Saint Petersburg State University

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St Petersburg University (Saint Petersburg State University)
Санкт-Петербургский государственный университет
S P S Univ logo.jpg
Latin: Universitas Petropolitana
Former name
Petersburg Pedagogical Institute (1804–14)
Main Pedagogical Institute (1814–19)
Saint Petersburg University (1819–21)
Saint Petersburg Imperial University (1821–1914)
Petrograd Imperial University (1914–18)
Petrograd State University (1918–24)
Leningrad State University (1924–91)
MottoHic tuta perennat
(Here all in safety lasts)
Established1724; 297 years ago (1724)
RectorNikolai M. Kropachev
Administrative staff
7/9 Universitetskaya Emb., 199034
, ,
CampusBoth urban and suburban
Colours    Terracotta and gray[1]
AffiliationsBRICS Universities League, Campus Europae, Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs
MascotBoris the Funny Looking Owl[2]
Building details
Spb Vasilievsky Island Twelve Collegiums asv2019-09.jpg
The Twelve Collegia building on Vasilievsky Island in Saint Petersburg is the university's main building and the seat of the rector and administration (the building was constructed on the orders of Peter the Great for the 12 collegia)

St Petersburg University (SPbU, Saint Petersburg State University; Russian: СПбГУ, Санкт-Петербургский государственный университет) is a Russian public university based in Saint Petersburg. It is the oldest and one of the largest universities in Russia.

Founded in 1724 by a decree of Peter the Great, the University from the very beginning has had a strong focus on fundamental research in science, engineering and humanities.

It is made up of 24 specialized faculties (departments) and institutes, the Academic Gymnasium, the Medical College, the College of Physical culture and Sports, Economics and Technology. The university has two primary campuses: one on Vasilievsky Island and the other one in Peterhof.

During the Soviet period, it was known as Leningrad State University (Russian: Ленинградский государственный университет). It was renamed after Andrei Zhdanov in 1948 and was officially called "Leningrad State University, named after A. A. Zhdanov and Decorated with the Order of Lenin and the Order of the Red Banner of Labor". A. A. Zhdanov's was removed in 1989 and Leningrad in the name was officially replaced with Saint Petersburg in 1992, however the mentions of being decorated with orders stayed for some time after that.

Reputation and international rankings[edit]

University rankings
Global – Overall
ARWU World[3]301-400
QS World[4]235

Saint Petersburg State University is the second best multi-faculty university in Russia after Moscow State University. In international rankings, the university was ranked 240th[5] in 2013/2014, by the QS World University Rankings, it was placed 351–400th[6] by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and 301–400th[7] by the Academic Ranking of World Universities outperforming the rest of universities in Russia excluding Moscow State University.

The university has a reputation for having educated the majority of Russia's political elite, including presidents Vladimir Putin and Dimitry Medvedev, both of whom studied Law at the university.

The university is Russia's oldest university, founded in 1724 by Peter the Great, which predates the foundation of Moscow State University in 1755.[8][9]

Saint Petersburg state university is included in all ratings and lists of the best universities in the world and is one of the leaders in all indicators in Russia.[citation needed]

The university was the first from Russian universities to join The Coimbra Group (CG), and it now represents Russia.



Hallway in the Twelve Collegia building, St. Petersburg State University: one of the longest academic hallways in the world

It is disputed by the university administration whether Saint Petersburg State University or Moscow State University is the oldest higher education institution in Russia. While the latter was established in 1755, the former, which has been in continuous operation since 1819, claims to be the successor of the university established along with the Academic Gymnasium and the Saint Petersburg Academy of Sciences on January 24, 1724, by a decree of Peter the Great.

Between 1804 and 1819, Saint Petersburg University officially did not exist; the institution founded by Peter the Great, the Saint Petersburg Academy, had been disbanded, because the new 1803 charter of the Academy of Sciences stipulated that there should be no educational institutions affiliated with it.

The Petersburg Pedagogical Institute, renamed the Main Pedagogical Institute in 1814, was established in 1804 and occupied a part of the Twelve Collegia building.[10] On February 8, 1819 (O.S.), Alexander I of Russia reorganized the Main Pedagogical Institute into Saint Petersburg University, which at that time consisted of three faculties: Faculty of Philosophy and Law, Faculty of History and Philology and Faculty of Physics and Mathematics.[10] The Main Pedagogical Institute (where Dmitri Mendeleev studied) was restored in 1828 as an educational institution independent of Saint Petersburg University, and trained teachers until it was finally closed in 1859.[11]


In 1821, the university was renamed Saint Petersburg Imperial University.[10] In 1823, most of the university moved from the Twelve Collegia to the southern part of the city beyond the Fontanka. In 1824, a modified version of the charter of Moscow University was adopted as the first charter of the Saint Petersburg Imperial University. In 1829, there were 19 full professors and 169 full-time and part-time students at the university. In 1830, Tsar Nicholas returned the entire building of the Twelve Collegia to the university, and courses resumed there.

In 1835, a new Charter of the Imperial Universities of Russia was approved. It provided for the establishment of the Faculty of Law, the Faculty of History and Philology, and the Faculties of Physics and Mathematics, which were merged into the Faculty of Philosophy as the 1st and 2nd Departments, respectively.

In 1849, after the Spring of Nations, the Senate of the Russian Empire decreed the Rector should be appointed by the Minister of National Enlightenment rather than elected by the Assembly of the university. However, Pyotr Pletnyov was reappointed Rector and ultimately became the longest-serving rector of Saint Petersburg University (1840–1861).

The Faculty of Mathematics and Mechanics in Peterhof
Botanical garden of the University

In 1855, Oriental studies were separated from the Faculty of History and Philology, and the fourth faculty, Faculty of Oriental Languages, was formally inaugurated on August 27, 1855.[12]

In 1859–1861, female part-time students could attend lectures in the university. In 1861, there were 1,270 full-time and 167 part-time students in the university, of them 498 were in the Faculty of Law, the largest subdivision. But this subdivision had the cameral studies department, where students learnt safety, occupational health and environmental engineering management and science, including chemistry, biology, agronomy along with law and philosophy. Many Russian, Georgian etc. managers, engineers and scientists studied at the Faculty of law therefore. During 1861–1862, there was student unrest in the university, and it was temporarily closed twice during the year. The students were denied freedom of assembly and placed under police surveillance, and public lectures were forbidden. Many students were expelled. After the unrest, in 1865, only 524 students remained.

A decree of the Emperor Alexander II of Russia adopted on February 18, 1863, restored the right of the university assembly to elect the rector. It also formed the new faculty of the theory and history of art as part of the faculty of history and philology.[13]

In March 1869, student unrest shook the university again but on a smaller scale. By 1869, 2,588 students had graduated from the university.

