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Elective courses: general information

By choosing elective courses students can customize their learning process to match career goals and perspectives.

Students choose elective courses in September (1st year students choose courses for the 1st semester, all students choose Open Optional Courses), December (courses for the 2nd semester of the current study year) and at the end of Spring/beginning of Summer (for the 1st semester of the following study year).

Choice is made using SmartWay system.

Three steps (rounds) to include elective courses into your individual curriculum:

1. select courses you want to study and send an application,

2. check statuses of your application, if an application is declined – choose another course,

3. choose subject units to determine your schedule.


Common issues

I can't close a pop-up

I can't select a core course

I have pre-selected time slots

I can't select time slots

  • Selection campaign timeline

    Timeline for the selection campaign for the 1st semester of 2023/2024 academic year. Moscow time

    Preview (10:50 DECEMBER 11 - 10:00 DECEMBER 12)

    During this period you will be able to log into SmartWay to get acquainted with the interface, look through the list of available courses and time slots. 

    During the preview you can prepare for the selection itself. You should: 

    1. look through the list of available courses 

    2. get acquainted with courses’ specifications (content, format, estimation formula, whether a course implies any selection and what are the selection rules, or it is speed based) 

    3. look through available time slots. 

    Note all the courses you find suitable to send applications during the actual selection faster. 

    First selection round (course selection) 10:50-23:59 DECEMBER 12

    During the first selection round you should: 

    • Open “My curriculum” section in the SmartWay system; 

    • Look through the list of elective courses and available time slots; 

    • Send applications for selected courses. 

    For courses with no additional selection application status (Approved/Declined) will be available in up to 30 minutes (during this period the application will have “Sent” status). Places are distributed according to the time application was submitted.  

    For courses with competitive selection applications will be approved or declined by a professor based on selection rules stated in the course abstract or based on student's rating. 

    You won’t be able to submit an application if the maximum number of applications has been reached. 

    Selection process 

    Before the start of the second selection round all your applications for the courses that imply competitive selection will receive “Approved” or “Declined” status in your SmartWay account. 

    Please note! 2nd year bachelors and specialists cannot select general courses during the 1st selection round.

    Second selection round (time slots and additional course selection) 10:50 DECEMBER 19 - 23:59 DECEMBER 20

    During the second selection round you should compile your timetable for courses starting in the 1st and 2nd modules. 

    You should select time slots - groups you will attend lectures and seminars with - for each course. Students themselves are responsible for schedule overlaps. 

    ! If you do not select any time slots for a course you have selected during the first selection round – application for this course will be automatically withdrawn. 

    During the second selection round you also may 

    • for 2nd year bachelors and specialists - select general courses
    • change your selection – withdraw applications submitted during the first round. 

    • submit applications for courses with vacant places. In this case you can only submit course and time slot applications together. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Course specifications to consider

  • Schedule overlaps with already selected courses
  • Where do classes take place (HSE University Buildings)
  • Course language

SmartWay system

Main sections

Please note that some courses in Core and Elective Courses section are assigned automatically. These courses are highlighted in grey - you  can't change them in the SmartWay system. If the course has not started yet during the second selection round you will be able to select time slots (cohorts, groups) - if a course has more than one time slot. 

In Core and Elective Courses section you can select General courses, MagoLego and other courses from your programme curicullum.

Bachelors and Specialists

In Core and Elective Courses you will be able to see courses from differend sections of your curriculum. Click on the sections to learn more


In Core and Elective Courses you will be able to see courses from differend sections of your curriculum. Click on the sections to learn more

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Additional Course?

Additional Courses section contains courses from other programmes curricula. May be used to substitute courses from your curriculum (requires approval from academic supervisor).

For more information see Changing learning trajectory by selectiong additional courses 

  • Any deviations from the list of courses recommended by your degree programme should be approved by academic supervisor

    Standard learning trajectory - selectiong courses from your programme curriculum.

    Below are the unusual options.

    Partially substituting courses included in the programme curricilum with elements from “Additional courses” section

     Total amount of credits or field of study is not being changed (for example, selecting courses offered by allied educational programmes).

    If both requirements - standard credit volume of a higher educational programme and allied field of study – are met, a student gets a degree without additional procedures.

    Selectiong additional courses not included in the prorgamme curruculum

    If these courses are within an allied field of study, a student may take more courses in one year and skip some in another. If courses are not within allied fields of study – see.

    Substituting courses included in the programme curriculum

    Substitute courses included in the programme curriculum with courses not corresponding with educational standard of the area of study.

    There are two options:

    • Select “HSE Bachelor” study track. A student can choose any courses within the amount of credits stated in their agreement. No area of study will be stated in student’s diploma. Students are required to transfer from budget-funded to fee-paying place.
    • Include courses to their curriculum as additional modules (part of a degree programme) – see.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if I exceed standard credit volume?

A student has a maximum amount of credits they can get during their period of study (standard volume of a higher educational programme). Listed below are guide numbers for full-time programmes:

  • bachelors: 4 years – 240 credits, 5 years – 300 credits;
  • specialists: 5 years – 330 credits;
  • masters: 2 years – 120 credits.

For additional information see your programme’s curriculum. Where to find: programme’s website – Documents (right side column) – Degree Programme Curriculum – choose your year of enrollment – click on pdf-file under “Curriculum”. Standard volume of your educational programme is stated in the line “Degree programme”, column “Credits”.

All credits above standard volume are considered additional modules. Different types of additional modules may have different prices.

Exceptions are open optional courses, elements of practical training (projects) and courses provided by a faculty (optional courses). 


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