⭐All ways to do MSc/PhD Physics after B.Tech | PAE blog

"How to become a Physicist after engineering?" 
"Can I do MSc in physics after BTech?" 
"How to do masters in physics after mechanical engineering?"
"Can I do a Ph.D. in Physics after Engineering?"
"How to study Theoretical Physics after engineering?" 
To all those questions, the answer is,

"Yes!! you can study Physics after engineering in India"

"and there are plenty of ways too!!" 

Hello, fellow Physics enthusiasts!!!

                   Hey fellow Engineer!!!  If you're an engineering student or graduate and are aspiring to have a career in Physics after engineering, you're in the right place. At this point in your career, you must be wondering if there are any ways to do that... We completely understand your dilemma cause we all have been through the exact same situation before we took the leap of faith with the little information we had at that moment. All for the love of physics😇. Don't worry, it won't be the same for you, You'll be well informed about all (We know of😅) the options available. We're here to clear all your doubts and share a few success stories of Engineers who were like you and me earlier, and now are having a successful career in Physics after Engineering (find them under the Personal stories section in this contents page of ours)

         You might be wondering if there are any other people like you, looking to switch to physics after engineering.. the answer is a yes!! many people visit the blog and of them, we've successfully built a community of 1000+ engineers like you, looking to switch to physics after engineering. You can join the WhatsApp group from this invite link. Some of our group members have made it big!! They have been selected to many prestigious institutes like IITs(Mumbai, Delhi, Kharagpur Kanpur, etc), ICTS Bangalore, HRI Allahabad, IMSc Chennai, TIFR Mumbai, TIFR Hyderabad, IISERs, and other universities like HCU, Pune University, etc, you can check the full list in this A catalogue of our community members who are currently studying Physics after Engineering (Don't be surprised if you find our engineers securing AIR 1s and AIR 5s in JAM & JEST). I'd recommend joining the groups because you'll be getting updates about new opportunities opening up, notifications of any exams mentioned below. You'll also get suggestions from a few like us who have successfully entered Physics after engineering.

    It' been over two years since I've started the blog, lot's of people have joined the WhatsApp group, some of them have performed very well in exams like JEST, JAM, TIFR GATE, etc.. And they have contributed to the blog by sharing with us about how they prepared for those exams. Some of them also have been kind enough to share their journey into Physics after Engineering what details about all the ups and down in it. To find all that content visit the Content of our blog Physics after Engineering.

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Note: All that said, Reader discretion is advised on choosing a physics career cause one might not earn as much as one can with an engineering or MBA degree. It also takes a lot of time to settle in this field so be prepared to see all your crushes and Exes getting married and having a kid or two while you're still studying. Also Cracking the competitive exams below and completion of degrees require serious commitment and love for the subject.
Assuming you have it all in you, Let's enter into details already !!!!

Ways to study Physics after Engineering

These are the major ways/opportunities for doing Msc or Integrated Ph.D.(or direct Ph.D. in some cases) in Physics after Engineering.
[Note: Details about Distance MSc physics degree are at the bottom.]
  • JAM
  • Universities' Entrance tests.
  • Opportunities abroad (Physics GRE, General GRE, IELTS, and TOFEL, etc)
  • JEST
  • TIFR GS (Integrated Ph.D. paper)
  • GATE score in any Engineering stream 
  • MS by research programs
  • Direct Ph.D.
  • Astronomy and related programs
  • GATE Physics
  • Distance programs (At the bottom of the page)
These are just too many exams and readers are often confused about which exam to prepare for. So, I've written the following post to help you decide upon Which exam to prepare for? JAM, JEST, TIFR, or GATE? I highly recommend going through that.
Check out Exam and Probable Dates for a neat list of the exams, their probable dates, and deadlines.

The three exams JEST, GATE, and NET have syllabus of Msc+Bsc. All other mentioned above are conducted on the Bsc level syllabus and are easier for us Engineers with less physics background to crack.

JAM Exam

 IIT-JAM is conducted by IITs as an entrance test to Msc and Integrated Ph.D. in IITs and IISC. In addition, IISERs take JAM rankers into Integrated Ph.D. courses ( You've to apply separately for each). This is the best of all options for those who can't spend a whole year preparing for entrance tests. Even if you prepare perfectly only up to 12th class level physics, you can get a decent rank (<1000), But of course, it might not be good enough to get you into IITs (Here is the Mars Vs Rank analysis of our PAE members in JAM Physics. Click here to see the last ranks of seat allotment in IITs through JAM 2020). But with a good amount of preparation one can get into IITs. So, even if you are preparing for JEST, I strongly recommend keeping this as a backup option at least.
Are Engineers eligible for MSc Physics in IITs through JAM?
Do read this post to get an idea about the Eligibility criteria for admission through JAM.
IIT Mandi, like IISERs, has its own application portal you have to apply separately through their website, not through the JAM counseling portal where you can apply for all IITs in a single place.
also, NITs take students through another counseling but of them, only NIT Calicut takes Engineers in M.Sc physics. NIT Arunachal Pradesh takes Engineers in mathematical physics course but it's a pretty bad course and college ppl recommend sitting for one more year and prepare for the exams again rather than taking admission there.

