Consistently ranked as one of Russia’s top universities, the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE) is a leader in Russian education and one of the preeminent economics and social sciences universities in eastern Europe and Eurasia. Despite its name, HSE offers a wide range of academic subjects – instruction not only in economics and other social sciences, but also in the humanities, engineering, and computer science. HSE is located in Moscow, the capital of Russia, and the campus offers students the opportunity to explore its unique neighborhoods, museums, and many historic sites.
Application cycles are open one semester at a time. Applications for the fall/academic year will open around December 1 of the year prior and applications for spring/calendar year will open around July 1 of the year prior.
Click through the brochure tabs to learn more about this program.
In order to participate in this program, you must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Students must have completed at least 45 credits at the time of departure.
- For students applying for fall or academic year programs, this total does not include summer coursework that has yet to be completed.
- Students must have a minimum 2.5 GPA at the time of application and departure.
- Students planning to study abroad in the last semester of their senior year should discuss this with their GEO program administrator and major advisor as this may affect their ability to graduate on time.
- Recent transfer students cannot study abroad their first semester (not including summer) at Mason.
Courses at HSE are available in English or Russian. Exchange students may take any course they are qualified for.
Courses may last one or more modules (see Academic Calendar below for more information) so be sure to select courses that are only taking place over the modules you will be there.
Course Equivalency and Plan of Study
The Global Education Office has a Course Evaluation and Registration System
(CERS), which you will use to complete the steps needed to evaluate your courses abroad, and see how they will count at Mason. This database is accessible whether you have already applied, or are just beginning to think about studying abroad. Look at the courses in the database. You are by no means limited to these courses. The database shows courses that have already been evaluated. You can request equivalency for any course not yet evaluated, through CERS.
You are STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to look at this institution’s courses ahead of time to see how they will match up to your Mason degree requirements. Talk to your academic advisor about what courses you will need to receive credit for during your time abroad to stay on-track for your degree. When looking at courses keep in mind that course schedules can change. We recommend having twice as many courses approved as necessary.
The academic calendar at HSE is divided into four parts called modules. Students going for the fall semester participate in modules 1 (early September-late October) and 2 (late October-late December). Students going for the spring semester participate in modules 3 (early January-late March) and 4 (early April-late June).
Students are expected to take a full-time course load during their time abroad. A full-time course load is 12-15 credits. A typical course is 3-5 credits. HSE uses the ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) credit system differently than most European universities. Therefore, students should look at the contact hours listed for each course. This is most likely listed on the syllabi (and will be listed on your transfer at the completion of your program). Contact the Program Administrator if you need assistance locating this information.
- 15 contact hours at HSE = 1 Mason credit
Students will still take an average of 4-5 courses. This will allow you to transfer back 12-15 credits.
When transferring courses back to Mason, the credits will transfer but the grade will not. However, you must receive the equivalent of a "C" or above in order to transfer your credit back. Refer to the table below regarding how grades are converted at this institution.
| HSE Grade (on 10 Point Scale)
||HSE Grade (on 5 Point Scale)
Students participating in this study abroad program will automatically fulfill the Mason Global Understanding core requirement.
Exchange students are usually placed in dorms 1, 4, or 5 which are all centrally located. Rooms are double occupancy with a common bathroom/shower on each floor. Each room is provided with clean bed linen and towels once a week; there is also free LAN Internet. Housing at HSE is not the most modern, but it only costs about $120 per month, and you cannot beat the location.
There are no meal plans offered at HSE; however, there is a cafe at the bottom of each dormitory, as well as cafes in student buildings with excellent prices.
There are lots of ways to get involved during your time at HSE:
This is a Bilateral Exchange Program. Students are enrolled as regular students at the partner university, pay Mason tuition to Mason, and pay room and board abroad. Students can use the budget sheets located at the top of this page to see what GEO estimates as expenses.
As this is a Bilateral Exchange Program, students will pay for their tuition as they normally do in PatriotWeb.
Application Fee: A non-refundable application fee of $200 for Mason students. This fee is paid online through the MasonAbroad application system.
Administrative Fee: A non-refundable administrative fee of $300 (for semester length programs) or $500 (for year-long programs) must be received in order to confirm your enrollment in the program. This fee is paid online through the MasonAbroad application system.
Financial Aid: Students using financial aid are encouraged to talk to their counselor regarding how their financial aid can transfer to their program.
GEO offers a number of need- and merit-based scholarships. All Mason students are welcome to apply:
Fall/Academic Year: Early-Mid April*
Spring/Calendar Year: Early-Mid September*
*See the bottom of this page for the exact deadlines for the upcoming term(s).
Once accepted into a program, it will be your responsibility to apply for a student visa and/or residence permit (if required, based on your citizenship). You will receive details on this with your acceptance letter. Do not apply for a visa until after you have been officially accepted. Visit HSE's Visa and Registration page for more information on obtaining a student visa through HSE or the Embassy of Russia's website for further information.
Application fee: $200 for Mason students.
Official Transcripts: An official copy of your Mason transcript is required as well as copies of official transcripts from any other college or university you have attended.
Passport Status: If you do not have a valid passport, you should begin applying for one now.
NOTE: Students studying in Russia should have a passport valid at least 18 MONTHS after the start date of the intended program abroad. If you do not have a passport at the time of application, contact the GEO Program Administrator for this program to discuss your options.
Signature Documents: Read and electronically "sign" the documents.
Questionnaires: Read and complete the documents according to the instructions.
*Additional paperwork may be required for this program and can be viewed inside your application.
*STATEMENT OF MOTIVATION: After nomination, students will fill out an application form sent by the partner institution. Part of this application will require a "Statement of Motivation" of between 300-500 words addressing why you chose to study abroad at HSE.