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Regular version of the site

International Students Can Now Apply to HSE through a Simplified Procedure

HSE’s Admission Rules for the 2017/2018 academic year have undergone some changes in regards to international admission. The admission track is now unified for students from both CIS and non-CIS countries. Thus, only two exams must be passed in order to be accepted into a given undergraduate programme, while competitions for Master’s programmes only require a portfolio and an interview. The rules for International Olympiad Competitions have also been changed. Registration for these competitions ends on November 15.

Supply and Demand

‘Demand for studies at HSE has considerably grown over recent years among international students,’ said Tatiana Chetvernina, Director of International Admissions at HSE.

One of the reasons for this is that HSE is now more and more often found holding high positions in authoritative international rankings (e.g., it entered the Top-100 in the recent THE ranking for Business and Economics) and is becoming more visible on the global educational market. In addition, there are also opportunities to study at HSE with tuition covered by state scholarships from the Russian Government. However, even when international students are studying in fee-paying places, tuition fees, under current economic conditions, are nevertheless much lower than those of European or American universities at the same level.

The number of Russian Government tuition-free scholarships for international students at HSE for the next academic year will most likely the same. Their distribution among the University’s programmes will largely depend on demand for certain programmes. Only the best prospective students will receive scholarships.

The new innovation for 2017 is that, for the first time ever, designated fee-paying places shall be assigned exclusively for international applicants. The number of these places is limited and will be indicated on each programme’s site.

On November 1, registration in Russian and English opens for international applicants interested in applying for HSE’s undergraduate, Master’s or preparatory programmes, said Kirill Kisel, Head of the HSE Department for Cooperation with CIS and Baltic States. Application forms are to be included in international applicants’ personal profiles, which will be available through the Admissions page. Information on an applicant’s participation in various HSE projects will also be stored in his/her personal profile.

How to Apply for Undergraduate Programmes

This year, international residents applying to any undergraduate or specialist’s programme must pass two exams and, in case of creative specializations (such as Design, Fashion, or Journalism), also take a creative test. Prospective students can apply for no more than two programmes at the same time. A full list of entrance exams in each field is available in the Admission Rules section (Appendices 10-13 for different campuses, including HSE Moscow). ‘Social Studies’, which was traditionally difficult for international applicants, has been excluded from the list.

Furthermore, it will also be possible to pass exams remotely, without ever coming to Russia. The technical details of such entrance exams are now being elaborated upon.

At the same time, the main way to enter HSE’s Russian-taught undergraduate and specialist’s programmes is through International Olympiad Competitions (IOCs). IOCs are focused on continually broadening their geography, and this year, they will be held in 21 countries. In addition to CIS and several European countries, IOCs will be held this year in such new territories as Turkey, Vietnam and Indonesia.

Furthermore, IOC winners and prize winners interested in applying for HSE undergraduate or specialist’s programmes in 2017 will have the opportunity to receive Russian Government scholarships for tuition, just as if they have already successfully passed entrance exams.

Until recently, international residents could participate in IOCs only in the country of their residence and outside of the Russian Federation. This year, the IOC will, for the first time, be held in Moscow and St. Petersburg, for foreigners living in Russia and/or studying (or who have studied) here, either in international and Russian educational institutions.

Our task is to expand opportunities for enrolling international students at HSE. We offer the most comfortable, simple and transparent ways to help them make their dreams come true by coming to study at our university

Please note that the Olympiad’s tasks in various subjects have been translated into English. IOC winners who are interested in studying in HSE’s Russian-taught programmes, but have poor command of the Russian language, are advised to enroll in Preparatory Year programme and, after its completion, start their undergraduate studies.

In order to be enrolled in HSE through an IOC, an applicant must earn a certain number of points, not in one, but in two subjects. For example, an international applicant wishing to apply for Economics should participate in IOCs in two subjects - mathematics and a foreign language. After the results are announced in each of the two subjects (in total points), they should be tallied and compared with entrance points, which will be announced for each programme no later than January 15, 2017.

Furthermore, please note that it’s important to choose the right subjects for one’s participation in an Olympiad. As such, applicants should take their time to carefully study the Table of Correlation between the subjects of IOC 2017 and HSE’s Russian-taught undergraduate programmes. 

How to Apply for a Master’s Programme

This year, the competitive selection of international applicants for Master’s programmes will be based on their portfolios and interviews. International applicants for Master’s programmes may choose two Master’s programmes in their personal profile (both a priority and ‘reserve’ programme). Registration on the website will open on November 1, 2016. Portfolio contents, as well as minimal requirements for the competition, will be published in November 2016 on the Admissions page.

The competitive selection will take place in three waves - in February, May, and June, respectively. At the same time, an applicant may participate in the competition only once. As a result of a portfolio analysis and interview, the programme selection committee shall recommend either the applicant for enrolment (under a Russian Government scholarship or to a fee-paying place), or reject the candidate.

Starting from 2017, applicants recommended for enrolment may submit originals of their degree certificates not in August, as was done previously, but by the end of the calendar year. This innovation is relevant for those who receive their certificates later than Russian university graduates. In addition, it will be sufficient for 2017 applicants to submit a temporary certificate of education at the time of their enrolment.

It is important to note that there is also the option of being enrolled in a state-funded place at HSE (for Russian-taught programmes) as part of an Olympiad for students and graduates, which has been held by HSE in spring for several years in a row. The next one takes place March 2017, and registration opens in December 2016.

‘Our task is to expand opportunities for enrolling international students at HSE. We offer the most comfortable, simple and transparent ways to help them make their dreams come true by coming to study at our university’, emphasized Tatiana Chetvernina.  

See also:

How to Transfer to HSE

December is one of the two months during the year when students can transfer to HSE from other academic institutions. To facilitate this process, HSE has introduced an online service for those seeking a transfer.


first-year students are enrolled in state-funded places in the full-time Master's degree programme in Moscow. This is the largest enrolment yet; last year, 1,604 people enrolled in state-funded places in HSE's full-time Master's programmes. 


full-time state-funded Master’s programmes at HSE have completed enrolment for graduate students.