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Moscow State Institute of International RelationsMGIMO – University under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, which trains future diplomats and specialists in the field of international relations. MGIMO is among the five best universities in the country[-] and is in the top 100 world universities in the field of "Politics and International Relations"[1].

Moscow, Russia
Establishment year
International students
History of MGIMO

In 1944, the international faculty of Moscow State University separated to become independent. Thus began the story of the largest university of international relations in Russia.
Already 2 years after its foundation, the institute began to accept students from other countries for training. Initially, applicants could choose the international, economic, legal faculties or the oriental branch.
Gradually, MGIMO expanded the number of faculties and areas of training. To the economic faculty, the departments of foreign trade and external economic activity were added, the faculties of international relations, journalism, international business, business administration, and political science were opened.
In 1994, at the initiative of the Government of the Russian Federation, the university began training specialists in the field of state and municipal administration. The same year, MGIMO was given the status of a state university[2].
Since 2000, MGIMO has begun training for the development of international energy cooperation. The leading oil, gas and energy companies of the country came up with such an initiative.
In 2013, the university received international accreditation of all training programs at 3 levels of education, becoming the first university in Russia to implement such a project[3].

MGIMO structure

The university has 10 faculties (schools), 3 institutes, School of Business and International Proficiency, and a military department. In addition, more than 10 scientific and educational units and centers operate here[4].

In 2016, the first MGIMO branch in Odintsovo was opened, which provides training for undergraduate, graduate, secondary vocational (MGIMO college) and secondary general education (lyceum named after A.M. Gorchakov). There are 4 faculties in the Odintsovo branch:

  • International Law;
  • Governance and Politics;
  • Financial Economy;
  • Linguistics and Intercultural Communication.

Cost of training

The complete list of bachelor’s and master’s programs is available on the official website. Here is the overview of Russian-taught undergraduate programs with a number of seats and tuition fees.

ProgramCost per yearSeats, state-fundedSeats, paid
State and Municipal Governance6,523 USD550
International Economic Relations7,241 USD60100
International Politics7,088 USD1037
International Relations7,110 USD4630
Diplomacy and Policy of Foreign States7,893 USD8920
Global Trade and Commerce6,523 USD845
Public Relations and International Energy Cooperation7,088 USD516
World Economy and International Energy Cooperation7,545 USD523
Public Relations6,697 USD1340
International Law6,697 USD7660
International Journalism6,893 USD2930
Sociology of Mass Communications5,936 USD1035
Political Studies6,523 USD2050
International Relations and Energy Diplomacy7,589 USD1025
International Law and Legal Support of International Energy Cooperation7,284 USD1128
International Economic and Environmental issues6,501 USD2015
Global Politics7,088 USD-37
International Business and International Energy Cooperation7,241 USD-21
International Management7,241 USD-65
International and Comparative Law6,240 USD-25

The number of seats available at Odintsovo Branch of MGIMO University can be found here.

Advantages of studying at MGIMO

  • Demand for graduates. MGIMO ranks second in the ranking of Russian universities that release the most sought-after specialists in the field of jurisprudence and journalism to the labor market[5]. The university received five stars in the prestigious world QS rating[6], one of the indicators of which is the connection with employers and the employment rate of graduates.
  • Language training. The university has 20 departments, which teach 53 foreign languages[7]. By the end of the study, students graduate with proficiency in at least two foreign languages and must pass authentic exams (TOEFL, Cambridge ESOL, IELTS, etc.) with maximum scores[8].
  • International cooperation. If a student has a high academic and language rating (from 75 points), he can apply for internships in specialized foreign universities. MGIMO has opened 33 programs that allow you to get a diploma of a foreign university.
  • Meetings with industry speakers. Every year famous political leaders come to MGIMO to give lectures and participate in international conferences (Nicolas Sarkozy[9], UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres[10], Foreign Minister S.V. Lavrov[11]), public figures, leading foreign professors .

