A unique Russian-American dual degree master's program with Clark University (Massachusets, USA) has been working for 7 years at SUSU. It gives students from Russia a chance to set off for the USA, receive international-level higher education, reinforced by a master’s diploma from an American university, and complete a 1-3 year internship in the world’s largest transnational companies. Head of the Faculty of International Relations and Regional Studies, Lyudmila Shestakova, shares information about the criteria for being selected for the program, the global possibilities for its students, and plans for development at SUSU.
- Lyudmila Ivanovna, why is Clark University (USA) interesting, and why does SUSU work with them in particular?
- Clark University is one of the oldest elite universities of New England founded in the 19th century, with long traditions and a special history. The university is one of the world’s 50 best universities through its innovative approach to the use of technologies, and is also known for its high-quality student training. Some professors of this American university have pedagogical experience at Harvard. Clark University is a practically-oriented university where practical programs and cases have been developed for student education and experienced practicing specialists in informational technologies, marketing communication, clinical psychology, and different sought-after areas are invited to teach. In addition, this university is known for the fact that “the” Sigmund Freud gave his lectures there.
- Are the degrees received after completing the Russian-American master’s program equal?
- The degrees are absolutely equal. The Russian-American dual degree program is a joint master’s program realized with Clark University. The students are enrolled simultaneously in two universities, they have two student IDs, and, accordingly, they receive two different degrees – a master’s degree of the Russian Federation standard, and an American master’s degree, which are recognized in both Russia and the US and all around the world. This is one of a few Russian programs in which students complete real education simultaneously in two universities, live abroad, and take in the “soul” of a different country from its educational system, mentality, and possibilities.
- Is it difficult to enroll in a dual master’s program with Clark University, and what level of English do you need?
- Education with us is realistic for both incoming Chelyabinsk students and residents of different cities. The one mandatory condition is enrolling in a Russian master’s program in any major. Further, the applicant goes through standard testing according to the general rules set by the Russian Ministry of Education and South Ural State University. Future master’s students take an exam in management and two standard tests in general cultural competencies and general professional competencies. In relation to knowledge of English, applicants with a basic-intermediate level of English (and higher) are accepted. During their education, a lot of time is dedicated to students’ language preparation, which allows them to improve their English to the intermediate level, after which they go Clark University.
- In what language are the classes taught in Chelyabinsk?
- This is a bilingual program, and throughout their training the students actively improve their English. A portion of the subjects in the second semester, when the students are preparing to leave for America, are studied only in English. At Clark University, all courses are taught exclusively in English.
- What living conditions are offered to Russian students during their education in the USA?
- Clark University arranges wonderful opportunities for student housing placement. The campus’ infrastructure includes high-comfort dormitories equipped with state-of-the-art technologies (automatic trash disposal, dishwashers and washing machines, and more), a huge pool, a wonderful cafeteria, museums, and scientific libraries – all of the conditions are created for students to quickly adapt and feel at home.
- What is the educational format for dual degree programs at Clark University (USA)?
- Since this is a joint program, we have a unified format for education at SUSU and Clark University. As a rule, this means teamwork and case programs. Students complete practically-oriented joint projects, collectively discuss them, then defend them before a commission. At the same time, education in America significantly differs from the approach typical to Russian universities, where a lot of the students’ time is dedicated to individual work.
- How are final exams taken?
- After completing the program, alumni take two types of final exams: at South Ural State University, master’s students write, then defend, a master’s thesis. Beyond this, students develop and defend, in English, a team final project – a capstone – in the USA. A capstone always has practical use and when completing it, students solve real issues presented to them by clients. One example is the promotion of a chain of Italian restaurants opened in Massachusetts. If alumni successfully defend their work, they receive a master’s degree from Clark University (USA), a SUSU state retraining diploma, and a TOEFL certificate. In addition, over 1-3 years each alumnus can complete a paid internship at such giants as Google, IBM, Microsoft, and more.
- Where do alumni of the Russian-American joint master’s program work?
- Since the opening of this elite master’s program at SUSU, more than 100 people have completed it successfully. Some of them returned to Russia, and a few stayed to train in the USA. I can definitely say that our graduates began to look at the world in a completely different way and do not see barriers around the, but possibilities for self-realization in many sectors. They absolutely have huge advantages and communicative competencies, they speak professionally in English, and, as a rule, are working successfully in top management.
- What are the prospects for developing the joint program between SUSU and Clark University in the next 10 years?
- We are planning on broadening the range of programs with such fields as psychology and geoinformation systems. Today, SUSU is working on two majors – “Geoinformation Systems in Management” and “Marketing Communications”; from Clark’s side – “Master of Science in Informational Technologies Management” and “Master of Science in Professional Communications”. It is also planned to bring leading Chinese universities into the program to give applicants a chance to undergo partial training in China, Russia, and the USA.
Address: South Ural State University
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Telephone: +7 (351) 272-31-00, 272-31-11