Wednesday, June 2, 2010

M.Sc. Courses at BITS Pilani

This post is meant for all the BITSian aspirants who’d like to know more about the M.Sc. Courses (M.Sc. (Hons.) & M.Sc. (Tech.)) offered at BITS Pilani (Pilani, Goa, Hyderabad Campuses) and the Dual Degree Scheme.
These are some Frequently Asked Questions by answering which I aim to clear all the doubts and Misconceptions that the people have regarding the M.Sc. Courses offered at BITS Pilani.

Q.1) What are these M.Sc. Courses?
A.1) In BITS M.Sc. Courses are of 2 types:
Ø M.Sc. (Hons.) in Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Economics, Mathematics and Physics.
These are integrated degree programmes without any intermediate B.Sc. degree. Almost all students who are admitted for these degrees also aspire and work for a second degree from B.E. (Hons.), B.Pharm. Degrees under the dual degree scheme. In these courses you will be doing all the core courses of your Science Stream as well as Engineering Stream. So at the end of 5 years, you can choose to go in any field - Science or Engineering, based on your interest.

Ø M.Sc. (Tech.) in Information Systems, Finance & General Studies-
These programmes are multi-disciplinary, technological in character and are designed to meet the requirements of newly emerging professional activities.
i) Information Systems- The programme on Information Systems gives a good exposure to the students on computer software and software engineering techniques, both at the conceptual and application levels. At BITS, this program is equivalent to B.E. Computer Science, and is most sought after one.
ii) Finance - The courses planned for this programme are of such a nature that they fulfill the requirements of financial institutions as well as financial management needs of any industry. This programme is complementary to the M.Sc. (Hons.) Economics programme.

Q.2) What is the difference between M.Sc. (Hons.) & M.Sc. (Tech.) Courses?
Ø M.Sc. (Hons.) – This course is of 5 years duration and you will end up with two degrees after 5 years
i) M.Sc. (Hons.) – ‘The discipline of this degree will depend on your preferences and will be given according to your BITSAT Score.
ii)B.E. (Hons.) – ‘The discipline of this degree will depend on your preferences and will be given according to your 1st year CGPA.’
Ø M.Sc. (Tech) – This is a course of 4 years duration and you will end up with only one degree after 4 years which will be equivalent to a B.E. (Hons.) degree.
P.S.: While M.Sc. (Hons.) will provide you a Masters degree, M.Sc. (Tech.) is NOT a masters degree.

Q.3) What is this Dual Degree Scheme stated at the end of Ans. 1?
A.3) All M.Sc. (Hons.) (Mind it, only (Hons.) & not Tech) will be allotted an assured B.E. (Hons.) Degree, at the end of the 1st year, based on their CGPA for 1st year.
Which B.E. (Hons.) degrees will be offered for Dual Degree at the end of 1st year?
>> At Pilani Campus - B.E. (Hons.): Chemical, Civil, Computer Science, Electrical and Electronics, Electronics & Instrumentation, Mechanical, Manufacturing and B.Pharm.(Hons.).
>> At Goa Campus - B.E. (Hons.): Chemical, Computer Science, Electrical and Electronics, Electronics & Instrumentation, and Mechanical.
>> At Hyderabad Campus - B.E. (Hons.): Chemical, Civil, Computer Science, Electrical and Communications, Electrical and Electronics, Mechanical, and B.Pharm. (Hons.).

Q.4) But won’t it be too tough for me to get a good branch for dual degree?
A.4) Well for the Students aspiring for a dual degree of CS or EEE, you will need to score an above average CGPA, (I said above average, NOT very high CGPA.) while for Mechanical and Electronics & Instrumentation, average CG will work. Whereas Chemical and Civil can be obtained at lower CGPAs too. If you are TOO low with your CG you may end up with B.Pharm. But you will get some Dual for sure.

Q.5) What is this high and low CGPA?
A.5) In BITS there is a relative marking system on a 10 point scale. Just like Students with high BITSAT score opt for CS or EEE, similarly students with good CG also, and for obvious reasons, opt for a Dual Degree of CS or EEE and so on…. So, whether your CGPA is high or low for a given dual, depends not only on your CGPA but also on your fellow Dualites..
Generally - a CG of 7.5-8+ will get you CS/EEE, 6.5-6.75+ will get you EnI/Mech.

