International College of Economics and Finance

BSc Programme FAQ

1. What does the ICEF double-degree programme feature and what diplomas do its graduates receive?

The ICEF double-degree bachelor's programme includes subjects of the University of London International Programme to get a degree in one of the specialisations offered (Economics, Economics and Management, Economics and Finance, Banking and Finance, Mathematics and Economics and Accounting and Finance), as well as subjects and activities necessary to obtain an HSE degree. To meet international standards, the list of subjects in the ICEF curriculum is more focused than that of standard Russian programmes, ensuring the in-depth study of fundamental disciplines.

Tuition takes place in groups of no more than 20 and students are strongly encouraged to undertake independent study alongside their scheduled lectures. All this creates the optimum environment for high academic achievement. The uniqueness of ICEF programme creates some special atmosphere in communication between students and professors. Thanks to the small tuition groups, a student is always able to consult the professor needed, as there is a constant on-line dialogue between students and teachers on the Internet. All necessary study material is available in both English and Russian.

2. How can I apply to the programme?

Firstly, you need to fill in the application online form. The second stage is entry examination. An applicant can choose between taking Russian Unified Stated Exams (Mathematics, Russian language, Foreign language), HSE internal exams held in Russian (Mathematics, Russian language, Foreign language) or HSE internal exams held in English (Mathematics, English language). For more information see

3. What was last year's pass mark to the ICEF's BSc programme?

In 2017 for those applicants who took HSE internal exams held in English the minimal passing level was attained at 130 scores (min 60 for Mathematics and min 70 for English).

For those who took Unified State Exams or HSE internal exams held in Russian the minimal passing grade was 235 (calculated as a sum of 3 exam results: Russian language, Mathematics and Foreign language).

4. How is tuition fee determined? When should I pay my tuition fee?

Education at ICEF is fee-based but its tuition fee is lower than at LSE through the support of the largest Russian banks and financial institutions. Full tuition fee in 2018 is 715 000 RUB per year. Students should pay a half of the tuition fee in three days after signing the contract. The second half of the tuition fee is paid in February.

5. Are there any tuition fee discounts at ICEF?

ICEF BS programme offers a flexible system of tuition fee discounts for prospective students and BSc students with high academic achievement. According to ICEF statistics every year more than 50% of first year students receive a discount from 15% to 100% of a tuition fee (62% in 2017).

The size of a discount for freshmen is based on the entrance examination results (weighted average) and the results of different academic Olympiads. In the next years the discount depends on the academic results of a student at ICEF and his or her position in the final student ranking.

6. Where will I live in Moscow and how much does it cost?

All ICEF students are provided with a place in one of HSE dormitories. The monthly fee varies for different dormitories but it does not exceed 1560 RUB per month. Public transport costs 400-700 RUB per month. Average every day meal costs 300-500 RUB. For more details please visit this page.

7. Is it possible to apply to ICEF's BSc programme with a Unified State Exam in foreign language other than English? (i.e. German/Spanish/French, e.t.c.)

Yes, this has been done before, but you must bear in mind that the whole education process is carried out in English. Students who don't speak English will have an extremely hard time studying.

8. Is it true that classes last all day at ICEF and only end at 18:00?

No, that is not accurate! Our students have 3-4 classes a day, just like any other students. But they are expected to do a lot of preparation in their own time, including library hours or computer class usage.

9. How are foreign languages used and taught at ICEF?

At ICEF, 1st year students follow an intensive English course. At the end of the 1st year students take the IELTS Academic Module examination, proving the level of English necessary to enter British and American universities. ICEF teaching programme is taught in English. Teaching materials include the latest foreign textbooks as well as regular handouts. Beginning from the 2nd year, ICEF students may optionally choose a second language to study (French, German or Spanish).

