Dear Madam,

I am currently pursuing Electrical and Electronics Engineering (sixth semester). I have spoken to many career consultants and have received a lot of contradictory information. I would like you to clarify my following doubts and queries:

1.I am told that only seven students from India get admitted into each of the Ivy-league universities and MIT and they are all from IIT. Is this true?

2. I have heard that the cost of living (including the admission fees) per annum is Rs 25 lakhs. Is pursuing a part-time job difficult since the work load would be high? Are opportunities for scholarship bleak since hundreds of students apply for the same?

3. How important are co-curricular and extra-curricular activities for admission to a reputed college?  

4. Is job experience absolutely critical? Do people with job experience have an upper hand during admissions?

5.What are the typical GRE and TOEFL scores that these universities require?

6. Should the letters of recommendation necessarily come from one of the professors from our college or can they come from other sources such as our external guide for our project?

Can you list out the top ten universities all over the world for Electrical and Electronics engineering? Getting admitted to MIT or Stanford University has been a dream of mine for a long time now. Please guide me.


Dear Manasa,

One need not go abroad just for the sake of studying in a foreign country. There are several quality institutions and programmes in India too. Many non IIT students do  get into prestigious colleges abroad like MIT and other Ivy-league universities.  Most top universities abroad see not just your academic excellence but look at you holistically as an individual and check for your other achievements during your student life, along with  good GRE and TOEFL scores.

True, the cost of living is exorbitantly high but this should not  be the restraining factor for your going abroad or your further studies.  Most nationalised banks give educational loans to students to pursue higher studies abroad. Scholarships and aid are granted by universities to the most deserving students, according to some prescribed criteria which differ from university to university.  Most universities also give scholarships and aids.  
The admission committee will have several levels while selecting candidates. The scores, reputation of the institution one has studied in, letters of recommendation, co-curricular activities and attainments, work experience, personality are all significant.

For postgraduate admissions in the US, the language proficiency test scores should be 90 and above in TOEFL. The use and weight of GRE scores vary considerably from school to school, from department to department, and from programme to programme also. The average is 550+ in Verbal and 650+ in Quantitative (for old GRE).

The recommendation letters should preferably be obtained from your college/ university
principal, professors, and lecturers. It can also be obtained from your current or ex-employer, in case you have work experience and this is especially applicable for MBA aspirants.

Some of the good universities in the field of electrical and electronics are: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) United States , Stanford University, United States, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, University of California, Berkeley (UCB), United States, University of Oxford, United Kingdom, Harvard University, United States, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), United States, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), United States, Imperial College London, United Kingdom, National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore, ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) Switzerland, Princeton University, United States.

Dear Madam,

I am almost done with a four- year technical (polytechnic) Diploma course. I would like to pursue an engineering degree from a renowned university abroad. I joined my course right after Class 10 and I do not have a PUC degree. But most admission or entrance tests are based on PUC results. In this case,  where can I apply?


Dear Anonymous,

Since you studied a diploma course after Class 10, it is not possible to enter any engineering degree course abroad. You may either enhance your skills further in India itself, or seek lateral entry into the  second year of an engineering degree in India, after which you can plan for a Master’s degree abroad.

Dear Madam,

I request you to give me information on studying abroad. I have finished my PUC. I want to study Medicine in Canada. Please help me with the application and admission process.

Vishwanath Bhargav

Dear Vishwanath Bhargav,

In Canada, you have to go through pre-med courses or a Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences. These are three to four years long in duration, followed by four years in medical school, and two-year degree Masters in Physician Assistantship. MD is technically considered an undergraduate degree in Canada while the Physician Assistant is either an undergraduate (Bachelors) or Graduate (Masters) Degree.

The Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC) publishes a detailed guide to admission requirements of Canadian faculties of medicine on a yearly basis. The 2012 guide is available at

Admission offers are made by individual medical schools, generally on the basis of a personal statement, autobiographical sketch, undergraduate record (GPA), scores on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), and interviews.

Keep in mind that an MBBS from India is recognised worldwide.