Dual Degree at BITS – Is it Worth Pursuing?

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***All that glitters is not gold***

This post is not to discourage anyone from taking dual degree at BITS but is to give you an unbiased view of dual degree system (And the not talked side of this system), so that you don’t regret your decision later on.

For those who don’t know, dual degree system gives a chance to students who could not get their preferred B.E. branch. Under this, you take MSc. branch from the 5 offered programmes – Physics, Chemistry, Maths, Biology and Economics. You can find the last year cutoffs for these branches for all the campuses on BITS admissions website. Under the normal iteration process, you apply for it and get a 4 year course. After 1 year, you’d be filling preferences for B.E. degree and it will be allotted to you purely on the basis of CGPA. Now, your course duration will extend to 5 years.

Let me clear that it is not easy to score a good CGPA and getting a B.E. branch which you could not get through BITSAT score. You have to attend classes and study regularly. BITS has a continuous evaluation system. Almost everyone opting for dual degree aims for CS (at least before coming to college) but not all of them get it (A rough stat for Pilani campus: Around 50-60 got CS out of around 300 MSc. students of 2015 batch). BITS has a relative grading system so if there are people above average there would be people below average too. You will have tough competition for getting your desired branch.

So, my advice is that think about it rationally, statistically and not with overconfidence, because after a year you should not regret your decision or curse seniors for making you choose dual degree.

Now the important thing: Aspirants think that we have studied so hard for JEE, so this we can do easily.

Personal experience says  it is not easy at all. I am not saying to doubt your abilities. All I want you to know is that college is very different. A hell lot of distractions are there in college that you are not aware off at this point. People end up landing a branch which they could have easily got from their BITSAT score.

For example: Civil Engineering cutoffs are a lot lesser than MSc. Economics, so there are students who took economics and ended up having Civil (they could have Chemical had they not opted for dual degree). I am not demeaning any branch here, just giving example according to general preference.

This was about 1st year. Now coming to 2nd year. This is the lightest year you’ll have in your whole dual degree. But again, not too easy. You’ll only study your MSc. Branch in 2nd year and 3 humanities electives which are compulsory to complete in 2nd year.

Coming to the 3rd year and this is where the trouble begins. You will have to study both of your degrees simultaneously which is quite hectic. This means you will have at least 7 compulsory courses (6 in the case of CS) in each of your semesters in 3rd year. 3rd year is the toughest year for a dual degree student. You will have continuous mid-semester exams (my friend had 6 exams in 3 days and I had 5) and comprehensive (final) exams. In the 4th year, you will still have to do courses of both of your degrees. 3rd and 4th year of a dual degree student at BITS are very hectic compared to a single degree student.

One more thing, if you are a single degree student and you are not interested with your branch, you can do courses of other branches as electives and pursue your interests there. But if you are a dual degree student and you are not satisfied with your branch, there is huge chance you won’t get a free slot to do courses of other branches. I am not saying it’s impossible but it’s quite tough.

Again, the aim of this post is not to discourage you people from taking dual degrees but just giving you an idea what actually happens.

Hope this has cleared your doubts.