How good is the Russian MBBS degree

Medical degree in Russia

With its immense area of ​​around 17 million square kilometers, Russia is considered the largest country on earth. At the same time, with around 150 million inhabitants, it is the most sparsely populated country in the world. Of this large number of inhabitants, around 104 million live in the European part of Russia, while the Asian East is correspondingly less populated. The capital of the Russian Federation is Moscow, with a population of around 11.5 million. Another important center is Saint Petersburg with its almost 5 million inhabitants. The Russian heartland has numerous neighboring countries, including: Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Finland, Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, China, Mongolia and North Korea. In addition, Russia borders five seas.

In contrast, in the interior of the country, the imposing Ural Mountains separate the continents of Europe and Asia from south to north. In Russia, according to its size and diversity of neighboring neighbors, numerous cultures, religions and lifestyles can be found. In addition to this immense versatility, Russia also offers students very good training opportunities.

Especially in the field of medicine, studying in Russia is an excellent alternative to studying in Germany. After all, many German high school graduates who dream of studying medicine fail again and again at the numerus clausus that applies here, which, depending on the federal state, is 1.2 or even 1.0. So in order not to have to completely reorient yourself or have to accept a few waiting semesters, studying abroad should definitely be considered. Since Russia also joined the Bologna Process in 2003 and changed courses accordingly, the following apply Degrees here are recognized worldwide and can therefore open up broad career paths.

Universities in Russia with medical degrees

All universities

Agencies that arrange medical courses in Russia

All agencies

Structure of medical studies in Russia

In Russia, too, the academic years of study are broken down into semesters. They usually start in early September. The study of medicine in Russia extends - as is also usual in other countries - over a total of six years and then closes with one State examination from.

Following on from this, doctors can finally specialize further, for which another three years of training must usually be allowed for. The basic medical course itself begins in Russia - as is customary in many other study locations - with a theoretical, pre-clinical part that includes the usual subjects (anatomy, biology and the like). From about the third year onwards, clinical subjects are added, but there is no comprehensive practical year - as in Germany, for example. The independent treatment of patients is rather part of subsequent specialization opportunities.

Admission requirements for international students

The High school diploma applies in Russia not as a general authorization for admission to studies and cannot be automatically equated with the secondary school leaving certificate that is usual here. On the other hand, this is the essential admission requirement Passing a science exam, since study places in Russia are usually limited and sought-after. Corresponding dates for such an examination are usually offered between the beginning of June and the end of August. More precise and always up-to-date information on this can usually be found on the universities' websites.

If the test is passed, participants will receive a general university entrance qualification with a focus on natural sciences (biology, chemistry and physics) as well as an invitation for the student visa, which must then be applied for at a Russian consular representation in Germany. In order to be admitted to one of the international study programs in Russia, proof of sound language skills is also important, which should be provided before the start of the study program. This is the only way to ensure that students can follow the content of the courses accordingly. Numerous universities also offer language courses (mostly for a fee). However, it is also advisable to attend a previous semester, which is usually ideal for preparing for the entrance test.

Application process to universities in Russia

Usually, for the application process at a Russian university, it is first important to meet all the required criteria and to prove this accordingly. The universities sometimes have very different requirements and accordingly require different documents from their applicants. So it is highly recommended that the the specific information provided by the selected university must be observed. As a rule, an application for a university in Russia includes the usual documents such as the fully completed application for admission or application form, copies of the most important certificates (certified), a copy of the identity card and passport, an appropriately translated letter of recommendation, 2 Passport photos and a health certificate. If applicants are not scholarship holders, they can also send their application directly to the respective university. If, on the other hand, the application process is overseen by an agency or organization, they usually take on the most important organizational processes. As soon as all required documents have been submitted, the admission test takes place. If this is passed, medical studies can begin in Russia.

University landscape in Russia

In Russia, universities are divided into universities that offer a wide range of subjects as well as doctorate and post-doctoral qualifications and have large numbers of students (more than 6,000), and academies that specialize in certain subjects (e.g. medicine, law, agriculture or art), too have the right to doctorate and habilitation, but have a lower number of students, subdivided. In addition, there are also smaller institutes that only perform teaching tasks, but do not conduct any research, and have almost completely disappeared from the university landscape since 1990.

