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Frequently Asked Questions about Studying
at the History Faculty at Moscow State University

Prospective students often have questions concerning application procedures, course requirements, tuition fees, accommodation, etc. Here you can find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions, which, we hope, will help those who consider studying at the History Faculty of Moscow State University.

More information can be obtained through the Moscow State University main network.


Q: How do I get an application package?

A: You may request an application package from our main office, which can be contacted by post or via email.

Q: What do I need to do to become a student at MSU?

A: First of all the prospective student must decide on a program of study. The History Faculty offers both undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The undergraduate program requires four years of residence and leads to the award of a Bachelor's Degree (BA). There are two graduate programs: the Master's Degree program, requiring two years of residency; and the Doctorate program, requiring three years of residency. Applicants for the Master's program must have received a Bachelor's degree before they can be admitted for graduate study. Doctoral students are also required to have a Master's degree.

Undergraduate students are admitted into one of five areas of study: History; History of Fine Arts; International Relations; Politology; Cultural Tourism. Decision about further specialization is to be made by the end of the second year of study.

Prospective graduate students are advised to contact the department of their choice directly in order to learn of any specific requirements. In general, departments require graduate students to have an academic background matching their intended specialization, along with a sufficient command of Russian.

Once a prospective student has chosen both a study program and the field of study, he/she should contact the office of the Deputy Dean for International Relations and request that a visa invitation be issued. Prospective students should submit their applications no later than 30 June of the intended year of entry. Their visa invitations should arrive by mid August. Once the visa is received, visitors should indicate the day of their arrival and what sort of accommodation they will require. Most choose to live in the MSU hostel.

Upon arrival, guests should report to the office of the Deputy Dean for International Relations, where a contract will be drawn up and signed, stating the intended degree program, tuition fees and graduation requirements.

Q: When do classes start?

A: The academic year runs from 1 September to 30 June. Classes begin on 2 September. Winter exams are from 20 December to 25 January, followed by winter vacations. The second semester starts on 7 February. Students are expected to arrive by the first day of either of the semesters.

Visiting scholars are free to arrive at any point of the academic year.

Q: What if I don't want to enroll in a full degree program?

A: The History Faculty also invites students for a part of the normal academic year (but not for less than two months) to carry out research in Russia. Those interested should contact the office of the Deputy Dean for International Relations to request for a visa invitation and accommodation. This is a relatively economical way to conduct research in Moscow.

Q: How much does it cost to study at the History Faculty?

A: Tuition fees (in roubles):

271 000 per academic year for students in the "specialist" program (Russian degree);

271 000 per academic year for undergraduate students (BA program);

271 000 per academic year for graduate students (MA program);

184 300 per academic year for postgraduate students (PhD program);

146 400 per academic year for visiting researchers (159 600 if they wish to attend Russian language courses);

122 200 for 10 months for visiting researchers (133 000 if they wish to attend Russian language courses);

12 200 per month for visiting researchers (13 300 if they wish to attend Russian language courses).

Attention! Accomodation in MSU's hostels is reserved for those who enter Russia with a visa issued at the request of MSU or the Ministry of Research and Education of Russia.

Payment is made after the contract is signed. All fees must be paid in Russian currency, according to the official exchange rate of the ruble fixed by the Russian Central Bank on the day of payment. Alternatively, payment can be made in US dollars by bank transfer. Guests may pay in September for the full year of study; they may also pay per semester or for the duration of their stay. Permanent residence registration can not be received until the fees are paid in full.

Q: Can I get a scholarship in Russia?

A: Sorry, foreign students are not eligible for Russian university scholarships.

Q: What are the course requirements? What kind of classes are offered? When?

A: A: Details of the official schedule are available a few days prior to the first day of classes. However there is a standard core course of study for each of the Faculty's departments, which can be found on its web-site. Students, in addition to the compulsory lectures and seminars, may attend courses and seminars on specific historical subjects of their choice. A list of these is also available on the departments' web-pages.

As a rule, students beginning their study, are required to attend classes covering a diverse range of subjects, many of which function as introductory courses and allow students to better define their academic interests. Starting from the 3rd year, students have fewer core lectures and seminars but are expected to take supplementary special courses and seminars. Graduate students are free to select courses from the undergraduate and graduate programs and may design a study plan of their own, in accordance with their specific research interests. This plan is determined after the contract is signed.

Q: What resources are available to students at MSU?

A: Students of the History Faculty are encouraged to conduct research on all periods of Russia's history, from ancient times to the present. However they are by no means restricted to the study of Russian history. Among the Faculty's staff there are many eminent specialists in ancient, medieval, modern and contemporary history of Europe and America, as well as in the history of World art. Our faculty also has a number of good specialists in several fields of Asian and African studies closely linked to European or Russian history, for example the Mediterranean World in ancient and medieval times, the Black Sea region, Central Asia, etc. Otherwise, Asian and African history, although systematically taught at the History Faculty in core lectures by invited teachers, is traditionally considered in MSU to be the domain of another faculty – the Institute for Asian and African Studies.

The History Faculty's curriculum also includes a number of non historical disciplines: natural history of our planet, economic theory, philosophy, law, politology, statistics, etc.

