Mathematics as a Career Path

Mathematics as a career choice has been picking up among the students of India since the last couple of years. But sadly, very few students are aware fully of the scope they have to study in India. Most go for the local colleges and Universities in their neighbourhood. In this article we shall discuss the avenues that are open to students after they pass their 12th class in India.

India has a rich tradition in math since time immemorial, and this has led to the establishments of various centres of learning in math and related sciences. In the present day too, there are various institutes offering math education and research of world repute in India. Typically the road to an education in math starts after passing the 12th class in India. A student then has the opportunity to either opt for a BSc degree or an Integrated MSc degree or a BS degree or an Integrated MS degree.

The two best places in India offering a Bachelor’s degree in math are the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), Bangalore and the Chennai Mathematical Institute (CMI), Chennai. ISI offers a B.Math degree, and admissions are held after a tough screening test in various centres of India held in late May each year (in Assam, Guwahati and Tezpur are centres) followed by a personal interview at Bangalore. CMI offers a BSc degree in Mathematics and Computer Science and another in Mathematics and Physics, admissions to which is through a written test held in various centres of India (in Assam, Guwahati and Silchar are centres) in late May each year, which may be followed up by an interview later. Both ISI and CMI also admit students who have qualified in the Indian National Mathematical Olympiad (INMO). For ISI they also have to attend an interview in Bengaluru. For ISI, the interview takes place at Bengaluru. Added to that CMI also admits students who have qualified in the Indian National Olympiad in Informatics (INOI) and Indian National Physics Olympiad (INPhO). The INMO is held every year on the first Sunday of February. But to appear in the INMO, one has to pass the Regional Mathematical Olympiad (RMO) which is held in various centres throughout India in December every year. Similarly to appear in INPhO one has to pass National Standard Exam in Physics (NSEP) and for INOI one has to pass either of Zonal Computing Olympiad (ZCO) or Zonal Informatics Olympiad (ZIO).

A student can also opt for a BS degree in math, which is a 4 year course. At present the two best places in India for a BS degree are the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore. IIT admits students via the JEE Advanced held every year in April-May. While IISc admits students via the JEE Mains, JEE Advanced and Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana (KVPY). The KVPY is held every year in November for students in classes 11th, 12th and UG 1st year.

A student can also opt for an integrated BS-MS dual degree course in math offered at the Indian Institutes of Science and Education Research(IISERs) which is a 5 year course. The IISERs are located in Pune, Mohali, Kolkata, Bhopal, Tirupati and Trivandrum. There is one planned IISER in Nagaland as well. The IISERs admit students via KVPY, JEE Advanced. One may also apply via marks in board exams and then writing the IISER entrance exam which is held in mid July in the six IISERs. The marks in board exams depends on the INSPIRE cutoff for the respective boards. More details about this can be found here. Apart from the IISERs, such a course is also offered at the National Institute for Science Education and Research (NISER), Bhubaneswar and Centre for Basic Sciences (CBS), Mumbai. Both NISER and CBS admits students through the National Entrance Screening Test (NEST) held every year in early June.

After the BSc/BMath/BS degrees a student has the opportunity to get an MSc or an MS degree from the many places in India and abroad. They can also apply for an Integrated MSc-PhD degree offered at some places in India. Ideally the best places in India for a Masters degree in math are mentioned below:

  • CMI, through admission test held in late May

  • ISI, Kolkata or Bengaluru through admission test held in late May

For Integrated MSc-PhD programmes the best places are:

  • Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai and Bangalore admits through a written test held in May and followed by an interview

  • IISc, Joint Admission Test for M.Sc. (JAM) followed by an interview at IISc

  • The Institute of Mathematical Sciences (IMSc), Chennai admits through the National Board of Higher Mathematics (NBHM) exam followed by an interview

  • Harish Chandra Research Institute (HRI), Allahabad admits through the NBHM exam followed by an interview

  • IISERs (Pune, Mohali, Trivandrum, Bhopal, Kolkata, Tirupati) also has a good Integrated MS-PhD course and they admit students either via their own exams or NBHM

If a student wants to opt for an Integrated MSc in math then the best place in India is the University of Hyderabad, which admits students through a written test held in early June. Various other central universities also have the Integrated programme, amongst them the best curriculum after the University of Hyderabad is at the Pondicherry University and Tezpur University. In recent years, many new Central Universities have also started this course. Additionally, some of the IITs have such courses as well, like IIT Kharagpur. The admission for this course is through IIT JEE.

In addition to the institutes mentioned above, there are several other good institutes which offer Bachelors level courses. For instance, one could also study at the Institute of Mathematics and Application (IMA), Bhubaneswar, the University of Delhi (in several world class colleges like St. Stephen’s College, Kirori Mal College, etc.), several NITs have Integrated MSc courses (this information can be found in the JEE Mains brochure for example), etc.

After a Masters degree, a student can pursue a PhD. The best places in India to get a PhD in math are TIFR, IMSc and HRI. Normally these institutes (except TIFR which has its own exam) accept students who have cleared either NBHM or the CSIR JRF exam followed by an interview. Students who have been awarded INSPIRE Fellowships by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), GoI may also be called for interviews at these institutes. Apart from these, CMI, ISI, IISc, IISERs and NISER also has a very highly ranked PhD programme.

