The Maurice Thorez Institute of Foreign Languages
Moscow State Linguistic University

MSLU at a Glance

What is now the Moscow State Linguistic University (abbreviated to MSLU in English or MGLU in Russian) went by a number of names in the past. It started out as the Moscow Institute for Modern Languages, then was renamed 1st Moscow State Pedagogical Institute of Foreign Languages. Later on it was named after Maurice Thorez, to become the Maurice Thorez Moscow State Institute of Foreign Languages. Today it is known as the Moscow State Linguistic University.


Brief timeline:

1930: The Moscow Institute for Modern Languages is founded by the decree of the People's Commissariat for Education of the Russian Federative Soviet Republic, combining several language schools that had operated in Moscow in the 1920s, such as the Higher Courses of Modern Languages of the Moscow 2nd State University and Higher Courses of Foreign Languages set up by the State Library of Foreign Literature.

1939: The Institute moves into the building of 38, Ostozhenka Street (then – Metrostroyevskaya Street). Between 1808 and 1917, the building had housed the Moscow Imperial Commercial School.

1941: The Institute's building becomes the headquarters of the Frunzenskaya 5th Division of civilian militia to help defend Moscow against the Nazi invasion. Most of the division died in the trenches, others fought valiantly throughout the war. Their memory was later commemorated with a memorial wall and a monument in front of the University building.

1942: The Faculty of Translators and Interpreters is set up to meet the needs of the front. After the end of WWII, a number of teachers and students of the Institute are sent to work as translators and interpreters at the Nuremberg and Tokyo Trials.

1964: The Institute is named after Maurice Thorez (1900–1964), a leader of the communist and labour movement in France, General Secretary of the French Communist party in 1930–1964.

1980: On its 50th anniversary, the Maurice Thorez Moscow State Institute of Foreign Languages is decorated with the order of People’s Friendship for outstanding achievement in research and in the training of highly skilled specialists.

1990: The Institute becomes the Moscow State Linguistic University. A number of new non-linguistic degrees are instituted.

2000: MSLU becomes the hub institution for the study of languages and cultures of CIS countries. 

2007: MSLU reconsecrates the church of St. Mary Magdalene, Equal to the Apostles, first established by the Imperial Commercial School in 1817, and restored by the MSLU administration and the Moscow Municipal Department of Cultural Heritage.

2019: MSLU resumes a relationship with the United Nations Organisation by signing, on June 24th, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), under which the two parties will jointly prepare candidates for taking the UN language competitive examinations.

MSLU Today:

Today, the University teaches 36 languages. More than 75% of its teaching staff have advanced academic degrees. The University annually publishes an average of 200 research monographs, manuals and textbooks for Russian schools, colleges and universities. MSLU academics have developed unique teaching and research tools (Lingua, Glossa, Spectrum 121, Signal-InYaz, Intonograph, and others) for which they have received prizes, medals and patents at international exhibitions at home and abroad. The University maintains partnership relations with 94 leading universities in 35 countries, thus providing opportunities for international student exchanges and dual degrees.


MSLU has an extensive system of continuing education, spanning all ages and qualifications from secondary school-level linguistic lyceum to university and advanced training facilities. Full-time higher education includes 4-year bachelor programmes followed by 2-year master programmes, in keeping with the Bologna Declaration. The University also offers opportunities for obtaining a second degree in linguistics.

MSLU is a focus institution for language and culture studies.

MSLU is involved in international educational projects together with the following organisations:

MSLU is a member of: