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SIS Abroad

Grad Semester Programs:
St. Petersburg University, St. Petersburg, Russia

St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg University, the oldest university in Russia, was founded by Peter the Great in 1724 as part of his educational and modernization reforms. Having remained a foremost center of learning despite the political turmoil throughout the country's history, the University now features seven Nobel Prize winners among its faculty and feature Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Medvedev, and Vladimir Lenin among its alumni. The School of International Relations (SIR) at St. Petersburg University is a member of the Association of Professional Schools of International Studies (APSIA) and boasts over 1,000 full-time faculty who teach its 1,000-plus students. With over 200 exchange and internship programs with international universities, SIR is uniquely poised (indeed, given its location on the Baltic Sea) to connect St. Petersburg and Russia at large with the rest of the world.


Graduate students from AU who participate in this one-semester program enroll for a full courseload at AU (9 credits) and take courses alongside the regular degree-seeking student population at St. Petersburg University's School of International Relations (SIR). Students can choose from among a broad range of course offerings across the different schools, as long as they can demonstrate that they have met any stated academic prerequisites. Specific programs of study within SIR include:

Programs in English:

International Relations

Programs in Russian:

International Humanitarian Links
World Politics
Theory of International Relations and Foreign Policy Analysis
History of International Relations
International Cooperation in the Sphere of Environment and Development
Diplomacy of the Russian Federation and Foreign States
European Studies
Baltic and Nordic Studies
Pacific Region Studies
American Studies
CIS Studies
Strategic Studies

Language Requirement

There is no language requirement for AU students who wish to take courses in the International Relations program, as English is the language of instruction. Students who wish to take any academic courses conducted in Russian are required to demonstrate proficiency in Russian as part of the application. Students also have the opportunity to take beginner-level Russian language courses to improve their language skills without incurring additional costs.

Academic Calendar

Fall: September - late January
Spring: February - late June


  1. Students are registered through the SIS Ofifce of International Program Development for up to 9 AU-St. Petersburg University exchange credits (SIS-774). These exchange credits cover the Program credits only; research and/or internship credits are registered under normal AU guidelines.
  2. Students are required to meet with their AU academic advisor and obtain formal pre-approval for courses they wish to take through the Program before enrolling at SIR. This ensures that credits earned on the Program can be applied toward the student’s AU degree.
  3. At SIR, students will be expected to enroll in a full-time course schedule.

Credit articulation: Grades and credits earned at SIR are articulated through the SIS Office of International Program Development upon receipt of an official transcript from SIR. For conversion purposes, students should expect 2 SIR credits to equal 1 AU credit. The grading scale used at SIR is different from that used at AU and will be explained to students prior to their departure.

Tuition and Fees

Students pay regular tuition, emergency international health insurance, and technology fees to AU. Students do not pay the student activity fee, sports center fee, or SIS fee while studying at SIR.  Students are billed directly by SIR for housing (if applicable).

Students are responsible for any incidental costs, such as library fines and lab fees, incurred during the program. Students are responsible for all personal expenses including housing and transportation.


Residence hall housing is available through SIR on a limited basis.  Students who wish to stay in a residence hall should submit SIR's residence hall application form with their other application materials. Students are responsible for locating and paying for their own housing for the duration of their stay in St. Petersburg.

Visas and Immigration

Once admitted to the Program, students are issued a letter of acceptance by SIR. Students use this document to apply for their student visa at the nearest Russian embassy or consulate. Students are responsible for researching the most up-to-date immigration requirements and arranging all immigration documents.

Student Orientation

During the semester prior to the start of the Program, the SIS Office of International Program Development conducts a mandatory pre-departure meeting. Topics covered include administrative, logistical, security, and cross-cultural issues. Students will be provided with orientation materials upon arrival at SIR.

How to Apply

Application deadline for study in Fall 2014: April 11

  1. Complete and submit the Program application to the SIS Office of International Program Development by the application deadline. Do not apply directly to SIR.
  2. After applications are processed and reviewed, students are selected by SIS for nomination to SIR.
  3. Upon nomination, students must complete and submit the SIR non-degree student application. The application process also includes an official graduate transcript from AU and a copy of the student's passport information page.
  4. SIR makes the final admissions decision and corresponds directly with Program participants regarding course registration, accommodation, orientation programs, etc.

    The Program is competitive, and applying does not guarantee admission.

Contact Us!

Email: sisabroad@american.edu

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Twitter: SISStudyAbroad

Google Chats: sisstudyabroad@gmail.com

Semester Abroad General Info Session

Thursday, October 2, 4:30-6:00pm, SIS 115

Application Deadline for Study in Spring 2014

November 1


Academic Advisor Approval Form

Application Instructions & Checklist

Application Form

Additional Information

Transportation in St. Petersburg

Travel information about St. Petersburg from Lonely Planet and Wikitravel

Russia Consular Information Sheet from the U.S. Department of State

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