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).

  • Afraz Siddiqui
    Posted at 19:33h, 26 May Reply

    Sir , i just completed my 12 th with a score of 100 in maths. I am interested in pursuing a career in maths. Can you please help meby telling which college can apply for?

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 16:25h, 31 May Reply

      All the colleges mentioned in this article are good ones, you must apply to these.

  • Math123
    Posted at 20:30h, 28 May Reply

    How many are selected for interview at CMI(bsc)?

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 16:27h, 31 May Reply

      The results will be out by June 15th. Normally they take in about 40-50 students.

  • pooja
    Posted at 19:35h, 30 May Reply

    what is the scope after doing msc in maths?
    Only teaching and research,………???????

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 16:26h, 31 May Reply

      You can go into banking, finance and software industry also to name a few. The opportunities are enormous if you have the potential.

      • pooja
        Posted at 18:58h, 02 June Reply

        and wat is d scope if we do Plain Bsc means Bsc without specialization in maths and thn we opt for Msc maths honors.?
        does it create any difference for those who opt for bsc maths honors and who opt only for simple bsb without specialization…….?????

        • Gonit Sora
          Posted at 19:52h, 10 June Reply

          Your career path is determined by how you study the subject in your post graduation and/or PhD. So according to us, apart from being a little nehind your contemporaries there will be not much harm to your career.

  • neha
    Posted at 00:29h, 03 June Reply

    hi…i completed my bsc in maths from delhi university.And i am doing my post grad from the same.Could you please suggest me job options after my post grad

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 19:53h, 10 June Reply

      As already mentioned in many previous comments, mathematics graduates are offered a variety of jobs from banking to telecommunications to finance to academics. The type of job depends on your skillset.

  • Shushant Pandey
    Posted at 02:59h, 04 June Reply

    Sir I have passed my 12th in 2011. I took a year’s drop. Currently I am in an engineering college first year but I am deeply interested in Maths. I want to get admission in ISI Calcutta or CMI. Will the big gap after 12 affect my career if I go for admission in these institutes now. Please guide me sir.

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 19:54h, 10 June Reply

      It would not matter much if you are good. However it would be best for you to complete your engineering course and then apply for masters in math.

  • Gurinder
    Posted at 20:51h, 09 June Reply

    hi …i just given my 3rd year exams and going to do msc maths after tht from government clg ,ludhiana , punjab .. i m gud student scoring near 90% marks in 1st n 2nd yr …… can u plz tell me what exams i should give during msc or after that ,, i want to do phd in applied mathematics from one of top colleges in india .. can u guide me how can i get admission in one n pass ugc/net exam during my msc.

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 19:56h, 10 June Reply

      For applied math, IITs, IISc and TIFR-CAM are the best institutes in India. TIFR conducts their own written exam followed by interviews, while IITs and IISc take in students via GATE, CSIR-NET, NBHM, INSPIRE programmes.

      • gurinder
        Posted at 09:53h, 11 June Reply

        thnx fr info.

  • ram
    Posted at 19:47h, 10 June Reply

    My son has attempted CMI entrance in 2013 and is expecting to get about 66 to 70%. What are his chances of getting into CMI

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 19:57h, 10 June Reply

      They are pretty good, the results will be out in less than a week’s time.

  • sakshi batra
    Posted at 17:46h, 14 June Reply

    i am cs 3rd year i wanna do my masters in maths. can u suggest me what shud i do. and what type of jobs will b there in india??
    awaiting for ur reply.

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 19:26h, 14 June Reply

      Hi Sakshi, you have a very good background for a career in mathematics. If you specialize in number theory or graph theory, you can apply your CS skills to do a job related to internet security, design of cryptosystems, etc. In case of any queries, please revert back with specific question.

  • D
    Posted at 23:54h, 14 June Reply

    ONLY 21 names for in applications of mathematics at CMI -.-
    how many seats are there, any idea?

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 11:10h, 08 July Reply

      There are no fixed number of seats in any programme of CMI or ISI.

