About Moscow State University

M. V. Lomonosov Moscow State University also known as Lomonosov University or MSU is the largest university in Russia. Founded in 1755, it also claims to be the oldest university in Russia and to have the tallest educational building in the world. As of 2004, the university has some 4,000 staff teaching 36,000 students and 7,000 postgraduates. Its current rector is Viktor Sadovnichiy. In 1940, the university was renamed in honor of its founder, Mikhail Lomonosov. Currently the university employs more than 4,000 academic staff and 15,000 other staff members. There are about 5,000 researchers engaged in various research activities in its various institutes and departments. More than 40,000 undergraduates and 7,000 postgraduates are currently enrolled in the university and more than 5,000 specialists are participating in their refresher courses for upgradation and/or career enhancement purposes. Around 2,000 overseas students form a main part of the student body of the university.

In January 2005 Lomonosov Moscow State University celebrated its 250th anniversary, over 800 various events being held on the occasion. Founded in the XVIII century, the University has been constantly growing and encompassing new branches of learning and research.

All the history of the University is the evidence of the outstanding role its alumni have played promoting the ideas of freedom, common good, humanity, and truth.

Early history

One of the oldest Russian institutions of higher education, Moscow University was established in 1755. In 1940 it was named after Academician Mikhail Lomonosov (1711 — 1765), an outstanding Russian scientist, who greatly contributed to the establishment of the university in Moscow.

Mikhail Lomonosov was one of the intellectual titans of XVIII century. In 1755, on 25 January, St. Tatiana’s Day according to the Russian Orthodox Church calendar, Empress Elizaveta Petrovna signed the decree that a university should be founded in Moscow. The opening ceremony took place on 26 April, when Elizaveta Petrovna’s coronation day was celebrated. Since 1755 25 January and 26 April are marked by special events and festivities at Moscow University; the annual conference where students present results of their research work is traditionally held in April.

According to Lomonosov’s plan, there were originally three faculties. First all the students acquired a comprehensive knowledge in the field of science and humanities at the Faculty of Philosophy; then they could specialize and continue at the Faculty of Philosophy or join either the Law Faculty or The Faculty of Medicine. Lectures were delivered either in Latin, the language of educated people at the time, or in Russian. Unlike European Universities, Moscow University did not have the Faculty of Theology, since Russia had special theological education establishments.

From the very beginning elitism was alien to the very spirit of the University community, which determined Moscow University’s long-standing democratic tradition. Moscow University played an outstanding role in popularizing science and learning in Russia by making the lectures of its professors open to the public.

Professors of Moscow University greatly contributed to establishing new cultural centres in Moscow and Russia, the grammar school and later a university in Kazan, The Academy of the Fine Arts in St. Petersburg, the Maly Theatre in Moscow, to name just a few. In XIX century the first scientific societies, uniting naturalists, historians and philologists, were founded at the University.

XVIII century saw a number of outstanding figures among the students and professors of Moscow University: philosophers N.N.Popovsky, D.S. Anichkov, mathematicians V.K. Arshenevsky, M.I.Pankevitch, medical doctor S.Z.Zybelin, botanist P.D.Veniaminov, physicist P.I.Strakhov, soil scientists M.I.Afonin and N.E.Cherepanov, H. A. Chebotarev, historian and geographer, historian N.N. Bantysh-Kamenetsky, A.A.Barsov, S. Khalfin and E.I.Kostrov who were philologists and translators; lawyers S.E.Desnitsky and I.A.Tretiakov, well-known authors D.I. Fonvisin, M.M. Kheraskov, and N.I. Novikov, architects V.I.Bazhenov and I.E.Starov. Their work greatly contributed to Moscow University’s becoming the leading educational, scientific and cultural centre in Russia and in the world.

Today the Faculty of Law, one of the three oldest faculties at Moscow State University, is the leading school of legal education and research in Russia. The academics of the Faculty do large-scale research in various branches of jurisprudence, contribute substantially to the development of the Russian legislation, taking part in law making and provide legal advice for state institutions and international organisations.

Among our highly qualified academic staff there are 61 full professors, holding higher doctoral degrees in law, 108 associate professors, holding the degrees of candidates of law. The Faculty also attracts well-known academics and specialists from other institutions and state organizations to teach courses in various branches of jurisprudence.

