MEPhI is a research and educational center with honourable traditions and a clear vision of the future where world’s best tech experts excel in creating applicable science, boost economic output in various fields, support industry and business.
MEPhI is a leading Russian university which augments its positions on the global educational scene. MEPhI is proud of ambitious and skilled experts in science and engineering who graduated the University since its establishment in 1942. Six Nobel laureates contributed to educational process and research activities at MEPhI. And now relying on extensive experience we are creating a future with a new generation of explorers and inventors.
Walking around campus and seeing students from Europe and Asia, as well as international scholars from MIT and Berkeley, you’d be surprised to find out that MEPhI was a closed, strategic facility until the 2000’s. But, that has changed significantly.
The university offers bachelor, masters (and similar degree ‘Specialist’), and post-graduate degrees in physics, mathematics, computer science and other areas. MEPhI facilities include a 2.5 MW (thermal) pool-type research reactor and Neutrino Water Detector NEVOD. The university has about 35,000 students at branches in Moscow and other towns. In Moscow are around 7,500 students (including over 1300 foreigners). It normally takes 4 – 5.5 (some sub-departments take six) years for a student to graduate from MEPhI. The curriculum of the first two years consists exclusively of required courses (core), with emphasis on mathematics, physics, experimental work and English. After the two first years of studying students on a competition basis enroll to the sub-departments which specialize in different branches of physics, computer science, information security, mathematics, etc.
Starting with the fourth year, some students have a choice to make their diploma thesis, working at base science institutes. Most of them are research institutes, usually belonging to the Russian Academy of Sciences. For instance, Lebedev Physical Institute, Institute for Theoretical and Experimental Physics, Kurchatov Institute etc.
The MEPhI curriculum is, indeed, considerably more extensive compared to an average American or European college. In addition, MEPhI programs usually focus more on research and less on classroom education.
Among MEPhI graduates are Nobel Prize winners, members of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and winners of national prizes. Its professors and alumni have made major contributions to various fields of theoretical and experimental physics, mathematics, cybernetics, and computer sciences.
Traditional university rankings are based on the universities’ research output and prizes won by faculty. In contrast, many distinguished professors teaching at MEPhI are officially on staff at the base institutes like Kurchatov Institute. Student research work is typically carried out outside of MEPhI, and published research results do not mention MEPhI. In effect, many MEPhI professors are not considered as such for the rankings, and student research is not earning any ranking points for MEPhI. This effectively hides MEPhI from the academic radar, an effect welcome during the Cold War era when leading scientists and engineers of the Soviet arms and space programs studied there.
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