  • Deva
    Posted at 15:52h, 28 June Reply

    Thanks a lot for your valuable suggestions. It is such a pleasure and admirations should be there to spend time and answer all others question.Based on info in this site, I pulled down some info regarding entrance exams for various institutions mentioned in your web. I came across some of the few exams are happen every year for Higher studies in Maths. That I have mentioned below.. Exams are,CSIR-UGC NET for JRF; or UGC-NET for JRF; or DBT JRF; or ICMR JRF; or JEST 2013; or NBHM 2013; or IISc Entrance Test 2013; or GATE 2012/2013 or INSPIRE Fellows (for Ph D) But I couldn’t find some of the core info .It will really add enormous valve we get answer for these queries in this website.
    1) Entrance examination and corresponding eligibility course (In case of B.E/B.Tech, these r d exams can b availed for pursuing higher study, In case of BSc u need to take these exam)
    2) Colleges(Top level universities like TIFR,IISc,IMSc,HRI,NISER and IITs etc) and corresponding acceptable entrances exams(Such as TIFR only accepts TIFR Entrance test & For IISc they accept everything above mentioned)
    3) Expected Cut-Off for each exam categories for Qualification?
    4) Consolidated books list from basics to expertise in subject matter(I knew u mentioned few above in ur web)
    5) Seats availability in each institution?
    6) Expecting days of notification & Exam?(If possible Links)
    As far as I know, I put down all info which would help full to all &if we get answer, this web will become Single point source for higher studies in Maths)
    Thanks a lot once again.

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 11:12h, 08 July Reply

      Hi, thanks a lot for your comment. Give us some time and we shall put up all the above info you requested in a separate article and put up a link of it in this article. In case, you want to help us you can surely email us.

      • Deva
        Posted at 12:25h, 08 July Reply

        Thanks a lot.Looking forward to your new article with all info.

  • Sricharan
    Posted at 12:05h, 03 July Reply


    I am currently pursuing integrated M.Sc(Maths) degree and I am into the final leg of the course i.e.,project work. Could you please suggest me some topics for project which can drive me to good carrer?

    I am also bit confused whether to do the project in CS or Maths.

    Thanks in advance.

    Awaiting your valuable suggestions.

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 11:13h, 08 July Reply

      Hi, it would be good if you mention your specific research interests like in which field of CS or math you would like to do the project? Ideally it would be good if you pick up some important open problem and study the literature that is available till now, in that way you can learn a lot of stuff and keep up with the current trend of research in the field.

      • Sricharan
        Posted at 18:57h, 08 July Reply

        Thanks for your comment.I just want to know about the better option among OR and core maths topics like Number theory.

        • Gonit Sora
          Posted at 11:40h, 10 July Reply

          Number theory has lots of links with CS, so you may explore it. A topic of very much interest is primality testing.

  • Neeraj Bhauryal
    Posted at 20:53h, 04 July Reply

    Hello, I’ve been offered Admission at IISER Mohali for Int-PhD Math and my interest lies in Analysis, I want to do MS from Best Institute of India like TIFR,ISI,CMI,HRI,IMSc.
    Please guide me if i get admission to one of those shall i drop from IISER next year?

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 11:15h, 08 July Reply

      IISER Mohali has a very good math faculty and would be a good place for a PhD. But of course if you are interested in analysis then TIFR, IMSc, IISc and ISIs are also very good option. If you can get into any of these next year then you may reconsider IISER Mohali.

      • Neeraj Bhauryal
        Posted at 07:55h, 10 July Reply

        Sir I’ve heard that in India ,research is mainly in Algebraic Geometry ,Algebra and Number theory! Is that so?

        • Gonit Sora
          Posted at 11:41h, 10 July Reply

          No, that is not entirely correct. Different places have different focus groups of research, for example HRI’s focus is number theory, TIFR-CAM’s is differential equations and applied math and so on. Almost all topics of math are studied in India and good quality research comes out from it.

          • Neeraj Bhauryal
            Posted at 20:00h, 21 July

            Sir which one would be a good option for Analysis?

          • Gonit Sora
            Posted at 22:43h, 26 July

            For beginners the book by Bartle and Sherbert is very good.

          • Neeraj Bhauryal
            Posted at 22:31h, 27 July

            sir i was asking which one would be a good Institute for Analysis?

          • Gonit Sora
            Posted at 15:02h, 01 August

            All research institutes have a good group in analysis, normally the ISIs are a good place for doing analysis.

  • amrita
    Posted at 18:35h, 06 July Reply

    i want to ask if out of du and iitd, which is better for msc maths…?

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 11:15h, 08 July Reply

      Without any doubt IIT Delhi.