In 1880, the Ministry of National Enlightenment forbade students to marry and married persons could not be admitted. In 1882, another student unrest took place in the university. In 1884, a new Charter of the Imperial Russian Universities was adopted, which granted the right to appoint the rector to the Minister of National Enlightenment again. On March 1, 1887 (O.S.), a group of the university students was arrested while planning an attempt on the life of Alexander III of Russia. As a result, new admission rules to gymnasiums and universities were approved by the Minister of National Enlightenment Ivan Delyanov in 1887, which barred persons of non-noble origin from admission to the university, unless they were extraordinarily talented.

By 1894, 9,212 students had graduated from the university. Among the renowned scholars of the second half of the 19th century, affiliated with the university were mathematician Pafnuty Chebyshev, physicist Heinrich Lenz, chemists Dmitri Mendeleev and Aleksandr Butlerov, embryologist Alexander Kovalevsky, physiologist Ivan Sechenov and pedologist Vasily Dokuchaev. On March 24, 1896 (O.S.), on the campus of the university, Alexander Popov publicly demonstrated transmission of radio waves for the first time in history.

As of January 1, 1900 (O.S.), there were 2,099 students enrolled in the Faculty of Law, 1,149 students in the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics, 212 students in the Faculty of Oriental Languages and 171 students in the Faculty of History and Philology. In 1902, the first student dining hall in Russia was opened in the university.

Since about 1897, regular strikes and student unrest shook the university and spread to other institutions of higher education across Russia. During the Revolution of 1905, the charter of the Russian universities was amended once more; the autonomy of the universities was partially restored and the right to elect the rector was returned to the academic board for the first time since 1884. In 1905–1906, the university was temporarily closed due to student unrest. Its autonomy was revoked again in 1911. In the same year, the university was once again temporarily closed.

In 1914, with the start of the First World War, the university was renamed Petrograd Imperial University after its namesake city. During the War, the university was the important center of mobilization of Russian intellectual resources and scholarship for the victory.[14] In 1915, a branch of the university was opened in Perm, which later became Perm State University.


The Assembly of Petrograd Imperial University openly welcomed the February Revolution of 1917, which put an end to the Russian monarchy, and the university came to be known as Petrograd University. However, after the October Revolution of 1917, the university's staff and administration were initially vocally opposed to the Bolshevik takeover of power and reluctant to cooperate with the Narkompros. Later in 1917–1922, during the Russian Civil War, some of the staff suspected of counter-revolutionary sympathies suffered imprisonment (e.g., Lev Shcherba in 1919), execution, or exile abroad on the so-called Philosophers' ships in 1922 (e.g., Nikolai Lossky). Furthermore, the entire staff suffered from hunger and extreme poverty during those years.

In 1918, the university was renamed 1st Petrograd State University, and in 1919, the Narkompros merged it with the 2nd PSU (former Psychoneurological Institute) and 3rd PSU (former Bestuzhev Higher Courses for Women) into Petrograd State University. In 1919, the Faculty of Social Science was established by the Narkompros instead of the Faculty of History and Philology, Faculty of Oriental Languages and Faculty of Law. Nicholas Marr became the first Dean of the new faculty. Chemist Alexey Favorsky became the Dean of the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics. Rabfaks and free university courses were opened on the basis of the university to provide mass education.

In the fall of 1920, as observed by freshman student Alice Rosenbaum, enrollment was open and the majority of the students were anti-communist including, until removed, a few vocal opponents of the regime. Seeing they were educating "class enemies", a purge was conducted in 1922 based on the class background of the students, and all students, other than seniors, with a bourgeois background were expelled.[15]

In 1924, the university was renamed Leningrad State University after its namesake city. In order to suppress intellectual opposition to Soviet power, a number of historians working in the university, including Sergey Platonov, Yevgeny Tarle and Boris Grekov, were imprisoned in the so-called Academic Affair of 1929–1930 on fabricated charges of participating in a counter-revolutionary conspiracy aimed at overthrowing the government. Some other members of the staff were repressed in 1937–1938 during the Great Purge.

During the 1941–1944 Siege of Leningrad in World War II, many of the students and staff died from starvation, in battles or from repressions. However, the university operated continuously, and evacuated to Saratov in 1942–1944. A branch of the university was hosted in Yelabuga during the war. In 1944, the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the Soviet Union awarded the university with the Order of Lenin on the occasion of its 125th anniversary and for its contribution to science and culture.

In 1948, the Council of Ministers named the university after Andrei Zhdanov, a recently deceased prominent communist official. This decision was revoked in 1989 during Perestroika.

In 1949–1950, several professors died in prison during the investigation of the Leningrad Affair fabricated by the central Soviet leadership, and the Minister of Education of the RSFSR, former rector Alexander Voznesensky, was executed.

In 1966, the Council of Ministers decided to build a new suburban campus in Petrodvorets for most of the mathematics and natural science faculties. The relocation of the faculties had been completed by the 1990s.

In 1969, the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the Soviet Union awarded the university with the Order of the Red Banner of Labour.

In 1991, the university was renamed back to Saint Petersburg State University after its namesake city.

Science & Research at SPbU[edit]

Research development is a top priority of St Petersburg University mapping out its further growth. It is based on the SPbU Strategic Plan 2020 aimed, among other things, at comprehensive development of research, expert activity and innovation.

This task is solved through the following activities:

  • development of academic mobility programmes, intern exchange and invitation of emerging researchers from other Russian and non-Russian organisations to St Petersburg University;
  • creation of a system of planning and support of scientific and innovative activities;
  • development and implementation of various approaches to making the research topics in fundamental and applied science timely and currently important;
  • development of innovative activities;
  • expansion of national and international cooperation in scientific activity;
  • development of the University's expert community;
  • expansion of expert and consulting activity.

The priority areas of research include:

  • nanotechnology and materials science;
  • biomedicine and human health;
  • information systems and technology;
  • ecology and sustainable use of natural resources;
  • social research and technologies;
  • human resource management and technologies.

SPbU's scientific infrastructure[edit]

The SPbU Research Park unites teams from the resource centres acting within the framework of the main areas of the SPbU Strategic Plan. The users' tasks can be solved at several resource centres, either simultaneously or consecutively, as well as on a cross-disciplinary basis at one centre.

The SPbU Research Park operates according to the principle of equal access. This means the resource centres are open to any interested persons provided that common regulations are observed.

