Types of Higher Education Degrees in Russia

Russian higher education institutions grant various degrees and diplomas, including 
  • an Intermediate Diploma
  • a Bakalavr Diploma
  • a Specialist Diploma
  • a Magistr Diploma 

Intermediate Diploma

The Intermediate Diploma (Diplom o nepolnom vysshem obrazovanii) is honored after two years of studies and is given in all fields of study. The Diploma gives its holder the right to practice a professional activity in conformity with the level of education it represents. 
  • Duration: 2 years

Bakalavr’s (Bachelor’s) Degree

The Bakalavr’s (Bachelor’s) degree program lasts for 4 years of full-time university-level study. It includes professional and special courses in Science, the Humanities and Social-economic studies, professional training and requires the students to prepare a research paper or project. Students need to pass State final exams for attainment of the degree. Bakalavr courses of study cover all disciplines except medicine. The basic purpose of the Bakalavr degree is to provide a more academically oriented education. The Bakalavr degree is an essential requirement for admittance to Magistr course of studies.
  • Duration: 4 years

The Specialist Diploma

Bachelor’s Degree holders can be admitted Specialist programs. The Specialist Diploma possesses two important purposes: 
  • Firstly, it opens access to professional practice, and 
  • Secondly, it is also the requirement for admission to doctoral studies. 
The Specialist diploma is awarded in all areas of study and students are required to pass State final examinations at the end of each semester. 
  • Duration: 5 to 6 years

Magistr’s (Master’s) Degree 

The Magistr’s (Master’s) degree is awarded after successful completion of two years’ full-time study. Students must perform a research for a year, which establishes an original contribution and go by the final examinations to obtain the Master’s degree. Bakalavr degree is the pre-requisite for Magistr studies. Magistr studies are completed by a State final attestation that includes the defense of a dissertation which is an independent research carried out under the directions and guidance of a supervisor, and the passing of State final examinations. 

Medical Training

 In order to be admitted to the medical professions, the students need to have a university level Higher Education diplomas and must go for further in-depth professional training, i.e. a one-year course programme called the Internatura or a two- to four-year course programme called the Ordinatura. Training in the Internatura or the Ordinatura takes place in hospitals, clinics, and research medical institutes. Grads from the Internatura or Ordinatura are awarded certificates that specify their specialization areas and entitle them to practice their profession independently.
  • The duration of study in the medical sciences is five years in dentistry and pharmacy, six years in medicine and three - four years in nursing.


There are two successive postgraduate degrees: 
  • Kandidat Nauk (Candidate of Science): The Candidate of Sciences degree requires three years of studies after the award of Specialist’s or Master’s degrees 
  • Doctor Nauk (Doctor of Science): The Doctor of Science’s degree can be earned after a period of further studies following the award of the Candidate of Science’s degree.
For admission to Kandidat Nauk (Aspirantura), students must hold a Specialist Diploma or a Magistr’s degree. The Aspirantura prepares for research and professorial activities. Students are required to perform and prepare independent research, and support the dissertation in public for successful completion of the Aspitantura. Kandidat Nauk is being awarded after the successful completion of the course of study along with public defence of the dissertation. 
The Doctor Nauk programme is specific and its duration is not fixed. It follows the Kandidat Nauk and is also awarded after research and public defence of a dissertation. 

Duration of Studies

Higher Professional Education 

The Higher Professional Education includes engineering, economic, humanities specialities
  • Bachelor of Science degree – 4 years
  • Master of Science degree– 2 years
  • Specialist” qualification- 5 years
  • Post-graduate studies – 3 years

Professional Medical Education 

  • General medicine- 6 years
  • Sports medicine – 6 years
  • Pediatrics– 6 years
  • Dentistry- 5 years
  • Pharmacy- 5 years
  • Clinical psychology- 5 years

Postgraduate Medical Education

  • Internship- 1 year
  • Clinical residency - 2 to 5 years (depending on the specialty)
  • PhD – 3 years
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