10. Is there anything special about studies at ICEF?

One of the advantages of being an ICEF student is the unique opportunity to get acquainted with some peculiarities of both Russian and European culture. Though the list of obligatory subjects in the ICEF teaching programme is slightly smaller than that of standard Russian programmes, ICEF students have the option to attend some special courses at ICEF or other HSE departments. Self-study is very important in the teaching process: in the leading Western universities, the combination of self-study with lectures is the main condition for high qualification. Thorough professional training gives ICEF graduates the chance to start a successful career in Russian business or abroad, in national and international organizations, state or commercial structures. The successful implementation of ICEF's programme is constantly being proved by students’ exceptional achievements. Since 2000 more than 250 ICEF students have been named among the best students of International Programmes of the University of London all over the world (students of the International Programmes of the University of London aggregates about 13000 people from 65 countries. The UoL selects the 40 best students each year).

The ICEF programme is the only Russian programme monitored by LSE. The whole teaching process, including the system of knowledge control, is organized according to the demands of both HSE and LSE. So, ICEF students get educated to continue their studies domestically or abroad. ICEF also provides the students with textbooks and handouts.

11. Who teaches ICEF students?

The ICEF staff is international; it includes HSE professors and ICEF full-time professors as well as LSE faculty members, who regularly give lectures during the academic year. Native-speaking teachers teach the English language; Russian and foreign specialists from domestic and international companies are also invited. All ICEF teachers have international experience and have been chosen to work on the basis of open competition, supervised by the International Academic Committee, which includes both LSE and HSE representatives.

12. How are examinations organized at ICEF?

Every year ICEF students take international exams, set and marked by examination boards of foreign teaching centers (such as the University of London, the AP Board, and IELTS). Several times a year, ICEF also holds internal exams that meet international standards.

13. Can ICEF students choose a specialisation?

All first-year ICEF students follow the same programme of study. In the following years, the main core of the programme is also the same for all students. Having successfully passed the international exams, ICEF students are then enrolled in the International Programme of the University of London, and can choose one of the six specializations offered (Economics, Economics and Management, Economics and Finance, Banking and Finance, Accounting and Finance, Mathematics and Economics). There are no restrictions on numbers, so students are free to choose. During the first term of the second year it is possible to change specialisations.

For those interested in economic theory and quantitative disciplines, it is advised to choose Economics or Economics and Mathematics; it may also be recommended to students intending to follow MSc or PhD programmes in or abroad. Economics and Management, Economics and Finance, Banking and Finance, Accounting and Finance – give more applied knowledge in the fields of management, finance and banking. These specialisations are more preferable for those who are planning to enter the working world after graduation.

14. Do ICEF graduates usually continue their education? Is it easy for them to launch a career?

Since 2000 there have already been sixteen cohorts of graduates at ICEF; overall, about 80% of ICEF graduates have got the University of London degrees with 1st or 2nd class honours. ICEF graduates continue their studies on the leading MSc and PhD programmes both in Russia and abroad in universities such as HSE, LSE, London Business School, Oxford University, Humboldt University, INSEAD, and others. The very best ICEF graduates receive grants to pursue the MSc programme at LSE.

ICEF graduates are in high demand in the Russian labour market and tend to secure jobs with the largest Russian and foreign organizations, companies and banks, including the Central Bank of Russia, Sberbank, Gazprombank, the International bank of Saint-Petersburg, KPMG, Standard&Poor's, PWC, McKinsey, the International Monetary Fund, NIKoil, Alfa Bank, Troika-dialog Investment company, ABN Amro, Renaissance Capital, etc.

ICEF supports its students’ interest in their future career and assures that they will be demanded in the labour market. The City (“Gorod”) Sociology club surveyed HSE students to see how professionally motivated they were – and ICEF students showed the strongest motivation. They also rated their chances of securing a job higher than students in any other department.

15. Where has the graduating class of 2017 gone on to study?

In 2017, as in previous years, the most popular destination was Britain – graduates went on to enroll in Master’s programmes at the LSE, Oxford, London Business School and other institutions. Other countries in which 2017 are now studying include the USA, Spain, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, France and Canada.

Five graduates of the ICEF BSs programme 2017 are now studying on the PhD programmes at leading American Unviersities including Columbia, Boston, California, etc.

16. Is it possible to transfer to ICEF from a foreign institution?

Yes – please get in touch with ICEF BSc Programme Coordinator Olga Nechaeva at For more information see here >>