  • Abhishek De
    Posted at 09:33h, 08 July Reply

    I have cleared ISI(B.stat) and CMI this year. I love to do Maths(Olympiad types). I have interest in Computer Science also. But i have joined ISI. As heard by others that there are more chances of getiing offer of Phd from abroad, specially USA. I am also confused about type of computer syllabus in CMI. Is it comparable with IIT’s? Please suggest me as early as possible. CMI will start from 2nd August. Before that i have to take a final decision.

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 11:19h, 08 July Reply

      Both CMI and ISI are the best places for an undergraduate degree in math in India. Since CMI is relatively new compared to the ISIs so the ISIs have a stronger alumni based abroad. But in any case it depends upon you and your academic profile when you are applying to any institute abroad for a PhD. Both CMI and ISI will have equal weightage in the eyes of a potential institute. Since IITs are technological institutes so their CS courses would be better than CMI, and in any case the bachelor’s programme at CMI introduces only to the basics of CS and the more mathematically oriented topics of CS.

      • Amandeep
        Posted at 03:04h, 10 July Reply

        Hi my name is Amandeep and i am a postgraduate in Maths. And also got a BEd degree. I am moving to USA in couple of years. I want to know that what courses i can do in India to enhance my chances of getting a job in USA. Reply me plz @ [email protected]

        • Gonit Sora
          Posted at 11:40h, 10 July Reply

          In what kind of job you are interested?

          • Amandeep
            Posted at 12:17h, 10 July

            First of all thanx for the reply. First choice is to be a teacher and secondly anything related to maths field.

          • Gonit Sora
            Posted at 12:03h, 16 July

            Please tell us specifically what do you mean by ‘maths field’ because there are many things that you can do after studying math.

  • arkomit
    Posted at 16:29h, 14 July Reply

    hello sir,
    your post was helpful a lot. Such a guidance is always unique and lovable.

    I have just passed my higher secondary exams this year. But due to some problems I could not apply for ISI this year. Would it be possible to apply the next year? your comment on this would be a lot of helpfull.

  • arkomit
    Posted at 16:36h, 14 July Reply

    and I want to apply for first year at their. If ISI do not take is it possible that other research institutes take applications of one year drop students?
    sir, your help will be highly encouraging.

  • arkomit
    Posted at 00:13h, 15 July Reply

    your post was highly helpful. Such a guidance is always encouraging and lovable.

    My query was, does ISI take applications from students who have passed their Higher Secondary exams in the previous year? Due to some problems I could not apply for ISI this year. In that case if I apply next year for first year UG courses, will my application hold valid? If not, do any other universities from what you mentioned in your post provide with this facility?

    Your reply will be lifesaving from the point of view of my passion for maths.

    Thank you.

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 12:05h, 16 July Reply

      All the institutes mentioned in this post will accept your application, but they will ask the reason for the year loss in their interviews.

  • tarun agrawal
    Posted at 12:28h, 16 July Reply

    thanks for such valuable information and help in queries.
    i am in fourth year, ECE. but i want to pursue higher degree in mathematics like master degree and phd. you said i can still apply after completing in ECE.
    please mention the exams i can give for admission into institutes where i can go for master degree in maths after ECE.

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 22:41h, 26 July Reply

      The exams mentioned in this article should be given for you also.

  • arkomit
    Posted at 19:46h, 16 July Reply

    thank you sirs for the reply and the help.

  • shushant pandey
    Posted at 21:28h, 20 July Reply

    sir please tell me if a student who has taken one year drop after 12th class and has completed two years of (computer science branch) goes for admission to undergradute programmes of ISI OR CMI then would there be any serious problem in his career ahead. please help me sir i really need your help..
    i know he can apply for masters but there will be very less chance of getting selected for masters so will applying for b.stat good option…… waiting for your reply.

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 22:44h, 26 July Reply

      There would be no problem at all except the fact that you would loose two years. ISI and CMI has no problem in accepting good students on their merit irrespective of the circumstances, so you can give it a shot.

  • Shushant Pandey
    Posted at 09:36h, 29 July Reply

    sir it is often heard that people who solved 4 or more problems in ISI Subjective paper were disqualified but many got called to the interview who solved only one problem… is it so…. what do the examiners look for in the solution of the problem…

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 15:03h, 01 August Reply

      That is not the case, but there are exceptions. ISI looks for real talent and so if someone gives an ingenious solution to some problem then he will surely get a call for the interview.

