Graduate Study

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Graduate Study


in the USSR, the basic form of preparation for scientific-pedagogical and scientific cadres. As a rule, graduate study is concluded with the defense of a dissertation and the awarding of the scholarly degree of candidate of sciences. Graduate study was first organized in 1925. It is initiated and concluded at institutions of higher learning and institutions of scientific research of ministries and departments by the Ministry of Higher and Middle Special Education of the USSR and at institutions of scientific research of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR and the academies of sciences of the Union republics by the presidium of the corresponding academy.

Graduate study is carried out either in person—with leave from one’s job—for persons not over 35 years of age (a three-year instruction period) or by correspondence—without a leave from one’s job—for persons not over 45 years of age (a four-year instruction period).

Competitive examinations for admission to graduate study are open to persons who have completed their higher education and have demonstrated capability for scientific work. Of these, specialists in the national economy must have no less than two years’ practical experience in their chosen field; young specialists who have just graduated from institutions of higher learning must be recommended by the soviet of that institution (department). Those entering graduate school present their published scientific works, present information about their inventions or experimental projects-models (or, in the absence of these, an essay in the selected field), have an interview with their intended scientific instructor, and then take examinations in the special discipline, the history of the CPSU, and a foreign language. Those permitted to take examinations are given a 30-day leave of absence from work with full pay.

A graduate student works under the direction of his scientific supervisor (as a rule, a doctor of sciences or a professor) according to an individual plan. He studies in his selected field, masters the methods of scientific research and experimental and scholarly-methodological work, takes the examinations for the candidate’s minimum, and prepares a dissertation in order to receive the degree of candidate of sciences. Those who undertake graduate study in person receive a governmental scholarship; those who undertake graduate study by correspondence and fulfill an individual plan receive an additional leave (30 days with full pay) every year from their place of work and the right to one day free from work every week (with half pay) for graduate study.

The appropriate institutions of higher learning and institutes for scientific research have special-purpose graduate courses, one of the principal ways of preparing scientific and pedagogical cadres for institutions of higher learning, institutes of scientific research, enterprises, sovkhozes, and other organizations of Union republics, ministries, and departments that cannot provide preparation of scientific cadres on the premises. Institutions of higher learning have also organized one-year courses of graduate study that accept instructors and other workers of institutions of higher learning and teachers of general educational schools (no older than 45 years of age) who have passed all the examinations of the candidate’s minimum and have completed a work of scientific research on a chosen topic that is sufficiently large so that preparation of the dissertation will take up to one year. Persons who are registered for one-year graduate study retain their jobs and basic salaries. A person is considered to have completed graduate study if he has passed the candidate’s examinations and has defended the candidate’s dissertation or has presented it for defense in the established manner. Those who have presented their dissertations for defense receive appropriate certification.

Preparation of scientific cadres in graduate schools is carried out in all major branches of science. In 1968 more than 96,000 persons were engaged in graduate study (more than 54,000 with a leave of absence from work), including the following categories: physics and mathematical sciences, 11,400; chemistry, 5,600; biological sciences, 6,000; geology-mineralogy, 2,700; technical sciences, 39,100; agricultural and veterinary sciences, 7,100; history and philosophy, 4,600; economics, 8,900; philology, 2,300; geography, 800; jurisprudence, 800; pedagogy, 1,800; medicine and pharmacology, 5,300; art studies, 900; and architecture, 500. In 1968 more than 25,000 persons completed graduate study; among these, 10,600 persons did so in person at institutions of higher learning and about 5,800 persons did so in person at scientific institutions.


Vysshaia shkola: Sb. osnovnykh postanovlenii, prikazov i instruktsii, part 1. Edited by E. I. Voilenko. Moscow, 1965. Chapter 9: “Pod-gotovka nauchno-pedagogicheskikh kadrov, prisuzhdenie uchenykh stepenei i prisvoenie uchenykh zvanii.”


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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