Mathematics is a good higher study option for those who have an aptitude for the subject. Students who obtain higher degrees in this discipline can find jobs in academic, banking, insurance, software, information technology, scientific and engineering fields.

Meritorious Plus Two students with mathematics as one of their subjects can seek admission either to the research-oriented five-year integrated M.Sc. degree programme in mathematics or three-year regular B.Sc. in mathematics. After B.Sc., they can do M.Sc. and Ph.D. Leading institutions that offer research-oriented five-year integrated M.Sc. programmes in mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology include Indian Institute of Science, Education and Research (IISERs), National Institute of Science, Education and Research (NISER), UM-DAE Centre for Excellence in Basic Sciences, and Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS).

IISERs

The Ministry of Human Resource and Development has set up five IISERs at Thiruvananthapuram, Pune, Bhopal, Mohali and Kolkata. The institutes offer dual degree BS-MS and Ph.D. programmes. The key feature of the courses is the integration of undergraduate teaching with cutting-edge research in an interdisciplinary way that incorporates recent scientific developments.

These institutes, with modern research facilities and digital libraries, help students to develop life-long skills and scientific competencies.

Students who join the five-year integrated BS-MS programme will be awarded INSPIRE/KVPY scholarships of Rs. 5,000 a month. IISERs prepare students for research which leads to an excellent career in science and technology.

Academic programmes include courses in mathematical sciences, physical sciences, biological sciences and chemical sciences, having 10 semesters.

In the first two years of the programme, students will have to undergo a comprehensive core course in all areas of basic sciences. In the third and fourth year, students will have to major in a chosen subject among mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology depending on their aptitude. Student will have to devote the fifth and final year of the course to research in technical projects leading to a thesis.

Each IISER is an autonomous institution that awards its own Master's degree. Those who have passed Plus Two/equivalent examination with physics, chemistry, mathematics, biology/science subjects and have secured a minimum of 60 per cent marks are eligible for admission to the five-year integrated BS- MS programme. But they have to qualify in any one of these tests: Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana (KVPY)/ IIT- JEE; secure high aggregate marks in class X and XII; succeed in the IISER science aptitude test. Detailed information cano be obtained from each IISER website. IISER Thiruvananthapuram: www.iisertvm.ac.in; IISER Pune: www.iiserpune.ac.in; IISER Bhopal: www.iiserbhopal.ac.in; IISER Mohali: www.iisermohali.ac.in; IISER Kolkata: www.iiserkol.ac.in.

Aptitude assessment and counselling will be held for the final selection. The admission notification can be expected during November/December every year.

NISER

The National Institute for Science Education and Research (NISER), Bhubaneswar, established by the Department of Atomic Energy, offers five-year integrated M.Sc. programmes in mathematics, physics, biological, and chemical sciences. Total seats: 60.

The degree will be awarded by the Homi Bhaba National Institute, a deemed university which comes under the Department of Atomic Energy. Website: www.niser.ac.in.

UM-DAE

The UM-DAE Centre for Excellence in Basic Sciences, Mumbai, under the Department of Atomic Energy, offers five-year integrated M.Sc. programme in mathematics, physics, chemistry and biological sciences. The degree is awarded by the University of Mumbai. Total seats: 30. More information can be had from the website http://cbs.ac.in.

All these institutes have residential campuses. All students enrolled at UM-DAE, CBS, and NISER will receive a fellowship of Rs.5,000 a month along with other benefits. Selection is based on the score obtained in the National Entrance Screening Test (NEST).

Those who have passed Plus Two/equivalent examination in the relevant science subjects with at least 60 per cent marks in aggregate are eligible to appear for NEST. Plus Two students may also appear. NEST will consist of five sections. Section I is general and compulsory for all applicants. Section 2-5 will contain questions from mathematics, biology, chemistry and physics. The candidates are required to attempt any two of these four sections. Website: www.nestexam.in.

