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The Ashoka Scholars Programme

Ashoka University, in compliance with UGC guidelines, offers a 3-year Bachelor’s Degree programme.  It also offers a year-long Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Studies and Research (DipASR).

 

All undergraduates graduating with Bachelor’s Degrees at the end of their third year, or who have completed by that time at least 92 credits of their degree programme, are eligible for admission into the Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Studies and Research programme, also known as the Ashoka Scholars Programme (ASP).  Students must formally apply for admission to the ASP by the end of the Monsoon semester of their third year. 

 

Students who need to complete up to 8 credits of their undergraduate degree must do so within Semester 1 of ASP.  The ASP offers students a defining liberal arts experience that blends academic rigour with a wide range of elective options across a variety of subjects.  These options include:

 

  1. Completing an Advanced Major: three more courses and a capstone thesis in one’s Major field 

  2. Completing a Minor 

  3. Completing a Concentration 

  4. Converting a Minor or previously taken elective courses into a Second Major Equivalent

  5. Undertaking the Ashoka Quest, a year-long social internship programme 

  6. Taking any courses they wish, without completing any of the above options

Academic Requirements for the ASP

A total of 32 credits is required to graduate from the ASP with a Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Studies and Research, though students can complete up to 40 credits during their ASP year.  The minimum credit requirement per semester is 16; students must take no less than 4 and no more than 5 courses per semester. In case of students trying to complete their undergraduate degree requirements, a maximum of 6 courses will be allowed in Semester 1.   

 

ASP students are eligible to take any undergraduate course offered at Ashoka University for which they have fulfilled the prerequisite(s).  If students opt to take extra courses in their undergraduate Major subject, they will take unique 400-level seminars that are cross-listed as 300-level courses for third-year undergraduate students, as well as a unique 400-level Capstone Thesis independent study in the Spring semester.  If students opt to complete a Minor or Concentration, or to convert a Minor into the equivalent of a second Major, they will take courses as per the requirements of the specific Minor/Concentration/Major programme.  If students opt to undertake the Ashoka Quest, they will take two 4-credit courses (one in the Monsoon and one in the Spring) offered only to ASP students, as well as a three-week internship during the Winter Intermission.  

 

Specific requirements for each of the options are spelled out below.

 

Advanced Major

All ASP students, by completing the Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Studies and Research, will become eligible to apply for postgraduate programmes in North America and other parts of the world that require 12 years of study at the secondary school level and 4 years of study at the university level. 

 

ASP students who hope to apply for higher studies in their Major subject or a related field are advised to complete 4 more courses in that subject – two per semester.  By doing so, they will qualify for an Advanced Major.  The specific requirements are as follows:

Monsoon: 2 400-level seminars (one of which may be a Capstone Thesis preparation course)

Spring: 1 400-level seminar and 1 Capstone Thesis Project

 

The Capstone Thesis Project will be completed as per specific programmatic requirements under the supervision of an advisor and a second reader.  Projects will vary in length and form from programme to programme, but they must be academically rigorous exemplars of postgraduate-level research.  Students must submit and defend a proposal for a Capstone Thesis Project by the end of November in the Monsoon semester; they must defend the project by the end of examination week in the May of the Spring semester. 

 

Minor

ASP students can complete an Ashoka University-approved Minor by taking six approved courses in any given Major or Minor programme.  Courses taken in the Minor subject during a student’s Bachelor’s Degree will be credited toward the Minor that appears on the student’s PG Diploma transcript.  Normally Minors will require ASP students to take at least one and no more than six courses in the Minor subject during the PG Diploma year.

 

Concentration

ASP students can complete an Ashoka University-approved Concentration by taking four approved courses in any given Major or Minor programme, including approved multidisciplinary subjects that are not represented by Major and Minor programmes.  Courses taken in the Concentration subject during a student’s Bachelor’s Degree will be credited toward the Concentration that appears on the student’s PG Diploma transcript.  Normally Concentrations will require ASP students to take at least one and no more than four courses in the Minor subject during the PG Diploma year.

 

Second Major Equivalent

ASP students can complete an Ashoka University-approved Second Major Equivalent (SME) by taking twelve approved courses in any given Major programme.  Courses taken in the SME subject during a student’s Bachelor’s Degree will be credited toward the SME that appears on the student’s PG Diploma transcript.  Normally SMEs will require ASP students to take at least six and no more than ten courses in the SME subject during the PG Diploma year. Students can also complete a Capstone Thesis Project in their SME subject (see Expanded Major requirements above) as part of the required twelve courses.

