How to apply for PhD programs

Step 1: Learn Russian and prepare for studies if necessary

The language of instruction at Gubkin University is Russian. Therefore, it is important to learn the Russian language before applying for a PhD program.

To enter an academic program at Gubkin University it is required to pass a Russian proficiency test. There are several ways to study Russian language:

  • take classes offered by the Preparatory Faculty (Department) of a Russian university;
  • study at home and pass the Test of Russian as a Foreign Language (TORFL) in the training and testing language center for foreigners.

Gubkin University offers a ten-month Preparatory course for prospective international students.

Prospective international students from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS countries), the Baltics (including Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania), the Ukraine, and Georgia are allowed to take entrance exam for the Russian language without completing the Preparatory course.

Preparatory course for PhD Program

Taking the Preparatory course enables prospective students to integrate smoothly into life in the University and Russia, find out more information about Gubkin University, attend Open Days and choose the academic program.

Language studies are at the core of the Preparatory course curriculum, but they are complemented by a wide range of electives in several areas of study. The PhD Program Preparatory course curriculum includes:

  • Russian language,
  • Advanced Mathematics,
  • Computer Science.

To apply for admission to the Preparatory Department prospective international students are requested to contact the International Students Office via email: and submit the required documents (Step 4).

Step 2: Choose the program

Gubkin University has 10 Faculties which offer training in 14 PhD programs

Step 3: Check the admission deadlines

The application deadlines for 2021 vary by program and should be additionally checked with the International Students Office via email:

1 June – 28 August Applications to be submitted as scheduled by departments
27 August – 31 August Interviews with supervisors as scheduled by departments
3 September – 19 September Entrance examinations: in the selected course of study, philosophy of science, Russian language

Individual application and enrollment deadlines are set for prospective students applying through quotas allocated by the Ministry for Education and Science of the Russian Federation.

Step 4: Prepare required documents and submit the application form

The application package contains general and medical components.

List of required documents

General Component

  1. The original Education Certificate legalized in a proper way. Often it can be done through the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of your country and in the Russian Consulate. To apply to Gubkin University PhD programs: the Bachelor Degree Certificate and the Master Degree Certificate (including academic transcript: the list of subjects studied and scores earned) is required.
  2. The copy of the legalized Education Certificate/ Diploma (including academic transcript) and the Education Certificate/ Diploma translated into the Russian language and certified by a Russian notary.
  3. The copy of national ID (passport) valid for travel to Russia.
  4. The national ID (passport) translated into the Russian language and certified by a Russian notary.
  5. Six printed photos in the 3*4 cm format.
  6. CV/ Resume.
  7. Summary of the proposed topic of the thesis.
  8. The list of research publications.
  9. Medical Component

  10. Medical Certificate confirming that you have no medical restrictions to study abroad (statement of good health).
  11. Medical Certificate with HIV test.

While preparing your application package contact the International Students Office via email: and submit the required documents.

Step 5: Apply for visa and prepare for arrival

To enter the Russian Federation most international students need to have a student visa. The student visa is arranged in the Russian embassy or consulate in your home country. Note that visas cannot be obtained within Russia, because it is an entry document to the country.

Student visa application package
  1. The official Invitation Letter by the Federal Migration Service. This document is issued upon successful completion of entrance examinations and recommendations given by the Admissions Office.
  2. Invitation Letter by Gubkin University
  3. Enrolment Contract. This document is signed upon successful completion of entrance examinations and recommendations given by the Admissions Office.

To request the official Invitation Letter by the Federal Migration Service, submit via e-mail: the following documents:

  • the copy of national ID (passport). Passport validity – not less than 1,5 years,
  • postal address in home country,
  • for students: the name of educational institution, city / town / residential area where it is located;
  • for employed applicants: place of employment, city / town / residential area, telephone number;
  • city / town / residential area of the Russian Consulate where visa will be claimed.

During the enrollment campaign applicants may stay in the University dormitory in Moscow. The cost of living in the University dormitory for applicants equals 350 rubles per day. If necessary, applicants are requested to inform the International Students Office via email: when submitting the documents.

For the whole period of studies international students are provided with accommodation. The cost of living in the University dormitory, including utilities (electricity is not included) for the academic year 2020-2021 is as follows: 823 rubles per month – for students financed by the federal budget; 1,587 rubles per month – for self-financed students.

Step 6: Pass entrance exams

To enter Gubkin University prospective international students require to pass a number of entrance examinations in oral and written form. Prospective PhD students are required to take examinations in the following subjects: the selected majoring subject, philosophy of science, Russian language.

Exam Schedules for academic year 2019

Entrance examinations for PhD programs are scheduled from September 4 to 19.

Step 7: Make payment

Students are responsible for tuition fee, round-trip airfare ticket, dormitory, living expenses, and health insurance.

Check out the tuition fees for academic year 2019-2020.

By agreement with the University, tuition fee can be paid in a Russian bank or in the applicant’s home country (in this case the applicant should provide a document from the bank confirming payment upon arrival to the University).

Step 8: Join Gubkin University!

The academic year for PhD students begins in October.