Research Park:

  • 26 resource centres
  • premises > 30,000 m2
  • equipment — 7,5 bln roubles

St Petersburg University Research Library is one of the oldest and largest university libraries in Russia with a main collection dating back to 1783.

The Library today

The M. Gorky Scientific Library collection was founded over 230 years ago at St Petersburg University, which is the oldest university in Russia. Today, the Library is a large modern information centre with access to world scientific information. The central stacks of the Library are situated in the main building of St Petersburg University, the Twelve Collegiums. This is a monument of 18th century St Petersburg architecture constructed by Domenico Trezzini. The Library was accommodated in this building in 1891. The Library print collection runs to 6.8 million copies and almost 2 million titles. It is divided between a basic scientific collection and subject libraries of the University departments. The Library includes the Central Research Library and 21 subject libraries. It has 40 thousand current users, 30 thousand of them are students.

Historical reference

The M. Gorky Scientific Library of St Petersburg University is one of the oldest and largest university libraries in Russia. It also serves as a monument to national enlightenment, science and culture. By the richness and variety of its collection it ranks among the most prominent libraries of the world. The basic collection dates back to 1783, when Empress Catherine the Great presented the First Teachers Seminary with 1100 volumes from one of the private collections. Private donations have been supporting the Library throughout its whole history. Over 200 private collections of university professors and outstanding promoters of Russia science and culture are kept here. The collection of books acquired by the Library in the middle of the 19th century is most certainly of great historical and documentary importance. It includes books from: the collection of the Petersburg Censorship Committee (20 thousand books); the Committee of Foreign Censorship (about 10 thousand books); the archive and the library of the Liberal Society of Russian Philologists; and the library of the Bestuzhev Higher Courses for Women, which was the first higher education establishment for women in Russia. The collection of rarities which numbers 100 thousand books includes a collection of 15th to 20th century editions as well as incunabula, palaeotypes and books in old Cyrillic script. The collection of Oriental manuscripts (about 50 thousand manuscripts) kept in the Oriental Department of the Library is unique.

Research Library named after M. Gorky:

  • over 7 mln print publications and manuscripts
  • more than 40,000 rare manuscripts and 67,000 rare books
  • 2.7 mln e-catalogue entries
  • 82 mln electronic full-text sources
  • about 600 000 titles of books and over 84,000 titles of journals accessible via digital subscription

SPbU Megagrants[edit]

One of SPbU's most important tasks is implementation of its own research support programmes. In 2013 and 2014, megagrant competitions were organised at SPbU, that resulting in the creation of 9 research laboratories headed by leading scholars from Russia and other countries.

Laboratories established within the framework of the Megagrant Programme:

  • Laboratory "Center for Bioinformatics and Algorithmic Biotechnology" headed by Pavel Arkadyevich Pevzner
  • Laboratory of Electronic and Spin Structure of Nanosystems headed by Evgeny Vladimirovich Chulkov
  • Laboratory "Transnationalism and Migration Processes: Comparative and Institutional Analysis" headed by Peter Kivisto
  • Laboratory "Economic Performance and the Environment" headed by Frederick van der Ploeg
  • Laboratory "Internationalisation of Politically Connected Firms from Emerging Markets" headed by Lilac Nachum
  • Laboratory "Catalysis by Transition Metal Clusters: Synthesis of Biologically Active Molecules and Pharmaceutical Building Blocks with Atomistic Precision " headed by Valentin Pavlovich Ananikov
  • Research Laboratory for Analysis and Modeling of Social Processes. Political Islam / Islamism: Theory and Practice in Comparative and Historical Perspective headed by Alexander Dmitrievich Knysh
  • Biomolecular NMR Laboratory at SPbU: Protein Structure, Dynamics, Function, and Role in Human Disease headed by Nikolai Ruslanovich Skrynnikov
  • Laboratory of Amyloid Biology headed by Yury Olegovich Chernoff

Scientific staff[edit]

The outstanding academic staff is a most valuable resource of the University. In keeping with the best traditions of the Russian education, our academics maintain, reinforce and enhance the scientific potential, develop and apply up-to-date educational technologies and create the required material assets.

Research and teaching staff:

  • doctors of science — more than 1,400 employees
  • candidates of science — more than 3,000 employees
  • PhD — 51 employees
  • academicians of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Russian Academy of Education — 19 employees
  • corresponding members of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Russian Academy of Education — 27 employees

The successful implementation of SPbU science development strategy is evidenced by a broader range of applied research, a growing number of international scholars working at SPbU laboratories as well as by joint projects launched in cooperation with research groups from non-Russian academic centres. SPbU employees have their works published in top-rated journals and annually participate in most important international scientific conferences.

In 2016 SPbU became the only Russian institution listed in the Nature Index 2016 Rising Stars, a prestigious scientific ranking (the Top 100 Institutions nomination).

International Cooperation[edit]

St Petersburg University is truly global. In 2019-2020, it became home to 3875 international students from 103 countries following degree and non-degree studies. That means, every 7th student is international. According to Rossotrudnichestvo, in 2019 SPbU was named the most popular university in Russia among foreign applicants.

In 2020, the University is in even greater demand from applicants from abroad than before. Out of 12,000 applications from foreigners to the universities of St Petersburg, 5,000 were submitted to St Petersburg University. Thus, almost every second international applicant applied to St Petersburg University.

The University makes it easy to connect with the whole world by offering the opportunity to participate in Alumni Clubs in 16 countries and Representative offices in China, Republic of Korea, Spain, USA, with Italy and Turkey shortly on the way.

Students coming from abroad are attracted by SPbU exceptional educational standards, an opportunity to study in Russian, English as well as other foreign languages, global research and career prospects. Spending student years in the cultural capital of Russia, which received the title of “Europe's Leading City Destination” in World Travel Awards 2019, is also seen as a great advantage.

Getting involved[edit]

There is a number of integration programmes offered by the University to help international students feel safe and fully included into the social and cultural life. Introduction week, International Students Club, language tandems, creative and sports associations, ESN events, buddy-programme are just a few of the opportunities to get engaged.

Partner universities[edit]

SPbU has 485 partner universities in 80 countries ranging from China, Germany, USA, France, Finland, Japan to the Republic of Korea, and Brazil. More than 25 international summer and winter schools are held at SPbU annually. SPbU is a member of a number of international associations and student exchange programmes: Erasmus Mundus, Erasmus+, Finnish-Russian Cross Border University, Finnish-Russian Student Exchange Program, Santander Universities, TEMPUS, and many others.

