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Final State Certification

These regulations (Regulations on Final State Certification of Students of Bachelor’s, Specialist and Master’s Programmes at National Research University Higher School of Economics) set forth the rules and procedures for holding Final State Certification for students enrolled in degree programmes of all modes of study, implemented at the University and its affiliated campuses. FSC is mandatory for all students completing their degree programmes.

FSC shall be held according to the curriculum of a given degree programme and the HSE academic calendar.

The resolutions of local SCBs and the SCB Presidium shall be adopted at closed meetings, which must be attended by at least two-thirds of all members by a simple majority vote of the members present, in the mandatory presence of the chairperson of the local SCB/SCB Presidium. In the event of a tie vote, the chairperson of the local SCB/SCB Presidium retains the right to cast a deciding vote.

 What is a Master Thesis?

Master Thesis at is supposed to be an original peace of academic research aimed at creating a contribution to the existing literature.

Theses topics for students of any degree programme may be proposed by departments, research subdivisions and separate members of HSE academic staff whose research interests match the programme’s field of study (students can propose their own topics as well).

Before choosing or refining their topic, students must discuss it with their potential supervisor ( and co-supervisor if needed).

The Thesis should be written by students independently. In accordance with the ‘Regulations on Checking Student Papers for Plagiarism and the Publication of Bachelor’s, Specialist and Master’s Theses on the HSE Corporate Website’  Term papers, theses, and final examination papers prepared by HSE students shall be subject to mandatory checks for plagiarism. According to paragraph 2.1 of the ‘HSE Regulations on Disciplinary Actions in Case of Violations of Academic Norms in Written Assignments’, a violation of academic norms in a written assignment shall result in the following disciplinary actions: notice, reproof, or dismissal.

A reviewer of each student Thesis is appointed from among the University’s academic staff. A reviewer may also be an employee of another university or of an organization whose professional focus matches the topic of the thesis. A reviewer is proposed by the Programme Academic Supervisor and appointed by the Dean’s directive no later than one month before the scheduled defence.

A thesis defense shall be held according to the final state examination schedule at a meeting of the examination committee for the relevant field of study/major.

A thesis defence starts with a student’s presentation. The timing of the presentation depends on the level of the degree programme. For instance, the presentation of a Master’s thesis should take at least 20 minutes.

The student is expected to deliver key aspects of their thesis freely, without referring to notes. Thesis presentation may be displayed on a computer, in visual materials (e.g., tables, graphs, etc.), and/or any other materials illustrating its key features. After the presentation is finished, members of the local SCB shall then ask the student questions concerning the topic of his/her thesis, or issues closely related thereto. In turn, the student is entitled to refer to their thesis when answering the questions.

After the discussion is concluded, the student shall present his/her closing remarks. In these remarks, he/she is required to respond to the notes made by the academic supervisor and the reviewer of the thesis, if any notes were given in the academic supervisor’s opinion and in the review. After the closing remarks, the thesis defence process shall be deemed completed.

The local SCB shall decide on the final grade, based on the grades given by the academic supervisor, second reader, members of the local SCB, and the criteria for thesis assessment, as stipulated in the Regulations for Theses Prepared by Students.

The final grade for a student’s thesis defence, given on a five-point and 10-point scale, is recorded in the examination minutes of the local SCB. A student’s absence at his/her thesis defence shall also be documented in the examination minutes.

These regulations (Regulations for Term Papers and Theses Prepared by Students of the Bachelor’s, Specialist and Master’s Level at the National Research University Higher School of Economics)  define deadlines and recommended procedures for preparation, evaluation, defence and publication of term papers and theses written by students on degree programmes implemented at the University, including its regional campuses.

Appellation Procedure

Students retain the right to appeal the results of state examinations. An appeal may be submitted if a student noticed any violation of established procedure. Disagreement with the grade can’t be grounds for an appeal. For more information see: https://www.hse.ru/en/studyspravka/GIA-apellacia/

Appeals Committee (2020/2021 academic year)

Chair of the Appeals Committee - Vladimir S. Avtonomov, Tenured Professor, Member of the HSE Academic Council

Members of the Appeals Committee:

Kirill A. Bukin - Assistant Professor, PhD

Yury Dranev - Associate Professor, PhD

Marina Kolosnitsyna - Tenured Professor

Executive secretary - Elena I. Osipova, Adviser

Regulations on

Final State Certification of Students of Bachelor’s, Specialist and Master’s Programmes at National Research University Higher School of Economics