On dropping PS1 — Practice School Program at BITS Pilani

Khyati Jain
3 min readOct 12, 2020

Practice School is a unique program at BITS that provides you industry exposure. Similarly, the thesis program is aimed at research exposure and is incredibly flexible! While a lot of students opt for Thesis in their final year, very few drop out of PS1. I’d like to point out a few pros (and cons) of doing the same :)

What is the practice school program?

Practice School 1 ( PS1) is a summer internship program at the end of second year at BITS and all students are registered in practice school program by default. The available options for PS1 is usually startups and few research labs. PS2 is a six month internship program in the final year, of which PS1 is a prerequitsite. Many good companies — like Amazon, Samsung, Apple — are a part of the PS2 program.

BITS pilani, Goa Campus

Can you drop out of PS? What are the advantages?

Yes, you can choose to not do PS1 and do a summer internship at a place of your choice. This gives you far more freedom to work in a topic of your interest. Plus, if you choose to do a summer internship at a university or a research lab it helps you build good contacts, get an idea of your interests and probably get good LORs for the future! The expectations from you at the end of your second year are far lower, so you can affort to just enjoy, learn and meet new people at your internship. This summer internship would also be important for your thesis applications (especially for single degree students). With PS1 allotment being purely based on CGPA, you have a far less control of over the place you’ll be working at. A lot of PS1 stations aren’t very good. Additionally, you save 30k+ PS fees :P

A common misconception is that you need to cover for the 5 credits missed in PS1. This is not true ( for single degree or dual degree students). If you drop PS1 you simply get a degree without Practice School and you do not have to cover up the credits.

What are the disadvantages of dropping out?

The only disadvantage, I feel, is losing out on the option of doing PS2. PS2 is a great opportunity (especially if you have a good CG) to get industry exposure, and a chance at PPO. Getting PS2 stations also involves far less effort as you would typically have to spent hours (and days, and possibly months :P) applying for thesis opportunites.

I personally feel undergraduate is a great time to try out research and explore. So if you do bag a summer internship at the end of your second year that you’re interested in, just go for it! Getting good thesis opportunites is also much easier if you have prior experience. I dropped PS1 and spent a summer at Harish Chandra Research Institute, Allahabad. It was one of my best summers and I would definitely recommend you to apply for their summer program if it interests you.

Pick your call based on your CG and future goals! Also, check out https://bitsrnd.wordpress.com/ for some great articles to help you with Thesis and internship applications!