SPbU Partners[16]

Australia Macquarie University, University of Queensland

Austria FH Joanneum GmbH, University of Salzburg, University of Graz, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences

Azerbaijan Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences

Argentina Universidad Austral, National University of La Plata

Armenia Yerevan State University, Russian-Armenian (Slavonic) University

Belarus Belarus State Economic University, Belarusian National Technical University, Belarus State University, Yanka Kupala State University of Grodno

Belgium Ghent University, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Universite Catholique de Louvain, Université Libre de Bruxelles, University of Antwerp, University of Liege, University School of Translation and Interpreting ISTI

Bulgaria New Bulgarian University, St. Clement of Ohrid University of Sofia

Brazil Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, COPPEAD Graduate School of Business, FGV-EAESP Escola de Administração de Empresas de São Paulo, Federal University of Minas Gerais, University of São Paulo

Brunei University of Brunei Darussalam

United Kingdom Aberystwyth University, University of Birmingham, University of Bradford, Digital Science, British Council, Durham University Business School, Keele University, Regents College London, University of Cambridge, University of Edinburgh, University of Central Lancashire, University of Warwick, London School of Economics

Hungary Eotvos Lorand University, University of Debrecen

Vietnam Viet Nam National University Ho Chi Minh City, National Academy of Public Administration, Vietnam National University

Germany Bielefeld University, Bochum University of Applies Sciences, Bucerius Law School, Clausthal University of Technology, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, EBS University of Business and Law, European University Viadrina, Fern Universität in Hagen, Institut für Soziologie, Foundation Lindau Nobelprizewinners Meetings, Free University of Berlin, Friedrich-Schiller-University of Jena, Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (HAW), Hochschule Wismar — University of Applied Sciences, technology, business and design, University of Applied Labour Studies of the Federal Employment Agency, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Konstanz, Ilmenau University of Technology, International Business School Lippstadt, International University Schloss Reichartshausen, European Business School, Jacobs University Bremen, Jena University Hospital, Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, University of Hannover, Leipzig University, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU Munich), Munich College for Translation and Interpreting, Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg, Otto von Guericke University of Magdeburg, WHU — OTTO Beisheim School of Management, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Saarland University, TU Dortmund University, TU Darmstadt, TU Dresden, TU Munich (TUM), University of Applied Languages SDI Munchen, University of Applied Sciences Wurzburg — Schweinfurt, Julius-Maximilians University Wurzburg, University of Bonn, University of Bremen, University of Cologne, University of Erfurt, University of Goettingen, University of Greifswald, University of Hamburg, Hamburg University of Technology, University of Hohenheim, University of Kiel, University of Mannheim, University of Paderborn, University of Passau, University of Potsdam, University of Trier, University of Ulm

Greece National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens University of Economics and Business, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, University of West Attica, Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences, University of Patras, University of Crete, National Technical University of Athens N.T.U.A.

Georgia (country) Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, Georgia

Denmark Danish school of media and journalism, University of Copenhagen, University of Southern Denmark

Egypt Helwan University, Ain-Shams University

Israel Academic Arabs Teachers Training Institute, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, University of Haifa, Interdisciplinary center Herzliya

India Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses

Indonesia University of Indonesia

Iraq Baghdad University

Iran Sharif University of Technology, Tarbiat Modares University, University of Tehran

Iceland University of Iceland

Spain Autonomous University of Madrid, Ramon LLULL University, ESADE Business School, Casa de Rusia, University of Alcala, University of Alicante, University of Barcelona, University of Cadiz, University of Granada, University of Oviedo, University of Santiago de Compostela, University of Seville, University of Lleida, Universitat de Valencia, ESIC Business and Marketing School

Italy Bocconi University, Ca' Foscari University of Venice, European University Institute, G. d'Annunzio University, Institute of Methodologies for Environmental Analysis CNR-IMAA, Luiss Libera University, Polytechnic University of Bari, Roma Tre University, Sapienza University of Rome, Scuola Normale Superiore Sant Anna di Pisa, St. Pio V University of Rome, University Carlo Cattaneo, University of Bari, The University of Macerata, University of Bologna, University of Calabria, University of Florence, University of Genoa, University of Milan, IULM University of Milan, University of Naples Federico II, University of Perugia, University of Pisa, University of Rome tor Vergata, University of Salerno, University of Teramo, University of Turin, University of Udine, University of Verona, University of Padua, Istituto di Cultura e Lingua Russa, University for Foreigners – Siena

Yemen University of Aden

Kazakhstan Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, Almaty Management University, Institute of History of the State, Ch. Valikhanov Institute of History and Ethnology, Foundation Of The First President Of The Republic Of Kazakhstan — Elbasy, M. Auezov South Kazakhstan State University

Canada Queen's University, Royal Roads University, University of King's College, University of Manitoba, McGill University, University of Montreal, York University, Schulich School of Business

Cyprus University of Cyprus, Ministry of Education and Culture of Cyprus, University of Nicosia

Kyrgyzstan Kyrgyz State Technical University after I. Razzakov

China East China University of Political Science and Law, Beijing International Studies University (BISU), Ocean University of China, Capital Normal University, Sichuan University, Hanban, China Soong Ching Ling Foundation, Institute of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, China Foreign Affairs University, China University of Political Science and Law, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Ching Yun University — Graduate Institute of Central Studies, Shanxi University, City University of Hong Kong, Fudan University, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin Medical University, Harbin Engineering University, Heilongjiang University, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Huazhong University of science and technology, Institute of mountain hazards and environment, Jilin University, Nanjing University, National Chengchi University, National Taiwan University, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Beijing University, Beijing Normal University, Beijing Language and Culture University, Qindao Binhai University, Qingdao University, Renmin University of China, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, School of Economics, Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, Southwest University of Political Science and Law, Sun Yat-Sen University, Tamkang University, Tianjin Normal University, Tsinghua University, Tsinghua University, School of Economics and Management, Wuhan University, Hei He University, Harbin Institute of Petroleum, Zhengzhou University, Chinese Culture University, National Chengchi University

Latvia Baltic International Academy, Baltic Psychology and Management University College, University of Latvia

Lithuania Baltic Management Institute, European Humanities University, Vilnius University, Vilnius University of Applied Sciences, Vytautas Magnus university

North Macedonia Goce Delcev University

Malta University of Malta

Mexico Anahuac University, Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Autonomous University of Nuevo Leon, National autonomous university of Mexico

Moldova Moldova Slavic University

Nepal Tribhuvan University

Netherlands Erasmus University Rotterdam, Haague Conference on Private International Law, Leiden University, Leiden University College The Hague, Maastricht University School of Business and Economics, Netherlands Institute of International Relations (Clingendael), Radboud University Nijmegen, The Hague University of Applied Sciences, University of Amsterdam, University of Groningen, Utrecht University College

