We asked Tsegai Tekle, an international student from Eritrea, why he decided to study at ITMO University. 

“ITMO University is one of the leading higher education and research institutions. It’s also one of the 15 Russian universities that were selected to participate in the Russian Academic Excellence Project 5-100. Another important factor was that I studied English, and ITMO is one of the few universities in Russia that teach Master’s courses in English, so I could not pass on that opportunity.”

You can learn more about the various programs here; the earliest deadline for applications is July 15, with some closing later on July 20 and August 3. Our comprehensive application guide tells you everything you need to know. For those looking to apply in 2021, you can get in early on a tuition-free basis by applying for the Open Doors scholarship or a Russian government scholarship by contacting the Rossotrudnichestvo office at a Russian Embassy or Consulate in your country. Learn more about special opportunities for applicants here

Below, we’ve grouped the International Master’s programs currently available into ITMO’s top majors. For each, links are available with more information in English and Russian, as well links to interviews with international students who are currently studying in these programs. Students who have just completed their first or final year of Master’s studies also share their experiences, and heads of the programs tell us what makes their program special. 

Biotechnology and Cryogenic Systems

Chemistry of Applied Materials (English, Russian)

Infochemistry (English, Russian)

Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (English, Russian)

Food Quality And Safety (English, Russian)

“The Chemistry of Applied Materials Master’s program gives students a unique experience in the world of nanotechnologies that includes a high level of theoretical knowledge from professors around the world, frequent work and practice in a laboratory, and a chance to develop their skills in the global scientific community during an internship when visiting partner universities abroad,” shares Polina Khapaeva, coordinator of the program. “From the first year of studies, young scientists are involved in high-level projects, grants, and industrial startups. Upon graduating they have from one to three publications, two to five conferences visited, and a wide scientific communication network that in the future helps to build a career in the field of chemistry, material science, and engineering.” 

Chemistry students
Chemistry students

“The Molecular Biology and Biotechnology Master’s degree program provides students with a deep understanding of cutting-edge techniques, knowledge of methodologies, and exclusive hands-on laboratory training in the field of bio-science. The program’s design allows students to choose courses and provides an opportunity to participate in international internships lasting one to six months, during which students can gain experience, demonstrate their abilities, and build a scientific network. Upon graduation, students have a portfolio that is needed for a professional career in the biotechnological and pharmaceutical industry, or for further academic studies,” she explains.

Computer Technologies and Control

Digital Control Systems (English, Russian)

“The Digital Control Systems program is based on the most advanced achievements in the field of control theory, adaptive systems, artificial intelligence, and mathematical methods of system analysis,” shares Sergey Shavetov, the program’s coordinator. “The program trains specialists in their professional fields using a cyberphysical approach, which takes into account the global technological trend for a comprehensive solution to tasks in the design, development, production and maintenance of all hardware and software elements of control systems, and allows you to solve problems of high interdisciplinary level. The program is implemented in close cooperation with Russian and global high tech companies and academic partners.”

ITMO visiting lecturer
ITMO visiting lecturer

International Development and Partnership

Art & Science (English, Russian

Data, Culture and Visualization (English, Russian)

You can learn more about all the programs offered by the Institute of International Development and Partnership here

“The Art & Science Master’s program provides learning and career opportunities that simply cannot exist in conventional art universities,” emphasizes Aliya Sakhariyeva, head of the Art & Science Center. “Developing Art & Science initiatives at art universities can be difficult due to their inability to use, for example, biotechnologies – they might simply not have the laboratories. Or they wouldn’t be able to work with robotics to the full extent. ITMO University already has all the necessary tools and provides artists with access to them. This is a huge advantage.”

Aliya Sakhariyeva
Aliya Sakhariyeva

“Starting in the first semester, our students are assigned to different case projects provided to us by various organizations. For our part, we try to do everything necessary to give our students a chance to try on the role of a DH project curator at every stage from an idea to a prototype. These institutions, on the other hand, help us by consulting the students. Subsequently, the cases will either flourish into graduation theses or become a part of the students’ portfolios,” explains Antonina Puchkovskaia, the head of the Data, Culture and Visualization program.


Applied Optics (English, Russian)

Quantum and Hybrid Materials (English, Russian)

Quantum Communications and Femtotechnologies (English, Russian)

Physics and Technology of Nanostructures (English, Russian)

Nanophotonics and Metamaterials (English, Russian)

Light Guide Photonics and Programmable Electronics (English, Russian)

“The purpose of the Nanophotonics and Metamaterials Master’s program is to train highly qualified world-class researchers,” explains Yulia Tolstykh, program coordinator for a few of the programs listed above. “Most of our graduates have continued their academic careers at leading universities and research centers in Russia, the USA, Europe, Israel, Australia, China, and Singapore. The key advantages of our program are the scientific activities of students, the possibility of obtaining double degrees with European universities, and international scientific internships.”

Translational Information Technologies

Bioinformatics and Systems Biology (English, Russian)

Big Data and Machine Learning (English, Russian

Network and Cloud Technology (English, Russian)

Lighting Design (English, Russian)

“I have changed my major from computer science to bioinformatics because I had the impression that it is quite theoretical! When I was looking into life science subjects, I found bioinformatics, which tries to solve biological problems using computers, a multidisciplinary field. That was a really interesting area for me,” shares Sedreh Nassirnia, a student from Iran who is graduating this year. “The Bioinformatics and Systems Biology Master’s program was the best choice to start studies in this field with well-educated and experienced teachers from Russia, Germany and the USA! Mixing theory and practical projects makes this program one of the best ways to improve your skills for job opportunities.”

“The Big Data and Machine Learning Master’s program is designed for students who want to immerse themselves in real project work. Students are provided with the opportunity to solve global academic tasks as well as industrial tasks of R&D departments both in Russia and around the world,” shares Aleksandra Karabintseva, the program’s coordinator. “Students also take part in the implementation of a key project at the National Center for Cognitive Technologies. The program has a large number of industrial partners, for example, in 2019 Siemens and ITMO University opened a new joint laboratory to create new technologies based on artificial intelligence. Other partners include Gazprom Neft, Rosneft, Mail.Ru Group, and Bank Saint Petersburg.”

Sagar Kumar. Photo courtesy of the subject

Sagar Kumar. Photo courtesy of the subject

Sagar Kumar, a student from India currently studying Big Data and Machine Learning, shares his experience in the program. 

“This program has given me a great opportunity to work with three subjects simultaneously which are artificial intelligence, quantum computing and cognitive science. I am happy that with ITMO I had this opportunity! This helped me develop my deep interest in science with proper guidance from professors and supervisors. My decision of pursuing a Master’s at ITMO was perfect.”

International students make up over 20% of ITMO’s student body, and participants of International Master’s programs are teamed up with a local buddy who helps them integrate into university life and life in St. Petersburg. Once you’re here, you’ll be able to join student clubs, partake in sports, and take classes with students from all departments the university on topics such as emotional intelligence, negotiation, influence and conflict management, digital culture, creative technology, internationalization of research, critical argumentation and design thinking, and entrepreneurship. 

If you have any further questions, write to international@itmo.ru