educational model

SAS was the first institution of higher education in Russia to introduce the core curriculum, "2 + 2" model and a large proportion of elective courses in the rigorous interdisciplinary curriculum. We continue to perfect this model, taking advantage of our diverse and highly qualified faculty body, which includes citizens of 10 countries who studied and worked in the world’s leading universities.

Spending 4 years at SAS prepares our students to an array of MA programs in best universities in Russia and abroad, as well as to diverse employments in places ranging from large tech companies to cultural startups. Most importantly, our students develop a broad interdisciplinary outlook, intellectual depth and a set of soft skill, allowing them to realize their potential and become successful in any walk of life they choose for themselves.

SAS BA program

The SAS BA program offers a world-class education. It features:

  • International professors, the majority of whom received their PhDs from universities ranked in the top 100 in the world (according to THE and QS World University Rankings);
  • Seven majors in science, social sciences, and humanities;
  • Choice of major and minor at the end of the second year;
  • Freedom to tailor students' curriculum: elective courses constitute 1/3 of the entire program;
  • Highly engaging study experience: 80% of classes are smaller than 20 students, SAS believes in continuous assessment, and close contact with the professor (see also Professor in the Box)
  • Undergraduate research and project processes: a year-long project under close supervision of SAS professors;
  • Internships, exchange programs, visiting professors from foreign and top Russian universities, and guest lectures by prominent figures in business, academia, and the arts.

core curriculum, majors, and electives

SAS students' academic journey unfolds across four years, seamlessly integrating Core, Major, Minor, and Elective courses.

The Core Curriculum spans the initial two years, creating a shared educational foundation.

In Years 3–4, students transition to Major and Minor courses, delving into specialized studies accompanied by internships and research activities.

Electives, constituting around 1/3 of the curriculum, provide personalized intellectual and academic endevour, with faculty autonomy.

This holistic approach fosters interdisciplinary connections, ensuring a well-rounded education that combines breadth and depth of knowledge, and individualized exploration for a comprehensive undergraduate experience.

years 1–2, year 4: core curriculum courses

Our Core Curriculum features a set of custom-made courses designed to develop students’ critical thinking, analytical and soft skills, broad interdisciplinary horizon, and character.

We prioritize understanding human experience, including its limitations, drive for excellence, and aspiration. Such design ensures having students cultivate a certain intellectual taste, a notion of situational truth, and a vision of one’s role in the emerging world.

years 3–4: majors

By the conclusion of Year 2, every SAS student must choose a major for focused study in Years 3 and 4. Students can choose any major offered at SAS, no matter which major they entered originally, with the exception of “Contemporary Social Sciences” major.

The curriculum during Years 3-4 includes mandatory major courses, demanding substantial independent study. Most major courses at SAS are intense and require students to engage in rigorous and challenging academic work, aiming to stimulate a cohesive understanding of the chosen field and develop a high level of academic proficiency. Each major is complemented by dedicated internships, providing practical experience.

Starting from the end of Year 3, students undertake an undergraduate project within their major, culminating in the Bachelor’s thesis or creative product, leading to graduation.


In addition to selecting their major, at the end of Year 2 students also choose a minor. Minor options are available in all majors offered at SAS, except “Information Technology and Systems Analysis” and “Contemporary Social Sciences”.

Each minor is an abridged version of the corresponding major; it allows students to develop substantial additional expertise and become more competitive after graduation. The mandatory minor system is an indicator to SAS commitment to cultivating interdisciplinary mindset among its students.

  • Information Technology and Systems Analysis
  • Cultural Studies
  • Economics
  • Film and Media Studies
  • Anthropology and Sociology
  • International Relations under Uncertainty
  • Philosophical Dialogue in a Deglobalizing World
years 1–4: electives
Over the course of their study, SAS students freely choose 12 elective courses, which ensures the individualization of their educational trajectory. These courses are often quite unique and are either connected to the research interests of SAS faculty or meet students’ demand for developing practical skills. Some elective courses are co-taught by two or more faculty members highlighting the same subject from different disciplinary perspectives. The roster of electives is different every quarter.