Norway Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, Norwegian School of Economics and Business, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, University of Bergen, University of Oslo, University of Stavanger, University of Tromsø, Volda University College, NORCE Norwegian Research Centre AS

Poland Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan University of Technology, Jagiellonian University, Kozminski University, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, Pedagogical University of Cracow, University of Bialystok, University of Opole, University of Silesia, University of Warsaw, University of Wroclaw, Warsaw School of Economics

Portugal Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, University of Beira Interior, University of Lisbon, University of Minho

South Korea Anyang University, University of Minho, Sungshin University, Gangneung–Wonju National University, Chonbuk National University, Chongju University, Chung-ang University, Chungbuk National University, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Kangnung National University, Kyongpook National University, Keimyung University, Korea University, Korean Foundation, Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH), Seoul National University, Sookmyung Women's University, Sungkyunkwan University, Sunlin College, University of Incheon, Yonsei University, KIOSS — Korea Institute of Slavonic Studies,

Serbia State University of Novi Pazar, University of Nis, University of Belgrade

Singapore Business School of Natioanal University of Singapore, Singapore Management University

Syria Commission of Destinction and Creativity

Slovakia Comenius University in Bratislava, Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra, Matej Bel University, Pavol Jozef Safarik University in Kosice, University of Economics in Bratislava

Slovenia University of Ljubljana

Sudan University of Khartoum

United States Bard College, Duke University, Florida State University, San Francisco University, Frederick Community College, Common Ground Research Networks, George Mason University, Seattle University, St Petersburg College of Florida, State University of New York, Stetson University College of Law, University of California, Berkley, University of Delaware, University of Miami, University of South California, University of South Carolina, Utah State University, Virginia Commonwealth University

Thailand Thammasat University

Turkey Anadolu University, Bogazici university, Ankara University, Ataturk University, Koc University, Marmara University, Istanbul University, Istanbul Okan University

Uzbekistan Bukhara State Medical Institute, Samarkand State University, Ferghana State University, Tashkent State Institute of Oriental Studies

Ukraine Kyiv National Linguistic University, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv

Uruguay University of Montevideo

Finland Hanken school of economics, Lahti University of Applied Sciences, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Saimaa University of Applied Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, University of Helsinki, University of Jyväskylä, University of Tampere, University of Turku, University of Vaasa

France Aix Marseille University, Institut des Sciences Sociales, Economiques et Politiques, University of Cergy-Pontoise, University of Poitiers, EBS European Business School Paris, École de management de Normandie, École Normale Supérieure de Lyon, École Hautes Etudes Internationales — Ecole Hautes Etudes Politiques - HEIP, The European Physical Society (EPS), Emlyon Business School, ESC Rennes School of Business, EDHEC Business School, HEC Paris, Group KEDGE Business School, Grande école du commerce NEGOCIA, HEC School of Management, Paris, Joseph Fourier University, Paris-Sorbonne University, Sorbonne University, Pierre Mendès-France University, Grenoble, Polytechnic Institute LaSalle Beauvais, Rennes 2 University, Sciences Po Lille, Sciences Po Paris, Sciences-Po Toulouse, Skema Business School, Université du Maine, University of Bordeaux 4, University of Bordeaux, University of Burgundy, Universite de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, University of Caen Lower Normandy, University of Franche-Comté, University of Lille 1, University of Savoy (Chambéry), University of Strasbourg

Czech Republic Charles University, Masaryk University, Palacky University of Olomouc, Tomas Bata University, University of Bardubice, University of Economics in Prague, University of Ostrava, Czech Academy of Sciences, University of West Bohemia in Pilsen

Chile Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Santo Tomás University

Switzerland University of Geneva, University of Bern, University of Fribourg, University of Lausanne, University of Zurich, European Organization for nuclear Research CERN

Sweden Linnaeus University, Lund University, Osterlens folk high school, Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholm University, Uppsala University, Akadeemia Nord

Estonia Estonian Institute, Estonian School of Diplomacy, Tallinn University, University of Tartu

South Africa Tshwane University of Technology, University of Venda

Japan Hiroshima City University, Hiroshima University, Hokkaido University, Shinshu University, Keio University, Kindai University, Kobe University, Kyoto Sangyo University, Kyoto University, Kyushu University, Nagoya University of Commerce and Business, Nagoya University of Foreign Studies, Niigata University, Osaka City University, Osaka University, Saitama University, Sophia University, Sapporo Medical University, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, University of Tsukuba, University of Aizu, University of Tokyo, Waseda University, Yamanashi Gakuin University, University of Kanazawa

Global Careers[edit]

St Petersburg University prepares its alumni for the opportunities and challenges of the global labour market and living in a diverse, multi-cultural society. The University has long-term cooperation agreements with IBM, Unilever, PepsiCo, McKinsey, Google, Carl Zeiss, Microsoft, Leica, Sun Microsystems, Intel, Adobe and many other leading international companies. In 2018, SPbU became the best university in Russia in Employer-Student connections according to QS Graduate Employability Rankings.

International Research[edit]

International cooperation with universities worldwide provides our academic staff and students with access to numerous research and study opportunities. Students and researchers benefit from international cooperation, that enables them to share experience and keep abreast of the latest advancements in global science. Ties between scientific communities are the strongest in the world and SPbU takes pride in being a part of that.

International Russian Institute of SPbU[edit]

The Institute is a project of St Petersburg University that aims to improve intercultural communication, disseminate Russian language and culture, and inform foreign youth about education and research in SPbU.

Pirogov Clinic of High Medical Technologies[edit]

The Pirogov Clinic of High Medical Technologies at St Petersburg University is a leading multi-field medical, scientific and educational institution in Russia. The Clinic provides healthcare for people through compulsory medical insurance (CMI). It also provides high-tech medical care (HTMC) at the expense of the federal budget. Residents and guests of St Petersburg are treated under voluntary medical insurance (VMI) policies.

The Clinic has its own diagnostic complex which includes: departments of clinical (endoscopic, ultrasound, functional) and X-ray diagnostics; a state-of-the-art laboratory; and a laboratory for morphological examinations. The Clinic has two hospitals: an outpatient complex and a 24-hour injury-care centre.

Every year more than 20,000 patients are provided with medical care at the Clinic. The average length of stay for a patient is 3.9 days. The preoperative period in various departments is on average 0.6 to 1.6 days, and the postoperative period is from 1.5 to 4.7 days.

The main directions of surgical activities are:

  • endocrine surgery (5,000+ operations per year);
  • traumatology and orthopaedics (3,000+ operations per year);
  • urology (2,000+ operations per year);
  • cardiac surgery (~2,000 operations per year);
  • general surgery and oncology (~1,500 operations per year);
  • gynaecology (~2,000 operations per year).

