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Final State Certification

Final State Certification (hereafter ‘FSC’) is a mandatory stage of the degree programme. It is organized as per the following bylaws: 

Regulations on Final State Certification of Students of Bachelor’s, Specialist and Master’s Degree Programmes at National Research University Higher School of Economics (hereafter the ‘Regulations’); 

Procedures for Holding the Final State Certification of Students in Bachelor’s, Specialist and Master’s Programmes at HSE University (Annex 1 to the Regulations);  

Procedures for Appeals Committees for Considering Academic Appeals against the Results of Final State Examinations Filed by Students in Bachelor’s, Specialist, and Master’s Programmes at HSE University (Annex 2 to the Regulations); 

Procedure for Writing Term Papers and Theses Prepared by Students of Bachelor’s, Specialist and Master’s Programmes at HSE University (Annex 8 to the Regulations on Practical Training of Students under Core Bachelor’s, Specialist and Master’s Programmes at HSE University).

Final State Examinations

The list of mandatory examinations to be completed by students as part of their Final State Certification is aligned with the degree programme’s educational standard and curriculum. In the 2023-2024 academic year, such tests only include a thesis (the Master’s thesis) defence. 

The thesis shall be prepared by students as part of their practical training under respective degree programmes

Access to FSC 

Students who have fully completed the curriculum for the degree programme and who do not have any current academic failures for the respective elements of their programme shall be able to progress to the FSC stage. 

Thesis Defence Procedure 

A thesis defence shall be held as per the approved timetable. In turn, the State Examination Board’s (SEB) decisions are made at closed meetings, which must be attended by at least two-thirds of their membership, by a simple majority vote of the members present at the defence. In the event of a tie vote, the SEB chairperson retains the right to cast a deciding vote. 

During the FSC process, students cannot be in possession of and/or use any devices for transmission of information (i.e., electronic means of communication). Video recordings must be made during all SEB’s and Appeals Committee’s meetings. 

Each thesis defence commences with a student’s presentation on their thesis topic. The length of the presentation should not exceed 20 minutes. During their thesis reports, students must display computer presentations or other materials illustrating its key provisions. 

After the presentation is finished, SEB members will ask the examinee questions about the topic of his/her thesis, or issues closely related to it. In turn, the student may refer to their thesis and presentations when answering questions. Furthermore, the SEB chairperson or secretary will read out the brief notes from the supervisor’s feedback or review. After the discussion reaches its conclusion, the student then presents his/her closing remarks. In these remarks, they should respond to the notes made by the thesis supervisor and the reviewer. After the closing remarks, the  thesis defence process shall be deemed as complete. 

The defence of theses written by groups of students (if any) shall be held pursuant to the Regulations for Defence of Term Papers and Theses Written by Groups of Degree Students of the Faculty of Economic Sciences. 

Final State Certification (FSC) 2024
FSC 2024 schedule and the list of state examination boards members are available at the SmartLMS course УО Экономика и экономическая политика (Магистратура), General Info section.


Students retain the right to appeal the results of final state examinations. Grounds for making an appeal may be as follows: an irregularity, in a student’s opinion, in the established procedures for state examination or thesis defence, or if a student disagrees with the results of the state examination.

Procedures for Considering Academic Appeals against the Results of Final State Examinations Filed by Students in Bachelor’s, Specialist and Master’s Degree Programmes at HSE University 

The Appeals Committee for 2023/2024 academic year:


Marina Kolosnitsyna, Professor

Members:Vladimir S. Avtonomov, Professor
 Yury Dranev, Associate Professor
 Kirill Bukin, Assistant Professor
Secretary:Elena I. Osipova, Advisor
Tel.: +7 (495) 628-64-41, add. 27192
Email: osipovaei@hse.ru

Degree Certificates

Upon successful completion of the FSC process, graduates shall be issued the following documents: 

Degree Certificates with Honours can be issued, provided that the following criteria are satisfied: 

  • all grades listed in the diploma supplement for courses / modules and elements of practical training are ‘Excellent’, ‘Good’ or ‘Pass’;
  • all FSC grades are ‘Excellent’;
  • the proportion of ‘Excellent’ grades listed in a diploma supplement, including those for FSC, comes to at least 75% of total grades, with the exception of passing grades, as listed in the diploma supplement. 

HSE Academic Handbook:


FSC Retake