Fate, Time, and Language. The Philosophy of David Foster Wallace
Political Communication
History of Energy
Individual and Society: Socialization, Education, Violence
Work Stories
History of Capitalism
Philosophy of Physics, or How to Invent New Science
The Problem of Free Will: When Philosophy Meets Modern Science
Après ’68: An Introduction to Contemporary French Theory
Ecology, Technology and Anime
Performance in Tyumen
History and Memory through Cinema
History of Russia’s Religions
An Imperial Affliction: Depression in Literature
Contemporary Philosophy of Science
Law and Love
Introduction to Game Studies
Memories, Dreams, Confessions: Writing the Inner Life
Introduction to Economic Growth
Introduction to phylogenetic inference based on molecular data
Species concepts and species delimitation employing molecular data
IT Security
History of Economic Thought
The Making of Europe: Medieval Culture, c.500–1500
The Making of Economic Society
The Theory of Market Organization
Time Travel and Philosophy of Time
Language and Ethics
C# programming fundamentals
Introduction to Post-human Politics

+ 131 more electives

SAS curriculum

year 1

PaideiaWriting, Thinking, Analysis, InterpretationESL: Academic WritingEcce HomoMathematicsMetanarratives & PerspectivesPersonage of the First YearIT LiteracyData AnalysisHistory of RussiaWorld Through HistoryGreat Books: Philosophy & Social Thoughtquarter 1quarter 2quarter 3quarter 4ElectiveElectiveCity as s Textquarter 1quarter 2quarter 3quarter 4PaideiaWTAIESL: Academic WritingMathsEcce HomoMeta-narratives & PerspectivesIT LiteracyHistory of RussiaWorld Through HistoryCity as s TextElectiveElectivePersonage of the First YearData AnalysisGreat Books: Philosophy & Social Thought

year 2

Professional Russian LanguageSociety:  Economics and BeyondDesign ThinkingHuman Behavioral BiologyLaw and OrderCommunications  in the Modern WorldScience. Technology. Society.Emerging HorizonsVisual & Auditory ArtsGreat Books Literature quarter 1 quarter 2 quarter 3 quarter 4ElectiveElectiveElectiveElectiveElectiveElectiveElectiveElective quarter 1 quarter 2 quarter 3 quarter 4Russian LanguageSociety:  Economics and BeyondHuman Behavioral BiologyLaw and OrderDesign ThinkingCommunications in the Modern WorldElectiveElectiveElectiveElectiveElectiveElectiveElectiveElectiveScience. Technology. Society.Emerging HorizonsGreat Books LiteratureVisual & Auditory Arts

choosing a major

At the end of Year 2, any SAS student can choose any major which they will study in Years 3 and 4. In addition to the major, all students might complete a minor by selecting five eligible elective courses across their four years of study. Available major and minors include:

  • Information Technology and Systems Analysis
  • Cultural Studies
  • Economics
  • Film and Media Studies
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • International Relations under Uncertainty
  • Philosophical Dialogue in a Deglobalizing World
year 3

quarter 1quarter 2quarter 3quarter 4Major CourseMajor CourseMajor CourseMajor CourseMajor CourseMajor CourseMajor CourseMajor CourseResearch SeminarMinorElectiveMinorMinorElectiveMinorquarter 1quarter 2quarter 3quarter 4Major CourseMajor 
CourseMajor CourseMajor 
CourseResearch Seminar

year 4

quarter 4quarter 1quarter 2quarter 3Major CourseMajor CourseMajor CourseMajor CourseResearch SeminarMinorMinorMinorquarter 1quarter 2quarter 3quarter 4Major CourseMajor 
CourseMinorMinorMinorResearch Seminar