Q.6) Do we get two separate Degrees for B.E. and M.Sc. (Hons.)?
A.6) Yes, you get two absolutely separate Degrees.

Q.7) But, What if I Don’t want a dual degree?
A.7) If you opt for a B.E. dual degree, you spend 5 years. But, if you don’t opt for a Dual Degree then you will finish your M.Sc. (Hons.) degree in 4 years.

Q.8) That means I am wasting my one year if I am taking a Dual Degree???
A.8) Absolutely not. 1st of all, the 5th year of your study goes in Practice School II (Where you do an internship in a company of your choice and get a cool STIPEND for it too. :) ). So basically you end up with one year of extra experience and some money in your pocket before you are actually placed.
>> As compared to the M.Sc. (Hons.) non- dualites - If you are taking a dual then you can apply for a job with your Dual Degree also. That means you will be able to get technical jobs. And yeah, while applying for campus placements, a student with Dual Degree of Mechanical (for e.g.) is given equal preference to a student with B.E. (Hons.) Mechanical.
>> As compared to the B.E. / M.Sc. (Tech.) students – You have a Masters degree with you. If you have interest in research then you can Directly go for a Ph.D. degree. Also this degree will help you a lot in securing an admission in Universities Abroad…

Q.9) If it has so many advantages then why the cutoffs are low?
A.9) Because most people in India do not know about this course. BITS Pilani is the only University in India which offers this flexibility of pursuing B.E. along with M.Sc. (Hons.). Most of the people don’t have a clue about the Dual Degree Scheme & think that the M.Sc. course of BITS Pilani is similar to that of IITs. But The M.Sc. (Hons.) COURSE OF BITS PILANI IS VERY MUCH DIFFERENT FROM THAT AT IITs.. The IITs don’t offer B.E. as Dual degree..
Those who know about these courses never hesitate to take them.. You can find many people with BITSAT Score above 320 who have taken Dual Degree..
The only reason behind their cut-offs going low is lack of awareness about these courses..

Q.10) How will I manage the Studies of Both the Degrees ? Won’t it be an overload ??
A.10) You won’t be overloaded. The BITSian Academic Calendar is made in such a way, that you will not be over burdened.
The 1st year courses of all the disciplines are exactly same.
The 2nd year courses for all courses are almost the same. (1 or 2 courses different for different courses)
In 3rd year B.E. / M.Sc. (Tech.) students do their Compulsory Disciplinary Courses (CDCs) of B.E.
While the M.Sc. (Hons.) Students do their Compulsory Disciplinary Courses (CDCs) of M.Sc.
In 4th year the B.E. / M.Sc. (Tech.) students go on Practice School for one semester and will do 6 electives for the other semester, whereas the M.Sc. (Hons.) students do their Compulsory Disciplinary Courses (CDCs) of B.E.
In 5th year the B.E. / M.Sc. (Tech.) students do their JOB, while the M.Sc. (Hons.) Students will do their PS.

Q.11) Which M.Sc. Degree is the best? What should be my order of preference ?
Your order of preference should depend on factors like which subject you are good at and which subject interests you the most and NOT on the fact that economics has the highest cut-off or Bio Sciences has the lowest cut-off. Because for one complete year (3rd year) you will have to study that subject in great detail.
And yeah the choice of your subject will NOT affect what Dual Degree you will get. Because all the 1st year courses for all the disciplines are exactly the same.
So just choose the subject of M.Sc. out of your interest.

Q.12) I have heard that some companies do not take dualites during On Campus Placements. Is it true ?
A.12) About 95 % of the companies coming on campus for placement, treat Dual Degree and Single degree students equally. Among the remaining 5 %, there are few companies who take only dualites, and few companies, who take only single degree students.
As a matter of fact, last year Google gave highest placement offers to 3 students, and all three of them co-incidentally were dualites. So do not worry, if you make the most of your life while at BITS, you will get a decent job.

BITS Pilani, Pilani Campus

About The Writer

Nishank Varshney is a student of M.Sc. (Hons.) Mathematics & B.E.(Hons.) Electronics & Instrumentation at BITS Pilani, Pilani Campus.