Ph.D. stands for Doctor of Philosophy. Ph.D. is a Latin term which stands for 'Philosophiae Doctor', meaning 'Teacher in the Love of Wisdom'. That is why Ph.D. Degree is awarded for original contributions to knowledge. It is Doctorate Degree Course which is subjective in nature and is structured as such. Philosophy is a belief or system of beliefs, accepted as authoritative by some group or school. The degree holder of a Ph.D. is conferred the title of ‘Doctor’ even though in the conventional sense he is not. The Duration of the programme is - Minimum 2 years from the date of registration (3 years for External candidates) & Maximum 5-6 years. The minimum qualifications and other eligibility criteria for admission are the same as for regular full time students. Ph.D. is a broad-based course involving a minimum course credit requirement and research thesis. Ph.D. programs are available in a wide range of areas in Engineering, Science & Humanities and Social Sciences. One can also pursue Ph.D. through distance learning programs. Distance Learning Ph.D. meets the needs of students who are unable to attend on-campus classes. Distance Learning Doctoral Degrees however have less value as compared to Full-time Ph.D.

Institutes like Bharathiar University offers Part Time Doctoral Programs, i.e. ‘Part time External Registration for Ph.D. programme’. This course provides opportunities to thousands of aspirants across the country and abroad who, otherwise have no opportunity, for want of a guide in the region/Institution for registration. Under the scheme, candidates, satisfying the eligibility criteria anywhere in India or abroad can register under a Research Supervisor, registered in Bharathiar University under the scheme and published in the website under Pool of Research Supervisors. A candidate can also choose any guide outside the Pool of Research Supervisors satisfying the required eligibility conditions. There are plans for introducing online doctoral programs by IGNOU (Indira Gandhi National Open University). The candidates desirous of pursuing Ph.D. programme while in employment are known as 'External Candidates'.  The Degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) is awarded to a candidate who, as per these regulations, has submitted a thesis on the basis of original and independent research in any particular discipline/inter-disciplinary that makes a contribution to the advancement of knowledge, which is approved by suitably appointed examiners as required.

Categories of Ph.D. Candidates

Full Time Research Scholar

i. Institute Research Scholars with Teaching Assistant (TA) - Students under this category are entitled for Institute Teaching Assistantship. as per MHRD norms.

ii. Govt./Semi Govt. Fellowship Awardees (FA QIP, CSIR, UGC, DAE, DST, DBT, NBHM, etc.) - These candidates are financially supported under various Govt./Semi Govt. schemes. The admission procedure and other requirements are same as applicable to Institute Research Scholars.

iii. Sponsored candidates (SW) - These candidates are sponsored by recognized R&D organization for doing research work in the Institute on full time basis. Candidates are expected to be released for full time research work at the Institute for a minimum period of three years. They will not receive any financial support from the Institute. Sponsorship letter (Appendix I) should be attached to the application form.

iv. Self-financed (Indian/Foreign)/Study Leave (SF).

a) Indian - This category refers to persons with experience and with good track record to join the doctoral programme. They are admitted along with the regular research students through the usual admission procedure but they would not get any financial support from the Institute. This is Non-residential student category and they are not entitled for hostel accommodation on campus. If admitted, these students should complete their programme within prescribed time without any financial support from the Institute. 

b) Foreign - These students are admitted through Embassy of the respective Govt. after getting approval from the Ministry of External Affairs and no objection certificate from Ministry of Human Resources Development, Department of Education, Govt. of India.

c) Study Leave - This category refers to candidates who are released from Governmental or educational institutions on study leave for a period not less than three years for doing research work at the Institute. Employer’s letter should be produced at the time of joining, if selected.

v. Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) Awardees (Foreign Students)- These students are sponsored by their Governments and awarded scholarship by them. They should apply for admission through Indian Embassy in their country.

Part-time Research Scholar:

i. Institute Faculty/Staff (IS) - This category refers to candidates who are permanent employees of the Institute with more than 2 years of service left to their retirement are admitted to the Ph.D. Programme.

ii. Project Staff (PS) - This category refers to candidates who are working on various Projects undertaken by the Institute and admitted to the Ph.D. programme, if the duration of the Project at the time of admission is around 3 years.

iii. Research Assistants (RA) - Depending upon the requirements, each Department/Centre /School may induct one Research Assistant every year. Students under this category are entitled for Institute Research Assistantship.

iv. External candidates (Sponsored) (EX) - After fulfilling one semester (M.Tech./M.E./equivalent) or two semesters (B.E./B.Tech./M.Sc. or equivalent) of residential requirement at the Institute, these candidates will be allowed to register for Ph.D. with a supervisor from the Institute (Internal) and other from their parent organization (External) where they will be doing the research work. Sponsorship certificate from the organization (Appendix III) must be attached, to the application form.

v. Candidates working from Colleges / Educational Institutes (CT)

1) They are carrying out Research work during weekends, holidays and vacations, at Institute where they are studying. 

