We suggest that you study the US system of education and pay close attention to how it differs from the Russian system. Please determine what level of education you would like to receive.
Undegraduate Level. It usually takes up to four years of college study to complete a program leading to a Bachelor's degree (Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science). The Bachelor's Degree is almost equivalent to the Russian Diploma of higher education.
Who can become a student? A high school education is usually sufficient to become an undergraduate student. First-, second- and third-year students of Russian institutes of higher education can transfer into US degree programs. A college/university admissions officer will decide for what courses credits will be granted.
Graduate Level (aspirantura). A person who finished graduate school earns an M.A., M.S. or Ph.D. degree (Master of Arts, Master of Science or Doctorate of Philosophy). The Ph.D. is the highest scientific degree in the US. This degree usually requires at least three years of study and a dissertation defense. The Ph.D. is necessary for those who want to be researchers.
M.A. or M.S. degrees are awarded after two years of graduate studies. These degrees are beneficial for those who plan to concentrate on practical work, for example, in business (Master of Business Administration - MBA).
Who can get into graduate school? Those students who already have a higher education diploma or who are currently studying in aspirantura, may apply for graduate school in the US. Those who already have a Kandidat Nauk degree, may also apply for graduate school, but they should clarify whether it is worth it to repeat the graduate course of study (2-3 years).
Post-Doctoral Research. A person who holds a Kandidat nauk degree, may directly contact a university or research center regarding the possibility of conducting research or delivering lectures.
Keep in mind that the application process usually takes up to 15 months so one should start planning in advance. High school students should start preparing for undergraduate programs, 4th and 5th year university students - for graduate schools.
Unlike Russia, in the US there are no such organizations as the Ministry of Education or State Committee of Education that develop standard curricula and admissions requirements for both graduate and undergraduate students. Thus, they vary from university to university. In deciding where to study please pay close attention to whether a college or university is accredited by the Council on Post-secondary Accreditation. The Accredited Institutes of Post-secondary Education catalog can be found in the Moscow US Education Advising Center.