The aspirantura programme trains professionals of the highest qualification.

Students can enroll either on a budget-financed or a self-financed aspirantura programme (through contracts with legal or natural persons).

The SPbU aspirantura programme complies with the SPbU educational standards, the SPbU License for Conducting Education Activities and the SPbU Certificate of State Accreditation.

The aspirantura programme is taught in Russian.

It is divided into educational periods - academic years. The academic year for SPbU students on the aspirantura programme starts 1 September and finishes according to the educational plan of the programme. Students are entitled to no fewer than a total of six weeks of holidays each academic year.

Students on the aspirantura programme have a right to:

  • use SPbU library and information resources as well as the University’s educational, production and research facilities.
  • participate in academic exchange programmes with other educational and research institutions, take part in research conferences and projects in due order specified by the University.
  • participate in scientific events (competitions, conferences, seminars, symposiums, expeditions, etc.) organised by SPbU.

Each student has an individual study plan. It is designed in line with the study plan of the aspirantura programme and contains a comprehensive list of subjects, information about the duration of courses and internships, duration and scope of research and teaching practice, terms and criteria of interim and final assessment.

Research supervisors and topics of dissertations are assigned to every student no later than three months after the enrollment in the aspirantura programme by the order of an official appointed by Rector in due order specified by the University. If the research is conducted in several organisations and/or the research is interdisciplinary, the student may be assigned a research co-supervisor or a consultant. An application for the appointment of a research co-supervisor or a consultant is submitted online via Personal Account of the Aspirantura Programme Student.

Aspirantura programme students must undergo all types of continuous and interim assessment in line with the individual study plan and complete all the requirements prescribed by the subject syllabi. Qualifying examinations are a type of interim assessment for students on the aspirantura programme. Interim assessment is carried out by examination boards created in line with the requirements set forth by the applicable legislation of the Russian Federation. Examination boards issue a letter of verification certifying that the candidate has passed the qualifying examinations. The letter of verification has an unlimited duration.

Students who have not passed interim assessment in one or more subjects or failed to participate in interim assessment without a valid reason (no documentary evidence of a valid reason) are reported to be academic failure. Aspirantura programme students who have failed at additional attempts to pass interim assessment before the deadline set by SPbU are expelled for academic failure in compliance with SPbU Charter.

Students on the aspirantura programme can be offered the following types of academic leaves of absence:

  • medical academic leave of absence;
  • compassionate academic leave of absence and leave of absence in extraordinary circumstances;

An academic leave of absence is granted for no longer than two years. A medical academic leave of absence shall be provided to students who cannot continue their studies due to health reasons. A compassionate academic leave of absence is granted to the student in case of bereavement or a serious illness in their immediate family or when the student needs to take care of a seriously ill close relative. An academic leave because of extraordinary circumstances is granted when the student is called to military duty, wishes to study at another university, including foreign universities, etc.

During the academic leave of absence the student is relieved of the requirement to progress further on the educational programme and can not participate in the educational process before the end of the academic leave while retaining the status of the aspirantura programme student.

Aspirantura programme students who have achieved the individual study plan and have passed interim assessment are eligible for final assessment. Individuals who have passed final state assessment are awarded a graduate diploma of aspirantura programme designed to SPbU own standard.

The complete list of doctoral programmes for the 2020/2021 academic year

Aspirantura programmes

Clinical residency programmes

SPbU own diploma

Under the Federal Law #259-FZ as of 10 November 2009 ‘On Lomonosov Moscow State University and St Petersburg State University’, Lomonosov Moscow State University and St Petersburg State University grant graduate diplomas to individuals who have completed their study on the programmes offered by the Universities and have passed final assessment. Graduate diplomas are designed to own standard of Lomonosov Moscow State University and St Petersburg State University. They bear official symbols of the Russian Federation and the stamp of the relevant University.

Graduate diplomas certifying the level of education or/and qualification granted by Lomonosov Moscow State University and St Petersburg State University allow the holder to enjoy the same rights as those specified for the degree holders of state-issued qualification documents of the same level of education and/qualification.

In 2017 St Petersburg University started issuing graduate diplomas on completing the aspirantura programme in Russian and English. Diplomas are designed to SPbU own standard and contain:

  • information about the members of the state examination board;
  • information about research and academic staff involved in teaching and assessment;
  • QR-code for the Graduate Profile page on the SPbU official web-site. The profile contains an e-copy of the graduate diploma and the graduate’s diploma project.