National Research Nuclear University MEPhI (Moscow Engineering Physics Institute)

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National Research Nuclear University MEPhI (Moscow Engineering Physics Institute)
MEPhI Logo2014 en.png
Former names
Moscow Mechanical Institute of Munitions (1942-1953), Moscow Engineering Physics Institute (1953-2009)
Type Public
Established 1942
Rector Mikhail Nikolaevich Strikhanov
Location Moscow, Russia
55°38′59″N 37°39′52″E / 55.64972°N 37.66444°E / 55.64972; 37.66444Coordinates: 55°38′59″N 37°39′52″E / 55.64972°N 37.66444°E / 55.64972; 37.66444
Old logo

National Research Nuclear University MEPhI (Moscow Engineering Physics Institute) (Russian: Национальный исследовательский ядерный университет "МИФИ" / НИЯУ МИФИ or Russian: МИФИ) is one of the most recognized technical universities in Russia. MEPhI was founded in 1942 as the Moscow Mechanical Institute of Munitions (Russian: Московский механический институт боеприпасов, ММИБ), but it was soon renamed the Moscow Mechanical Institute. Its original mission was to train skilled personnel for the Soviet military and atomic programs. It was renamed the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute (Russian: Московский инженерно-физический институт) in 1953, which was its name until 2009.

By the Order of the Government of Russia, issued by the Russian Government on April 8, 2009 (#480-r) on behalf of Russian President's Decree of October 7, 2008 (#1448) "On the pilot project launching on creating National Research Universities" the university MEPhI was granted this new status. The university was reorganized. The aim of the university existence is now preparing the specialists by giving them higher professional, post-graduation professional, secondary professional and additional professional education, as well as educational and scientific activities.[1]


Today, MEPhI has nine main departments (faculties or institutes):

  • Institute of Nuclear Physics and Engineering
  • Institute for Laser and Plasma Technologies
  • Institute of Engineering Physics for Biomedicine
  • Institute of Nanoengineering in Electronics, Spintronics and Photonics
  • Institute of Cyber Intelligence Systems
  • Institute of financial and economic security
  • Institute of international relations
  • Faculty of Physics and Technology
  • Faculty of business informatics and complex systems management

The university offers bachelor, masters (and similar degree ‘Specialist’), and post-graduate degrees in physics, mathematics, computer science and other areas. MEPhI facilities include a 2.5 MW (thermal) pool-type research reactor and Neutrino Water Detector NEVOD. The university has about 35,000 students at branches in Moscow and other towns. In Moscow are around 7,500 students (including over 1300 foreigners). It normally takes 4 - 5.5 (some sub-departments take six) years for a student to graduate from MEPhI. The curriculum of the first two years consists exclusively of required courses (core), with emphasis on mathematics, physics, experimental work and English. After the two first years of studying students on a competition basis enroll to the sub-departments which specialize in different branches of physics, computer science, information security, mathematics, etc.

Starting with the fourth year, some students have a choice to make their diploma thesis, working at base science institutes. Most of them are research institutes, usually belonging to the Russian Academy of Sciences. For instance, Lebedev Physical Institute, Institute for Theoretical and Experimental Physics, Kurchatov Institute etc.

The MEPhI curriculum is, indeed, considerably more extensive compared to an average American or European college. In addition, MEPhI programs usually focus more on research and less on classroom education.

Among MEPhI graduates are Nobel Prize winners, members of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and winners of national prizes. Its professors and alumni have made major contributions to various fields of theoretical and experimental physics, mathematics, cybernetics, and computer sciences.

Traditional university rankings are based on the universities' research output and prizes won by faculty. In contrast, many distinguished professors teaching at MEPhI are officially on staff at the base institutes like Kurchatov Institute. Student research work is typically carried out outside of MEPhI, and published research results do not mention MEPhI. In effect, many MEPhI professors are not considered as such for the rankings, and student research is not earning any ranking points for MEPhI. This effectively hides MEPhI from the academic radar, an effect welcome during the Cold War era when leading scientists and engineers of the Soviet arms and space programs studied there.

In recent years, the institute has been working to improve its curricula in the humanities, economic sciences, and foreign languages.

MEPhI in leading international and national university rankings[edit]

Rank among Russian universities (World Rank) 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
ARWU - ShanghaiRanking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects

