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Famous alumni

The university’s contribution to Russian society has been substantial, and we recall with pride the names of the outstanding scientists and scholars who have worked at Herzen University, making their significant contributions to the development of the country’s science and industry. 


Among them are such luminaries as:

 Kurchatov.png   academician I. Kurchatov
the father of the Russian nuclear physics school
Gershun.png     professor A. Gershun,
the founder of the optical industry   
 Glasenap.png     the astronomer S. Glasenapp 
 ipatieff.png    academician V. Ipatieff,
an army general and a chemist   
 fersman.png     A. Fersman,
the pioneer of geochemistry  
 Perekalin.png   professor V. Perekalin, the chemist
who supervised the development
of the pharmaceutical drug Phenibut, used in aerospace medicine
and child psychiatry.



The plethora of famous Herzen personalities includes 

 • pedagogues P. Kapterev, V. Soroka-Rossinsky, and A. Pinkevich;
• chemists V. Verkhovsky, and A. Favorsky, the botanist V. Komarov;
• geographers V. Semenov-Tian-Shansky and Yu. Shokalsky;
• physiologists L. Orbeli and K. Bykov;
• the mathematician G. Fikhtengolts;
• historians E. Tarle, V. Struve, A. Presnyakov, S. Oldenburg, B. Grekov;
• the psychologist L. Vygotsky, philologists S. Ozhegov, L. Scherba, V. Zhirmunsky, N. Marr, writers M. Gorky and E. Zamyatin; and many others.

View on a 5th buliding.png
An old photo of the University Building 5


Today Herzen University employs more than 1700 scholars, 1000 of whom hold Candidate of Science degrees, 300 are Doctors of Science, 6 are academicians and 9 are corresponding members of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Russian Academy of Education, and 23 are Honoured Scientists of the Russian Federation. Today herzen university employs.png
The University’s graduates make a considerable contribution to the country’s social and cultural life. Some of the writers, poets, composers, actors, sportsmen, and political figures are well-known outside of Russia, as well, including: N. Zabolotsky, A. Kushner, V. Sangi, A. Chepurov, L. Reznikov, A. Morozov, L. Egorova.

Frequently asked questions

How to apply for degree/non-degree programmes?

➤ To apply a Bachelor’s, Master’s or PhD programme at Herzen University you need:

  • to choose a program
  • to prepare necessary documents (the list of documents is available here)
  • to pass entrance exams

More information about the admission procedure for a Bachelor’s, Master’s or PhD program is available here

➤ To apply for the Foundation programme or the Russian as Foreign Language courses you need:

  • to fill out application form here

➤ To apply for a non-degree programme or a teacher-training programme you need to make an enquiry via e-mail: international@herzen.edu.ru

What is the language of instruction at Herzen University?
How can I apply if I do not speak Russian?

The language of instruction at Herzen University is Russian.

If you do not speak Russian, you may take the Foundation programme – a Preparatory Course for Those Who Are Planning to Apply for a University Degree Programme.

Course duration – 10 months.

The Foundation programme starts every Monday throughout September - October.

Upon completion of the Foundation Programme you may apply for a Bachelor’s, Master’s or PhD program.

More detailed information about the Foundation Programme is available here

How to get a student visa?

➤ To get a student visa to study on Bachelor’s, Master’s or PhD programme you have to get an official invitation letter from Herzen University.

To get an official invitation letter you need to submit the following documents:

  • A copy of national passport (your passport has to be valid for at least 18 months from the date of your application).
  • A filled in application form
  • A copy of the last Russian visa (if applicable)

Upon receiving the original invitation letter, you have to contact the nearest consulate of the Russian Federation to obtain the visa.

➤ To get the Russian entry visa to study at the Foundation programme (10 months) or other Russian as Foreign language non-degree programmes you have to do the following:

  • to get an official invitation letter from Herzen University

To obtain the official invitation letter you need to submit the following documents:

  • A copy of national passport passport (your passport has to be valid for at least 18 months from the date of your application).
  • A filled in application form

Upon receiving the original invitation letter, you have to contact the nearest consulate of the Russian Federation to obtain the visa.

What am I required to do upon arrival?

Upon arrival to St. Petersburg, you have to get the residence registration within the period of 7 days. The registration is required by the Russian migration law.

➤ If you stay at a Herzen University’s dormitory your residence registration is issued by the dormitory’s administrative staff.

➤ If you rent an apartment you have to address the landlord (property owner) in order to be registered at the place of your residence.

More detailed information about the residence registration procedure is available here