The BS-MS dual degree is the flagship program of all the five IISERs. At IISER Mohali the program has been structured to promote interdisciplinarity and a significant research component. The core part of the program provides comprehensive training in all basic sciences during the first two years. Students are expected to choose a subject to major in for the remaining three years where the curriculum is divided between mandatory courses, subject electives and open electives. Open electives can be taken in any subject and allow students to fashion their own programs. Apart from courses in specific subjects, some inter-disciplinary courses are also offered on a regular basis. These courses are in areas that are useful to multiple branches of science, or are in distinct areas like Astronomy, Earth and Environmental sciences, Computational sciences, etc. Courses in humanities & social sciences are also offered. Students have no dearth of choices with more than 80 elective courses to choose from.
The students are expected to work on research projects during summer vacations, either at IISER Mohali or at research laboratories and institutes elsewhere. Each year, several students make use of scholarships to do summer research in other countries. The institute also has a student exchange program with some universities and research institutes in different parts of the world to facilitate visits by bright students. Research by students has already led to a number of publications authored by students, some of these by students themselves. The students spend much of their time during their final year on a research project. The project culminates in a thesis and is expected to contain at least some original work. Some of the projects lead to publications in peer reviewed journals, giving our students an exposure to all stages of a research project at an early stage of their career.
There are close to 600 students in the BS-MS program at IISER Mohali at present. Each of these students receives the INSPIRE or KVPY (Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana) fellowship as long as they perform well. While KVPY scholars are admitted "automatically'" to the BS-MS program, the JEE merit listed students are admitted on the basis of their ranks. The direct channel of admissions, where top 1% of students in each board can apply became operational in 2010 and a number of students are joining the IISERs through this channel. The BS-MS graduates of IISER Mohali are expected to take up science as a career, although the diverse skills gained will equip them to pursue high-profile careers in any field, including industry and government.
Three batches of BS-MS students have graduated and a majority of these are enrolled in research programs in some of the finest research institutes in India as well as elsewhere. The process for admissions to the BS-MS dual degree takes place in June-July of each year. You are requested to consult the IISER admissions website for details.