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Undergraduate Academics

Ashoka University offers a multidisciplinary undergraduate programme, in the interest of exposing students to many different perspectives in and out of the classroom. Students are not expected to declare their Major until the middle of the second year. This is to ensure that they get plenty of time to try out various possibilities, to pursue extra-curricular and co-curricular interests, to discover new passions, and perhaps to change the trajectory of their lives.

 

The University offers Majors in 11 subjects and Interdisciplinary Majors in a further 9 subjects, thereby offering students a total of 20 options to major in. They can also pick Minors from among 18 programmes on offer.

 

Course Structure

To graduate with a Bachelor’s degree from Ashoka University, students must pass courses that are broadly divided into three categories – Foundation Courses, Major Courses (including Interdisciplinary Majors) and Co-Curricular Courses. Each course carries credit points, and in order to earn their degree at the end of three years, students need to have accumulated a minimum of 100 credit points.

 

The course divisions and credits they need to acquire within three years are as follow:

  • 7 Foundation Courses (28 credits)

  • 12 Major Courses (48 credits)

  • 3 Elective Courses (12 credits) 

  • 2 Co-Curricular Courses (4 credits)

Students can also take additional courses during the three years. Students working towards an approved Interdisciplinary Major must take a minimum of 16 (64 credits) courses – i.e. four courses more than what is required for a pure Major. A number of Minors are also offered at Ashoka. To qualify for a Minor, students must take 6 courses (24 credits) in a programme outside their field of Major specialisation. For details regarding the more specific requirements students must meet (e.g. the kinds of courses students must take to qualify for a Minor), please consult the website of the respective academic programmes.

Foundation Courses

Ashoka University requires each student to take at least 7 Foundation Courses. These consist of 2 mandatory courses from the Critical Thinking Series and 5 other Foundation Courses. Out of the latter, Environmental Studies and Indian Civilizations are mandatory. The two seminars in the Critical Thinking Series begin with the course Introduction to Critical Thinking, which students take in their first semester. In their second semester, students take a further Critical Thinking Seminar, which allows them to further develop their critical thinking abilities both in discussion and, no less importantly, in writing. 

 

These courses are not formal gateways into the Major programmes, but distinctive courses that introduce students to various styles of thinking, but also to inter- and transdisciplinary approaches.  Students are required to complete the Foundation Course series in their first three semesters. In the first semester, they must take Introduction to Critical Thinking and (typically) 3 other Foundation Courses. In their second semester, they take one Critical Thinking Seminar and 1-2 Foundation Courses. For more information about the Foundation Courses, see here.


Some Foundation Courses include:

 

    Literature and the World

    Principles of Science

    Social and Political Formations

    Indian Civilizations

    Introduction to Mathematical Thinking

    Great Books

    Mind and Behaviour

 


 

Critical Thinking Seminars

Writing, communication and critical thinking are the cornerstones of Ashoka’s academic culture.  All students who graduate from Ashoka are expected to acquire superior skills in organizing their thoughts both orally and in writing; indeed, Ashoka students are discouraged from rote learning and, instead, critically engage and reshape concepts through questioning and writing. The platform for these skills is provided by Ashoka's unique two-semester Critical Thinking sequence.  In each of their first two semesters, Ashoka students take a Critical Thinking seminar distinguished by small class size, close faculty attention to students' writing, communication and thinking processes, and individualized tutoring at Ashoka’s Centre for Writing and Communication.  

All students at Ashoka take a mandatory first-semester gateway course- Introduction to Critical Thinking; over the next semester, they take any one writing-intensive Critical Thinking Seminar electives within a wide variety of disciplines ranging from the Humanities and Social Sciences to the Natural and Applied Sciences.

 


Critical Thinking Seminars include:

 

Introduction to Critical Thinking Seminars

Critical Thinking Seminars 2017

Critical Thinking Seminars 2016

 


Majors

A Major is the subject in which a student will earn a Bachelors’ degree – either a B.A. or a B.Sc. Although students can take courses toward their specialisation starting from the second semester, they are only required to formally declare their Major at the end of the third semester. A minimum of 12 courses are required to complete a Major in a subject; 16 courses are required to complete an Interdisciplinary Major.

 

The Interdisciplinary major at Ashoka goes beyond the traditional boundaries of disciplines and departments to give students an opportunity to combine multiple academic interests into a single degree programme. While these are not double-degree programmes, they combine related fields and explore new approaches to the study of particular fields to give students a single, interdisciplinary Bachelors’ degree.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pure Majors offered:

Biology (B.Sc.Hons)

Computer Science (B.Sc. Hons.)

Economics (B.A. Hons.)

English (B.A. Hons.)

History (B.A. Hons.)

Mathematics (B.Sc. Hons.)

Philosophy (B.A. Hons.)

Physics (B.Sc. Hons)

Political Science (B.A. Hons.)

Psychology (B.A. Hons.)

Sociology/Anthropology (B.A. Hons.)

 

Interdisciplinary Majors offered:

Computer Science and Entrepreneurial Leadership (B.Sc. Hons.)

Mathematics and Computer Science (B.Sc. Hons.)

English and Creative Writing (B.A Hons.)

Economics and Finance (B.Sc. Hons.)

Economics and History (B.A.Hons.)

English and Media Studies (B.A. Hons.)

History and International Relations (B.A. Hons.)

Politics, Philosophy and Economics (B.A. Hons.)

Politics and Society (B.A. Hons.)

 

 

Minors

Students are encouraged to consider declaring a Minor in addition to their Major. To qualify for a Minor, students must take 6 courses (24 credits) in a programme outside their field of Major specialisation. For details regarding the more specific requirements students must meet (e.g. the kinds of courses students must take to qualify for a Minor), please consult the website of the respective academic programmes. In addition to the subjects listed here, we also offer Minors in all our eleven major subjects.

 

 

 


Minors at Ashoka University include:

Creative Writing

Environmental Studies

Entrepreneurship

International Relations

Media Studies

Performing Arts

Visual Arts

 


Concentrations

The Concentration will consist of four 4-credit courses (or courses totaling 16 credits) in that subject, at least two of which (or courses totaling 8 credits) must be 200-level or above.  The Concentration can be completed either by the end of the 3-year degree or during the +1 year.

A Concentration can be completed in pure Major and Minor programmes.

Co-curriculars

Every semester, Ashoka University offers several 2-credit Co-Curricular Courses in Performing Arts, Visual Arts, and Languages. Classes for these courses normally meet in the evenings once a week for two hours. Co-Curricular Courses are a mixture of practical training in an art form (e.g. dance, theatre, music, painting, ceramics) or a language (e.g. French, Latin, Urdu) and critical analysis of the aesthetic, social, political, economic, and historical dimensions of the same.

Students have to take 2 Co-Curricular Courses as part of their graduation requirements; in any semester, a student can take a maximum of 1 Co-Curricular Course.

 

Co-curricular courses offered:

Languages

Performing Arts

Visual Arts

Undergraduate Academics