UPSC Eligibility Criteria

In this article, the complete UPSC eligibility criteria for the IAS exam is explained in detail.

The IAS preparation procedure starts with incurring accurate knowledge on Eligibility criteria for the exam.

IAS Eligibility Overview

IAS Age Limit 21 to 32 years
Age relaxation As per category (mentioned below)
Educational qualification for IAS Graduation
Nationality Indian citizens only

IAS Eligibility – UPSC Age Limit

As per the Civil Services Age Limit, the candidate should have completed 21 years as on 1st August 2020 (for the UPSC CSE 2020) and not completed 32 years as on 1st August 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 important factor in the Eligibility criteria. Therefore candidates applying for UPSC Exam should check these details properly before filling the online application form.

(Civil Services Age limit relaxations, as discussed below, will apply).

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

Candidates should also check the EWS Reservation Eligibility in the linked article for in-depth understanding.

For details on the physically handicapped category, check the images below:

UPSC Eligibility 2020 - Physically handicapped


As per the IAS Eligibility for Defence Servicemen, the persons Disabled in operations during hostilities with any foreign country or in a disturbed area and released as a consequence thereof have special Civil Services age limit relaxation.

The IAS Eligibility states that in the case of ECOs/SSCOs who have completed an initial period of assignment of 5 years Military Service as on 1st August, 2020 and whose assignment has been extended beyond five years and in whose case the Ministry of Defense issues a certificate that they can apply for civil employment and that they will be released on three months’ notice on selection from the date of receipt of offer of appointment.

For latest details on IAS age limit, aspirants should refer the latest UPSC Notification.

IAS Eligibility- Educational Qualification

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

  • Minimum 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 eligible 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.

IAS Eligibility- Nationality

For IAS and IPS:

  • 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 with the intention of permanently settling in India, 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 with the intention of permanently settling in India.
  • 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 certificate has been issued by the Government of India.
  • Point to Note: A person belonging to categories (2), (3) and (4) are not eligible for appointment to the Indian Foreign Service (IFS).

Summary of UPSC eligibility criteria for IAS Exam

Candidates must satisfy the following conditions to be eligible for the UPSC IAS Exam:

Nationality for IAS exam: Must be a citizen of India, a person of Indian origin or a subject of Nepal, Bhutan or Tibet settled in India before 1st January 1962.

Education Qualification for IAS exam: Candidate must hold a Graduate Degree from a recognised University.

UPSC Age limit for IAS exam: Candidate must be a minimum of 21 years of age and must not be more than 32 years of age. 

Category wise UPSC age limit, relaxation and maximum attempts-

  1. General category & EWS: 32 years; 6 attempts
  2. OBC(with certificate): 32 years + 3 years; 9 attempts
  3. Sc/ST: 32 years + 5 years; unlimited attempts
  4. Physically Disabled: 32 years + 10 years; Gen/OBC/Person with Benchmark Disability(EWS category)- 9 attempts & SC/ST unlimited attempts; 
  5. Jammu & Kashmir Domicile: 32 years + 5 years + (3 years, if OBC OR 5 Years, if SC/ST); Number of attempts depends on the reserved category.
  6. Disabled and discharged Defence service personnel: 32 years + 3 years + (3 years, if Gen/OBC OR 5 years, if SC/ST)
  7. Ex-Servicemen Commission Officer: 32 years + 5 years + (3 years, if OBC OR 5 Years, if SC/ST)


Related Links:

UPSC Eligibility related queries

What is the age limit for UPSC civil services 2020?

  • A candidate belonging to the General category giving the UPSC prelims 2020 should not have completed 32 years as on 1st August 2020. Candidates belonging to other categories have relaxations to the upper age limit.

How many attempts are there for the IAS exam?

  • A general category/EWS category candidate has 6 attempts in the UPSC IAS exam. OBC candidates have 9 attempts, SC/ST candidates have no bar on the number of attempts (they can take the exam until they reach the upper age limit), EWS category with benchmark disability have 9 attempts, general and OBC physically disabled candidates have 9 attempts, and SC/ST physically disabled have no bar on the number of attempts.

Is there any reservation for ex-servicemen in the UPSC exam?

  • Yes, ex-servicemen are given age relaxations of up to 5 years in the case of ECOs/SSCOs who have completed an initial period of assignment of 5 years Military Service.

Is there a minimum percentage required in graduation for IAS exam?

  • No. Candidates only have to be graduates from a recognised university. There is no minimum graduation percentage required for IAS eligibility.

What is the salary of an IAS officer?

  • The basic entry-level pay of an IAS officer is Rs. 56,100. Officers are also given other benefits like residences, official vehicles, etc.

What is the highest post an IAS officer can reach in his career?

  • The highest position an IAS officer can aspire to is the Cabinet Secretary of the country.

