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Exploring Passions. Discovering Purpose. Undergraduate Education at Ashoka University

At Ashoka, we believe in the transformative power of interdisciplinary education. Allow us to inspire you.

CONTENTS Learning without Borders e Spirit of Ashoka Imparting 21st Century Skills UG Programme Structure

1 2 3-4 5-6

Our Chancellor and Vice Chancellor World Class Faculty Founders Campus and Infrastructure

8 9 10 11-12

Life at Ashoka Residence Life

13-14 15-16

Fitness and Wellness Student Body Admission Process and Timeline Fees and Financial Aid Summer Abroad Industry Connect International Partners Placements

17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24

Learning without Borders At Ashoka, we believe in the transformative power of interdisciplinary education. We believe that an engagement with history can help our economists usher in a better future. We understand how knowledge of computer coding coupled with an insight into human psychology can result in the creation of an entity like Facebook. Ashoka University oers its students a liberal education, deemed as one that traverses the boundaries between the arts and sciences and carries a strong emphasis on learning across subjects. Such an education provides depth and breadth of learning, both by exposing students to diverse disciplines and by emphasising scholarship and research. We oer undergraduate and postgraduate programmes across the humanities, social sciences and fundamental natural sciences. Students can choose various combinations of courses before committing to a major. is way, they learn to think for themselves and are encouraged to take responsibility early in their lives.


e Spirit of Ashoka Ashoka University is a private, nonpro t university. An unprecedented example of collective public philanthropy in India, it is a pioneer in its focus on providing a liberal education at par with the best in the world. e University aims to help students become well-rounded individuals who can think critically about issues from multiple perspectives, communicate effectively and go on to become selfaware leaders with a strong commitment to public service. Here, education carries strong emphasis on foundational knowledge, thorough academic research based on rigorous pedagogy, and hands-on experience to face real-world challenges. An Ashoka education prepares students to be ethical leaders in a diverse and complex world, as envisioned by Emperor Ashoka over two thousand years ago.



Ashoka reimagines the classroom as a learning space for dynamic exchange of ideas between the students and teachers. A reciprocal environment not only encourages active engagement from students but also hones their leadership skills.

Imparting 21st century skills With changing times come changing needs. Concepts such as sustainability and impact are gaining wider currency and ideas such as lifelong employment and job security are gradually waning. Given the frantic pace of technological development, the 21st century demands three core skills: Critical inking Eective Communication Responsible Leadership Ashoka's mandate is to choose exceptional, all-round students and nurture them, thus creating conscientious leaders of tomorrow. e University's mission is to foster an environment where students can discover their passion and purpose.


Undergraduate Programme Structure Ashoka offers a three-year Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree. Students can choose to do a Pure Major in one of the 9 available courses or an Interdisciplinary Major in one of the 8 courses. is gives them a total of 17 options to major in. ey can also pick minors from the 15 courses on offer. e 12 Foundation Courses are compulsory for everyone. ese give students an exposure to a broad set of disciplines, and foster critical thinking skills. For further exposure to creative and linguistic areas, students can choose from the optional Co-curricular Courses. Students might come to Ashoka already determined to specialise in one subject, but are not expected to declare their major until the middle of the second year. at gives them plenty of time to try out various possibilities, to discover new passions, and perhaps to change the trajectory of their lives.


Foundational Requirements

Introduction to Critical inking



9 Pure *

Major (Choose one)


8 Interdisciplinary

Literature & the World Great Books

Computer Science

Principles of Science


Mind & Behaviour


Indian Civilisations


Foundations of Economic Reasoning Social and Political Formations Introduction to Mathematical inking Trends in History Critical inking Seminars -1 Critical inking Seminars -2


Computer Science & Entrepreneurial Leadership Computer Science & Mathematics


Economics & Finance Economics & History


English and Journalism

Political Science

History & International Relations

Psychology Sociology & Anthropology


Co-curricular (Choose two)

Bharatanatyam Ceramics Hindustani Classical Music eater & Performance Visual Arts


Optional Minor (Choose one)

Entrepreneurial Leadership Environmental Science International Relations Media Studies Visual Arts Performing Arts

Western Classical Music & Art Entrepreneurial Creativity & Innovation French / Latin / Urdu

Politics, Philosophy & Economics Politics & Society

* You can also choose a

minor from the 9 pure majors

Optional Fourth Year Beyond the three-year degree programme, students can opt for the unique additional one-year Ashoka Scholars Programme. is combines an academically rigorous research project and internship with a set of electives that prepare them for higher studies, corporate jobs, entrepreneurship, research and teaching, or careers in the non-pro t sector. At its culmination, the Ashoka Scholars Programme awards a one-year postgraduate diploma. is satis es the requisite four years of college education to apply for postgraduate studies in the US, Europe, and elsewhere.

