IIT Kanpur provides provision to B.Tech/B.S. students for changing branch to any other B.Tech/B.S. branch on the basis of some constraints given in the UG Manual of IIT Kanpur. IIT Kanpur has relatively liberal rules and criteria for branch change. Approximately, around 50 students' branch get changed every year.
The only criteria for Branch Change is CPI (Cumulative Performance Index). 1st year CPI and course grades are taken into consideration for Branch Change procedure. The candidates can apply for branch change to any other branch (list of B.Tech/B.S. branches). The candidates who have applied for branch change are sorted in decreasing order of their CPI and the allocation of branches is done according to the sorted list of students based on their preference list.
How to Apply
Application for change of branch/programme should be made to the Chairperson, SUGC, IITK. The applications for Branch Change are opened near the end of each semester. All UG Students receive a mail from DOAA Office with the application form attached. All the interested students are required to fill the form manually and submit the hard copy of the form in the UG Office in Academic Affair's Building within the deadline mentioned in the mail.
The detailed rules associated with Branch Change are mentioned in the UG Manual. Given below is the detailed summary of rules which are applicable for Branch Change:
- One can apply for branch change at the end of 2nd, 3rd and 4th semester.
- Branch can be changed only once. One cannot apply for Branch Change if his/her branch has already changed once.
- One has to pass all the courses in 1st year where S/X grade are awarded.
- No programme may exceed the larger of E and S+2*, where E is its existing and S is the sanctioned strengths or fall below 55% of its sanctioned strength as a result of these changes.
- If one has 10/10 CPI and passed all S/X grade courses, he/she is allowed to change his/her branch irrespective of the branch strength criteria.
Insights into the rules
This paragraph provides further insights on the important points from these set of rules for the 4 year BT/BS programmes.
- Once a branch change has been approved, the student is not allowed to apply for any other branch change requests in future. This rule was added in the later years to make the students understand the seriousness of their decision. Since every department has a fixed criteria for graduating, allowing multiple branch changes can have deep impact on the curriculum that the student would need to follow to graduate within the allowed time frame. This would further put a lot if constraints on the student as well as the institute.
- Branch changes are accepted on decreasing order of CPI. Another condition along with on this is of department strength. Each department is associated with 2 types of student strength, existing strength and sanctioned strength. Existing strength gives the number of students currently enrolled in the department for any particular batch, whereas the sanctioned strength gives the maximum number of students which take admission in any particular department for any batch. There develops a difference between these because of the cases of terminations, semester drop etc. which happen along the way. So as the rule states, limited number of students are accepted for a branch change so that no programme may exceed the larger of the existing and sactioned strengths. Also other factor that limits the number of branch changes is that after the students are shifted between departments, no programmed should fall below 60% of its sanctioned strength.
- In case of CPI clash between 2 students, grades of both students are compared for subjects according to a fixed sequence. This means that if one student gets a better grade than the other in a subject of higher priority, then he/she will be considered more eligible for the department change. These priorities are fixed by the institue depending on the importance of a particular course in the curriculum.
- Students can apply for a branch change at the end of II, III and IV semester. But as the facts suggest, more students get their request accepted at the end of IInd semester, than after IIIrd or IVth semester. The reason is that after the branch changes taking place after IInd semester, the existing strength might already exceed the sanctioned strength, and thus more students won't be allowed to shift to that department.
These rules are laid down to make the students realize that branch change is a priviledge for the students, to be used very wisely as it can impact their entire career.