Dissertation Defense at HSE

Attention! Starting from February 1, 2018, HSE has switched to a new system for awarding academic degrees.

Regulations for Awarding Academic Degree..sity Higher School of Economics 

Regulations on the Dissertation Committe..sity Higher School of Economics 

A dissertation defense is an academic examination, based on the results of which, an academic degree (PhD or Doctor of Science) is issued in a specific area of study.

HSE uses a two-level degree system:

1st level – Doctor of Philosophy HSE, PhD HSE;

2nd level – Doctor of Sciences HSE, DS HSE.

Features of the defense procedure:

Availability of dissertation and related documents

The defense procedure commences with the publication of a dissertation on the HSE website. Following this, the following papers must be added: an abstract, information on official opponents and the external reviewer, all reviews of the dissertation and the abstract, as well as the dissertation council’s conclusion on the defense.

Full texts of dissertations, abstracts, and reviews of past defenses are available here.

Open sessions

Dissertation council meetings are open to the public, and anybody interested may attend.

Sessions are audio- and video-recorded. Recording are attached to the documents used in a defense.

Collegiate decision

For each dissertation, the council shall form a committee and assign a chairperson. The committee shall bring in the most qualified experts in the specific field of study and selected dissertation methods, no matter their country of origin and what institution they may work at.

The committee shall consist of five experts who have published works in the given area of research. They may be nominated by the members of the dissertation council, the applicant’s academic supervisor, and appropriate departments of HSE.

The committee members’ expertise in the field of the given dissertation must be confirmed by acknowledgement of the professional community and the presence of academic publications on the topic of the dissertation in journals indexed in Web of Science, Scopus or RSCI (Russian Science Citation Index).

The committee may include members of the dissertation council, HSE staff (no more than three members of the committee), and external experts who hold Candidate of Science, Doctor of Science, or PhD degrees. Furthermore, at least one of the committee’s two external members must be employed at a leading international research or educational institution.

The committee cannot include an applicant’s academic supervisor, official academic adviser, any co-authors of his/her papers, and other experts who may have a conflict of interests.

Following the decision of the dissertation council, several dissertations may be considered by the same committee. If a dissertation is interdisciplinary in its scope, the committee members may represent the various expert fields.

Decisions in regards to accepting a dissertation for review, registration for its defense, and assigning an academic degree are made by the dissertation council.