• A
  • A
  • A
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
Regular version of the site

Admission for Doctoral Studies Kicks Off

Admission for Doctoral Studies Kicks Off

Applications are now being accepted for HSE doctoral programmes. The 2018 procedure is similar to that used by many international universities: exams can be sat online and in English, and HSE can now confer its own academic degrees. Sergey Roshchin, HSE Vice Rector, told the HSE News Service about how the procedure has changed.

First wave kicks off in winter

Since 2017, federal law has allowed us to hold exams and receive applications for doctoral programmes before students get their previous (MA) degree. As of today, the system has been finalized, and admissions to HSE doctoral programmes started on December 1.

As in the previous year, enrolment will take place in two waves. The first wave of applications has already started and will run until March 15, 2018. In 2017, the university implemented a similar two-wave procedure of entrance exams for the first time, and found that 80% of the slots were filled after the first wave. We assume that in May 2018, a list of students recommended for enrolment will be ready, but the final decision on enrolment will be made only after they submit the originals of their MA degree certificates. Those programmes that have vacant slots after the first wave has completed will announce a second wave of enrolment. Applications will be accepted, as last year, from August 1 to September 14, 2018.

The application procedure for the HSE doctoral programme is falling into line with the approach taken at many international universities, where applications for PhD programmes are accepted in autumn or winter. This allows senior MA students to select their further study trajectories and desired university in advance. This procedure is in place around the world, and previously, when we only accepted applications in summer, our enrolment was out of sync with the global flow. We hope that students finishing their studies at Russian or international universities will find this new procedure convenient, and that they will consider choosing a doctoral programme at HSE.

Online entrance exams

We are expanding the practice of online exams, which we already trialed in 2017. Modern technology makes it easy for prospective students to contact the university, the examination board, and their doctoral school peers at any time, and to sit entrance exams online. This is important for students from Russian and international universities.

The list of entrance exams is determined by the university. Each doctoral school will enroll students depending on the results of two exams: a foreign language, and the qualification subject. Part of the qualification subject exam is portfolio competition, which brings together information on the student’s research, analytical, and study achievements.

As in 2017, students can apply for several areas of studies at several doctoral schools at the same time.

International students

In 2017, HSE doctoral programmes sparked lively interest among international students. One reason for this uptick in interest was the opportunity to get free tuition (financed by the Russian government) under the quota system. But there are also students interested in fee-paying studies on HSE doctoral programmes. This year, international students applying for fee-paying slots will sit the same exams as Russians: a foreign language, and the qualification subject. Those applying as part of the quota scheme will take part in the portfolio competition. Admissions for the quota scheme open on February 1, 2018, and run until March 31.

Today, HSE doctoral schools are fully capable of offering teaching in both Russian and English, which is why there are almost no limitations on enrolling international students.

HSE’s own degrees

In August 2017, it was announced that the university received the right to conduct its own dissertation defense procedure, and, from February 1, 2018, HSE will have its own dissertation councils. This also makes the procedure similar to the practice followed at European and American universities. We hope that this alignment will allow us conduct joint dissertation defense procedures with our partner universities for students on double degree programmes.

See also:

‘My Time at HSE Was a Turning Point’

HSE master’s programme alumni and an HSE doctoral student received an international Catalyst Grant from Digital Science in support of the development of their startup, MLprior, a service for researchers and scientists. HSE News Service spoke with Vladislav Ishimtsev, one of the startup creators, about the biggest ‘thorns’ in researchers’ sides, artificial intelligence, and the possibility of a machine uprising.

Between Two Universities

Alina Pertseva, who earned her PhD in Philosophy from the Doctoral School of Philosophy at HSE in 2017, defended her dissertation at two universities at once — HSE and the University of Paris VIII. In an interview with the HSE news service, Pertseva discussed how she managed to do this and how the Russian and French approaches to research differ.


International students have been enrolled in HSE undergraduate and graduate programmes this academic year. About 800 people will study on Russian government scholarships while the rest will pay tuition fees. Compared to last year, the number of international students among first-year fee-paying students has increased by about 80%.

First PhD Thesis Presented as Articles on the Topic Defended at HSE

On September 11, Ivan Smirnov, graduate of the HSE Institute of Education doctoral programme, defended his Candidate of Sciences (Education) on ‘Differentiation of students by academic performance in a social network’. His thesis consists of four articles which had been published in academic journals, as well as a description of the study methods, design and main outcomes.

New PhD Track Offered by HSE Doctoral School of Education Will Measure 21st Century Skills

A new English-taught PhD track in Educational Measurement and Testing has been launched by the HSE Institute of Education. It is the only programme of its kind in Russia and most European countries. International students can apply for Russian government scholarships until March 31, 2018. General application round is from August 1 until September 14.

After Two Master’s Degrees in India and Norway, Indian Student Chooses HSE for Doctoral Studies in Political Science

Ashish Kumar Singh hails from a place called Raebareli, a city of about 3,000,000 people located in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. He recently joined the doctoral programme in Political Science at HSE, a decision he says was motivated by discussions he had with a professor from HSE who was visiting the Russian Centre for Science and Culture in New Delhi

Admission to HSE Was a Key Event in My Life

Ekaterina Vasilevskaya is a second year student on the full-time advanced doctoral programme, and also a visiting lecturer at HSE. Since 2016, she has participated in the 'Health Literacy and Its Impact on Weight-Related Behaviors in College Students’ research project at Florida International University, USA. In her interview for the Doctoral School of Psychology, Ekaterina spoke about being admitted to the HSE doctoral programme, and her studies.


applicants are currently competing for each scholarship slot allocated for prospective international students interested in taking part in HSE’s doctoral programme.

Admissions for HSE Doctoral Programmes Now Open

New regulations simplifying admissions to HSE’s doctoral programmes have been approved. The procedure includes two application waves that consider personal achievements, and offers more opportunities for those who speak foreign languages. Vice Rector Sergey Roshchin told us more about the changes.

HSE Offers Traineeship Opportunities for International Doctoral Students

Doctoral schools provide an opportunity for international doctoral students to undertake part of their study or research at HSE. The university offers two types of traineeships – research and study. The study stay involves taking courses from the HSE doctoral schools. The research stay offers the opportunity to work with a particular academic advisor or at an international research laboratory or centre; gain access to international full-text and abstract databases, journals and books; and attend graduate seminars.