CDS Qualifications

For the recruitment of officers into the three branches of the Indian Armed Forces, the Combined Defence Services (CDS) Exam is conducted by the UPSC. The candidates that pass the CDS Exam are admitted into the Indian Military Academy (IMA) Indian Naval Academy (INA), Indian Air Force Academy (IAFA) and the Officers Training Academy (OTA)

There are certain qualifications that need to be met in order to be eligible for the CDS Exam. In this article, we will solely focus on the educational qualifications for CDS.

Candidates can find the detailed CDS eligibility criteria in the given link.

Educational Qualifications for CDS 2023

The educational qualifications for CDS are as follows:

For college graduates

  1. For the IMA, a degree from any recognized university or equivalent is acceptable
  2. For the Indian Naval Academy, a degree in Engineering from a recognized University is required
  3. For the Indian Air Force Academy, any degree is accepted, but candidates must have Physics and Mathematics at 10+2 level or at least Bachelor of Engineering
  4. The graduates that have selected either Army/Navy/Air Force as their first choice must submit their certificates at the time of the SSB interview

For those candidates yet to graduate college

  1. The CDS Candidates who are in their final year or semester can apply for the exam provided they do not have any pending backlog tillthe last semester for which results have been declared at the time of the application.
  2. Upon application, they are required to submit their proof of passing at the time of course commencement to their respective military academies.
  3. For the IMA and the India Naval Academy, the date of submission is on or before 1st July 2022, whereas it is 13th May 2022 for the Indian Air Force Academy. For OTA, the date of submission is on or before 1st October 2022.
  4. Failure of submission of documents will result in cancellation of candidature
  5. In certain exceptional cases, the UPSC may treat a candidate who does not possess the prescribed qualifications as educationally qualification, provided he/she possesses the qualifications deemed necessary by the Commission

Salient Points Regarding CDS Educational Qualifications

  • Candidates yet to pass college will only be eligible for if they are studying for their final year
  • The UPSC can give concessions with regard to allowing the candidates in writing the exam for exceptional cases, but why are skull required to submit proof of passing the Degree Examination by the prescribed date
  • No extension will be granted regardless of the reasons, be it delay in the University in conducting the examination or a delay in result declaration
  • In case the Ministry of Defence has debarred a candidate from holding any commissions in the Defence services they are not eligible for admission and their candidature will stand cancelled in case of admission in any of the academies
  • In case an Air Force candidate has been suspended from a flying training course, he/she may be absorbed in Navigation/Ground duty Branches of the IAF that are Non-Technical in nature. This will be subject to the availability of vacancies.

Frequently Asked Question about CDS Qualification


How can I become a CDS officer?

To become a CDS, one will have to appear for the recruitment examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). Those willing to appear for the entrance exam must have completed graduation and must be within the age of 19 to 25 years

Is physical fitness required for CDS?

Candidates applying for CDS recruitment should be physically fit, as per the physical standard guidelines. Several candidates get rejected on medical grounds. Candidates are advised to get themselves medically examined before submitting their applications.

Which stream of students can take the CDS exam?

For the CDS exam, applicants can be from any stream but for entry to the Air Force and Navy, candidates should have studied Physics and Mathematics up to Class 12.

To know more about the CDS Exam, candidates can refer to the following links. To know more in detail about other Defence exams, visit the linked article.

Related Links

CDS Notification CDS Final Result.
Current Affairs Government Schemes
CDS Admit Card Government Exam Free Online Mock Tests
CDS Exam Pattern CDS Books
Government Exams CDS Age Limit



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