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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Updated By Diksha Nautiyal on 25 Nov, 2020
Average Duration
3 years-6 years
Average Fee
3 L-6 L INR annual
Exams Accepted
Study Mode

About Ph.D

PhD, short for Doctor of Philosophy is a doctoral degree programme with a minimum duration of 3 years. It can take a candidate anywhere from three to six years or more to complete their doctorate. The programme has an academic focus providing in-depth knowledge of the chosen field through advanced theosophical and research-based studies. 

To apply for the PhD course, one must hold a master’s degree in the chosen subject. PhD aspirants can pursue the degree in any stream, provided they have prior educational experience in that field. Earlier, aspirants could pursue the degree through distance mode, but, according to 2017 circular issued by UGC (University Grant Commission), PhD programmes pursued through the distance learning mode would not be recognised anymore.

Full-Form of PhD

PhD is a widely used acronym for a programme that is offered at a doctorate level. The word PhD stands for Doctor of Philosophy. Depending upon the area of specialisation, the suffix for the name changes. For instance, if one is pursuing a doctorate in Bioscience, the course would be called PhD in Bioscience.

Top PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) Programmes in Different Streams 

Here are some of the Doctor of Philosophy courses that are offered in different streams.

PhD Courses in Science

PhD in Applied Sciences

PhD in Chemistry

PhD in Basic and Applied Sciences

PhD in Clinical Research

PhD in Mathematical and Computational Sciences

PhD in Environmental Science and Engineering

PhD in Mathematics

PhD in Bioscience

PhD Biotechnology

PhD in Zoology

PhD in Science

PhD Zoology

PhD in Bioinformatics

PhD in Physics

PhD in Applied Chemistry and Polymer Technology

PhD Courses in Humanities and Social Sciences

PhD in Psychology

PhD in Humanities

PhD in Public and Economic Policy

PhD in English

PhD in Physiology

PhD in Humanities and Life Sciences

PhD Geography

PhD in Arts

PhD in Economics

PhD in Public Policy

PhD in Humanities and Social Sciences

PhD in Social Sciences

PhD in International Relations and Politics

PhD in Literature

PhD in Social Work

PhD Courses in Engineering

PhD in Engineering

PhD in Computer Science Engineering

PhD in Electronics and Communication Engineering

PhD in Production Engineering

PhD in Chemical Engineering

PhD in Marine Biotechnology

PhD in Information Technology

PhD Program in Quantitative Techniques

PhD in Civil Engineering

PhD in Aeronautical and Automobile Engineering

PhD in Engineering and Technology

PhD in Electronics and Communication Engineering

PhD in Mechanical Engineering

PhD in Ceramic Engineering

PhD in Genetic Engineering

PhD Courses in Commerce

PhD in Commerce

PhD in Statistics

PhD in Commerce and Management

PhD in Accountancy

PhD in Banking and Finance

PhD in Business Economics

PhD in Accounting and Financial Management

PhD in Commerce Management

PhD Courses in Business and Management

PhD in Logistics and Supply Chain Management

PhD in Marketing

PhD in Management

PhD in Human Resource Management

PhD in Business Administration

PhD in Aviation Management

PhD in Operation Management

PhD in Renewable Energy

PhD in Disaster Management

PhD in Organisation Behaviour

PhD Courses in Law

PhD in Law

PhD in Legal Studies

Doctor of Laws

PhD in Law and Governance

PhD in Constitutional Law

Medical PhD Courses

Doctorate of Medicine (MD) in Biochemistry

Doctorate of Medicine in Forensic Medicine

Doctorate of Medicine in Cardiology

PhD in Physiotherapy

PhD in Physiology

PhD in Pathology

PhD in Medicine

Doctorate of Medicine in Homoeopathy

PhD in Psychiatry

PhD in Hospital Administration

PhD in Radiology

PhD in Neurosciences

PhD in Medical Physics

PhD in Immunology

PhD in Paramedical Sciences

Ph.D Eligibility Criteria

Here are the common eligibility criteria to pursue the Doctor of Philosophy that candidates must meet.

  • One must hold a master’s degree in a subject or stream relevant to the subject chosen for the doctorate. 

  • For some colleges, candidates are required to complete an M.Phil degree first to pursue a PhD.

  • It is also important for most of the colleges that candidates have cleared UGC NET. 

  • For a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Engineering, one must clear GATE.

