The HSE has launched a new ‘International Master in Comparative Social Research’ programme at the St. Petersburg’s Laboratory for Comparative Social Research (LCSR). The Programme’s Academic Director is Ronald Inglehart, Head of the LCSR, world-renowned expert in comparative social research, and a professor at the HSE St. Petersburg and the University of Michigan. The Programme’s Director, also a renowned expert, is Christopher Swader, Associate Professor of the HSE Moscow’s Faculty of Sociology. The International Advisory Board and the pool of lecturers include Eduard Ponarin, Head of the LCSR; Christian Welzel, HSE Professor; Arye Rattner, Professor at the University of Haifa; Joshua Dubrow, Associate Professor at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, IFiS-PAN; and others.
This year the programme will enroll 18 students; eventually the number of places will grow to 25. The official application deadline is May 31, 2014. The application package includes the results of international English-language tests (if the student is not a native speaker), such as TOEFL, IELTS, or CAE. ‘We haven’t set any limits in terms of English certificate grades. Students can apply with the results they have. And it’s not necessary to pass the GRE specially for the application’, Programme Director Christopher Swader explained.
The most promising students will be offered a scholarship and free tuition. ‘Scholarships are offered to those students who have achieved the highest level of academic success and who have high potential to become professional sociologists. The students’ research, and their academic interests and experience will be very important in the admission process. Free tuition will be offered by the same criteria’, Chris Swader said. He added that the exact number of budget-financed places and scholarships hasn’t yet been approved, but ‘we are planning to award at least four scholarships, the same number of free places for students from Russia, the CIS, and the Baltic countries, and four or more free places for students from other countries’. For fee-paying students, the programme will cost 300,000 roubles (about $8,300).
Classes will start this coming September and will be held consecutively in different locations. The first semester of study will take place in Moscow, and the second – in St. Petersburg. The third semester will include a research internship at one of the HSE’s international partner universities. During the fourth and last semester, students will work on their theses under the supervision of their academic supervisor, a St. Petersburg LCSR researcher.
The first two semesters of study include theoretical disciplines (Social Theory, Comparative Sociology, and Contemporary Social Analysis) and methods (quantitative and qualitative methods, multilevel regression analysis, and comparative empirical methods), as well as lectures and master classes by invited international instructors and experts.
‘We’ll offer something that hasn’t been developed within the HSE before. The programme prepares students for international academic work and research. I believe it will fill its niche and create a new platform for sociological studies at the HSE’, Christopher Swader commented.
Participating students will be able to select their place of internship and thesis topic so long as they are in line with the programme’s requirements. ‘Internships will be varied. For example, an intern in Lüneburg will be able to help Professor Christian Welzel in his studies on emancipation values – to carry out quantitative analysis in this new area. Or they can work in Rome with Fabio Sabatini on social capital and technologies’, Christopher Swader suggested.
Daria Shubina, specially for the HSE News Service