1. When and how will studies begin at ITMO University?

The academic year at ITMO University begins on September 1, 2020. The first week will be an “odd” week.

All information about the educational process this semester will be provided in three phases:

Phase 0 (introductory): ITMO Enter (online)

When: August 17 – August 31

We will tell you all about the educational process, available opportunities, and individual learning tracks in an exciting and accessible way. More information about ITMO Enter will be available on ITMO’s official Facebook page.

Introduction Days 2019
Introduction Days 2019

Phase 1 (for first-year Bachelor’s and Master’s students)

Introduction Days (offline)

When: August 31 – September 3 (four locations)

Both Bachelor’s and Master’s students will have an opportunity to participate in team building activities, quests, and quizzes, all of which aim to:

  • help students get to know each other;

  • introduce the adapters and pick admins;

  • familiarize you with the university's clubs;

  • show you around the university's campuses.

Participants will also receive student IDs and bank cards. You will also be able to get answers to any questions that weren’t covered in phase 0.

Classes will start on September 7, 2020.

For students in their second, third, and fourth year of studies, the classes will start on September 1, 2020 according to the schedule.

Phase 2. Final day

ITMO.Go! – an initiation event for first-year students. 

ITMOtion Night – a party for first-year students.

When: September 4

Further information will be available on the official website of ITMO University.

2. Should we come to ITMO University in order to visit classes?

ITMO University will function in a blended (or hybrid) format starting on September 1. This means that classes will take place:

  • offline – in the classrooms and university laboratories

  • online – available from any location, considering you have the necessary devices (a laptop/computer/tablet with a microphone and camera) and a stable internet connection. These classes don’t require coming to the university.

For example, lectures will be held remotely via video conferences and lab classes will take place offline at the university’s laboratories.

ITMO University is happy to welcome all students in person with all necessary measures against the spread of COVID-19 taken.

Those who won’t be able to attend the classes in person (see question 6) will be provided with digital materials for these classes. Ways to submit or defend your papers and reports will be determined by each individual lecturer.

3. Are students required to visit offline classes?

A student doesn’t have to attend offline classes if they are staying in their hometown or if they came to St. Petersburg but would prefer to study remotely out of concern for their health. In order to do this, a student should submit a digital application by logging on to ISU and going to My ISU => Student Services Office => Submit Request. The form will become available on August 10. The deadline for submission is August 28, 2020.

4. Why will more specific information regarding the new academic year become available only after August 16, 2020?

August 16, 2020 is the final date for making a decision concerning distance learning as decreed by the Government of St. Petersburg.

You can always find relevant information on the university's official website.

Updates on the situation will be also published on the ITMOLNIA Telegram channel.

5. How will classes be arranged in this blended format?

ITMO University will continue using distance learning and educational technologies (online courses, video conferences, digital tests, virtual lab assignments, and so on) but offline (in-person) classes with lecturers will also take place on-campus. This is called a blended (or hybrid) format. Such a format will be in use starting in the first semester of the 2020/2021 academic year.

It means that some of your classes will be held in university buildings and some will take place online – you can attend them from any location as long as you have a suitable device (a laptop/computer/tablet with a microphone and camera) and a stable internet connection. 

6. Can I come a couple of weeks after September 1?

The academic year will start on September 1, so all the classes (offline and online ones) will be held starting on this date according to the schedule.

However, if you have a device required for distance learning (a laptop/computer/tablet with a microphone and camera) and a stable internet connection, you can study remotely.

You can also come to St. Petersburg, move into a dormitory or rent a place, and study remotely from there.

In order to do this, you should submit a digital application by logging on to ISU and going to My ISU => Student Services Office => Submit Request. The form will become available on August 10. The deadline for submission is August 28, 2020.

Note: students’ applications will be processed by the Student Services Office. Submitted information will be relayed to the head of your educational program and to the lecturers of the current semester.

The lecturers will have to take into consideration that a student may study remotely, in a blended format, or offline.

