Education in the Fall semester of the 2022/23 academic year begins on September 1 for both Russian and foreign citizens. Foreign citizens currently staying in Russia study in-person. If you have not yet entered Russia, you will start studying using online education technologies that your faculty can provide. For inquiries related to access to these online platforms, please contact the International office of your faculty. We are looking forward to seeing you in Russia for in-person study!
Academic year
The academic year at Moscow State University traditionally starts on September 1.

For students enrolled in undergraduate and specialist programs, as well as in some Master’s programs, the academic year is structured as follows:

Fall semester: September 1 — January 24
Winter examination session: January 3 — January 24
Winter holidays: January 25 — February 6

Spring semester: February 7 — June 24
Summer examination session: June 1 — June 24
Summer holidays: June 25 — August 31

A test session (pass/fail tests) takes place a week before the graded examination session.

Some Master’s programs have their own schedule, which is connected with the specifics of the study field.

We recommend that you check your study calendar with the coordinators from the International office of your faculty.

Format and schedule of classes
Classes are held in the form of lectures, seminars, colloquia, workshops, laboratory practice, consultations, and field practice. Depending on the specifics of the study fields and educational programs at the different faculties, other types of training sessions can be implemented.

The duration of one lesson (lecture, seminar, practical/laboratory lesson, etc.) is 2 academic hours of 45 minutes, that is, 1 hour and 30 minutes. Students call such an activity a "pair" (that is, 2 academic hours in a row). There are breaks between the "pairs".

The academic staff of your faculty will communicate your class schedule to you. If you have any questions, you can always consult with the coordinators from the International office of your faculty.
Progress assessment

There are two types of exams — tests ("zachet") and examination. Therefore, there are 2 types of exam sessions — test session and examination session.

During the test session, students take tests. There are two type of tests:

  • Regular tests (pass/fail) — the result of their passing is the mark "passed" or "didn't pass"
  • Differentiated tests — tests with a grade.

During the examination session, students take exams. The exam is a complex form of checking the student’s acquisition of knowledge, abilities and skills, as well as the degree of the student’s development of the competencies provided for by the curriculum, with a final grade.
Grading scale
In the transcripts and educational diplomas issued by Moscow State University, grades are put down on the following scale:

"5" — "excellent"
"4" — "good"
"3" — "satisfactory"

The mark "2" ("unsatisfactory") and the mark "didn't pass" are not entered in the record book. Receiving an unsatisfactory grade for the examination means that you have so-called academic debt. The student can liquidate academic debt by retaking the test/exam no more than two times. Thus, each student has 3 attempts to confirm that they have obtained the competencies provided by the curriculum. In the third attempt, the faculty commission of three teachers is making a decision on the student’s grade. Students must retake exams and eliminate the academic debt within two weeks from the beginning of the next semester. The retake schedule is set at the faculty level.
What documents should I always carry with me?
When moving around the MSU campus, Moscow and other Russian cities, we recommend that you always carry the following documents with you:

  • A photocopy of the passport certified by a notary,
  • Registration form (original),
  • Migration card (original),
  • Student card.
Student card

A Student card is a document certifying that you are a student of a higher education institution. A Student card will be issued to you at the Academic office of your faculty for the entire period of study at Moscow State University. The Student card serves as a pass to all buildings of the university campus. Also, in some cases, it gives the right to receive benefits and discounts when traveling by transport, in supermarkets, shops, when visiting museums and many other institutions in Moscow.

At the beginning of each academic year, you will need to go to your Academic coordinator and update your Student card: it must have the date until which the Student card is valid and must be stamped and signed by the Dean. If a student loses their Student card, a duplicate is issued. Still you should try not to lose your Student card, because you can get a reprimand for its loss.
Record book ("zachetka")

A Record book is a document that contains records of the grades received by the student as a result of passing tests and exams, defending term papers and graduation exams, and undergoing practice of all types. The Record book will be issued to you before the first session. We recommend that you take care of your Record book as well as your Student card, because restoring this document will take a lot of time and effort.
Muscovite Student Card (Social card)

The Muscovite card is an optional document, but very useful. The Social card gives you a discount for travel on public transport, can be used as a travel card, bank card, and also gives the right to receive discounts in 7,500 stores and enterprises in Moscow and the Moscow region (for more information about the benefits and advantages of a Muscovite card, read here). Full-time students, medical residents and postgraduates have the right to obtain a Muscovite card.

Please note that a personal visit to the multifunctional center (MFC) is required to issue a Muscovite card. To do this, you need to have a valid MSU student card.
5 steps to get a Social card:
  1. Sign a consent to the processing of personal data at the Academic office of your faculty.
  2. Wait until your name appears in the "Register of students". If you do not find yourself in the "Register" within 10 days after signing the consent, refer to the Academic office.
  3. . Submit an application at any of the "My Documents" centers (MFC, multifunctional center). The addresses of the MFC can be found here.
  4. To submit an application, you will need a passport or other document recognized as identity (for example, a residence permit, a temporary residence permit). You can bring your photo (3×4 cm format) or you will be photographed for free in the "My Documents" center.
  5. Check if your card is ready here.
  6. The Social card will be ready within 30 days after submitting the documents.
  7. Receive a card in the same "My Documents" center where you applied for it. To do this, you need a passport or other identity document.