Students studying at all the above institutes are paid fellowships of Rs.5000 for the Bachelors students (provided they clear a certain threshold percentage in their 12th boards exams), Rs.5000-Rs.7000 to the Masters Students by the DST and around Rs. 26000-Rs. 31000 for the PhD students. In CMI PhD students are paid Rs. 26000-28000 for PhD and Rs. 9000 for M.Sc.

[This article was slightly modified on 14th of March, 2015 and substantially modified on 8th October, 2018 and 11th November, 2020.]

Download this post as PDF (will not include images and mathematical symbols).

  • math sucks
    Posted at 14:49h, 16 July Reply

    I think u ppl shouldn’t mislead students into this dumb career os research. The institutes u mentioned totally take maybe 50 people. As if everyone would get an opportunity. Also ur research field is just like military: until people get in talk sweetly and entice them but once the person is in treat them brutally. There is so much corruption, nepotism and lack of transparency that i’m shocked no one raises any issues about that. And people who do are branded losers and stupid. The interviews in these places are so horrible bcoz they ask so many personal questions and insult you personally. Their job is only to check whether ur qualified or not. I know of a prof. In hri who makes sure people from his state get a chance very easily in hri’s spim and graduate programme. Mathematicians get very angry like undoubtedly even you are seeing this post when somebody exposes them. Research is all about getting money, showing off about your marks, which place you study, your intelligence etc. today. So what’s the point in attracting people. Clean up your act and be honest. Even if a fellow got inspired by your post and tries for admission in these places u would laugh behind his back at his lack of knowledge compared to yours. Unless there are sweeping reforms. and transparency in the research field better don’t advertise it

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 21:36h, 26 July Reply

      Dear “math sucks” aka Aditya Bawane,

      Our aim was not to entice anyone to study anything, we gave a clear cut reviewed view of the best places in India to study math. We didn’t ask anyone to study there,. its a matter of personal choice.

      However, what you mention has not been unheard of, but let us also point out to you that we have in our team a person who has been to a interview at one of these places, and he assures us that the only personal question they asked him was what was his home town, nothing else, rest of the interview was all about math.

      But, still we hope you will not take such a negative attitude towards us, we are only trying to give out information.

      -The Gonit Sora Team.

      • Help me..!!
        Posted at 23:35h, 01 August Reply

        Hello Gonit Sora Team,

        I have done my Bachelor in Mathematics from V.P & R.P.T.P. Science College affiliated to Sardar Patel University in Vallabh Vidhyanagar, Gujarat India. My program was three year program. Now my problem is I would like to study for Master in Mathematics from the best university whose study is valid internationally that is in America(US). What should I do? Can anyone guide me?

        • Gonit Sora
          Posted at 11:03h, 02 August Reply

          Degrees from all UGC recognised institutes are valid in USA. But it is better if you pursue it in places like IITs, IISERs, CMI, ISIs, IMSc, TIFR, HRI or central universities.

          • rajashekhar
            Posted at 09:35h, 25 May

            @gonit sora : first of all , thanks for enlightening the students and bringing awareness among people about mathematics. Please guide me whether am i eligible for doing post graduation in mathematics , if so what are the best institutes in india for doing my post graduation in mathematics and what are the admission procedures for the latter?
            awaiting for your reply.


          • Gonit Sora
            Posted at 16:23h, 31 May

            Thanks for your feedback. Can you give details of your career so that we can better access your question and answer accordingly.

        • gowtham
          Posted at 14:41h, 13 March Reply


    • Tituraj (@tituraj)
      Posted at 10:15h, 10 October Reply

      @Math Sucks. The comment that you have written is totally uncalled for. There is no denying of reality but I shall stand by Gonit Sora for spreading the awareness about Mathematics as a career. This is excellent. Most of the students and teachers do not know various avenues in the field of mathematics. Such information sharing will definitely help pupils. I think this is not the right platform to talk about socio-cultural problems. I hope you understand my point and appreciate it as well.

      • Gonit Sora
        Posted at 14:32h, 10 October Reply

        Thanks a lot for your comment. We appreciate it.

      • Shantanu
        Posted at 12:42h, 01 December Reply

        Hey! I am aspiring to study M.S. Mathematics from USA.. What is the possible scope of the subject in corporate world both in India as well as USA. What are the prospects of jobs except teaching & research..

        • Gonit Sora
          Posted at 20:08h, 07 December Reply

          There are lots of prospects nowadays, starting from actuarial sciences to financial sciences. Industries, insurance companies, banks, software developers etc all employ mathematicians.

    • rakesh
      Posted at 18:23h, 18 July Reply

      @ “math sucks”-> i strongly request the author to remove this dirty misleading comment from this page.
      With great darkness and ignorance, the ‘math sucks’ is really polluting the environment.
      i m an MTech in Microelectronics but still respect maths because without it nothing can be designed or simulated and also without it Physics is baseless.Nowadays bio-maths is also available as elective required for biologist.
      ‘Mathematics is the Backbone of Science’

      • Gonit Sora
        Posted at 15:15h, 20 July Reply

        Thanks a lot for the comment. The comment hasn’t been deleted because we thought people should have the right to say what they feel like, unless its totally useless things. But we will take care of your concerns in the future. And we do hope your views are shared by the others as well.

