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An International Liberal Arts Education Comes to India

If you want a start with an international education Ashoka University in collaboration with international liberal arts universities, including the University of Pennsylvania, opens its doors to students in India in 2014.
BY Braingain Staff Writer |   12-12-2013
University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman and Ashoka University's Pramath Raj Sinha; Photo courtesy:  
What is Ashoka University?
  • Ashoka University is a liberal arts institution that will open it’s fully residential campus in Haryana, an hour’s drive from Delhi – in 2014.
  • Ashoka is a collaborative effort with involvement from the University of Pennsylvania Engineering, The University of Michigan, Carlton College, and France’s prestigious Sciences Po. 
  • The University will offer both graduate and postgraduate degrees in the humanities, social sciences, economics and natural sciences.

Who’s Involved

Ashoka has been established in collaboration with a number of top-notch universities from around the world, including University of Pennsylvania’s Engineering School, Carleton College, Minnesota and Sciences Po in Paris. These institutions have participated in curriculum formation and structuring, and will also provide visiting faculty members.

Students will have unique opportunities to undertake exchange programs with the international institutes. These exchanges could take the form either of summer programs or even be a semester-long study abroad sessions. Credits earned at Ashoka are transferable to partner institutions, and vice versa.

There is an option to attend summer school in 2014, before you even start at Ashoka. The University is currently offering three programs: at UPenn, Harvard and Yale. The deadline for pre-applications is 15 February, 2014.

The Courses

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Undergraduate students are expected to indicate preferred majors when they enter, though they will only be expected to declare their majors by the third year. Ashoka will offer 10 subject major choices for undergraduate students, as well as interdisciplinary majors which combine different academic interests. (For example a B.A. in English and Journalism, or in Economics and Finance).  A double-degree option will also be available. Visual and Performing Arts will be a part of the Minor degree choices.

On completion of all course requirements, a degree will be awarded by Ashoka University, in accordance with Indian University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines. Indian and international postgraduate institutes will recognize the degree.

Ashoka University Undergraduate Programme

The undergraduate program will follow the American system, i.e., students will undergo four years of coursework, completing foundation courses, courses for a declared major, and electives.

In  the second year, undergraduates will undertake the ‘Ashoka Quest’, a social service internship. Students will be placed with an NGO, start-up or similar initiative that works for the betterment of sections of the population.
Ashoka University Postgraduate Programme

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Postgraduate students are invited to participate in the Young India Fellowship (YIF), a multidisciplinary, eight-semester program. The YIF has been running since 2011, and seeks to introduce its students to an array of perspectives on what the university calls ‘various important issues’. The YIF is a residential program, co-located at the Shri Aurobindo Center for Arts, Delhi.

How to Apply

  • Pre-applications for the undergraduate program are now open, and admissions will take place in two rounds. The first will open 21 January 2014 and close 30 April; the second will run from 1 May to 20 July 2014.  
  • Application evaluation is on a rolling basis - beginning directly after submission.
  • Students who finish school under an Indian board (ISC or CBSE) will be offered admission conditional to their passing the Class XII examination of that board.
  • SAT test results will also be accepted.

You can find out more about Ashoka University here.



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