Higher education in Russia is considered among the best in the world. Foreign students choose to pursue their studies in this country because of the prominent reputation of Russian universities and the high quality of education being provided for relatively lower costs. Being the world’s largest country, approximately 950 universities exist in Russia welcoming students from around the world and offering degrees in a wide variety of disciplines to choose from, 32 of which are included in the list of the world’s best universities in the latest QS World University Rankings.

If you are planning to study in a foreign country, it is of utmost importance to do some research and learn about everything there is to know about it – its areas of strength, the subjects it is known for, and the advantages you will be getting as an international student should you decide to study there. In this article, we will be discussing some of the best subjects to study in Russia along with some of the top-rated universities offering excellent programs in each field.

Top Courses to Study in Russia

1. Engineering

Russia is one of the most desired study destinations for aspiring engineers around the world. Engineering degrees are one of the best subjects to study in Russia and are offered in a wide range of specializations by many universities in the country, several of which appear in multiple international university rankings for outstanding education and research in different engineering fields. Also, the majority of Russia’s most competitive industries, such as oil and gas production, automotive, electronics, manufacturing, and mining, require knowledgeable and skilled engineering graduates, therefore providing vast employment opportunities for engineering graduates.

Engineering education in Russia is highly focused on practical experience. Students conduct site visits, fieldwork, and take internships in different factories, construction companies, laboratories, and research institutions to obtain first-hand industry knowledge and develop their skills in designing and developing different systems and machines.

Some of the universities in Russia that offer the best engineering degrees are Moscow State University, St. Petersburg State University, Tomsk Polytechnic University, Ural Federal University, and Novosibirsk State University.

2. Medicine

Medical education in Russia is well-known around the world not just for its outstanding quality but also for its affordability. Studying medicine is comparatively less expensive in Russia than in other European countries as well as in the United States. Medical degrees in Russia are also globally recognized, so international students can choose to either stay or go back to their home countries after they graduate to practice their professions.

There exist around 70 medical universities in Russia offering multidisciplinary and innovative programs in various medical fields from general medicine to integrated fields such as medical biotechnology and biomedical engineering. As part of their training, medical students participate in conducting evidence-based scientific research and other medical activities and collaborative projects with notable individuals and organizations from the engineering and technology sector to discover new knowledge, treatments to health problems, and develop potential solutions to different challenges faced by the medical and healthcare industry. They also gain real-life exposure in university hospitals and affiliate clinics where they work alongside professionals in providing different kinds of medical services.

Among the top universities for studying medicine in Russia are Crimea State Medical University, Moscow Medical Academy, Russian National Research Medical University, Kazan Federal University, Smolensk State Medical University, and Saratov State University.

3. Chemistry

Russia is internationally renowned for providing top-notch education in the physical and life sciences, of which chemistry is one of the most popular branches international students choose to study. Russia is the home of many great chemists that have made significant contributions in the field. Chemistry is a great subject to study in Russia and has played a big role in the nation’s development. The chemical industry remains to be one of Russia’s major economic drivers. Studying chemistry in Russia opens the doors to numerous job opportunities not only in the chemical industry but also in agriculture, mineral mining, medicine, and the food industry.

Chemistry students in Russia learn from leading academics and industry experts, work in state-of-the-art facilities and laboratories equipped with the latest tools and instruments and gain practical experience through internships and projects with the country’s top pharmaceutical companies, medical institutions, and other industry partners.

Some of the most well-known universities that provide outstanding education in chemistry are Novosibirsk State University, Tomsk Polytechnic University, Ural Federal University, Moscow State University, and St. Petersburg State University.

4. Astronomy

Russia takes pride in its long and rich history of breakthroughs and developments in the field of astronomy. The launching of Sputnik, the first man-made satellite, paved the way for many other space explorations and achievements in Russia’s astronomy sector.

At the moment, there are around 60 observatories in the country equipped with state-of-the-art telescopes and other instruments for astronomy students to conduct astronomical observations, research, and analysis of different celestial phenomena. There are also more than a thousand professional astronomers in Russia and the employment for astronomy graduates is projected to rise in the coming years.

Here are some of the top Russian institutes for studying astronomy: Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University, Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Kazan Federal University, National Research Nuclear University MEPhI, and Irkutsk State University.

5. Aviation

Aviation is another one of the best subjects to study in Russia. Aircraft and aerospace manufacturing and transport are some of the major industries in Russia that make significant contributions to the country’s economic growth and offer immense job opportunities to skilled professionals and aviation graduates.

Many of the leading educational institutions for aviation in Europe and the world can be found in Russia. Aviation degrees in Russia cover design, repair, maintenance, and operation of an aircraft, as well as accurate instrument reading and flight safety. Students gain a lot of practical experience and professional training both within Russia and internationally.

Some of the top universities in Russia for aviation include Moscow Aviation Institute, Kazan National Research Technical University, Ufa State Aviation Technical University, St. Petersburg State University of Aerospace Instrumentation, Rybinsk Aviation University, and Moscow State University of Civil Aviation.

FAQs: Studying in Russia

Which Language is Required to Study in Russia?

While Russian is the predominant language spoken in the country, many universities offer programs in English as well. However, if you plan to study a program primarily taught in Russian, you’ll need to have a good command of the language. This means you’ll need to take the Russian language proficiency test or TORFL. The minimum score required to pass TORFL depends on the university and the program, but generally, a B1 level is sufficient. Check out our Open Courses Page for more information on available subjects in popular study destinations in Europe besides Russia. Explore our options today and start your journey towards an unforgettable study abroad experience.


We hope that you found this article on the best subjects to study in Russia informative and helpful. Check out the Programs in Europe for International Students to find more information about studying abroad!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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