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Master’s in ‘International Business’ Becomes Double Degree Programme

Starting this year, students in the ‘International Business’ Master’s programme will receive two diplomas: a Russian state-recognized Master's degree in ‘Management’ with a specialization in ‘International Business’ from the Higher School of Economics and a Master of International Business (MIB) from the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina (USA).

Университет Южной Каролины
Университет Южной Каролины
According to US News & World Report, the programme at the Darla Moore School of Business has been ranked first among similar American Master’s programmes for several years. This programme, like HSE’s ‘International Business’ programme, was created in the image and likeness of the oldest recognized world leader in the field of MIB – the programme at Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (USA). Tufts University can be compared with Harvard in terms of popularity and fame, and the two universities share a common set of courses that students from each can attend. ‘The concept of curricula in both programmes, the content of courses, and original methods of teaching are all the “Fletcher” model of the MIB, training generalists for international companies’, said Irina Kratko, Academic Supervisor of the ‘International Business’ programme. ‘To date, this programme is unique in Russia. With the creation of double degree program with the University of South Carolina, HSE has become the first Russian university to offer a Master’s degree with an American business school’. 

Terms for obtaining an American degree

Students or graduates of the ‘International Business’ programme wishing to obtain a second degree have a portion of their credits (courses) counted at the University of South Carolina. This is just under half of the total number of credits that must be acquired for an MIB in South Carolina. Students take the rest of the courses during a single semester at the University of South Carolina. Some of the courses are free for students in the ‘International Business’ programme, so as a result, getting a second degree will cost students half as much compared to staying and training in the United States in the usual manner. 

Study at other foreign universities — what's new

A major advantage of the programme is the semester abroad. ‘This year, all of our students who interested in studying as part of an exchange at one of our partner universities had the opportunity to do so’ says Kratko. ‘This first of all concerns the Fletcher School at Tufts University. Despite the sanctions and current tensions in Russian-American relations, all students wishing to complete a semester abroad successfully passed the competitive selection process and were accepted to the Fletcher School. In the autumn, they will go to Boston where they will be able to take courses not only at Fletcher but also at Harvard’. Other partners include the University of Parma (Italy), the University of Luxembourg and the University of California at San Diego (USA). For all courses taken abroad, students receive a certificate stating that credits will be counted at HSE.

Practical orientation, raised to the nth power

The main principle of the ‘International Business’ programme is a focus on practical training. More than half of the courses, along with regular workshops are led by top Russian and foreign managers and experts working at international companies such as PricewaterhouseCoopers, Michelin, Egon Zehnder International and others. A new development last year was a long-term series of workshops by Henkel Russia and the Volga-Dnepr Group of Companies that are designed for the entire academic year and consist of thematic lectures that begin with an overview of companies’ business and subsequently cover all the activities of their functional units. This allows students not only to find their way into all aspects of a major international company’s operations, but also to choose the most attractive area for further career growth.

These business partners of the programme and a number of other foreign companies became clients for student consulting projects as part of the course on international business consulting. Constant interaction with representatives of the companies helps students find places for internships and contributes to their employment in the future.

Other programme bonuses

Students say that apart from its practical orientation, the undeniable advantages of the programme are that it is English-speaking, that there is an ability to combine study with work, and the particularly unique environment of communication between students themselves and between students and teachers. This is an intangible asset that they can use in the future, and not only in the professional sphere. 

How to get into the programme

In order to enter the Master’s programme in ‘International Business’ students must submit a portfolio. The programme is open for preliminary acceptance of portfolios, so students can now assess their chances of admission and obtain advice on how to improve their chances.

Entrants must also provide an internationally recognized certificate indicating their level of English proficiency (TOEFL / IELTS / PTE / CAE / BEC and others). In the absence of a certificate, a student will be interviewed in English. Acceptance of documents for the programme will take place from June 3 to August 5.

More about the programme can be learned at the Open House that will take place on April 25. 

What students and alumni think about the programme

Ivan Bukhmastov, 2014 graduate

Head of Production, United Media Holding group Russia

I did not have the business skills I needed for work, as my first degree was in the field of international relations. Evening classes taught in English and the list of courses convinced me to choose the MIB.

Thanks to the programme, I can now freely communicate and negotiate with foreign partners; training in the programme has also opened my path into international companies.

I really liked that my fellow students came from a variety of previous education and experience as well as from different cities and countries. The experience that we shared with each other was no less important than the knowledge we gained in the classroom.

As for the workshops, I would like to mention that they were very useful in helping us get to know the problems faced by companies at different levels and how they are solved.

The programme has undoubtedly expanded my horizons. I began to view business processes very differently and monitor everything that happens in the Russian and global economy. Moreover, I still maintain relationships with classmates and am very happy with these new connections.


Darya Luzgina, student

Manager of International Relations at Glukoza Production animation studio

The MIB programme was almost the only one in Moscow receiving students not on the basis of entrance exams, but, as is customary in most European and American universities, on the basis of previous experience and a portfolio.

In the MIB programme, I could combine work with study. In addition, having graduated the undergraduate programme in English and having lived most of my life abroad, I was looking for a Master's programme in English.

My greatest memory from the programme has been the semester at Fletcher, one of the most prestigious universities in the United States and a partner of the MIB programme. 


Olga Kocherova, 2014 graduate

Lead Expert at Foreign Trade Information and Analysis Center

I went to study in this programme because I lacked the knowledge I needed to find a good job. I was looking for a flexible programme that would allow study and work at the same time. I also wanted to study abroad.

The programme provides a universal set of skills that allow a person to get a job in any field.

I also really liked the programme director, Irina Kratko, and the way she related to students, her enthusiasm and passion.

I really liked the consulting projects. Thanks to them we realized how business functions on a day-to-day level. This is also a big plus for employers; I always mention in interviews that the group of students performed a real project for a company while they studied in the MIB programme.

And, of course, my time spent at Fletcher was one of the most vivid impressions of my life. It was five months of world-class education in a friendly, motivating environment.

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