November 1, 1872 is the date when in the former building of the first College for Men in Prechistenka st., under the initiative of top–tier professors, headed by V.I. Gerye, the Moscow Courses for Women (MCW) were organized. It was the first Higher Education Establishment for women at those times. Starting from 1874 women started for 3 years such disciplines as Russian and Foreign literature and history, physics, mathematics, ancient and modern languages. In 1900, there were two departments: historic – philosophical and physic – mathematical. In 1906, the third, medical department was founded.
In 1912 the post – graduates of MCW were allowed to carry on research work that was important for Russian science and emphasized the role of women in it. Four years later the diploma of MCW was equal to the one of the Moscow State University. Eminent scientists worked in MCW: N.D. Zelinsky (the inventor of the gas – mask), P.A. Minakov (one of the founders of forensic medicine expertise), M.N. Shaternikov (the founder of the physiology of nourishment), A.K. Kots (the founder of Darwin Museum of Natural History) and many others.
In 1918, MCW got the title of the Second Moscow State University. During the period of Russian revolution some fundamental points of pedagogical science were investigated. The pedagogical department was founded in 1921. Among its outstanding professors were P.P. Bolonsky, L. S. Vigodsky, S.T. Shatsky, O.U. Shmidt. At that time the second MSU started preparing teachers for village schools and work practice was introduced as well as the guidance of schools and kindergartens.
In 1930, the second MSU became the first pedagogical institute in the Soviet Union. In 1934 Moscow State Pedagogical Institute (MSPI) comprised a few departments: 1) language and literature; 2) history; 3) physics and mathematics; 4) natural studies; 5) geography; 6) pedagogical; 7) defectology.
At that period, on the basis of MSPI the union of Pedagogical Universities of Moscow and Moscow region was established. Its aim was to introduce new pedagogical methods into the teaching process. Before the Great Patriotic War, the university was named after V.I. Lenin. MSPI came through all the difficulties and hardships of the War. Students, members of the faculty stuff, professors were at the battlefields, in the factories and hospitals.
The chemists of MSPI discovered some new inhibitors of the corrosion of various metals and ways of removing rust from guns; defectologists worked at the methods of the restoration of hearing of the wounded soldiers, geographers investigated Siberia and its natural resources.
At the end of 1950 when it became compulsory to fulfill a course of 7 years school study (later 8 years). MSPI became the leader in preparation of young teachers. In 1960, the Moscow Potemkin Pedagogical University became part of MSPI.
The scientists of MSPI contributed quite a lot to Russian science. In the laboratory of S.A. Balezin were discovered and applied in industry inhibitors of atmospheric corrosion, under the guidance of E.V. Shpolskogo a new physical effect that was named after him, was founded. The winner of the Lenin prize, the investigator of algorithms, P.S. Novikov, the founder of the soil zoology, M.S. Gilyanov used to be the professors of MSPI.
In 1990 MSPI was transformed into MSPU. Nowadays it comprises 18 departments, 104 chairs, 2 scientific and research institutes, 14 educational centers. The university includes about 23 000 students and 2 000 post – graduates and about 2 000 faculty staff. MSPU occupies a high position in the hierarchy of Russian Universities and productively cooperates with international universities.
4 academicians, 10 members of the Russian Academy of Education, 4 members of the Russian Academy of Science and 13 honorary professors work within the university. On the basis of MSPU few organizations were founded: the Pedagogical Council, 30 councils supervising the work of researchers, nine new majors for specialists and 7 new majors for Bachelors and Masters have been introduced in recent years.
September 1, 2001 Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, visited MSPU. He positively evaluated the work of MSPU and pointed out its crucial position in the system of higher education of Russia.
2007 – Within the prestigious National Project “Education” MSPU became one of the winners in All-Russian Competition for Higher Educational Institutions implementing innovative educational programs.
March 30, 2007 – According to the results of the innovative universities contest D.A.Medvedev, the first deputy prime-minister of the Russian Federation Government, visited MSPU.
February 2, 2009 – By the Decree of President Dmitriy Medvedev MSPU was included into the State List of Especially Valuable Objects of Cultural Heritage of the Russian Federation Nation.
Preserving traditions MSPU entered the new, XXI century, having perspective and promising plans for the future and they are inclined to improve the system of pedagogical education in Russia and contribute to the development of pedagogical sciences on the international level.