  • sandeep
    Posted at 07:08h, 31 July Reply

    hi guys…………….
    actually i am in merchant navy since 4 yrs……….but i joined this profession for making family condition good. mathematics was my passion, still today i have so much . i used to teach me neighbours in my home stay period up to iit level guys who all are preparing for IIT-JEE. thay also used to tell me that you should do sth in maths. can u all suggest what should i do on this level…………….plz help me……………i wanna make my carrier in mathematics which was my passion.

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 15:05h, 01 August Reply

      If you can give us your level of education in mathematics then we can give you a better answer. But the ideal thing would be to get a PhD in math.

  • varsha v.r
    Posted at 20:38h, 02 August Reply

    Thank you fore the valuable information.Can you tell me about the job opportunities after completing M.Math and in which all areas can we apply for a job.

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 21:55h, 22 August Reply

      There are plenty of job oppurtunities after M.Math from ISI, you can apply for financial as well as software jobs.

  • Sushant
    Posted at 13:37h, 15 August Reply

    For preparation of ISI and CMI is it necessary to have a particular topic where we are required to focus more.
    I am solving books Maths Wit (In 2 volumes) by Prof. Shambhu Chatterjee. Are these enough. Can you suggest some additional books.

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 21:56h, 22 August Reply

      In which programme are you interested in applying?

      • Sushant
        Posted at 20:27h, 25 August Reply


        • Gonit Sora
          Posted at 21:56h, 25 August Reply

          The following books shall be useful:

          1. Problems Plus in IIT Mathematics by A. Dasgupta
          2. IIT Mathematics by K. D. Joshi
          3. Problem Solving Strategies by Arthur Engel
          4. Challenge and Thrill of Pre-college mathematics by Venkatachala
          5. Inequalities by B. J. Venkatachala
          6. Introductory Combinatorics by R. A. Brualdi

          Besides try to solve RMO and INMO problems.

          • Sushant
            Posted at 01:00h, 27 August

            As now there are only 8 months left for the exam can you please suggest study plans for best performance at B.Stat Entrance paper.

      • Vihan
        Posted at 10:50h, 06 September Reply

        sir, i am interested in b.math from isi …. could you please suggest me the right books ??

        • Gonit Sora
          Posted at 12:32h, 27 September Reply

          First clear up all the essentials of your class textbooks, and then try to solve previous year’s question poapers of IIT, ISI, CMI, etc. You should also look into the book ‘Problem Solving Strategies’ by Arthur Engel.

  • Abir Mukherjee
    Posted at 00:02h, 16 August Reply

    I am extremely interested in mathematics and computing at CMI.Please tell me how I should prepare for the entrance exam. I love maths and computer science equally,specially theoritical aspects of computer science. In pursuit of my interest. I have already completed the following books:
    1)School text book
    2)Problems Plus in IIT mathematics by ad gupta
    3)Higher algebra(hall&knight)
    4)Mathematical Analysis by G. N. Berman
    5)Advanced engineering mathematics(only differential equations &linear algebra parts)

    I want to know are these enough for preparing for CMI entrance test?
    Actually I am weak in chemistry.So I dont hope to get Mathematics and computing in IITs. So,the next best alternative is CMI.
    So,please help me sir. I really want to get into CMI.
    Thanks a lot

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 21:57h, 22 August Reply

      Hi, the books you have completed are quite good, but it is not enough. Try solving ‘Problem Solving Strategies’ by Arthur Engel and ‘JEE Mathematics’ by K. D. Joshi.

  • Sushant
    Posted at 00:16h, 01 September Reply

    Sir only 8 months left for ISI B.Stat paper. Can you suggest some study strategy for best performance in the entrance exam.

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 23:23h, 04 September Reply

      Try to clear your concepts and solve problems like the ones that came in the earlier years.

      • Vihan
        Posted at 10:59h, 06 September Reply

        sir, from where i get solutions of ‘test of mathematics’ ?

  • Prudhvi
    Posted at 13:42h, 04 September Reply


    I am doing M.Sc. Maths with specialization in Computer Science.
    Can I pursue a career in Pure Maths
    How do I go about finding a professor for my research.
    I am not very clear about many things.
    How to apply for NBHM exam

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 23:24h, 04 September Reply

      Yes, you can pursue a career in pure math. Apply for the NBHM exam via the NBHM website. And try to write to people whose research areas match your interests and then see their responses.

    Posted at 23:47h, 10 October Reply

    What is the eligibility criteria for HRI. What is the level of syllabus to be asked in Entrance and interviews (B.Sc. OR M.Sc.)
    Thank You

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 22:40h, 13 October Reply

      They normally ask questions from standard B.Sc syllabus. The eligubility is that you must be either poursuing your B.Sc (thrid year) or have compelted one. More details can be found in its website.

