How to Study in Russia for International Students

Russia is a go-to place for international students due to its affordable yet top-notch education. With the help of scholarships and budget-friendly living costs, you'll have the opportunity to experience the best Russia has to offer. From its diverse culture to bustling metropolis to historical citadels to a European lifestyle, studies and vacations in Russia are rolled into one.

Currently, 131,600 international students are studying in universities and colleges in Russia. This number accounts for 3.4% of the whole student population. You can be one of those students if you choose to study in Russia for a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate degree in your preferred academic program.

When it comes to the choices that are available, Russia currently has 329 universities, from which 312 universities are a part of the public sector and 17 universities are private institutions.

Suppose you’re not just looking for any school but a well-performing school. In that case, the top universities in Russia you should definitely check out are RUDN University, Moscow State University, and Saint Petersburg State University.

Being able to study in Russia as an international student starts with planning ahead of time, as the process of researching your institution, filling out forms, and completing your paperwork can take a vast amount of time. In this article, you will find out the application process to study in Russia, along with information on tuition, language requirements, and visa applications. So, let’s dig in!

1. Cost of Studying in Russia

The cost of your studies is a big factor to consider when you're planning to study abroad. It can financially burden you, but here's the good thing: the public universities in Russia don't charge tuition fees to international students like you! Moscow Polytechnic University, Murmansk Arctic State University, and Yuri Gagarin State Technical University of Saratov are some of the tuition-free schools. You will just be required to pay some registration and other study fees, but these won't be as high.

On the other hand, if you choose to study in a private institution, expect that you'll pay higher fees. Here are some of the private universities in Russia with their tuition fees:

Institution Bachelor’s International Tuition Fee Master’s International Tuition Fee
Linguistic University of Nizhny Novgorod 120,000 RUB - 145,000 RUB 124,000 RUB - 145,000 RUB
Moscow International Higher Business School 185,000 RUB 285,000 RUB - 340,000 RUB
Moscow University for the Humanities 202,000 RUB - 258,000 RUB 218,000 RUB
Volga Region State Academy of Physical Culture, Sport and Tourism 120,400 RUB - 169,500 RUB 128,600 RUB - 180,500 RUB
Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox University 230,500 RUB
Moscow International University 31,200 RUB - 264,000 RUB 31,200 RUB - 264,000 RUB
Russian New University 178,800 RUB 193,000 RUB
New Economic School 560,000 RUB

2. Requirements to Study in Russia for International Students

Once you have an idea of how much tuition fees are to study in Russia, it’s time to consider preparing the paperwork to apply to those universities. Academic institutions have varying admission requirements, but the ones you should always prepare in advance are your academic records, such as a transcript of records or diploma from a previous academic level, and travel documents, such as your passport and visa.

Some institutions that offer master’s programs might also ask for a statement of purpose, a curriculum vitae or résumé, and letters of recommendation. There are also degree programs where you need to take an admissions test before you can apply. Besides these, universities might also require you to submit proof of language proficiency.

In Russia, English and Russian are the languages of instruction. If you’re looking to study in any of the academic institutions here, you might need to prove language proficiency by taking standardized tests, such as TOEFL, IELTS, and Duolingo for English. Depending on the institution and the language of instruction for your program, you might also have to prove your language proficiency by submitting TORFL/ТРКИ for Russian.

To give you an idea, here are some universities in Russia and their required minimum scores for each program level.

Amur State University of Humanities and Pedagogy

Bachelor’s degree

Master’s degree

Far Eastern State Technical Fisheries University

Bachelor’s degree

I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University

Bachelor’s degree

Master’s degree

Typically, you can find information about language requirements on the admissions requirements page of the university. You can also check out if the university has a dedicated language requirements page for international students.

Application Procedure to Study in Russia

The specific admission process may vary depending on the university. The good news is that most institutions in Russia have online applications available on their websites, like RUDN University and Moscow State University. To help you with this, we also compiled the official websites and admission pages of some of the top institutions in Russia.

RUDN University

Moscow State University

Saint Petersburg State University

Make sure to gather all the information you need for the admission process. As you apply to these institutions, expect that they may ask for additional requirements depending on your nationality, degree, or program. So, it’s best to keep your lines active.

After completing your academic and language requirements, it’s time to apply!

The admission process in Russia differs from one university to another, so it’s best to contact your chosen school beforehand. Please note that the admission process for international students may take some time, so be sure to know the application dates and apply early.

The application process may take weeks or months, depending on your timing, nationality, degree, and other factors. To make the most of your application, make sure to completely follow the admission steps and submit the necessary requirements to ensure that you’ll be accepted to your chosen university in Russia.

The key to being admitted to your chosen school will depend on your punctuality and the quality of your application. So make sure to complete the requirements beforehand and follow the steps in applying. After this, you’ll wait for a week or a month for the results.

4. Visa Application for International Students in Russia

Now that you’re accepted into your chosen institution, it’s time to apply for a student visa in Russia. A student visa is an essential document for studying abroad. It’s an important government document that you need to present before going to Russia as an international student.

In this section, let’s briefly discuss the requirements needed and how you can apply for a student visa in Russia. If you’re going to stay here for your studies, you will need to obtain a Student Visa. Student Visa.

To start your student visa application in Russia, you will need to present the following:

  1. International passport and copy of identity page
  2. Official entry invitation to Russia
  3. Application form
  4. Photograph
  5. HIV-negative status certificate

Kindly take note that these requirements may vary depending on your nationality. So, please expect that may ask for additional requirements. Moreover, you will be required to pay a student visa application fee. The visa application fee in Russia is 3032 RUB for Single Entry, 8232 RUB for Multiple Entry.

After preparing your requirements and application fees, it’s time to apply for a student visa! The first steps in getting your student visa are:

  1. Consult with the nearest embassy or consulate about country-specific requirements to apply for a student visa.
  2. Submit complete application requirements at least 45 days before the planned arrival date in Russia.
  3. Wait for the application decision and receive your student visa once approved.

For more information regarding the specific steps in applying for a student visa, visit or contact the nearest embassy or consulate in your home country. They are the ones responsible for processing your student visa application.

That’s it! After getting your student visa, you can now officially study in Russia. Make sure to book a flight early, before your classes start, so that you’ll have ample time to explore and familiarize yourself in your new place!