How to Become a CS in India | Eligibility, Exams, Syllabus & Fees

Do you want to become a CS (Company Secretary)? If yes, this article will be of help to you. Here, I’ve listed down the steps to become a CS in India. This step-by-step guide will be of help to 10+2 passed students as well as graduates!

Company Secretary

In this guide, you will find each and every step involved in becoming a CS. The article covers topics such as – eligibility, course structure, syllabus, exam pattern and career prospects. Also check – How to become IRS officer.


Before heading to the meat of the matter – how to become a CS in India – let us check out some basic details about this profession. Who is a CS? What are his/her tasks? What’s the scope associated with this field? You will find answers to these questions in the next section –


CS (Company Secretary): Basic Details

A Company Secretary is a senior managerial/administrative role in a company. He/she is responsible for ensuring compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements and for ensuring that the decisions of the Boards of Directors are implemented.


Both Private and Public sector firms are known to hire Company Secretaries. CS plays a huge role in ensuring the smooth functioning of a company.


Decision making, compliance with statutory requirements, compliance with regulatory requirements, compliance with company laws – these are some of the main duties of a CS.


Apart from that, CSs also play a key role in a company’s decision making process. Such decisions may be related to finance, operations, HR or other relevant sectors. Also check – Best commerce courses in India.


Role of ICSI

ICSI stands for The Institute of Company Secretaries of India. It is the professional body in India that promotes, regulates and develops the profession of CS in India!


If you want to practice as a CS in India, you must be a registered member of ICSI. In order to be considered eligible for membership, a candidate must have passed all three levels of examination prescribed by the ICSI (and completed practical training).


Become a CS in India: Step-by-step Guide

As I mentioned before, ICSI has set three stages of examination. The three stages of CS course are –

  • Foundation Programme
  • Executive Programme
  • Professional Programme


Eligibility Criteria associated with each stage is different. Here they are –


Eligibility Criteria

  • Foundation Programme can be pursued by 10+2 pass or equivalent students of Arts, Science or Commerce stream (Excluding Fine Arts).
  • Executive Programme can be pursued by a Graduate of all streams except Fine Arts.
  • Professional Programme can be pursued only after clearing the Executive Programme of CS Course.


So, if you are a 10+2 passed student, you must start with foundation programme and follow it up with executive and professional programmes.


If you are a Bachelor’s Degree holder, you may choose to pursue executive programme and follow it up with professional programme.


Admission Process

CS admission exams are held twice a year. Entrance exams are held in June and December each year.


Also read: How to become a CA in India


Cut Off Dates for Admission

  • Foundation programme – 31st March (for December examination in same year) and 30th Septermber (for June examination next year).
  • Executive programme (both modules) – 28th February (for December examination in same year) and 31st August (for June examination next year).
  • Executive programme (single module) – 31st May (for December examination in same year) and 30th November (for June examination next year).


CS course content and exam pattern

  • CS Foundation programme consists of 4 papers.
  • CS Executive programme consists of 7 papers (divided into two modules).
  • CS Professional programme consists of 8 papers (divided into four modules).



Foundation programme –

  • Business Environment and Law
  • Business Management, Ethics and Entrepreneurship
  • Business Economics
  • Fundamentals of Accounting and Auditing


Executive programme –

  • Company Law (Module 1)
  • Cost and Management Accounting (Module 1)
  • Economic and Commercial Laws (Module 1)
  • Tax Laws and Practice (Module 1)
  • Company Accounts and Auditing Practices (Module 2)
  • Capital Markets and Securities Laws (Module 2)
  • Industrial Labour and General Laws (Module 2)


Professional programme –

  • Company Secretarial Practice (Module 1)
  • Draftings, Appearances and Pleadings (Module 1)
  • Financial, Treasury and Forex Management (Module 2)
  • Corporate Restructuring and Insolvency (Module 2)
  • Strategic Management, Alliances and International Trade (Module 3)
  • Advance Tax Laws and Practices (Module 3)
  • Due Diligence and Corporate Compliance Management (Module 4)
  • Governance, Business Ethics and Sustainability (Module 4)



Refer the chart provided below for fees structure –

CS course fees

Arun Kallarackal
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