India Study – DiscoverESL – Indian Educational System

India’s Educational System

Universities in India offer a wide range of degree options that meet the varied educational needs of international students.

Higher Education Institutions in India

Universities and University-Level Institutions

  • Central Universities: Managed and funded by the Indian government
  • State Universities: Managed and funded by the state government
  • Institutes of National Importance: Private institutions recognized on a national level for high academic standards and quality of curriculum
  • Deemed to be University Status: Colleges and private institutions recognized for high caliber education are deemed to be universities


  • Affiliated Colleges: Follow their affiliated university’s curriculum, structures and protocols
  • Autonomous Colleges: Overseen by universities, but set their own requirements and curriculum and operate under protocols separate from those of their overseeing universities

For more details on the types of higher education institutions in India, please click here.

Degree Options in India

  • Certificate: Short-term program; allows you to explore a subject before enrolling in a degree program
  • Bachelor’s Degree: Undergraduate degree; prerequisite for postgraduate degree; can range from three years to five years depending on the specific major or concentration
  • Master’s Degree: Postgraduate degree; allows you to specialize in a particular field and complete a research project or thesis; generally can be completed in two to three years
  • Doctorate (PhD): Highest level of education; requires a detailed dissertation

For more details on the degree programs available in India, please click here.