The amalgam of knowledge and methodologies from multiple academic disciplines through interdisciplinary education has become increasingly critical in 21st century workspaces. With challenges that necessitate collaboration across fields for end-to-end solutions, cross disciplinary learning fosters adaptability and a holistic understanding of complex issues – a must in today’s work environment. Employers are increasingly looking to hire young individuals who can forge connections between ideas and concepts spanning various fields of knowledge.
An exciting new programme at Ahmedabad University, The BxMx Programme, is set to offer students an entirely new approach to planning their graduate education right at the undergraduate level. The BxMx Programme will allow a student to pursue a bachelor’s and master’s degree for five years. This unique combination will allow an undergraduate student from one Programme and one School to seamlessly move into a master’s programme in the same or another School. To be able to do so, students will need to get admitted to the Programme and meet the prescribed requirements.
The BxMx is an innovation in higher education with an aim to create flexible opportunities for students at the graduate level of education. The Programme will enable students to harness insights gained in one discipline and apply them to different areas, enriching their learning experience. The most effective manifestation of interdisciplinary study empowers students to chart their interdisciplinary journeys by selecting courses that align with their interests and objectives.
A student can enroll in any of The BxMx Programmes either at the time of joining the University or at the beginning of their third year of undergraduate education. These options are kept in place as many students may not know what they want to study when they transition from school to university education. Pankaj Chandra, Vice Chancellor and Professor, says, “Ahmedabad University strongly believes in helping students discover their passion and find employment opportunities within their chosen fields. The BxMx programme enhances that ability for our students and also prepares them better for newer career opportunities that occur at the boundaries of many disciplines.” For instance, a BS in Mathematical and Computational Science or Physics student can now do a MS in Quantitative Finance by completing credits as part of The BxMx Programme. Such a student will find many career openings in finance and fintech sectors. A humanities and social sciences student may wish to become a banker, and a programme like The BxMx will facilitate that by allowing her to pursue an MBA along with her BA degree. A student interested in Economics may want to pursue research in poverty alleviation or gender discrimination. Such a student will benefit if allowed to take a master’s degree in Sociology or Psychology, which is crucial for field study in rural areas. If a BBA student is interested in environmental sciences or public health, they may undertake their master's education accordingly as part of The BxMx Programme. “This flexibility to engage in a bachelor’s programme in one discipline while progressing towards a master’s degree in another distinguishes it from the traditional integrated programmes, which focus on one linear educational path. Despite the high utility of interdisciplinary learning and experience, it is challenging for many students to pursue it due to the nature of the testing required for admission in the country,” adds Professor Chandra.
We want to change this status quo at Ahmedabad University. The BxMx Programme also aligns with the guidelines of New Education Policy 2020, emphasising the fusion of diverse degrees to foster critical thinking and offer a transformative path to enhance the employability of young graduates by making them more equipped to navigate the competitive workforce.
Ahmedabad University announced three programmes starting from August 2023:
As the University develops other master’s programmes, undergraduate students will find several options in varied disciplines as a continuation of their educational experience. Master’s programmes that become part of The BxMx Programme prescribe the eligibility criteria, admission course prerequisites, and a required minimum grade point average. They will also enlist the courses the students need to take in the first four years and the structure of their respective master's programmes. Although the duration of The BxMx Programme is five years, the University allows students to exit after four years after completing the prescribed requirements of the respective undergraduate major with honours.