    • vivek
      Posted at 19:44h, 22 December Reply

      dear maths sucks…your lack of maturity and dedication of hating maths make me surprised..i was in search of such a dumb ass..i am a student pursuing maths..just because you puke while solving easy maths problems..doesnt mean you just babble nonsense..i have deep sympathy for you..any math doubt let me know..

  • Shubham
    Posted at 22:28h, 26 July Reply

    I know i may be really late for applying to the above universities but do you think there are any chances of me getting in there, i am really eager to join one of them above as i have a lot of interest in maths. Could you by any means help me out of it.
    Waiting for your urgent reply

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 19:11h, 04 August Reply

      The admission procedure to the above places have already closed. We will be opening a career related news section soon, keep visiting that section for information regarding the admission procedures for the next year.

  • sagar
    Posted at 22:02h, 06 August Reply

    i read in cls 9, pls let me know from which cls will i hav 2 start preparing for the IIT JEE Enrance exam.. also pls tel me which is the best coaching institute in assam for IIT JEE entrance exam preparation……………..eagerly waiting for your reply

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 08:40h, 07 August Reply

      Sagar, ideally 2 years of extensive preparation for IITJEE is anough, but to be on the safe side you should start preparing right from now. Remember, you are competing with the best in the country, and not only from Assam.

      As regards to coaching institutes, we can’t say definitely that this one is the best, but from our experience we see that the materials of FIITJEE and Brilliant Tutorials are better than the rest.

  • Salah Kaddumi
    Posted at 13:24h, 09 August Reply

    Thank you

  • prayagdeep parija
    Posted at 14:20h, 28 August Reply

    in addition to these institutes institute of mathematics bhubaneswar and NISER bhubaneswar also provide advanced bsc and integrated msc programmes respectively.these r new but hold a lot of promise

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 13:40h, 29 August Reply

      Yes indeed. Thanks a lot for your comment.

    • prayagdeep parija
      Posted at 07:25h, 15 June Reply

      as far as msc is confirmed a good place to do is ramakrishna mission vivekananda university but it does the program in alternate years

      • Gonit Sora
        Posted at 13:24h, 18 June Reply

        Yes, that is correct.

  • Sagar
    Posted at 19:46h, 27 October Reply

    Thank you for ur help…:)

  • meenal
    Posted at 20:40h, 17 January Reply

    hey!!! i was wondering if you can give me an idea of the scope in mathematics after pursuing the integrated ms degree….

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 13:15h, 18 January Reply

      Sure, we would love to. Kindly tell us what specific query you have in mind?

  • Sonu
    Posted at 22:49h, 31 January Reply

    Hi, I am an undergraduate student and rescently gave the
    NBHM PhD Scholarship Test.I think my score is 18 out of
    40.Do I have any chance of being called for an interview
    at IMSc?
    Thank You.

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 17:37h, 11 February Reply

      Normally the cut off for the NBHM exam at IMSc is 18. So you should be called if you score 18 or higher marks. If possible please share the questions with us at [email protected]

    • priyanka
      Posted at 12:14h, 09 June Reply

      hai,please i want to know the syllabus and reference books for NBHM integrated phD entrance exam

      • Gonit Sora
        Posted at 19:55h, 10 June Reply

        The syllabus includes almost all of undergraduate mathematics, many books have been suggested by us in the earlier comments.

        • priyanka
          Posted at 13:55h, 11 June Reply

          thank you for your reply sir…..
          and i want to know, what is the estimated cut off for NBHM integrated phD entrance exam and then how many students are selected from the interview at IMSc?

          • Gonit Sora
            Posted at 16:35h, 11 June

            The cutoffs vary from year to year, but around 50-60% is a good enough score to get a call. IMSc has no fixed intake, it depends mainly on the willingness of the faculty and the talent of the candidate.

          • priyanka
            Posted at 17:22h, 11 June

            thank you very much sir…

    • priyanka
      Posted at 12:56h, 10 June Reply

      hi, please i want to know the syllabus and reference books for NBHM ENTRANCE EXAM (integrated phD)

  • eswaralal
    Posted at 21:38h, 08 February Reply

    i want to write cmi phd maths entrance exam. so, please inform how to prepare this type of exam.

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 17:39h, 11 February Reply

      The CMI exam tests the knowledge at the MSc level in India. Apart from a massive amount of problem solving you need to be thorough with the fundamental concepts of the subject. Some practice papers are available in the CMI website. Please go through them. Algebra and Analysis are the key areas in the exam.

  • DP
    Posted at 01:50h, 29 February Reply

    Can anyone please tell me what are the career options after doing post-graduation in Mathematics like which companies employ,what kind of package they give,what is the career growth and all.

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 12:06h, 29 February Reply

      Many software companies are now willing to recruit math graduates, but you need to have a strong background in some basic computer courses. The career potentials are enormous provided your skills are developed adequately.

