Geography instruction has been established at Moscow State University since the day of its founding. Originally given under the Faculty of Philosophy, the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Medicine, the significance of geography studies at the University was already mentioned in the draft plan of its establishment (1755). The plan stated: «anyone wishing to attend professors' lectures at the University needs to learn foreign languages and a fundamental scientific basis beforehand". For this purpose, two «gymnasiums» consisting of four schools were established at the University. Geography was included into the curriculum of the «first scientific basis school» and the «school of the distinguished European languages» - German and French.
According to "The Imperial Decree on the Establishment of Moscow University", Moscow University included four Divisions or Departments: «Department of Moral and Political Sciences», «Department of Physics and Mathematics", «Department of Medicine», «Department of Philology». The latter had the positions of «professor of History, Statistics and Geography» and «professor of History, Statistics and Geography of the Russian State».
|D.N. Anuchin |
According to the Imperial Russian Universities Common Charter of 1835, the study of «physics and physical geography» began in the Faculty of Philosophy. In 1863, the Department of Physical Geography was created as a part of the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics. In accordance with the Charter of 1884, the Department of Physics and Physical Geography remained in the same Faculty. At the same time, the Department of Geography and Ethnography was established at the Faculty of History and Philology. The prominent scientist and university professor D.N. Anuchin became the head of the department. In 1888, this department was reassigned to the Division of Natural Sciences of the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics.
A prominent geographer, anthropologist and ethnographer, D.N. Anuchin became the founder of the geography school of Moscow State University, which was later presented in the world science by such distinguished scholars as L.S. Berg, A.A. Kruber, A.A. Borzov, A.S. Barkov, S.G. Grigoriev, S.V. Chefranov, M.S. Bodnarsky, B.F. Dobrinin, I.S.Tshukin and many others. In 1919, the Department of Geography and Ethnography was divided into two independent departments – the Department of Anthropology (head - D.N. Anuchin) and the Department of Geography (head - A.A. Kruber).
In 1922, the Research Institute of Geography was established and the Department of Soils, Geology and Geography was organized within the Division of Natural Sciences of the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics. In 1926, a separate Geographical Division was created (head - S.G. Grigoriev) as well as the Department of Geography (head - A.A. Borzov). The Department of Economic Geography (head -N.N. Baransky) and the Department of Cartography (head - V.M. Nikiforov)
were established in 1929. And finally, in 1933, the Faculty of Soils and Geography appeared.
The Faculty of Geography at Lomonosov Moscow State University was established on June, 23, 1938. The Director of the Research Institute of Geography, S.M. Lutskiy, was appointed to head the new Faculty. The Faculty had the Departments of Physical Geography, Physical Geography of Foreign Countries, Physical Geography of the USSR, Economic Geography of the USSR, Economic Geography of the Capitalist Countries, Cartography and Geodesy, and also the Research Institute of Geography.
Among the Deans of the Faculty, one can name such outstanding geographers as Prof. B.P. Orlov (1940), Ass. Prof. A.V. Gedimin (1941), Prof. I.A. Vitver (1941-1943), Prof. M.V. Karandeeva (1943), Prof. S.D. Muraveisky (1943-1945), Full-Member of the USSR Academy of Sciences K.K. Markov (1945-1955), Prof. A.M. Riabchikov (1956-1966, 1970-1980), Corresponding Member of the USSR Academy of Sciences A.P. Kapitza (1966-1970), Prof. G.I. Rychagov (1980-1990), Full-member of the Russian Academy of Sciences N.S.Kasimov (1990-2015). Since 2015 the Faculty has been led by the Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Prof. Sergey A. Dobrolyubov.