Bachelor of Arts in Government, International Politics and Law

Curriculum Applying About


Applying to Bachelor of Arts in Government, International Politics and Law

The program was launched by The MGIMO School of Government and International Affairs in 2013. It acquired its current name in January 2021 to reflect the minor in International Law and Governance that we are now offering as part of this program. The other minor, to be offered from September 2022, is Conflict Resolution, Five cohorts of students (125 in total from 20 countries) successfully completed the program between 2017 and 2021. It is taught over four years at MGIMO University in Moscow. Russian and non-Russian nationals holding IB / A-level diplomas or other high school certificates issued outside of Russia are eligible to apply. For A level holders, three A level grades no lower than C are required. If your program of study at high school was not delivered in English, IELTS or TOEFL scores are also required.


Tuition fee for the student cohort enrolling in 2022 is 728,000 rubles for Russian nationals and 10,000 euros for other students per academic year. The fee may be adjusted for the official rate of inflation in subsequent years.

At this time, MGIMO does not offer scholarships to the students of its English-medium BA programs.

Deadline for applications to enroll in September 2023: July 15, 2023. We encourage early applications from February 2023.
First round of admission distance testing: February/March 2023.
Admission results publication: On a rolling basis, but no later than August 2023.

Admission tests include take-home assignments to write an essay on a topic in World History and fill out an English language quiz — all over 72 hours. We will circulate samples of essay topics several days ahead of the test. The essay-writing exercise is intended to assess the ability of the candidate independently to carry out a small-scale research project and coherently express the findings. Prior deep knowledge of all issues of World History is not required (neither is it possible). What is desirable is the candidate’s interest in at least certain aspects of History as an academic discipline. Detection of plagiarism in the essay leads to disqualification of the candidate. Plagiarism is commonly defined as misappropriation of one’s work by offering the words, ideas, or arguments of another person without appropriate attribution by quotation, reference or footnote, whether intentionally or not.


Please apply to join the program by sending to high-resolution scans of the following documents:

Do not send us original documents or photocopies by regular mail as we will not be able to return them. Please be aware 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.

Admission decisions are taken on the rolling basis, so it is a good idea to apply early and not to wait until the deadline. You may send your application materials in batches, but make sure that we receive the final 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.


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 its School of Government and International Affairs. Thus, the quality of your motivation letter is an important admission criterion.

When considering your application, we will make our decision not only on the basis of your academic or professional record. We shall also take into account any other information that shows whether you have achieved the level of knowledge, including command of English, and motivation necessary to complete the course.

How to write an exceptional motivation letter?

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

In no more than 1,200 words, try to answer the following questions: why have you decided to apply to MGIMO SGIA? What do you think you will gain from the course of study you are applying to? How does your choice of university and course fit into your future career and life plans? How would you be able to contribute to the student community at MGIMO?

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 connections, internships, etc. Do not simply describe the activities that appear elsewhere in your application—you need to demonstrate how they led you towards your choice of a study program and how helpful your experience would be to you during studies at SGIA.

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 you may want follow when preparing your motivation letter include:

At the same time, do not

Finally, never lie in your motivation letter. We want to see the real you.

What does the admissions committee 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 providing 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 prior experience? What additional reading or other activities have you undertaken which led you to apply to join this BA program at MGIMO?

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 inspaniduals who can show that they know you well and can evaluate your skills and personal qualities.

It is important that your referees have had a chance to assess your work—written in particular—and that they can be impartial and clear. Please note that your referees should not be personal contacts, but rather teachers, trainers, or supervisors.

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

Make sure that the inspaniduals you designate as your referees are prepared to provide a recommendation. 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.

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

What should referees focus on in their letters?

Referees are advised to focus on the answering the following questions:

  1. In what capacity and how long have you known the applicant?
  2. What are the applicant’s key strengths and talents?
  3. What are the applicant’s weaknesses or areas for improvement?
  4. In which areas has the applicant made the biggest progress during the time that you have known him/her?
  5. If you are a professional referee, would you work with the applicant again after s/he has completed a BA in Government and International Affairs? If you are an academic referee, what would be the applicant’s likely contribution to an undergraduate program in government and international affairs?

How do I obtain my visa to study in Russia?

If you require a visa to study in 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 visas through a simplified procedure. This procedure will be back on track once the covid-19 pandemic is overcome and restrictions on international travel are for the most part lifted. You will need to let us know which Russian consulate you will be applying to for your visa. We shall then send you a visa form to fill out and upon its return we shall provide detailed instructions on the visa application procedure.

The list of Russian consular missions can be found here. Information about specific documents required as part of the visa application can be usually found on the websites of the embassies and consulates of the Russian Federation around the world.

Student Ambassadors

Student Ambassador: Ekaterina Chabykina
Student Ambassador: Ekaterina Chabykina

When I first heard the word MGIMO, I pictured myself working as a diplomat at the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, speaking fluently at least two languages. If you attracted by such a career, you should definitely consider choosing Government, International Politics and Law for your undergraduate degree. Even if you are not sure what kind of path will look exciting to you by the time you graduate, but you enjoy open debate, non-conventional perspectives on everything and you love to wear a suit (just kidding), MGIMO will definitely help you to grow as a person and discover new professional strengths and inclinations.

