Whether one belongs to Science, Commerce or Humanities field, a PhD can be pursued in an array of fields and specialised domains. Usually, students interested in academics sign up for a doctoral program to acquire the knowledge and skills required to excel in their respective areas of study. While study abroad PhD pathways exempt students from appearing in entrance exams to pursue their chosen course, universities in India have specified several tests as one of the prime requirements to apply for a doctoral degree. Thus, PhD entrance exams hold great importance for the students willing to take on this road. Read this article to know about the leading entrance exams for PhD and some helpful tips to ace them with flying colours!
This Blog Includes:
- PhD Admissions: Quick Updates
- PhD Specializations
- List of Top PhD Entrance Exams
- List of Universities in India Offering PhD
- How to Apply for PhD Course in India?
- PhD Entrance Exams for Studying Abroad
- [Bonus] Pursuing PhD Abroad
- PhD Scholarships for Indian Students in India & Abroad
- Syllabus for PhD Entrance Exams
- Job Prospects after PhD
PhD Admissions: Quick Updates
|Name of University||Commencement of Registrations||Deadline|
|CSIR-CBRI Roorkee PhD program||May 5, 2021||August 31, 2021|
|Shiv Nadar University PhD program||May 10, 2021||June 14, 2021|
|JMI New Delhi PhD program||May 18, 2021||June 30, 2021|
|IIIT Sri City PhD program||May 19, 2021||July 12, 2021|
|NIT Jamshedpur PhD program||May 21, 2021||June 21, 2021|
|SGT University PhD program||May 24, 2021||July 27, 2021|
|IIIT Raichur PhD in Computer Science & Mathematics program||May 24, 2021||June 18, 2021|
|JIPMER PhD Program||May 24, 2021||June 15, 2021|
|IIT Dharwad PhD Program||May 26, 2021||June 10, 2021|
|IIT Goa PhD Program||May 28, 2021||June 15, 2021|
|AIIMS Jodhpur PhD Program||May 28, 2021||June 15, 2021|
|NIFFT Ranchi PhD programs||June 1. 2021||June 11, 2021|
|ANU Gujarat PhD in Architecture and Design program||June 1. 2021||June 28, 2021|
|Calcutta University PhD in Pure Mathematics program||June 2, 2021||June 20, 2021|
|Noida International University PhD program||June 2, 2021||June 30, 2021|
Before moving on to the top PhD entrance exams, let’s first take a look at the plethora of specialisations that fall under the domain of this degree. The following table elucidates some of the popular PhD courses that are commonly pursued by graduates.
- Police Administration
- Public Administration
- Renewable Energy
- Political Science
- Artificial Intelligence
- Computer Science
- Physical Education
- Total Quality Management
- Rural Development
- Sustainable Development
- Women Studies
- Social Work
- Technology Policy
- Sports Science
- Home Science
- Mass Communication
- Labour and Social Welfare
- Management Studies
- Hospitality Management
- Library Science
- Fashion Technology
- Fine Arts
- Business Administration
- Disaster Management
- Human Rights
List of Top PhD Entrance Exams
Whether you are opting for a PhD in IIT, IIM, or any other higher education institution in the country, there is generally a specified entrance exam that one needs to qualify. To help you understand some of these tests, below we have elaborated the top PhD entrance exams that you must know about:
- UGC Net Exam
- CSIR-UGC NET exam
- Joint Graduate Entrance Examination for Biology and Interdisciplinary Life Sciences (JGEEBILS)
- DBT JRF Biotech Entrance Test
- TIFR Graduate School Admission Entrance Test
- ICMR JUNIOR RESEARCH FELLOWSHIPS
- NIMHANS PG/PG Diploma/Superspeciality/PhD online entrance test
- JNU PhD Entrance
- NIPER PhD Entrance Exam
- University of Hyderabad PhD Entrance Exam
- GTU PhD Entrance Exam
- NBRC PhD Entrance Exam
- BITS PhD Entrance Examination
- AIIMS PhD Entrance Exam
- IISC PhD Entrance Exam
- NDRI PhD entrance exam
- Babasaheb Bhim Rao Ambedkar University Lucknow – PhD Admissions Test
- Guru Jambheshwar University GJUST – PhD Entrance Test
- BARC PhD Admission Test
- Combined Vidyavaridhi (PhD) Entrance Test – (CVVET)
- ISM Dhanbad PhD Admission Test
- Indian Veterinary Research Institute Bareilly PhD Admission Test
- BINC Bioinformatics National Certification BINC Examination
- RMAT Aligarh Muslim University R-MAT – PhD Entrance Exam
- Symbiosis PhD Entrance Exam
- Jamia Millia Islamia New Delhi – PhD Admission Test
- Jamia Hamdard New Delhi PhD Admission Test
- Kurukshetra University PhD Entrance Exam
- PhD Entrance Exam of NMIMS University Mumbai
- TISS RAT
- DU PhD Entrance Exam
- IGNOU PhD Entrance Exam
- Pondicherry University Entrance Exam
- University of Pune PhD in Management Entrance Exam
- Symbiosis University Ph.D entrance examination
Must Read: How to get a Complete PhD Funding?
