Saint Petersburg State University, Russia

UArctic - St. Petersburg UniversitySaint Petersburg University (SPbU) is a Russian state owned university that was founded in 1724. The higher education institution was founded by decree by Peter the Great. Since its inception, they focused on the fundamental research in science, humanities, and engineering. It is based in Saint Petersburg and is one of the oldest universities in Russia. This university has about twenty four faculties and institutes, a medical college, academic gymnasium, college of physical culture and sports, economics, and technology. They have one campus in Vasilievsky Island and another in Peterhof. Before it got its current name, it was first called Leningrad State University during the soviet period.

The 2nd best multi-faculty university in Russia is Saint Petersburg State University coming just after Moscow State University. QS World University Rankings ranked the institution as 240th in 2013. Then the Times Higher Education World University placed them at about 351 to 400th in international rankings. Most of Russia political elite attended the university. Some of their popular alumni are Vladimir Putin and Dimitry Madvedev.  The school has achieved various achievements.

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Enrolment of International students

Saint Petersburg University became the most popular university in Russia in 2019 among foreign students. Their foreign students have the option of financing their studies themselves or applying for the Russian federation government funded places. Every year, the institution has enrollment of more than 3,000 foreign students from about 100 countries. They have the option of offering from there 20 Bachelor, master, and PHD programs taught in Russian, and 400 double degree programs, 20 Masters taught in English, Spanish, French, and Italian.


The university offers 263 doctoral programs and 106 undergraduate programs across all their specialized faculties. Furthermore, they are partners with 350 universities in the world. Some of their partners are the University of Tartu in Estonia, Carleton University in Canada, and the University of Greifswald, Germany. Petersburg has students from more than 70 nations offering about 30 clinical residency programs.

Their programs are as follows:

  1. Arts and humanities
  • Archaeology
  • Art, performing Arts & design
  • History, Philosophy & Theology
  • Language, Literature, & Linguistics
  1. Business and Economics
  • Accounting & Finance
  • Business & Management
  • Economics & Econometrics
  1. Computer Science
  • Computer Science
  1. Clinical, pre-clinical &health
  • Medicine & Dentistry
  • Other health
  1. Engineering & Technology
  • Chemical engineering
  • General engineering
  1. Law
  • Law
  1. Life Sciences
  • Biological sciences
  • Sport science
  1. Psychology
  • Psychology
  1. Physical Sciences
  • Chemistry
  • Geology, Environmental, Earth & Marine Sciences
  • Mathematics &Statistics
  • Physics & Astronomy
  1. Social Sciences
  • Communication &Media studies
  • Sociology
  • Geography
  • Politics & International studies (incl Development studies)

Students population

Saint Petersburg State University has about 15% of international students in the school. According to the World University Rankings, their ratio of student per staff is about 7 to 1. They have a total number of 21,865 FTE student ratios of females to males about 63 to 37.


SPbU has two major campuses and the first one is located in Vasilevsky Island in the city center Saint Petersburg and the second one is in Peterhof. Their main building is located in the Vasilevsky Island campus and known as Twelve Collegia. It is a 3 storey building with 24 red bricks building and around 400 meters long. The institution is also known for their library which houses about 7 million books at the campus.

Read also: Best Medical Universities In Russia

Admission process


Before enrolling for bachelor, masters or specialty program in SPBU, foreigners must submit the results of their admission tests in form of a document. To begin the application process, you must first register for a personal account through the institution admission committee website. Then fill it and sign the application for whatever programs you have chosen. You cannot choose more than three programs.

After this, submit the documents online and also the competitive selection of documents. Then you wait until they announce the results. If you are accepted on fee paying basis, you have to sign a student contract.


If you are an applicant from a foreign country, St Petersburg State University gives you the opportunity to prepare for your admission in the Russian language. You will also have time to prepare for the language of whatever course you choose. The cost of the training is about $3,476 and the preparatory course is about 39 weeks.

Their tuition fee and required documents are usually accepted from the middle of December to July. You need to complete account registration, fill in your questionnaire, and upload documents in necessary format before submitting your application.

Tuition Fees

Just like every other institution, the tuition fee depends solely on the course you are studying. However, the basic fee for a bachelor degree program is about RUB 260000 which is equivalent to $3,330 and for masters is about RUB 285000 which is equivalent to $3650. Before applying for a program, you will have to go through their fees.

Cost of living

The university provides housing facilities to students. The cost of living as a student of Saint Petersburg University is about RUB 770000 and it is equivalent to $9863.70.


Saint Petersburg State University is one of the most popular public schools in Russia. According to QS Global World Rankings 2021, the school is ranked #225. In 2013/2014, QS placed the institution in number 240. Then, the Times Higher Education World University Rankings places them in 351 to 400th.   The institution outperformed every university in Russia (except Moscow state university) when the Academic Ranking of World Universities ranked them as 301 to 400th. It is the second best multi faculty university in Russia.

Famous Alumni

The institution has produced millions of students and among them are the country’s political elites. The current president of Russia, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin graduated from the school after studying Law. German OskarovichGref who is the statesman, president, and chairman of Sberbank of Russia is also an alumni of the great institution.

Pavel Durov who is a programmer, entrepreneur and one of the founders of Telegram and VKontakte is also an alumni of the great school. Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev, the deputy chairman of Security Council of Russia and the president of the Russian federation also graduated from the institution. Screenwriter, producer, and director general of channel one, Konstantin Lvovich Ernst is also a graduate of the university.


Saint Petersburg State University is one of the top universities to consider if you want to study in Russia. They offer numerous of opportunities for their students. The university has produced lots of great men and women worldwide.

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