St. Petersburg State University St. Petersburg, Russia

exterior of the ornate facade and "onion domes" on the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood

St. Petersburg State University (SPbU), 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 SPbU 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.

Academic Calendar

Fall Semester
September - January
Spring Semester
February - June

Students who wish to attend SIR during the fall semester may be able to arrange accommodations to complete all coursework and exams by late December. However, this is not guaranteed, and classes/exams are scheduled until late January.


Students will enroll as full-time students for one semester alongside SIR graduate students, and earn up to 9 credits toward their graduate degree from AU.

Programs of study include:

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

Language Requirement

Courses in the International Relations program are conducted in English. All other programs are conducted in Russian.

Students who wish to take a program conducted in Russian are required to demonstrate proficiency as part of their application.

Students also have the opportunity to take beginner-level Russian language courses to improve their language skills without incurring additional costs.

Suggested Program Match

This program is compatible with Global Governance, Politics, and Security; Comparative Regional Studies; U.S. Foreign Policy and National Security; Intercultural and International Communication; and Global Environmental Politics.

Students may take courses in any graduate program provided the student meets the stated academic requirements.