UGC NET Exam
Many Indian universities ask candidates for their UGC NET scores in order to apply for PhD degrees. University Grant Commission (UGC) NET Exam is the national level exam, conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA) twice a year (in the month of June and December). It is one of the major PhD entrance exams and aims to determine the eligibility of aspirants for the posts of Assistant Professor only or Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) or both.
The UGC NET syllabus table below shows the Exam Pattern of Paper 1 and Paper 2:
|UGC NET Paper||Maximum Marks||No. of Questions|
CSIR-UGC NET Exam
Another important mention in our list of PhD entrance exams is CSIR-UGC NET, i.e. Council of Scientific and Industrial Research University Grants Commission National Eligibility Test. Commonly referred to as CSIR NET, it is a national exam conducted by NTA twice a year (in the month of June and December) to choose candidates for awarding JRF and determining their eligibility for appointment of lecturers in Indian universities and colleges. Further, those wanting to apply for the fellowship need to register for a PhD course at a recognised institution while one needs to have attained a doctoral degree in order to apply for the lecturership through this exam. CSIR-UGC NET Exam is conducted for the following subjects:
- Chemical Sciences
- Earth, Atmospheric, Ocean and Planetary Sciences
- Life Sciences
- Mathematical Sciences
- Physical Sciences
The question paper segments for this PhD entrance exam into 3 sections, i.e. Section A (considered common section and questions are related to General Aptitude, Graphical Analysis, Logical Reasoning, and Numerical ability), Section B (questions are for Engineering Sciences, questions from Mathematics and Engineering Aptitude included as well) and Section C (high stature questions which evaluate the candidate’s knowledge of scientific concepts and their application).
TIFR GS Exam
Located in Mumbai, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) is a deemed university which offers various PhD and various integrated programmes. Featuring amongst the popular PhD entrance exams, the TIFR GS (Graduate School) test is organised for the institute’s offered postgraduate programs in several specialisations in Science. The integrated M.Sc-PhD course offered by TIFR includes an array of specialisations such as Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics as well as research-oriented programs in the field of Computer science, Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics.
TIFR GS Exam Pattern for Mathematics[optin-monster-shortcode id=”xf2mlnjiouddzrshykdb”]
TIFR GS exam pattern for Mathematics is divided into two parts. The total duration of the exam is 3 hours (1.5 hours each per section). Negative marking is there for each wrong answer in both sections.
|Part||Types of Questions||Number of Questions|
TIFR GS Exam Pattern for Physics and Chemistry
TIFR GS exam pattern for Physics and Chemistry is not prescribed by TIFR. As per the availability of information from the official website, both subjects will contain MCQs which students need to complete in 3 hours. Negative Marking is there for each wrong answer in both subjects.
TIFR GS Exam Pattern for Computer and System Sciences
TIFR GS Exam pattern for Computer and System Sciences will contain MCQs and students have to complete the exam in 3 hours. The paper will be divided into 3 parts
Among these three sections, students have the choice of doing only one. Negative Marking is there.
Searching for PhD entrance exams? Don’t forget to check out PhD After MBA!
List of Universities in India Offering PhD
|Name of the University||Location|
|All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS)||New Delhi|
|National Institute of Technology||Punjab|
|Institute of Microbial Technology||Chandigarh|
|PEC University of Technology||Punjab|
|Amity School Of Engineering And Technology||Uttar Pradesh|
|Jamia Millia Islamia||Delhi|
|Jawaharlal Nehru University||Delhi|
|University of Petroleum and Energy Studies||Dehradun|
|University of Delhi||Delhi|
|Birla Institute of Technology Science||Pilani|
|Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University||Delhi|
|Symbiosis International University||Maharashtra|
|ICAR Indian Veterinary Research Institute Bareilly||Uttar Pradesh|
|University of Hyderabad||Hyderabad|
|Indian Institute of Science||Bangalore|
|Vellore Institute of Technology||Tamil Nadu|
Know About the Commonwealth Scholarship- UG, PG, PhD
How to Apply for PhD Course in India?
