University-wide optional courses

Dear students!

University-wide optional courses were introduced in 2021 and many of you have been enjoying them. This initiative benefits students by allowing them to choose interesting subjects. Moreover, Master’s and PhD students can try their hand at teaching by submitting their ideas to the contest of optional courses. 

At these courses, students can meet their peers from different levels of study and specializations, which helps them expand their network and meet like-minded people. This is a great boost to the friendly atmosphere that we cherish at ITMO.

University-wide optional courses are additional courses that you can take alongside your educational program. Each course ends with a pass/fail test. Be mindful when choosing an optional course: the number of students in each of them is limited, so do choose it only if you truly intend to complete it.

In the fall semester 2024 year, there are 58 optional courses to choose from. The organizers of the initiative are proud to say that 4 courses were developed by ITMO’s Master’s and PhD students. And 3 courses were developed by external specialists.


Сhoosing an optional course:

  • You can sign up for optional courses on the platform at the start of every semester.
  • You can choose no more than two optional courses per semester. Please note that if you choose «Turkish Language», «Chinese Language», «Spanish Language» or «Italian Language» then you will only be able to study one optional course, because each of these courses is at least twice as long as the other electives (64 hours).

Opting out of studying an optional course:

  • You can decide not to complete anoptional course until the day of the second class(inclusive) without any restrictions (be sure to write about your decision to
  • If you decide to opt out of an optional course after the second class, other rules begin to apply:
    • if you dropped out of an optional course two times or more, unfortunately, you won’t be able  to join an optional course at ITMO in the next semester. We will provide places and opportunities for those who could not enroll because you took a place but did not continue your studies.
    • what if you are abscent from two classes or fail two final tests for optional courses – or some combination of these two? Unfortunately, you also won’t be able to enroll in optional courses at ITMO in the next semester. We will provide an opportunity for other students to gain knowledge and credits.
About credits for elective(s):
  • Electives do NOT affect scholarships and are NOT considered academic backlog. University-wide optional courses are included in the diploma supplement only with the agreement of the student.
  • It is not necessary to register for electives. But if you decide to take an elective course, to receive credit you must fulfill all the requirements that the teacher will announce.
  • University-wide optional courses grades are issued before the end of the semester and are displayed in the grade book after the teacher has assigned the points in the Grading System.

Below, you will find course descriptions and videos from teachers for you. Check them out to choose your dream optional course.

If you have any questions regarding university-wide optional courses, you can send them to or Helpdesk.
Telegram Bot: @plus_itmo_bot

Biology and Ecology
  • Anatomy of Health 
  • Biology of Effectiveness
  • Introduction to Nutrition Science 
  • Fundamentals of Immunobiology 
CT, Programming and Mathematics
  • Introduction to GameDev: Fundamentals of Game AI 
  • Introduction to GameDev: Unreal Engine 4 and Blueprints 
  • Complex Analysis (in Russian)
  • Math: to Understand, Accept and Love
  • AI Services for Education and Science 
Culture and Design
  • Women in Visual Arts 
  • History of World Animation 
  • Science Fiction and the Limits of Imagination 
  • The Basics of Family History Research 
  • (Post-/Meta-)Modernity and Contemporary Culture 
  • Journey to the East: the Culture of Modern China 
  • Modern Design for Humans 
  • Afterlife Lab: a Science Fiction Exploration of Memory and Immortality
Management and Sociology
  • Flexible Management
  • Coaching as a Management Method 
  • Marketing for entrepreneurs 
  • Fundamentals of Marketing: Game Course in Detective Format 
  • Effective Management Skills 
  • Creation and Development of Youth Communities 
  • Personal branding in Social Media
Physics and Photonics
  • Fundamentals of Musical Audio Electronics 
  • Preparatory Physics Course 
  • Physics in GameDev 
Economics and Finance
  • State Regulation of Innovation and Sustainable Development
  • Fundamentals of Macroeconomics 
  • Fundamentals of Microeconomics
  • Fundamentals of Practical Investment 
  • Fundamentals of Financial Decision Making 
  • Fundamentals of Managerial Economics (for Non-Economists) 
  • Discovering Irrationality: Introduction to Behavioral Economics 
  • Spanish Language Level 1
  • Chinese Language Level 1
  • Chinese Language Level 2
  • Italian Language Level 1
  • Turkish Language Level 1
  • Turkish Language Level 2
  • Creative Writing
  • Grammar of Emotions
  • Poetic Writing: the Russian-Language Canon (in Russian)
SS and Thinking
  • Argumentation: from Theory to Practice 
  • Vocal and Dance Improvization 
  • Contact With Self and Others 
  • Fundamentals of Sexology 
  • Skills for Teaching and Working with Information 
  • Facilitation and Group Management 
  • Emotional Stability 
  • Emotional Intelligence 
  • Cognitive Decision-Making Tools 
  • Cognitive Errors in Understanding Humans 
  • Practical Coaching for Team Development 
  • Practical Storytelling 
  • Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence
  • Tools and Resouces for Academic and Research Work 
Online optional courses
University-wide optional courses Mathematic and IT
  • Social Media Analysis in Python 
  • Introduction to Computational Musicology: Models and Methods of Music Data Mining 
Culture and Design
  • Introduction to Sound Studies and Sound Art 
  • Digital Transformation of Culture 
Management and Sociology
  • Flexible Management 
  • Fundamentals of Marketing: Game Course in Detective Format 
  • Startup Making: From Idea to Implementation
  • Personal Branding on Social Media
Economics and Finance
  • State Regulation of Innovation and Sustainable Development 
  • Appliying for Grant Contests 
  • Spanish Language A2.2
SS and Thinking
  • Facilitation and Group Management
  • Emotional Stability 
  • Emotional Intelligence