Schools and Centres Ashoka University currently has four Academic Schools that encourage research collaborations to establish a dynamic interdisciplinary environment on campus. ey work in tandem with six Centres that look beyond the campus and work in areas such as leadership, entrepreneurship, sensitisation, social impact, and political research. Of these, the Centre for Writing and Communication works closely with all students to help develop vital critical thinking and writing skills. Together, the schools and centres equip our students not just to face the world, but to shape it.

e Undergraduate Programme is supported by

School of Economics School of Social Sciences School of Natural and Applied Sciences School of Arts and Humanities Centre for Entrepreneurship Trivedi Centre for Political Data Centre for Social Impact and Philanthropy Centre for Studies in Gender and Sexuality Centre for Writing and Communication Genpact Centre for Women's Leadership


A good student-teacher relationship with some of the world’s nest educators encourage our undergraduates to excel in their elds. Ashoka’s professors listen, guide and push the students to be the best that they can be.


e Chancellor and Vice Chancellor

Andre Beteille Chancellor, Ashoka University National Research Professor, Professor Emeritus, Delhi School of Economics Ph.D. University of Delhi Andre Beteille is one of India’s leading sociologists and writers. He is particularly well known for his studies of the caste system in South India. He is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi. He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in Anthropology from the University of Calcutta. ereafter he received his doctorate from the University of Delhi. In 2005, Professor Beteille received the Padma Bhushan as a mark of recognition for his work in the eld of Sociology. e same year he was appointed a member of the Prime Minister’s National Knowledge Commission. In 2006, he was made National Professor.

Rudrangshu Mukherjee Vice Chancellor, Ashoka University Historian; Editor, e Telegraph D. Phil. Oxford University Rudrangshu Mukherjee is a Professor of History at Ashoka University. He is a renowned historian and author, and was most recently Editor of the Editorial Pages at e Telegraph, Kolkata. Prof. Mukherjee has taught history at the University of Calcutta and held visiting appointments at Princeton University, the University of Manchester and the University of California, Santa Cruz. Prof. Mukherjee studied at Calcutta Boys’ School; Presidency College, Kolkata; Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and St. Edmund Hall, Oxford. He was awarded a D.Phil in Modern History by the University of Oxford in 1981.


World Class Faculty At Ashoka, professors and teaching assistants engage with students at all times. Seminars, tutorials and one-on-one sessions typify what is best about an Ashoka education: a small, intimate setting for thought-provoking discussions in which thinking and learning come alive. eir approach blurs disciplinary boundaries, challenges existing specialisations, and addresses general issues across a particular discipline. Faculty members also serve as student advisors and mentors to undergraduate and postgraduate students, leading to a student faculty experience that is close, dynamic, and mutually bene cial.

Malabika Sarkar Principal Advisor (Academic) PhD, University of Leicester

Pulapare Balakrishnan Professor, Economics PhD, University of Cambridge

Bhaskar Dutta Professor, Economics PhD, University of Delhi


Sudheendra Hangal Associate Professor, Computer Science PhD, Stanford University

Vaiju Naravane Professor, Journalism Media Studies Fellow, World Press Institute Pune University

Madhavi Menon Professor, English PhD, Tufts University

Annette Taylor Visiting Professor, Psychology PhD, University of Southern California

Jonathan Gil Harris Dean, Academic Aairs Professor, English PhD, University of Sussex

Vanita Shastri Dean, Undergraduate Programs

Aparna Vaidik Associate Professor, History PhD, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Maya Saran Assistant Professor, Mathematics PhD, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Alex Watson Professor, Philosophy D Phil, Oxford University

Founders Ashoka University has been founded by some of the most diverse entrepreneurs and professionals of our time. Having been educated in premier educational institutions in India and abroad themselves, the founders have a sound understanding of the challenges and needs of the higher education sector in India. ey believe that innovative models of higher education can play a signi cant role in the development of thinkers, leaders, entrepreneurs and institution builders across different elds, something that India urgently needs. At present, we have 65 founders, some of whom are:

Sanjeev Bikhchandani Founder, St. Stephen’s, IIM Ahmedabad

Ashish Dhawan Senior MD, ChrysCapital; Founder, CSF Yale, Harvard

Amit Chandra MD, Bain Capital Mumbai University, Boston College

Ashish Gupta COO, Evalueserve IIT Delhi, CMU

Vineet Gupta MD, Jamboree Education IIT Delhi

Atul Nishar Founder Aptech & Hexaware Mumbai University

Puneet Dalmia MD, Dalmia Cements IIT Delhi, IIM Bangalore

Pranav Gupta Chairman, MD, Parabolic Drugs University of Kansas

Deep Kalra Founder and CEO, MakeMy Trip St. Stephen’s, IIM Ahmedabad

Pramath Sinha Founding Dean, ISB IIT Kanpur, Upenn

Dilip Shanghvi Founder and MD, Sun Pharmaceuticals University of Calcutta

Siddharth Yog Co-Founder, Xander Group DU, Harvard



Our library is open 24x7 so that students have a quiet space to work at all hours of the day.

