University overview


Saint-Petersburg University was founded by Emperor Peter the Great in 1724. From the time of its foundation until the end of the 18th century, the University, together with the Academic Gymnasium, was an integral part of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Today the University still adheres to Peter the Great's principle of the unity of education and science. The core of the University policy is the combination of teaching and research.

Over almost three centuries, hundreds of outstanding scholars, politicians, cultural figures have been honor to the University. Suffice it to say that seven University alumni and ex-members have won Nobel Prizes: I.P. Pavlov (1904) and I.I. Mechnikov (1908) for physiology and medicine, N.N. Semenov (1962) for chemistry, L.D. Landau (1962) and A.M. Prokhorov (1964) for physics, W.W. Leontiev (1973) and L.V. Kantorovich (1975) for economics. Many persons who became famous all over the globe in various fields were the University alumni. Saint-Petersburg University is known for its distinguished 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, A.A.Blok, A.N. Benois, V.D. Polenov, S.P. Diaghilev, M.A.Vrubel, I.Y. 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.


The University Today

Saint-Petersburg University currently has an enrollment of more than 27,000 undergraduates and more than 5,500 graduate students. Every year about 2,500 foreign students from more than 90 countries of the world participate in various academic programmes. The University faculty is our pride. Out of almost 6 000 professors 1500 professors are doctors of science, more than 3000 are candidates of science and 42 are active members of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The degree educational programmes are realized on 83 specialities, 98 bachelor programmes and 157 master programmes. 30 000 students, 4 000 post-graduate students, applicants and doctoral candidates study in Saint-Petersburg University.

In November 2009, Russian President D.A. Medvedev signed a law granting Saint-Petersburg University the special status of "a unique scientific and educational 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 the University.

Saint-Petersburg University comprises 24 faculties and 20 resource centers which carry out work in the fields of mathematics, biology, physiology, chemistry, geography, geology, management, physics and sociology.


Resource centers (in Russian language)





There are two main campuses in Saint-Petersburg University: one campus in the center of Saint-Petersburg on Vasilievsky Island and another one in Peterhof. The Vasilievsky campus houses the University administration and the Main Library in the Building of Twelve Colleges and a number of faculties. The Peterhof campus is situated in the beautiful suburban area. Most natural science departments are located there and form the base of the Scientific City Peterhof. Nonresident students of Saint-Petersburg University are provided with comfortable accommodation both in down-town dormitories and the ones located in Saint-Petersburg's immediate environ Peterhof, the town of palaces and fountains. The University's visiting professors, guests and applicants are provided with short-term accommodation at Student's Guest House.



The Gorky Scientific Library which was founded in the middle of the 18th century, is an important part of Saint-Petersburg University. In terms of diversity of its collection, this library is one of the most extensive among University libraries. It has 6,9 millions of books, subscription to all basic world electronic databases and collections of rare books.

Saint-Petersburg University Publishing House which is the largest in northwest Russia is a steady source for supplying the library with books. The University journal "Saint-Petersburg University" is published every fortnight by the University Publishing House.

Saint-Petersburg University has the Museum of History, the Mendeleev Museum-Archives, and Museum of Mineralogy in its campus. In addition there are Center of Culture and Business Cooperation, Botanic Garden, swimming pool, and a variety of sport facilities.

Saint-Petersburg University is one of the largest world universities of science and education. Among its partners are more than 230 leading higher educational institutions of Europe, America and Asia. The University actively cooperates with partners in programmes of international students mobility: Erasmus Mundus Action 2 - Triple I, Eranet-Mundus, Finnish-Russian Cross-Border University (CBU), Campus Europae, Finnish-Russian Student Exchange Programme (FIRST), Santander Universities and other ones.