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Ashoka Scholars Programme in Economics

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 academic 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 who need to complete up to 8 credits of their undergraduate degree must do so within the first semester of the ASP. All students who fall into either of these categories must formally apply for admission to the ASP towards the end of the Spring semester of their third year. The exact date will be circulated by the OAA.

Structure & Curriculum

Students who graduate with a bachelor’s degree after more than 3 years (late graduates) and students who have taken a break of up to one year after their UG graduation (gap students) are also eligible to apply for the ASP, provided the following condition is met: at the beginning of the Monsoon semester of the ASP, the start of their UG studies cannot be longer ago than 5 years. This is to secure compliance with UGC Guidelines, according to which UG+ASP must be completed in no more than 6 years.

Such students must submit a formal application to the OAA, comprising a statement of interest in joining the ASP supplemented by faculty and/or departmental references in support of their application. These applications will be decided on by a committee that will seek input from various stakeholders and provide students with a final decision on their application.

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
  2. Converting a Minor or previously taken elective courses into a Second Major Equivalent
  3. Converting a Major into an Interdisciplinary Second Major Equivalent
  4. Completing an Independent Capstone Project
  5. Completing a Minor
  6. Completing a Concentration
  7. Undertaking the Ashoka Quest, a year-long social internship programme [currently on hold]
  8. Taking any courses they wish, without completing any of the above options.

Academic Requirements for the ASP

Basic Requirements

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. A total of 32 credits is required to graduate from the ASP with a Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Studies and Research.

Students can complete up to 2×22 = 44 credits during their ASP year, up to 52 credits if they also take two courses in the summer preceding the ASP year. Credits, if any, that are used to complete undergraduate requirements do not count towards the 32 credit minimum requirement. Students must in any event take enough courses during their ASP year that they can meet the 32 credit requirement. Typically, this means that they will take between 16 and 22 (max.) credits per semester. If students take summer courses that count towards the ASP or decide to take more courses in the Spring and fewer in the Monsoon, they may do so as long as they adhere to 2) and to the minimum credit requirement of 12 credits per semester. For students who are trying to complete their undergraduate degree requirements (up to 8 academic credits), a maximum of 6 courses will be allowed in the first semester of the ASP if required. ASP students are eligible to take any undergraduate course offered at Ashoka University for which they have fulfilled the prerequisite(s). Students can also take 4000 level seminars where these are offered.

If students opt to pursue specific credentials, such as e.g. a Minor or Concentration, wish to convert a Minor into the equivalent of a second Major, pursue an Advanced Major, etc. they will take courses as per the requirements of the specific programme. The specific requirements for each of the options are spelled out below.

  • Advanced Major

    A student undertaking an Advanced Major in Economics (fourth year student)

    • should have completed, by the end of the third year, all major requirements in either Economics or Economics & Finance.

    • should complete during the fourth year the 32 credits required for the ASP, including at least three 4-credit courses in Economics, and one 8-credit capstone thesis in Economics.

  • Research Project

    For students who do not want to do a capstone thesis, they may find opportunities to work on shorter 4-credit research projects with faculty members, especially on projects that faculty members are already working on. This will take the form of an independent study module (ISM) where students will produce a piece of written work closely related to the work they have been doing on the research project, and will be evaluated both on their written work and on their performance on the research project.

    Students are responsible for finding faculty members to supervise them or engage them on a research project.

    Note: Students doing the advanced major can substitute at most one research project in the form of an ISM with a faculty member in the economics department for one of the three required economics courses.

  • Coursework

    Students can take any courses in Economics for which they have completed the prerequisites. They may apply to first-semester courses in the Masters Programme in Economics which will give them valuable insights into graduate level economics, prepare them for making applications to graduate programmes as well as allow students to develop technical skills.

More About Ashoka Scholars' Programme

All undergraduates graduating with Bachelor’s Degrees at the end of their third year, or who have completed by that time at least academic 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 who need to complete up to 8 credits of their undergraduate degree must do so within the first semester of the ASP. All students who fall into either of these categories must formally apply for admission to the ASP towards the end of the Spring semester of their third year. The exact date will be circulated by the OAA.

Frequently Asked Questions

A capstone project is essentially a thesis written by fourth year advanced major students under the guidance of a faculty advisor.

Research opportunities will depend on your area of interest within the field. A few students find positions as Research Assistants under professors during their time at Ashoka. Policy centers and think-tanks also offer intern positions for students of economics. Many seniors have completed internships in the corporate sectors – in fields such as consulting or investment management – as well.

The Advanced Major will give you a Postgraduate Diploma, but not a Postgraduate degree.

Independent Study Modules (ISM) are 4-credit research projects that provide students an opportunity to work closely with a faculty member. These projects can either be research that faculty members are already working on or any other research topic that students may be interested in. Through the course of an ISM, a student will produce a piece of written work based on the research conducted, under the supervision of a faculty member. They will then be evaluated both on their written work and on their performance. Students are responsible for finding faculty members to supervise them or engage them on a research project. If interested, you can simply approach a faculty member through email prior to the start of the semester, requesting them for guidance through an ISM. Upon their approval, you will receive 4 credits at the end of your project. The duration of an ISM will typically be a whole semester. An ISM is just one of the project options that comes under the Economics major, and is not a separate program of its own.

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