  • Rahul
    Posted at 22:37h, 15 October Reply

    When are the exams held by NBHM for HRI and IMSc for Msc entrance?
    when are the forms released and tentative dates for the xam?
    Thank You

    Posted at 19:49h, 26 October Reply

    i am class 12th student and want to do BSc and MSc . please let me know about the opportunities in teaching field or in any other field after doing it. Is going for M tech will be the better option? please tell me about the BS degree in maths.

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 20:04h, 27 October Reply

      The BS degree is a good option for those who wish to pursue a research career right after their bachelors degree. In India, IISc, University of Delhi and Gauhati University offers this course. There is a good scope for teaching after MSc if you clear the CSIR NET exam. MTech in applied branches of math is always a good choice.

  • Padma
    Posted at 15:09h, 27 October Reply

    Dear Sir

    My sister has done M.Sc (Applied mathematics) from HCU(Hyderabad Central University) 20 years back. After that she dedicated her self to her family and did not pursue career. But she still has the zeal and concepts alive. She is 42 years now. Are there any ways that she can pursue her career now. Please advice.


    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 20:05h, 27 October Reply

      Yes, she can start anytime she wants. There is no bar on age for doing an PhD in almost all institutes in India. But she needs to revise the topics that are taught in today’s courses.

  • Math Lover
    Posted at 17:26h, 28 October Reply


    Mine is probably the strangest case you’d have come across in a long time. Let me tell you my story in brief and then I’ll ask my questions.

    I am a 36 years old man, living in Delhi. While I was in my school, mathematics was my favourite subject, followed by physics, and I also excelled in these two subjects. However, when it came to choosing a stream in 11th, owing to several factors, I chose Commerce with mathematics. I did well in that and later did my BCom (H) from SRCC in Delhi. Simultaneously I completed my Chartered Accountancy by the age of 21 and joined the workforce. I have had a pretty smooth career, yet in the back of my mind I was regretting my decision of not studying mathematics any further. I was keen to study further but had no idea how to go about it. The main reason for this was that till around 3 years back, commerce graduate could not do Masters in mathematics. I wanted to do MA in Maths and that too in a distance mode; and no university seemed to offer it that time. However I continued my search. Then suddenly one fine evening I found out that Lovely Professional University was offering a distance education MA – Maths, which was open to graduates of all stream. I, without hesitation, enrolled for it. This was probably one of the best decisions of my life. I completely enjoyed the challenge that this course offered me. I am scheduled to complete this course in next few months and now I have my eyes set on doing something even further in this field. The obvious choice is a Phd.
    I already have a settled career and have no intention of using Mathematics as a money earner for me, although I’ll be keen to teach others, just for the joy of teaching.
    Now here are the questions I have.
    1. Am I eligible to do a Phd, since my graduation is not done in Mathematics?
    2. Is Phd the course I should go for or is there something else, I should pursue, say MPhil.
    3. LPU is not a great university. Will this have any impact on my chances in getting admission in Phd?
    4. Which universities in India/ abroad are best suited for Phd?
    5. How long will the Phd usually take? Can it be done part time, while I carry on my usual day job?
    6. Are there any universities which are focussed on Mathematical Economics or Mathematical Finance.

    Your guidance in this regard shall be mightily appreciated.

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 22:12h, 28 October Reply

      Hi, your is certainly a unique case, so as far as we are concerned the following are to the best of our knowledge:

      1. Yes, you can do a PhD, because most institutes ask for a Masters degree in math, but it would be wise to ask the university you plan to apply to beforehand.
      2. You can always do a MPhil to get a feel of what the subject might be like now. Since, you do not have a Bachelors degree in math, so we would strongly suggest to read up as much of the core undergraduate courses as you can apart from the ones that you are doing now in your MSc. It would be wise to enroll in a 1 or 2 year MPhil programme in distance mode.
      3. No, this will not have an impact, everything depends on your capabilities. However, the degree given by LPU must be accredited by UGC.
      4. The Indian universities are already mentioned in the article. You can also look at this article For universities abroad, it all depends on your interests.
      5. Again this will depend on you, but normally a three year period is the norm for a full time student which in most cases extends to five to six years. Yes, you can do it part time.
      6. You can look at the Institute of Mathematics and Applications at Bhubaneswar, Delhi School of Economics, Indian Institutes of Management and the Indian Statistical Institutes.