There are plenty of posts on JAM preparation in our blog by our beloved community members, here are a few most popular ones:
Universities' Entrance tests
       I've searched eligibility criteria of almost all major colleges and universities and of them all, These are the ones that I found to give admits to Engineering grads in M.Sc Physics (and related courses). Almost all of the Institutes below don't have any eligibility criteria of coursework unlike IITs which is kind of saving grace for those who don't satisfy the criteria :
  • IUCAA-INAT exam for Ph.D. in Astro (Application opens in September) 
  • Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (IACS) I-PhD program
  • JNU, Delhi
  • LNMIIT, Jaipur [They have excellent faculty and also give a stipend of Rs.5000 pm to 10 out of the 15 students details here]
  • University of Hyderabad (HCU)
  • Delhi University
  • Pune University😊
  • Institute of Advanced Research, Gandhinagar (Engineers are eligible for MSc Physics, MSc Applied Physics & MSc Material science)
  • Christ University (Bangalore) [This also is a good place as told by a research student in IUCCA who completed her M.Sc here after her engineering link to➜ her talk about her journey into Astrophysics]
  • CHARUSAT, Gujarat
  • Jain University, Bangalore [Application starts early December be watchful]
  • Utkal University (Bhubaneswar)
  • The Central University of Haryana [CUH] (This is a good place apparently ➜MSc Physics in CUH after engineering)
  • Central University of Rajasthan [CUR] Mahatma Gandhi Central University[MGCU], Bihar (The CUR, MGCU, and CUH have a common entrance test 'CUCET')
  • LPU (Lovely Professional University) [LPUCET]
  • Manipal University?
I'm not sure about how good the last few institutes in the are..do your own research.
And here is The Probable Dates and syllabus of the above exams.


              It is an exam conducted on the MSc level syllabus and is accepted by almost all State of the Art research institutes in India. Find the list of accepting institutes in JEST website, apart from those mentioned in it, few IITs take engineers into Ph.D. directly, find which IITs in the 'Direct PhDs' section of the blog post. A good rank in JEST can get you into research-oriented institutes that JAM can’t offer. The best part of this is you'll be receiving a stipend which is of around 15-16k per month during your two-year coursework and after that, you'll get a stipend of 25-28k revised to 31k per month, which will be enhanced to 35k after 2yrs.

I highly recommend reading the excellent articles about JEST prep written by our community members:
I recommend people to not prepare with complete focus only for JEST, but with some focus on other BSc level exams as a backup in parallel. I highly recommend reading the following post for getting a better idea about Which exam to prepare for? JAM, JEST, TIFR, or GATE?

    Opportunities Abroad
     Read this post by Vaneesh Suvarna for details about universities in European Union. MS (Abroad) in Physics after Engineering.

    I personally feel you can fund yourself, then this is the best of all the options mentioned. Because switching careers is a relatively easier thing abroad, the opportunities you have there are numerous and the research happening even in the mediocre colleges there is comparable to that in good colleges here. The pay and social status for a professor or researcher will also be much better there.

    Applying abroad involves tons of things, unlike the Indian system. It's impossible to convey all the essential info in a single post or two. But don't worry, we, the PAE community have got your back. In a series of posts by multiple authors, we tried to cover as many things as we can. So, please go through the all the posts in the 'applying abroad' section in this contents page of the blog. Here I'm listing some of the most liked posts. [If you are a complete newbie, start from this post  7 Effective Steps To Apply To Universities Abroad - Supe Prathamesh which covers all the basics about how to apply abroad]

       (A rant on the Indian govt) Our beloved Govt. of India has been reassuring us time and again how it's going to underpay and undervalue the researchers and research institutes in the country. The recent minimal hike in stipend, which was given only to science and technology students and not for our social science counterparts, that too at the tragic cost of cutting off stipend completely to non-NET qualified scholars( seriously, who can work for 5 years for free??) proves that the conditions are going to prevail for a long time.

