St. Petersburg State University

Founded in 1724, St. Petersburg State University is the oldest institution of higher education in Russia. During the 290 years of its existence University secured the right to be acknowledged as one of the best institutions of higher education in Russia: its rich history, modern large-scale research activities, development and innovations make University ahead of the curve in the field of Russian science.

At present, there are more than 32,000 students in University, receiving education in more than 323 specialties in 24 faculties. University's staff comprises almost 14,000 people, including nearly 6,000 teachers (1,000 Doctors of Science, over 2,000 Candidates of Science, 42 Academicians of state academies) who represent 289 academic departments. The University has everything to enjoy studies, hobbies and research: the richest Research Library named after Maksim Gorky, research institutes, museums, the big University publishing house, the University choir of students, graduates and teachers, clubs (from rugby and orienteering to the Ingria search party), etc.

In November 2009, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a law granting St. Petersburg State University the special status of "a unique scientific and education complex, an oldest institution of higher education in Russia being of a great importance to the development of the Russian society". The right of giving its own diplomas with the official symbols of the Russian Federation has also been granted to University.

University Education Programs:

Specialists are trained in 71 specialties, Bachelors - in 41 fields of study, Masters - in 30 fields of study. St. Petersburg State University provides education on a budgetary (state-financed) and contractual (fee-paying) basis.

Forms of education: full-time, part-time and extramural.

Postgraduate education: postgraduate and doctoral programs.

Postgraduate programs: specialists with degrees or Masters are admitted on a competitive basis. Admission to doctoral programs is held for persons with the degree of Candidate of Science.

Statistical Data:

  • over 32,000 students; 4,000 postgraduate and doctoral students (both enrolled and unenrolled)
  • about 6,000 teachers and researchers
  • over 40 academicians and corresponding members of the Russian Academy of Sciences as well as other academies
  • over 1,000 professors

Brief Historical Background:

The decree of Peter the Great on establishing a university in St. Petersburg was approved by the Senate of the Russian Empire on January 28, 1724.

The basic document legalising the University and Gymnasium practices were The Regulations of the Imperial Academy of Sciences and Arts in St. Petersburg adopted by the Empress Elizabeth of Russia in1747. The first Rector of the University was appointed then, too: it was Gerhardt Friedrich Müller, a renowned historian and ethnologist (1705-1783). On the whole, 60 persons have ever held the post of the University head (Rector or Director).

In 1758-1765, St. Petersburg Academic University and Gymnasium were headed by Mikhail Vasilyevich Lomonosov (1711-1765). His multiple activities as Rector have resulted in student composition democratisation and establishment of much closer relations with foreign universities and science academies, for example, with the universities of Germany and France and Paris Academy of Sciences.

After Lomonosov's death in 1765, the University and Gymnasium were transformed into the Academy College. In1783, the Duchess Ekaterina Romanovna Dashkova (1745-1810) was appointed Director of St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences. She was the first woman to have ever been in the civil service. Keeping to the University course within the College is considered to be Ekaterina Dashkova's indisputable merit.

On February 8, 1819, following the Decree of Alexander I of Russia, St. Petersburg University was re-established on the basis of Pedagogical Institute (founded in1806 after the Academy College liquidation). Primarily, it consisted of three faculties: Faculty of Philosophy and Law, Faculty of History and Philology and Faculty of Physics and Mathematics. In 1854, they were joined by the Faculty of Asian and African Languages. This composition of faculties remained until 1918.

In the end of 1860s - 1890s a number of scientific societies was created within St. Petersburg University, including the Society of Naturalists, Russian Chemical Society, Philological Society, Anthropological and Historical Society as well as the Botanic Garden and the Astronomical Observatory. In 1893, a new chemical laboratory was created, in 1901, the first Russian Institute of Physics.

In 1878, the University professors took part in the opening of the Women's University Courses known as the Bestuzhev's Courses, named after their first director K. N. Bestuzhev-Ryumin (1829-1897). Later on, in 1918 the Courses became part of the University.

In the beginning of the twentieth century St. Petersburg State University became one of the largest universities in the world, with about 10,000 students belonging to four faculties.

After the October Revolution in 1917, despite various structural transformations caused by the changes in the social life in Russia, old scientific schools of the University continued developing and new schools were created.

In the 1920s - 1930s, the relevant departments of the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics developed into new independent faculties: the Faculty of Physics, the Faculty of Mathematics and mechanics, the Faculty of Geography, the Faculty of Geology, and the Faculty of Biology. New departments and research institutes were created as well as a number of faculties where humanities were taught: the Faculty of History (1934), the Faculty of Philology (1937), the Faculty of Political Science and Economics (1939), and the Faculty of Philosophy. By 1941, the University consisted of ten faculties and seven research institutes. In 1944, the Faculty of Asian and African Studies and the Faculty of Law were re-established.

In winter of 1941-1942, the University continued working under the harsh conditions of the Siege of Leningrad. In September 1941, part of the University was evacuated to Elabuga, in February 1942; another part was evacuated to Saratov. Only a small staff of the University employees remained in the besieged city. Under the harsh conditions they managed to preserve the immense scientific and cultural values of the University.

In 1960s, new faculties were established: the Faculty of Psychology, the Faculty of Journalism, the Faculty of Applied Mathematics and Control Processes as well as a number of new academic departments. At the same time the construction of buildings for the faculties engaged into natural sciences began in Stary Peterhof. Since 1960s, the University has started developing as a system of two training and research complexes, the Vasilyevsky Island Complex and the Petrodvorets Complex.

