In this section, you’ll find answers to frequently asked questions about the State Final Examination (SFE) procedure. If you don’t see your question here, you can email the Office for Support of Educational Programs at and we will get in touch.


Where can I learn more about SFE and thesis defense?

You can find all ITMO University bylaws that regulate SFE on this page.

You can also address your questions to your thesis supervisor, the head of your program, or the secretary of your State Examination Committee (SEC). They will explain the SFE procedure for your educational program. 

You can forward any general inquiries about the SFE procedure at ITMO to the Office of Academic Records at

You can also look through the files from online briefings on SFE or join future briefings online – these, as well as all important news, are always announced on ISU. 

Do I have to create an email account to get notifications from ISU even if I do regularly get them on my personal email?

No, that’s not obligatory. But you do have to make sure that your ISU account is set to use your current email address.

Can I defend my thesis if I have an academic backlog from last semester?

You are only allowed to take your SFE if you have successfully completed all training in your program including pre-graduation practice and don’t have any academic backlog. Therefore, you have to eliminate all backlog before the start of SFE.

Can I suggest my own topic for the graduation thesis?

Yes, students have the opportunity to complete their thesis on their suggested topic. In this case, you need to choose your supervisor and negotiate the chosen topic with them. You will then have to state that you have a custom thesis topic in the request form for the approval of your thesis topic.


Do I need to print out and hand in any documents from ISU?

No. All SFE documents are filed digitally; you only need to check them for accuracy and sign them with your digital signature. You will always be notified in those cases when you need to hand in printed documents.

What is the request for the inclusion of additional information in the Diploma Supplement?

Upon a student’s request, their Diploma Supplement can include such info as the form of studies, electives, or data on partial completion of the educational program at another university. This information is not included in your Supplement by default so if you want it there, you will need to fill out a request form using ISU. After you’ve done this, you will see what will be included in your Diploma and Diploma Supplement. You have to check this information! You can make sure everything is correct in both documents via ISU.

Do the disciplines I studied at a partner university during academic mobility count as electives?

If these disciplines were counted towards the completion of your degree at ITMO, then they are not electives. If, however, these disciplines were not counted towards the completion of your degree and are marked as electives in your individual plan, then they will be counted as electives. 

For your electives to be included in your Diploma Supplement you need to state this in your request for the inclusion of additional information.

Does training at the military department count as electives?

No, training at the military department doesn't count as electives.

Where can I find my individual learning plan if I went on academic exchange?

You can find your individual learning plan on your ISU page. If you don’t see it there, you can email Anna Karpova, head of ITMO’s Office of Educational Methodology, at


Where can I find the date of my thesis pre-defense?

You can request the pre-defense schedule from the SEC secretary of your faculty/institute/cluster. 
If you still don’t know who your secretary is, make sure to contact them. You can find their contact info in this table.


When is my thesis tested in the Antiplagiat system?

Your thesis is checked twice: once before your pre-defense and once after it. Usually, this happens no later than 2-3 weeks before your actual defense. The final text of your thesis should be uploaded to ISU no later than 10 days before your defense.

Is it possible to exclude my own publications from an Antiplagiat check?

Yes, but only if you provide links to your publications. It is possible to exclude certain sections of your text from the check, but you have to justify this to the expert responsible. That’s why you should always identify your references in the text.


Will both reviews always be available digitally?

Yes. Both reviews will be formed via ISU. 

Do Bachelor’s students have to receive an expert review?

Bachelor’s students are only required to receive a review from their supervisors.

Who can be the expert reviewer? Are there any requirements?

Reviewer candidates are suggested by heads of programs and thesis supervisors. 

Reviewers are specialists in related professional fields and must not be employed at ITMO University. 

Reviewers must hold an academic degree (or academic title), including those awarded abroad, that has passed the established procedure for recognition and equivalence, or be employed at a specialized organization with at least three years of experience in the relevant field.


Can I defend my thesis in advance or based on my academic results?

Unfortunately, no. According to the current regulations, you can only take your SFE upon completion of your training and your thesis defense has to follow a specific procedure. This guarantees the quality of your defense and gives ITMO the right to award you a state-recognized degree after you have successfully defended your thesis. 

When and where will the defenses be held? Will they take part online or in person?

At ITMO, you can defend your thesis both online and in person. The format is determined by heads of programs and heads of SECs. The defense schedule will be announced in late April-May, so if you have any requests on the form of your defense, you can address the head of your program or the secretary of your SEC until April 15.