More than half of the patients are residents of other regions of Russia.

The Clinic is headed by Yury Fedotov, Senior Vice-Rector for Medical Care, a physician of the highest qualification category, Doctor of Medical Sciences, and an Honoured Physician of the Russian Federation. The Clinic employs 280 physicians, including 20 doctors of medical and biological sciences, 60 candidates of medical sciences, 8 honoured physicians, and 57 physicians of the highest qualification category.

Museums and collections[edit]

The history of St Petersburg University is inextricably linked with the history of Russia and the history of scientific knowledge. It is here that: great figures of culture and science have studied, worked and lived; discoveries and inventions have been made; and events that changed the course of history took place. Some of the buildings are cultural heritage sites, and objects located on the campus are of particular interest for study. There are over 3 million objects in the University collections, and they are widely used in scientific research and academic programmes. In terms of quantity, thematic and chronological ranges, the University collection is comparable to the collections of federal museums of the Russian Federation.

Displays and collections at St Petersburg University:

Student Life[edit]


Over 30 scholarships and over 400 winners. The total sum of the scholarships is up to 15,000 rubles.

Students and aspirantura students of SPbU can get scholarships allocated from the University's endowment fund to support education and research. The University also has joint scholarship programmes with the business sector and private funds.


Each year, over 5,000 students take part in the sports competitions at SPbU. 300 students are members of 19 SPbU's teams in 15 sports.

15 students of SPbU are the members of the Russian National teams.

Among SPbU's students, there are 3 masters of sports of international class and 15 master of sports of Russia. SPbU's teams have 31 Candidates of Sports, while 72 students have the athletic titles.

SPbU collaborates with the Rugby Union of St Petersburg, Union of Grass Hokey of the Russian Federation, Climbing Union of St Petersburg, and Rowing Centre.

Events and Festivals[edit]

Although tests are different, there is something for everybody at SPbU. All year round, SPbU offers jazz evenings, balls, photo exhibitions, festivals, performances, concerts, and sports events to name but a few. Each year sees over 400 events, with thousands of students involved. Some of them act as organizers, participants, or volunteers.


University students are active people, and they are often ready to help others for nothing. For example, the students of St Petersburg University get together toys for orphanages, conduct performances and master classes for cancer-stricken children, visit veterans of the Great Patriotic War - and provide all-round assistance to those who really need it. However, social volunteering is not the only direction. The students of the University take part in various major events - the St Petersburg International Economic Forum, the St Petersburg International Legal Forum, the St Petersburg International Cultural Forum, etc. The university students also help to hold holidays at St Petersburg University, take part in the adaptation programme for students from other countries - and can get an excellent practice of a foreign language and intercultural communication.

Health / Recreation[edit]

Each summer, about 400 students can go to the resort Horizon near the Black Sea.

The resort is open to students all year round.

During the academic year, over 1,500 students are involved in weekend trips that focus on various topics at Leningrad region.

Student Unions[edit]

SPbU has countless student unions. Among them are arts unions, research groups, and student teams to name but a few.

SPbU has 9 student teams: 5 in pedagogics, 2 in building and construction, in archeology, and search element. Total body of students is 150. Apart from their main responsibilities, they always act as volunteers.

As a student at SPbU, you can join singing, dancing, or theatre studios, folklore ensemble or choir. They get involved in numerous campaigns run each year; some of them are nationally and internationally recognised.

The University aims to promote debate and discussion. The Debating Club, that was set up by students, has regular debates and workshops to help you excel in public speaking. Although it was opened only three years ago, it has over 1,500 members, among which are students from SPbU, Moscow, Kazan, Kiev, and Astana.

The Career Club is a career society to help students gain knowledge and expertise, skills and connections for successful career. The Club provides a meeting point for the leading companies from St Petersburg, including entrepreneurs and experts in various fields. During three years, the Club has held over 50 events, with over 3,000 participants.

International Student Club[edit]

SPbU International Student Club is a member-run club of international students to support the rights and represent, support and enhance the learning environment of international students.

The Club organizes educational and entertainment events for international and Russian students, including exhibitions, international concerts, language club, orientation weeks, and cinema.

The Club aims to:

  • analyse the needs of international students in education, research, management, cultural and social spheres;
  • support SPbU administration in discussing social, psychological, and communication adaptation of international students;
  • develop measures to improve the living conditions of international students.

All international students can join the Club.

The Club management structure is the Club Conference, Club Council, and Chairperson of the Club Council. The Club Council comprises 11 Club members who are international students who gain the majority of votes during the Club Conference, including Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson's votes.

Student Competitions[edit]

The competition of integrated projects for students and aspirantura students “SPbU Start-Up”

The participants present their projects to the jury panel. The team that presents the most original project receives 250,000 rubles.

Tournament in natural sciences

Interdisciplinary international team tournament in applied sciences (physics, chemistry, engineering). Each year sees more and more students from different parts of the world.

Student team championship in competitive programming

Team competition in algorithmic programming.

Annual competition (award) for SPbU's students in economics “Crystal Awards”

Students submit a portfolio of their achievements for the year. The jury that consists of the academic staff selects the best students in the following categories: Student of the Year, Typical Caser, For Contribution to the Arts, Party-Maker, Young Scientist, Sportsman of the Year, Student's Record Book of Your Dream, Hero of Our Time, and Mass Media of the Year.

Annual competition of research papers “Brain away”

The event is a series of workshops from professional sociologists and a competition between the teams.

Russian competition of student works in political communications PolitPRpro

At the end of March, Higher School of Journalism and Mass Communications at St Petersburg University holds the 9th Russian competition in political communications PolitPRpro. Those who solve the cases in the most efficient way reach the final round and compete for gold. The jury consists of the Russia's leading political technologists, representatives from the political parties, and professors of St Petersburg University.

Mass media perspective competition

For over 10 years, the University has held the competition at the end of November. Its aim is to make students in Journalism and Public Relations focus on urgent social problems and come up with ideas as to how to solve them by using cutting-edge communication technologies.

Russian competition in journalism, PR, and advertising for school students “Literary Debut”

Each year, the competition has four categories: a competition of the school mass media, tele-journalism, photojournalism, and PR-projects. At the selection round, you can take part in the Olympiad and in all categories. The last round of the Olympiad in Journalism and finals are held in different days, so you can take part in various events.

