GATE to EECS IISc 2022- FAQs

  1. I am a non-CS student and preparing for Gate CSE. What preparation other than GATE should I do to excel in academics, if I get selected for IISc? 
    Study data structures and algorithms; do some competitive coding.
  2. Will my placements be affected if my BTech is in a non-CSE branch?
    Companies don’t really care about your BTech background as long as you have a skill set that aligns with the company’s line of work.
  3. What fields in Computer Science Engineering can I pursue during my higher education?
    There are three pools in CSE, namely,

    1. Theory (Design and Analysis of Algorithms, Cryptography, etc.),
    2. Systems (Compiler Design. Operating system, etc.)
    3. Intelligent systems (AI, ML, game theory, etc.)
  4. How do I prepare for the GATE exam while also preparing for placements simultaneously? (I’m from the Information Technology department) 
    GATE generally covers the subjects which are asked during the placement interviews. If you study well for GATE, then you should be able to handle placement interviews as well.
  5. How difficult is it to cope with an MTech course in AI from IISc for a student with a background in electrical engineering? 
    This depends on how much background you have in the subjects of AI. In general, because IISc graduate courses will be more rigorous than your UG courses, for they are graduate courses, significant work will be required for student with any background.
  6. What fields would an Electronics and Communication Engineer be able to work on during his/her masters? What are the job prospects for electronics and communication engineers?
    The MTech programmes that an EC graduate could take up are ECE, SP, ESE, MVLSI, EPD, and AI. The potential job roles will be in the areas of Communication, AI/ML, Analog Design Engineer, Digital Design Engineer.
  7. What is the difference between the MTech (Research) and the MTech course programmes at IISc?
    MTech is more course oriented. A guide is assigned after the first semester and research work starts mostly after the second semester.
    In MTech (Research), a guide is assigned at the beginning itself. The research work starts as early as in the first semester. There are fewer course credit requirements and the focus is on research.
  8. What difference does a master’s degree make compared to just a bachelor’s degree, when it comes to job opportunities?
    Job profile will involve greater responsibility, greater involvement in design and development of algorithms/products, and of course a higher pay package.
  9. What are the things one must know before going into the field of research?
    You should have a deep interest in the field. Patience and perseverance are prerequisites for a successful research career.
  10. What should be the mindset of the person who wants to pursue higher studies? How much does higher studies cost?
    One must have a keen interest in academics with a readiness to deep-dive into the subject matter details. The cost of MTech and PhD is nominal at GoI funded institutions, and all selected regular MTech, MTech(Res) and PhD scholars get a stipend at IISc.
  11. Is VLSI a good branch to pursue for my MTech? What is the average pay package of a VLSI engineer who has graduated from IISc Bangalore?
    Microelectronics and VLSI design is one of the most sought-after branches for EE and EC students at IISc. The world is undergoing a semiconductor revolution, and IISc is the place to learn from the best faculty and be a part of cutting edge research in this field. The branch sees 100% placements with attractive packages in reputed semiconductor companies. EECS graduates get higher average pay packages than many other traditional engineering stream graduates.
  12. Is it possible to do well in GATE while having a job?
    It is very much possible. All that it requires is consistent effort. You need to spend 1-2 hrs daily to practice previous years’ questions and mock tests. In case you aren’t thorough with the subject concepts, put in the extra effort to understand the basic concepts from standard books and lectures. (Here you will find NPTEL lectures very useful.)
  13. Will it be beneficial for me knowledge wise to join the ESE department if I have work experience in embedded systems? What is the future scope of areas like  embedded systems and related research areas? 
    Yes, sure. It will definitely be helpful. There are professors in the department of Electronic Systems Engineering  who are working on exciting research problems in the area of Networked Embedded Systems. Please have a look at  website for further details.
  14. What’s the rank needed for systems engineering, signal processing , and VLSI respectively, for PhD? What are the questions that a PhD aspirant may be asked in the interview?
    The cut off rank / score changes from year to year. Once called for the interview, the final selection for PhD depends largely on the interview performance. PhD interview questions revolve around in-depth understanding of the courses that are prerequisites for the research area. One should have a solid understanding of the basics of engineering mathematics and the relevant basic courses.
  15. Do I need prior research experience for selection in a PhD program apart from a decent GATE score?
    No, you do not need prior research experience. You should focus on the GATE topics and prepare well for the interview.
  16. What are the CGPA criteria for admission to different programs at IISc?
    The cutoffs vary from year to year. For those who wish to enter the direct PhD programme, in case you haven’t written GATE, there is a CFTI mode of entry which has a cutoff of 8.0 (August 2022 admission). But see the application form and the admissions website for the latest details.
