Is there a one year college degree in India? If so, is it similar to a BA or BSc degree of most Arts and Science colleges? Or is it similar to a diploma course? What is the eligibility for enrolling in a one year degree course in India? Which Indian universities and colleges provide the one year college degree? If a student completes a one year college degree in India, is he or she eligible for a government job or in the private sector? Can the student study for a masters degree after completing the one year college degree in India?
You will be glad to know that there is certainly a one year college degree in India. For the last several decades, many students have been able to complete this one year college degree from respectable Indian universities. However, it is important to choose a reputed UGC recognized university and a good institute for guidance. This is a process whereby you can complete all the 3 years’ exams in a single year/ sitting and as long as you choose a good university, this degree is recognized for jobs and higher studies in India and abroad.
HOW DOES THE PROCESS WORK
Students are eligible for the college degree in one year if they have had a gap of 3 years between now and when they completed high school. Students who earlier dropped out of a 3 year college degree due to financial or other personal reasons, or those who failed in any of the subjects are also eligible as long the 3 year gap exists from the time of high school completion.
The first step is to contact either the college/ university or a coaching institute for more information and to get the college application form for the one year degree program. You will also be required to provide a copy of your high school certificate and id proof. Coaching centers are very helpful but be sure to find a good one or directly contact the university itself.
Here are some institutes that can guide you further:
UNIVERSITIES WITH THIS PROGRAM
Osmania University in Telangana has had a long history of providing one sitting degrees. Here are a few other universities that have been offering the 1 year degree programs for a long time:
1) Andhra University
2) University of Kerala, Institute of Distance Education
3) Osmania University
There are also many other well known universities that offer a college degree in India in one year or sitting. To find out more, just contact the institutes listed above or call the universities directly for more information. Please note that in my personal experience its generally easier to work with a reputed institute than directly with the university as they have much better contacts at the college. Another way to do this is to contact the institute and then to verify the validity of the programs with the university directly before enrolling into the program. INDIA Edu Info is a good place to get the contact details of all the universities in India that support distance education programs.
ALL EXAMS IN ONE SITTING (+ my experiences)
It takes a lot of hard work to complete all the 3 years of exams in a single sitting. I remember writing two exams a day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon for about 10 days continuously. Right after each exam, you would have to come back home and start studying for the next exam, then the next and so on.
In my case, I was also working as a programmer and I specifically took 3 months of leave from my company and then studied for my exams. This was for a BA in Mathematics from Osmania University. I was living abroad at the time and stayed with my uncle’s family in Hyderabad while writing all my exams. This turned out well because my cousins were also in high school and we would all be studying while my aunt made sure we had good food and refreshments every now and then.
STUDY MATERIAL AND TEST PAPERS
My cousins enrolled me into an institute and I got all my study materials directly from the institute. I also used a few textbooks and reference books but most of time I simply studied using the materials from the institute.
My papers consisted of Mathematics 3 papers, Applied Mathematics 3 papers, Statistics 3 papers, then 1 paper for French (language) and 1 or 2 papers for English. There was also a viva voice test for Spoken French which went very well. I completed this BA Mathematics in 1st class and got my mark sheet about one or two months after my exams. Then I made another trip to India a few months later and got my degree certificate.
JOBS OR HIGHER STUDIES IN INDIA
After I completed my exams, on the final day, many other students asked me to go to the student information center. At the center they were handing out application forms for the MSc in Mathematics but I decided to not pursue that. In any case, higher studies in India is definitely possible after a graduate degree in one sitting.
However, if you are planning to study further in India, it may be best to do your Masters in the same university where you completed your one sitting graduate degree. If you decide to study for your Masters at some other college, some of them may not prefer one sitting candidates, though it is recognized for higher studies in India.
As for the job, since I was already working as a computer programmer, I got a salary increase after I gave my employer my BA degree certificate. Later on, I also got a more senior position in a software company in India using the same educational qualification.
JOBS OR HIGHER STUDIES ABROAD
After a few years, I got a US job offer and they agreed to process my H1B work visa. But as per the H1B visa requirement, a candidate needs to have a 4 year degree or at least a diploma with substantial experience. I had issues with the H1B initially as the BA Mathematics in one sitting was only recognized as an equivalent of a 2 year junior college degree. But later, I was able to document all my training and computer software experience and then finally received my H1B visa approval. But since the H1B approval got delayed so much, I had made other plans and did not take the US job offer at the time. Instead I decided that it would be best to have a 4 year college degree in Computer Science so as to avoid such delays for my future job offers and career prospects.
Previously, there were a few US employers who offered me a job but once I showed them my one sitting BA Mathematics degree, they said they cannot process for a visa as they need a four year college degree for a US visa. So in your case, though the one sitting degree will help and is recognized, for better career prospects it is best for you to get a higher degree/ qualification.
CREDITS TRANSFER/ RECOGNITION
Since the course content of the one sitting degree is exactly similar 3 year college degree in India, a credits transfer will get you a lot of college credits. In my case, I later on enrolled in an accelerated, flexible college degree from New York and I was able to transfer in about 100 college credits from just the content of my one sitting BA Mathematics degree. This was done by a process called foreign credential evaluation at ECE (Educational Credential Evaluators) for Excelsior college in Albany, New York. I got a total of about 126 college credits including my credits for AMIE (Applied Member of the Institution of Engineers).
Most 4 year degrees in USA require around 120 credits for degree completion as per a prescribed syllabus. But since I was enrolled in a degree in Computer Science, I still needed to earn another 20+ advanced credits in computer software.
COOL STRATEGY FOR HIGHER EDUCATION
As noted earlier, a one sitting college degree from a UGC (University Grants Commission) recognized Indian university will definitely improve your jobs prospects and enable you to pursue higher education for a Masters degree. These one sitting degrees were specifically created to assist disadvantaged people who are unable to complete a 3 year college degree due to financial reasons or due to other personal restrictions or problems. The one-sitting degree allows such students to re-enter college after a 3 year gap right after high school, and enables them to write all the 3 years syllabus of exams in one sitting to be awarded their BA, BCom or BSc degrees.
However, there is occasionally a perception of stigma attached to a one-sitting college degree by some employers or educational institutions in India. So be absolutely sure that you have a good education and career plan, and try to follow up your one-sitting college degree in India with a Masters degree or another 4 year degree in India or abroad. This will ensure that your final college degree appears much more prestigious than simply a one year, one sitting college degree. In my case, I completed a 4 year Bachelors degree in Computer Information Systems from Excelsior college in New York. This enabled me to get many lucrative job offers in the US and for easily getting my H1B work visa and so on.