russian language exam.
2. National Research Nuclear University MEPHI
The Medicine & Dentistry school is part of the prestigious science and engineering centre that is the National Research Nuclear University. Based in Moscow and in place since 1942, MEPHI is proud to count six Nobel prize winners among its researchers. This medical school in Russia also pride themselves on offering bilingual programs and including students from Europe and Asia, along exchanges with international scholars from all over the world. MEPHI also contributes to international science research collaboration programs such as the large hadron collider at CERN or the STAR and PHÉNIX programs with Brookhaven National Laboratory in the United States.
MEPHI is currently conducting groundbreaking research in subjects from information security to medical physics and nuclear medicine. Their General Medicine program lasts 6 years and will award you with the Doctor of Medicine specialist degree.
3. Novosibirsk State University
If you’ve ever considered studying in Siberia, here is your chance to make this a reality. Novosibirsk is the third largest city in the Russian Federation, situated in southern Siberia. The advantage of studying here, beyond the high quality of the Medical School, is the fact that the cost of living is a lot cheaper in Novosibirsk, thus allowing for a richer cultural and social life for students.
Novosibirsk State University was established in 1959 and is part of a research hub called Akademgorodok, alongside 70 research laboratories and almost 50 research institutes in the nearby region. They offer many courses in English, including general medicine.
They also offer a unique program in Nuclear Medicine, combining physics and medical studies. You will have an opportunity to work with nationally and internationally renowned experts in various research fields here.
4. Tomsk State University – Siberian State Medical University
Next on our list of top medical schools in Russia is Siberian State Medical University. This impressive university dates back to 1878 and was founded by the Russian Emperor Alexander II. Tomsk University is Siberia’s first establishment for higher education, dedicated to innovation and world-class research. This was the site for Russia’s first technology park, opened in 1993.
However, the campus is not just great because of the research capacity – it is also located in a particularly scenic area, covered by forests, on the south side of the city of Tomsk. It is part of the Siberian Botanical Garden which spreads across 128 hectares, and you can also find six museums and a herbarium with millions of plants on the university grounds.
In order to apply to the Siberian State Medical University, you will need to follow the online instructions on the website and fill out an application form. Upon arrival, you will be required to take biology and chemistry exams, as well as an English language exam if you don’t already have an international certificate. Only afterwards can you qualify for admission and enroll with a full academic visa.
5. Kazan Federal University
The Tatarstan region of the Russian Federation is an eclectic cultural area where Islamic and Christian beliefs coexist, and where some famous names have lived and studied. Enrolling at Kazan Federal University will see you walking in the footsteps of novelist Leo Tolstoy, former leader Vladimir Lenin, and many Nobel prize winners across a variety of fields.
Education programs are available both in Russian and in English at the Institute of Fundamental Medicine and Biology, which counts many different institutes, research laboratories, and museums. They also have a Medical Simulation Center which includes a hospital model, a Dental Phantom Class, and a Medical Engineering Center.
The General Medicine program at the Kazan Federal University lasts six years, is offered full-time only, and requires a medium level of Russian language knowledge. To enroll, you will need to pass a Chemistry and Biology exam, as well as a Russian exam. Alternatively, a six-year MBBS degree is also offered in English, and entrance exams are the same, except for an English exam instead of a Russian one.
6. Saint Petersburg State University
Probably the first Russian university, Saint Petersburg State University dates back to 1724 when it was established by Tsar Peter the Great. It is unique not only by its rich history, but also given its location in one of the most fascinating and culturally rich European cities.
The university hosts a large number of international students across two campuses. One of its claims to fame is that this is the alma mater of current President Vladimir Putin, as well as former president and prime minister Dmitriy Medvedev.
The full-time, six-year General Medicine specialist program offered by this medical school in Russia is mainly taught in Russian, with some courses in English. Therefore, you will need to speak Russian to enroll here. The university has a simulation center for hands-on practical training alongside tuition.
The program also includes research opportunities, a large number of electives, and online courses. The admission procedure is outlined on the website, however, the portfolio of required documents for each course is in Russian, so you will need to speak the language to get a better understanding of the requirements.
7. RUDN University (People’s Friendship University of Russia)
This multidisciplinary university is located in Moscow and ranks very highly in Russian reviews of higher education. Founded in 1960, it counts numerous faculties and departments, as well as several advanced research centers such as the Institute of Gravitation and Cosmology. The university is particularly proud of having a large number of international students and has a proactive policy of welcoming them.
Their Institute of Medicine counts 6500 students across 41 programs, pursuing 53 specialities in residency training. They offer English-language programs within General Medicine, allowing you to obtain a degree without being fluent in Russian.
However, it is worth noting that the cost of tuition is quite a lot higher than state universities reviewed so far. For non-Russian students, tuition is $8,500 per year.
8. Belgorod State National Research University
The Belgorod State National Research University is located close to the border with Ukraine and has gone through numerous invasions and conflicts. However, it has prevailed through name changes and almost complete destruction during the two World Wars, to become one of the 15 institutions given the title of National Research University – a prestigious award.
It is highly ranked by the Russian Ministry of Education and Science for its high numbers of international students, and it is well known for its microbiology research. The medical school at Belgorod State National Research University is considered one of the top Russian medical schools.
At Belgorod University’s Institute of Medicine, you can obtain a degree in General Medicine, as well as Pediatrics and Dentistry. The General Medicine six-year program is also available in English and tuition currently costs $4,900 per year.
9. Far Eastern Federal University
Based in Vladivostok, this university was established in 1899 but closed by Stalin in the 1930s, only to reopen in 1956. In 2010, the then Far Eastern National University merged with the Far Eastern State Technical University, Pacific State University of Economics, and Ussuriisk State Pedagogical Institute, becoming the modern-day Far Eastern Federal University.
This was the first university in Russia to launch programs taught in English, and they also have many branches internationally in Japan, China, Korea, and the United States, along with many partnership programs.
10. Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University
We end our list of best medical schools in Russia with Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University. Formerly known as the Russian State Medical University, Pirogov University is based in Moscow and used to specifically educate women only. It is named after a prominent Russian surgeon and anatomist, Nikolay Pirogov. Affiliated with all the largest hospitals in Moscow, this university is a great place to ensure you get practical training alongside tuition during your General Medicine program.
If you plan to study in English, you only have to pass a Chemistry and Biology exam. You can also apply to study in Russian, in which case you will also need to pass a Russian language exam as part of the admissions process.
I hope that this article on top medical schools in Russia was helpful! If you are interested, visit the Medical Schools Category!