MOSCOW INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS AND TECHNOLOGY

OVERVIEW

The Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology was originally established on November 25, 1946 after a new school, known as the Department of Physics and Technology, was founded within Moscow State University (MSU).

This Department, which became known as PhysTech, was independent of MSU and was founded on a different set of principles to the established Soviet higher education system. These principles – which became known as the Phystech System and are still used today – are based on a highly competitive and selective admissions along with an individualised approach to teaching, so that students avoid being overburdened with unnecessary subjects and are instead educated in the country’s finest laboratories by leading scientists.

It quickly began to develop an enviable status as a leader in the fields of science and technology, which caused friction with the established higher education system and, following accusations of elitism, the PhysTech department at MSU was shut down in the summer of 1951.

However, influential supporters of PhysTech were quick to secure Stalin’s approval to reinstate the department as an independent institution and on September 17, 1951 PhysTech was re-established as the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT).

Today the main MIPT campus is situated in the north Moscow suburb of Dolgoprudny and is home to the vast majority of the university’s 12 departments, which cover a number of fields in applied and fundamental science. The only separate department is the Aeromechanics Department which is located in Zukovsky, a south-eastern Moscow suburb.

The desire to educate students alongside leaders in their respective fields means that many MIPT professors are accomplished scientists, and a number of former professors have been awarded Nobel Prizes. PhysTech alumni – known as phystechs – are a closely connected community and many hold faculty positions in the world’s top educational institutions.

MIPT is also a member of the Russian Academic Excellence Project 5-100

No. of students per staff

Percentage of International Students

10.5%
15%

Student Ratio of Females to Males

19%
81%

Demographics

About 15% of all students are residents of Moscow and nearly the same are from Moscow region; the rest come from all over the former Soviet Union. Most out-of-town students live in the dormitory on campus for at least the first 4 years. Many senior students move to another dormitory in Moscow, while some either move to base institute dormitories or rent apartments.

The student population is almost exclusively male, with the female/male ratio in a department rarely exceeding 15% (seeing 2–3 women in a class of 80 is not uncommon). In recent years, this situation has changed and in 2009 more than 20% of first year students were females.[13]

There are no reliable statistics on the careers of MIPT graduates. Prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union, most MIPT graduates continued research at their base institutes or found jobs in OKBs. Nowadays, many graduates become business people or software engineers. Some, especially high-performing students of prestigious departments (e.g. DGAP, DCAM), go on to get post-graduate degrees from foreign universities. In the past, some students were known to have been admitted into Ph.D. programs of American universities as early as after their 3rd year of education. Many MIPT alumni hold faculty positions in the world’s top Universities, including Harvard, University of Manchester, Princeton University, MIT, Columbia, Stanford, Brown, University of Chicago, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign and the University of Wisconsin–Madison.