St Petersburg University has completed its admission for bachelor’s and specialist’s programmes with new records. There were significantly more applicants to enter the oldest university in Russia than in previous years. The average Unified State Exam score of first-year students soared to new heights – 93.61.

In total, during the admissions campaign this year, 413,000 applications were submitted to the universities of St Petersburg for government-funded places in bachelor's and specialist’s programmes. Of these, about 20% – about 80,000 – were submitted to St Petersburg University. The average competition at the University in 2020 was almost 30 applications per place. This compares with last year when there were about 20 applications per place.


The growth in the number of applications at St Petersburg University for government-funded places is 41% compared to last year.

As a result of the admission campaign, 9,148 students have been enrolled in St Petersburg University. These include: 3,830 students for bachelor’s and specialist’s programmes for citizens of the Russian Federation; and those having equal rights with Russian citizens when applying for academic programmes of higher education. 2,016 of them have been enrolled in government-funded places, and 1,814 in fee-paying places.

The highest competition this year has been recorded for the following programmes: Public Administration (123.5 applications per place, while last year the competition was 48.13 applications per place); Graphic Design (121.67 applications per place against 28.2 last year); Personnel Management (116 applications per place against 51.7 last year); Linguistics (110.8 applications per place against 15.14 last year); and Journalism (79.28 applications per place against 42,53 last year).

The following programmes are leading in terms of the absolute number of applications:

  • International Relations (2,424 applications)
  • Law (2,404 applications)
  • Economics (2,094 applications)
  • Applied Mathematics, Fundamental Informatics and Programming (1,774 applications)
  • General Medicine (1,684 applications)

For reference: the latter shows a snowballing growth in the number of applications this year – there were almost three times more than last year.

The best applicants from all over the country traditionally choose St Petersburg University for admission. So, 1,879 people who received 100 points in at least one subject according to the results of the Unified State Exam applied to St Petersburg University. This is 32% more than in 2019. 7,887 applicants this year have an honour certificate (27.58% more than last year). 443 people were able to enter without exams because they had the priority rights to enrolment, thanks to victories at Olympiads for schoolchildren. It should be noted that this year almost 50% more winners and awardees of the All-Russian Olympiad for schoolchildren have been enrolled than last year.

The most popular programmes among the winners and awardees of Olympiads are Mathematics, Algorithms and Data Analysis, and Modern Programming. About 90% of those enrolled in these programs are awardees of the Olympiads. Also, many winners and awardees of Olympiads have entered such programmes as: Mathematics and Computer Science (75% of those enrolled); Mathematics (74.55%); Russian Philology (Russian Language and Literature) (60%); Liberal Arts and Sciences (53.33%); and Chemistry (52%).


is the average Unified State Exam score of first-year students.

Last year, the result was also record-breaking and amounted to 92.49. The highest average score was registered among those who entered such programmes as: Law (98.7); Mathematics, Algorithms and Data Analysis (98.67); International Journalism (98.67); German (98.5); Liberal Arts and Sciences (97.73); Advertising and Public Relations (97.69); International Relations (96.54); and Fundamental Mathematics (96.42). The most high-level medical applicants also chose St Petersburg University. Among those applying for the government-funded places of the General Medicine programme, the average Unified State Exam score was 94.5.

This admissions campaign has shown that very talented applicants come to us, and enter programmes in completely different fields of study. These are not only social and humanitarian sciences, but also physics, mathematics, and natural sciences. The demand for university education is quite high, and the entire portfolio of St Petersburg University academic programmes is much in demand.

Aleksandr Babich, Vice-Rector for Student Affairs and Admissions of St Petersburg University

Every year, high-profile applicants from all over Russia enter successfully St Petersburg University. In 2020, 73.66% of those enrolled in government-funded places are from other regions of the country. In 2019, this figure was 71.58%. Among those who came from other regions this year are residents of Sverdlovsk Region. Many first-year students who have been admitted to St Petersburg University are from: Krasnodar Krai; Perm Krai; the Republic of Tatarstan; Novosibirsk Region; Chelyabinsk Region; Nizhny Novgorod Region;  Orenburg Regions; Leningrad Region; and Moscow.

It should be noted that this year the University is in even greater demand from applicants from abroad than before. Out of 12,000 applications from foreigners to the universities of St Petersburg, 5,000 were submitted to St Petersburg University. Thus, almost every second international applicant applied to St Petersburg University. More than 2,500 citizens of 91 foreign countries have been enrolled in St Petersburg University during this admissions campaign.

This year’s admissions campaign was held completely remote. However, such work did not come as a surprise for the University, noted Marina Lavrikova, Senior Vice-Rector for Academic Activities and Teaching Methods of St Petersburg University.

On the one hand, the changes in the operation mode caused by the pandemic became stressful for everyone – both students and academic staff. On the other hand, the preparedness of our students and academic staff for this format was already sufficiently high.

Marina Lavrikova, Senior Vice-Rector for Academic Activities and Teaching Methods of St Petersburg University

‘Distance learning and the availability of e-learning at a university as prerequisites for quality education have been in place for a long time. Yes, before we didn’t need to use this format to the extent that we had to last semester, but St Petersburg University was ready for this. In our teaching and learning process, various information systems are used both for conducting classes and for the study itself. I would also like to note that a fully distance academic programme in law has been implemented at St Petersburg University for six years,’ Marina Lavrikova told reporters at a press conference organised by the Interfax news agency.

It should be added that the academic year at St Petersburg University began on 1 September. However, due to the challenging epidemiological situation, special precautions were introduced to meet the requirements of the Russian Federal Agency Rospotrebnadzor (the Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing). Students will be provided with personal protective equipment.  Streaming lectures for students from different academic groups will be fully delivered online. Laboratory classes and classes for one academic group will be held in classrooms. The timetables have been made in such a way that, if possible, a separate classroom is assigned to each academic group and the flows of students do not intersect. Students arriving from abroad are subject to a 14-day quarantine in isolated rooms. Those students who have not been able to arrive at the University by the beginning of the academic year will continue their studies online. For more information on the organisation of studies at St Petersburg University in the new academic year, click here.