Disadvantages of studying in MGIMO

  • High passing scores. The average scores of applicants in 2018 were 96.2/100 for the state-funded seats and 84/100 for paid seats[12]. Most state-funded seats are distributed among the winners of the various competitions.
  • The cost of training. The price for one year of study on most undergraduate programs exceeds half a million rubles[13]. This is one of the most expensive universities in Moscow.
  • Foreign languages workload. Almost half of the curriculum at any faculty is reserved for the study of foreign languages. In addition, the student cannot choose a second foreign language. There is always a chance that you will have to learn Croatian or Dari, regardless of personal preference[14]. At the same time, foreign teachers are constantly changing in order to eliminate “getting used to” the requirements and characteristics of teaching.
  • Attendance control. Skipping seminars, lectures, and especially foreign language classes is the way to not only lower your academic rating, but also to be expelled. For omission of 30 academic hours without good reason, you can get on the lists of candidates for expulsion[15].
  • Dress code. Since Soviet times, MGIMO has been enforcing that the appearance of students is consistent with future diplomatic activities. Heavy makeup, unshaven face, negligence in clothes (wearing a suit is recommended) can be the basis to receive a warning or (in extreme cases) suspension from work[16].
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Admission to MGIMO

Acceptance of applications and documents from foreign undergraduate applicants is held from mid-June to early July. Documents for admission must be printed, signed and personally submitted to the International Office:

  • Application addressed to the rector for signing up to the entrance exams;
  • Application form with personal data and photo;
  • Passport or other ID (original, copy and notarized translation);
  • A document of prior education with a transcript indicating the subjects and grades obtained (originals, copies and notarized translations);
  • Application for nostrification;
  • Medical documents: a certificate indicating chronic illnesses (form 086-U); negative HIV test; results of RW and hepatitis B examinations; a medical report on vaccinations with dates; photofluorography;
  • A copy of the migration card and visa;
  • 8 passport-like photos.

After submitting the documents, the applicant must pass the entrance tests in the Russian language (written exam and interview) and a foreign language (written test in English, French or German). In case of successful completion of the tests, it is necessary to pay for training and sign a contract with the university. Those who have not coped with the Russian test are offered to complete a one-year preparatory course. There are also intensive two-week courses in Russian and English available prior to taking entrance examinations.

Application submissionJune 15 – July 1
Entrance examinationsJuly 2 – July 8
Signing agreementsJuly 10

*Check the dates on the official website.

Admission to MGIMO Master’s programs

To apply to MGIMO Master's Programs a student must register and fill in an application form on the official website. Please note that registration in English is available for a limited number of programs that are taught fully or partially in English. For applying to Russian-taught programs refer to the Russian registration page.

Further procedure suggests taking two entrance examinations: a foreign language and a major subject[17]. The selection process is unified for both domestic and international students.

The following documents are subject to in-person submission:

  • A legalized document of prior education (bachelor’s, master’s, specialist) with a transcript (original, copy and notarized translation);
  • A passport or other ID (original and copy of the main pages);
  • 4 passport-like photos;
  • Proof of language proficiency.

Online application submissionMarch 1 / May 1 – July 20
Submission of documents to the admission committee in personJune 17 – July 20
Entrance examinationsJuly 23 – July 27

*Check the dates on the official website.

Preparatory programs for foreign citizens

  • Intensive courses of Russian and English. A two-week training program before entrance examinations. Each course lasts 40 academic hours. The class schedule makes it possible to attend both courses at the same time. To book a place, you must leave a request and get additional information from the coordinator.
  • One-year preparatory course of the Russian language. The program provides an opportunity to prepare for the entrance test in the subject for bachelor’s or master’s programs. Studies take place from September to June, in the afternoon or in the evening (depending on the group). Classes are in the form of five days for 6 academic hours per day. Groups are formed according to the level of knowledge of the language. The course includes classes in phonetics, grammar, vocabulary (including scientific), the basics of the country's history and culture. The total cost of the preparatory program is either 5,110 USD (for a level 1 beginner group) or 4,131 USD (for a level 2 advanced group).
  • Individual Russian Language Courses. One-to-one classes with MGIMO professors. The duration is tailored but the minimum price is 487 USD (38 USD per academic hour). The course is available each year from September till June.
  • International Summer School. A three-week school held on the Odintsovo campus of MGIMO. The program includes classes on Russian Foreign Policy and Energy Policy, as well as The Russian language. The total cost is made up of a tuition fee (3,193 USD) plus accommodation (931-1,797 USD).
  • Remote course in Russian. Online consultations twice a month. The duration of each webinar is 2 academic hours. The course is available after registration in your account and payment. The cost is 598 USD. The number of participants in a group is usually no more than 6 people. The period of study is from September to December.

