Moscow University

Motto: Наука есть ясное познание истины, просвещение разума (Science is clear learning of truth and enlightenment of the mind)

Year of establishment: 1755

Type: Public

Rector: Viktor Sadovnichiy

Admin. staff: 15,000

Students: 47,000

Undergraduates: 40,000

Postgraduates: 7,000

Location: Lomonosov Moscow State University,GSP-1, Leninskie Gory, Moscow, 119991, Russian Federation

Campus: Urban



MSU is the biggest and the oldest University in Russia, which was founded in 1755. It is strongly believed that Moscow University is the best not only in Russia and in post-Soviet states but in Europe and even in the world.

The establishment of Moscow University was suggested by Mikhail Lomonosov and Ivan Shuvalov on the 25 of January in 1755 and their project was accepted by Russian Empress Elizabeth. Since that Russian students celebrate the 25th of January as a Student’s Day.

Originally allocated in the Principal Medicine Store on the Red Square, the university was transferred by Catherine the Great to the present Neoclassical building on the other side of the Mokhovaya Street. The main building was constructed between 1782 and 1793 to a Neo-Palladian design by Matvey Kazakov and rebuilt after Napoleon's invasion of Russia by Domenico Giliardi.

In the 18th century, the university included three departments - of philosophy, medicine, and law. A college for future students was affiliated with the university before being abolished in 1812. In 1779, Mikhail Kheraskov founded a board school for noblemen, transformed into a gymnasium for the Russian nobility in 1830. The university press, run by Nikolay Novikov in the 1780s, published the most popular newspaper in Imperial Russia - Moskovskie Vedomosti.

In 1905 a social-democratic organization was created at the university, calling for the tsar to be overthrown and for Russia to be turned into a republic. The Tsarist government repeatedly began closing the university. In 1911, in a protest of the introduction of troops onto the campus and mistreatment of certain professors, 130 scientists and professors resigned en masse, including prominent ones such as Nikolay Dimitrievich Zelinskiy, Pyotr Nikolaevich Lebedev and Sergei Alekseevich Chaplygin. Thousands of students were expelled in 1911 as well.

After the October Revolution in 1917, the school opened up to allow the children of the proletariat and peasants, not just those of the more well-to-do petits bourgeois. In 1919, tuition fees were done away with, and a preparatory facility was created for children of the working class so that they would be able to pass the admission examinations. The university was renamed in 1940 in honor of its founder Mikhail Lomonosov.

After 1991 nine new departments were established. In 1992 the university has been granted a unique status: it is funded directly from the state budget (bypassing the ministry of education) which provides a significant level of independence.

Since 1953, most of the faculties have been situated on Sparrow Hills, in the southwest of Moscow. The main building was designed by architect Lev Vladimirovich Rudnev.

From the engineering and operational point of view Moscow University campus is an extremely complex system, with its 1,000,000 m2 floor area in 1,000 buildings and structures, with its 8 dormitories housing over 12,000 students and 300 km of utility lines. Nevertheless, this system has to be modernized and developed for the University to meet the modern requirements both as a center of higher learning and a center of research. According to the plan, approved by the government in 1987, a number of new buildings are to be erected in the area adjacent to the campus on Vorobievy Gory. Under the project (architect G.N.Tsytovitch) new blocks for a few faculties and state-of-the-art research laboratories are to be constructed, together with a library building, a swimming pool, a stadium, a recreation centre, and some services. The Main Library Building was opened in January, 2005. The 1st Humanities Building opening ceremony on the new campus was held on September 1, 2007, the new block housing Faculties of History, Public Administration, Philosophy, Political Science. The new Medical Center has been erected on the new campus as well. The “old“ campus area has been developed too, the new Economics Building being opened in 2009 and Law Building in 2013.


  • Department of Mechanics and Mathematics
  • Department of Computational Mathematics and Cybernetics
  • Department of Physics
  • Department of Chemistry
  • Department of Materials Science
  • Department of Biology
  • Department of Bioengineering and Bioinformatics
  • Department of Soil Science
  • Department of Geology
  • Department of Geography
  • Department of Fundamental Medicine
  • Department of Physical Chemistry
  • Department of History
  • Department of Philology
  • Department of Philosophy
  • Department of Economics
  • Department of Law
  • Department of Journalism
  • Department of Psychology
  • The Institute of Asian and African Studies
  • Department of Sociology
  • Department of Foreign Languages and Area Studies
  • Department of Public Administration
  • Department of World Politics
  • Department of Fine and Performing Arts
  • Department of Global Processes
  • Department of Educational Studies
  • Department of Political Science
  • School of Business Administration
  • Moscow School of Economics
  • School of Translation and Interpretation
  • Graduate School of Public Administration
  • School of State Audit
  • Graduate School of Management and Innovation
  • Graduate School of Innovative Business
  • School of Contemporary Social Sciences
  • School of Television
  • Higher School of Policy in Culture and Management in the Sphere of Humanities
  • Department of Further Education
  • Department of Military Training

Research Institutes

  • MSU Institute of Mechanics
  • Scobeltsyn Nuclear Physics Institute
  • Belozersky Research Institute of Physico-Chemical Biology
  • Shternberg Astronomical Institute
  • Bogoliubov Institute for Theoretical Problems of Microphysics
  • Anuchin Research Institute and Museum of Anthropology
  • Institute of Complex Systems Mathematical Research
  • Institute of Social Research
  • Institute for Information Security Issues
  • Institute for Comprehensive Research in Education
  • Institute of Environmental Soil Science
  • Russian-German Institute of Science and Culture
  • Institute of World Cultures
  • MSU Confucius Institute

Research Centres

  • Research Computing Centre
  • International Laser Centre
  • MSU Nanotechnology Education and Research Center
  • International Research Centre for Biochemical Technology
  • Lyapunov French-Russian Centre for Applied Mathematics and IT Technology
  • Cross-Disciplinary Research Centre for Magnetic Tomography and Spectroscopy
  • Centre for Inservice Training for Specialists in Environmental Studies
  • Научно-образовательный центр "Поисков, разведки и разработки месторождений углеводородов" (Нефтегазовый центр МГУ)
  • Kolmogorov Research Centre
  • Centre for Social Sciences
  • MSU Technology Transfer Centre
  • Center for International Education
  • Massmedia Centre of MSU
  • Centre for Art and Fashion Business Studies
  • Engineering Centre for Industrial Risk Assessment "Technorisk"
  • Research Centre for Computer Simulation and Safe Technologies
  • Centre for Recognition of Academic Qualifications
  • Centre for Intensive Language Instruction
  • Information Centre




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