Ashoka Quest

Ashoka Quest

 

ASP students can complete a year-long social internship programme called the Ashoka Quest.  The Quest partners students with organizations outside of Ashoka University and exposes them to real-life problems faced by Indian communities, ranging from sanitation challenges and gender inequality to lack of digital access and literacy.  The programme is divided into three parts: 

  1. Preparation: a semester-long 4-credit course that offers modules on social impact and philanthropy, leadership, fieldwork, and digital engagements with non-urban and non-Anglophone communities designed to prepare students for the challenges of the internship; some ongoing work with local Haryana village communities will be part of the preparation. 

  2. Practice: a three-week internship during the Winter Intermission, living and working with a community outside of Ashoka University.  The internship will involve mentored student teams working closely with an organization already familiar with the community.

  3. Processing: a semester-long 4-credit course that responds to the experience of the internship; the response will entail a series of follow-up assignments with the mentoring organization and a final team project that will be presented at a day-long Quest symposium for students, mentors, and faculty.  This project will be either analytic or creative; it can be a formal report, a play, a film, an installation.

 

 

FAQs:

Q1. What are the benefits of completing ASP along with the traditional 3-year degree?

 

Ashoka University had originally designed its UG programme as a 4-year degree and thus we believe that the 4-year undergraduate experience transforms students into an Ashoka liberal arts honours student. It helps them to be academically well-rounded and socially engaged. It makes them better prepared for the job market and also for postgraduate study.

In addition, we feel that all students who want to pursue a Masters or a PhD degree in the US or Canada will need an equivalent of a four-year undergraduate degree. Therefore all students who are considering a Masters /PhD. Degree abroad should definitely do the 4th year.

 

Q2. What are the options available for the Fourth Year at Ashoka University?

 

Students can do a variety of courses, research, academic writing and social experiential projects in the fourth year:

  • Completing an Advanced Major: three courses and a capstone thesis in the Major field

  • Starting and/or Completing a Minor

  • Completing a Concentration

  • Converting a Minor or previously taken elective courses into a Second Major Equivalent

  • Undertaking the Ashoka Quest, a year-long social internship programme

  • Taking any courses they wish, without completing any of the above options
     

Q3. What is the eligibility criteria for the programme?

 

All Ashoka students graduating with Bachelor’s Degrees at the end of their third year, or who have completed at least 92 credits by that time of their degree programme, are eligible for admission into the Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Studies and Research programme, also known as the Ashoka Scholars Programme (ASP)

Please note: In order to complete the Bachelor’s Degree, students need 100 credits but they are eligible for ASP with 92 credits. Students who need to complete up to 8 credits of their undergraduate degree must do so in Semester 1 of ASP (Monsoon Semester). In case of students trying to complete their undergraduate degree requirements, a maximum of 6 courses will be allowed in Semester 1.

 

Q4. Why does Ashoka University offer Plus One Year (ASP) instead of a four year degree?

 

The UGC demands that we offer undergraduate degrees that can be completed in three years. This is why 12 Major Courses and 12 Foundation Courses (including the CT sequence) have to be completed by the end of three years. However, Ashoka University has always conceived of its undergraduate programme as a 4-year experience and therefore the University offers Plus One Year which will be the crowning year of a liberal arts education.

 

Q5.  What is the status of Financial Aid in the Fourth Year?

 

The Financial Aid status for Ashoka students remains unchanged for the Plus One Year (ASP). The Financial Aid awarded to them for the 3 years will continue at the same level for the fourth year.

 

Q6. How to apply?

 

ASP is open to graduates of the 3 year BA/ BSc programmes at Ashoka University. The student must formally apply through their account on Ashoka University’s LMS.

 

Q7. What degree do the students receive at the end of the ASP?

 

Students will get a Post Graduate Diploma at the end of the one year. There will be a formal graduation ceremony along with the University’s annual Convocation.

 

Q8. What are the various opportunities available to the students post Fourth Year?

 

Ashoka University will treat all the graduating students of the Plus One programme as alums who will be assisted with the following:

  • Career Development Office will support students in their job search

  • Office of Undergraduate Programmes will help the students with competitive exam preparations

  • Office of Undergraduate Programmes will assist the students to apply for further studies in India and abroad

For further questions please contact the Office of Academic Affairs at: oaa@ashoka.edu.in

The Ashoka Scholars Programme