How to Apply

The department’s master's program is designed for students who have already earned a higher education diploma in the humanitarian or social sciences (an official diploma attesting to the completion of a bachelor or master’s program is required).  Most courses are conducted in Russian, so you must have an advanced level of Russian to be able to apply and study at the department.

The admission process begins on March 1, when applicants can submit documents for the next academic year. The deadline for submission is August 15. Documents can be submitted in person or by email. If you choose to send the documents by email, please send them to You will get an email confirming that your documents were received by the admissions committee.

Documents required for application:

  • Completed application (may be obtained from the acceptance committee, or simply downloaded).
  • Copy of your passport
  • Current resume or CV
  • Copy of diploma certifying completion of higher education degree
  • Four 3x4cm photographs
  • Medical examination and vaccine report
  • Recommendations from professors and departments (when available)
  • List of published academic work, if you have any publications
  • Statement of purpose  
  • Writing sample

The application process
includes an interview and a written examination, and are usually held on August 17-27. The examination board (i.e. the faculty) will be interested in your motivation and general level of qualification.

The goal of the interview is to identify candidates who will take the written entrance exam. The interview is conducted by the Examination committee whose job it is to determine the applicant’s general level of knowledge in his or her specialty as well as general problematics in the arts. In addition the committee seeks to ascertain the applicant’s academic and research interests and how well they correspond to the department’s priorities (see above). Based on the results of the interview, the applicant will be given a score out of 10. Only those who score 5 or above will be asked to take the written exam.

Written Exam
The admissions committee acknowledges that applicants come from different academic backgrounds and therefore the exam cannot be limited to evaluating the applicants’ level of knowledge in any specific discipline. Applicants are expected to have a broad level of understanding in the history and theory of various art forms as well as esthetics and culturology. The exam is comprised of two parts, both of which require written answers. The length of the exam is approximately 2 hours.


Part 1 of the written exam:
The applicant must choose one out of several available essay questions and give a written response. (The applicant may choose a question related to his/her academic background).

Sample questions:

What do you know about:

  • seminal efforts in research in any given art form of any given era?
  • the mutual influence or interdependence of Russian and Western European Avant Garde in the visual arts?
  • the influence of Western European Romantic Symphony on Russian music in the second half of the 19th century?
  • Russian poesy born under the influence of painting, sculpture, or architecture?
  • Leading Russian cultural figures’ opinions on Western art?
  • directors’ innovations in Russian theater in the first half of the 20th century?
  • International perception of Russian ballet in the beginning of the 20th century?
  • The influence of antique archetypes in Russian sculpture?
  • The influence of Italian archetypes on the development of Russian painting?
  • Western European architectural sources in Russian Classicism?
  • The reciprocal influence of various forms of art in cinematography?

Written responses are graded on a 10 point scale.


Part 2 of written exam:
Applicants must answer 10 multiple choice questions and choose the correct answer for each out of 3 possible responses.

Sample questions:

  • Where is Raphael’s “Sistine Madonna” located? (in the Sistine Chapel, in Old Pinakotheke, in the Dresden Gallery).
  • Which of the following terms signifies a technique when written by a composer? (Symphony, dodecaphony, cacophony).
  • Which of the following famous Italians was an architect? (Dante, Bramante, Mercandante)
  • Which of the following is the name of a novel by a famous German author? (Doctor Faust, Faust, Doctor Faustus).

This part of the exam will also be graded on a 10 point scale (1 point for each correct answer).
The grade for the entire exam will be the combined score on both parts. Applicants will be assigned a rating based on their combined final scores for both parts of the written exam as well as the interview. Admission is based on applicants’ placement in the ratings.


Academic Program

Stage One (Semesters 1-3)
The first year of the program aims to deepen students’ knowledge of the problematics of art historiography, interpretation of art texts in various art forms, current artistic practices, and interdisciplinary, comparative, and semiotic approaches to the analysis of art. In addition, students will develop their research and academic writing skills in various subjects. The first two semesters consist of required courses, seminars, practicum, and electives (students are required to chose 2 out of 4 offered electives each semester). At the end of the first year, students will choose the topic of their Masters thesis and develop a research plan with their chosen academic advisor.


Stage 2 (Semesters 4-6)
Those wishing to continue on past the MA program must demonstrate a high level of academic success during the first three semesters and high potential for a successful Candidate’s dissertation in their Master’s thesis.


The main task of the second stage of the program is the preparation of the individual Candidate Dissertation which must be approved by the academic advisor. The Dissertation may be a further development of the Master’s thesis.


During these three semesters the student must participate in research seminars which will discuss different parts of the dissertation as well as present his or her findings at conferences at the end of each semester. In addition, beginning with the fourth semester students are required to attend at least one lecture course in other departments of EUSP of their choosing and any short special courses recommended by the department. These special courses (not longer than one semester) will be specially announced.


During this same period, students will have to pass Candidate exams in philosophy and a foreign language.


At the end of the program, students must turn in their dissertations. Those who have not completed a dissertation but have submitted a significant portion by the end of the sixth semester may stay on at EUSP another year as an academic researcher. They will still have access to their academic advisor and all academic and technical resources available at EUSP. Researchers are not required to pay for this position, but they will not be eligible for any financial aid.


Those students whose academic interest include the history of Jewish culture, literature, and art are eligible for academic and financial aid from the interdepartmental center, “Petersburg Judaica.”

The Department of Art History reserves the right to make changes to the program.