Director General of Educational Affairs of Voronezh Province &Suburb
F.R.K. Scientific complex
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Russian Academic System

Russian Academic Degrees And Titles

In many Western countries, after 3 or 4 years of study at the university a student receives an undergraduate Bachelor degree. To obtain a graduate degree, one has to attend a separate graduate programme, where after 2 or more years they will gain Masters or Doctors degree.

In Russia, undergraduate education is only just emerging and some of the VSU faculties offer undergraduate degree courses. However, the predominant majority of Russian higher education institutions bypass the undergraduate, and directly provide for graduate education.

A student receives a Specialist Diploma (Masters degree) after 5 or 6 years of study at the university. The Russian university curriculum is more fundamental and generally broader than in Western universities. After successfully presenting a dissertation to the Qualification Committee of the Department, the Russian Specialist Diploma degree corresponds to a Western Masters Degree.

The first academic degree in Russia is called “Candidate of Sciences” (Kandidat Nauk). It is granted after 3 years of study and research in a post-graduate School. The qualification requirements are higher than in most Western universities, with mandatory publications in peer reviewed journals, public defence of the theses with open scientific discussion and approval on the Federal government level. This academic degree may be matched by a Western PhD degree.

The second and highest academic degree in Russia is the “Doctor of Sciences” (Doktor Nauk). This degree is granted to those who made a substantial contribution to research in their area of study, after public defence of a thesis and a number of publications including monographs. In Russia, only holders of this degree qualify for the academic title “Professor” awarded by the Supreme Certifying Committee of the Russian Federation. The degree of Doktor Nauk may match a German Dr. phil. habil. or roughly correspond to an American Full Professor.

University Academic Year

University Academic Year (10 months – 2 semesters):
I semester: September – December
II semester: February – May


Excellent – 5 (>80%)
Good – 4 (60 – 79%)
Satisfactory – 3 (41 – 59%)
Unsatisfactory – 2 (<40%)

Winter vacation – 2 weeks (end of January – beginning of February)
Summer vacation – 8 weeks (July – August)

Russian Academic System

Russian Academic System


F.R.K. Scientific complex
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