Categories of PhD candidates

The different types of PhD candidates are listed below:

Self-financed PhD Candidates:

These kinds of candidates participate in the normal admission process of an institute, but they do not receive any kind of financial assistance from that institute. 

Sponsored PhD Candidates:

These kinds of PhD candidates are recognised by the Research & Development organisations to pursue full-time research from the concerned institutes.

Govt./ Semi Govt. Fellowship Recipients:

These PhD students get financial assistance through Govt or Semi Govt fellowship schemes.

Study Leave Candidates:

These kinds of PhD candidates are granted leaves of less than three years by Govt/ educational institutes or companies to conduct research work at a specified institute. 

ICCR Awardees:

ICCR stands for Indian Council of Cultural Relations. PhD scholars falling under this category are foreign candidates that are sponsored by their respective govt.

Admission Process for PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

To grab a seat at some of the top colleges offering a Doctor of Philosophy degree in India, candidates will have to go through the following steps:

  • The admission process for PhD begins with an application process. 

  • For this, candidates have to visit the official website of the intended college/ university. 

  • Some universities publish a notification on their website, whereas some post an advertisement in the newspaper. 

  • Many universities also require students to submit their research proposal along with the application form. 

  • Once the application process is completed, the institute scrutinizes the research proposal and application form. 

  • Finally, a list of shortlisted candidates is released.

  • These candidates are then required to appear for an entrance examination or other rounds of the selection process.

  • Candidates who manage to make through all of these rounds are finally offered admission to the PhD course at the intended college. 

Know about the PhD admission process in India in detail

Top PhD Entrance Exams

Some of the top national-level or institute-level entrance examinations for the PhD course are mentioned below. 


BITS Pilani PhD Entrance Examination

Osmania University PhD Entrance Exam

AIIMS Ph..D Entrance Exam

JNU PhD Entrance Exam

Kurukshetra University PhD Entrance Exam

IISC PhD Entrance Exam

Symbiosis PhD Entrance Exam

NIPER PhD Entrance Exam

Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University Delhi PhD Admission Test

GITAM University Visakhapatnam PhD Admissions Test

Jamia Hamdard New Delhi PhD Admission Test

PhD Entrance Exam of NMIMS University Mumbai

ISM Dhanbad PhD Admission Test

PhD Course Fee

The course fee for PhD at different types of institutes is mentioned below in the table:

Institute Type

Minimum Fee

Maximum Fee

Average Fee

Private Colleges

INR 7,450

INR 6.95 Lakhs

INR 1.35 Lakhs

Public Colleges

INR 3,950

INR 3 Lakhs

INR 80,040

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Doctor of Philosophy?

Questions Related to PhD Course

Can I apply for PhD in Archeology admission with a Master’s degree in History?

-VarunikaUpdated on May 17, 2021 02:52 PM
  • 1 Answer
Abhik Das, Student / Alumni

Dear student, yes, you can apply for PhD Archaeology admission with your master’s degree in History, However, you must ...


I've completed B.A. graduation in English from IGNOU. If I don't do M.A. and instead I do any other course which is equivalent to M.A. will I get any opportunity to work as a professor?

-MOUSUMA SULTANAUpdated on May 06, 2021 03:43 PM
  • 1 Answer
Abhik Das, Student / Alumni

Dear student, yes, you can pursue a career as a professor after pursuing masters in a different discipline post completing ...


Does the Dharmashastra National Law University, Jabalpur provide stipend to the PhD scholars?

-AnonymousUpdated on March 30, 2021 03:11 PM
  • 1 Answer
Samiksha Rautela, Student / Alumni

Dear Student,

Dharmashastra National Law University, Jabalpur does not provide a stipend to the PhD scholars however, National Law School ...


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FAQs about Doctor of Philosophy

Is part time Ph.D valid?

The UGC has issued a circular stating that the degrees granted through distance education for PhD courses will not be recognised and considered valid. It said the only full-time course will be considered valid.

What is the minimum duration of the Ph.D course?

The minimum duration of the Ph.D. course is three years. Candidates need to complete the course within a maximum time span of five to six years. The time duration for Ph.D course can vary from institute to institute.

Can you pursue Ph.D without qualifying NET examination?

Yes, one can pursue PhD course without qualifying NET or JRF provided they qualify the written tests and interviews of the respective universities/ institutes.

What is the minimum eligibility for Ph.D course?

The minimum eligibility for admission to a Ph. D course will be a Master's/ M. Phil Degree from any accredited Indian or Foreign University in the relevant field.

Get details of best colleges for PhD.