Become Job Ready with CollegeDekho Assured Program. Learn More

CollegeDekho logo
CollegeDekho logo
Search Icon
Search for best colleges, Courses, Exams and Education updates

    PhD Syllabus & Subjects 2023

    PhD Syllabus & Subjects Overview

    PhD is the highest academic level degree awarded to students who conduct unique and independent research on a specific domain. In a PhD course, students are involved in research work and write a thesis on a particular field of study. This thesis must be original. Usually, it takes three to five years to cover PhD course syllabus. However, this duration may differ as per the institutions’ regulations. The degree is offered mainly in two fields like Humanities, Science. The course curriculum and PhD course subjects vary according to the course types. The focus of the PhD syllabus is to inspire the students to make research work. Apart from the research work, the students get involved in seminars, presentations, etc. 

    As per the present UGC guidelines, a PhD student needs to make at least one paper publication before the submission of the thesis. The number of seminars and paper publications varies depending on the universities. The PhD subjects provide a comprehensive idea and take both the knowledge and skill to the research level. While deciding on PhD studies, students make thorough research on it. The course curriculum and PhD stream-wise subjects must be checked by them.

    PhD Year Wise Syllabus

    PhD is an advanced research study for students who have both undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications. Therefore, the PhD course syllabus is framed keeping the students and their research objectives in mind. The PhD syllabus depends on the specializations a student wants to earn their PhD degree. If we check the syllabus, then some modules can be found the same for a particular domain. The syllabus and PhD subjects completely depend on the domain, guide, and institute that offers the course. Hence, we have provided a general idea of that. The below-given table will help to understand how a PhD course syllabus goes on.

    PhD 1st year Syllabus

    In the first year, a student needs to work on the following subjects.

    Semester ISemester II
    Research MethodologyRecent Development in the Field
    Philosophical and Sociological Basis of Educational ResearchGuide Directed Course and Research Seminar
    Communication SkillsResearch Methodology-I
    Independent Research with SeminarsIndependent Research with Seminars







    PhD 2nd-year Syllabus

    Get an idea of the 2nd year syllabus pattern of PhD courses:

    Semester IIISemester IV
    Philosophical and Sociological Basis of Educational ResearchFinal Research Proposal
    Guide Directed Course (Need-based) and ResearchGuide Directed Course (Need-based) and Research





    PhD 3rd-year Syllabus

    Check the third-year syllabus and PhD course subjects in the table below:

    Semester VSemester VI
    Independent Research with SeminarsIndependent Research with Seminars


    Stream Wise PhD Syllabus

    PhD or Doctor of Philosophy courses is offered on numerous streams. Science, Arts and Humanities, and Management are some of the major streams of a PhD. A large number PhD courses are there in India. The stream wise syllabus for some of the PhD courses is mentioned in the table below:  

    Science StreamManagement StreamArts and Humanities
    ScienceManagement StudiesEconomicsPhilosophyEnglish and Literature
    Component Object Model (COM) & interfaces in COM General ManagementIntroduction to Research MethodologyLiterature Survey

    Communication Theory


    Vector and Array ProcessorElective IData Collection and OrganizationIntroduction to Research Methodology

    Research Methodology I


    CORBA, JAVA, and object web  

    Human Resource Management


    Advanced Econometric MethodsData Collection and Organization    

    Research Methodology II


    Multiprocessor Architecture

    Information Technology Management


    Advanced Economic TheoryPrinciples of Thesis Preparation    

    Elective Subjects    


    Computer Architecture 

    Financial Management


    Advanced Microeconomics TheoryResearch Tools and Studies

    Specialized and Analytical Journalism


    Pipeline ArchitectureOperations ManagementAdvanced Macroeconomics TheoryAdvanced Course in Logic

    Journalism Studies


    Advanced Computer Algorithms 

    Quantitative Analysis    


    Poverty and InequalityAdvanced course in Formal Methods



    Computer System Design

    Research Methodology 


    International Trade and DevelopmentTheory of Knowledge

    Theory and Practices


    Distributed COM 

    Computer Applications


    Rural DevelopmentAdvanced course in Philosophy of ScienceFieldwork
    Advanced Software Engineering

    Retail Merchandising


    Urbanization and Development

    Philosophy of Statistics


    Dynamic Programming 



    Environment and Development

    Philosophy of Mathematics







    The Political Economy of Development

    Philosophy of Language


    Advanced Database Management Systems    Project Work Modelling the Behavior of Asset Prices

