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.
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.