Moscow State Institute of International Relations
Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO-University) is the diplomatic school of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation is the central government institution charged with leading the foreign affairs of Russia. Its predecessor organisation is the Ministry of External Relations of the USSR...

. It is the oldest and the most renowned school in Russia for preparing professionals in international relations
International relations
International relations is the study of relationships between countries, including the roles of states, inter-governmental organizations , international nongovernmental organizations , non-governmental organizations and multinational corporations...

 and diplomacy
Diplomacy is the art and practice of conducting negotiations between representatives of groups or states...

. MGIMO is one of the members of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs. 56 languages are taught at MGIMO, making it the university in the world who offers most languages.

MGIMO used to have a reputation for being elitist (for example, it is usually considered common knowledge in post-USSR countries that, at least during the USSR times, admission to MGIMO was mostly reserved to children of the Party and government nomenklatura
The nomenklatura were a category of people within the Soviet Union and other Eastern Bloc countries who held various key administrative positions in all spheres of those countries' activity: government, industry, agriculture, education, etc., whose positions were granted only with approval by the...

). Many of its current students are from families of political, economic and intellectual elites in Russia. At the same time, it remains one of Russia's best educational institutions as it admits a lot of talented students from all over the CIS and holds high ranks in terms of alumni success and average level of standard test results of admitted students. It is also known for having one of the best teaching teams in Europe. Many of the current professors of MGIMO were ambassadors or ministers.


MGIMO, which, in Russian, stands for Moscow State Institute of International Relations, was founded on October 14, 1944 when the USSR Council of People’s Commissars reorganized the recently created School of International Relations of the Moscow State University into an independent institute. Initially called the Institute of International Relations (IMO) its first 200 students were veterans who had survived the ordeals of the Second World War and were determined to build international peace and stability.

From the outset MGIMO was intended to become a unique academic research and education center. It quickly became Russia’s leading diplomatic training institution, with MGIMO academics making a major contribution across the fields of international relations, country and regional studies, international law and international economic relations. Additionally, it took a position at the forefront of scientific endeavor, with the establishment of several world renowned scientific schools, and as the workplace of many outstanding Russian scientists, including Academy of Sciences members E.Tarle, L.Ivanov, V.Trukhanovskiy, S.Tikhvinskiy, N. Inozemtsev, and Y.Frantsev.

Originally MGIMO comprised three schools: School of International Relations, School of International Economic Relations and School of International Law. International students began coming to MGIMO from 1946. Since then MGIMO alumni have become national business, diplomatic and legal leaders in many countries, with several becoming Foreign Ministers, heads of government, and even Presidents.

In 1954 the Moscow Institute of Oriental Studies, one of the oldest Russian institutes, the successor of the Lasarevsky School created in 1815 was integrated into MGIMO. The Institute’s library was greatly enriched by the addition of the famous Lasarevskaya library, which had no peer for its large body of oriental literature.

In 1958 MGIMO incorporated the Institute of Foreign Trade, which had previously operated under the aegis of the USSR Ministry for Foreign Trade. This led to an expansion of the School of International Economic Relations and a focus on training foreign trade and economic specialists. In 1969 the International Journalism School was founded.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the profound social and economic change sweeping Russia saw major changes in MGIMO’s structure and educational programs. In 1991 a new School of International Business and Business Administration was founded.

Since 1992 the Institute has been headed by the Rector, Professor Anatoly Torkunov, whose leadership has been instrumental in overcoming the turmoil of the 1990s. Under his tenure MGIMO has embarked on a comprehensive program of educational modernization and innovation, including closer integration with European higher education through entrance into the Bologna process, the broadening of international contacts, and the elevation of the Institute to the forefront of international education and science.

In 1994 MGIMO was granted University status. The same year saw the creation of the International Institute of Administration, following a decision by the Russian Government on government administration and municipal management training. 1998 saw the founding of the School of Political Science, the first of its type in Russia to focus on training public service managers.

In 2000 the International Institute of Energy Policy and Diplomacy was established under the aegis of MGIMO on the initiative of leading Russian energy companies. The mission of the Institute is to train managers for the promotion of international energy cooperation.

MGIMO’s European Educational Institute was founded in 2006 reflecting joint efforts by the Russian Federation and European Union to organize continuing education programs for Russian and European officials.

Every year MGIMO accepts more than one thousand new students, from every part of the Russian Federation, and internationally from more than 60 countries. Over 35 thousand Russian and global alumni are proud to have graduated from Moscow State Institute of International Relations. Divisions of the MGIMO Alumni Association are active in many countries around the world. In 2007, the MGIMO Alumni Association established Russia's first university endowment development foundation for MGIMO.


Today MGIMO has six faculties and four institutes:
  • School of International Relations (Diplomacy)
  • School of International Law
  • School of International Economic Relations
  • School of Political Science
  • School of International Journalism
  • School of International Business and Business Administration

  • Institute of European Law
  • International Institute of Administration
  • Institute of Foreign Economic Relations
  • International Institute of Energy Policy and Diplomacy

  • Preparatory Training Department
  • Department of Faculty Development

MGIMO provides training in the fields of international relations, political science, global economy, law, management, journalism and public relations to 4,500 undergraduate students as well as graduate researchers. The faculty of about 1,100 includes more than 150 professors (holding a "Doctor of Sciences" degree), more than 400 holders of "Candidate of Sciences" degree, 300 associate professors, as well as over two dozen full and correspondent members of the Russian Academy of Sciences and various specialised Russian and international academies, nine Merited scientists of Russia.


The MGIMO-University library contains over 700 000 volumes in books and magazines in Russian and more than 30 foreign languages. The library also includes the Museum of Rare Books which boasts a collection of 21 000 unique volumes.

Student life

The university is famous for its students' activity. There are several main students organizations active at the university:


Famous MGIMO alumni include President of Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan , officially the Republic of Azerbaijan is the largest country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west, and Iran to...

 Ilham Aliyev
Ilham Aliyev
Ilham Heydar oglu Aliyev is the President of Azerbaijan since 2003. He also functions as the Chairman of the New Azerbaijan Party and the head of the National Olympic Committee...

, Russia’s Ministers of Foreign Affais Sergei Lavrov, and Andrei Kozyrev, OSCE
Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe is the world's largest security-oriented intergovernmental organization. Its mandate includes issues such as arms control, human rights, freedom of the press and fair elections...

 Secretary General and foreign minister of Slovakia Ján Kubiš
Ján Kubiš
Ján Kubiš is the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, and was the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Slovakia from July 2006 until January 2009....

, Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova
Irina Bokova
Irina Georgieva Bokova is a Bulgarian politician, incumbent Directors-General of UNESCO. She was member of the Bulgarian Parliament from the Bulgarian Socialist Party for two terms, minister and deputy minister of foreign affairs in the socialist cabinet of Prime Minister Zhan Videnov, and was...

. In July 2010 Yuri Fedotov, another of MGIMO alumni was appointed Executive Director of the UNODC. For more information about MGIMO alumni visit List of MGIMO alumni

External links

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