UG or PG — Which is the better course for study abroad?

Q. I am a student of Class X. I aspire to become an engineer, and my dream is to get admission into one of the Ivy League colleges like MIT, Duke or Stanford. I know how difficult this task will be to achieve as an international student. I would like to know if there’s a better chance of achieving this dream as an undergraduate student or a postgraduate student. If I choose to pursue a BTech course in India, can I still attempt to get my MTech abroad?

A. First off, kudos to you for aspiring high and for considering your options at an early stage in your life. You have posed a two part question, the two sections below answer the two parts.

To address whether it’s easier as an undergraduate or graduate student, it is true that there are technically more seats available for UG courses than PG courses. Going abroad to study after Class XII is a great option, provided you have the requisite marks, finance, and survival instincts.

To avail a BTech seat in any of the colleges you mentioned, you would have to have excellent grades in your Class IX, X, XI and XII. You also need to ace your SATs, achieving full marks in mathematics section and not less than 780 out of 800 in your English Reading and Writing paper, or achieve 36+ out of 40 in all your ACT papers. Note however that SAT-ACT scores are not required during the pandemic situation.

For a PG course, you would require extremely high GRE or GMAT scores.

So, in both cases, you would need to have excellent marks in the respective papers, along with compelling application letters and IELTS/TOEFL scores. The only point of difference when it comes to ease of getting in is the number of seats available in the UG course. But you should note that this does not affect the probability of getting in by a significant level, so don’t let yourself get complacent yet.

As for your second question, yes, you can complete your Masters in Science (MSc) abroad after pursuing BTech in India. You will need to score a GPA of 3.5 or above. It’s advisable to have a holistic profile, complete with extra-curriculars, volunteering and sports. As mentioned earlier, you require high GRE/GMAT scores. You would also have to keep your letter of recommendation, personal application and statement of purpose ready beforehand.

In conclusion, it is a tough path. Difficult, but certainly not impossible! I wish you the best of luck, through either of the alternatives you choose to follow.

Sanjay Arora is Chief Mentor and CEO of

About the author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *