***All that glitters is not gold***
This post is not to discourage anyone from taking a dual degree at BITS but is to give you an unbiased view of the dual degree system (And the not talked side of this system) so that you don’t regret your decision later on.
For those who don’t know, the dual degree at BITS gives a chance to students who could not get their preferred B.E. branch. Under this, you take MSc. branch from the 5 offered programs – Physics, Chemistry, Maths, Biology, and Economics. You can find the last year’s cutoffs for these branches for all the campuses on the BITS admissions website. Under the normal iteration process, you apply for it and get a 4-year course. After 1 year, you’d be filling preferences for a B.E. degree, and it will be allotted to you purely based on CGPA. Now, your course duration will extend to 5 years.
Let me clarify: it is not easy to score a good CGPA and get a B.E. branch, which you could not get through a BITSAT score. You have to attend classes and study regularly. BITS has a continuous evaluation system. Almost everyone opting for a dual degree aims for CS (at least before coming to college) but not all of them get it (A rough stat for Pilani campus: Around 50-60 got CS out of around 300 MSc. students in the 2015 batch). BITS has a relative grading system, so if there are people above average, there would be people below average too. You will have tough competition to get your desired branch.
So, my advice is that think about it rationally, statistically, and not with overconfidence because, after a year, you should not regret your decision or curse seniors for making you choose a dual degree.
Now the critical thing: Aspirants think that we have studied so hard for JEE, so this we can do easily.
Personal experience says it is not easy at all. I am not saying to doubt your abilities. All I want you to know is that college is very different. A hell lot of distractions are there in college that you are not aware of at this point. People land a branch they could have easily gotten from their BITSAT score.
For example, Civil Engineering cutoffs are a lot lesser than MSc. Economics. Some students took economics and ended up having Civil (they could have Chemical had they not opted for a dual degree at BITS). I am not demeaning any branch here; just giving examples according to general preference.
The Dual Degree At BITS – Year Two and Beyond
This was about 1st year. Now coming to 2nd year. This is the lightest year you’ll have in your whole dual degree. But again, not too easy. You’ll only study your MSc. Branch in 2nd year and 3 humanities electives are compulsory to complete in 2nd year.
Coming to the 3rd year and this is where the trouble begins. You will have to study both degrees simultaneously, which is quite hectic. This means you will have at least 7 compulsory courses (6 in the case of CS) in each of your semesters in 3rd year. 3rd year is the most challenging year for a dual degree student. You will have continuous mid-semester exams (my friend had 6 exams in 3 days, and I had 5) and comprehensive (final) exams. In the 4th year, you will still have to do courses for both degrees. 3rd and 4th years of a dual degree student at BITS are very hectic compared to a single degree student.
If you are a single-degree student and are not interested in your branch, you can do courses in other branches as electives and pursue your interests there. But if you are a dual degree student and are unsatisfied with your branch, there is a huge chance you won’t get a free slot to do courses at other branches. I am not saying it’s impossible, but it’s pretty tough.
Again, this post aims not to discourage people from taking dual degrees but to give you an idea of what actually happens.
Hope this has cleared your doubts.