IIT

The Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, offers five-year integrated M.Sc. degree programmes in applied mathematics. IIT-Kharagpur offers five-year integrated M.Sc. degree in mathematics and computing. IIT-Kanpur offers five-year integrated M.Sc. degree in mathematics and scientific computing. IIT-Delhi offer five-year integrated M.Tech. in mathematics and computing. IIT-Guwahati offers four-year B.Tech. programme in mathematics and computing. Selection to all these programmes is based on the score obtained in the IIT-JEE.

Meritorious Plus Two students or those who have passed Plus Two/ equivalent examinations with physics, chemistry and mathematics subjects and secured a minimum of 60 per cent marks in aggregate are eligible to appear for IIT-JEE.

There will be two papers in the test. Paper I and Paper II each will have separate sections in chemistry, physics and mathematics. Both papers will be of objective-type, designed to test comprehension, reasoning and analytical ability of candidates. IIT-JEE notification can be expected during October/ November every year. The test will be held during April.

IISc

The Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, offers four-year Bachelor of Science (BS) programmes. Six major disciplines are offered viz. biology, chemistry, environmental science, materials, mathematics and physics. This programme is designed to provide a deep interdisciplinary experience to the students.

Those who have passed Plus Two/ equivalent examination with physics, chemistry and mathematics as main subjects and have secured 60 per cent marks/ equivalent grade are eligible for admission. Selection will be based on the merit in any of the national level examinations viz. KVPY/ IIT-JEE / AIEEE / AIPMT (www.iisc.ernet.in/ug).

BITS

The Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) offers integrated M.Sc. (Hons) programme in mathematics at its campuses which are functioning at Pilani, Goa, and Hyderabad. Those who have passed Class XII/ equivalent examination with physics, chemistry, and mathematics and secured a minimum aggregate of 80 per cent marks in these three science subjects along with at least 60 per cent marks in each subject are eligible for admission.

Selection is on the basis of BITS admission Test (BITSAT). Meritorious Plus Two students can also appear for the BITSAT.

Those admitted to M.Sc.(Hons) programmes are given an option to work for a second degree in one of the B.E. (Hons)/ B.Pharm (Hons) programmes under the dual degree scheme. In Pilani, Goa, and Hyderabad campuses, under the scheme, a student normally requires five years to complete both the degrees. Website: www.bitsadmission.com.

The Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Hyderabad, offers five-year integrated M.Sc. degree courses in mathematical sciences, systems biology, physics and chemistry. There will be common core courses in the first two years. Students are free to choose mathematical sciences as a main stream subject.

Entry qualification is first class with at least 60 per cent marks in Plus Two /equivalent examinations. Selection is on the basis of a test and interview conducted by the university.

KVPY scholars, science Olympiad winners and first rank holders of different boards of Plus Two level of education are exempted from the written test.

www.uohyd.ernet.in.

Central University

The Central University of Tamil Nadu offers five-year integrated M.Sc. degree course in mathematics, physics and chemistry. Number of seats: 30.

Those who have passed Plus Two examination with at least 60 per cent marks in science subjects are eligible for admission. Website: www.tiruvarur.tn.nic.in.

The Central University of Jharkhand also conducts integrated M.Sc. degree programme in applied mathematics, physics, and chemistry.

Website: www.cuj.ac.in. Meritorious Plus Two students in science subjects are eligible for admission. Selection to the Central Universities is based on a common entrance test. Website: www.cucet.ac.in.

ASAS

Amrita School of Arts and Sciences, Amritapuri, offers integrated M.Sc. course in mathematics and physics. Website: http://amritapuri.

amrita.edu.

Fellowship

The Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana fellowship has been introduced by the Department of Science and Technology of Government of India for school and college students interested in a research career.

Meritorious students in Class XII/ Plus Two and those aspiring to join higher studies including integrated M.Sc. degree course can appear for the fellowship test conducted across India by the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.

Website: www.kvpy.org.in