  17. Can a PhD be completed in less than 5 years?
    Yes, the duration of Ph.D. is not fixed. There is a course credit requirement, a comprehensive exam requirement, and then research work for the thesis. You will be awarded the degree once you have fulfilled all the requirements. Many scholars complete the PhD in less than five years.
  18. What is the quality of research in the Ph.D. program at IISc?
    IISc has world-class faculty members and research groups who publish to top-tier conferences in the world. You can check the profiles of the faculty members working in your area of interest for more details. IISc has NIRF #1 ranking in research (2022) among institutions in India. IISc is QS #1 in citations per faculty (2022), which is a metric of research impact. Our PhD programmes encourage our students to do cutting edge research and push the technology and knowledge boundaries.
  19. Will GATE score help in getting a Postdoctoral position?
    For a postdoctoral position, the most important thing is to have a good research profile during PhD, preferably with high impact peer reviewed journals. GATE is just a metric to gain entry into a Masters or a PhD degree.
  20. Should I prepare for a direct-PhD after a four-year bachelor’s degree program?
    Yes, if you are keen on research, this might be the programme for you.
  21. What is the PhD admission procedure?
    For direct PhD after four-year B.Tech or equivalent, either you should have a high CGPA from a CFTI or you must have a valid GATE score. If you already have an MTech or an equivalent degree, a valid GATE score is not mandatory. Please keep an eye on the admission page for details on whether an additional written test is included prior to the interview. The process can vary across departments at IISc.
  22. What are the career opportunities after PhD?
    Postdoc programmes for those keen on research, R&D industry positions, start-ups and entrepreneurship, etc.
  23. What is the type of life during the course of a PhD?
    Expect ups and downs, successes and failures, things that don’t work out for some time, and then suddenly all the pieces fall in place like in a jigsaw puzzle, lots of discussions with fellow students and guides, arguments in the mess tables at lunch and dinner, hard work during courses, long stints in labs with fellow researchers or with a calculation, etc. Remember that the journey has as much value as the PhD.
  24. What should be the mindset while preparing for GATE?
    Scores are important, but have you learnt the concepts? What are the gaps in your understanding? Does the library or web resources provide the information needed to fill the gap? Can you do better than yesterday?
  25. What is the research experience during Masters/PhD at IISc for a person with no research experience ?
    The masters program at IISc is a promising pathway towards developing a research oriented mindset. Masters program course work will guide you to pick up a research mindset. Many professors at IISc are ready to help students and provide guidance as necessary for a good research outcome and experience.
  26. Is it advisable to appear for GATE for improving the score when I am in MTech first year?
    If you are already at IISc, you are in one of the best institutions in India. Nevertheless, if you are passionate about improving your score and getting into your dream college, you may consider GATE again.
  27. What is the best approach to pursue higher studies at IISc or at one of the IITs?
    For entry: do well in your BTech or MTech, do well in GATE. Once inside, live and breathe the fresh air of research, the excitement of discovering something new, the thrill of inventing a new device, the joy of learning and sharing knowledge.
  28. If a person with a low CGPA and a history of arrears (now cleared) gets a top 100 rank in GATE, can he get into tier 1 colleges like IISc, IITs, and BITs?

    Yes. It is possible provided that the student meets the minimum CGPA criteria for admissions at IISc and the other mentioned institutes.

  29.  What is the top most promising career path for ECE students these days? What do IISc students generally do after their master’s or Ph.D.?
    ECE students at IISc pursue a variety of industry and research careers in VLSI, photonics, RF and microwave device design and development, Communications, Networking, Signal Processing, Coding or Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. All of these are extremely promising and rewarding career options.M.Tech graduates from IISc pursue core R&D jobs in the industry. Many pursue a Ph.D. later in their careers as well.Ph.D. graduates from IISc join Post-Doctoral research positions in universities abroad or join the industry in core R&D positions.
  30.  How do we revise the GATE syllabus in just a few days?
    For last moment revision, one can compile important formulae/concepts and make short notes. Full-length mock tests should be attempted to have ample practice. Also, topic-wise tests can be solved to strengthen areas where one needs strengthening.
  31.  Can we apply for two specializations during the admission process? I have done my BE in Electrical Engineering, but I want to pursue MTech in the DESE department courses like MTech (ESE) and MTech (EPD). Which subjects do I have to prepare well for the interview?
    One can apply for up to three different MTech disciplines.
    For the admission interviews for ESE and EPD courses, one needs to be thorough with engineering mathematics, analog electronics, and digital electronics. Knowledge of embedded systems will also be helpful.
  32. Is it better to get some work experience first and then try higher education? Or the other way around?
    This is a very personal choice. If you are keen on higher education, you could enroll for Masters or PhD right away. If you are uncertain, work for 1-2 year to get a flavour of the corporate world and then decide whether to go for higher studies.