International activities

To date, MGIMO has signed more than 140 cooperation agreements with foreign universities, institutes, research centers from 44 countries[18]. The university’s partners are the London School of Economics and Political Science, the Free University of Berlin, the Paris Institute of Political Science, and universities in the USA, Japan, China, Germany and other countries. Cooperation is conducted in several areas:

  • Student and teacher exchange programs, internships;
  • Organization of international conferences, round tables;
  • Implementation of joint training programs, including double degree programs;
  • Participation in scientific and educational international associations.

MGIMO is recruiting students for double-degree programs, most of which are master's.

Double degree master's programs

DirectionProgramPartner universityCost per year
International relationsCorporate Governance and Global Network DiplomacyHEC Paris, France29,762 USD
Political SciencePolitical Consulting and International RelationsUniversity of Pisa, Italy1,082 USD
7,576 USD
ManagementManagement & International MarketingHenley Business School, United Kingdom8,849 USD
25,030 USD
State and municipal governmentDigital Public GovernanceSapienza University of Rome, Italy1,082 USD
7,576 USD
ManagementSustainable Development and EnergyUniversity of St Andrews, UK25,030 USD
8,697 USD

Look through the full list of dual degree programs in Russian and in English.

Double bachelor programs

DirectionProgramPartner UniversityCost per year
International relationsPolitics and International RelationsUniversity of Reading, United Kingdom12,987 USD
18,267 USD
EconomicsInternational Finance and investment managementUniversity of Reading, United Kingdom13,745 USD
18,267 USD
International RelationsGlobal policyMarbella International University Center, Spain20,454 USD
10,281 USD

Business education at MGIMO

Additional professional education programs are implemented by the MGIMO School of Business and International Competencies, which is accredited by the Association of MBAs. The training is held under several programs, including Executive MBA, MBA, Pre-MBA and internships in foreign partner schools.

ProgramMin. ageMin. experienceCost per year
Management in the fashion industry25 years3 years6,523 USD
Entrepreneurship and business management30 years3 years5,001 USD
Digital Economy25 years3 years6,523 USD
CFO25 years3 years5,001 USD
Economics and management in international business25 years3 years5,001 USD
Corporate governance (EMBA)30 years5 years8,154 USD

International internships

While studying at MGIMO, students can contact the International Management Department and apply for internships at one of the foreign universities with which MGIMO has an agreement. The costs associated with paperwork, moving, accommodations and meals are paid by the student.

Duration of internship abroad, as a rule, does not exceed 1 semester. In some cases, an extension of up to 2 semesters is possible. The internship can be in the framework of agreements with partner universities or initiated by the student (independently finds a place of study and draws up all the necessary documents). To participate in the competition you must have:

  • A total academic rating of at least 80%;
  • A language rating of at least 75%;
  • Lack of academic debt;
  • Positive recommendations from the dean's office for the previous period of study;
  • Written recommendation from the language department, confirming the opportunity to study at a partner university;
  • Compliance of the MGIMO study program with the chosen specialization abroad;
  • The ability to pay for all expenses that include visa application, sending the documents, medical insurance, accommodation, transportation, etc.

    The process of participation in the competition:

  • Submit the documents (application addressed to the rector, academic certificate, letter of motivation);
  • Register an internship application;
  • Pass a competitive selection at MGIMO;
  • Send a request to a partner university regarding their ability to accept you;
  • Receive the confirmation of participation.

All documents are submitted to the International department of MGIMO until September 15 for internship in the spring semester, until February 15 – in the autumn semester. By agreement with the dean's office, the internship can be counted as a student bachelor’s practice.

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Student life

About 20 organizations exist within the student community of MGIMO. The largest by far is the Student Union. The organization unites more than a thousand university students who participate in the work of one or several independent departments (design, press service, cultural events organization, etc.). Each year, members of the student union prepare dozens of events:

  • MGIMO Summer School in Sochi;
  • MGIMO Welcome day;
  • MGIMO Music awards;
  • Festival of foreign cuisine;
  • KVN Cup;
  • New Year's Eve of MGIMO students;
  • Quests in Moscow;
  • Legal, student and parliamentary clubs.