You can find detailed information on how to put credit on your Social card to be able to use public transport with a discount here

"Muscovite Card" hot line: +7 (495) 539-55-55 (daily from 8:00 to 20:00)
АВТОМАТ (Eng. ‘Automatic grade/credit’, the so-called ‘Automat’; other equivalents: ‘exam waiver’, ‘home free’) – a passing grade given to a student by a lecturer without actual examination, usually because of student’s perfect attendance, homework assignments and active participation at seminars and workshops.

АКАДЕМИЧЕСКАЯ ЗАДОЛЖЕННОСТЬ (Eng. ‘Failure’) – the fact of having an unsatisfactory mark (‘unsatisfactory’ or ‘fail’) for the end-of-course assessments.

«АРГУМЕНТ» (Eng.‘Argument’) – the name of a bookstore chain located at Moscow State University. One of the stores is situated in В-sector of the Main Building of Moscow State University, addresses of other stores can be found here.
«ВКР» or «выпускная квалификационная (дипломная) работа» (Eng. “Graduate qualification work”) – independent research work of the graduate student, which confirms the correspondence of the student’s qualification with his professional training and is carried out under the guidance of the scientific supervisor.
ГЗ is the abbreviated name of the Main Building of Moscow State University (1 Leninskie Gory).

ГУМ (Eng. GUM) is the abbreviated name for the humanities buildings of Moscow State University.
The First GUM is the 1st humanities building of Moscow State University. Located at 1 Leninskie Gory, bldg. 51.
The Second GUM is the 2nd educational building of Moscow State University. Located at 1 Leninskie Gory, bldg. 52.
The Third GUM is the 3rd educational building of Moscow State University. Located at 1 Leninskie Gory, bldg. 46.
The Fourth GUM is 4th educational building of Moscow State University. Located at 1 Leninskie Gory, bldg. 13.
ДК the abbreviated name for the House of Culture. It is located in the main building of Moscow State University. It is also called the "club part", meaning the entrance to the main building of Moscow State University from the side of Lomonosov Avenue (see ‘Клубная часть’).
ЗАЧЁТ  (Eng. ‘Credit’) is a form of examination within the midterms. Credits can be ordinary (when the result is assed with the mark ‘passed’ or ‘failed’) and differentiated (when the result is assed with the graded mark).

ЗАЧЕТНАЯ КНИЖКА (ЗАЧЕТКА) (Eng. ‘Academic file’) is a document that contains records of the grades received by the student as a result of passing tests, exams and graduation exams, defending theses and graduate works and undergoing practice of all types. The Academic file will be issued to you before the first session.
ИНСПЕКТОР КУРСА / УЧЕБНОЙ ПРОГРАММЫ (Eng. ‘Course/Academic program inspector’) – an administrative staff member responsible for organizing the educational process on the course. The inspector manages the dossiers of students, issues academic files for the period of the examination session, organizes students into study groups, monitors attendance, deals with the issues of academic leaves and other aspects of the educational process.
КЛУБНАЯ ЧАСТЬ (Eng. ‘Club part’) – the entrance to the Main Building of Moscow State University from the side of the Fundamental Library of Moscow State University on Lomonosov Avenue, opposite to the monument to Lomonosov. It is located on Akademika Khokhlova Street.

КОЛЛОКВИУМ (КОЛЛОК) (‘Collock’ – short for ‘Colloquium’) is a form of examination during the academic semester, which is used in some faculties. Within the colloquium individual sections, topics and issues of the course and/or projects and reports of students are addressed.

КУРСАЧ – a thesis.
МФК/межфакультетский курс (Eng. IFC or inter-faculty course) — a lecture course of inter-faculty education, which is delivered to students of all faculties by leading professors and teachers of Moscow State University during the semester. One IFC per semester is compulsory for 3rd year undergraduate students, 3rd and 4th year specialist students and 1st year full-time master's degree students. All IFC grades will be indicated on your diploma.
НАУЧНИК – a scientific supervisor under the guidance of whom students defend their theses and graduate works.
ПАРА (Eng. ‘Double period’) – a class that includes two academic hours of 45 minutes.

ПОСВЯТ – a ceremony of initiation of 1st year freshmen to bachelors.
СЕССИЯ (Eng. ‘Session’) – the period when students take tests and exams. There are credit sessions and examination sessions.

СТАРОСТА (Eng. ‘Group monitor’) – a student selected on each course and in each study group as agreed with the administration of the faculty. The responsibilities of the group monitor include keeping of an attendance register, informing of the educational unit about the absent students, organizing of the textbook supply, timely notifying of classmates about changes in the schedule and ensuring academic discipline in the classroom.
УЧЕБНАЯ ЧАСТЬ (УЧЕБНЫЙ ОТДЕЛ, УЧЕБКА) (Eng. ‘Educational unit/Educational Department of the Faculty’) – an office where course inspectors work. Here the current educational issues are addressed and students' examination papers are kept after credits and examinations.
«ШАЙБА» is a meeting place in the Main Building of Moscow State University between the House of Culture and lift hall, in a room with circular columns.
«ЭКВАТОР» (Eng. ‘Mid-term’) – a holiday celebrating that the students are already halfway through the whole period of study. If you are a bachelor degree (4 years), then the mid-term is celebrated upon the end of the 2nd year

ЭКЗАМЕН (Eng. ‘Exam’) is a complex form of knowledge, skills and abilities evaluation and measuring of student’s competences set out in the training course program involving giving of the final grade.
Lomonosov Moscow State University Department for Internationalisation
Address: Leninskie Gory, 1, Moscow, 119991, Russian Federation
International Information Center - sector B, room 101
Тел: + 7 (495) 939-22-64