There are various universities in India where students can apply for a PhD and take PhD entrance exams. These institutes provide a variety of research degrees. Each university in India has a set number of seats available. Some of these universities make their selections based on PhD entrance exams, interviews, and research proposals.
- The PhD application process is offered in both online and offline formats in India.
- To apply to a university, applicants must obtain or download the application form and prospectus for their individual courses by writing to the institution or obtaining the same online from the university’s official website.
- For some universities, the PhD application forms must be delivered to the university’s official address before the deadline, together with the relevant documentation.
- When it comes to the fee structure for a PhD programme, the average or tentative course fee is between INR 20,000 and INR 90,000 every year (varies from course to course and university to university).
PhD Entrance Exams for Studying Abroad
There are two main entrance exams that all candidates have to give in order to get admission to top universities in the world- IELTS and GRE. Here are some common requirements that PhD candidates have to fulfil in order to admission-
[Bonus] Pursuing PhD Abroad
Other than the top PhD entrance exams, we have compiled a list of our major blogs on pursuing PhD abroad that you must check out:
|Universities in Australia for PhD||PhD in France||PhD in Germany|
|PhD in Europe||PhD in Canada||PhD in Australia|
PhD Scholarships for Indian Students in India & Abroad
- Maulana Azad National fellowship
- Prime Minister Fellowship for Doctoral Research
- Fulbright-Nehru Doctoral Research Fellowships
- Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fund Scholarships
- Physical Research Laboratory Junior Research Fellowship
- Google PhD Scholarships
- ICHR Junior Research Fellowships (JRF)
- Raman-Charpak Fellowship
- MEXT Scholarship
- ICSSR Doctoral Research Fellowship
Know More About PhD Scholarships in UK for Indian Students
Syllabus for PhD Entrance Exams
PhD is offered a wide range of courses from Engineering to Natural Sciences to Fine Arts. Most Indian and foreign entrance exams have two papers- one for General Studies and Research and the other is subject specific. The subject-specific papers can either be objective or subject in nature depending upon the exam and conducting authority. Here are the syllabus and topics covered in the general studies and research paper for all PhD entrance exam-
- General Knowledge
- Research Methodology
- English Comprehension
- Quantitative Aptitude
- Environmental Studies
- Teaching Aptitude
- Communication Skills
Job Prospects after PhD
Following the completion of a PhD, one should assess his or her potential and look for positions that match his or her specific talents and expertise. Following a PhD, candidates may pursue one of the following careers:
- Editor & Critic
- Human Services Worker
- Independent Consultant
- Philosophical Journalist
- Industrial R&D Lab professionals
- Senior Research Scientist
- Lecturer & Professor
- Author & Writer
The model PhD Entrance Test Pattern is divided into two parts: Part A comprises of study questions in numerical ability, language skills, and logical thinking. Part B consists of technical questions about the subjects.
Yes, you can pursue a PhD without having to pass the NET or JRF if you pass the written tests and interviews at the various institutions or institutes.
A small proportion of students earn their PhDs in two years, while a small percentage of outstanding students accomplish it in 12 months. It’s difficult to stress how unusual and impressive this is, but it’s always possible. The key to a fast-track PhD is to develop a solid academic CV before you begin.
No, there is no age limit for seeking a PhD in general.
In an official Notice from MHRD dated 27 August 2018, the applicants from SC/ST/OBC (Speaking from Non-Creamy layers)/University category shall be permitted to relax by a 5 percent mark (from 50 percent to 45 percent).
Two components are included in the PhD entrance test pattern: Part A: Research issues in numerical capacity, linguistic skills and logical thinking are generally addressed. Part B: Technical issues linked to disciplines are discussed.
No, it does not. Your 12th class is important if you wish to take UG entrance examinations, certain colleges require admission tests. Although admittance is based on class 12 iare your post graduationn several universities. The issues in your PhD admissions are your postgraduation. In the postgraduate period, the qualifying standards for Phd have been 50%.
Cracking any of the above-mentioned PhD entrance exams can turn out to be a difficult task for many. An alternative option to these tests is to apply for a doctoral degree abroad which can further provide you with international exposure into your chosen field of interest. Reach out to our Leverage Edu experts and we’ll help you in finding a suitable course and university as per your preferences and aspirations. Not only for this, but our head coaches will also assist you in drafting a perfect application that can get you successfully shortlisted. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.