Moscow Model UN is an annual scientific conference that takes place in the form of a role-playing game and brings together more than 500 delegates. For several days, university and high school students try on the role of official representatives of the UN member countries and international organizations to discuss issues on the committee's agenda. The goal of the participants of the five-day event is to abstract from the personal point of view (to uphold the official position of the represented country) and adopt a resolution on the agenda of the committee.

  • When – mid-April;
  • Venue – MGIMO building of the Russian Foreign Ministry;
  • Registration fee – 5 USD for citizens of the Russian Federation, 30 USD for citizens of the CIS countries, 50 USD for other foreign participants;
  • To participate, you need to fill out the registration form, write an abstract on the agenda and pass an interview via Skype.

Infrastructure of MGIMO University

Campus. MGIMO is often called a "lying skyscraper" or a “city ​​in a city”. Five buildings, a library and a sports center are connected by crossings, providing the ability to move throughout the territory without going outside. In the corridors there are navigation plates that help to orient to those who first got to the university. The buildings contain everything you need: cafes, canteens, library rooms, a bookstore, gyms and a swimming pool. There is free Wi-Fi throughout the campus. Students can spend their free time in rooms equipped with computers and headphones for self-study. There are 4 dormitories owned by MGIMO. International students tend to live in the one which is on campus – Dorm #2 "Vernadsky". The cost of living is about 4 USD per night in a double room (for one person). Library named after I. G. Tyulin. The fund of scientific publications includes more than 740 thousand books in 55 foreign languages, including the fund of rare and valuable books, which collected domestic and foreign documents from the 13th century. MGIMO students gain access to the reading rooms and the electronic catalog.

Sport Facilities

Interesting facts about MGIMO

  • In 2010, MGIMO was listed in the Guinness Book of Records as a university with the largest number of state foreign languages ​​taught (53 languages)[19].
  • The MGIMO Television competition “Umnici i Umniki” received the TEFI Prize as the best educational program[20].
  • The largest cafe of the Institute of International Relations occupies 3 stories. At all food outlets, you can make an order using a special app, being anywhere on the campus.
  • In 2011, the movement MGIMO Goes Green was founded, which organizes the Ecological Case Cup, where students present environmental management projects. Every year, the club holds the MGIMO Green Week (lectures, film screenings and forums on environmental topics).
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Famous alumni

  • Lavrov Sergey Viktorovich – Russian statesman, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (since 2004), permanent member of the Russian Security Council.
  • Medinsky Vladimir Rostislavovich – Russian statesman and politician, former Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation (2012 – 2020).
  • Bokova Irina – Bulgarian public and political figure, diplomat. Director-General of UNESCO from 2009 to 2017.
  • Titov Boris Yurievich – Russian politician, entrepreneur. The Presidential Commissioner for Entrepreneurs' Rights (since 2012).
  • Sobchak Ksenia Anatolyevna – Russian politician, television and radio host, journalist, public figure, film actress. Co-Chairman of the Party of Changes political party (since 2018).
  • Aliyev Ilham Heydar oglu – Azerbaijani politician and statesman, President of Azerbaijan (since 2003).
  • Sklyar Alexander Feliksovich – musician, songwriter, radio host. Creator and leader of the Va-Bank group. Honored Artist of the Russian Federation.

Student reviews

Pros. The prospect of occupying high political and governmental positions, the opportunity to undergo international internships (students with high ratings participate in programs several times). Convenient location of educational buildings, which allows you not to waste time moving during the school day. Meetings with interesting speakers, practice at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Economic Development and the UN system. Busy student life (festivals, clubs, summer schools).

Cons. The training load (six days with attendance control) does not provide the opportunity to simultaneously gain work experience even in senior years, so many graduates note a lack of real practice at the end of their studies. "Lottery" with the 2nd language, in which personal preferences are virtually not taken into account. Poor conditions in dormitories (frequent shutdown of hot water, cockroaches, lack of cosmetic repairs).

Professor Rating4.1645
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