In 2016, graduates from more than 90 universities applied for ITMO’s PhD programs. Among them were students from the USA, Japan, Iran, Korea, China, Algeria, Thailand. This year, the university will accept PhD students in 20 different programs; apart from tuition-based positions, there will also be 270 tuition-free ones. Applications will be accepted until July 25, the entrance examinations will start on July 31 and end on August 20.
The examinations will include a foreign language test (English, German or French), and a test on a particular discipline that corresponds to the program. The latter can be taken in a foreign language, as well. Thank to this opportunity to take only two (instead of the usual three) examinations, the students’ individual achievements in research activities become all the more important.
"The students will be rated by their individual achievements as well. They will get bonus points for having publications in science journals indexed by Scopus and Web Of Science (4 points) or included in the Higher Attestation Commission list (2 points), for receiving individual grants (3 points), having patents or invention certificates (2 points), and getting awards at conferences or exhibitions, or participating in the All-Russian Student Olympiad," comments Maria Skvortsova.
The off-site format
In 2015, ITMO University became the first and only university to conduct all the stages of the admission campaign in the off-site format - and has been doing that ever since. This became possible thanks to the new ITMO proctor control system. The instrument was developed at ITMO University for increasing the accessibility of educational and scientific resources for both Russian and international researchers.
In 2016, ITMO University also launched PhD programs in this format. According to Maria Skvortsova, the off-site format of the admission and entrance examinations continues to prove its efficiency. It is in great demand by students who study in double degree programs or participate in internships in other countries; what's more, the university continues to adapt its PhD programs for distance learning. Most tests and examinations are conducted with support from the Center for Distance Education; also, the university introduces English versions of all its courses for both Russian and international students.
Programs for international PhD students
Last year, ITMO launched two PhD programs in English; students from Algeria, Rwanda, Thailand and China already participate in them. At the same time, the emergence of such programs does not mean that there will no longer be courses in English for Russian students. The university pays much attention to developing its students' English skills: as part of any of the programs, the young scientists learn from native speakers for three semesters.
The main advantage presented by the new programs is that foreign PhD students no longer have to spend a year or even several years on language courses. Now, those young scientists who previously had to face difficulty of having to study Russian to a particular level before achieving their ambitions can learn the language while already conducting research and completing tests.
In future, ITMO's Office of International Postgraduate and Doctoral Studies plans to make English versions of all of the university's programs, says Maria Skvortsova. Such programs will be available to both Russian and international students.
"Our goal is to give the PhD students full freedom in choosing the format and the language they study every particular subject in. We are always ready to take into consideration our students' opinions. This allows us to assess our progress and understand what else we need to correct," notes Maria Skvortsova.
International double degree programs
As of now, ITMO offers 16 international double degree programs in collaboration with its partner universities from Europe, Australia and the USA. Those who participate in such programs study under the guidance of two scientific advisors - one from ITMO and the other from the partner university.
Support of young scientists and employment opportunities
The most talented PhD students can get enhanced scholarships starting with their first semester at ITMO University. To do that, they have to provide evidence of significant research results when they apply for their programs. What's more, two times a year, the university conducts contests for PhD students for co-funding international internships and academic exchange programs.
We'd like to add that on July 4 in ITMO's main building on Kronverksky 49, the Open Day for PhD programs will take place. Staff from the Office of International Postgraduate and Doctoral Studies will explain in detail everything that has to do with applying documents and taking examinations, as well as answer any questions. The event starts at 18:00.