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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), 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.


SmartWay system

Home page of the SmartWay system contains the following elements:

My curriculum (to choose core and elective courses)

Additional courses (to substitute courses from your curriculum or customize learning process)

Optional courses (to choose optional courses provided by your faculty)

English (to view assigned English language courses)


In My curriculum you will be able to see the following elements of your curriculum:

For bachelors and specialists

  • Major
    • Core professional
    • Elective professional 
      • Elective courses
      • Research seminar
  • Minor (chosen via separate selection campaign)
  • General courses
  • Data Culture

For masters

  • Major
    • Core professional
    • Elective professional 
      • Elective courses
      • Research seminar
  • Minor (chosen via separate selection campaign)
  • Key seminars

Please note that some courses in My curriculum will be assigned automatically. These courses will be highlighted in gray – you won’t be able to change them in SmartWay system. However, you will be able to choose subject units (lecture and seminar groups) during the third selection round if a course has more than one subject unit.

“Additional courses” section is used to choose courses offered by different educational programmes. Can be used to substitute courses from student’s curriculum.

“Optional courses” section is used to view or choose optional courses provided by student’s faculty. Optional courses are not offered by every faculty, so this section may be disabled.

“English” section is used to choose or view assigned English language courses. For most educational programmes these courses are planned only for 1st, 2nd and 4th years (for bachelors only).

Instructions to work in SmartWay: https://electives.hse.ru/en/sw/ 

Selection campaign timeline

Timeline for selection campaign for the 1st semester of 2022/2023 study year. Dates and time may change insignificantly.

  • 1st round (16:00 June 8 – 18:30 June 9)

    During 1st selection round you should:

    • Open “My curriculum” section
    • Look through the list of elective courses and schedule
    • Send applications for selected courses

    Places are distributed according to the time application was submitted. If a course implies competitive selection, it will be finished before the start of the second round. Selection is based on student's rating if not stated otherwise.

  • Selection process

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

  • 2nd round (June 15 12:30-23:59)

    In case your application receives “Declined” status during the second round you should choose another course. During this round all the courses with places left are available (regardless of 1st round selection). If your application was declined by your programme manager from June 10 to June 14 (in this case you will receive an e-mail notification), you cannot resubmit this application.

    If all your applications were approved, you don’t need to participate in the 2nd round.

  • Distribution of the remaining students (courses)

    Students who did not select the required amount of courses (credits) during 1st and 2nd rounds are distributed between courses by prorgammes managers.

  • 3rd round (12:30 June 20 – 23:59 June 21)

    During the 3rd selection round students look through the schedule and choose subject units (groups they will attend lectures and seminars with) for each course. Students make up their own schedule based on options provided for every course. Students themselves are responsible for schedule overlaps.

    If a course has one cohort or group, it will be assigned automatically.

    If a student does not participate in the 3rd selection round, random subject units will be assigned

  • Distribution of the remaining students (subject units)

    Students who did not select subject units (groups) are distributed between them by prorgammes managers.

Changing learning trajectory by choosing additional courses

Choosing courses from “My curriculum” and “Additional courses” sections a student may pursue one of the strategies:

  • Make choses based on programme’s office recommendations, working curriculum (educational programme curriculum)
  • Partially substitute their curriculum courses with elements from “Additional courses” section without changing total amount of credits or field of study (for example, choosing 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.
  • Choose additional courses not included in working curriculum. 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.
  • Substitute working curriculum courses with courses not corresponding with educational standard of their area of study. There are two options:
    • Choose “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.

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

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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