         Anyway getting back to our topic, General GRE with a combination of TOFEL or IELTS is necessary for the USA, and having a Physics GRE score is also recommended. As for the European countries, only IELTS is enough (Sending GRE scores might add to your profile but is not mandatory). The tuition fee is zero in some countries like Italy and Germany. We have a Whatsapp group exclusive for engineers aspiring to study Physics abroad It might prove very useful to you if you are one such. You can join the parent group from here, in its description you'll find the link to the above-said group.

    Also, check out this list of opportunities in physics for engineers abroad by Pleasant in his blog

    External Links: 


               TIFR is one of the elite research institutes in India. Even better than IISC as far as physics is concerned. If you opt for the Integrated Ph.D. paper, Your questions will be from the BSc syllabus but the no.of questions will be rather less and will be designed to test your deeper understanding of a concept. Very few people get selected this way. The interviews will also be very thought-provoking(read about the interview in the interviews section). You need to be very strong with your fundamentals. All TIFR institutes will take students through this.

               The best part of this is the stipend. You'll receive a monthly fellowship of Rs 16,000/- for the first year. At the end of the first year, upon satisfactory performance, the fellowship is enhanced to Rs 25,000/- per month (further raised to Rs 28,000/- after registration for PhD. and annual contingency of Rs. 20,000/-(First Year Int. PhD. students)-Book Grant Only / 32,000/- per year [Ph.D. students and Int. Ph.D. students (Second Year onwards)]

    Through GATE Engineering score (any stream)

         Yeah, you've read it right, few institutes accept students into Physics stream with GATE score in any engineering stream. If you have already secured a good Gate score in your engineering stream then these will be a great option for you.
    • TIFR Hyderabad: If you have a GATE score of above 480 in any stream of engineering or science, you can apply for this.  This is an interdisciplinary program specifically designed for B.Tech/ B.E graduates. It definitely is not as good as the main campus of TIFR but still is one of the best institutes in India. The stipend and contingency are the same as for all the TIFR institutes as mentioned above.
    • IISER Kolkata - MS in Space Science and MS by Research
    • IIST - MS Astronomy and Astrophysics
    • ICTS - Int. PhD
    • IISc - Ph.D., and IPh.D
    • IMSc, Chennai Int PhD
    • IIT Madras - Ph.D. (not sure)

    MS by Research

                Some IITs and other institutes offer MS by research programs. IISER, K offers one such in space research (read an Interview experience for the course by Arpita Manju). If you happen to be interested in that specific field of research then these courses would be a wonderful opportunity for you. 

    Astro and related Programs

    • Inter-University Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) - INAT exam
    • National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA) - INAT and TIFR-GS
    • Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST)
    • Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) -IIAST exam 
    • Physics Research Laboratory (PRL)
    • IIT Indore MSc in astronomy (through JAM)
    • IISER Kolkata MS in Space Science
    • CHARUSAT MSc Physics (Astrophysics and Cosmology as specialization)
    Read the below article in our blog for details
    Also, Check out this video of an astronomer 'Pranoti Panchbai' from IUCCA narrating her Journey into astrophysics after Engineering.

    Direct Ph.D.

         These are the institutes that we know for offering direct Ph.D. to engineers through JEST/GATE/NET, see the official websites to find the exact eligibility(few of them ask for some 70% in bachelor's for engineers). Since these are PhDs without master's, the interviews might be a bit tough to crack. Read the following post for getting a better idea about Which exam to prepare for? JAM, JEST, TIFR, or GATE?
    • IMSc, Chennai
    • NCRA-TIFR, Pune
    • RRI, Bangalore
    • IIT Kanpur, Guwahati
    • Chennai Mathematical Institute (CMI) [Although it's mentioned as a direct Ph.D. those who don't have physics background have to attend a year and half of coursework. So It's basically an Integrated Ph.D. program again)
    • IISc Bangalore
    • Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), Bangalore [Eligibility]
    • BITS (All campuses)
    • TCIS-TIFR Hyderabad
    • IISERs: Pune, Mohali, Thiruvananthapuram, and Tirupati
    • HRDD-BARC (Only M.E/M.Tech grads are eligible)
    • Apart from the above, some of the options mentioned below in the NET and GATE section also offer Direct PhDs. 

    GATE and NET

              B.Tech/B.E grads are eligible to write GATE and NET but I'd say they're not quite relevant for engineers looking to do M.Sc. So, it's better to focus on other more useful exams rather than these, as very few institutes take through these exams. Read the following post for getting a better idea about Which exam to prepare for? JAM, JEST, TIFR, or GATE? Here's the tentative and inexhaustive list of institutes that take engineers through these exams(A big thanks to my friends who made the list!!). Some offer Direct PhDs and some offer I-PhD.