    Philosophical Aesthetics


    Parallel and Distributed Databases, Web Databases  



    Governance and the Political Economy of Development

    Political Philosophy


    Web Engineering and Software Quality Metrics

    Review Report


    Overview of Financial Markets


    Environment Philosophy


    Frequencies for Radio Transmission



    Trading Strategies in Financial Markets

    Decision Theory


    Distributed File System-Role of Financial Intermediaries

    Value Theory


    Advanced Transaction Processing  -Hedging Strategies With Financial Markets

    Art Technology



    Distributed Systems-Interest Rate Derivatives

    Reason and Tradition in Indian Thought


    Building Web Agreement-Thesis Presentation

    Philosophy of the Computer and Information Science


    Medium Access Control--Thesis Presentation 

    PhD Subjects

    By learning the PhD subjects of a particular domain students develop strong methodological skills that are needed to perform the research. These PhD course subjects work as a background for their research paper. Students can check out the list of subjects for some major Doctor of Philosophy specializations in the given table:

    PhD BiochemistryAdvanced Cancer Biology, Molecular Parasitology, Protein Science and Engineering, Bacterial Infection and Therapeutics, Nanobiotechnology
    PhD PhysicsTheoretical and Experimental Physics, Numerical Methods and Simulation, Research and Technical Communication, Laser and Nonlinear Optics
    PhD Environmental ScienceData Collection and Data Preparation, Statistics, Concept of Ecosystem, Biodiversity, and Wildlife
    PhD MathematicsAdvanced Commutative Algebra, Advanced Functional Analysis, Topology and Mixing, Convex and Non-Smooth Analysis
    PhD English and Literature

    Medieval literature, Renaissance literature, Literature in the 12th century, Literary criticism and theory, Colonial and post-colonial literature, African – American literature, Dramatic literature, Women’s literature, Prose fiction, English poetry


    PhD in HistoryTrends in Historiography, Themes in Early Indian History, Research Methodology, Debates in Modern Indian History

    PhD Optional Subjects

    The PhD subjects included as optional papers help in improving the understanding ability. For a challenging course like Doctor of Philosophy, optional subjects help to balance the load of learning. It introduces some subjects that the students might not have studied ever. An important benefit is that these subjects make the learners more skilled in the field. With the added advantage of additional learning, students get the scope of increasing their knowledge of their domain and related areas. 

    While selecting these subjects, students should consider their interest and confidence in the subject as important factors. There is a large number of optional subjects in the PhD course syllabus. Optional of two major Doctor of Philosophy courses are listed below:

    PhD Economics Optional SubjectsPhD in Philosophy Optional Subjects
    Advanced Economic TheoryA New Perspective in Indian Philosophy Chapters
    Theory of Economic Growth and Technical ProgressEarly Buddhism
    Economics of PlanningReason and Tradition in Indian Thought
    Agrarian DevelopmentNagarjuna – Mulamadhyamakakarika
    Public FinanceA Treatise of Human Nature Book
    International Trade and FinanceFreedom and Resentment and Other Essays
    Economics of EnergyConcept of Minds
    Development of EconomicsWittgenstein – Philosophical Investigations
    Welfare EconomicsVaisesika Sutra
    Economics of Education and DevelopmentKant- Critique of Pure Reason

    Specializations offered in PhD

    Being a traditional higher-level academic course, the Doctor of Philosophy comes with a vast range of specializations. Therefore, for the PhD aspirants, the options are abundant. Be it a science stream or the Arts stream, students have immense opportunities for earning a degree in their subject of interest. Students can check out the below-given lists to know about the kind of PhD specializations available in Indian colleges or universities. Among a large number of specializations, only a few are mentioned below:

    Arts Stream SpecializationsScience Stream Specializations
    PhD in HindiPhD in Chemistry
    PhD in PhilosophyPhD in Applied Sciences
    PhD in HistoryPhD in Botany
    PhD in PsychologyPhD in Zoology
    PhD in English LiteraturePhD in Mathematics
    PhD in Visual ArtsPhD in Biotechnology
    PhD in Social WorkPhD in Physics
    PhD in EconomicsPhD in Clinical Research
    PhD in Social SciencesPhD in Engineering and Technology
    PhD in GeographyPhD in Veterinary Surgery and Radiology

    PhD Entrance Exam Syllabus

    PhD entrance exams are conducted at both national and institute levels. The students who score a minimum of 50% marks are allowed to seat for the entrance test. The universities/institutes want to test a students’ understanding level of the subject he/she wants to earn a Doctor of Philosophy degree. The course has been traditionally preferred by students who want to avail research studies in their post-graduate subject. In the present century, the number of individuals doing PhD has increased a lot. 

