Bestuzhev Courses

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Students at the chemistry laboratory

The Bestuzhev Courses (Бестужевские курсы) in St. Petersburg were the largest and most prominent women's higher education institution in Imperial Russia.[1]

The institute opened its doors in 1878. It was named after Konstantin Bestuzhev-Ryumin, the first director. Other professors included Baudouin de Courtenay, Alexander Borodin, Faddei Zielinski, Dmitry Mendeleyev, Ivan Sechenov, and Sergey Platonov. An assistant professor there was Vera Bogdanovskaya, the first female chemist to die as a result of her own research.[2] Nadezhda Krupskaya and Maria Piłsudska were among the graduates. The courses occupied a purpose-built edifice on Vasilievsky Island.

After the Russian Revolution they were reorganized as the Third University of Petrograd, which was merged into the Petrograd University in September 1919.[3]


  1. ^ Rochelle Goldberg Ruthchild. Equality and Revolution: Women's Rights in the Russian Empire, 1905-1917. University of Pittsburgh Press, 2010. ISBN 978-0-8229-6066-9. Page 56.
  2. ^ Elder, Eleanor S; et al. (April 1979). "The Deadly Outcome of Chance-Vera Estaf'evna Bogdanovskaia". Journal of Chemical Education. 56 (4): 251–2. doi:10.1021/ed056p251.
  3. ^ The encyclopaedia of St. Petersburg Archived December 14, 2010, at the Wayback Machine

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