Study in Russia – Study in Russian
| Russian Universities Guide 2015
You have decided to pursue higher education in Russia? Excellent!
This is a reasonable and promising choice! The modern structure
of the Russian higher education corresponds to the European
bachelor-master system. State higher school diploma, especially
in science, engineering, philology is really a good mean to get a
prestigious and well-paid job.
Another factor that greatly increases your competitiveness in the in-
ternational labor market is the knowledge of the Russian language.
Professionals who know Russian are rare and always demanded ex-
perts. In some European countries a Russian as a foreign language
certificate gives you grounds to claim the salary increase up to 25%.
Do I need to know Russian by admission to Russian university?
Yes, if you are entering your first undergraduate or graduate year.
Education in other languages - primarily in English - is just begin-
ning to develop in Russia. Yes, some education programs in English
are possible to find, but most likely it will be a highly specialized
master’s program. For admission to the Bachelor’s and Master’s in
most areas you need to know the Russian language, and this knowl-
edge must be validated by the state certificate.
No, you may not know Russian if you are in the Special Preparatory
Department (Faculty) for foreigners. There are many of such prepar-
atory departments in Russian universities. They accept everybody,
even without any training at all.
Should I be proficient in Russian to get started?
It depends on the program you target. Russian state system of test-
ing on Russian as a Foreign Language (TORFL) considers six levels:
elementary, basic and 4 certificating ones.
Preparatory Department for Foreigners accepts listeners even with
For the first year of undergraduate it is enough to have a certificate
TORFL-1 that corresponds to European B1.
Master’s stage admission requires TORFL-2, in line with European C1.
Where to pass the TORFL?
There is a network of centers in Russia and abroad taking exams with
the issuance of state certificates. Russian test consortium consists of
four universities that develop all the testing materials. These are the
Lomonosov Moscow State University, St. Petersburg State University,
Russian Peoples’Friendship University and Pushkin State Russian Lan-
guage Institute. You can take the TORFL exam at any one of the four
head universities or at any accredited regional testing centers. These
centers are available in many cities of Russian Federation.
TORFL is available worldwide, both in most post-Soviet countries
and in Austria, Bulgaria, Great Britain, Hungary, Vietnam, Germany,
Greece, India, Ireland, Italy, China, Poland, the Republic of Korea, the
Republic of Cyprus, Serbia, Slovakia United States, Turkey, Finland,
Montenegro, Switzerland, Japan.