The year of 1943 became a turning point in the course of the Great Patriotic War. The strategic initiative fully passed to the Soviet Commander-in-Chief. It became clear at that time that when World War II was over, the Soviet foreign policy will inevitably face important and wide-ranging tasks. Young and highly-qualified professionals will be required to deal with these tasks. They should be people who would know very well the whole range of international problems and would be proficient in foreign languages.

On August 31, 1943 the Soviet government decided to set up a school of international relations at the Moscow State University. On October 14, 1944, evolving from the above-mentioned MGU School, the Moscow State Institute of International Relations of the USSR People’s Commissariat for Foreign Affairs was established and 250 first-year students were enrolled. In September 1945 as many as 400 first-year students were admitted. In February 1947 a decision was taken to extend the period of study to five years.

Since the foundation of the School and the Institute, the most distinguished professors of those days were invited to teach future highly-qualified professionals. Among them were academicians Evgeny. v. Tarle and Lev. N.Ivanov; professors Vsevolod N. Durdenevsky, Sergey B. Krylov, Lev I.Zubok and Philip I.Notovich. It was they who laid the foundation of the scientific schools which are successfully developing at the MGIMO at present.

The School of International Relations was first reorganized in 1954 after the Council of Ministers adopted a Decree on merging the MGIMO and the Institute of Oriental Studies for the purpose of «streamlining professional training» in international relations, philology and the history of oriental countries. The three schools of that period, those of International Relations, International Law and International Economic Relations, were reorganized into two departments — - — Western and Oriental Studies.

An important decision was taken at that time, that is to send undergraduate students abroad a for six-month field training. For the undergraduates of the Schools of Western and Oriental Studies these trips were organized by the USSR Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Of course, this innovation contributed to better and more profound training of future professionals, made it possible to test their professional qualities and integrity before granting them diplomas and deciding on their job placement. During the following decades this pre-degree internship in the country of their professional interest became common practice.

In 1967 a Department of International Journalism branched out as a division of the School of International Relations. A year later it became an independent school.

In the 1970s and 1980s the fine-tuning of the academic process continued. The School of International Relations went through the most difficult period in its history in the late 1980s and early 1990s when the totalitarian social and political system collapsed and a market economy started taking shape. In those difficult days Anatoly v. Torkunov, the future University Rector, became the Dean of the School. He launched and became the Dean of the School. He launched and directed great efforts aimed at adjusting the School to the new economic and social conditions. The syllabi of many disciplines were revised and substantially changed to meet the new requirements. The IR School reached out and established ties with new agencies and organizations which could offer jobs to its graduates. Students’ academic performance and discipline improved as well as that of the faculty and the staff. Anatoly v. Torkunov’s work as the School’s Dean received well-deserved credit and soon he became a Deputy-Rector and later on the Rector of the Institute. With him at the head of the University, the MGIMO’s prestige and authority have risen both in Russia and abroad.

Another restructuring of the IR School was carried out in the 1990s when a new division was established — the Political Science and International Relations Division, which in 1999 branched out into an independent School of Political Science.

The School of International Relations provides comprehensive education. We teach the history, foreign policy, economics, political systems and culture of various countries and regions as well as applied and special subjects which are indispensable for professional training of future diplomats.

The IR School is proud of its unique faculty of foreign-language instructors. All in all, we teach 53 foreign languages, some of them being rare European and oriental ones. Proficiency in rare foreign languages helps our graduates to become unique experts on the countries of Europe, America, Asia, Africa not only in the Russian Federation but in other countries as well.

Thanks to their comprehensive training, our graduates with a BA diploma take up and successfully complete MA courses in economics, political science and law at the MGIMO and other Russian universities as well as at prestigious schools in other countries.

The School graduates comprise the largest group of specialists in international relations to be every year recruited and employed on a competitive basis by the RF Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They also work in various other state bodies: ministries and agencies, international, public and political organisations, private firms and banks. They receive speedy promotion both in state and private bodies. In the Ministry of Foreign Affairs our School graduates hold responsible jobs such as Departments’ Departments’ Directors, deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, ambassadors extraordinary and plenipotentiary in many countries of the world, Russia’s representatives in international organisations. Sergey v. Lavrov, the incumbent Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia, has also graduated from the IR School.

The IR School offers two BA programs: Foreign Area Studies at the Department of Policy and Diplomacy of Foreign Countries and International Relations at the International Relations Department.

The School comprises 16 departments with 8 of them teaching languages and the other eight — social sciences. The language-teaching departments are: English Language Department # 1, the German Language Department, the Department of Scandinavian, Finnish, Netherlands and Greek Languages, the Department of the Middle- and Near- East Countries’ Languages, the Department of the Languages of Central and South-East European Countries, the Department of the Japanese, Korean and Indonesian Languages, the Department of the Indo-Iranian and African Languages and the Department of the Chinese, Vietnamese. Burmese and Thai Languages.

