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Dualite's Dilemma

By Shiladitya Ghose
From BITS Pilani , Goa
Posted Sep 11th 2012 12:05AM



The following are questions concerning the Dual-Degree scheme of BITS Pilani University,which plague almost every BITS aspirant,interested in a Dual as well as all those who are dualites in the first year,across all three BITS Campuses(Pilani,Goa and Hyderabad). Many anxious students and parents can be seen posting frantically in online forums,trying to ascertain about the usefulness of the dual degree,its advantages,disadvantages,how difficult it is to get into an engineering main stream etc.The forums more often than not provide incorrect and deceptive information which gives a very wrong impression of the dual degree.

Here I have tried to dispel all wrong impressions and rumors:

1.What courses are offered at BITS?

Under Academic Flexibility offered by BITS to its students-there are 3 groups or classes of degrees into which a student might get admitted.Group A consists of the BE(Hons) degree(4 years) which includes Computer Science,Mechanical,EEE(Electrical and Electronics),ENI(Electronics and Instrumentation,Civil,Chemical,Manufacturing etc(All these are not offered at all the three campuses). Group B includes the MSc.Degrees in Physics,Maths,Chemistry,Economics and Biology.Group C includes the MSc Tech degree in IS(Information Systems).

Apart from this there is also a B.Pharma degree(not in Goa) and Higher Degree(Ph.d and ME) into which students might get admitted.

2.Who is a Dualite?

Typically students of Group B i.e. the MSc. degree are called Dualites.Usually,these are students who have an aptitude for science and wish to pursue careers in the research field or/and students who could not get the requisite marks in BITSAT(the BITS Admission Test) to get admission in one of the Group A degrees.

3.Why are they called Dualites?

Here comes the interesting part.All dual degree students have an option to pursue a second degree from Group A(BE(Hons)) along with their primary or first degree ie Group B.That means suppose a student gets admitted into MSc. Physics.He has an option of getting admitted into one of the BE degrees,based on the CGPA of the first year.

4.How is the BE degree allotted?

Dual degree students have to fill in their choices of the BE degree,in order of preference,at the end of the first year.Based on their CGPA of the first year(courses are common for all degrees) they are allotted their BE degrees.They will be informed of their allotment in the summer vacation after the first year.

5.What does the Dual degree comprise of?

At the end of five years,dualites get an MSc.degree(which he had got admitted to in the beginning) as well as a BE(degree) which they had been allotted after the first year.The course structure is roughly as follows:

The first year is common for all.In the second year (Sem III and Sem IV) dualites are taught CDC's(Core Disciplinary Courses) of their MSc degree.In Sem V and VI CDCs of the MSc and some CDC's of the BE are introduced.Sem VII and Sem VIII has CDC's of only the BE degree as well as electives of both the degrees.Sem IX a dualite has to complete a Thesis and remaining electives while the last semester is meant for PS(Practice School) pertaining to the BE degree.

6.Is it difficult to get a "good" BE?

As in during admissions Computer Science and EEE are the most preferred branches.Though the Admission division refuses to divulge official records,required CGPA at the end of the first year is as follows.6.8 for CS,6.3 for EEE,6 for Mechanical,5.7 for ENI.All MSc students below this CGPA were allotted Chemical.The above figures are for Goa Campus only.For Pilani these figures are higher.So it is a myth that getting a good BE is difficult.It is not!Regular study and a bit of brains is all you need!

7.What is a "good" Combination of Msc and BE degrees?

CS and Maths;EEE/ENI/Mech and Physics/Economics are considered the better combinations,whereas Chemical with Biology or Chemical with Physics are considered as taboos.
These perceptions are based on prejudice.The MSc courses are science related and usually are very different from those of the BE degrees.

8.Placements??

Companies will not discriminate against an dualite- as in normally opined.Most placements on or off campus takes place solely based on the BE degree and a particular student performs well in his/her BE discipline,it usually does not matter whether he is a single or dual degree student.At the same time dualites should not expect to have any significant advantages over their single degree counterparts,just because they have an additional degree.

Dulaites may however have some advantages if they apply to foreign universities for MS since most top institutions there give preference to those who have done research work

Hope this helps solve the dualite's dilemma!

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