Department of Biological Sciences participate in three academic programs offered by IISER, Mohali:

Integrated BS-MS program

Admissions to the integrated BS-MS program are handled centrally by a joint admissions committee consisting of members representing all five IISERs, and all admitted candidates are provided with a fellowship, subject to a minimum level of academic performance.


After two years of common coursework in all science subjects (i.e., biology, chemistry, physics or mathematics),BS-MS students pursue their interests by enrolling in any of the four disciplines as their ‘major’ subject.


However, students are allowed to take one ‘major’ subject and still conduct research in other subjects with interdisciplinary nature.To aid this, each department participates in a special program in which students ending their second year are informed about what they might expect to study, if they choose to do a major in biology. This program is held in the end of March, or in the beginning of April, every year. After this, much of the academic program for the third, fourth and fifth years of the BS-MS program (including the process by which research supervisors are allotted for the fifth year thesis project) is handled by the department, in collaboration with the office of Dean, Academics.


Integrated MS-PhD program

The department oversees admissions to this program. Eligibility criteria are routinely advertised on the institute’s website, and the admissions are conducted in the summer of each year. Shortlisted candidates are invited for an entrance examination/interview towards selection. It may be noted that the department is extremely selective about these admissions, and only exceptionally meritorious, and motivated, candidates displaying a clear aptitude towards research are admitted. All admitted candidates are provided with a fellowship.


PhD program

Ph.D admissions are done at the beginning of each semester twice a year, and advertisements appear on the website towards the end of each semester. Candidates who apply – through an electronic applications process – are screened according to extant eligibility and shortlisting criteria, and invited for examinations/interviews.


Summer programs

The department participates in three kinds of summer research training programs:

  • IISER’s own BS-MS students are required to do summer Students are exposed to experimental projects. Some do it at IISER-M;
  • IISER participates in an inter-academy summer program supervised by the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, which allots some summer students to research supervisors at IISER;
  • IISER-M advertises a summer program open to students from around the country, in the month of February/March.