Getting into an IIT: A Rosy Reality or a Distant Dream

IITs, the premier institutes for engineering education, are considered as the most coveted institutes for the technical education in India by the masses. Known for their academic excellence and rigorous curriculum, these institutes enjoy the status of “Institutes of National Importance”. Jawaharlal Nehru, the chief architect behind the creation of the IITs, had envisaged these institutes as cornerstones in building the industrial, scientific and technological edifice of the nation. Proving their worth, they have produced some of the finest engineers, scientists, and entrepreneurs in the country.  Due to their highly competitive admission process, getting admission into an IIT remains a dream for many. In this article, we are going to discuss in detail about how to get admission into IITs, what are the courses offered by IITs apart from engineering, which one are the top IITs and so on.

The IIT System: A Constellation of Excellence

Currently, there are a total 23 IITs pan-India. They offer a wide range of undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctoral programs in various engineering disciplines, sciences, and humanities. Under the mandate of New Education Policy, many new courses are being launched in IITs. These institutes operate under the control and direction of the Government of India and are renowned for providing world class education in the country and the world.

Courses Offered at IITs

The IITs offer a variety of courses to cater to the diverse interests and aspirations of students. Some of the prominent programs include:

  1. Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech.): The four-year undergraduate program is the flagship program of IITs, covering various engineering disciplines ranging from the conventional ones like Mechanical, Civil, and Chemical Engineering to new age courses such as Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, Cyber Security etc. Admission is through the JEE advanced exam.
  2. Master of Technology (M. Tech.): IITs offer a two-year postgraduate program in specialized engineering fields, allowing students to delve deeper into their areas of interest. Admission is through the GATE exam.
  3. Bachelor of Science (B.S.): This 4-year course offered by a few IITs is an undergraduate program in pure sciences like Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Economics and many more. Admission is through JEE Advanced.
  4. Master of Science (M. Sc.): This is a 2 years course for specialized knowledge in a particular subject of science. Admission is through the IIT JAM exam.
  5. B. Design (B. Des.): This 4-year professional degree in design is offered by a few select IITs through their design schools. These courses are highly acclaimed. Admission is through the UCEED exam.
  6. MBA: Many of the IITs are offering management programs to develop managerial and entrepreneurial capacity. Admission is through the CAT exam.
  7. Integrated Teacher Education Program: This is a newly launched course and only fewer IITs are offering this. This is an integrated B. Ed course. Admission is through the NCET exam.
  8. Doctoral Programs (Ph.D.): IITs provide opportunities for advanced research and innovation through their esteemed doctoral programs across various disciplines.

Admission to IITs: The JEE Challenge

For students who are aspiring to go to an IIT for under graduation, the primary gateway is the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE). This is a national level test. Students are tested for their aptitude in Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics. The JEE is further divided into two stages: JEE Main and JEE Advanced.

JEE Main works as the screening examination for admission to IITs. Students who qualify this are eligible to appear for the more challenging JEE Advanced. The top-ranking students in JEE Advanced get admission to their preferred IIT and course based on their performance and seat availability.

JEE is a highly competitive exam and requires rigorous preparation. Students need to have a strong foundation in the core subjects. Many students opt for specialized coaching classes or self-study to master the concepts and develop problem-solving skills essential for cracking the exam. However, considering the pass percentage of this exam, it is not an exaggeration to say that preparation for this exam requires a lot of hard work, dedication, perseverance and motivation.

Postgraduate and Doctoral Admissions

For postgraduate and doctoral programs, the admission process is different. Candidates must appear for the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) for taking admission into M. Tech courses and integrated Ph. D. For pursuing M. Sc courses, students are required to appear for the IIT JAM exam.

Doctoral admissions at IITs are highly competitive and require applicants to have an outstanding academic record, research experience, and a strong statement of purpose. Candidates are typically shortlisted based on their performance in qualifying exams, research proposals, and personal interviews.

Admission without Entrance exam

Many IITs now have started offering various online courses for which there is no requirement of any entrance exam. For e.g. BS data science by IIT Madras, BS electronic Systems by IIT madras, Masters in Data Science for Decision Making by IIT Gandhi Nagar, Masters in Climate Finance and Sustainability by IIT Kanpur and so on. Now one can enjoy the status of being an IIT alumni without having to prepare for these difficult exams.


Securing admission to an IIT is a monumental achievement that requires unwavering dedication, hard work, and a deep understanding of the subject matter. While the path is challenging, the rewards of an IIT education are invaluable, opening doors to a world of opportunities in academia, research, and industry. However, getting into an IIT should not be the aim per se. Students should be aware of their strengths and weaknesses before deciding on their career choice. There is expert guidance available which helps the students in deciding their career goals in alignment with their aptitude, interest and personality. MentorMe is one such career guidance platform which helps the students to make an informed decision. Our services include a psychometric assessment, career report including top 5 career recommendations, personalized sessions with expert counselors, a well curated career library and many more. For those having any doubt about their career choice or want to explore more options, MentorMe is an invaluable platform. We encourage all students to reach out to us and take advantage of our services, so that they embark on a fulfilling career path that aligns with their passions and potential.


Vandana Garg

5+ years of Experience in Career Guidance.

Certified Career Coach By NCDA.

Posted in

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published.

18 − fourteen =