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If you are an engineering aspirant preparing for JEE, you must also be aware of BITSAT – BITS Admission Test, for admission into the 3 campuses of the Birla Institute of Technology and Science. A lot of students keep posting queries on social media – Is BITS worth it? How is the education at BITS? Is BITS on par with IITs? What’s the average package at BITS and so on. Let’s explore.

About BITS

Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani was established in 1964. BITS Pilani received a grant from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA and this led to the adoption of many practices of American universities (like the zero attendance policy).

BITS Pilani, Pilani campus

BITS Pilani started the Dubai campus in 2000, Goa campus in 2004 and the Hyderabad campus in 2008.

All campuses offer degrees from “BITS Pilani university” and there’s no differentiation between campuses. (In this article we will refer to the university as a whole as BITS Pilani and mention the Pilani campus specifically as BITS Pilani, Pilani campus.)

What are the courses offered at BITS Pilani (Pilani, Goa, Hyderabad and Dubai)?

BITS offers the following on campus courses:

  • B.E (Bachelor of Engineering)
  • M.Sc (Masters in Science)
  • Dual degree (B.E+M.Sc)
  • B. Pharm (Bachelor of Pharmacy)
  • M.E (Masters in Engineering)
  • M. Pharm (Masters in Pharmacy)
  • PhD

The B.E, M.Sc and B.Pharm programmes are collectively called as ‘First degree programmes’.

Under B.E, the branches offered are:

  • Chemical
  • Civil (not available in Goa)
  • Computer Science
  • Mechanical
  • Electrical and Electronics
  • Electronics and Communication
  • Electronics and Instrumentation
  • Manufacturing (only in Pilani)
  • Biotechnology (only in Dubai)
  • Mathematics and Computing (New branch launched in 2024)

Under M.Sc, the branches offered are:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Mathematics
  • Economics
  • General studies (Pilani)

M.Sc and dual degree programmess are not offered at the Dubai campus.

There are multiple branches under M.E, please refer to the website for details on this. In this post, we will be focussing on the UG degrees, for which BITSAT is the mode of admission.

Admission modes at BITS Pilani


The main mode of admission at BITS is through the BITSAT entrance test. Admissions to the Pilani, Goa and Hyderabad campuses are done via BITSAT. Admission to the Dubai campus is via the 12th board marks.

BITSAT test is a multiple choice test consisting of questions in PCM – Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics (for B.E/M.Sc stream) and Physics, Chemistry and Biology (for B.Pharm). Students with PCB- Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics can also apply for B.Pharm programme.

Board Toppers Scheme

The toppers (first rank only) of board exams (state boards/ISC/CBSE) are offered direct admission to BITS without attempting BITSAT. The student needs to attach a letter from the head of the respective board, declaring the student as a topper, in order to be eligible for admission. The topper of PCM subjects will be eligible for all programmes, whereas the topper of PCB subjects will be eligible for B.Pharm.

International students admission

International students can apply for admission via their SAT score and their 12th board or equivalent score, with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics/Biology as their subjects.

Unique Features of the BITS Pilani First degree programme

Campus Facilities

BITS Pilani, Pilani campus is almost as old as the old IITs and is one of the most revered educational institutions in the country. The curriculum, faculty and campus infrastructure are among the best in the country.

The Goa and Hyderabad campuses are relatively newer but the quality of education and infrastructure are in no way inferior to the Pilani campus.

BITS Pilani, Hyderabad campus – Academic Block

Hostels are clean and well maintained. Usually, there are not more than 2 students in a room and 3rd year and above students do get single rooms. This is very much unlike places like VIT where there could be 6 or even 8 students in a room. The campuses are spacious and not very crowded.

The BITS Pilani curriculum offers flexibility to choose open electives and minors of other branches. It also allows you to choose your professor and timings of classes.

Zero Attendance Policy

In addition, BITS has a zero attendance policy, which means it is not mandatory to attend class. But trust me, students who have studied at BITS will tell you it’s easier said than done 😛 There could be surprise tests and quizzes, which all count towards your semester GPA, so you may not find it that easy to bunk!

Continuous assessment

Most courses have 30% weightage for all the quizzes and assignments, 30% weightage for the mid-semester exams and 40% for the end-of-semester exams or ‘compres’ as they are called. Therefore one single exam does not decide your fate, and every small drop (test and assignment) contributes to the ocean (CGPA). Therefore regular work is very important to survive here.