    • ICTS, Bangalore
    • IISC, Banglore
    • TIFR, Hyderabad
    • IIST, Thiruvananthapuram
    • IIT, Bombay
    • IIT, Kanpur
    • IISER, Kolkata
    • IISC, Bangalore (Ph.D.)
    • IIT Bombay, Kanpur, Roorkee, Dharwad, Guwahati, Gandhinagar (Ph.D.)
    • IUCAA, Pune (Ph.D.)
    • IMSc, Chennai (I-PhD)
    • ICTS, Bangalore (I-PhD)
    • TIFR, Hyderabad (Ph.D. and IPhd)
    • IISER, Tirupati (Ph.D.)
    • NIT Roorkee and some other NITs

    Other exams-  Some other institutes like CMI (A very prestigious institute !!!) also accept B.Tech/B.E grads for both integrated and direct Ph.D., check their websites and also ensure you meet all their eligibility criteria.

    Also, do visit all other useful content of our blog 
    Physics after Engineering.
    Some of our group members have made it big!! They have been selected to many prestigious institutes like IITs(Mumbai, Delhi, Kharagpur Kanpur, etc), ICTS Bangalore, HRI Allahabad, IMSc Chennai, TIFR Mumbai, TIFR Hyderabad, IISERs and other universities like HCU, Pune University, etc. And you can speak with them here in our Whatsapp group with 500+ members all of whom are engineers who actively discuss and help each other out in entering the physics stream after engineering. 

    You can find the FAQs and important conversations that happened earlier in the groups in this SubRedditr/Physicsaftrengineerin/

    Mail me on Dushyanth.edadasula@gmail.com for further queries.

    Distance programs

              This is a boon for those who are working and can't afford to leave the job to prepare for exams. From what I've heard, many engineers start teaching in some coaching institute for 12th class or JEE and parallelly do M.Sc in distance. This way you'd be earning, doing masters and most importantly you'll be working in a physics-related field and so your basics in physics will be strong. But again I'm not sure if the non-regular nature this degree might affect your chances of getting a Ph.D. While I believe the elite institutes do not bother much about your educational background and all that matters is your interview, I'm still ambivalent about this. If any reader could collect information regarding this and share it with us, it'd be really useful. 
    These are the open universities that I know of to give admission to M.Sc Physics course for Engineering Grads:
    • Kuvempu University (Link)
    • Karnataka State Open University (Link)
    • Lalit Narayan Mithila University(Link)
    • NIMS University (Link)
    • Vardhaman Mahaveer Open University (Link)
             Apparently, these distance degrees are valid, only if you give the exam in a study center that is located in the territorial jurisdiction of the university since the above three universities are State Universities, you should give exam in the respective states in which the university is located for your degree to be recognized by UGC.
    All the options that are struck off have been discontinued by UGC in the year 2018. Do check their websites to see if the status has changed recently.

    In a recent survey within our group members, 62% of them have expressed that they wish they knew about the blog earlier. Half of them(31% of total voters) have said that their life would have been way different if they had discovered this blog earlier. I request you to share this valuable information with your friends on Facebook.

    Engineer, but you love Physics/Maths? 🌟Here are all the ways to study Physics/Astrophysics after BTech...

    Posted by Physics after Engineering on Thursday, June 25, 2020

    Please share the FB post above, A simple share of yours can prove to be the turning point of someone's career. Kindly like our page and share this post and support us in bringing together all Physics/Maths loving engineers.

    An earnest plea to readers from me:

    Do you think the above mentioned are the only good institutes for physics in India? Hell no !!! Apart from all the options mentioned above, there are many other well-renowned universities, colleges, and institutes that offer MSc courses in physics but do not allow us Engineering grads. So, Can we do something about it? I propose we let them know about the sheer number of talented, enthusiastic Engineers looking to switch to physics are present. In the WhatsApp grp related to this blog, we've decided to prepare a letter and mail the same to institutes with all our signatures. So please join the group below by clicking this link, sign it and contribute to the frustrated Engineers community. Not that it will bring about a change suddenly, but just so that we try from our side to make them aware of the situation and maybe, be of help to those who graduate after us.

    Below is the link for our Whatsapp group with 400+ members all of whom are engineers who actively discuss and help each other out in entering physics stream after engineering.


    You can find the FAQs and important conversations happened earlier in the groups in this SubRedditr/Physicsaftrengineerin/


    Mail me on Dushyanth.edadasula@gmail.com for further queries.

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