Light Guide Photonics and Programmable Electronics

Place of Study: ITMO University
Outcome (diploma or credits): Master’s degree
Duration: 2 years, 120 credits
Language: English
Application Deadline: 09 August 2021
Admission Requirements: Bachelor's degree in the field of optics, photonics, electronics, programmable electronics, technical physics, and instrumentation, with excellent/good grades; CV & motivation letter; upper-intermediate level of English*
Tuition Fee: 297,000 rubles per year for Russian students; 317,000 rubles per year for international students

Career Options

Graduates of this program can pursue their careers in a variety of fields: photonics, design, field-programmable gate arrays, microcontroller units, and so on. Students are trained under the aegis of ITMO’s Research Institute of Light-Guided Photonics that actively collaborates with numerous domestic and international companies. The Institute works closely with the Ioffe Institute, State Research Center of the Russian Federation, Concern CSRI Elektropribor, JSC, Technical University of Berlin (TU Berlin), Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology (IPHT), Czech Academy of Sciences, and many others.

Program description

Light Guide Photonics and Programmable Electronics is a comprehensive course aimed at training highly qualified specialists in optical instrumentation, electronics (including programmable electronics), optoelectronic device design and modeling, as well as signal processing. Students acquire the skills and competencies necessary to develop optical fiber devices and systems.

The program includes 2 specializations:


Students will learn more about photonics and instrumentation, as well as gain necessary knowledge and skills in the following fields:

  • Fiber and integrated optics
  • Fiber-optic information and measurement systems
  • Fiber-optic gyros
  • Fiber Bragg gratings
  • Precision mechanics

The obtained knowledge can be applied to their work at enterprises or their own startups. During the course, students not only receive unique competencies in the rapidly developing field but also learn how to commercialize the results of their work.


Students of this specialization acquire practical skills for working with modern digital electronics components such as FPGAs, MCUs, and systems on a chip. The program pays special attention to the specifics of creating fiber-optic sensors and measuring equipment and the use of programmable electronics for the development of fiber-optic measurement systems.

The specialization provides for:

  • up-to-date knowledge in the design of printed circuit boards for controlling external devices;
  • skills in real-time signal processing, programming with FPGAs, MCUs, and systems on a chip;
  • hands-on experience in creating algorithms for digital signal processing and their implementation in hardware platforms.

Content of the Program

1st Semester:

University-wide module

  • Theory of Inventive Problem Solving (3 ECTS)
  • Foreign Language in Professional Activity (3 ECTS)

General scientific module

  • Data Processing and Analysis (3 ECTS)

Professional module

  • Basic Equations of Mathematical Physics (3 ECTS)
  • Physical Optics (3 ECTS)

Professional training

  • Photonics (3 ECTS)
  • CAD Software (3 ECTS)


  • Basic Principles (4 ECTS)
  • Technology Concept and/or Application (4 ECTS)


  • Emotional State Regulation in Professional Activity (3 ECTS)

2nd Semester:

University-wide module 

  • Foreign Language in Professional Activity (3 ECTS)

General scientific module (optional, 3 ECTS)

  • Applied Artificial Intelligence (fundamentals)
  • Applied Artificial Intelligence (advanced)

Professional training

  • Smart Electronics (3 ECTS)

Variable-profile professional module (optional, specialization):

  • Module «Light Guide Photonics»:
    • Integrated Optics (3 ECTS)
    • Fiber-Optic Information and Measurement Systems (2 ECTS)
    • Project Management in Photonics (2 ECTS)
    • Fiber Bragg Gratings (3 ECTS)
  •   Module «Programmable Electronics»:
    • Introduction to FPGA Design (3 ECTS)
    • Systems on a Chip (2 ECTS)
    • DSP Basics and Their Implementation on FPGA (3 ECTS)
    • Electrical Communication Theory (3 ECTS)


  • Analytical and Experimental Critical Function and/or Characteristic Proof of Concept (6 ECTS)
  • Component and/or Breadboard Validation in Laboratory Environment (6 ECTS)

3rd Semester:

University-wide module 

  • Business Relationship Management (2 ECTS)

Variable-profile professional module (optional, specialization):

  • Module «Light Guide Photonics»:
    • Modern Optical Fiber Manufacturing (3 ECTS)
    • Fiber-Optic Information and Measurement Systems (3 ECTS)
    • Fundamentals of Precision Mechanics Design (3 ECTS)
    • Fiber Optic Acoustic Sensing (3 ECTS)
    • Light Scattering and its Application in Fiber Optics (3 ECTS)
    • Experimental Methods of Optical Physics (2 ECTS)
  • Module «Programmable Electronics»:
    • Digital Electronics (3 ECTS)
    • Systems on a Chip (3 ECTS)
    • Programming Special Cases (4 ECTS)
    • Electronic Design Automation (3 ECTS)
    • Introduction to FPGA Design of Embedded Systems (3 ECTS)


  • Component and/or Breadboard or Realspace Environment (6 ECTS)
  • System Adequacy in Simulated Environment (6 ECTS)


  • Metrology and Standardization Requirements in Optical Instrumentation (3 ECTS)

4th Semester:

Soft skills (optional, 1 ECTS)

  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Personal Growth
  • Life in Science – Guide for Young Researchers (fundamentals)
  • Career Management


  • Senior Internship (9 ECTS)
  • System Prototype Demonstration in an Operational Environment (13 ECTS)

Master's Thesis Defense (6 ECTS)

Plus, the following soft skills (3 ECTS):

  • Public Speaking Techniques
  • Principles of Time Management
  • Team Building
  • Team Communication
  • Emotional Self-Regulation
  • Academic Writing

The list of entrance examinations questions

* The applicants are required to pass entrance examination successfully.  

How to apply?

To apply, please fill in the application form and follow our step-by-step application guide for more details.

Want to enroll at ITMO without entrance examinations or tuition fees? Learn more about our contests and competitions that will give you this amazing opportunity! 



Map Building plans

Content © 1993–2021 ITMO University
Development © 2014 ITMO University
General regulations of Information Use