IIT Madras is a public technical and research university, recognized as an institute of prominence and ranks at the top of the Ministry of Education’s National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF). Established in 1959 with technical and financial assistance from erstwhile West Germany, Madras was the third IIT institute established by the government of India. However, the best-kept secret at the IIT Madras is its Department of Humanities and Social Sciences. One of the oldest departments in the institution, it was established in 1959. The department is structured with a multi-disciplinary focus and specializes in a varied set of fields ranging from Economics, English studies, History, International Relations, Philosophy, Political Science to Sociology. The department has a highly diverse and experienced faculty. It has an excellent student-to-teacher ratio, providing ample scope for academically intense training and learning.
The department offers a unique five-year integrated programme. Launched in 2006, the programme leads to Masters of Arts (MA) degree in two broad streams: Development Studies and English Studies. The structure of the programme is unique as it offers exceptional flexibility to its students. For the first two years of the programme, the students are introduced to a variety of common subjects related to all major disciplines. At the end of two years, students choose their streams of specialization. Besides that, a very distinctive feature of the programme is the involvement of the Engineering, Sciences and Management faculties in offering innovative courses in collaboration with the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences. Such courses are offered as “minor streams” and electives. Such collaboration with other departments is also visualized through dissertation work under joint supervision.
The programme aims to equip the students with all the necessary skills needed to succeed in the field of humanities. Training its students in diverse fields such as Indian economy, literature, philosophy, culture, society, and public policy, the department also offers opportunities for learning foreign languages such as German, French and Chinese. Students are also trained to conduct original research and write a dissertation at the end of the programme.
The MA programme offers a great opportunity for students to gain diverse, innovative and multi-disciplinary knowledge in humanities and social sciences. After completing the master’s, students can pursue their careers in academia, government, public and private sector enterprises, NGOs and other organizations. The department conducts an exam called Humanities and Social Sciences Entrance Examination (HSEE) for admission to the MA course every year. For further information about the programme, click here.