      • Richa Sharma
        Posted at 16:03h, 07 August Reply

        I am a student of final year Bsc (H) Mathematics and i would like to prepare for entrance in CMI.
        Can you please suggest some books for the preparation of the entrances in CMI.
        would be really thankful..

        • Gonit Sora
          Posted at 12:21h, 08 August Reply

          Right from the start focus on clearing your concepts and follow good books. Indulge in a lot of problem solving from books like Munkres for Topology, Rudin for Analysis, Halmos for Linear Algebra and Herstein for Algebra. Best of luck.

  • josh
    Posted at 04:25h, 02 March Reply

    i have completed my btech.. so wat is that i have to do… i mean can u give me a career guidance in maths related.. i am very much interested in mathematics

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 20:18h, 04 March Reply

      First of all, please tell us in what branch you have done your B.Tech? Its easier to get into math from CSE or ECE.

  • Jack Hedegard
    Posted at 04:41h, 15 March Reply

    Love the site, bookmarking and will be back soon.

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 15:07h, 16 March Reply

      Thanks a lot.

  • Shyam
    Posted at 00:07h, 03 April Reply

    I have completed my B.Tech in EC.I would like to do M.Tech in maths.Which all colleges offer M.Tech in maths.

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 14:34h, 08 April Reply

      There is no MTech in Mathematics as such. You can either opt for an MS in Mathematics, an Integrated MS-PhD in Mathematics or an MTech in Computational Mathematics or Mathematics and Computing.

      • Pallavi
        Posted at 12:31h, 13 December Reply

        Also Mtech in Applieg mathematics is also one option.
        M i right?

        • Gonit Sora
          Posted at 10:31h, 27 December Reply

          Yes, you are right Pallavi.

  • v ravitheja
    Posted at 15:05h, 03 April Reply

    which is best for MSc in IITs through JAM
    OR at CMI or at ISI kolkata this year

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 14:35h, 08 April Reply

      CMI and ISI being uni-directional is always better to study if you have a genuine interest in the subject. However, if you do not want to go into hard core research than IITs are also very good.

  • Shyam
    Posted at 23:55h, 09 April Reply

    Which all colleges offer M.Tech in computational mathematics.

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 14:24h, 10 April Reply

      It is offered in some of the IITs.

      • Prayagdeep parija
        Posted at 19:52h, 11 October Reply

        an mtech in maths is also offered by pune U

  • Shyam
    Posted at 23:11h, 10 April Reply

    Are there any colleges other than IITs that offer this course.

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 12:31h, 12 April Reply

      We will have to check and get back to you.

  • priya
    Posted at 23:23h, 17 May Reply

    hi i completed my btech (ECE). i am very much intrested in maths. can i do ms maths after btech . if i choose this field will it effect my career ???

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 12:20h, 23 May Reply

      Yes, you can opt for Math after BTech in ECE. There will be no hamper in this case, you may try to work with graphs, networks etc. Of course you will have to already have a good background in some parts of mathematics. People doing ECE have even gone on to fields like number theory etc.

    • tarun
      Posted at 01:00h, 03 July Reply

      hi priya, i am going to complete in ece next year. i wonder if u could help me by sharing what are you doing now and what did you do to get into mathematics degree?

  • MSc in math
    Posted at 11:23h, 18 May Reply

    I am preparing for CMI for Msc in application of mathematics, can you tell some online link for material or problems similar to their exam standard. Please reply soon

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 12:21h, 23 May Reply

      The CMI website has a sample paper online. You can try that. The actual paper pattern differs very little from the sample.

  • Vardhan
    Posted at 10:18h, 25 May Reply

    Hi Sir,
    Recently, I got admission at one of the IISER-s for integrated phd in math. But I wish to do my phd at tifr mumbai, cmi or isi. What are the complications in switching my college again for Ph.D after finishing the M.S Degree from IISER? In particular I am worried if I might be forced into doing a third year for MS(for thesis work)? Also, do you think that the exposure that one can get for research at iiser is equivalent as compared to established institutes such as IISc, TIFR, CMI, ISI etc?

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 13:29h, 25 May Reply

      Dear Varadhan, congratulations on getting into the IISER. Can you specify in which IISER and what kind of math are you interested in?

      The following points:

      1. There are no such complications, because you will in any case spend one or two semesters at those institutes on course work, where you will learn some new things apart from the things learned in your MS course.

      2. Of course there is less mathematical exposure in IISERs compared to TIFR, IMSc, CMI, ISI, HRI etc. Its is because these institutes focus mainly in research in math and also they have very active people who are well networked all over the world.

      If you are more interested in Algebra or Algebraic Geometry then IISER Mohali is a good choice due to the presence of Prof. Passi, Prof. Paranjape etc there. The others IISER have a relatively less matured faculty, but none the less everyone is very talented and have done some exemplary research work.

      If you have any more queries feel free to ask.

  • Sonu
    Posted at 10:53h, 27 May Reply

    Hello Sir ,
    I am a 3 rd year B . Sc student and gave the entrance exam for M Sc / PhD mathematics for CMI for my M Sc . As this paper is the same for students applying for M Sc and Phd courses so they have mentioned in their
    website ( where the syllabus for the entrance exam is given ) that their general policy has been to keep the same question paper for M sc and PhD levels having separate cut – offs . I think that my score will be around 65 – 70 % percent . Is there any chance for me for being called for the interviews ?
    Thank You .

