IIT Madras online BSc degree in Programming and Data Science

Looking forward to an undergraduate course in Data Science and Programming? Desirous of undertaking an online course from one of the most reputed institutes in India? IIT Madras, a premier institute in the field of engineering and technology, is offering an online degree course in Programming and Data Science. Learn here the details of the program.

Programming and Data Science are two words synonymous with success in today's world. With the increasing craze for Coding, Big Data, Analytics, AI, Cyber Security and so on, courses on programming and data science are becoming popular by the day. In its first-ever initiative, IIT Madras has launched the world's first online B.Sc Degree program in Programming and Data Science. The program has early exit options, so that one may opt for just a Certification or Diploma in Programming and Data Science, without going the entire distance of the degree program. This is the first time such an opportunity has been provided by a top institute like IIT Madras in pursuing a degree or diploma program from the comforts of your home. There is no age barrier and students from a wide range of academic backgrounds can pursue the course.

Different levels of the program

The Programming and Data Science program can be completed at three levels. They are:

  1. Foundational Level – 8 courses
  2. Diploma in Programming and/or Diploma in Data Science – 6 courses each in Programming and Data Science courses
  3. B.Sc Degree in Programming and Data Science – 11 courses

The Foundational Level Certificate is issued by the Centre for Continuing Education (CCE), IIT Madras. The diploma and degree programs are delivered directly by IIT Madras. Only on successful completion of the three levels that the learners will be issued with the B.Sc Degree in Programming and Data Science.

Duration of the program

The entire degree program will take 3 to 6 years to complete. The foundational level program can be done in just 12 months and the diploma program within 2 years.

Delivery of the program

IIT Madras has made use of the NPTEL (National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning) program, an online content portal developed by the IITs themselves, to deliver the program to the participating students. The program will be delivered through pre-recorded lessons. Online assignments will be given every week. Learners have to go through the lessons at their own pace. The assignments are to be, however, submitted at weekly intervals and within the deadlines. The learners are expected to put at least 10 hours per week on learning their lessons and doing their assignments. There could be one or two live sessions for the benefit of clearing doubts and one to one intersection with the course instructor or support team. Also, there will be discussion forums where the learners can raise course-related questions and get them answered by the instructor or the support team. The learners won't be required to visit the IIT Madras campus at any time during the program.

Admission Process

There are two ways of joining the program. One is the Regular Entry mode and the other is the Diploma Only Entry.

  • Regular Entry – Candidates who join the program via the Regular Entry mode, join it at the foundational level. Students from a variety of educational backgrounds can join via this mode. At the foundational level, they will learn the basics about math, statistics, English, computational thinking and python programming. The foundational level prepares the students for the diploma and degree level of the program. Students joining through the Regular Entry mode have the flexibility of exiting at any level, be it foundational, diploma or degree. Depending upon when they exit from the program, the students will be awarded the relevant certificate from IIT Madras
  • Diploma Only Entry – This mode is aimed at students and working professionals, who already have the basic knowledge in the subjects that are taught at the foundational level. Students joining through the Diploma Only Entry mode have to exit after attaining their diploma level education. They cannot proceed further to the degree level

Program Schedule

The online program will be held in three different batches in a year. The first batch is to begin its term in January, the second one in May and the last one in September. For the year 2021, the first batch is to begin their online classes from January 04, 2021. The application stage and the qualifier exam for the first batch are already over. For the second or May 2021 batch, applications for the qualifier process of the program are currently being invited by IIT Madras.

Important Dates – for May 2021 Batch

  • Online application for qualifier started on – December 17, 2020
  • Applications to close on - February 06, 2021
  • Qualifier phase to start on – March 01, 2021

It is only after successful completion of the qualifiers that the aspiring candidates may register for the program. The tentative schedule released by IIT Madras for the years 2021 and 2022 is as follows.

Program Schedule for 2021

January Term:
Registration from – December 07 – 20, 2020
Course to begin from – January 04, 2021

May Term:
Registration from – April 05 – 23, 2021
Course to begin from – May 03, 2021

September Term:
Registration from – August 16 – September 03, 2021
Course to begin from – September 06, 2021

Program schedule for 2022

January Term:
Registration from – December 20 - 31, 2021
Course to begin from – January 03, 2022

May Term:
Registration from – April 18 – May 01, 2022
Course to begin from – May 02, 2022

September Term:
Registration from – August 22 – September 04, 2022
Course to begin from – September 05, 2022

Eligibility Criteria – for batch starting in May 2021

The eligibility criteria for entering via the Regular Entry mode is given below.

  1. Should have studied math and English in class 10
  2. Should have passed class 12 or equivalent in 2019 or earlier
  3. For those who have cleared class 10 in 2020 or appearing in 2021, there is an additional requirement. They should be currently enrolled or previously enrolled for a bachelor degree program in campus mode. Otherwise, should have completed a one-year diploma (campus mode) or should be CA Inter pass

About the Qualifiers

Before registering for the online B.Sc degree program, every aspirant has to first go through a Qualifier Process. It is of four weeks duration, where the student gets access to online content for four courses from the Foundational Level. These are English, Mathematics for Data Science, Statistics for Data Science and Computational Thinking.

Apart from the online content that also includes video content, there will be weekly assignments to be submitted within the given timeframe. Only those who have an assignment score above the minimum required average will be permitted to appear for the Qualifier Exam. The Qualifier Exam will be of 3 hours duration and will cover the above four subjects. Those clearing the Qualifier Exam will be finally permitted to register for the Foundational level of the online BSc Degree program.

