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Are Engineers eligible for MSc Maths in IITs (Through JAM)?

Dushyanth Edadasula

Dushyanth Edadasula

I am from Srikakulam, a small town in Andhra Pradesh, and have done my MSc in Physics from Pune University, B.Tech from Andhra Univerity. I love Photography and I run this 'Citizens of Science' on the side. you can read our incredible journey from the 'Story so far' page in the top bar.


HUGE update ppl!!!! IITs have exempted all engineers from the requirement of 2 years/4 semesters of Physics in UG for admission in MSc Physics. This is only for MSc Physics.
For MSc Maths, only IIT Roorkee, Gandhinagar & Hyderabad have given exemption to engineers, rest all require 2years/4 sems of mathematics.
Do go through this post If you wish to know about how the change was brought about (we believe our mails have a lot to do with it) in the eligibility criteria. If you’re looking for MSc Math admission, you can proceed reading the article but if you are an MSc Physics aspirant you may just stop here, the rest of this post is irrelevant to you.

Firstly I’d like to state with full clarity that there is no clarity about this Eligibility criteria, and even after reading this entire post, you’ll probably be left with no definite answer but hopefully a little less confused. It is Because of this uncertainty I suppose, almost every new member in our WhatsApp group starts with the question like

I’m from XYZ branch of engineering, am I eligible for admission in MSc Maths in IITs through JAM?

I have checked the Eligibility criteria of IITs, they are asking for 4 sems of Maths in bachelor’s. What does it mean?

So, to address all those queries once and for all, I am putting up all the information we have about it.


Eligibility criteria

IIT Roorkee, Gandhinagar & Hyderbad, it doesn’t have any eligibility criteria for engineers in MSc Maths, any engineer with good enough rank can get into those IITs. For the rest of the IITs,  it’s mentioned in the JAM brochure (of 2021) that, for admission in MSc Maths, the minimum Eligibility criterion is:

Mathematics for at least two years/four semesters in Bachelors’s.

From our understanding and experience of seeing people getting admissions, this means that those IITs ask for 4 semesters/2 years in UG where you have had at least one Mathematics (or related) subject. The problem with this is, there’s no information specifically given about what courses will be considered as ‘Mathematics’ and what will not be.

So who decides if a subject is to be considered Mathematics or not?

The thing is this decision will entirely depend upon the IIT in question. Also as mentioned in the brochure, the IITs have the final authority to deem a candidate as eligible or not for admission.

While filling out the application for JAM counseling you’re required to upload your Engineering degree mark list year by year or a consolidated one that contains all the courses you’ve had in your engineering. Also, you’ve to type and manually fill each and every course you’ve had in your Engineering degree(Ya, I did type out the complicated names of all 66 courses and the respective grade I’ve earned in each, once in a lifetime experience it was). Once you apply for the IITs through JAM and get a rank good enough to secure a seat in that IIT, then the IIT will scrutinize your coursework and check if you meet the eligibility criteria of the 2yrs/4sems of Mathematics and if that IIT rejects your application, then It’ll be sent to the next IIT in your preference list given you’ve good enough rank to secure a seat in it that year and so it goes to the IIT next in your list. So, I guess it must be clear to you now that, a subject that is considered Mathematics by an IIT, may not be considered as one by another IIT.

Any idea about which subjects usually are considered as Mathematics?

One thing I can say is if the course is offered by your Physics department, or if the course code starts with something like  MAT something indicating that it’s math-related, then most likely, it’ll be treated as math. Usually, all engineering grads will have Engineering Mathematics as a course in their first one or two sems. That definitely counts as a math subject. Apart from that, our members have opined that subjects that involve a lot of math, such as Numerical Methods, Graph theory, Operational research, Fluid mechanics, Control systems, Convective heat/mass transfer, etc are usually considered Mathematics. Even if you are unsure if you’ll meet the eligibility criteria, don’t worry, you have plenty of other options, keep reading to know them.


The Curious Case of an Engineering graduate

(This won’t be the case with MSc Physics anymore, it’s only applicable for MSc Maths, read the note at the top of the page. All engineers are eligible for MSc Physics at IITs)
A guy I’ve known has got a pretty good rank in JAM Physics in 2017 but wasn’t allotted a seat in any IIT, though that year’s cut-off rank went beyond his rank. But for the next year (2018) he was granted admission by the IIT that denied it last year and the surprising part was that his rank was bigger (Worse) than what he got last time. So, the Eligibility of a candidate might vary not just from IIT to IIT but also within the same IIT, year to year. I guess this justifies the opening sentence of the blog post. Also apparently, the committee in each IIT that decides upon the eligibility of applied candidates changes every year. So, there is no guarantee of consistency.

What if I’m ineligible for most IITs? or if I can’t make it to the ones that I’m eligible for?

Firstly we’re no one to decide if we’re ineligible, it’s done by IITs (There was a case of a candidate who was pretty sure he is ineligible for IITs but was selected for one of the premier ones) but anyways let’s assume someone is ineligible for admission in all IITs (Except IIT Roorkee, Gandhinagar & Hyderabad of course because they don’t have any requirement of 2years/4 sems of mathematics for engineers). If you remember from the main post, IISERs and IISC also take through JAM. So, even if one doesn’t get any IIT despite getting a good rank one can still apply for IISERs through the JAM rank for their I-PhD courses. Apart from those, a few other good universities that take us Engineering grads in the MSc Maths course with the entrance exams have more or less the same syllabus as that of JAM. Also, these will be happening a few months after the JAM (most happen in June) so, you’ll get a good amount of time to prepare and crack those exams which happen roughly on the same syllabus and are of more or less, the same pattern.

Apart from the IITs, almost all other options that I’ve mentioned in the post are Branch neutral and do not differentiate between branches of engineering or at least do not disqualify one for not having enough Mathematics in a bachelor’s coursework. So you can apply to any of them irrespective of your branch in engineer. There are Universities & Institutes like ISI, CMI, JNU, HCU, DU, PU, and LMNIIT that take engineers and also you can give exams like GATE, NET, etc.. refer to this post to know about all such options in Mathematics.

Will mailing the institute help?

I’d highly recommend you do that. The eligibility status might vary from IIT to IIT and so one has to mail each IIT to know about it individually. Besides, the IITs will get to realize how many engineers are looking to switch to maths, It might convince them to change their eligibility criteria. But one thing, even if you get an affirmative reply I’m not sure how much weight the mail will carry during the counseling and admission. But still, it’s good to mail them. You’ll at least have recorded evidence of what the institute has said to you, which may come in handy. Also that we might get some new information regarding the admission process. Most members after they get ranks, share the responses they received from the IITs and discuss in our group about setting the preference order for counseling.

Disclaimer: Though most of the information is from reliable sources (most of it comes from members of the WhatsApp group) but at the end of the day they’re undocumented and unofficial information whose veracity cannot be verified. So, though we try to share information that we believe to be true, we’d suggest you not solely rely on this information.

4 thoughts on “Are Engineers eligible for MSc Maths in IITs (Through JAM)?”

  1. Some people saying that after getting call for physics interview from tifr you need to get signature from a gazetted officer on some documents, which you have to carry with and to show at documents verification time.

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