Best professional practice

The awarding ceremony of the summer practice competition is the most rewarding event for students of the Higher School of Journalism and Mass Communications at St Petersburg University. The students are awarded the prizes by famous public figures, political and social leaders, directors of the communications agencies, many of them are the University's graduates. The nominations include all fields of study at the Higher School of Journalism and Mass Communications: periodical press and network mass media, radio and TV, advertising and public relations, international journalism, media design, and photojournalism. There are some nominations for those students who have practice module after the first years of study or work in the applications commission at SPbU. The grand-prix is awarded to the students who have gained the highest results of their practice module in journalism, advertising, and public relations.

Growth of the University[edit]

  • On February 8, 1819 (O.S.), Alexander I of Russia reorganized the Main Pedagogical Institute into Saint Petersburg University, which at that time consisted of three faculties: Faculty of Philosophy and Law, Faculty of History and Philology and Faculty of Physics and Mathematics
  • 1850: The 1st and 2nd Departments of the Faculty of Philosophy reverted into the Faculty of History and Philosophy and Faculty of Physics and Mathematics, respectively, the latter specializing not only in mathematics and physics, but also in other natural sciences, such as biology and chemistry.
  • 1855: Oriental studies were separated from the Faculty of History and Philology, and the fourth faculty, Faculty of Oriental Languages, was formally inaugurated on August 27, 1855.
  • A decree of the Emperor Alexander II of Russia adopted on 18 February 1863 restored the right of the university assembly to elect the rector. It also formed the new faculty of the theory and history of art as part of the faculty of history and philology.
  • During the 1920s the university, like other higher education institutions in the Soviet Union, became subject to educational experimentation. The structure and status of the faculties and departments of the university underwent major changes. Many of them were merged, split or renamed, new subdivisions were established, independent institutes were merged into the university as faculties, sometimes only to be restored to their old status a few years later.
  • 1925: The Faculty of Geography was opened.
  • 1930s: A number of new faculties were established. The Faculty of Biology opened in 1930, the Faculty of Geology in 1931, the Faculty of Chemistry in 1932, the Faculty of Physics and Faculty of Mathematics and Mechanics in 1933, the Faculty of History in 1934, the Faculty of Philology in 1937. The Faculty of Philosophy and Faculty of Economics split from the Faculty of History in 1940.
  • 1944: The Faculty of Oriental Studies was split from the Faculty of Philology, and the Faculty of Law was re-created.
  • 1961: The Faculty of Journalism split from the Faculty of Philology.
  • 1966: The Faculty of Psychology split from the Faculty of Philosophy.
  • 1969: The Faculty of Applied Mathematics and Control Processes was split from the Faculty of Mathematics and Mechanics.
  • 1989: the Faculty of Sociology was opened.
  • 1991: The university was renamed back to Saint Petersburg State University after the Dissolution of the Soviet Union.
  • 1990s: Three new faculties were opened: the Faculty of Management in 1993, the School of International Relations in 1994 and the Faculty of Medicine in 1995.
  • 2008-2010: Three new faculties were organized: the Faculty of Political Science, the Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Dentistry and Medical Technologies.

The growth was supervised by rectors.

List of rectors[edit]

1819–1821 Mikhail Balugyansky
1821–1825 Yevdokim Zyablovskiy
1825–1836 Antoine Jeudy Dugour
1836–1840 Ivan Shulgin
1840–1861 Pyotr Pletnyov
1861–1863 Alexander Voskresensky
1863–1865 Heinrich Lenz
1865–1867 Alexander Voskresensky
1867–1873 Karl Fedorovich Kessler
1873–1876 Pyotr Redkin
1876–1883 Andrei Beketov
1883 (1884)–1887 Ivan Andreevsky
1887–1890 Mikhail Vladislavlev
1890–1897 Pyotr Nikitin
1897–1899 V. Sergeevich
1899–1903 Adolf Holmsten
1903–1905 A. Zhdanov
1905–1910 Ivan Borgman
1910–1911 David Grimm
1911–1918 Erwin Grimm
1918–1919 Alexander Ivanov
1919 Sergei Zhebelev
1919–1922 Vladimir Shimkevich
1922–1926 Nikolay Derzhavin
1926–1927 V. Tomashevsky
1927–1930 Mikhail Serebryakov
1930–1932 Yury Nikich (director)
1932–1933 V. Seryozhnikov (director)
1933–1938 Mikhail Lazurkin (director)
1938–1939 Konstantin Lukashev (director)
1939 A. Marchenko (director)
1939–1941 P. Zolotukhin (director)
1941–1948 Alexander Voznesensky
1948–1950 Nikita Domnin
1950–1952 Alexey Ilyushin
1952–1964 Aleksandr Aleksandrov
1964–1970 Kirill Y. Kondratyev
1970–1975 Gleb Makarov
1975–1986 Valentin Aleskovski
1986–1993 Stanislav Merkuriev
1993(1994)–2008 Lyudmila Verbitskaya
since 2008 Nikolai Kropachev



The Twelve Collegia Building

The university is a federal state institution of higher education managed by the government of the Russian Federation. It has 24 faculties and institutes which are further subdivided into departments, and other main structural subdivisions, including the Sports Department, Rectorate, Gorky Scientific Library, Academic Gymnasium, publishing house, and clinic.

The superior body of self-government of the university is its Assembly, which elects the Rector and the Academic Board of the University for a five-year term. The Assembly of the University consists of the members of the Academic Board of the University and the staff delegated by the general assemblies of the main structural subdivisions according to quotas set by the Academic Board of the University. The general administration of the university is vested in the Academic Board, which consists of the Rector, who presides over it, as well as the President of the University, vice rectors and representatives of the main structural subdivisions.

Likewise, the general administration of a faculty is vested in its respective academic board elected by the faculty assembly for five years. The procedure of election and department quotas are decided by the faculty-level academic board itself. The dean, who leads the faculty and presides over its academic board, is elected for five years by the faculty academic board.

Academic year[edit]

The academic year in St. Petersburg State University according to the Routine Regulations normally starts on September 1. One lesson normally lasts an hour and a half (two academic hours). As in other higher education institutions in Russia, the academic year is divided into two semesters. The first semester (term) ends by late December, the second starts in mid-February and lasts until late May. Each term is followed by a series of preliminary tests (in the last week of December/May) and exams (in January/June).


Saint Petersburg State University. View from the Saint Isaac's Cathedral.