  33. What is the pattern of the GATE examination?The GATE Exam is for 100 marks – 15 marks for General Aptitude and 85 marks for core subjects in the paper area. There is 1/3rd negative marking for Multiple Choice Questions(MCQ) and no negative marking for Multiple Select Questions (MSQs) and Numerical Answer Type (NAT) questions.
  34. What are the opportunities for electronics engineering at IISc?
    An Electronics Engineering graduate could get into MTech ECE, SP, MVLSI, ESE, EPD, and AI programmes offered by EECS Division, IISc. They could also get into MTech Research and Direct PhD programmes which are more research-oriented options.
  35. How should I prepare in order to score well in the GATE Exam on the 1st attempt?
    First you should go through the concepts of each subject and get a clear understanding of the fundamentals. Then practice numericals and previous year questions. Revise periodically and take mock tests.
  36. How to revise all the subjects in the last month? Do we need to do mock tests in the end? What is the best time to start full length mock tests?
    You can prepare short notes for each subject for revision in the last month. One cycle of revision followed by a couple of mock tests, then analyse your performance, learn from your mistakes, and continue the cycle till the actual GATE exam. This can be started one or two months before the exam, after finishing the syllabus.
  37. How to choose between MTech (course) and direct PhD?
    MTech is primarily a course-oriented program which focuses on the knowledge of the courses. You get the opportunity to take a variety of courses and build your knowledge and expertise in them. You also do a research project in the second year of your MTech, and it helps you understand your interests. If you are keen on research, direct PhD is an excellent option. Note that if one finds that perhaps the PhD is not the correct decision, one can downgrade from PhD to M.Tech (Research).
  38. What are the pros and cons of MTech?
    Pros – MTech programmes prepare you for a more mature position in the industry, and give you the opportunity to work on research projects. Cons – you have to enjoy two more years of university life at a top-ranked university, get a stipend that easily covers your living expenses and tuition, and come out with a brand value that makes your future potential employers sit up and take note. (Wait, isn’t that also a Pro?)
  39. How is IISc different from private institutes?
    IISc is India’s top university and institute of eminence and has world-class faculty and research members.
  40. Can you do well in GATE at the age of 29?
    Yes, definitely. Follow good textbooks, NPTEL courses, and solve previous year GATE papers.
  41. Is  it possible to survive in IISc if one is not good at speaking in English but understands it perfectly?
    Yes. English is not a barrier and should not stop you from coming to IISc. You will be able to manage if you can understand English. There will be plenty of opportunities to improve your science communication skills. You are also encouraged to communicate science in your native language.
  42. What are the research groups present in IISc Bangalore?
    There are plenty of research groups in the EECS division of IISc Bangalore, one under each professor. There are also research clusters. Faculty work both in theoretical and experimental domains. Please visit for more information.
  43. How does it feel to study at IISc?
    It feels incredible to study at India’s number one university. We get world class courses, and professors who are highly interested and dedicated to science and technology. Apart from the academic life, the campus experience is nonpareil.
  44. How tough are the MTech and PhD at IISc?
    The programmes are not a cakewalk. They challenge you intellectually in stimulating ways. Progress may be slow at times, the pace may be hectic and overwhelming at times, but in the end, the experience is well worth it. For MTech students, the CGPA may play an important role since companies use it to screen for placement.
  45. What are the opportunities after MTech in EECS?
    One can opt for a PhD in India or abroad.. Apart from that, IISc has an excellent placement record. Interested students can pursue careers in industries like Amazon, Flipkart, Global Foundries, Qualcomm, CISCO, Applied Materials, Texas Instruments, Nvidia, TCS, Infosys, Tejas Networks, or similar MNC or Indian companies and startups.
  46. Is pursuing MTech worth it?
    Again it’s a personal choice. If you are keen on making contributions at a deeper technical level, yes.
  47. How do I increase speed and accuracy in solving a problem in GATE? How do I understand a big question and solve it in simple steps?In the beginning, one should start solving GATE papers and check how much time they need to solve them. After that, one should increase the solving speed gradually. In the GATE exam, one should always try to solve the short and easy problems first. After that, if one has enough time, one can go for the big questions.
  48. What is the nature of professors in the department? What does a professor expect from a student while doing a research internship?
    Professors have their own individual styles of mentoring students and interns. They are approachable whenever students have doubts about a subject. Students or research interns are expected to complete their assigned job on time.
  49. What is the procedure for getting an internship in the EECS division? How do I approach a professor for a research project? What are the requirements for getting accepted?
    For internship or research projects, one should check the official website of the respective research group. If there is any vacancy, it will be mentioned on the website, and interested people can apply through that. Otherwise, one can directly email the respective professor stating their interest and attaching a resume. If called for your interview, you will be tested on your fundamentals and perhaps some coding skills if necessary for a project.
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