7. Will the lecturers mark attendance?

Regardless of the format of classes (online or offline), the lecturers will mark attendance of their classes.

If you can’t attend offline classes, you must submit a digital application by logging on to ISU and going to My ISU => Student Services Office => Submit Request. The form will become available on August 10. The deadline for submission is August 28, 2020.

8. Will the classrooms be sanitized after every class?

Sanitizers for hands and surfaces, as well as masks, will be available in all the classrooms.

9. What is the current epidemiological situation like in St. Petersburg?

Measures taken in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are being gradually reduced in St. Petersburg.

As of now:

  • the metro works in its usual mode;

  • the working hours of above-ground public transport were extended in accordance with the working hours of the subway;

  • swimming pools and gyms are open;

  • cafes, terraces, and restaurants are open;

  • museums, exhibition centers, parks, public gardens, and other establishments are open.

10. When will the class schedule become available?

The timetable (regardless of the format of studies) will be available in ISU no later than August 25, 2020.

11. What are modules in Master’s programs? 

Classes in each subject will take place over a specific time period, otherwise known as a module. Assessments for each subject will take place immediately upon completion of the module. Usually, only one course is studied in a single time period.

This format not only makes it possible for students to concentrate on learning a specific subject at a particular time, but it also allows the university to invite leading researchers and lecturers from the world’s top universities to teach the classes. 

12. How will students receive their scholarship stipend considering the module format of  Master’s programs? 

At the end of each module, interim results will be released. So if you receive a “satisfactory” or lower grade at the end of your module assessments, you will no longer receive your scholarship starting from the next month. Students who have received only “excellent” and “good” grades will continue to receive their stipend. Both basic and advanced scholarships may be suspended.

Social welfare scholarships won’t be suspended. 

If this is your first scholarship, you will receive the full amount only at the end of the semester as long as you do not get a “satisfactory” or lower grade in any of your modules. 

13. How will studies be organized for those who are transferring to ITMO or returning from time off? 

It makes no difference. Once you have enrolled again at ITMO and become a full-time student, the educational process looks the same for everyone. As mentioned above, studies will be in a blended format. 

14. How will studies at the Military Department be conducted? 

The Military Department is available only for Russian citizens, and a preliminary selection of students has already been made. Classes will start on September 7. Students will need to spend a “military day” from 8:50 am to 5:30 pm at the military department each week:

  • 1st year in the military department (3rd year Bachelor’s and Specialist students) – Tuesday;

  • 2nd year in the military department (4th year Bachelor’s and Specialist students) – Wednesday’

  • 3rd year in the military department (5th year Specialist students, 1st year Master’s students) – Thursday.

The final class in the fall semester will be held on December 18, 2020. Preparation for exams and completing assignments will be on December 22-24, 2020. Exams will be held on December 29-31, 2020.

15. How will internships be conducted? 

Internships for students will be available both offline and online. ITMO University’s partner companies will give students the opportunity to do their internships remotely. Also, students will be able to do their internships in ITMO University’s labs (either online or offline). Students can always apply to receive extra credit for previous internships, conferences or other activities that they took part in, provided these correspond to the student’s educational program. 

16. How will studies be organized for international students, students from other cities, and students returning to Russia after studying abroad? 

International students who have entered the Russian Federation can join offline classes after a 14-day period of self-isolation from the date of arrival or if they receive a negative COVID-19 test result. They can spend their period of self-isolation at one of ITMO University’s dorms. 

In order to stay at the dorm, they must present the results of a COVID-19 test performed within 72 hours before or after their arrival in St. Petersburg. A second COVID-19 test must be done within 10-12 days after entering the country. The type of test is a PCR test which requires a nose and throat swab. Those who are unable to enter the country will be provided access to all study materials online. 

Students coming from other cities or regions in Russia with high infection rates will also need to take the COVID-19 test before they can start their offline classes.

Department of Educational Quality Assurance

Find Part II of this article here.