Essential Requirements

  1. Since the program will be conducted online, the participant must have a laptop or a desktop and a good internet connection. It will be very helpful for the participant if he/she is familiar with Google tools
  2. The participant would be required to travel to the nearest exam centre for attempting quizzes and exams in each term. The quizzes are kind of monthly tests and the term tests are held once in 3 months

Exam Cities

The Quizzes and the End Term exams will be held at various centres across India. The list of the cities is available at the website of the IIT Madras Online Degree course. Participants will have three options to choose from the available list. In case the city of one's choice is not there in the list, there is an option to fill out a form seeking the city to be included in the list. International participants too can fill up such a form.

How to apply

The application process for the B.Sc degree program in Programming and Data Science is entirely online. Learn here the step by step process for applying for the same.
  • Step 1: Interested and eligible candidates are to first visit the Online Degree website of IIT Madras
  • Step 2: Applicants to register and login to the admission portal
  • Step 3: The online application form to be filled up, required documents to be uploaded and the application fee to be paid

Application Fee

  1. Applicants other than SC/ ST/ PwD (>= 40% disability) category – INR 3,000
  2. Applicants belonging to SC/ ST/ PwD (>= 40% disability) category – INR 1,500
  3. PwD (>= 40% disability) applicants belonging to the SC/ST category – INR 750

Documents to be uploaded

Following are the documents and files that are to be uploaded during the online application process.

  1. A recent passport size photograph – file size 50 kb to 150 kb
  2. Signature – file size 4 kb to 150 kb
  3. Any photo ID – Aadhaar/PAN/Voter ID/Passport/Driving License/any govt. ID with photo/12the admit card with photo
  4. Category certificate for SC/ST/OBC-NCL/Gen-EWS candidates only
  5. PwD certificate for applicants with 40% or more disability

For photo ID and the category certificates, the file size should be anywhere between 50 kb to 2 MB.

Fee Structure

The fee is to be paid as per the courses that you register in a term. The fee structure for the different levels of the program is as follows.
  • Foundational Level – INR 4,000 per course
  • Diploma/Degree Level (Skill Enhancement courses) – INR 5,000 per course
  • All other courses at the Diploma/Degree Level – INR 10,000 per course

Fee Waivers

Fee waivers are depending upon the category of the participating student and his/her family income.
  • For General and OBC category, students there is no fee waiver in course fees if the family income is above 5 lakh per annum. For family income between one lakh to five lakh per annum, 50% waiver and 75% for those with family income less than one lakh per annum
  • For SC/ST/PwD students, 50% waiver for family income above one lakh per annum. For family income less than one lakh, it is 75% waiver
  • For PwD students belonging to the SC/ST candidates, it is 75% waiver in course fees for all income groups

For availing the fee waivers, the students will have to submit their respective category certificate and family income certificate. In this respect, the term family income includes the income of the candidate, his/her parents, siblings, spouse and children below the age of 18 years. The family income certificate to be submitted every year to continue availing the fee waiver.

Contact details

Online Degree Office,
3rd Floor, ICSR Building,
IIT Madras, Chennai – 600036

Email: support@onlinedegree.iitm.ac.in
Phone: 7850 999966 (9 am to 6 pm – Monday to Friday)
Website IIT Madras: https://www.iitm.ac.in/
Online degree website of IIT Madras: https://onlinedegree.iitm.ac.in/

Frequently Asked Questions

Does IIT Madras offer any on-campus version of the B.Sc Degree program?
No, IIT Madras does not offer any on-campus mode for the B.Sc Degree program. It is exclusively an online program.
Do I need to appear for any qualifying test for joining this program?
No, you do not have to appear for any tests or interview for joining this online B.Sc degree program. You should just fulfil the eligibility criteria and have the necessary equipment required for an online program.
Will I be required to visit the IIT Madras campus anytime during the program.
No, one does not have to visit the IIT Madras campus anytime during the program. It is completely online.
Will I have access to IIT Madras campus facilities?
Since the program is entirely an online one and due to limitation of facilities at IIT Madras campus, the participating students won’t have any access to campus facilities.
What is the duration of the online B.Sc degree program?
The entire program will take around 3 to 6 years to complete. It depends upon the pace at which the participating student carries out the program and whether he/she is employed. There are options to exit out early after completing the Foundational Level or the Diploma Level of the program.
Does this program require prior knowledge of programming or coding?
The online B.Sc degree program does not require any prior knowledge of coding or programming. All that is desired is a little bit familiarity with Google Tools.
What are the system requirements for the program?
The program does not require too elaborate a system. A desktop/laptop and a good internet connection will suffice.
Will the classes be live? Are there any interactive sessions between the faculty and the students?
No, the classes are not live. The lessons are all pre-recorded. Online assignments will be made available weekly and the students will have to submit them within the given deadlines. There could be however, one or two live sessions per course to clear the doubts of the students.
In how many levels is the program conducted?
The program is conducted at three levels – Foundational, Diploma and Degree level. It means the participating student can exit any time after the completion of a certain level.
How can I ask my doubts and questions related to the course content?
The students will get access to a discussion forum, where they can raise their doubts and questions to the course instructor or the course support team.

Article by Dhruv
Dhruv, an electrical engineer by training and profession, loves to dabble in writing during his free time. For the last seven years, he has been a content writer creating content for ISC on topics mostly related to school and college admissions.

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