Navigating the ITMO Application Process

How does one go about choosing their future profession? How can you find out information about all the different departments and faculties, where you will live, what will you do besides studying, what you will do with your career when you graduate? Last Sunday at ITMO University, there was a special Open Day for prospective students. This article is all about helping you, figure out how, our international students, apply to ITMO University from afar. 

Why ITMO University?

ITMO University is the only university in the world that has won the ACM ICPC programming championships six times, and in 2016 took 56th place in the Times Higher Education rankings for Computer Science, becoming one of two universities mentioned in THE.

ITMO University, is a university of young scientists, we have doctors of science, many of whom are not even 30 years old. Our graduate students often do internships at universities around the world, in Europe, USA, China, and Singapore, to name a few. This gives them an opportunity to get two degrees at once , both a Russian diploma and one from a partner university. This is why the University assists its students to build up their English language skills and they’re offered twice as many classes in English language as before, with the help of native speakers.

Graduates from ITMO University work in well known international and Russian companies like “Yandex”, “Vkontakte”, Kaspersky Lab, Facebook, Google and others, open their own business, or work in science and research at one of the university’s labs. You can start your own high tech business while still working at the university. There are all kinds of projects taking place at the university, which help a budding entrepreneur turn an idea into a working design, develop a business plan and attract its investors.

What are “Schools” at ITMO all about?

ITMO University has 5 Academic Schools. All fields related to IT and programming, are taught under “Internet Technology and Programming”. This is where you might find winners of the international student championships for programming ACM ICPC.

Everything related to computer “hardware” you can study within programs from the “Computer Technologies and Control” school. Graduates end up working in companies like “Kaspersky Lab”, General Motors, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and many others.

Specialists in the field of optics and photonics study in the “Photonics” major, and in 2017 a new program on “Nanophotonics and Quantum Optics” was opened in the Faculty of Physics and Engineering, aimed at strong physicists from around the world. 

For those who want to create new types of food while keeping their healthy properties enroll in the “Refrigeration Industry and Food Biotechnologies” academic school, and finally there’s the “Economics, Management and Innovations” top major, where you can learn about all the stages of building a high-tech enterprise, from making business predictions at the macro level, financial and project management, to patenting and promoting technologies.

“The entire structure and hierarchy of the University is quite difficult to understand, so we made a special diagram for applying to study. Altogether we have 5 top majors, which include all educational programs at ITMO University. Thanks to this convenient system you can clearly understand how one top major differs from others, and then once you decide which top major you want, then you can choose a more specific program and apply specifically for that”, - explains Aleksey Itin, one of the key members of ITMO University’s admission committee.

I have good grades but I want to do something else to boost my chances of getting in. What can I do?

ITMO University evaluates prospective students not only based on their high school scores and entrance competitions. You can get extra points for special individual achievements: like sporting achievements, volunteer work, fluency in other languages, participation in international Olympiads and ITMO University Olympiads (such as ITMO Vkontakte).

What are some key dates I should remember?

For international students, you can start the application process at any time starting around June by writing an email to, or directly to the program’s coordinators. Together with your application you will need to provide an academic transcript, a copy of your passport, and photos.

For those interested in enrolling in a Bachelor’s program, they are currently only offered in the Russian language, so you will need to take preparatory Russian language courses as part of our foundation program. The application deadline is September 1, 2017, and classes start on October 1, 2017.

If you are interested in our international master’s programs, please apply by July 2017. Information about how to apply is here.

Can I live at a dorm close to university?

International students usually stay in dorms in the center of the city. Besides these dorms on Vyazemskiy Lane, there are also ones on Serebristiy Boulevard, Alpiyskiy Lane, Belorusskaya Str, and Lensoveta Str. Read more about the dorms here.

What else can I do in the university besides studying?

Arts, sports, including of course eSports, media and others. There are special spaces allocated in the dorms for singing lessons or dancing. Rock groups can rehearse in a special location with good soundproofing. There are also recording studios available where one can use professional equipment for recording music.

There are lots of students involved in media, and the University has its own youth media center “Megabyte” (, students records their own films and clips. For example, recently students made their own intellectual video version of a famous Russian song:

Sports are also popular, like volleyball, basketball, mini football, rock climbing, ultimate Frisbee, wrestling and cheerleading. You can read more about sports at ITMO here and here.

Where can I go to clarify details and get more information?

All contact information is available right here.

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