Academic activities teaching, learning and research are carried out in 3 orthogonal but complementary structures. These are Faculty Schools, Student Degree Programmes and Research Groups. Each of these is designed to serve a distinct purpose. The 3 interact in flexible ways to best achieve the academic goals of the Institute. The structure encourages inter-disciplinary learning and research that evolves in step with the march of technological innovation.
Faculty belongs to broadly and loosing defined Schools. Each School provides a home base for faculty whose interests share some fundamental academic principles. Many faculty may have joint appointments in other schools. Degree Programmes are designed according to the job and career needs of students. A student in a given Degree Programme, say MTech (Green Energy), may be taught and guided by faculty from several Schools. Degree Programmes may be started and wound up based solely on job and student aspirations. Likewise, a Research Group is created as a focus for R&D towards some specific goal. The Group will draw on faculty and students from various schools and Degree Programmes. The Group may have technical and support staff on short-term contracts. Once the goal is achieved, the Group may be disbanded. Depending on its nature, a Group may be virtual with no dedicated physical space. A Group that needs space will get it on lease for a limited duration.
Currently, 4-year B.Tech. programmes are offered in six branches, viz., Civil Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Data Science and Engineering and Engineering Physics alongwith B.Tech – M.Tech Integrated Dual Degree in Bio-Engineering (5 –year programmes) with approximately 28-70 students in each branch. The curriculum, course structure and syllabi, and the fee structure were initially the same as those of the mentor IIT. From July 2010, they have evolved independently. The goal of the new curriculum is to train students to become design engineers capable of conceiving, designing and deploying innovative and cost-effective products and processes for widespread use in society. To this end, there is a strong emphasis on laboratory and project work from the first year onwards, to complement theory.
Computer Science & Engineering trains students in programming, theoretical foundations, design of computer hardware and software, networks, artificial intelligence, databases, human-computer interfaces, etc. Electrical Engineering at IIT Mandi includes communications, electronics, VLSI, electric power systems, and electrical machinery. Besides core courses covering all these areas, students will be able to specialize via elective courses. Mechanical Engineering covers materials, manufacturing processes, design of machinery, vehicles, etc.