Is there a lateral entry in the IAS?

  • The government had proposed lateral entry into the civil services in 2018. In July 2018, a little more than 6000 candidates had applied. But the government wanted detailed information on the candidates and so, a fresh advertisement was issued. But nothing has come so far regarding lateral entry.


  1. What are the subjects that I can obtain to take part in UPSC exam after MBBS

    1. Hi, you can take Medical Science as an optional. For more details on UPSC Optional Subjects, check the linked article.

  2. Sir I want to know syllabus for a IAS

    1. Hi,

      You can read and download the latest syllabus for UPSC from the linked article.

  3. Can I appear in upsc after finishing just BA (English) alone

    1. Yes, provided you meet the other eligibility criteria.

  4. I was born on march 2000 so can I appear for CSE on 2021

    1. Yes, you can apply in 2021

  5. is it possible apply for married people (like woman)

    1. Yws, as long as you meet all the eligibility criteria (Age, Educational Qualification, Nationality, Number of Attempts).

  6. Hello sir,
    I have done Master in Fisheries Science, so i want to know, what are the subjects that I can obtain to take part in UPSC exm?

    1. For Optional subject in UPSC Mains, the subjects which may have some overlap with Fisheries Science are Agriculture and Animal Husbandry & Vet Science. For the complete list of 48 UPSC optional along with syllabus and tips to select one can be found in this article.

  7. Sir what are the subjects that I can obtain to attend the upsc exam after I complete my masters in forensic science?

  8. Sir what are the subjects that i can obtain to attend the UPSC exam after I complete my MBA

  9. Maine Bsc physics math se ki h
    To ye jaruri h ki optional me mai
    Graduation ka subject lu

    1. No, it is not necessary to take the graduation subject as optional. You can choose any of the 48 subjects.

  10. sir can i apply for cse i was born march 1999

    1. Hi
      As per the Civil Services Age Limit, the candidate should have completed 21 years as on 1st August 2020 (for the UPSC CSE 2020). Check UPSC Notification 2020 for current updates in the upcoming CSE exam.

  11. Sir/madam, iam working as JE in electricity board ,appointed at the time of 7th sem examination,thats why i didnt completes ma degree from 2 years ,can i apply

    1. Hi Shobhab
      To sit for the UPSC exam, the minimum educational qualification is a Bachelor’s Degree. So, if you are graduated from a deemed Indian University, you can sit for the exam. You can check UPSC 2020 notification for the upcoming exam.

  12. Sir. Someone who graduate from ignu University is able to upsc exam.

    1. Hi,
      Yes, IGNOU is recognized as deemed university and students passing out from it can sit for UPSC. You can check Eligibility Criteria for UPSC page to know more about IAS Eligibility.

  13. Hii, sir could you please tell me the syllabus of upsc prilimes examination

    1. Hi Srividya
      Please check our UPSC Prelims Syllabus page and download the syllabus.

  14. Sir i born in 2002 can i give cse in 2022 ???

    1. Hi Rony,
      The minimum age limit to sit for UPSC CSE is 21. Once you complete your Bachelor’s Degree and are 21, you can sit for the exam. Till then you can keep on preparing for IAS Exam and you can get the help from Free IAS Prep page.

  15. Nilesh Maddheshiya

    What is minimum graduation percentage for UPSC ?

    1. Hi Nilesh
      UPSC has not prescribed a minimum percentage required in graduation. However, as the minimum educational qualification is a Bachelor’s Degree, you are required to pass your graduation degree with a minimum percentage of 33. Access the complete IAS guide in the linked article.

  16. I was born in September 2000 can i apply CSE2021?

    1. Hi
      As of January 1 of 2021, you should be a minimum of 21 years old with a bachelor’s degree. If you meet all the criteria, you can sit for UPSC 2021. You can keep preparing using Free IAS Prep material.

  17. Can a BDS graduate apply for UPSC ?

    1. Hi Karthika
      Yes, a BDS graduate can apply for UPSC if he/she meets other criteria too. Keep up your preparation with our free ias prep initiative.

  18. Suppose someone in final. Year.. Have cleared prelims but due to late session his examination is postponed and he didn’t Given final yeae exam till main.. So is he or she able to sit in upsc mains or not????!!!!

    1. Hi Swati
      No, such a candidate will not be allowed to sit for Mains even if he/she has cleared Prelims. A final year student has to provide a proof of passing certificate along with the Mains application form, failing to do so, he/she is not allowed to take UPSC Mains.

  19. Btech student can apply or not in IAS

    1. Hi Bhisma
      Yes, any graduate can sit for UPSC civil services examination, given he meets other eligibility criteria too. If you are an aspirant, keep up your preparation with our free ias prep page.