The faculty has 16 departments: Department of Legal Theory and Politology (Head: Prof. M.N. Marchenko); Department of Legal History and State History (Head: Prof. V.A. Tomsinov); Department of Administrative Law (Head: Honoured Lawyer of the Russian Federation, Prof. A.P. Alyokhin); Department of Financial Law (Head: Ass.Prof. M.F. Ivlieva); Department of International Law (Acting head of the department: Ass.Prof. A.S. Ispolinov); Department of Company Law (Head: Doctor of Law, Prof. Evgeny Parfirievich Gubin); Department of Constitutional Law and Municipal Law (Head: Honoured Scientist of the Russian Federation, Prof. S.A. Avakyan); Department of Civil Law (Head: Honoured Scientist of the Russian Federation, Prof. Y.A. Sukhanov); Department of Civil Procedure (Head: Honoured Scientist of the Russian Federation, Prof. M.K. Treushnikov); Department of Labour Law (Head: Prof. A.M. Kurennoi); Department of Environmental and Land Law (Head: Prof. A.K. Golichenkov); Department of Commercial Law and Basics of Law (Head: Honoured Lawyer of the Russian Federation, Prof. B.I. Pugincky); Department of Criminal Law and Criminology (Head: Prof. V.S. Komissarov); Department of Criminal Justice and Penology (Head: Honoured Lawyer of the Russian Federation, Prof. K.F. Gutsenko); Department of Criminalistics (Head: Honoured Professor of Lomonosov Moscow State University, Prof. N.P. Yablokov); Department of Foreign Languages (Head: Ass. Prof. T.I. Tarasova).

The faculty has 3 laboratories: Laboratory of Politology; Laboratory of Legal Sociology and Comparative Legal Studies; Laboratory of Legal Informatics and Cybernetics.

The faculty has a scientific codification bureau, computer rooms and a reading room offering materials for research and study.

The students’ curriculum includes: legal theory and state theory; history of political and legal studies; Russian legal history; foreign legal history; constitutional law; administrative law; municipal law; financial law; civil law; civil code; criminal law; criminal justice; criminalistics; environmental law; land law; labour law; international law; state law; foreign state law; criminology; penology; legal cybernetics; company law; commercial law; family law; and some other law courses.

Also on the curriculum are Latin, foreign languages, Logic, Humanities and Social Sciences.

The students who study jurisprudence can specialize in one of the three areas: State Law, Civil Law, Criminal Law.

They can start specialisation in their area of interest in their 4th year.

State Law is taught jointly by the following departments: Department of Legal Theory and State Theory, Department of Legal History and State History, Department of International Law, Department of Administrative Law and Financial Law, Department of Constitutional Law.

The departments train specialists to work at state and public organizations. Apart from fundamental courses the curriculum involves scientific management, international private law, arbitral proceedings, social welfare law and a number of various special courses provided by the departments.

Civil Law is taught by the following departments: Department of Civil Law; Department of Civil Procedure; Department of Environmental and Land Law; Department of Labour Law; Department of Company Law and Legal Control; Department of Foreign Economic Activity; Department of Commercial Law and Basics of Law.

The departments train specialists to work at courts, arbitration courts, notary offices, public defender’s and public prosecution offices, legal departments of enterprises, institutions and organizations, social security bodies, trade unions.

Apart from obligatory courses, the faculty offers optional ones: International Private Law, Social Security Law, Arbitral Proceedings, Foreign Civil Law and Commercial Law, special courses provided by the departments.

The students who specialize in criminal law are taught by the following departments: Department of Criminal Law, Department of Criminal Procedure Law, Department of Criminalistics.

The departments train specialists to work at courts, public defender’s and prosecution offices.

Apart from general courses the specialization involves studying legal statistics, forensic accounting, forensic medicine and psychiatry, special courses provided by the departments.

The curriculum includes a variety of additional courses students can choose from, among them courses in Law, foreign languages and teaching practices. To undergo practical training, before leaving the Faculty the students are sent out to field placements at courts, in state and administrative bodies, other institutions and organizations.

The undergraduate course is 5 years.

Law Faculty graduates are employed by state and administrative bodies, courts, public defender’s and prosecution offices, state enterprises, commercial organizations, educational institutions and other organizations. They can continue their studies in postgraduate school.