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Student Ambassador: Yana Elbert
Student Ambassador: Yana Elbert

When applying to SGIA, I had neither a clear goal nor an understanding of what awaited me, except that getting into MGIMO was only half the battle. Completing the program indeed proved to be the other half. My only wish was to study in English, and SGIA provided that opportunity. I now work at an international investment firm, the vacancy I found on the MGIMO career website. 

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Alumni Speak

Richard Cop

Richard Cop | Slovakia
Class of 2019

I decided to apply to MGIMO due to first-hand knowledge I had from a friend of mine who was studying at the University at the time. I found the University fascinating and realized that getting accepted to such an institution would provide me with a lot of possibilities, career-wise, and on top of that, I would be able to establish international relationships, due to high concentration of foreign students at SGIA.

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Yana Chikvashvili

Yana Chikvashvili | Israel / Russia
Class of 2019

MGIMO is considered to be one of the best universities in Russia especially for International Relations that I have always been excited about. I had studied in English at the British International School in Moscow, so I was looking for a Bachelor program that would also be taught in English. I also knew I wanted to stay in Moscow for my Bachelors, and SGIA was one of the very few highly reputed educational institutions offering social sciences degrees taught fully in English. The choice was limited, but at SGIA I found exactly what I wanted, given my interest in social sciences and languages.

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Ekaterina Chabykina

Ekaterina Chabykina | Russia
Class of 2019

It was a completely new experience. Before enrolling in SGIA I attended a high school in Canada and spent a few years at a university where we only had 15 hours of classes per week. When I arrived at MGIMO, I was almost shocked — especially during the first year. We were so busy, with so many classes, including languages, that I thought I wouldn’t survive. Then I realized that a broad variety of courses actually help you to broaden your worldview, look at the world from different angles. It was a good experience; tough, but very useful.

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Alina Polyakova

Alina Polyakova | Russia
Class of 2019

SGIA is an innovative attempt at an integrated English-medium study program for Russian-speaking and non-Russian-speaking students alike.

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Benjamin Pegon

Benjamin Pegon | France / the United Kingdom
Class of 2019

Russia is a country I enjoy being in, but it is easy to get lost at first as few people speak English. However, when I did travel, I absolutely loved it! You don’t always need to travel far to get new experiences, as Moscow is absolutely massive! There is always something interesting going on in Moscow, and it feels like the capital of Eurasia, not just the capital of Russia. Every time I come back to the city, I feel like I have the time of my life.

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Felix Portier

Felix Portier | Switzerland / Chile
Class of 2019

A very interesting aspect of studying in MGIMO is that it has partnerships with many of the best universities in the world, so you can apply for an exchange semester or do a double degree in Paris, Rome, the USA etc. Last but not least, MGIMO also has excellence in language teaching, and in fact it holds the Guinness world record for the number of languages taught in a university: 53!

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Vitalija Kuprenaite

Vitalija Kuprenaite | Sweden
Class of 2018

I absolutely loved it. It was a good four years. It was rich in new knowledge and left me with unforgettable memories of student life and dorm life. The SGIA curriculum covered a lot of diverse subject matter. As for me, it sparked my attraction towards criminal law.

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Mariana Corea

Mariana Corea | Nicaragua
Class of 2017

They advertised what was truly available. Student support was certainly great, they arranged various seminars, workshops and so on. The university is really up for supporting the students, ultimately it is down to each individual to reach their goals but all the tools were there. Meaning that if a student truly wants to achieve something, they have such an opportunity to do so, thanks to the resources that are available in the university. The dean’s office was very supportive and also impartial in advising us if we had any academic issue. I felt that the students were always the priority.

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Felix Porret

Felix Porret | France
Class of 2018

The SGIA course completely met my expectations, I found it quite deep and comprehensive. The main advantage of this type of course is its multi-disciplinary nature that allows you to choose a follow-on Master’s program from a wide variety of options based on your knowledge of International Relations. The fact that you are studying with students from different countries and with varied backgrounds is also a plus: it helps you to understand and see things from a different angle and to build and maintain a very interesting international network.

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Boian Venev

Boian Venev | Bulgaria
Class of 2018

MGIMO did meet my expectations. I had the opportunity to meet a lot of international students. The course of study was very diverse and engaging. In addition, I got the chance to live in Moscow and travel a lot around Russia.

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Jin Sun Park

Jin Sun Park | South Korea
Class of 2018

MGIMO provided me with a strong background in international affairs. It also allowed me to meet with inspiring Russian and international experts, interact with students from various countries, and understand Russia and its position on key international issues and trends.

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Christian Wollny

Christian Wollny | Germany / USA
Class of 2018

I would argue that what I learned outside of the lecture hall was more important than what I learned inside. MGIMO and SGIA have a lot to offer to the interested and engaged students who look beyond just passing time in the classroom. SGIA gives you the opportunity to meet some interesting and/or famous people and travel around the world, experiencing firsthand what it means to be a diplomat. Come my third year, I had no real idea what I wanted to do after graduation.

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