      We hope our answers were satisfactory. Thank you for your comment, keep visiting us.

      • Math Lover
        Posted at 08:27h, 29 October Reply

        This was very useful. Many thanks.

        • Gonit Sora
          Posted at 13:48h, 29 October Reply

          You are welcome.

  • Abhinav
    Posted at 18:29h, 06 November Reply

    Hi Gonit,
    I will appear for 12th exams this year. Between CMI & ISI which one is better for B.Sc Maths?
    I heard that course of CMI & ISI is “very tough & difficult” than BSc Maths offerred by other universities
    ( some people told me that completing course itself is a big challenge..)

    secondly, please can you recommend other good universities for B.Sc Maths ?


    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 01:04h, 18 November Reply

      The names of other institutes are written in the article itself. The courses at ISI and CMI are tough, but they can be surmounted.

  • Tanu
    Posted at 00:33h, 08 November Reply

    Dear sir please tell me that after having done 2 yrs in engineering stream I want to do B.Stat from ISI Calcutta because my real interest is in Mathematics but I have recognized it quite late. People are saying that even if I manage to clear the B.Stat entrance exam in 2014 then I would not get any placement due to 3 years gap between 12th standard and undergraduate studies. Sir I am extremely worried about this. Sir please help me immediately whether it is true or not or you have heard of any such real cases. Please help me sir.

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 01:05h, 18 November Reply

      No, there would be no hamper in your placements, if you choose for acadmemics. Infact your engineering education might come in handy sometime there.

  • Sanjay
    Posted at 15:16h, 08 November Reply

    Hi Gonitsara wassup, Sanjay from bangalore, love maths n physics, I have a math problem, can any one of you pls try to crack it for me with diagram? Here goes… chk it out

    The circle C has radius 1Unit & touches the line L at P. The point X lies on C & Y is the foot of the perpendicular from X to L. Find the maximum possible value of area PXY (as X varies)?

  • Pallavi
    Posted at 18:10h, 13 November Reply

    Hello Sir,
    Currently I am working with IT company. Done B.E in 2009 from ENTC branch. I was excellent in maths in college and always use to teach maths to my friends.
    Now i want to make career in math such a way that i can eligible to teach maths to B.E students.
    Please suggest what would be the next step or possibilities.
    Your guidance in this regard shall be appreciated.
    Thank you.

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 01:06h, 18 November Reply

      The best way would be either to get a MS or PhD in mathematics or maybe get an MTech in subjects related to math like Mathematics and Computing, Industrial Mathematics, etc. offered by some IITs.

      • Pallavi
        Posted at 12:58h, 11 December Reply

        Could you please suggest some colleges for me to pursue my higher studies in Mtech/MS/Phd courses in pune.

        As per my research I could find only two colleges

        1. Fergussan for subject Applied math

        2. IISER for integrated phd and normal phd.

        Further to above, Could you please also advise me from do I start with the preparation since I have a GAP of 4years.

  • ritesh
    Posted at 16:45h, 15 November Reply

    I am a first year undergraduate student in institute of mathematics and applications , bhubaneswar. I have a deep interest in number theory , graph theory and cryptology( though I haven’t read much of the last one). And wish to apply for a summer internship in some institute to do a summer project in these fields .I have heard from some people(including my seniors) with experience that to do so first you have to e mail the professors after checking whether thier research intersets matches yours or not , explaining your interst in the same topic and your desire to do a project under their guidance and so on.
    But, since I do not have any past research experience and just know the basic stuff in number theory and graph theory and combinatorics and a little bit of background in programming, I doubt any professor will even consider me .
    Since these internships start in May- june, I am willing to learn more higher level stuff in number theory ( mainly analytic) and combinatorics in addition with learning One programming language( I’m in the process of completing one). and LaTeX.
    So what I want to ask IS WHETHER iT IS POSSIBLE for someone with my knowledge and interest to get an internship,and if yes then how? How should I apply for it? How should I start asking Professors of other institutes for it? And how and what exactly should I do to increase my knowlege so to get some good internship.
    I’m only a beginner so I’m not hoping that I’m going to get some internship in Tifr or hri or some other great institute . But, I think I should at least try to mail professors in related field from IITs, IIsers,CMI, ISI.( MAY BE YOU CAN CUT cmi FROM THIS LIST).
    And if i’m wrong , then can you please suggest where should I apply to ?
    P.s.: I apologize if this is not a right place to ask a question like this, but I did not of any more proper place so I just posted my query here.
    Thanks a lot in advance for reading such a long and probably usseless post.
    I think I’M DONE.