The university has two main campuses: on Vasilievsky Island in the historic city center and in Peterhof (formerly Petrodvorets), a southwestern suburb, which can be reached by railway from the city's Baltiysky Rail Terminal. The main building of the university, Twelve Collegia, is on Vasilievsky Island and includes the Library, the Faculty of Biology and the Institute of Earth Sciences. The Faculty of Philology and the Faculty of Oriental Studies share the nearby 18th-century Petrine Baroque building on Universitetskaya Embankment of the Bolshaya Neva, designed by Domenico Trezzini and originally built as the Palace of Peter II of Russia. The New Gostiny Dvor designed by Giacomo Quarenghi and built in the 19th century in that part of the island is occupied by the Institute of History, Institute of Philosophy. The Faculty of Psychology is in front of it on Admiral Makarov Embankment of the Malaya Neva. The Graduate School of Management, School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Dentistry and Medical Technologies, Faculty of Law and Faculty of Military Studies are on Vasilievsky Island, but farther to the west. Four other social science faculties are east of the city center on the southern bank of the Neva: the Faculty of Economics is not far from the Chernyshevskaya metro station, while the Faculty of Sociology, Faculty of Political Science and the School of International Relations occupy historical buildings of Smolny Convent.

The new suburban campus consists of the Faculty of Applied Mathematics and Control Processes, Institute of Chemistry, Faculty of Mathematics and Mechanics, and Faculty of Physics, which are in modern buildings in Peterhof. Nearby the Peterhof campus there is a beautiful park area called Sergievka. In the Sergievka park there are buildings of the Faculty of Biology. One of the Sergievka's park sights is a carved from a boulder head of a hero.

Faculties and Institutes[edit]

SPbSU is made up of 24 specialized faculties, which are:

There is also a Department of Physical Culture and Sports. (*rus)

Notable alumni and faculty[edit]

Saint Petersburg State University has produced a number of Nobel Prize winners. The Russian revolutionary and the founder of the Soviet Union, Vladimir Lenin was an alumnus. Prime Ministers Pyotr Stolypin and Dimitry Medvedev of Russia, the President and former Prime Minister of Russia Vladimir Putin, and the President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė are alumni, as is the mathematician Mikhail Gromov.

Eight of the graduates of the university are Nobel Prize recipients: Ivan Pavlov (Physiology and Medicine, 1904), Ilya Mechnikov (Physiology and Medicine, 1908), Nikolay Semyonov (Chemistry, 1956), Lev Landau (Physics, 1962), Aleksandr Prokhorov (Physics, 1964), Wassily Leontief (Economics, 1973), Leonid Kantorovich (Economics, 1975) and Joseph Brodsky (Literature, 1987).

Grigori Perelman and Stanislav Smirnov are two graduates awarded by the Fields medal.

Among the renowned scholars affiliated with St-Petersburg State University have been Leonard Euler, Mikhail Lomonosov, chemist Dmitri Mendeleev, mathematicians Mikhail Ostrogradsky, Pafnuty Chebyshev, Vladimir Smirnov, Andrey Markov, Sergei Sobolev, Vladimir Steklov, Aleksandr Lyapunov, Solomon Mikhlin, Yuri Linnik and Aleksandr Aleksandrov, physicists Boris Rosing, Vladimir Fock, Elena Besley, astrophysicist Viktor Ambartsumian, botanists Vladimir Komarov and Vladimir Sukachev, physiologists Ivan Sechenov, Kliment Timiryazev, philosopher and sociologist Pitirim Sorokin, historians Mahapandit Rahul Sankrityayan, Yevgeny Tarle, Gregory Areshian and Boris Grekov, philologists Ivan Turgenev, Ilia Chavchavadze, Alexander Blok, Lev Shcherba, Vladimir Propp, Viktor Zhirmunsky, orientalists Vasily Struve, Joseph Orbeli, Boris Piotrovsky, artist Nicholas Roerich, Zare Yusupova and others.

Composer Igor Stravinsky attended the university from 1901 to 1905.

The American novelist Ayn Rand attended the university from 1920 to 1924, graduating with honors in history.[17]

Ukrainian nationalist and publicist Dmytro Dontsov studied law at the university for some time after 1900.

Joseph Shor, a student of the School of Mathematics and Mechanics, is known as the main protege of Ostap Bender.[18] Igor Artimovich is known for creating Festi. Yakov Rekhter is known for creating BGP.

Pavel Durov graduated the department of philology while his brother Nikolai Durov received his PhD from the department of mathematics.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Фирменные цвета". Retrieved 28 March 2017.
  2. ^ "'We have athletes who make us proud': Mikhail Konjaria on the end of the University sports season". Retrieved 11 October 2020.
  3. ^ "ARWU World University Rankings 2017 - Academic Ranking of World Universities 2017 - Top 500 universities - Shanghai Ranking - 2017".
  4. ^ "Saint Petersburg State University | Top Universities". 2015-07-16.
  5. ^ "Saint Petersburg State University Rankings".
  6. ^ "Search".
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-11-18. Retrieved 2011-10-09.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "About - Saint Petersburg University". Retrieved 2020-03-19.
  9. ^ "Lomonosov Moscow State University". Retrieved 2020-03-19.
  10. ^ a b c Lewis, David E. (2012). Early Russian Organic Chemists and Their Legacy. Springer. p. 50. ISBN 978-3642282195.
  11. ^ Rudakov, Vasiliy. Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary. p. 787, Volume VIIIa.
  12. ^ edited by Michael Kemper, Stephan Conermann (2011). The Heritage of Soviet Oriental Studies. Taylor & Francis. p. 36. ISBN 978-0203832752.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  13. ^ Murray, Natalia (2012). The Unsung Hero of the Russian Avant-Garde: The Life and Times of Nikolay Punin. BRILL. p. 25. ISBN 978-9004204751.
  14. ^ Rostovcev E.A. The Capital University in a Time of War. Saint Petersburg/Petrograd 1914-1917 // Kollegen – Kommilitonen – Kämpfer. Europäische Universitäten im Ersten Weltkrieg / Hrsg. Von T. Maurer. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2006. S. 177–188.
  15. ^ Branden, Barbara (1986) The Passion of Ayn Rand. Garden City: Doubleday, hardcover, 442 pages, ISBN 0-385-19171-5; pp. 42–43; 50–51
  16. ^ "Вузы-партнеры СПбГУ - Санкт-Петербургский государственный университет". (in Russian). Retrieved 2020-10-08.
  17. ^ Branden, Barbara (1986); p. 54.
  18. ^ "Реальная история великого комбинатора".


  • The history of the university, with a particular focus on the Law Faculty, from the 19th century to the perestroika period, is documented in English in David Lempert, Daily Life in a Crumbling Empire: The Absorption of Russia into the World Economy, Book 2, Eastern European Monograph Series, Columbia University Press, 1996, ISBN 978-0-88033-341-2.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 59°56′31″N 30°17′56″E / 59.9420°N 30.2990°E / 59.9420; 30.2990