Students residing in Moscow have free access to a large number of libraries, such as the Russian State Library (formerly the Lenin Library), the MSU Library, the State Historical Library and the State Foreign Languages Library, all of them housing world famous collections of books, periodicals, manuscripts, maps and other materials. Starting from the 4th year, students of the History Faculty have privileged access to public archives. Art history students are granted free admission to all state museums and art galleries and may also work with the huge body of presently non-exhibited materials stored in the state's numerous preservation funds.

Moscow State University understands the changing nature of the historical science and the growing importance of new information technologies. The History Faculty has three fully equipped computer class-rooms from which students have full access to the Internet and to appropriate University data-bases. The History Faculty has a special Department for historical information science.

Q: Will I receive language training?

A: All foreign students at the History Faculty are tested for Russian language competency during the first two weeks after their arrival in Moscow. Based on the results of these tests, they are allocated to language classes of an appropriate level. These classes are relatively small and, depending on the year of study, meet two or three times a week for two or three hours. Examinations take place annually to check the students' skills in speaking, reading and writing. Foreign students are required to produce their course and diploma work in Russian, and these papers are scrutinized not only for factual but also for orthographical and grammatical accuracy. In short, our guests must be prepared to study in an intellectually challenging Russian-language environment.

Students wishing to take a foreign language (in addition to Russian) may enroll in one or more foreign language classes at no extra charge. The Faculty's own Department of Foreign Languages offers courses in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Modern Greek. The Faculty can also provide for courses (given by teachers invited from other faculties) in a number of other languages, especially Slavic and Scandinavian, also Arabic, Chinese, Hungarian, Turkish, etc.

Students majoring in ancient or medieval history are expected, in addition, to study ancient languages, especially Latin (obligatory for all 1st year students), Greek and Old Church Slavonic. Also available are courses in several other ancient languages, including Egyptian, Hebrew, Gothic, Old English, Old French, Old Irish. These courses are given by the staff of the Faculty's Department of Ancient Languages, Departments of Ancient and Medieval History, and by teachers invited from other faculties.

Q: Will my MSU qualification be recognized in my country? Will the courses I take at MSU bring me credit points in other universities?

A: These issues are regulated by bilateral agreements between Russia and the individual countries concerned, in some cases also by agreements between MSU and another university. If in your case such agreements do not exist, your university can still give you credit points for courses taken in MSU.

Q: How do I get a visa?

A: In order to apply for a Russian visa you need an official invitation from MSU. In order to receive this invitation you should email us the following data:

1. Full name;

2. Date of birth;

3. Place of birth (including name of state / province / county, etc.);

4. Full home address (including postal code and name of state / province / county, etc);

5. Work address (including postal code and name of state / province / county, etc.);

6. Home telephone number;

7. A fax number easily accessed by the applicant (in case of need for urgent communication);

8. The location (city, country) of the Russian consulate at which the prospective visitor intends to apply for the visa;

9. The earliest date the applicant plans to arrive in Russia and the latest planned departure date;

10. Dates of previous visits to Russia;

11. Scanned copies of those pages of the applicant's foreign passport which bear the photo, name, passport number, date of issue, duration of validity, etc. These pages must be sent by email. Please note that the passport should be valid for at least 6 months after your intended departure from Russia.

It takes up to 60 days for the invitation to be issued. Please submit your application no earlier than 60 days before the date of planned arrival.

If needed, the invitation can be sent to the applicant via a courier service, such as "Federal Express" or "DHL", in which case it arrives within 2-3 days; the applicant is expected to reimburse the Faculty for the cost of this service upon arrival (approximately 40-60 USD). Please give an address at which you will be available to sign for the delivery.

Having received an official invitation from MSU, the prospective visitor may apply for a single entry visa, valid up to 90 days, at a Russian consulate abroad. It usually takes a week to get the visa; for further details about visa procedures, their cost, etc. the applicant should address a Russian consulate in his country. A multiple entry visa, valid to the end of the planned stay in Russia (but not exceeding a period of one year), may be obtained in Moscow after the visitor's contract has been signed, and payment received. For those who intend to continue their studies in MSU in the following year, this same visa will allow re-entry to Russia, after which another multiple entry visa can be obtained in the same way as the first.

Q: How do I get to the University campus?

A: Upon arrival in Moscow, unless specific arrangements have been made for the visitor to be met at the airport or railway station, visitors are advised to make their way, by taxi or by bus and metro, to the Main Building ("Glavnoye Zdaniye") of MSU at Leninskiye Gory, near metro station "Universitet". (Look: http://www.msunews.ru/map/). There they should locate Sector B (this is "", the second letter of the Russian alphabet, and not "", the third) and find the MSU Hostels' Administration (Room 1, on the 1st Floor, which is open 24 hours a day). Upon presentation of a MSU Russian visa, guests will be temporarily allocated a room in a MSU hostel; once the contract is signed, they are frequently moved to a different room. To make this process easier, visitors are not advised to arrive at night (after 9 PM and before 8 AM) or on weekends and state holidays (1-9 January, 23 February, 8 March, 1 May, 9 May, 12 June, 4 November).

On the first working day after their arrival, visitors should report with their passport and immigration card to one of two offices, depending on their status: for those studying on a contract basis – to the International Office of the History Faculty (Room 411 on the 4th Floor of the 1st humanities building on the new territory (27, Lomonosovsky prospect, Bld.4)); for those in Moscow as part of an exchange program – to the University's International Office (Room 911, 912 or 913, on the 9th Floor of the Main Building).