About the College

The Indian Institute of Technology Madras is known both nationally and internationally for excellence in technical education, basic and applied research, innovation, entrepreneurship and industrial consultancy. A faculty of international repute, a highly motivated and brilliant student community, excellent technical and supporting staff and an effective administration have all contributed to the pre-eminent status of IIT Madras. The Institute is proud to bear the laureate of being No.1 engineering university in India. More recently, IIT Madras has been given the title of Institute of Eminence.


About HSS Department

The Department of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) is one of the earliest departments at IITM. The department is essentially multi-disciplinary in nature and has faculty from diverse streams, such as Development Studies, Economics, English, Environmental Studies, Film Studies, Health Studies, History, International Relations, Philosophy, Politics, and Sociology. The department offers doctoral programmes in humanities and social sciences besides elective courses for the undergraduate and post-graduate programmes of the Institute. Since 2006-07, the department has been offering a five-year integrated Master of Arts (M.A.) programme. With the launch of this programme, the IITM has crossed a milestone in fulfilling its role in higher education in liberal arts and social sciences in the country. This has opened avenues for highly motivated students in arts and humanities to enter IIT Madras.


About HSEE

The Humanities and Social Sciences Entrance Examination or HSEE is a national level entrance test conducted every year by Indian Institute of Technology Madras for admission to the master programme offered by the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) of the Institute. The test is completely computer-based and is usually conducted in the second or third week of April in various cities across India. The HSEE started in the year 2006 coinciding with the launch of the M.A. programme at IIT Madras. This is the only test of its kind, which admits students to a five year integrated masters programme in humanities and social sciences subjects offered by an IIT.


About the Program

Excellence in higher education in the humanities and social sciences is evidently of growing importance around the world. By imparting quality education through this programme the Institute aims at producing well-rounded individuals with sound training in the humanities and social sciences to answer the needs of universities, research institutes and commercial and public sector enterprises. The programme draws its strength from the unique mix of streams.



Integrated M.A. in Development Studies

Integrated M.A. in English Studies

A brief description of each stream of the programme is given below.


Development Studies:

This stream addresses questions of “order and change” in a globalizing world and aims to explore available approaches to fostering development, understood broadly as the goal of providing people the freedom to make their lives better. This will entail studying the web of relationships humans have with each other and the physical world, which can serve both as a constraint and a source of enormous creativity and ingenuity for achieving sustainable development.


Analyzing and addressing these issues therefore requires knowledge and skills from across the social sciences, which is what the inter-disciplinary area of Development Studies seeks to do. It covers such topics as economic development, the role of the state and markets, globalization, inequality, poverty, gender relations, environment, conflict, new social movements, politics and institutions, urban studies, area studies and international relations, to name a few. Courses include those in economics, urbanization, gender studies and science and technology studies as well as advanced topics in political philosophy and social theory. Students in this stream will be expected to acquire and develop quantitative skills in introductory calculus and statistics in the course of the programme. Graduates have career opportunities in government, academia, research organizations and industry.


English Studies:

The English Studies stream has been designed for students with sensitivity for literary and linguistic analyses. It provides an understanding of literatures in English from around the world with special emphasis on current debates in literary theory, lesser-known literatures and the importance of an interdisciplinary approach. It aims to introduce students to language, literary and cultural studies, with an emphasis on critical reading skills that would stand a student in good stead whatever he/she may eventually do in life. Starting with introductory courses in the basics of language and literature, the stream covers the masters of English literary tradition, as well as major writers from other traditions – Asian, African, Latin American and Continental. A range of genre-based, author-based and period-based courses are offered so that students appreciate different kinds of literature in English in different periods of its history.

Courses in linguistics and the structure and function of natural languages as a system of cognition and communication are parts of this stream. Students are exposed to other streams such as Economics, Sociology, History, and Philosophy so that they can have a range of career options from academics and editing to journalism and language training.

Prospective candidates are encouraged to review the curricula before applying to the programme.


HSEE Exam Pattern 2021

The medium of the HSEE 2021 question papers will be English. As per the exam pattern of HSEE 2021. The question paper of HSEE will be divided into two parts, Part 1 and Part 2. The total duration of the HSEE exam is 180 minutes. The total duration of Part 1 and Part 2 is 150 minutes and 30 minutes. Part 1 consists of computer based questions from various topics such as general studies, analytical and quantitative aptitude. In Part 2 of the HSEE question paper, candidates have to write an essay on a general topic. Candidates preparing for the HSEE entrance examination 2021 must take a look at the exam pattern before starting with the preparation.

Paper pattern of HSEE 2020 was as follows:


Subjects No. of Questions
English and Comprehension Skill 36
Analytical & Quantitative Ability 36
General Studies-Indian Economy 18
General Studies-Indian Society and Culture 18
General Studies-World Affairs 18
General Studies-Environmental and Ecology 18


All Questions carried 1 mark and the total exam duration was 150 minutes.


How to prepare for HSEE 2021

It is very imperative for the students aiming to get a seat in MA programmes offered by IIT Madras to formulate a preparation strategy for succeeding in the entrance examination. Following are some preparation mantras which candidates can bring in to their schedule to ace in the examination.

  • To start with the preparation of HSEE 2021, take a proper glance at the syllabus of HSEE 2021. Note down all the important topics and units in a textbook.
  • Prepare a study timetable covering all the subjects and topics which are covered in the syllabus of HSEE. The timetable has to be designed in a way that it covers all the subjects and some time has to be allotted for revision and practising sample papers and mock tests.
  • Refer the best possible books available to understand the concepts and prepare notes.
  • Invest more time on the subjects and topics where you feel you are comparatively weak.
  • While covering the topics, make some handy notes to memorize things. Try to make the notes as precise as possible, the same can be used at the time of revision.
  • Once all the topics are covered, try your hands on the previous year question papers of HSEE to know the kind of questions asked in the last few year question papers.
  • Attempt as many mock tests as you can before the examination. Mock tests of HSEE play a very critical role in ensuring your success in the exam.
  • Before the few days of the HSEE 2021 exam, candidates are advised to go through their own prepared notes and revise.