The first stage in higher education (years 1–4) has two main objectives. Each student receives a fundamental education in mathematics and physics, a preliminary familiarization with the chosen specialization on the one hand, and an acquisition of independent research skills on the other. It used to be said that for the, for the first three years, a Phystech student studies physics the way one studies it at the Physics Faculty of Moscow State University, and mathematics as one studies it at the Mechanical Mathematics Faculty (meaning in accordance with its “mechanics” section). There is a considerable amount of truth in this.
In the junior years, serious attention is paid to acquisition of skills in working with computers.
The classroom load at the institute for junior year students is from 5 days a week for the first, second, and third year and up to three days a week for the fourth. One day is set aside for independent student work. For each subject a student must pass several exercises every semester, and there are quite a lot of tasks. A considerable amount of time is also given to physical education and foreign language study.
In the third and fourth years, a student spends one to three days at the base department (“at the base”), where he gains knowledge in the specific specialization and gradually incorporates it into scientific research.
In the first and second years, the curriculum of each faculty differs only slightly, and includes an institute study cycle, common for all students. After that, the chosen faculty cycle begins to dominate and the student is gradually introduced to the chosen specialization. Typically, a second-year student chooses a particular specialization and a base department. Naturally, the better the performance, the more choices available.
The first stage of higher education is completed by state certification, which includes state-qualifying exams in physics, mathematics and a defense of graduating qualifying work. Upon completion of training of the first four years and results of the State Certification Commission (SAC), the student is awarded a bachelor’s degree.
In bachelor’s studies, MIPT student training is conducted in several tracks.
010400 — Applied Mathematics and Computer Science (FAFE, FIHT, FNBIC)
010900 — Applied Mathematics and Physics (all faculties except FBMP)
220100 — Systems Analysis and Management (FASE)
230100 — Computer Science and Engineering (FREC)