    India is giving some excellent research opportunities to post-graduate students. The universities want to enrol only talented students in their Doctor of Philosophy courses. Here comes the importance of the PhD entrance test. Some popular entrance tests are CSIR UGC NET, UGC NET, etc. A list of PhD syllabus for the entrance exam is tabulated below:

    Subjects of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)Entrance Test Syllabus
    Life Sciences

    Biochemistry, Immunology, and Molecular Biology (PG level)

    Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics (UG level)

    Mathematics, Computer & Information Sciences (10+2 level)

    Computer ScienceFundamentals of Computer, Representation of characters, Floating-point representation of numbers, Binary and hexadecimal representations, Data structures, The organization of a computer
    Political ScienceResearch Methodology, Globalization, and International Relations, Democracy in India, Political Theory & Thought, India: State and Society
    PsychologyIntroduction to research in psychology, Counselling Psychology, Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Clinical Psychology

    Real series analysis, Modern Algebra and Matrix Theory, Numerical analysis, Calculus, and analytic geometry, Statistics, and probability, Theory of Equation,

    Differential equations, Trigonometry

    EconomicsMicroeconomics, Macroeconomics, Mathematical and Statistical Methods, Public Economics, Development and Planning, International Economics
    Basic Engineering and Technology

    Basic Engineering and Technology (UG level)

    Physics/Chemistry/Mathematics (UG level)

    Fundamental Life Sciences and Informatics (10+2 level)



    PhD Important Books

    Books play a pivotal role to complete a course like a PhD. Immense information is required for the research work involved in this course. Therefore, students need to be updated on their research topics. PhD students should take help from subject-oriented books. Usually, a Guide who supervises the students in their research work, recommends books. However, here is a list of books on research methodology that the PhD students can refer to complete the course with ease:

    Name of BooksAuthors
    Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design: Choosing Among Five ApproachesJohn W. Crewel
    Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Method ApproachesJohn W. Crewel
    Research Methods in EducationKeith Morrison, Louis Cohen, and Lawrence Manion
    Introducing Research Methodology: A Beginner’s Guide to Doing a Research ProjectUwe Flick
    The Craft of ResearchWayne C. Booth, Joseph Williams, and Gregory G. Colomb
    Applying Educational Research: A Practical Guide For TeachersBorg, Walter R.
    Methods of Educational ResearchEngelhart, Max D.
    Educational Research An introductionBorg, Walter R. & Meridith, D. Gall
    Research Methodology: A step-by-step guide for beginnersRanjit Kumar

    PhD Course Structure

    Once the students get enrolled in a PhD course, they are required to prepare and submit their research topic and the proposal of research. Then the institutes from where a student pursues the course allocate a guide to the students. Once the students get a Guide, he/she informs the PhD course syllabus, course work, teaching schedule, and assessment technique. Usually, in most universities or institutes students require to submit their work reports at an interval of six months. Another important part of the PhD course is seminar presentations. A student pursuing this course mandatorily gives at least two seminars and then submits his/her Certificate to the Research Unit. The next phase is thesis submission. Before making the final submission of the thesis, students require to publish one research paper in a peer-reviewed journal. This Certificate is also required to submit to the Research Unit. A Pre-Seminar Submission is organized by the Guide before the final submission of the thesis. 

    Based on the performance, a report is prepared and submitted. The students get some valuable suggestions for improvement and they incorporate them into the final thesis. Then they prepare a summary of the thesis which they need to submit 45 days before the thesis submission. Once the thesis is finally submitted, it is examined by the experts and students must take part in the viva-voce where they can express their perspectives before the group of experts. Those who successfully get through all these phases are awarded a PhD Degree. In brief, we can structure the Doctor of Philosophy course in the following structure:

    ·   Submission of Research Proposal

    ·   Research Report

    ·   Seminar

    ·   Certificate Submission

    ·   Publication of one research paper

    ·   Pre-seminar submission

    ·   Thesis Submission

    ·   Viva Voce

    FAQs about Doctor of Philosophy Syllabus

    Do PhD students get stipend?

    Students enrolled to a PhD degree get paid in India. The amount they receive to support their education is called stipend.

    Why should one pursue a PhD degree?

    Being the highest academic qualification, PhD opens up possibilities of prestigious career options like Professor, Research Scholar etc. The course helps the students to contribute in their selected research area.

    Does anyone start a PhD at the age of 35?

    Yes, there are no age boundaries for PhD, one can certainly start doing PhD at the age of 35.

    Is a PhD good for the future?

    Yes, doing a PhD is certainly good for the future. It opens up the doors of career of professor, scholar etc.

    What if I fail in PhD?

    Almost all the students who pursue a PhD degree are talented and hardworking. And as the course can be completed within 6 years duration there is a least chance of getting failure in the course.
    Show More

    Related News