Arts course at IIT Chennai: Know more about it

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IIT Madras Department of Humanities and Social Sciences is almost as old as the institute. The department began by offering various elective courses to BTech students. Later in 2006, it started its own graduate programme through a five-year integrated M.A. programme in two disciplines - Development Studies and English Studies. For this, the department had been conducting its own Humanities and Social Sciences Examination (HSEE) across a total of 56 seats.

Admission for MA programme

From this year onwards, the department has restructured the earlier five-year programme to a two-year MA programme. As such, HSEE will no longer be conducted and will be replaced by the GATE exam.

Regarding the restructuring, IIT Madras Director V. Kamakoti has stated that the change is being brought in to open up the current course to graduates from multiple disciplines including engineering, commerce and humanities.

Courses and seats

The two-year M.A programme will be across three disciplines - Development Students, English Studies and the newly added Economics discipline. A total of 75 seats are offered, with 25 in each stream.


Undergraduate students who have completed at least 200 credits are eligible for the M.A. degree.

Entrance examination

The admission into the programme will be through GATE exam scores. Each of the three streams will have separate paper sections, as per the circular released by the department. Admission process for the new programme will begin in March or April 2023, and classes will start in July. Seats for foreign students will be offered on a supernumerary basis.


Accommodation is offered inside the campus hostel facilities along with other students in the institute.

Fee structure

The semester fees for the earlier programme comes to around Rs.11000 per semester for general category students, excluding hostel fees. More details can be found in the course prospects available on the department website.


The students of the graduate programme can sit in the institute placements as well as the department placement. Apart from placements, a lot of the students also prefer to pursue higher studies. The course also forms a good base to attempt civil service exam as well.

The department has graduates involved in diverse fields including consultancy, finance, publishing and media, civil service as well as research in top universities across the world.

Co-curricular activities and campus life

Students of the department are an integral part of the IIT Madras student community, and are actively involved in various clubs and student bodies of the institute. The department is located in the heart of lush green IIT Madras campus, and has a vibrant student life.

Established in 1959, the department has since then aimed to provide a more holistic education that provides exposure to liberal arts and social sciences in a technical institute. Along with the graduate programme, the department also offers various PhD programmes as well as a host of electives for students from engineering batches.

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