FAQs on the Dual Degree at BITS-Pilani
Disclaimer: This FAQ is written by former students of BITS Pilani University and is “Not Official”. This is merely to guide the students and everyone is expected to do their own research before they make any decisions.
Apart from the BE streams, BITS-Pilani also offers admission for the dual degree programs. These programs are:
- M.Sc. (Hons.): Biological Sciences
- M.Sc. (Hons.): Chemistry
- M.Sc. (Hons.): Economics
- M.Sc. (Hons.): Mathematics
- M.Sc. (Hons.): Physics
Every candidate admitted as an M.Sc. (Hons.) student will be offered a BE degree at the end of the first year. The student will have to study for both the M.Sc. and BE degrees in the next 4 years. Which BE stream one may get would depend on the candidate’s CGPA and his/her preference (which he/she has to give at the end of the first year).
Is this like the B.Tech. + M.Tech. program that many other universities in India offer?
No. This is a program where a student can pursue a study in an Engineering discipline and a Science discipline simultaneously in a period of 5 years. Therefore, you will be awarded a Science degree and a BE degree at the end of those 5 years (No M.Tech or ME degree will be awarded).
Is this similar to transferring from one discipline to another that is usually practiced in many other universities?
No. It is not a transfer from M.Sc. to BE. It is M. Sc. + BE. Here, you will be studying for both the M.Sc. and BE degrees simultaneously.
Is there a way to transfer from M.Sc. to BE (i.e. leaving the M.Sc. discipline altogether and doing only and only BE)?
Yes. But only few such transfers happen every year. One requires a CGPA of 9.5+ for such transfer. (Only about 10 students out of 700+ will get this chance).
Will all the M.Sc. Students be offered BE discipline at the end of the first year? Or will only a few with very good CGPA be offered?
Each and every student admitted as an M. Sc. student (even if his/her CGPA is 5) will be offered one BE discipline or another at the end of the first year. However, those who have very low CG will not be offered a BE discipline.
Is it compulsory that one has to take up a BE discipline at the end of first year?
It is not compulsory. You will be offered a BE stream. You can either accept it or decline it if you want to pursue a career only in the M. Sc. stream. Nevertheless, you will be offered.
Is it advisable to pursue a Science degree along with an Engineering degree?
If you like any Science discipline but also want to do BE, this Dual Degree scheme is the best thing for you. However, many who are not specifically interested in their M.Sc. take it up for the BE discipline which they would get at the end of their first year.
I did not get the BE stream of my choice. Is taking a Dual Degree advisable?
Yes. If you are willing to study well in the first year, you will be able to clear the CGPA cut off for all the BE streams.
How can the CGPA of M.Sc. Physics student be compared with the CGPA of M.Sc. Chemistry student while allotting the BE discipline? Don’t they have different subjects in the first year?
All the students, irrespective of their branch, will have the same (common) subjects in the first year. They will be compared based their performance in these common subjects. So, you need not worry about that.
What is the course structure of the M.Sc. students after taking up BE at the end of the first year? Is it burdensome?
Compared to the single degree BE students, the course structure of a dual degree student is a bit burdensome because he/she has to study two disciplines.
As earlier stated earlier, everyone will have common subjects in the first year.
- II Year: M.Sc. discipline Core Disciplinary Courses (CDCs).
- II Year summer: Practice School I
- III Year: M.Sc. discipline CDCs and BE discipline CDCs.
- IV Year: BE discipline CDCs, BE discipline electives, and M.Sc. discipline electives.
- I Semester: Thesis or (Thesis+Electives) or Practice School II in one of the BE or M.Sc. disciplines.
- II Semester: Thesis or (Thesis+Electives) or Practice School II in the other.
What if I got an awkward combination of M.Sc. + BE?
A combination is awkward so long as ‘you’ think that it is. No discipline is isolated from any other. For example, CS can be applied in Biology under the name of Bioinformatics. All that should matter is whether you like them or not.
Will we be given two separate certificates at the end of those 5 years?
Yes. You will be awarded two certificates. Only your overall CGPA (i.e. both M.Sc. and BE put together) will be printed on both the certificates.
I didn’t take Biology in my +2. How would I be able to do an M.Sc. in Biology?
They know that you have not taken Biology in +2. They have structured the course in such a way that you will not have great difficulty in catching up with the course (unless you are extremely averse from the subject). Moreover, General Biology is one of the common courses that everyone must take in the first year.
What about Economics?
Economics doesn’t require a lot of background knowledge. Here also, they know that you did not do Economics in your +2. All they expect from you is a bit of enthusiasm to learn.
Why are the BITSAT cut-offs of these M.Sc. streams lower than BE?
- Almost everyone prefers a BE over M.Sc. because BE can be completed in 4 years.
- Many others don’t know about this M.Sc.
- And some have misconceptions that M.Sc. students don’t fare well in placements.
Yes, what are the effects on my placements if I take a dual?
None. Some people may tell you that doing an MSc will raise questions about your competency and thus affect your placements negatively but that’s not true. At the end of the day, placements are dependent on what extra things you learn relevant to the kind of job you’re applying for. If a company wants people with a certain skill set, then they will choose anyone with that particular set of skills, regardless of what dual you have.
Now coming to the positive effect on placements, there have been a lot of cases where students have benefited from taking up combinations like, Math+CS, Physics + EEE/ECE/ENI/Mech. It should be noted that this is because of their extra efforts to learn both subjects properly and at the end of the day, all that matters if your passion for a particular subject. So do not hesitate to take up a dual, if placements is your big concern. Placements should be a consequence of what you do. If you do anything only for placements, then you will end up not enjoying either subject (Science or Engineering).