Nikolay Kropachev
SPbU Rector

Dear Friends,

For more than 290 years, St Petersburg State University has been committed to advancing science and training highly qualified professionals. The University dates back to 1724, when Peter the Great founded the Academy of Sciences and Arts as well as the first Academic University and the university preparatory school in Russia.

We take special pride in the constellation of our outstanding staff and alumni. SPbU has given the world many famous people in science, politics, business, sports, literature, and art. The University has Nobel Prize winners among its staff and alumni: physiologist Ivan Pavlov, biologist Ilya Mechnikov, physical chemist Nikolay Semyonov, physicists Lev Landau and Aleksandr Prokhorov, mathematician and economist Leonid Kantorovich. SPbU is also an alma mater to outstanding researchers, scholars, academics, political and social leaders: Dmitry Mendeleev, Vladimir Vernadsky, and Dmitry Likhachev to name but a few. The world owes to our University most prominent cultural leaders, writers and artists: Ivan Turgenev, Pavel Brullov, Alexander Blok, Alexandre Benois, Sergei Diaghilev, and Igor Stravinsky. Among the University alumni we are also proud to mention leaders of the Russian Government: Boris Stürmer, Alexander Kerensky, Vladimir Lenin, Presidents of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev.

Today, by bringing together traditions and innovations, St Petersburg University sets the pace for the development of science, education, and culture in Russia and across the world. We are consistently ranked highly in international university rankings (Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings, Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings, Academic Ranking of World Universities) and subject rankings, which proves the success of our development strategy. We have leading universities and major corporations as our academic and business partners.

The University is fully-equipped to provide a diverse range of opportunities for education, research, and creativity: the richest Research Library named after Maksim Gorky, a comprehensive digital collection of scholarly editions, a state-of-the-art Research Park, laboratories headed by leading scientists, museums, a publishing house, sports clubs, a University choir, orchestras, drama and dance studios, and many more.

In 2009, the Federal Law granted St Petersburg State University and Moscow State University the special status of ‘unique scientific and educational complexes ….  instrumental in the development of the Russian society.’ SPbU was granted a privilege to set its own educational standards, award its own diplomas and state-recognised academic degrees of Candidate of Sciences and Doctor of Sciences.

SPbU runs an open competition to finance research in priority branches of science and create new research laboratories. We are actively developing postdoctoral programmes and provide corporate housing for our academic staff.

Welcome to SPbU!

Professor Nikolay Kropachev,