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 01:12h, 18 November Reply

      Dear Ritesh, it is heartening to see your high dreams and goals. The first thing that you must do is to follow some good books to brush up your knowledge. Given your interests we thing the following would be ideal for you:

      1. Elementary Number Theory by D. M. Burton
      2. Graph Theory by F. Harary
      3. Introduction to Mathemattical Cryptography by Silverman et. al.

      You can very well apply for internships at this stage and should write to good professors in good institutes clearly mentining your interests and at least one referee name along with your CV. You can also separately apply for the following internship programmes available:

      1. Indian Science Academies’ Summer Research Fellowship Programme
      2. CMI Summer Fellowship Programme
      3. HRI Summer Program in Mathematics
      4. IISER Pune Summer Research Programme
      5. IISER Mohali Summer Research Programme

      You must also devote some time in trying to learn LaTeX properly and efficiently.

      We hope our reply was of use to you. If you need any more information, please revert back to us. Thanks a lot.

  • Arpan Chakravorty
    Posted at 11:28h, 21 November Reply

    Sir I am BSC student of west bengal. Which is the best IIT for msc in mathematics?

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 16:44h, 28 November Reply

      All are equally good, it depends on your subject of interest really.

  • Satish Ravindran
    Posted at 21:10h, 23 November Reply

    Hi Gonit,

    Your blog is very informative !
    I am in final year of B.Sc Mathematics & have following questions –

    Q1. For salary placements & career prospects which is better for M.Sc Maths – IIT or CMI ?

    Q2. Whether M.Sc Stats has better career prospects than Maths ?

    I am comfortable with both Maths & Stats but finding it difficult to chose one of them for M.Sc. I come from weak economic background & hence job prospects are important to me.

    Many Thanks

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 16:47h, 28 November Reply

      Thanks a lot for your comment. The answers to your queries are as follows:

      1. It really depends on the kind of job you want, in case of academics all get the same pay.

      2. Again it depends on the kind of job that you want to do. Statisticians are more multi-disciplinary than mathematicians and hence can be used anywhere.

      If you want a company job or a bank job or an industry related job, we would recommend you to try Statistics. In that case, you can also try for the Indian Statistical Services conducted by the UPSC.

      • Satish Ravindran
        Posted at 17:59h, 29 November Reply

        Many Thanks Gonit !

        In your response to Q1, I want to work in corporate sector & not into academics, so which one will be better for M.Sc- CMI or IIT ?

        • Gonit Sora
          Posted at 13:25h, 08 December Reply

          For corporate sector, definitely IITs will be better choice than CMI.

  • Monika Sharma
    Posted at 10:20h, 30 November Reply

    hey sir..
    I am a B-Tech student. Persuing it in Computer Sc. I have extreme interest in maths. So, just want to know can i apply in the above colleges after my B-Tech completion?? or i have to again start my career bachelors in maths???

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 13:30h, 08 December Reply

      Since you are doing CSE, so it will be easier for you to apply. You do not need a Math BSc, all these institutes consider extremely motivated BTech graduates too. Just apply normally to these institutes directly.

  • Varsha
    Posted at 12:44h, 30 November Reply


    I want to do Phd. in Maths but I am married and cant move to some other place. Is there any distance learning programs in Maths. I have done in Telecomm from B’lore.

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 13:32h, 08 December Reply

      Hi, normally a distance PhD is not a good option, you may consider doing a Part Time PhD from some university, wherein you will have to go periodically to meet your supervisor.

  • Md.Imtiaz
    Posted at 02:20h, 02 December Reply

    what are the minimum salaries and types of jobs after getting B.Stat degree from ISI,Kolkata?

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 13:30h, 08 December Reply

      That varies depending on your aptitude and abilities.

  • abinash
    Posted at 01:18h, 08 December Reply

    I hv degree in mechanical engg . i want to do phd in mathematics , how can i ?

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 13:32h, 08 December Reply

      Just apply to an institute of your choice and give the written test followed by the interviews.

  • Pallavi
    Posted at 12:50h, 11 December Reply

    Thank you for your reply.

    Could you please suggest some colleges for me to pursue my higher studies in Mtech/MS/Phd courses in pune.

