Information for Applicants: BA in Government and International Affairs at MGIMO in Moscow


Tuition fee for the student cohort enrolling in 2019 will be 680,000 Russian rubles for Russian nationals and 8,700 euros for non-Russian nationals per academic year. Russian VAT is not applicable. Possible bank commissions or other surcharges of third parties are not included.

  • Deadline for application: July 15, 2019.
  • Eligible applicants will be invited to video interviews by email if necessary.
  • Admission results publication: On the rolling basis, but no later than August 5, 2019.

Age requirements: admission to MGIMO University is based upon academic merit and potential. MGIMO bears the responsibility for safeguarding children under Russian laws, so a parent/custodian will be notified of an offer of admission made to anyone who will be younger than 18 years of age at the time of registration as MGIMO student.


Please mind and follow these 10 rules:

  1. Contact us ONLY using this e-mail address:
  2. In the "Message Subject" field please write "Application" and mention the candidate's surname.
  3. Indicate how we can address you in your message (name, surname). In case you represent the interests of an applicant (your child, relative, friend, etc.), please make sure we understand that.
  4. Attached files must be in the MS Word (DOC) or Adobe Acrobat (PDF) formats.
  5. Attached scans and/or pictures must be in PDF or JPG formats.
  6. Please choose an appropriate name for each attached file (for example: diploma, CV, transcript, etc.).
  7. Do not send us your documents by regular mail and never send us originals as we are unable to return them to you. Provide only high-quality scans via e-mail.
  8. Please be informed that the processing of your inquiries usually takes 5 to 15 business days. We will get back to you shortly with any updates regarding the status of your application.
  9. Do not wait until the very last day to submit your application. As soon as your application is ready, send it to us.
  10. To be eligible for assessment, your application must be submitted before the deadline. Once you have sent us your application, you will not be allowed to modify it. Nevertheless, you may send your application materials in batches, but make sure that we receive the last batch before the deadline. If your application is not complete by the deadline and/or submitted after the deadline, we will be unable to process it.

Your application should be supported with the following documents:

  • High school diploma and/or leaving examination certificate(s), if you already have received it. If not, you will need to send it to us as soon as you receive it from your school.
    Once admitted, you will have to present the originals of these documents during registration as a MGIMO student and undertake (1) notarial certification of the translation of your application documents into the Russian language and (2) nostrification, or approval of your documents by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation. The University will provide all the necessary assistance to pass these procedures smoothly. Please note that the nostrification procedure is not necessary for citizens of the countries that have signed agreements on recognition and equivalence of diplomas with the Russian Federation (please click here to download the list of these countries), though additional conditions may apply based on a particular treaty.
  • Photo of an applicant (at least 300 dpi; by e-mail).
    ATTENTION: eight printed photos 3x4 cm (matte with white background only; black & white or color) will have to be submitted upon your admission and arrival at our campus.
  • CV/Résumé (no specific template to follow).
  • Motivation letter (personal statement), up to 1,000 words.
  • Academic and/or professional references (at least two). Please do not collect references yourself. Provide us with names, e-mail addresses, and other contact information of your referees, and we shall reach out to them separately. Please ask your referees to prepare reference letters so that we could collect them on a short notice.
  • English language test certificate (International English Language Testing Service (IELTS) academic test with a total score of 6.0 and 5.5 in each of the components; and/or Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 80 and 20 in each of the four skills).
  • Photocopy of your ID: passport or ID card.
  • Electronic application form

Things to remember

All e-mails related to your application to MGIMO-University must be sent from the following address:

  1. Please add this address to your e-mail address book (if possible, ask your referee to do the same) to avoid our e-mails getting into your spam e-mail folder.
  2. The professional referees you indicate will be contacted within 10 business days after you have submitted your application.
  3. Reference letters can be written in English, French, or Russian.

Why does MGIMO need my motivation letter?

We ask applicants to submit a motivation letter because of the high level of competition for admission to MGIMO and to the School of Government and International Affairs. Thus, the quality of your motivation letter is a major part of our admissions criteria.

When we consider your application, we will make our admission decision not only on the basis of your academic or professional qualifications. We shall also consider any other information that shows whether you have achieved the level of knowledge, including command of English, as well as motivation necessary to complete the course.

It is important that you submit a thoroughly-prepared letter capable of capturing the reader's attention. MGIMO looks for well-rounded individuals with demonstrated ability and motivation to complete their chosen course of study, and derive benefit from it.

How to write an exceptional motivation letter?

The motivation letter must be written in English. It should reflect your personal writing style. Your motivation letter should indicate the nature and extent of your interest in the area and subjects you wish to study.