Practice School

The other unique feature about BITS is the practice school – PS1 and PS2 which are internships which students get to do as part of the curriculum. PS1 is an 8-week internship conducted between the second and third years. PS2 is done in the final year and many students end up getting PPO (pre-placement offers) during their PS2.

Attending PS1 is mandatory if you want to attend PS2. If a student has other plans, like going for higher education, they may choose to skip the practice school and work on a thesis instead, which can help get additional points while applying for universities abroad. BITS offers this flexibility too!

Many top NITs too do not offer this guaranteed internship to students of all branches. The practice school helps students get industry experience before graduating.

Merit Based admissions

Admissions to BITS Pilani are based on merit – either in BITSAT or board exams. There are some exemptions to children of BITS faculty but they are very few in number.

I do not wish to comment on the reservation policy at government managed institutions like IITs and NITs, but when students know that everyone has entered via the same competition, there is a better sense of equality and respect among the students.

What is the dual degree programme at BITS Pilani?

This is a very common question asked by aspirants and their parents. Let’s discuss this in detail.

In a dual degree programme (MSc + BE), a student gets admitted to an M.Sc programme as their first degree. At this point, the student doesn’t know what their second degree branch will be. The coursework for all disciplines (single degree B.E and all M.Sc programmes) are common in the first year.

At the end of the first year, the M.Sc students are asked to fill in their choices of B.E degree in order of preference. Based on their first year CGPA and preference, the students are allotted a B.E degree as their second degree. There are a pre-decided number of seats in each B.E branch. The higher the CGPA, the better the chance of getting the preferred branches.

There is no fixed cutoff for each branch of B.E in BITS dual degree. There are a fixed number of seats and once they are filled, the students are allotted their next preferred branch. The cutoff could range from 8.3 to 7.8 for Computer Science. The grading is relative and it all depends on how a student performs in comparison to their peers.

Usually most M.Sc students are guaranteed to get a B.E degree, unless the performance is so dismal that they couldn’t clear the first year.

There is also a provision of opting out of the B.E programme. Some students even choose to continue with M.Sc as a single degree without a B.E. They complete their coursework in 4 years.

The total duration of the M.Sc + B.E dual degree in BITS is 5 years compared to 4 years for the B.E degree.

The coursework looks like this for a dual degree student:

First year: Common syllabus for everyone.

Second year: B.E branch is allotted to dual degree students, but students only work on their M.Sc subject in both the semesters, along with some humanities electives.

Practice School 1: This is done during the semester break between second and third years, as explained above. The dual students would not have started their engineering subjects yet, but learning a little bit of coding will help get good PS stations.

Third year: This is probably the toughest year for dual degree students where they have to study about 4 subjects from the B.E degree and 3 subjects from the M.Sc degree. They will attend B.E discipline classes along with the second year B.E students of their junior batch. It is difficult for dual degree students to squeeze in any electives because the time table is packed with compulsory subjects and finding free slots is next to impossible.

Fourth year: In this year most, students will attend B.E discipline classes along with the third year students of the junior batch and most M.Sc subjects would be completed by the third year. Any remaining electives can be covered, if required. The fourth year can be completely dedicated to the B.E degree if students cover all required credits for M.Sc in the previous years.

Fifth year: Dual degree students have multiple options in the fifth year. They can opt for 2 practice schools (PS2) or go for PS2 in one semester and work on a thesis in the other semester.

Students are given 2 separate degrees when they graduate. The B.E degree will look identical to that of a single degree B.E student.

If you like any of the M.Sc subjects and are willing to work hard, it may be a good idea to take up the M.Sc program, rather than dropping a year. Of course, there is the risk that you may not get Computer Science (which everyone wishes for!), but an electrical branch should be gettable with some hard work and they offer pretty good placements, as you can see in the section below.

Even if you end up with a Mechanical/Civil as your B.E degree, BITS offers minors in finance, data science, aeronautical engineering etc, which will help boost your resume during placements. A lot of Mechanical students pursue the finance minor and get into consulting roles.

Which is the best campus? Pilani, Goa or Hyderabad?

This is a very common question asked by aspirants, especially while filling in the choices during counselling. Many students wonder if it’s better to put a CSE in Hyderabad above an ECE in Goa and so on. Here’s the information from the experience of some students from all campuses and alumni.