    As per my research I could find only two colleges in Pune:
    1. Fergussan for subject Applied mathematics
    2. IISER for integrated phd and normal phd.

    Further to above, Could you please also advise me from where to start for entrance as now i have 4 yrs gap.

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 10:29h, 27 December Reply

      Both the institutes you mentioned are good. You can also look into University of Pune. You should first brush up your basics in algebra, analysis and topology and then start preparing seriously.

      • Pallavi
        Posted at 11:15h, 30 December Reply

        Thank you for your valuable advice.

  • S M
    Posted at 21:21h, 12 December Reply

    Hi, Gonitsora
    The above article has been very useful to me. I just wanted to ask if there is any possibility to do research in space after doing Msc in maths.Right now i’m doing Bsc(1st year).I like maths but i’m also interested in creative line.So i’m a little confused on what to choose as my career path.Please advise me.

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

      Yes, definitely you have scope in space reserach. ISRO has an institute called Indian Institute of Space Technology in Trivandrum, they offer a PhD in mathematics, you can look into it.

  • Naresh
    Posted at 23:21h, 16 December Reply

    I am done with my B.Tech graduation. I am more fascinated into Mathematics. I would like to do PG in maths but I can’t quit my job and do a regular course. So could you please help me in suggesting a college or list of colleges which offer post graduation/ master’s in Mathematics/Statistics. please help me with your advice.

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 10:32h, 27 December Reply

      You could try doing a distance education course in math or stats under IGNOU or some state open university.

  • arkomit
    Posted at 15:39h, 20 December Reply

    My question here will be
    1.Does it effect in career security if I pursue mathematics courses than statistics in ISI?
    2.Is it true or just rumour that statistics have better career scopes than mathematics?

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 10:38h, 27 December Reply

      The answers to your queries are:

      1. No it does not affect your career, both are equally good.

      2. Stats have a better scope of fetching you a job other than academics in India.

  • amrita
    Posted at 23:30h, 22 December Reply

    there are 2 options in the csir net form : net or jrf
    if suppose i fill for jrf and the cut off for net(without jrf ) is 150 and for jrf it is 170 and my score is 160, then will i be qualify net or i wont qualify for net also because i filled jrf in the form and could not meet the cut off for jrf ????

  • gopika suresh
    Posted at 19:53h, 12 January Reply

    hello sir,
    i love 2 stdy maths…i hve great intrst n dz subject…i wanted 2 join CMI for getting my degreee n mathematics aftr +2…bt due 2 sme persnl reasns i failed 2 attend d entrnce exam..nd nw im dng my 2 nd yr btech n civil…bt i still want 2 stdy mathematics…bt im not sure about d scope of dng msc maths aftr my btech…im really confused…i wanted 2 chase my passion…bt on an other note ,i want to knw d scope of doing msc maths aftr my btech n civil….i hope u will gve me the correct guidance,…

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 18:43h, 15 January Reply

      You can definitely study math after your BTech. You can either opt for an MSc or a PhD. Most of the institutes take students with a BTech degree, so it should not be a problem. Just apply for the exams mentioned in this post.

      • gopika suresh
        Posted at 14:23h, 02 February Reply

        sir can you kindly mention the scope of doing msc maths aftr btech??

        • Gonit Sora
          Posted at 10:03h, 03 February Reply

          As already mentioned in many comments, there is no difference in doing a MSc after BSc or BTech, provided you are motivated enough.

  • suman kundu
    Posted at 15:39h, 18 January Reply

    sir , this question goes on behalf of one of my good friend.
    He had mastered most of the concepts at under-graduate and a quiet a bit of graduate stuff .To describe his proficiency just want to mention that he had done all this within a less than 6 months and solved most problems of the books suggested in the brochure of B-math ,M-math and is also able to sole past year entrance questions of ISi .
    he firmly believes that he is to the level of graduate study .His area of most lies in Real analysis ,abstract analysis ;,general topology,algebraic topology,differential geometry, algebraic geometry,modulos and elliptical curves ,abstract algebra, harmonic analysis,partial differential equations ,algebraic number theory , analytical number theory combinatorial number theory,game theory. but he is still in his first year of under graduate studies .
    what should he do ??? he wants to sit for M-math and TIFR for integrated Msc program but qualification restriction prevents along .

    • Gonit Sora
      Posted at 11:42h, 27 January Reply

      He can always sit for the exam, but it would be advisable to atleast complete his BSc. After that we see no problem why he won’t get into a prestigous institute like TIFR.

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