In the early nineties, NSTU was among the first Russian institutions of higher learning to introduce the multi-level system of education. The advantages of the system are obvious. It makes the education more flexible and provides students with an opportunity to set and achieve the goal and define the nature of their education at its various stages. Besides, transition to the multi-level system of education facilitates the integration of Russian higher school into the world system of education.
In accordance with the state educational standard adopted in Russia, there are two ways of earning an advanced degree from a technological university. The first one is traditional for our higher education assuming that training a specialist (an engineer) is provided by an educational institution during the 5 or 5.5 year period. The engineer's degree corresponds to the third level of higher education. The second way completely reflects the nature of multi-level system of education. A student aiming to earn a Bachelor's degree in a field chosen studies during four years and on the completion of the coursework is awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in the corresponding field (second level). After two years of study in the Bachelor's program students have a right to receive a certificate of incomplete higher education (first level).
Bachelor's degree holders have a choice either to start practical work or participate in a competition for receiving third-level higher education according to the Master's or professionally qualified specialists training programs.
Master's programs last two years. It is, to a very high degree, an individually tailored and research-oriented program. Those interested in solving engineering problems choose professionally qualified specialists program.
Novosibirsk State Technical University opened its master-level degree programs in 1994/95 academic year. There are two types of degree programs suggested: research-oriented programs leading to M.S. degree and professional programs designed to train professionally qualified /certified engineers for practical work in industry, science, and business.
In 1994 the first students enrolled in the NSTU Master's programs on the competition basis and in June 1996 the first Master's programs graduates were awarded their Master's of Science degrees. The number of students admitted to the Master's programs is 15 per cent of Bachelor's program graduates.
NSTU offers Master's programs in forty-nine fields of study. Training Master students is a new task for Russian higher school. At NSTU, Master's programs are considered as a basis for continuing education in Cand. Sc. program. In accordance with the State Educational Standard, Master students are oriented towards independent research work thus restricting time for required regular lectures and classes.
Each Master student is doing research under the supervision of a research adviser who is a university professor/teacher with a research degree (Cand. Sc. or D. Sc.). Introducing the Master's programs, NSTU is aiming at setting up a school training qualified specialists in teaching and research.
I've entered a research-oriented M.S. program as I was already engaged in research when an undergraduate student. I was doing research under the supervision of Professor / Associate Professor N, an authority in the field. The academic staff of our department are engaged in active research in almost all branches of … There are many advanced seminars each semester for graduate students and research staff. Conferences in many areas of active research are held here.
One may choose an individually tailored curriculum, it depends on your progress in the field, your thesis adviser's opinion, and some other factors I think. Personal guidance is provided for each graduate student. Completion of M.S. program requires 2 academic years of study.
The program is made up of a specified number of required and elective courses. My majors are …, and I've also chosen … as elective courses.
After two years of studies in the M.S. program, students submit their master's thesis which is a written work containing research results in a specified field. An oral thesis defense is required. I hope to successfully defend the thesis and then continue to study in Cand. Sc. program towards the Candidate of Engineering degree.