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 14:16h, 27 May Reply

      Yes, there is a good chance. The usual undergraduate cutoffs at CMI are around 70%. The MSc cutoffs will be similar. But still, prepare to look into other avenues. By the way, if you have the question paper or have some of the questions memorized, then please post it here. It may help others preparing for the same exam.

      In case of any more queries feel free to ask.

  • Sonu
    Posted at 17:16h, 27 May Reply

    Is this the cut – off for students applying for the M Sc or is it for the PhD course ? The level of questions is more or less the same as given in the CMI website . This year’s question paper will be soon put up in their website .

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 13:16h, 01 June Reply

      The cut off varies for both the exams.

  • Sonu
    Posted at 13:09h, 07 June Reply

    For M.Sc and Integrated PhD which of these institutes is the most suitable for pursuing a research career in analysis and topology – TIFR Bangalore , IMSC , HRI , IISc , ISI , CMI ?

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 13:09h, 11 June Reply

      RKMU is also a good option apart from ISI, IMSc and TIFR.

      • Sonu
        Posted at 17:53h, 11 June Reply

        What do you mean by RKMU ?

        • Gonit Sora
          Posted at 03:36h, 12 June Reply

          Ram Krishna Mission University, Belurmath, WB.

  • Arpana Mehta
    Posted at 11:08h, 17 June Reply

    The article was very helpful !
    thanks a lot !!!….. 🙂

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 13:25h, 18 June Reply

      Thanks. Really glad you liked it.

  • Sumeet
    Posted at 20:18h, 17 June Reply

    Hi Gonit,

    Thanks for such a nice article. Could you please clarify one of my doubt and suggest me. It would be very helpful for me.

    I am BE in E&TC working as a software developer in IBM India with over 3 years of experience. I am earning handsome salary and there is absolutely no need to change the field.

    But somewhere in my mind I always realise some kind of passion for Mathematics and that’s why want to achieve a status there. Could you please guide me so that I can make a good career in Mathematics earning handsome salary too :).

    Thanks a lot,
    Sumeet Sharma

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 13:27h, 18 June Reply

      The academics in institutes earn a lot of money, not to mention research grants and trips to attend conferences in various places all over the world. The first step for you to do is to get a PhD in your choice of field.

  • Guddu
    Posted at 12:11h, 18 June Reply

    I’m 1st year undergrad at JU. I want to do Msc/MS in IIT/ISI/CMI. How should I prepare? Are there any coaching institute?

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 13:28h, 18 June Reply

      There may be some institutes in Delhi. But it is always better to prepare yourself. There are sample papers with syllabuses in the ISI and CMI websites. Go through them and see where you stand. Do your undergraduate studies properly specially algebra, topology and analysis. For IITs there are sample papers and previous years question papers of JAM available in the market. Collect those and try to solve them.

  • Sarveswara
    Posted at 16:39h, 19 June Reply

    What is the right age to start preparing for CMI/ISI Math programs. I am asking this for my daughter who is in class 6 now. She does some advanced maths but she dont know where she stands compared to others. It may be too early now to aim for CMI etc but I also dont want her to loose interest or not get information and not make it later.
    Please guide me on how to proceed


    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 21:17h, 19 June Reply

      Hi, there is no ideal age, but 2 years of serious preparation in the HS years provided the student has a good understanding of the basics of math and has an aptitude in problem solving should be enough to get her through. However, its advisable to do Olympiad problems as much as possible. This website contains some problems that might be suitable for your daughter.

  • maverick
    Posted at 18:50h, 21 June Reply

    sir what about the courses(like Maths honors) offered at DU? And what are the other scopes after pursuing Bsc in maths?

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 08:58h, 22 June Reply

      It depends on the colleges also. For example a degree from St. Stephen’s or Hindu will be better than some other college. In what kind of work are you interested? Maybe if you are clearer than we can help you better.

      • Neeraj Bhauryal
        Posted at 16:22h, 23 June Reply

        doing Math(h) from DU is just waste of time if you’re really serious in studying it

        • Gonit Sora
          Posted at 16:56h, 23 June Reply

          CMI is the best in the country. 🙂

          • Abhishek
            Posted at 02:54h, 24 June

            But CMI and ISI together take less than 60 students a year 🙁
            Most of will have to be content with BSc Hons. from Central or State Unis and supplement that with MTTS and/or Summer internships to be on equal grounds with a CMI-ite or ISI-ian.
            On the other hand, the Mathematics courses at IITs and IISERs for the first 3 years seem to be on the same level as most Central and State Unis, at least in terms of structure…..

          • Gonit Sora
            Posted at 08:56h, 24 June

            Inspite of having similar course structure, the IITs and IISERs give you more exposure to research.

  • Neeraj Bhauryal
    Posted at 16:10h, 23 June Reply

    Really good to see such a wonderfull and excellent site
    currently i have given 2nd yr Math(h) exams from KMC,DU.
    i would like to study in TIFR/ISI/CMI/HRI/IMSc, i know that they are hard nuts to crack but i am very much interested in it and for this i do problems mainly from Anlaysis and Algebra,i also use AoPS site,could you please suggest me any reference where i can find problems and solutions which would help me in cracking these exams.
    Thank You !!!

