Benefits of four-year undergraduate courses


M Saraswathy |

Four-year undergraduate courses could be the next big step for Indian education actors. After Shiv Nadar University (SNU) in Greater Noida and the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, it is Delhi University’s turn to embark on four-year degree courses; it plans to introduce a four-year bachelor’s degree program in 2013.

However, few students and parents are aware of the pros and cons of four-year courses.

Business Standard guides you through the concept of a four-year degree:

  • Four-year undergraduate programs in India mostly follow the American system in which students study a bit of pure science, business, and the arts in the first year and then graduate in a particular discipline.
  • The final degree that students earn is similar to other three-year degrees and is called a Bachelor of Science (BS) or Bachelor of Arts (BA).
  • Students who wish to pursue master’s degree programs abroad, especially in the United States, will find the four-year courses extremely useful as they do not have to study an additional year in India to meet the eligibility criteria.
  • At SNU, for example, a four-year program is a combination of classroom learning, fieldwork, and discussion.
  • SNU follows the American model where every hour spent in class is supplemented by an hour and a half outside.
  • Summer internships are also part of the four-year program.
  • Since awareness is relatively low in India, educational institutions offering the same workshops hold workshops to explain the importance of four-year programs to students.
  • Thanks to the credit-based system, students can complete the course in three and a half years if they are doing exceptionally well.
  • Each year, the IISc admits approximately 110 students for the four-year BS program.
  • The duration of the program is four years, organized into eight semesters. In addition to the usual science subjects, students will also be exposed to humanities courses.

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First published: Thu 11 October 2012. 12:27 IST


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