IIT Madras students can pursue an entire semester in foreign universities. Here's how

IIT Madras has established itself as a premier centre for teaching, research and industrial consultancy through the 16 academic departments and several advanced research centres in various disciplines
IIT Madras students taking a class
IIT Madras students taking a class

Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM) students have the option of studying an entire semester in a foreign university. The courses that the students pursue in those foreign universities, IIT Madras will transfer them to their curriculum in the institute. IITM has signed MoUs with over 400 institutes across the globe in more than 50 countries including the United States, Germany, Indonesia and so on where the students can opt to pursue a semester.

Apart from this, at IITM, students have the freedom to choose nearly 50 per cent of the courses that they will be studying, with only a few restrictions. Out of the electives, students are free to choose about eight courses (called Free Electives) from any of the 16 departments of IIT Madras as well as other approved institutions. The students can get 72 credits from pursuing courses as diverse as History of India, Psychology and Economics to Artificial intelligence and Machine Learning.

If a student chooses four such courses in one contiguous area, they will be conferred a minor in that field. For example, if a student chooses four courses in Economics, IIT Madras will confer a minor in Economics to that student. There is a large number of minor courses being offered by IIT Madras. The detailed curriculum and syllabi for each program can be found here: https://www.iitm.ac.in/academics/academic-curricula. Highlighting the salient points of the academic programmes of IITM, Professor V Jagadeesh Kumar, Dean, said, "I do not think any other IITs offers the Academic flexibility being provided to students by IIT Madras. Students can have fun and earn credits too." Elaborating on this he added, "For example, if a student is interested in building things and builds a robot, the student can avail credits for the same. Students can earn as much as 36 credits in all departments, with certain departments even offering up to 48 credits for such activities. This is not part of a class but something is done for fun and if it clicks, it can be converted to credits under the IIT Madras System."

Speaking about the branch change option at the end of a semester available from this academic year, he said, "This is not an impediment. IIT Madras admits about 1,300 students and only about 25 to 30 students get a branch change. So, the probability of a student getting a branch change is really small. On the other hand, a student in the fourth semester or fifth semester can upgrade to a large number of interdisciplinary programs, ranging from fields like nanotechnology, biomedical engineering, computational engineering, data science, energy system, robotics and Quantum Science."

"A new specialisation on Dynamical Systems will soon be added. This year, nearly 200 students have taken up such specialisations, which is quite commendable when compared to the branch change students. More such specialisations will be added by IIT Madras,” added Professor Jagadeesh Kumar.

IIT Madras has been known for offering academic flexibility that is unrivalled, even among the other IITs in the country. IIT Madras has the extraordinary distinction of being the only Indian Institute to have been ranked as No 1 Engineering Institution for five consecutive years in National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) published by the Ministry of Education.

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