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 16:54h, 23 June Reply

      Thanks a lot. Your appreciation is a booster to make us work harder. The books by AMS on Analysis Problems are really good. You can also try the books by P. R. Halmos on Linear Algebra. They are classic. Read basic topology also, as there will be questions from it too.

      • Neeraj Bhauryal
        Posted at 07:54h, 30 June Reply

        any good book for Abstract Algebra problems?

        • Gonit Sora
          Posted at 18:29h, 01 July Reply

          Begin with Herstein’s book and then move on to Dummit and Foote.

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 02:24h, 24 June Reply

    What’s the best place in Calcutta to do a BSc. Hons in Mathematics? Presidency, Xaviers, Scottish Church or Jadavpur?

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 08:54h, 24 June Reply

      All of them are good. Try IISER Kolkata.

  • Abhishek
    Posted at 02:57h, 24 June Reply

    More specifically, what are the best colleges under Calcutta University for Mathematics Hons.? Presidency has become a University while Xaviers and RKMV Belur Math are autonomous institutions……

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 08:55h, 24 June Reply

      We shall have to get back to you on this after some time.

  • maverick
    Posted at 14:28h, 24 June Reply

    I’m really interested in maths and would like to pursue it further… I just cleared my 12th class exams with 93.5%. I’m not eligible for pursuing Maths(H) at Stephens or probably Hindu too n too late for IISERs n CMI…
    Sir is it worth going for Maths(H) in some good DU col or simple Bsc at St Stephens(provided i clear the interview)?
    Also NIT Rourkela provides 5 year MSc in Maths.. I hv 20000 rank in aieee n stand a chance…

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 20:10h, 24 June Reply

      NITs are not so good, if you want to go into pure mathematics.

    • Neeraj Bhauryal
      Posted at 07:56h, 30 June Reply

      you can take Math(h) in collge like Hansraj and Hindu, and should prepare for next year’s exam ISI and CMI , they are best

      • Gonit Sora
        Posted at 18:30h, 01 July Reply

        The syllabus of CMI is the most rigorous in the country.

  • yogesh
    Posted at 10:22h, 07 July Reply

    hello sir,
    I am currently in final(fourth) year of B.E. computer science and engineering.
    I am thinking of pursuing higher studies in mathematics.
    i mainly enjoy studying calculus, algebra etc. but i can’t seem to enjoy probability, is pure mathematics is a line for me rather than applied mathematics ?
    can you please tell me which is better for me, MSc or Phd according to my computer science background,and which colleges should i apply to.

    Thank you.

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 13:34h, 07 July Reply

      You can go to any branch you want, but probably Game Theory or Logic would be a good choice for you. Getting a Masters and then a PhD should be the priority. You should try for CMI or ISI for the Masters programme.

  • Vijay Singh
    Posted at 23:33h, 13 July Reply


    I had to drop my studies in between due to some personal reasons.But now I have completed my B.Sc. from au.I am 26 year old now but still have strong aptitude in maths.I don’t possess a good academic record but I do possess good mathematical skill and temperament.I have always been interested in making a career in research and still am tempted to do so. I cannot think of myself doing anything better than doing mathematics. I just want to know if still I do hold a chance or not.I would b very obliged if u could please tell if there’s some hope for me and how should I go about from here on. I do have financial problems as well.Please, Please guide me.

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 14:19h, 14 July Reply

      You can at any time pursue math, you just need the zeal and passion for it. Try to appear in the exams by NBHM and TIFR. Once you qualify they pay you for your studies with monthly stipends upto Rs. 18, 000 for 3-5 years.

      • Vijay Singh
        Posted at 19:36h, 14 July Reply

        As far as I know there is a max age limit to apply for NBHM scholarship.I think I exceed the age limit. What If I appear for cmi and isi.Will they consider me for admission if I qualify given the long gap that I have in my studies. Will the age and long gap will not be a hurdle for me in getting in to TIFR.What is average cut off in TIFR written examination. How should I prepare for TIFR interview.Currently I am 26 yrs old and hav done graduation this year from allahabad university with 54%. I have a good background in algebra and analysis. Please guide me

        • Gonit Sora
          Posted at 18:18h, 15 July Reply

          I think ISI and CMI would consider you. Some institutes like HRI, IMSc are sometimes liberal in their age matters, so you can directly talk to the faculty at these institutes regarding possible admission there.

          The average cutoff for TIFR written test is around 28-30 out of 40. You need to have a good background in both linear and abstract algebra for that test, apart from Topology and some amount of Number Theory. Please find last year’s question paper here:

          • Vijay Singh
            Posted at 19:06h, 15 July

            Thanks a lot for your valuable suggestions. HRI and IMSc take admissions through NBHM which I am not eligible to appear for.Do you think that age factor wont matter in getting in to TIFR. I truly appreciate your initiative of informing people about career in mathematics and answering there queries.Your prompt reply to the queries is really admirable. I love this site. Once again thanks a lot.

