Undergraduate Courses in India

India, a country with the world’s second largest higher education system, has more than 550 institutions and universities along with 16,000 other colleges offering undergraduate degrees in various academic disciplines. Within the 20-million student community in India, approximately 85% are undergraduates with enrollments increasing by around 15% every year.

Quality of Education

All degree-granting universities in India require accreditation by institutions authorized by the University Grants Commission (UGC). Educational reforms and enhancements in the quality of degrees and institutes are now attracting foreign students to consider India as a study abroad destination. In fact, in 2012, India emerged as the 11th most popular destination for US students (Courtesy: Open Doors Report, Institute of International Education). The 2014 QS University Rankings: BRICS mentions 20 Indian Universities among its top 200 universities. While seven IITs feature in the top 40, the University of Delhi and the University of Calcutta rank among the top 50.

Colleges and universities in the United States understand that at 17 years of age, it is difficult to expect someone to know what they want to do for the rest of their lives. That’s why many colleges allow you to indicate that you are undecided in your application. However, you should remember that if your college accepts only a limited number of students for some subjects, such as business and engineering, then you may not get any of these subjects later as the course may get filled up. If you are undecided, indicate that you are undecided in your application. Seriously consider your choice of subject in your first year and definitely decide by your second year.

Bachelor of Arts

  • Course offered in Literature, Economics, Languages, Philosophy, History, Course offered in Literature, Economics, Languages, Philosophy, History, Journalism, Psychology, Political Science, Archaeology, Public Administration, Music, and Fine Arts; also available in Computer Science, Mathematics, Advertising, and Cinema Sciences
  • Fee structure varies depending on the course/college but averages between INR 6,000 to INR 50,000; private colleges cost more
  • Top colleges: Lady Shri Ram College for Women and St. Stephen’s College (New Delhi), Loyola College (Chennai)

Bachelor of Science

  • Specializations can be attained in diverse streams such as Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geography, Environmental Science, Information Technology, Computer Science, Geology, Agriculture, Mathematics, and many others
  • Cost may range from INR 23,000 to INR 5,00,000; private colleges and professional courses are more expensive
  • Top colleges: St. Stephen’s College (New Delhi), Loyola College (Chennai), and St. Xavier’s College (Mumbai)

Bachelor of Commerce

  • Fewer specializations are available within this stream but some of them include Cost Accounting, Foreign Trade, E-commerce, Business Economics/Law/Finance, Taxation, Marketing, Advertising and Sales Management, and Office Management
  • Commerce graduates generally progress to higher degrees such as CA, CWA, and CSS and can also pursue management studies
  • Costs may vary between INR 6000 to INR 1,85,000 (sometimes more)
  • Top colleges: Sri Ram College of Commerce and Lady Shri Ram College for Women (New Delhi), Loyola College (Chennai)

Bachelor of Engg./Tech

  • Myriad specializations are available such as Computer Applications (also offered exclusively as BCA), Electrical and Electronics, Information Technology, Automobiles, Software, Biotechnology, Civil, and Mechanical 
  • Costs range between INR 40,000 to INR 5,00,000 in good colleges
  • Top institutes: IIT-Kanpur, IIT-Delhi, and IIT-Kharagpur; Christ University (Bangalore) is ranked high for Computer Applications

BMS/BBA/BBS

  • Specializations include Marketing, Finance, Human Resource Management, Management of Services, Management of Global Business and Tourism Management
  • Concentrates on analytical and logical oriented studies
  • Top institutes: Delhi College of Advanced Studies, IP University, Delhi

Bachelor of Law

  • Specializations include Criminal Law, Civil Law, Labour Law, International Law
  • Curriculum includes seminars, tutorial work, moot courts, and practical training programs
  • Top institutes: National Law School of India, Faculty of Law, Delhi University

Bachelor of Medicine

  • Known as MBBS
  • Duration between four to five-and-a-half years; program includes 12-month long internship
  • Top medical colleges: All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Lady Hardinge Medical College

IIM 5-year Integrated Mgmt. Programme

  • Designed for young students aspiring to become management professionals
  • Curriculum includes a wide variety of subjects including Management, Natural Sciences, Liberal Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, soft skills
  • Tuition fee for first three years: 3 lacs per annum; for remaining two years: prevailing PGP fees

Undergraduate Education Structure

  • Regular degree programs in Arts, Science, Commerce, and Social Sciences are last three-year programs whereas professional programs in Engineering, Medicine, Dentistry, and Pharmacy range from four to five-and-a-half years
  • Academic performance is measured on a 10-point scale with 10 implying ‘Outstanding’ and 4 implying ‘Pass’
  • Individual semester average is referred to as SGPA (Semester Grade Point Average) while the average of all the semester grades is referred to as CGPA (Cumulative Grade Point Average)
  • A credit system based on majors and minors is slowly gaining popularity with the required credits for course completion ranging from 120 to 140
  • Undecided major is not allowed
  • Minimum 75% attendance is mandatory for most universities

Undergraduate courses in India offer the perfect grooming for students before they embark on their career. With a wide range of universities offering diverse programs, India is getting noticed as an excellent destination for students from various social, economic and cultural backgrounds.


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