Q: Where are the classes conducted?
A: They are conducted at the Bhaktivedanta Institute in Mumbai (formerly Bombay).
Q: Who will grant the degrees?
A: The degrees are granted by Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani, Rajasthan, India under a collaborative arrangement.
Q: Is the degree recognized by institutions in the US and Europe?
A: BITS is one of the foremost technical universities in India, and its degrees are recognized internationally and in all American universities. BITS is ranked on the same level with the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT). A great number of BITS alumni can be found working in institutions and corporations in the US.
Q: What is the Scope of the M.Phil. Program?
A: The M.Phil. program is a rigorous scientific study of matter while taking into account the presence of consciousness in the lived world. Please read “What is Consciousness Studies—The Approach at the Bhaktivedanta Institute”. It is not a study of consciousness directly. In other words, in this M.S. program, “Consciousness Studies” is a consciousness-based study of matter, not a matter-based study of consciousness as the field is generally conceived.
Thus, the program will conform to the widely accepted standards and practices of scientific research pertaining to the study of matter even while encouraging creative scientific ideas. While the student may personally adhere to any metaphysical worldview, there will be no room for discussing it save and except any demonstrable implications it could have for the objective study of matter within empirical science.
All class room discussions, submissions, assignments, projects, guided self-studies, and final dissertation will adhere to the above guidelines.
The faculty reserves the right to issue more guidelines as and when needed.
Q: Is it a M.S. degree or M.Phil. degree?
A: In October 2015 the Senate of BITS Pilani, in accordance with UGC requirements, formally approved the change of degree nomenclature of the Master of Science (M.S.) in Consciousness Studies program to Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) in Consciousness Studies, with effect from the academic year 2015-2016. The program structure and curriculum of the M.Phil. program remains the same as that of the corresponding M.S. program. The input requirements and graduation requirements of the M.Phil. program also remain the same as those of the M.S. program. Students can obtain a certificate stating that the M.Phil. degree is equivalent to M.Tech. degree, if they so desire.
Q: When is the next enrollment date?
A: New admissions take place in the Fall season of each year.
Q: What is the duration of the M.Phil. program?
A: Four semesters. There are three semesters of course work and one semester for the dissertation.
Q: For how long has this program been offered?
A: The program started in 1997. So far, over thirty have graduated from the program. Visit our "past students" page to meet most of them.
Since this is an intensive research-oriented graduate program, we do not select more than 5-6 students. Additionally we strive to provide full / partial financial support to all admitted students.
Q: How long does it take to process applications?
A: Typically less than 2 months.
Q: What is the cost of doing this program?
A: The course fees are as follows:
One time admission fee: Rs. 16,500
Per semester fee: Rs. 62,000
Students are invited to apply for a scholarship which will enable a fee waiver.
Q: What about staying facilities in Mumbai?
A: Limited hostel facilities exist at Bhaktivedanta Institute, Mumbai.
Q: What about staying facilities? What are the conditions to avail oneself of these facilities?
A: This program is a residential program. Limited hostel facilities exist at Bhaktivedanta Institute, Mumbai. Students, who are awarded a scholarship, are provided accommodation in the hostel on a sharing basis, and hostel fees are waived. Students are expected to maintain over 90% participation in all the academic activities of this program. Students cannot leave the premises to go out of Mumbai without prior permission.
Vegetarian lunch and dinner meals are provided by the institute to all resident students in the campus free of cost at the announced timings.
The students have to adhere to the following code of conduct while in the institute and the hostel premises: (a) no smoking or any other intoxication (b) no gambling (c) no activity which is detrimental to the interests of the students/institute.
Students using the hostel facilities will be required to commit in writing to conform to the above guidelines failing which the Institute will be free to take any action it deems fit including debarring the student from the course admission.
For those students who wish to consider obtaining a "paying guest" accommodation near the Institute in Juhu (Mumbai), a single room with an attached bath in a private house, having kitchen access in some cases would cost around Rs. 10,000 per month when available.
Q: Are scholarships or other forms of financial aid available?
A: A limited number of scholarships is available. Admitted students will receive free room/board in the hostel, fee waivers or fellowships or even a combination of all these, depending on his/her performance throughout the program.
Q: Can you tell me a bit about the Institute's location in Mumbai?
A: The Juhu beach is minutes away by walk from the Institute campus. Driving two hours from the city, one can escape into the dazzling rain forests at the foothills of Matheran.