The Pilani campus has an aura of its own because it is the oldest campus and is the most famous one. It is considered on par with some of the old IITs. The Goa campus was started in 2004 and the Hyderabad campus opened in 2008. The Goa and Hyderabad campuses are almost similar now. Size wise, the Pilani campus is the largest, followed by Hyderabad and then Goa.

Coming to the faculty and infrastructure, they are of the same level in all the 3 campuses. Labs, libraries and faculty are similar in all campuses. There will be some really good faculty, some not-so-good ones, but that’s the same even in IITs.

The newer campuses have more modern hostels, but the Pilani campus hostels are being renovated, so they will all be the same. The Pilani campus has nothing much outside, so most of the activity will be in the campus. There’s not much you can do on a Sunday. The Goa and Hyderabad campuses are located in cities, so there is some more entertainment outside on weekends.

Coming to placements, due to the perception that Pilani is the oldest campus, the toppers of BITSAT choose this campus. So, the recruiting companies think that this campus has the brightest students (while this may not necessarily be so). Therefore the average packages are slightly higher in Pilani. Again, since there is a hype for CSE, the CSE students receive the highest packages. So if you have to choose between a CSE in Goa vs an ECE in Pilani, it may be worth taking the CSE in Goa if your only goal is to maximise your pay.

Between Hyderabad and Goa, there’s not much of a difference now, because both campuses are pretty old now. The higher packages in Goa existed during 2013-14 when Hyderabad campus was very new. Again, there is a not-so-true perception that those who get higher marks in BITSAT choose Goa, so the students there are likely to be better. In reality, students in all the campuses are equally bright and a difference of 5 correctly answered questions in BITSAT does not make anyone worse or better.

Another point to note – there are multiple students posting on the social media that the prefer Goa because it is “GOA🏖️ “. That is totally a wrong approach. Agreed, Goa is a tourist spot but you are not in Goa to have fun 365 days. I also know parents who hesitate to send their kids, especially girls to Goa thinking the place is full of unwanted distractions. Well, those exist in every college, not just BITS Goa. If your child is strong, they will survive anywhere and if they are not, they will take the wrong path even if they are under 24*7 surveillance in your own house. It all depends on your upbringing.

Choose the campus based on your preferred branch and overall comfort level.

BITS Pilani Fee – Is it worth it?

Put simply – BITS Pilani is on the expensive side. A B.E programme can cost up to ₹30Lakh and a dual degree can cost more than ₹35Lakh. (for the 2023 batch).

BITS pilani UG fee estimate
Source: BITS website

The BITS website also mentions increase in fee as below.

The summer term fee will be required only in the second year and the final year when students will be doing their practice school (internship). Also, if they are interested in pursuing any additional summer programme, these fees will have to be paid.

This is way higher than an IIT where you can complete your B.Tech in under ₹12 Lakh. The reason behind this is that it is a completely private university and faculty are among the best, who need to be paid well.

The fee can be unaffordable to some, but the institute offers Merit-cum-means scholarships and loans, which can make it easier for deserving students. There are many students with family income less than ₹12 Lakh who are availing of merit cum means scholarship. However, the scholarship amount is reevaluated at the end of every semester and you need to maintain a CGPA of 6 and above to continue getting it. (It’s not necessary to top the batch 😉) And this is not that difficult.

The placements at BITS are pretty good and a hard working student may be able to repay the loan without too much difficulty. It is not just BITS, but other colleges like Manipal and VIT (Category 5) fees are also in the same range but if you look at the average packages offered, they are way lower than what it is at BITS. Overall, the return on investment is pretty good with a BITS degree.

BITS Pilani does not officially announce the placement stats for all branches but got a summary from the placement brochure on their LinkedIn page. This should give you an idea about the average salaries offered to BITS students.

The fee at Dubai campus is much higher (around ₹15L per year) and maybe affordable only for the higher income groups and NRIs. Looking at the average packages, it’s clear that those who avail of student loans and do well in college should be able to get good pay packages and repay the loan without any major difficulty.

Overall, if your family situation is comfortable, or if you are able to get a merit cum means scholarship, or you are confident about being able to repay the loan, go for BITS Pilani (Indian campuses).

Not confident about cracking BITSAT? Check out some other college reviews.

VIT Review

Manipal Institute of Technology Review

Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham Review

SRM University (Engineering) Review

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