          • Gonit Sora
            Posted at 01:23h, 16 July

            As I said, there selection criteria can be relaxed for deserving candidates. Please talk to any faculty from these institutes whose interests matches yours. They may then be able to guide you further. I do not think age would matter at TIFR, all will depend on your ability.

            Thanks a lot for your kind words of appreciation. We would love to hear from you about any suggestions for the website. Please feel free to email us. and do pass on the info about us to others.

  • Rama Subramaniam
    Posted at 18:08h, 19 July Reply

    When should i apply for INMO please suggest where to get the applications,and also syllabus

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 15:14h, 20 July Reply

      You should first appear for RMO which is held normally in November each year. Which state are you from?

  • shrey
    Posted at 11:51h, 21 July Reply

    I am taking gap this year to prepare for these( cmi ,isi for bsc) exams .My high school as well as competitive type math is good (that is why I aimed to pursue career in it) and now I am doing olympiad type maths with full coverage of basics, theory and problems Is it right way to prepare by self study? ( I will some DU college for this year so not to waste this 1 year by sitting in home ideally.) so that if any doubt occurs, I can ask someone (teachers etc.) about it. Though I am pretty much sure about my selection there, in cmi, isi, (because I will not be starting from zero level). next year but I think I may get rejected in interview due to a gap year . can that be the reason for somebody’s rejection?
    P.S. : I have taken admission in a DU college, so this will be not quite a GAP.

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 13:08h, 21 July Reply

      That should not be a hindrance if you do well in your interviews. Self study is best for these kinds of exams. Best wishes to you.

    • Neeraj
      Posted at 19:01h, 21 July Reply

      gap dosen’t matter , this is my personal experience

  • shrey
    Posted at 12:46h, 23 July Reply

    I am going to prepare for cmi, isi for next year .so I have this one to year for preparation . But I was confused whether to for only problem solving books like those mentioned at cmi’s website in addition with a few general books recommended for theory or to go first for theory and deeply understanding every topic like I am planning to do different books for different topics like 1-2 for inequality, 1-2 for geometry and so on. And then go for books like challenges and thrill of precollege mathematics, russian circles etc. as they contain good &challenging problems from all branches.I think this process is going to take so much time and I will be able to complete whole syllabus only by december or january, if I study hard.Please advice on which path should I go, though latter seems more trustworthy and going to benefit me on the long run.

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 13:52h, 24 July Reply

      I think you should go for the later approach. Also solve the book by Arthur Engel called ‘Problem Solving Strategies’, and do look at the previous years CMI question papers available at its website. Best wishes.

  • Niru
    Posted at 19:04h, 27 July Reply

    I completed B.Tech(I.T) and working as s/w engineer in an MNC since 2 yrs.
    I would like to get into maths stream , of course i need to brushup my maths skills as i lost touch with maths these 2 yrs.
    what steps i need to follow to turn into maths stream.
    Is there any opportunity to do masters in Maths by part time,as i am working.

    Waiting for ur reply.

    Thanks in Advance,

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 19:17h, 27 July Reply

      Yes, you can always opt for any university offering a masters program in math in distance mode. But it is always better to do a full time course. You can start with brushing up your algebra and analysis first and then apply for any of the places mentioned in the article. Infact there are lots of mathematicians of repute who started out as engineering students. Best wishes.

  • arohi jain
    Posted at 21:26h, 27 July Reply

    I have taken commerce with maths in 11th and 12th.Can i opt for maths honours in ISI and please also tell the blueprint of the entrance exam

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 21:50h, 27 July Reply

      Yes, you can apply for ISI, you need to have only math and english as your subjects.
      As far as the exam is concerned, the written test will have two components, one objective type of 30 questions and one subjective type of 10 questions. This will be followed by interviews among a few selected students. The test is a standard math test of the level of IIT JEE and INMO.

  • Deepti
    Posted at 18:06h, 06 September Reply

    please tel me some books from where i can learn real analysis from the very basics. also if u can suggest any website with videos so that learning the subject can be easier and lot more fun.

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 21:38h, 10 September Reply

      The best introductory book is ‘Introduction to Real Analysis’ by Bartle and Sherbert. You can also read ‘Calculus’ by Apostol.

      Please check back after a few days, we shall post some videos here.

  • damanvir
    Posted at 21:43h, 06 September Reply

    any comparable institution in north india

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 21:39h, 10 September Reply

      IISER Mohali, HRI.

  • shrey
    Posted at 15:33h, 08 September Reply

    I have come to know recently about a book published by isi for isi aspirants named test of mathematics at 10+2 level . can you please tell me how and from where I can get this book? also tell in order to completely solve this book what I am required to solve or do beforehand?

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 21:40h, 10 September Reply

      We are yet unaware of the book. We shall try to locate it soon.

  • Neeraj Bhauryal
    Posted at 18:48h, 08 September Reply

    Hello , i have talked with you earlier also it was lovely talking to you, one more help i would like to get from you, i am preparing for Msc Math entrances and doing it at home myself so i was thinking about buying some coaching institute’s material ,could you please suggest me some institute(s) whose material will be good to practice questions,thankYou

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 21:40h, 10 September Reply

      Generally the books mentioned in the earlier comments would be enough. However, it would be improper for us to suggest a coaching institute here.

