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Regular version of the site

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.


Selection campaign timeline

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

  • Preview (12:00 June 8 - 9:00 June 9)

    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 June 9 - 18:00 June 13

    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.  

    If there are extra places available, a student whose application was previously declined will receive a notification. Notifications may be sent with delay, check SmartWay for most relevant data. 

    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. 

    During the first selection round you will be able to select: 

    • English language courses – for students going into the second or final year; 

    • Optional courses – you can select optional courses provided by the faculty; 

    • Additional courses – you may replace any courses with options from this section, if it is approved by your academic supervisor prior to the campaign; More information - Changing learning trajectory by choosing additional courses. 

  • 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. 

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

    • 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. 

SmartWay system

Home page of the SmartWay system contains the following elements:

My curriculum (to choose core and elective courses from degree programme curriculum, including MAGOLEGO, General Courses)

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

Optional courses (to choose optional courses provided by your faculty and Open Optional Courses)

English (to choose English language courses - for bachelors and specialists)


In My curriculum you will be able to see elements of your curriculum. Click on the following elements to learn more.

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.

In My curriculum you will be able to choose General courses, MAGOLEGO and all of the other elements of the curriculum.

“Additional courses” section is used to choose courses offered by different educational programmes. Can be used to substitute courses from student’s curriculum (should be approved by your academic supervisor).

“Optional courses” section is used to view or choose optional courses provided by student’s faculty and Open Optional Courses. 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).

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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