- Electrical & Electronic Engineering

1 (301-400)[2]
THE WUR 2 (226-250)[3] 3 (251-300)[4] 6 (401-500)[5]
THE — Physical Sciences 3 (74)[6] 3 (95)[7] 1 (36)[8] 2 (84)[9] 2 (89)[10]
THE — Computer Science 4 (201-250)[11]
THE BRICS & Emerging Economies Rankings 2 (13)[12] 4 (26)[13] 3 (19)[14]
THE Best universities in Europe 5 (161-170)[15]
QS WUR (481-490) (501-550) 9 (401-410)[16]
QS — Physics & Astronomy 4 (251-300) 2 (51-100) 2 (51-100)[17] 4 (51-100)
QS — Engineering — Electrical & Electronic 3 (100+) 4 (251-300)
QS/BRICS (57) 8 (51) 8 (50)[18]
QS EECA (34) 3 (22)[19]
Webometrics 4 (641) 4 (859) 5 (860)[20]
U.S. News & World Report 2 (411)[21]
U-Multirank. Universities of Science and Technology Rankings 2 (99)[22]
Moscow International University Ranking The Three University Missions 5 (131)[23]
RUR 2 (296)[24] 2 (271)
RUR (Natural Sciences) 1 (158)[24] 1 (145)[25] 1 (115)[26]
RUR (Teaching ranking, Natural Sciences) 1 (41)[24]
Russian university ranking, announced by the international news agency Interfax and Echo of Moscow [27] 5-6 3 3 2[28] 2 2
The ranking agency "Expert RA"/ RAEX (Russia) [29] 3[29] 3[30] 3

Student population[edit]

The student population, especially on natural science departments, is predominantly male. During the first years from MEPhI's foundation there was a ban against accepting women. In recent years this situation has changed and in 2010 more than 30% of first year students were females.


It is a fifteen-minute walk (or a five-minute bus ride) from the university to the Kashirskaya station on the Zamoskvoretskaya Line of the Moscow Metro. Its campus is one kilometre from the famous Kolomenskoe park and museum.

MOOC and other online resources[edit]

During 2016 MEPhI increased its presence in online educational platforms, namely Coursera(Rus), edX (Eng), Universarium (Rus) and CLP4NET (Eng). By the end of 2016, MEPhI had provided 26 courses via those platforms, including 18 on Coursera and 5 on edX. In 2016, the number of students that joined MEPhI’s online courses on the leading online platforms reached approximately 80,000 persons from 146 countries.

Famous alumni and faculty[edit]


  1. ^ 12
  2. ^ "ShanghaiRanking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2016 - Electrical & Electronic Engineering | Shanghai Ranking - 2016". Retrieved 2016-06-28. 
  3. ^ "World University Rankings". Times Higher Education (THE) 2012-2013. 2015-04-13. Retrieved 2016-11-14. 
  4. ^ "World University Rankings". Times Higher Education (THE). 2015-09-30. Retrieved 2016-11-14. 
  5. ^ "World University Rankings". Times Higher Education (THE). 2016-08-17. Retrieved 2016-11-14. 
  6. ^ "Subject Ranking 2013-14: Physical Sciences". Times Higher Education (THE). 2015-04-13. Retrieved 2016-11-14. 
  7. ^ "Subject Ranking 2014-15: Physical Sciences". Times Higher Education (THE). 2015-04-13. Retrieved 2016-11-14. 
  8. ^ "Subject Ranking 2015-2016: physical sciences top 100". Times Higher Education (THE). 2015-10-09. Retrieved 2016-11-14. 
  9. ^ "Subject Ranking 2016-2017: Physical Sciences". Times Higher Education (THE). 2017-05-17. Retrieved 2017-05-20. 
  10. ^ "Subject Ranking 2018: Physical Sciences". Times Higher Education (THE). Retrieved 2017-12-12. 
  11. ^ "World University Rankings 2018 by subject: computer science". Times Higher Education (THE). 2017-09-12. Retrieved 2017-12-13. 
  12. ^ THE — BRICS & Emerging Economies Rankings 2015
  13. ^ "BRICS & Emerging Economies". Times Higher Education (THE). 2015-12-02. Retrieved 2016-11-14. 
  14. ^ "BRICS & Emerging Economies 2017". Retrieved 2016-12-01. 
  15. ^ "Best universities in Europe". Times Higher Education (THE). 2016-09-21. Retrieved 2016-11-14. 
  16. ^ "QS World University Rankings 2016". 2016-08-25. Retrieved 2016-09-12. 
  17. ^ "QS World University Rankings by Subject 2016 - Physics & Astronomy". Top Universities. 2016-03-17. Retrieved 2016-11-14. 
  18. ^ "QS University Rankings: BRICS 2016". 2016-07-12. Retrieved 2016-08-01. 
  19. ^ QS University Rankings: EECA 2015
  20. ^ "Russian Federation | Ranking Web of Universities". Retrieved 2016-08-23. 
  21. ^ "U.S. News & World Report: Best Global Universities in Russia". 
  22. ^ "U-Multirank.Universities of Science and Technology Rankings Institutional". 
  23. ^ "First Moscow International University Ranking The Three University Missions Released". 
  24. ^ a b c "RUR - RANKINGS". Retrieved 2016-11-14. 
  25. ^ "RANKINGS". Retrieved 2016-11-14. 
  26. ^ "RANKINGS". Retrieved 2017-12-12. 
  27. ^ [1]
  28. ^ National University rankings
  29. ^ a b Expert RA Rankings
  30. ^ "Рейтинги вузов 2016". Retrieved 2017-03-14. 

External links[edit]

  • (in Russian) and (in English) English language and Russian language official website of National Research Nuclear University MEPhI (Moscow Engineering Physics Institute)
  • (in Russian) and (in English) [2] Profile on the official website StudyInRussia