In a maximum of 1,000 words, try to answer the following questions: why have you chosen MGIMO and this course? What circumstances, events or facts in your life caused you to make this choice? Why is this course important to you? Why you will benefit from studying here at MGIMO? How this choice of university and course fits into your future career and life plans? How would you be able to contribute to the student community?

You may also want to demonstrate your interest in the chosen study program by linking it to your own experiences. These might be summer jobs, extracurricular activities, books, travel, personal links, employment, internships, etc. At the same time, don’t simply repeat the activities that appear elsewhere in your application. In your letter you need to demonstrate how they support your choice and what use they will be to you. For example, you may wan to mention that a summer job taught you teamwork or that an internship enhanced your confidence as a public speaker. We are also interested in your views and opinions on current and public affairs. Work experience is not essential, though taken into account, especially where it has engaged your mind and has developed your character or social skills.

At the same time, please remember that the core part of your motivation letter should explain your motivation to study international affairs.

While the letter should be a true reflection of you, for more confidence you may ask a friend or relative to read it through. Friends or relatives should not, however, be involved in the writing process. You must write your motivation letter yourself.

Other essential rules that we strongly advise that you follow when preparing your motivation letter include:

  • organizing your letter, so that it is well-structured and coherent;
  • linking your current and future studies and activities;
  • producing several drafts before feeling confident and happy;
  • using your best English and not letting spelling and grammatical errors spoil your letter;
  • being enthusiastic — if you show your genuine interest in the course, it may help you secure a place.
  • using all of the space available up to the limit of 1,000 words.

At the same time,

  • don’t start every sentence with 'I';
  • don’t fill the space with irrelevant information;
  • don’t write in either text language, jargon, or too much complex language;
  • don’t use quotations. We are interested exactly in what you think, not what somebody else thinks;
  • don’t rely on a spellchecker, as it will not fix everything. Proof read as many times as possible;
  • don’t expect to be able to write your motivation letter while watching TV or surfing the Internet — remember that this is your future.
  • And, finally, never lie in your motivation letter. We want to see the real you.

What does MGIMO look for in my motivation letter?

Your motivation letter plays a key role in the application process. SGIA Admissions looks for an original and well-written letter which provides evidence of your genuine interest in international relations and institutions, government and governance, politics and policies, strategies and tactics of political and business interaction.

In your motivation letter we shall be looking for answers to the following questions: why do you wish to pursue a degree in the multi-disciplinary field of government and international affairs? Are there any elements or aspects of the course that are of specific interest to you? How the MGIMO program you want to join relates to your current studies? What additional reading or other activities have you undertaken which have led you to apply for this B.A. program at MGIMO?

In its applicants MGIMO values certain qualities and personal characteristics that will be extremely helpful during the studies: abilities to read extensively, communicate effectively, demonstrate creativity, flexibility and initiative, work independently, be curious, motivated, hard-working. 

How to choose a referee?

References supporting your application are very important to us, so you should take special care when choosing your referees. Do not choose  someone only because of his/her title or position. Choose someone who knows you well and who can evaluate your skills and personal qualities.

It is important that your referees have had a chance to assess your work (in particular, written work) and that they are able to be both impartial and precise. Please note that your referees should not be personal contacts, but rather teachers or hierarchical superiors.

If your referees are teachers, choose those who have taught the main disciplines you have studied and/or disciplines that are similar to those taught at the chosen B.A. program at MGIMO. Do not choose foreign language teachers -- your foreign language skills will be assessed on the basis of your IELTS/TOEFL results.

Make sure that the persons you choose will give a positive reference: take the time to meet with them in order to explain your motivation and the reasons behind your choice of study program. Take this opportunity to remind them of the strong elements of your personality or of your experience that you would like them to talk about in the reference letter. Don’t forget to mention your communication, leadership and other precious skills.

ATTENTION: Candidates are not permitted to access their reference letters. They are strictly confidential and will only be read by SGIA Admissions.

Advice for referees

Here come the questions that referees are most welcome to answer in their reference letters:

  1. In what capacity do you know the applicant? How long have you known them for?
  2. What would you say are the applicant's key strengths and talents?
  3. What would you say are the applicant's key weaknesses or areas for improvement?
  4. In which areas has the applicant made the biggest progress progressed during the time that you've known him/her?
  5. If you are a professional referee, would you work with the applicant again after he/she has completed a BA in Government and International Affairs? If you are an academic referee, what will be the applicant’s main contribution to the BA in Government and International Affairs program?


If you require a visa to enter Russia, we advise that you begin to apply for it as soon as you receive confirmation of your admission to SGIA. Admitted students obtain Russian visa through a simplified procedure.

Information on diplomatic and consular missions of the Russian Federation can be found here. Information on visa requirements can be usually found on the websites of the embassies and consulates of the Russian Federation around the world.

MGIMO School of Government and International Affairs can provide the necessary advice and assistance upon your request.