Around 60 percent of universities in Russia are directly subordinate to the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, the remaining 40 percent are so-called "industry ministries" and, for example, as medical institutions, are subordinate to the Ministry of Health or as transport and traffic universities to the Ministry of Transport. The Ministry of Science and Higher Education has the overall competence for university admission and graduation regulations, international recognition issues, the Bologna process and other structural issues. For reasons of capacity and finance, as well as in favor of a stronger networking of universities and business, a group of “leading universities” was also set up, which in turn is endowed with considerable additional funds and numerous self-administration powers.

At the same time, the associated institutions (currently 45) are also subject to stricter requirements. Among other things, they participate in state funding for internationalization and thus represent a typical point of contact for foreign students. In addition, in Russia (currently around 80) the so-called “supporting universities” are funded. Its primary goal is to meet the regionally defined training needs. To this end, they should cooperate in particular with business enterprises that are also located in the region and design their courses accordingly.

In 2018, a total of 6,592,416 students were enrolled at Russian universities according to DAAD country status. The proportion of foreign students was 3.43 percent. They came mainly from the countries of origin Kazakhstan, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan. The universities in St. Petersburg (St. Petersburg State University) and Moscow (Russian State Medical University - RSMU as well as First Moscow State University) offer an international course in medicine in Russia. The First Moscow State University in particular is one of the oldest and most traditional medical training institutions in Russia. The clinical campus here comprises 19 hospitals with more than 3,000 beds for around 50,000 inpatients and 300,000 outpatients per year. Only a few universities also offer a clinical simulation center. Medical training in Russia can therefore be described as really high-quality and first-class and offer a good alternative to studying in Germany.

Cost of studying medicine in Russia

In Russia, payments are made not with the euro, but with the Russian ruble. One euro is currently around 60 rubles. Tuition fees for medical studies can be found here at the respective universities, but these are usually around 5,000 euros per semester. Compared to other study countries, however, Russia can be positioned on average. In contrast, the cost of living in Russia is heavily dependent on the different regions. In larger cities such as St. Petersburg or Moscow, the usual costs can quickly amount to around 800 to 1000 euros, in the countryside, on the other hand, you can live well for around 200 euros a month.

On average, however, those interested should expect monthly costs of around 600 to 700 euros. The dormitories offer the cheapest option for living, but they are usually not particularly comfortable. If you can do without a car, you can also travel well and cheaply with public transport and the prices for food in Russia - apart from fruit and vegetables, which are relatively expensive - are below the western level. Flights to Russia, on the other hand, cost between 100 and 200 euros, depending on the exact destination. In order to calculate costs, commissions for agencies to support the application process as well as additional preparation courses should also be taken into account. If you need help with financing, you can take out a student loan or education loan relatively easily. In addition, the Russian government offers scholarships equivalent to around 1700 euros (per month) for international students.

Recognition of academic achievements in Germany

Since the Russian universities already adapted their courses and degrees in 2003 in accordance with the Bologna Process, degrees obtained here are also recognized worldwide. It is also possible to move from a Russian university to Germany early. Achievements can be credited relatively easily.

Advantages and disadvantages of studying medicine in Russia


  • no numerus clausus
  • well-equipped universities
  • globally recognized degrees
  • Possibility to move to Germany early
  • Possibility of diverse intercultural encounters


  • Admission test is mandatory
  • Proof of sound language skills required
  • relatively high cost of rice
  • Less practical experience during your studies, as this is usually only gained afterwards through a further specialization in Russia
  • Need to change money (currency)

Conclusion on studying medicine in Russia

Of course, Russia is basically the ideal place to study for anyone looking for an alternative to studying in Germany. Not only are first-class, recognized degrees offered here, but the international nature of the study also enables intercultural encounters and networking. Those who, in addition to an affinity for medical fields of activity, also have the willingness and interest to work on their (foreign) language skills are particularly good at studying medicine in Russia. In Russia, the path to further specialization opportunities and an international career will finally be opened up for them.