History of Irkutsk State University


Irkutsk State University was founded on October 27, 1918.

It gave the impulse toward the development of higher education in Siberia and Russian Far East. Irkutsk State University became the major educational, scientific and cultural center on the vast territory of Eastern Siberia at once. At first there were only two faculties at the University: the Faculty of History and Philology and the Law Faculty. 




Faculty of History and Philology was opened.

Faculty of Law was opened. (In 1998 it became Law Institute of ISU).


The opening of Eastern Department where Sanskrit, Mongolian, Chinese, Tibetan, and Japanese were taught. Physics-Mathematics Faculty was founded.


Medical branch becomes an independent Faculty.

1923 Institute of Biology and Geography was established.


Reorganization of the university: medicine, finance-economics, and pedagogy institutes were founded.

1933 Faculty of Biology, Faculty of Chemistry, Faculty of Geology, Geography and Soil Studies were opened.
1941-1945 During the Great Patriotic War more than 100 members of the university staff went to the front. 


The physics and chemistry scientific research institute was established as a part of the university.

1948 Faculty of Geography was formed.

The Geology Faculty was formed.

The Branch of the East-Siberian Academy of Sciences was opened in Irkutsk.


Researchers from the university along with colleagues of the Irkutsk Geological Survey and the Eastern-Siberian branch of the Academy of Sciences took part in the roject resulted in the construction of the hydroelectric power plants  in Irkutsk and Bratsk.

1954 The Law Faculty was opened.


Computer center equipped with an electronic computing machine (ECM) was opened.

1964 Research Institute of Oil and Coal Chemical Synthesis was opened.
Faculty of Mathematics was formed. In 1999 it was transformed into Institute of Mathematics, Economics and Informatics, in 2019 it was renamed to Institute of Mathematics and Information Techologies.


Faculty of Physics was formed.

Start of constructing a new university building in Akademgorodok. The building was opened in 1973.


Pre-University courses for foreign citizens were opened.

end of 1960s  A new four-storeyed university building was constructed for four faculties and their departments.
1970 The integrated Soviet-Mongolian Khubsugul expedition was launched in conjunction with the university and the Mongolian State University with the active participation of scientists from the Siberian Branch of the Academy of Sciences and other universities from Irkutsk. The participants in the expedition led a joint study of natural waters of the water basin of the Khubsugul lake and mineral waters of Mongolia. They published the “Atlas of Khubsugul Lake” and the map “Mineral Waters of Mongolia.”

ISU came under the control of the State Committee of Science and Higher Education of RSFSR (Russia).

Siberian-American Faculty of Management was opened.

Later it was transformed into Baikal International Business School.



The Faculty of Psychology and Social Work was opened.

International Faculty was opened. In 2007 it was transformed into International Institute of Economics and Linguistics. 


Faculty of Service and Advertising was opened.In 2019 it was renamed to Faculty of Business Communication and Computer Science (Service and Advertising).


Baikal Deep Underwater Neutrino Telescope was launched into use and to this day remains the only active telescope of its kind in the world.

Faculty of Social Sciences was opened. In 1994 it was transformed into Institute of Social Sciences. 


In the Tunkinskaya Valley the wide-angled cherenkovsky installation for applied physics was commissioned.


The Interregional Institute of Social Sciences was formed to carry-out the project “Siberia in Russia and the World: Calls for Strategies for Development.”


ISU, along with 55 other universities in Russia, won the contest organized by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation for the support of programs for the strategic development. The program provided support for scientific research and creation of a scientific-education complex in conjunction with the institutes of the Irkutsk scientific center

of the Siberian Branch of the Academy of Sciences.


The Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation announced the inclusion of the Irkutsk State Pedagogical Institute under ISU.


Eastern Siberian State Academy of Education (now ISU Pedagogical Institute) was integrated into ISU.


Institute of Philology, Foreign Languages and Media Communication was established, with Faculty of Philology and Journalism of ISU and educational subdivisions of the former Irkutsk branch of Moscow State Linguistic University being integrated there.