  • nisha
    Posted at 19:47h, 09 September Reply

    hi i want to go for integrated M Sc and P H D in mathematics. Can u plz guide me how should i start preparing for entrance exams???????(im a 3rd kirori mal college delhi university student)

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 21:41h, 10 September Reply

      Brush up your real analysis, topology and algebra very well. These are the thrust areas in the interviews. The books mentioned in the earlier comments are really very good.

      • nisha
        Posted at 22:18h, 11 September Reply

        will bartle sherbert n s c malik fr analysis, freidberg gallian n herstein fr algebra and josebh bak for topology enough for prepration ????? plz suggest if any other book………

        • Gonit Sora
          Posted at 12:08h, 12 September Reply

          Yes they would be enough. You can also check James Mukres for Topology and Artin for Algebra, they are also really good. Try to solve the problems in the exercises.

          • nisha
            Posted at 20:26h, 12 September

            thank u………..

    Posted at 02:30h, 14 September Reply

    i m in 4th year of mechanical engineering.i have deep interest in mathematics.can i do msc in mathemathematics.please reply me as soon as possible

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 13:26h, 14 September Reply

      Yes of course you can do.

  • Maverick
    Posted at 23:23h, 25 September Reply

    Hello Sir
    I m pursuing Bsc at St Stephens(1st yr) and want to pursue maths in higher education. The course that we are doing currently is not very challenging and grilling. I request you to provide suggestions so that I don’t kill my interest and have a profound foundation at the end of the 3 years to perform well in JAM n other entrance tests.

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 17:44h, 27 September Reply

      Read from good textbooks like Herstein for Algebra, Bartle and Terence Tao for Analysis and Munkres for topology, and practise lots of ODE and PDEs.

      • Maverick
        Posted at 23:01h, 27 September Reply

        Thanks! I’ll try and follow these…

      • Pavithra
        Posted at 10:09h, 28 April Reply

        i jus finished my 12th this year..i have a great interest in mathematics but i lack interest in physics..right now im confused to choose my career between engineering and BSc Math..can you tell me the scope for both these..and please help me choose my career..awaiting your reply..!!

        • Gonit Sora
          Posted at 12:54h, 12 May Reply

          It really depends on your career goals and interest. If you are more specific, we can give you a specific answer.

  • AJ
    Posted at 02:09h, 27 September Reply

    Now i am in 1st year doing my bsc in can you please suggest future career scope apart from msc and phd.

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 17:46h, 27 September Reply

      You can ofcourse go to industry. If you are interested in computers then you can try your hand at cryptography and programming. Also there are aspects like actuarial sciences and financial mathematics, that are also very lucrative career prospects nowadays.

  • Nihar
    Posted at 21:19h, 29 September Reply

    Hello sir
    I am doing B.E. in mechanical engineering from BITS pilani.
    But I am interested in maths want to do MS maths. Is it possible for me to do so as you were saying that getting into maths from CS or ECE background is easier. If it is possible whats is the best way to do that. Also can I get admission for MS in US because I heard they would require courses in Undergraduate maths like topology and abstract algebra to be completed. Thanks in advance for your reply.

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 11:42h, 01 October Reply

      You can certainly try. You can write to a prospective university giving your details and they will write back to you if they can accept your application. Normally the universities in the US has a graduate admissions cell, you can write to them regarding your admission there. I do not see a problem with you getting admitted if you have good recommendations and academic records.

  • Vishaka Dilnith
    Posted at 17:01h, 19 October Reply

    Hello Sir,

    Now i am in 2nd year of bsc (PCM). i would like to pursue Integrated Phd in Maths, Please suggest me the Entrance exams to join good University which offers Integrated Phd in Maths. Also some of the best colleges and Universities for MSc Mathemathics in Karnataka without entrance exam. what’s the scope for Applied Mathematics compared to General Mathematics. what are the Career oppourtunities in both Applied Mathematics and General Mathematics.

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 17:46h, 23 October Reply

      You can try to give the NBHM and TIFR examinations for Integrated PhD in mathematics. Most of the institutes take students based on these exams and followed by a personal interview.

      If you are interested in joining industries, then applied math is the way to go. But pure math is also lagging behind in this case.

      Job prospects include industrial mathematics, cryptography, code breaking, alogorithms designing etc.

  • parth
    Posted at 00:57h, 31 October Reply

    I am a B.Tech. EC final year guy and want to know about exams coming up for MS or MSc courses of computational mathematics in respected and well known institutes and also the forms and their submission dates.

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 12:51h, 01 November Reply

      You can apply to the IITs through JAM 2013.

  • sarvesh iyer
    Posted at 22:04h, 01 November Reply

    Hello Sir,
    I am 12th standard and i am keenly interested in pursuing mathematics in graduation . I am aiming for CMI or IISC or ISI . Can you suggest me any books that i can refer to prepare for entrance exams. I am already preparing for KVPY . thanks in advance

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 22:13h, 05 November Reply

      You can follow the books for Olympiads and the general boards syllabus. Also IITJEE and AIEEE problem solving would help you a lot.

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