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Questions about the programme

What is the curriculum content like?

Our programme is an advanced training programme for students who want to become top international level professionals in economics and finance. We prepare our MSc students to apply the cutting-edge knowledge, intellectual and practical skills to tackle real-world challenges through our well-structured combination of theoretical and applied courses in the curriculum, professional elective courses and mentorship programme.

What is the balance of theory and practice?

Our students get a solid fundamental understanding of economics and finance, and at the same time, they have a wide range of applied electives. These courses are taught by people who work in different areas of industry, finance, consulting etc., and who also have an experience of studying or working abroad. Project and research work as part of the curriculum contribute to students’ getting hands-on experience and developing research and soft skills.

What research facilities are available to ICEF MSc students?

ICEF pays great attention to research-oriented students and creates favourable conditions for their academic and personal development. In addition to the already intense studies, ICEF offers MSc students a chance to gain even deeper knowledge of Economics and Finance through its ICEF Academia project and Advanced Research Programme in particular aimed at students interested in doing more research during their studies and who consider pursuing an academic career in future.

MSc students benefit from a very vibrant research seminar arranged by ICEF International Research Laboratory in Financial Economics (LFE) and joint research projects implemented by ICEF faculty and enjoy extensive ICT and library facilities.

Can students complete the Master of Financial Economics programme part-time or via distance learning?

No, the Master of Financial Economics programme is full-time only and takes place on the HSE campus.

How busy is the programme schedule? What time of day are classes?

The Master of Financial Economics programme is rigorous and intensive to ensure that students have a strong understanding of the fundamentals of economics and finance. Classes generally run between 09:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Elective courses usually run in the evening and on Saturdays as they are taught by invited finance practitioners.

Are classes individually driven or team based?

Different classes have different expectations and the teaching faculty will make it clear if you are to work as a team or on your own.

Do MSc students get any support to prepare for CFA?

ICEF compensates for a part of the CFA programme and registration fee to candidates who successfully passed CFA Level 1. Additionally ICEF offers a free course in Practical Finance which helps students to prepare for CFA Level 1 programme.

What is special about the cooperation of HSE International College of Economics and Finance with the London School of Economics and Political Science on a Master level?

The Master’s in Financial Economics was designed by the HSE International College of Economics and Finance in collaboration with the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in 2007 meeting the standards of UK Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education.

What exchange opportunities are available to ICEF MSc students?

A variety of exchange opportunities is available through HSE University and ICEF own agreements. On top of that, students can benefit from individual mobility schemes earning a degree or spending a semester at overseas universities of their own choice within their individual study plan at ICEF.  

Who teaches ICEF MSc students?

Our diverse team of teaching and research fellows are PhD holders of top-ranked universities of the world and leading experts from financial institutions and consulting services, whose outstanding qualifications meet the highest of international standards.

What degree (diploma) would I graduate with after completing the Master of Financial Economics?

The diploma is a Master Diploma in subject field 38.04.01 Economics (awarded by HSE).

When does the MSc programme start?

The MSc programme starts in September.

Questions about admissions

What are the minimum entry requirements to the MSc programme?

To apply for the MSc programme you should have a Bachelor degree or equivalent with concentration on economics and quantitative subjects and at least a year of university level mathematics and statistics.

Who conducts the selection of applicants for ICEF MSc programme in Financial Economics?

The selection of applicants is conducted by the Admissions Committee. The appointments are subject to approval by the International Academic Committee (IAC) of ICEF.

What criteria are taken into account in the first place when selecting students for the programme?

The selection of applicants is conducted by the Admissions Committee based on the students’ portfolio. To participate students should prove the English language proficiency (IELTS ≥ 6.0, TOEFL iBT ≥80).

Students’ portfolio are evaluated against the following criteria: relevant academic background and academic performance, quality of students’ research papers, certified personal achievements (e.g. winners of academic contests), references from an academic supervisor or renowned experts.

Are GMAT and GRE obligatory? Is there a minimum GMAT or GRE?

These exams are not obligatory, but taking them and obtaining high scores can improve candidate's chances of successful application.

Do I need to be interviewed for admission to ICEF MSc programme and how will the results of it be taken into account?

The Admissions Committee may call the candidate for an interview in order to clarify the information provided. Interviews for international candidates are conducted via video conference tools and last 15-20 minutes. The interview is aimed to ascertain interests, plans for the future and preferences of the candidate. An applicant can be asked with regard to his/her previous academic papers or some questions on Economic theory or Mathematics but only within the minimum requirements for MSc programme applicants. The final decision on the points attributed to the portfolio is based on the interview results.

What is the deadline to apply for ICEF MSc programme in Financial Economics?

Application dates: November 1, 2021 - August 15, 2023.

Do I need an undergraduate degree in a particular field in order to apply?

No. We will consider applications from candidates from a variety of backgrounds, although the majority come from economics, mathematics, engineering or statistics.

Do I need work experience in order to apply?

While some applicants may have some experience, this is not a requirement for admission. Most of our students come directly from undergraduate programmes.

Can the TOEFL or IELTS requirement be waived?

All applicants whose native language is not English and who have not received their entire undergraduate education in an English-speaking country must submit scores from one of two internationally recognized assessments of English language proficiency, the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Test scores are valid for two years.

Questions about tuition and financial aid

Are fellowships or scholarships available to Master of Financial Economics students?

International students are eligible for full and partial (85% and 50%) scholarships. All the scholarships are merit-based and depend on the result of the application evaluation.

The Master in Financial Economics programme offers a limited number of scholarships in cooperation with VTB Bank. These scholarships are extremely competitive and students should meet the required criteria in order to be eligible for the scholarship.

​​​​​​​Are Research Assistantships (RA) or Teaching Assistantships (TA) available to Master in Financial Economics programme students?

Students enrolled in the Master in Financial Economics programme willing to participate in ICEF academic activities may apply for RA and TA opportunities that may exist at ICEF.

Questions about careers

What is the function of the Career Centre?

The Career Centre helps you through the whole process of your career planning. Here is the link to the Career Centre activities https://icef.hse.ru/en/career.

Other resources include the ICEF alumni network, mentorship programme, and greater ICEF. 

​​​​​​​What are the ICEF MSc alumni’s employment tracks?

Our graduates successfully work in leading investment banks and other financial institutions in Moscow (Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan, Sber CIB, Citi), and in London (Morgan Stanley, Barclays, Credit Suisse), in strategic consulting (McKinsey, Bain) and real economy (Gazprom, Microsoft).

Some graduates opt for an academic career with a PhD programme of such universities as University of California, Berkeley; London School of Economics; University of Minnesota, etc.