What are the compulsory courses in my first year at IIT Madras?

The first year of any undergraduate program at IIT Madras includes some department-specific and some common courses. Common courses generally act as a bridge between high school curriculum and engineering fundamentals. They cover concepts elementary to all disciplines of science and engineering. The first year at IITM has the following common courses

First Semester

  • PH1010: An introductory course to classical physics that mainly deals with Newtonian and Lagrangian mechanics.
  • MA1101: A course that exposes students to calculus and related concepts in the three dimensional space. Introduction to vector calculus helps build a foundation for many future concepts in engineering and science.
  • CS1100: An introduction to programming covering the fundamentals of programming in C language. Students are divided into a basic and an advanced batch based on their streams in Class XII. The course involves theory taught in class, followed by labs.
  • Life Skills (GN1101): A pass/fail course that focuses on certain essential skills to lead a better life. The course also has fun assignments that need to be submitted every week.
  • Ecology (ID1200): Another pass/fail course that teaches the components, divisions, and features of ecology. The evaluation is determined through an end-semester examination, which is usually MCQ-based.

Second Semester

  • PH1020: An introduction to electrodynamics, electromagnetic waves and quantum physics, the course builds on the PH1010 course through application of the mathematical tools taught previously.
  • MA1102: A course on algebraic mathematics, power series, useful fourier and taylor series transformations, and matrices as mathematical tools for efficient calculations. This course helps students build on and apply concepts in later engineering courses and problems.
  • CY1001: A course in chemistry that is on the lines of the JEE. The course content is divided into the following parts - Quantum Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physical and Inorganic Chemistry.
  • PH1030 lab: A series of 10 labs, this course enables students to gain hands-on experience with equipment in the laboratory and build on theoretical knowledge gained in class. Report writing builds students’ academic writing and observation skills.
  • CY1002 lab: A series of 10 lab experiments broadly classified into physical, organic and inorganic chemistry. Introduce students to various chemicals and processes in the laboratory as well as develop a sense of laboratory etiquette.

Apart from the compulsory courses, you will also be required to take a Humanities (HS) elective. There are department-specific courses as well, covering the foundations required for further courses. In essence, the courses are structured to provide a solid platform for the engineering disciplines that students study in their future semesters.