University Today:

Today, St. Petersburg University is a major centre of the Russian science, education and culture enjoying a high international standing. Many higher education institutions of Europe, America, and Asia maintain contacts with St. Petersburg State University, including the University of Cambridge (Great Britain), the University of Bologna (Italy), the Free University of Berlin, the University of Hamburg (Germany), Carleton University (Canada), the University of Amsterdam (the Netherlands), the University of Stockholm (Sweden), the Municipal University of Osaka (Japan).

The scientific discoveries and achievements of the University professors and alumni, seven of which are Nobel Prize winners (I.P. Pavlov, 1904, and I.I. Mechnikov, 1908, in Physiology and Medicine; N.N. Semenov, 1956, in Chemistry; L.D. Landau, 1962, and A.M. Prokhorov, 1964, in Physics; V.V. Leontyev, 1973, and L.V. Kantorovich, 1975, in Economics), went down in history of the global and Russian science and technology.

Many people who became famous all over the globe in various fields were the University alumni. These are world-known scientists, teachers, statesmen and public figures such as K.N. Bestuzhev-Ryumin, A.F. Koni, P.A. Stolypin, D.I. Mendeleev, V.I. Vernadsky, D.S. Likhachev and dozens of others. The University has also given to the world most renowned people of art such as I.S. Turgenev, P.A. Bryullov, A.A.Blok, A.N. Benois, V.D. Polenov, S.P. Diaghilev, M.A. Vrubel, L.N. Andreev, I.Ya. Bilibin, N.K. Roerich, I.F. Stravinsky and many others.

Four heads of the Russian government were University alumni: B.V. Stürmer, A.F. Kerensky, V.I. Lenin, and V.V. Putin, as well as two Russian Presidents: V.V. Putin and D.A. Medvedev.

St. Petersburg State University's Rector:

Professor Nikolay Mikhaylovich KROPACHEV, Doctor of Law, Head of the Criminal Law Department, Chairman of the Academic Council of the SPbSU Faculty of Law.

Field of science: criminal law, criminology.

Brief biography: born February 8, 1959, in Leningrad. In 1981 � graduated from Leningrad State University named after A.A. Zhdanov. In 1984, under the guidance of Professor N.A. Belyaev, Nikolay Kropachev developed and defended his Candidate's dissertation on Criminal Matter." Since 1985 Assistant Professor of Criminal Law at Leningrad State University; 1991 - Senior Lecturer and Associate Professor at St. Petersburg State University; 1993 - awarded the academic title of Associate Professor of Criminal Law. In 2000, Nikolay Kropachev was elected Head of the Criminal Law Department and has held this position to the present day. 2001 to present - Professor of the Criminal Law Department.

Since 1992 - Dean of the Special Faculty of Continuing Legal Education at St. Petersburg State University. 1993 - 1998, First Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Law at St. Petersburg State University. 1998 to present - Dean of the SPbSU Faculty of Law. In 2000, Nikolay Kropachev defended a doctoral thesis on the �Mechanism of Criminal Law Regulation� and was awarded the academic degree Doctor of Law. In 2003, he was awarded the academic title Professor of Criminal Law. His scope of academic interests includes: criminal law, theory of state and law, criminology, and education law. These issues have been considered by Nikolay Kropachev in more than 70 scientific and instructional works, including a number of monographs and textbooks.

For many years Nikolay Kropachev has actively participated in various professional organisations of lawyers: Nikolay Kropachev successfully works to improve the legal and organisational support of higher professional education and science as Deputy Chairman of the Presidential Council for Science, Technology and Education, as well as a member of the Presidential Council for Codification and Enhancement of Civil Legislation and the Presidential Commission for Federal Pool of High Potential Managers.

SPbSU Publishing Activities:

The Publishing House of St. Petersburg State University is the second largest university publishing house in Russia, after the Publishing House of Moscow State University. Practically all higher education institutions of the North-West of Russia use its services; it has also established contacts with the publishers of the USA, England, France, the Netherlands, and other countries. The Bulletin of Saint-Petersburg State University and the Jurisprudence journal are published. The University's Publishing House is open to joint projects and business campaigns with the publishing houses of other countries.

SPbSU International Activities:

St. Petersburg University is one of the leading international research and educational institution. In 2009 St. Petersburg University was ranked 168 according to the THE-QS World University Rankings and 303 according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU).

Annually the great number of meetings with academic & research partners and representatives of foreign authorities take place at the University. Moreover, St. Petersburg University is often visited by the famous researchers, politicians and scientists. A lot of outstanding scientists and politicians from around the world were awarded by the ? ?Honorary Doctor Diploma of St.-Petersburg University�.

Office for International and Foreign Economic Affairs promotes students, researchers and academic staff exchange programmes and facilities to efficient international scientific and academic cooperation. At the present time St. Petersburg State University proudly cooperates with 230 higher education institutions of Europe, North America, Asia and South America.

St. Petersburg University participates in the international scientific and academic programs and fairs. The University is member of 13 international associations and actively cooperates with the international organizations. St. Petersburg State University offers a range of Master?'s Degree Programmes taught in English.

St. Petersburg University fruitfully cooperates with its academic partners developing the international academic mobility programmes such as Erasmus Mundus External Cooperation Window, Finnish-Russian Cross Border University, Finnish-Russian student exchange Program, Santander University, Campus Europae.

SPbSU Contacts:

St. Petersburg State University 7-9 Universitetskaya Nab.
St. Petersburg, 199034, Russia.
Tel.: +7 812 328 2000