The IAS exam (officially known as the Civil Services Examination) is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) annually. Those who clear all the three stages of the IAS exam enter into the prestigious civil services of the country, and become officers in the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), and a host of other services. This article focuses on the UPSC eligibility criteria. Questions such as what is the education qualification for IAS? What is the minimum education qualification required for the UPSC exam etc will be acknowledged.

General Overview of UPSC Eligibility Criteria

IAS Age Limit 21 to 32 years
Educational Qualification for IAS Graduation
Nationality Indian citizens only

Eligibility Criteria for Educational Qualification for IAS UPSC

The various academic requirements as per the IAS Eligibility Criteria are given below:

  • Minimum IAS degree qualification for UPSC exam: The candidate must hold a degree from Government recognized Universities or possess an equivalent qualification.
  • Candidates who are in their final year or awaiting results are also eligible to appear for UPSC preliminary Examination. All such candidates who are likely to appear for IAS exams must produce proof of having passed the said examination along with the application for the main IAS examination.
  • Candidates having professional and technical qualifications recognized by the Government as equivalent to professional and technical degrees.
  • Medical students who have passed the final year of MBBS, but are yet to complete their internship also have eligibility for IAS. Although, along with the Main Examination application, a certificate of course completion (including internship) from the concerned authority of the University/Institution has to be submitted.

Also Read: The Updated UPSC Syllabus to Kickstart Your Preparation

IAS UPSC Nationality Eligibility Criteria

For IAS and IPS:

  • The candidate must be a citizen of India

All other Services:

  • Candidate must be either:-
    1. A citizen of India, or
    2. A subject of Nepal, or
    3. A subject of Bhutan, or
    4. A Tibetan refugee who came to India before 1st January 1962 intending to settle in India permanently, or
    5. A person of Indian origin (PIO) who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Ethiopia, Zaire, and Vietnam intending to settle in India permanently.
  • The candidates belonging to categories (2), (3), (4), and (5) should furnish a certificate of eligibility issued by the Government of India. Such candidates may take the exam before getting the said certificate of eligibility, but he/she would get the offer of appointment only after the Government of India has issued the certificate.
  • Point to Note: A person belonging to categories (2), (3), and (4) are not eligible for appointment to the Indian Foreign Service (IFS).

UPSC Eligibility Criteria for Age Limit

As per the Civil Services Age Limit, the candidate Should be between 21 and 32 years, as of 1st August 2020 (for the UPSC CSE 2020), i.e., he must have been born not earlier than 2nd August 1988 and not later than 1st August 1999. Civil Services Age Limit is an essential factor in the eligibility criteria. Therefore candidates applying for UPSC Exam should check these details properly before filling the online application form.

Category UPSC Age Limit- Upper Relaxation Number of Attempts
General 32 6
OBC 35 9
SC/ST 37 Unlimited (Up to age limit)
Disabled Defence Services Personnel 35 9
Ex-Servicemen 37 9
Persons with Benchmark Disability – EWS (Economically weaker section) 42 9

EWS Quota for UPSC

The government has introduced a 10% EWS reservation for general category candidates. This is for all those candidates who are not covered under any reservations (such as OBC, SC, ST, and except PH and Ex-servicemen criteria) and belong to economically backward sections. To be eligible for the EWS certificate, you will have to satisfy all the conditions mentioned below:

  1. You should be a ‘general’ candidate (not covered under reservation for SC, ST, or OBC).
  2. Your family’s gross annual income should be below Rs. 8 lakhs. This includes income from all sources such as agriculture, salary, business, etc. for the financial year before you apply for the exam.
  3. Your family should not own agricultural land of size 5 acres or more.
  4. Your family should not own a residential flat of area 1000 square feet or more.
  5. Your family should not own a residential plot (in notified municipalities) of area 100 square yards or more.
  6. Your family should not own a residential plot (other than in notified municipalities) of area 200 square yards or more.

Also Read: Complete Study Material Guide for UPSC IAS Exam


A candidate must go through the eligibility criteria for UPSC and also make sure there are no further qualifications needed for the service of their such as candidates that want to appear for Defense or Forest Services, etc. and make sure they meet all criteria. This should generally be the first step to starting your preparation for the UPSC exam, even before you check the UPSC IAS syllabus.

Education Qualification for IAS: All You Need to Know About Eligibility Criteria for IAS UPSC Exam
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Education Qualification for IAS: All You Need to Know About Eligibility Criteria for IAS UPSC Exam
It is essential for aspirants to know and understand the requirements of the IAS exam 2021 such as the IAS syllabus and the eligibility criteria before kick-starting the preparations.
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UPSC Pathshala
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