The specialized departments comprise: the Department of Oriental Studies, the Department of the World and National History, the Department of Diplomacy, the Department of European Integration, the Department of the History and Policy of the Countries of Europe and America, the Department of World Economics, the Department of International Relations and the Foreign Policy of Russia.

The evolution of the MGIMO University is closely connected with the shaping and growing of numerous research schools. Many of these originate from our School.

1. International relations: this school’s traditions were laid down by the first professors and tutors who in 1943–1944 formed the faculty core of the IR School at the MGU. Other contributors to these traditions were professionals formerly employed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The school was further developed by prominent historians: academicians v. G.Trukhanovsky and E.v. Tarle. Nowadays the MGIMO research of international relations is carried on by renowned scholars Michail M.Narinsky (chair of the Department of International Relations and the Foreign Policy of Russia, Ph. D.), Vladimir O.Pechatnov (chair of the Department of the History and Policy of the Countries of Europe and America) and others.

2. Diplomacy research which has long-standing traditions at the MGIMO. The Department of Diplomatic Service was set up in 1973. The specific nature of the discipline demanded that the faculty of the department should bring together scholars and practicing professionals with experience of their own. Now among the faculty we find professional diplomats, some of them having the rank of the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, as well as lecturers with a Ph D. The Department is currently chaired by Igor A.Melikhov, Ph. D, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary.

3. European processes research: The Department of European Integration — the first one in Russia — was established in 2003. Its research objectives comprise the study of regional integration processes in Europe. Among its faculty there are highly experienced scholars from various institutions of the Russian Academy of Sciences as well as university professors.

4. Historical studies: history has always been and will remain a fundamental element of the professional culture of diplomats and specialists in international relations. The Department of the World and National History, chaired by prof. Victoria I. Ukolova, Ph. D., elaborated programmes of teaching the world and national history, which serves as the basis for teaching history in many Russian institutes and universities.

5. Taking into account the regional studies of our students, the IR School contributes a lot to promoting other research schools: Regional Studies of Europe, America, Oriental and Ibero-American Studies.

The current student body consists of 802 people, with foreigners accounting for 168 students who come from 36 countries of Europe, Asia and America. Our Foreign alumni held and hold positions of responsibility in foreign countries (the former USSR republics and other countries): Edward Kukan, the IRS graduate of 1964, and Miroslav Lajčák, a 1987 graduate, were Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Slovakia; Luvsangiin Erdeenechlun, a 1972 graduate, was the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia; Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, a1975 graduate, — the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan; Sergey Martynov, a 1975 graduate, — the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belorussia; Eduard Nalbandyan, a 1978 graduate, — the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia; Ján Kubiš (Slovakia), a 1976 graduate, — the OSCE Secretary General; Adam Koberatskyi, a 1982 graduate (Poland) — the NATO Deputy Secretary General; Irena Bokova, a 1976 graduate (Bulgaria) — the UNESCO Director-General; Ilham Aliev, the President of Azerbaijan, is also a 1982 IRS graduate. At present three of our graduates in Mongolia are ministers, the Minister of Foreign Affairs among them; our graduates in Slovakia and Czechia are members of the European Commission; two ministers in Vietnam graduated from our School; in Campuchea an IRS graduate is the Secretary of the High Economic Council. The World Meeting of the MGIMO Foreign Alumni will be held in Baku in April 2013 under the aegis of Ilham Aliev, the President of Azerbaijan.

We support and encourage dedicated and gifted students. A-students receive good scholarships, including personal scholarships from the President of Russia, the Russian government, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia, the Moscow Mayor’s Office; personal scholarships named after renowned Russian scholars, from Vladimir Potanin’s Charity Fund, as well as from major Russian banks. We grant prizes and honors to winners of translators and interpreters’ contests, students’ Olympiads, to students who make the best reports at students’ scientific conferences. The School’s best students can have their first diplomatic experience by working in summer at the main office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Our graduates have a variety of options open to them in the fields of diplomacy, research or teaching. All the IRS main departments of options open to them in the fields of diplomacy, research or teaching. All the IRS main departments of language-teaching and of social sciences have post-graduate courses which provide full-time and part-time programs. Our graduates also do their research at other MGIMO departments, present their papers seeking a PhD in History, Political Science, Economics, Law and Philology and join the highly-qualified faculty of specialists in international relations of the MGIMO University of the MFA of Russia.

D in History, Political Science, Economics, Law and Philology and join the highly-qualified faculty of specialists in international relations of the MGIMO University of the MFA of Russia.