The School of Arts & Sciences and the School of Computing & Data Sciences together provide a vibrant and inspiring ecosystem for an undergraduate experience without parallel in India. This integrated model is designed to unleash the full spectrum of student talent across the sciences, social sciences, arts, humanities, computer science and data science – and any interdisciplinary combination thereof. The flexible curriculum, the richly textured offerings, the personalized access to international thought leaders, the emphasis on active forms of learning, and the interdisciplinary ethos build upon the successful model of the Ivy League.
The SaiU undergraduate education is designed for intellectually curious students to discover their calling, nurture their talents, realize their potential, and grow into thoughtful, confident and articulate citizens and leaders. It is designed to prepare youth to overcome challenges and seize opportunities in a future that is not likely to resemble the past or the present.
India’s National Education Policy of 2020 characterizes a liberal education as inquiry-based, discussion-based, and discovery-based. Instead of memorization and reproducing information, a liberal education is focused on learning how to think independently. The SaiU undergraduate program delivers on that promise by fostering creativity, critical thinking, love of learning, and clarity of communication.
Here are some highlights of the SaiU undergraduate philosophy:
Broaden your horizons
An undergraduate education should provide a broad foundation rather than a narrowly focused perspective. College graduates should expect to reinvent themselves several times over the course of their careers. The professional world seeks graduates who can think and converse knowledgeably across a range of topics and with a range of people. This is achieved by taking courses in multiples fields, and interacting with fellow students pursuing a wide range of interests.
Find your passion, forge your path
People have unique talents, interests, and personal identities. An undergraduate education should help you discover your unique talents and develop them to the fullest. Our model exposes undergraduates to a richly textured curriculum that stimulates new interests or energizes earlier interests.
Explore interdisciplinary studies
Some of the greatest innovations have come from combining two apparently unrelated fields, and innovation is the key to a dynamic economy. Students may have more than one interest, and an interdisciplinary education provides avenues to pursue them in tandem, either with a minor or an interdisciplinary major.
Nurture your cognitive powers
Top employers seek college graduates who can think critically and lucidly, grasp complex situations analytically, synthesize information from multiple modalities, communicate clearly and confidently, and understand human nature and group dynamics. The nation and the world are ready for new ideas, and seek graduates who are inventive and exude an independent spirit. While traditional models of higher education have been focused on accumulating information and narrow skills, our liberal model nurtures fundamental cognitive skills that propel you in whatever direction you take.
Learn to lead
An undergraduate education is a period of transition and transformation: from adolescence to adulthood, from dependence to independence, from a protected environment to a boundless vista. Our ecosystem provides the stimulation, inspiration and formative influences to breed thoughtful and empathic leaders who aspire to make a positive difference in the world.
Active learning based on cognitive neuroscience
The pedagogy at Sai U is adapted to how the brain learns, in contrast to traditional modes of learning. Instead of relying only on interminable lectures and mugging for final examinations, we emphasize participation, discussion, creativity, experiential learning, oral and written communication — the flipped classroom concept. And instead of basing the course grade on a high stakes final examination, we use multiple forms of assessment throughout the semester.
Unique International experience
We offer a range of interactions with students and faculty from abroad, taking advantage of hybrid modes of learning. These include programs abroad as well as international collaborations in India. The emphasis is on current global problems, from human rights to the environment. With our unmatched international contacts, we bring world leaders to campus, physically and virtually.
Team teaching and hybrid learning
Courses in the first year at Sai U will introduce students to distinguished professors from around the world, many of whom are the originators of ideas being taught. Team teaching keeps courses fresh and lively for the entire semester, and exposes students to multiple perspectives within the same course. By combining the intimacy of a residential learning community with the boundless possibilities to interact virtually with faculty and students around the world, SaiU leads the way in offering a hybrid learning environment that is the way of the future.
Cutting edge majors and elective courses
In addition to standard subjects (Computer Science, Economics, History, Literature, Music, Physics, Psychology), we are among the first multi-stream universities in India to offer undergraduate majors and elective courses in Cognitive Science, Neuroscience, Child Development, International Relations, Women’s/Gender Studies, Environmental Studies, Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning, Computational Genetics and Astronomy/Space Science, and Public Health Analytics.
Courses on Big Challenges
Traditional courses are offered within academic subjects. At SaiU we also offer courses on the big intellectual and practical challenges of our time, which must be approached from multiple disciplines. Each such course is taught by a team of domestic and international experts representing diverse perspectives. Big challenges facing the world include: water, climate change, extinction of species, poverty, human rights, women’s and gender rights, and pandemics. Big intellectual challenges include understanding the outstanding mysteries of science and humanity, such as consciousness, aging, and the origins of the universe.