ITMO University (formerly Saint-Petersburg National Research University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics) is one of the foremost science and engineering institutions in Russia and can trace its history back to 1900 and the opening of the dedicated Mechanics, Optics and Watchmaking Department of the Prince Nicholas Vocational School. In 1917 the department became independent and went on to specialise in manufacturing very fine optical and mechanical instruments.
Further specialisation and the addition of research institutes paved the way for a shift from watchmaking to calculating machinery and eventually to computing devices. Staying true to its past roots in watchmaking and optics, ITMO’s research still specialises in photonic and information technologies.
Today ITMO is one of the largest universities in Saint Petersburg and one of only 15 universities in Russia chosen to take part in the national Academic Excellence Project which aims to improve international competitiveness among Russia’s top research and academic institutions.
ITMO University offers more than 30 bachelors degrees and about 200 masters programmes. The university is home to 18 departments and seven research institutes as well as its own academy and it fosters close ties with foreign universities.
The university is also involved with 50 international research projects with universities from across the globe. ITMO offers the usual range of undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD qualifications as well as the innovative "double degree" system.
Under the system, ITMO has partnered with institutions in Germany, France, Finland and other countries to provide graduates enrolled in the scheme two degrees, one from ITMO and one from the partner university abroad.