Campus and Infrastructure Our fully residential campus is spread over 25 acres across the Delhi border at Rajiv Gandhi Education City in Sonepat, Haryana. e academic community has access to online resources and state of-the-art IT infrastructure to support their educational endeavours. Our library provides students with access to online resources in the form of books, journals, articles, and other databases that are essential to conducting research. Ashoka has also set up stimulating spaces for students across campus by creating a dance studio, sustainability room, pottery studio, music room, photography and radio station. Our fully furnished, air-conditioned hostels have multiple lounge spaces, and facilities for laundry and mess. Shops within the campus cater to all requirements such as food, stationery and other general provisions. Residences also house medical clinics staed with physicians, open to all on campus.

An Ashoka education carries a strong emphasis on foundational knowledge, thorough academic research based on rigorous pedagogy, and hands-on experience with real-world challenges. An Ashoka education prepares students to be ethical leaders in a diverse and complex world, as envisioned by Emperor Ashoka over two thousand years ago.



Life at Ashoka e Ashoka campus is a vibrant hub of cultural and intellectual activities. Student Life at Ashoka works towards building opportunities that expose students to critical thinking, innovations and best practices, while striving for excellence. rough creative workshops, lecture-demonstrations and guest sessions, the Office of Student Life continuously works to expose students to a gamut of disciplines and art forms. Not only do these stimulate creative interests, they also allow them to discover and appreciate issues of socio-political relevance. Clubs and Societies At Ashoka, clubs and societies are autonomous bodies which design their own leadership structure and modes of functioning. An array of rich and diverse opportunities create a space for a wide variety of intellectuals, aesthetes and performers to express themselves.



Residence Life Ashoka University’s Residence Life programme is dedicated to revitalising the campus residential experience, starting with creating a community in every residence hall. Residence Life welcomes you to a community of diverse and talented scholars residing in a close-knit and dynamic learning environment. We are dedicated to creating a safe, comfortable and vibrant residential experience so students can make the most of every moment. Services As a purely residential campus, the university houses its students in the fully furnished and air conditioned Men’s and Women’s residence halls. e common lounge of both the residence halls is equipped with a television, reading areas, board games and a pantry. Apart from this, each oor of the residence halls has a pantry and reading room allowing students to interact and bond together in the shared community space. e university dining mess along with six other eating joints on campus provides students with a plethora of healthy local and global choices of cuisine. Student Support Our counselling centre, the Centre for Individual and Group Experience (CIGE), is an endeavour towards supporting and ensuring a more holistic well-being of students, which includes mind, body and relationships to others. It aspires to help them become people with a rich inner emotional life that can provide resilience and be a source of energy and creativity.


Fitness and Wellness Ashoka University is dedicated to providing students with plenty of activity outside the classroom. e past year saw Ashokans represent the University in football, basketball, volleyball, cricket, table tennis, tennis, chess, badminton and Ultimate Frisbee. From hitting the gym to practicing yoga, students can choose the tness regime that suits them best. Apart from existing facilities for football, tennis, cricket, volleyball, basketball and table tennis; the incoming class of 2016 will be greeted by a state-of-the-art indoor sports complex equipped with a swimming pool, shooting range and multi-purpose courts.


Student Body In 2015, Ashoka welcomed its second undergraduate batch comprising 234 bright youngsters from more than 20 Indian states and eight countries. 57% of them are women. Ashoka's admissions process ensures that winners of international Olympiads and robotics challenges study alongside published authors, accomplished musicians and sportspersons.

e Young India Fellowship Ashoka's one-year postgraduate diploma programme in liberal studies started in 2011 with 57 students from diverse academic, geographic and social backgrounds. e rst of its kind in India, the programme is now in its fth year and has 193 Fellows. e Fellowship attracts graduates from the best institutions from all over India and the world.


Admission Process Ashoka follows a two-stage holistic assessment system to gauge a candidate’s true potential. We evaluate students based on the following: 1. 2. 3. 4.

Intellectual curiosity Academic performance Extra-curricular and co-curricular interests and participation Personal context

Stage 1 Application: e application form can be lled online through our website or offline by downloading it. ere is no application fee. Key components of the application are: 1. Academic performance from Class IX to XII, or equivalent (application can be submitted before Class XII results are out) 2. Extra-curricular and co-curricular activity details 3. An essay that shares the applicant’s personal journey, interests and information (topics will be listed in the application form) 4. Letters of Recommendation (optional) 5. SAT/ ACT score* (optional) Stage 2 In-person assessment: Shortlisted applicants will be called for an interview and on-the-spot assessment comprising of an essay and an optional Ashoka Aptitude Test. *SAT/ACT scores are not mandatory for admission. However, candidates applying with these scores meeting our other selection criteria will be offered con rmed admission even before their board exam results. Candidates applying without SAT/ ACT scores may be given conditional admission offers.


