Can you tell me about IITM Branch Change?

Branch change is the process of switching from the branch you joined to another after your first year. From the 2024 batch onwards, the branch change system will NOT be available at IIT Madras.

Why do JEE aspirants look for a branch change option?

For many students who got a rank less than they wanted, the branch change system felt like a second chance. If they work very hard in the first semester, they may be able to change to a branch open only to higher ranks, like CSE. But this option is available to very few students since a branch size can change only by 10%. Only 4-5 people would get into CSE via branch change at IIT Madras.

Why is IIT Madras not offering branch change?

Over the years, IIT Madras has introduced many student-friendly changes to the academic system, which has resulted in a very high degree of academic flexibility. Students in a particular branch can choose to go deep into their core field or widen their skills and expertise outside that field.

  • The formal course selection itself is flexible via electives, minors, and Interdisciplinary Dual Degree (IDDD) programs.
  • Most opportunities on campus - PoRs and internships - do not discriminate based on branch and are open to all branches.
  • Most companies that recruit from IIT Madras open their placement process to students from all branches, especially in CS/IT/Consulting/Product Management and similar non-core roles. However, deeply specialised roles may be closed. For example, VLSI companies might look for CSE-VLSI engineers only, and Oil and gas companies may look for Chemical engineers only.
  • The IITM calendar gives much vacation time to pursue internships - almost 3 months in Summer and 1 month in Winter.
  • Plus, one of the semesters is made up of only electives - which means you can take on a full-semester internship!

In this context, the branch change system is simply not as useful as it was earlier. And therefore, it has been discontinued at IIT Madras.

Do I need branch change to explore CS, Elec or Mech?

At IIT Madras, you do not need to be a CS student to take CS courses because of the flexible academic system.

Say you’re an Ocean Engineering student interested in Computer Science. You can choose to do electives in CS courses, club electives together to do a minor from CS, or maybe even convert your four-year degree program into a five-year program by pursuing an IDDD in Data Science, for example. The same goes for a CS student interested in Robotics, or a Civil Engineering student interested in Management.

Do other IITs offer branch change?

Each IIT takes its own decision regarding branch change depending upon their academic system. Please check their individual websites for further information.