  20. if having a criminal case against someone in court can UPSE exam be given

    1. Hi Satyam
      A fellow aspirant can sit for UPSC examination, given he is acquitted by the court from a criminal charge. Proven guilty, he cannot be considered fit to be appointed as bureaucrat, IPS officers etc.


    1. Hi Rajat
      You need to pass your graduation degree as UPSC has not mentioned a passing percentage but only qualifying percentage. So all you need is a graduation degree. Keep up your preparation with our Free IAS Prep initiative.

  22. Hello Mentor, Myself Himanshu Singh and my date of birth is 17-06-2001. I will complete my graduation in the year 2021. In which year can I apply for UPSC?

    1. Hi Himanshu,

      As per the Civil Services Age Limit, the candidate should have completed 21 years as on 1st August 2020 (for the UPSC CSE 2020) and not completed 32 years as on 1st August 2020 i.e., s/he must have been born not earlier than 2nd August 1988 and not later than 1st August 1999.

      Himanshu, you can start your preparation for UPSC 2022 by reading NCERT books, getting updated with the latest current affairs, and understanding the UPSC Syllabus (including the choice of optional subject).

      Here are a few links for your reference:
      1. Download UPSC Syllabus PDF
      2. UPSC Books
      3. Download Free UPSC Notes
      4. Latest Current Affairs

      Hope this helped.

  23. Hello Team,

    I’m born on Aug 7 – 1989 , Will I be eligible for 2021 UPSC as per Age ?

    1. Hi Ranjith
      To be eligible for the UPSC Exam 2021, an aspirants needs to be a minimum of 21 years old on or before 1 August 2021. The maximum age limit is 32 years for general category for the same year. You can sit for 2021 examination as per your age as you will be 32 years old, given you meet other criteria.
      To keep up your preparation, follow our Free IAS Prep page.

  24. Hlo , sir I am doing my bachelor in optometry course which is Paramedical course I want know if I am eligible for upsc exam.

    1. Hi Priyanka
      The candidate is required to have a bachelor’s degree from a government-recognised university to take the UPSC exam. So, a Bachelor in Optometry too can apply for the examination. To know more about the examination check the below links:
      1. UPSC 2020
      2. UPSC Syllabus
      3. Free IAS Prep

  25. Sir , I completed my Bcom and what is physical eligibility for IPS

    1. Hi Vinod
      Please refer to IPS Eligibility page to get the entire set of eligibility criteria for IPS Exam.

  26. hi sir,i was born 2002 may 20 and can i write upsc in 2022 ?

    1. Hi Pathy
      The minimum age to sit for UPSC Civil Service Exam is 21. As your age on 1st August 2022 will be 20 years, you can only sit for the UPSC exam in 2023.

  27. i got only 51 % in graduation can i prepare for upsc

    1. Hi Saransh
      Yes, you can prepare for UPSC exam. You can check below links to understand the UPSC exam:
      1. IAS Exam
      2. UPSC Syllabus

  28. Abhishek Narayan Singh

    my dob is 08 oct 2001 and i m in btech first year, i will graduate in may 2023. When will i be able to give my first attempt

    1. Hi Abhishek
      You can sit for the UPSC 2023 examination given you have your graduation passing certificate to produce during the UPSC Mains stage application procedure of that year.

  29. Hi, my DOB is 02 march 1989 and of general category. So plz suggest am i eligible for UPSC 2021 or not ???

    1. Hi Jyotsna
      Yes, you can sit for UPSC 2021. Please note that UPSC 2021 will be your last chance as the maximum age limit for the exam is 32.

  30. Syed Abdul Azizur Rehman

    I Have 1 backlog in graduation and 1 backlog in class 12
    Am I Eligible for upsc, ssc, rrb ntpc, up pcs, delhi police etc?
    Because i have heard that if we are having a backlog then we will be rejected at the time of DOCUMENT VERIFICATION even if we clear all rounds

    1. Hi Syed
      Yes, you cannot sit for UPSC Exam if you have any backlog in graduation. A graduation degree is a must for IAS Exam.

  31. MInakshi Niharika

    I am a 12th grade student and also a civil service aspirant. What degree or course should I take as an added advantage for my UPSC preparation and to reach my goal?
    My DOB is 2nd October 2003

    1. Hi Minakshi
      You are free to choose any bachelor’s degree course considering your interest. However, you can take help from the success rate of optional subjects in UPSC page, as your graduation degree course can help in IAS Mains optional.

  32. deepak Shrivastav

    is there any percentage bar of graduation

    1. No. Graduation degree is a must. That is all.

  33. I had completed my BTech in span of 5 years can I eligible for upsc? Or any other govt jobs

    1. Yes, you can sit for UPSC if you meet all the UPSC eligibility criteria.

  34. Sir i have completed my graduation from IGNOU , in five years can i appear in the CSE in UPSC.

    1. Yes, you can.

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