Fees and Financial Aid At Ashoka University, affordability is not a deterrent for exceptional students. ose who meet the rigorous admissions criteria and have proven nancial need are supported through scholarships and assisted with student loans. Waivers range from 15% on tuition to 100% on all expenses. e University also has tie-ups with nancial institutions that provide education loans at affordable rates without requiring any collateral.

"Apart from top-class facilities, what I also like is the generous Financial Aid Programme wherein no student is denied admission to Ashoka for want of funds." Success Sibanda, UG 2015-18

“Ashoka does not judge its students on their ability to pay. e scholarship model, world class faculty, inter-disciplinary approach – all of these factors make Ashoka truly exceptional.”

Over INR 50 crores worth of scholarships already provided since Ashoka University was established 2 out of every 3 students of the undergraduate class on full or part scholarships Waivers ranging from 15% on tuition to 100% on all expenses level the eld

Himanshu Shekhar, UG 2015-18

Annual Fee Structure


5,70,000 INR

Hostel Fees

1,25,000 INR


6,95,000 INR

Students will pay a one-time Admissions Processing Fee of 35,000 INR, and a refundable security deposit of 50,000 INR. Meal plans will cost approximately 55,000 INR per year.


Summer Abroad e Office of International Programmes offers exciting international opportunities that serve to further enhance the learning experience and allow students to take on new academic challenges. During their time abroad, students have a unique chance to immerse themselves in a different culture as well as build lasting connections with people from all over the globe. An international experience is not only academically challenging but is sure to give our students a new perspective and broad horizons.

Shreyas Shende went to University of California, Berkeley “e summer of 2015 was a series of rsts for me - rst Philosophy class, rst Comparative Politics class, rst summer session and my rst visit to Berkeley (University of California). It was enriching to see people from different parts of the world debating on the various facets of democracy. We had an Indian professor from Bangalore, the inspiring Prof Sandeep Shastri, teaching students from Britain, Morocco and China - all discussing what democracy means!”

Asees Puri went to SciencesPo., Paris “Without the liberal education I had received in India, I would not have been able to sit in a lecture hall of 27 students where only eight of us were still undergraduates while the rest were wrapping up their Master’s and PhDs. e academic rigour I had been exposed to in my freshman year gave me the con dence to put forward my point of view in class and ask the right questions. It is only once I stepped away from the place that I now proudly call home that I understood the bene ts of a liberal education and the quality of exposure we have right here in India.”


Industry Connect Guest Lectures Ashoka invites renowned personalities from various walks of life to share their knowledge and expertise. Eminent personalities, scholars and thinkers such as Dalai Lama, Madeleine Albright, and Shashi aroor have engaged with our students in the past. Ashoka continues to host workshops and talks that expose students to a range of ideas and perspectives.

e Ashoka Summer Internship Programme (ASIP) ASIP provides unique opportunities for undergraduate students to intern at corporations, research organisations, social impact groups (NGOs) or local schools, in the summer of each year. is initiative adds a valuable professional quali cation to a student’s portfolio and instills leadership skills.

Jairam Ramesh

Madeleine Albright

Kash Rangan

Adam Klien

Dr. Shashi aroor

P. Sainath 22

International Partners Academic programmes at Ashoka are delivered in collaboration with world-class institutions who have partnered with us. e University of Pennsylvania, University of Michigan, Carleton College, King’s College London, SciencesPo., Trinity College Dublin, UC Berkeley and Yale University have all signed on to provide assistance in developing our unique curriculum and establishing the necessary academic programmes. Ashoka students have a unique chance to travel abroad and experience new cultural and academic environments in partner universities. Courses undertaken abroad will count towards the credit requirements for graduation. Students can study abroad either for a semester or for the summer.

Visiting Faculty

Scope of Development of Curriculum Collaboration

Joint Research



Student Exchange

Where does an Ashoka education take you? e University's various career offices guide and coordinate further studies and placements for students. Our alumni go on to pursue advanced studies and research at top institutions across the world, and receive prestigious scholarships. Here are just a few:




CAMPUS # 2, Rajiv Gandhi Education City P.O. Rai, Sonepat, National Capital Region, Haryana 131 029 T +91 130 230 0000 E

ADMISSIONS OFFICE OďŹƒce No. 2, Green Avenue Street, Pocket D3, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi 110 070 T +91 11 6940 5805/07 E

Undergraduate Prospectus - Ashoka University