How to do MSc Physics after B.Tech (any stream)?

 "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 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.

         You might be wondering if there are any other people like you, looking to switch physics after engineering.. the answer is a yes!! there are many people who visit the blog and of them, we've successfully built a community of 500+ engineers like you, looking to switch to physics after engineering. You can join the WhatsApp group by clicking 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 here). And you can speak with them here in our Discord server. Here is The link to "Physics after Engineering" server where most of them are members  (you need to install the app) I'd recommend joining the groups because you'll be getting updates about notifications of any exams mentioned below and information on any new opportunities available. You'll also get suggestions from a few like us who have successfully entered Physics after engineering.

    It' been over a year since  I've started the blog and lot's of people have joined the whatapp group and some of them have perfomed very well in exam 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. Do find all that content here in the Content of our blog Physics after Engineering.

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 now enter into details already !!!!

Ways to study Physics after Engineering

These are the major ways 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)
Click Exam and Probable Dates for details about the exams and deadlines.

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

JAM exam

           [ See this Guide to an engineering student's preparation for IIT JAM for Msc physics by Vaibhav Sharma for preparation and full details about JAM exam]

 This is conducted by IITs as an entrance test to Msc and integrated Ph.D. in IITs and IISC. Also, some IISERs take JAM rankers into integrated Ph.D. ( You've to apply separately for each). This is the best of all options for slow learners. For those who can't spend a year preparing for entrance tests, this will be a boon. Even if you prepare perfectly only up to 12th class level physics, you can get a rank under 1000 easily ( But of course it's not enough to get into IITs click here to see the last ranks of seat allotment in IITs through JAM 2018). 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 see this post to get some 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 JAM counseling portal where you can apply for all IITs in a single place.
also, NITs take students through another counseling but none of them take Engineers in M.Sc physics, NIT Arunachal Pradesh takes Engineers in mathematical physics course but it's pretty bad course and college ppl recommend sitting for one more year and prepare for the exams again rather than taking admission there.

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. 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 (Application opens in September)
  • JNU, Delhi
  • Delhi University 
  • Pune University😊
  • University of Hyderabad (HCU)
  • Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai (ICT, Mumbai)
  • IIT Mandi (Himachal Pradesh)
  • 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]
I'm not sure about how good the last few institutes in the your own research.
And here is The Probable Dates and syllabus of the above exams.

Opportunities Abroad

         Read this post by Vaneesh Suvarna for 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 career is a realtively easy thing abroad, the opportunities you have there are numerous and the research happening even in the mediocre colleges there is comparable to good colleges here. The pay and social status for a professor or researcher will also be much better there.

   (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 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

Refer to these posts by Vaibhav for detailed info about : 

External Links: 


           TIFR is one of the elite research institutes in India if not the best. Even better than IISC as far as physics is concerned. If you opt for Integrated Ph.D. paper, Your questions will be from BSc syllabus but the no.of questions will be rather less and look for your deep understanding of a concept. Very few people get selected this way. The interviews will also be very thought-provoking. 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)]


              It is an exam conducted on Msc level syllabus and is accepted by almost all State of the Art research institutes in India (check out the list of accepting institutes in JEST website). A good rank in JEST can get you into research-oriented institutes which 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.
The reason I have put JEST so low on the list despite it being accepted in research institutes is: 
  • All most all of the institutes (HRI is the only exception I know of) that take through JEST, offer integrated Ph.D. only. It’s not suggested to leave it in the middle with a Master degree. So, If you have any dreams of going abroad or to better institutes for Ph.D., you can only go for Postdoc. But if you do M.Sc or MS through JAM or other good Universities and build up your profile, You can pursue Ph.D. in much better institutes in India or abroad.
  • Its syllabus is MSc level Physics so some might find it difficult to crack with one-year preparation (not impossible though). I personally do know people who cracked JEST with 1-year preparation. Also, since we'll be applying for Integrated Ph.D. and not regular Ph.D. our competition will be only B.Sc grads who didn't have the M.Sc portion in their curriculum.
  • UPDATE: The scenario has changed a bit since 2018, and the papers are becoming easier and a lot of questions seem to be framed with B.Sc grads in mind. In the year 2019, a good portion of paper was from B.Sc syllabus even by doing just that, one can qualify the exam.

Through GATE Engineering score (any stream)

     Yeah, you've read it right, There are few institutes that 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 programmes. IISER Kolkatta offers one such in space research. If you happen to be interested in that specific field of research then these would be a wonderful opportunity for you.

Astronomy 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 specialisation)
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 offer direct Ph.D. to engineers as mentioned in the JEST website. You need to have a really good knowledge in the specific research field you are applying for to crack the interviews
  • IMSC, Chennai
  • NCRA-TIFR, Pune
  • RRI, Bangalore
  • Chennai Mathematical Institute (CMI) [Although it's mentioned as 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. programme 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)


 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 less institutes take through these exams and most of those also take through JEST or JAM. 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!!)

  • ICTS, Bangalore
  • IISC, Banglore
  • TIFR, Hyderabad
  • IIST, Thiruvananthapuram
  • IIT, Bombay
  • IIT, Kanpur
  • IISER, Kolkata
  • IISC, Bangalore (PhD)
  • IIT Bombay, Kanpur, Roorkee, Dharwad, Guwahati, Gandhinagar (PhD)
  • IISER, Tirupati (PhD)
  • IUCAA, Pune (PhD)
  • IMSc, Chennai (IPhd)
  • ICTS, Bangalore (IPhd)
  • TIFR, Hyderabad (PhD and IPhd)
  • 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.

Below is the link for our Whatsapp group with 500+ 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/
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 dicord server. Here is the link to "Physics after Engineering" server where most of them are members

Mail me on for further queries.

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.

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 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 only 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.

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 for further queries.

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