2) After fulfilling one (M.Tech./M.E./equivalent) or two semesters (B.E./B.Tech./M.Sc. or equivalent) of residential requirement at the Institute, these candidates will be allowed to register for Ph.D. with a supervisor from the Institute (Internal) and other from their parent organization (External) which is optional based on recommendations of the supervisor and respective DPGC/IDPC/PGC. Sponsoring certificate from the organization is to be attached to the application form. Candidates admitted under this category will be treated on par with Self finance category as far as payment of fees and deposits are concerned.

Ph.D. Eligibility

  • A Master’s degree is required to gain admission to a doctoral program. In some subjects, doing a Masters in Philosophy (M.Phil.) is a prerequisite to start Ph.D.
  • In cases, where the admission at the M.Phil. has been conducted through an entrance examination and course work has been prescribed at the M.Phil. level, such M.Phil. candidates when admitted to the Ph.D. programmes shall not be required to undertake entrance examination or course work and it shall be considered to have complied with the UGC (Minimum standards and procedure for award M.Phil./Ph.D. Degree).
  • In other cases, where a candidate has done M.Phil. from one university and moves to another university for Ph.D., the new university may give credit and exempt for the course work done in the previous university. However, such a candidate will have to appear in the entrance test as applicable to a fresh candidate directly joining Ph.D. This procedure will apply in case of those candidates who have also obtained Ph.D. degree from abroad.
  •  For some prestigious Universities, a candidate is required to qualify the all India level examination such as ‘National Eligibility Test for Lectureship (NET) conducted by University Grants Commission. Candidates appearing in the final year of qualifying degree examination are eligible to apply, however, they must submit attested copies of qualifying degree certificates/final transcripts.
  • Admission is offered based on an interview held usually a month before the commencement of the semester for which admission is sought. The interview may be supplemented by a written test, if necessary.
  • Normally all candidates in Ph.D. program are required to be resident on campus. Candidates sponsored from reputed research organizations, who are conducting their Ph.D. work co-advised by a reputed guide at their organization, may be eligible to complete their Ph.D. off campus. Only for such sponsored candidates, the minimum residency requirement is 1 semester, during which they will need to complete the course requirements. However, frequent visits to the Institution where admission has been taken is still normally required.
  • Valid GATE score is required for those wishing to pursue Ph.D. in the field of engineering or technology. To apply for the Ph.D. in Engineering one must normally have an M.Tech./M.E. in any branch of engineering.
  • An M.C.A. degree is considered equivalent to the B.Tech./B.E. degree and is not normally sufficient for admission. In certain exceptional cases, where the candidate is one of the toppers in an undergraduate B.E./B.Tech. program from a reputed university, he/she may be eligible for direct admission into Ph.D. after B.E. Such candidates must have secured 75% in their qualifying examination, and must also have a valid GATE score.
  • Minimally, students in any branch of engineering, or those with MSc in Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics or Statistics may also be considered, but one must demonstrate a strong Computer Science grasp for example, you may have a high GATE score in Computer Science. Some requirements may differ for candidates under QIP (Quality Improvement Program), Defence Personnel, SC/ST, and other sponsored categories.

Some of the Doctor of Philosophy Specialisations

  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Physics
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Mathematics
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Finance and Economics
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology

Doctor of Philosophy Course Suitability

  • The candidates who are fond of studying are especially suited for this degree. Doctor of Philosophy is also suited for those who want to spend a few years more as a student.
  • Individuals who want to pursue a career as a university professor or researcher in a field can enrol at any of the institutes offering doctor of philosophy degree.
  • If one needs a Ph.D. for promotion in academic career, hike in salary, or stable job in academics then they can join this course. Such candidates should take admission in State-run Universities and part time Ph.D.'s courses.

How is Doctor of Philosophy Course Beneficial?

  • The Ph.D. or equivalent has become a requirement for a career as a university professor or researcher in most fields.
  • Doctorate Degree enables one to keep pace with the expanding frontiers of knowledge and provides research training relevant to the present social and economic objectives of the country.
  • Philosophy professors often write articles and books in addition to teaching classes, this is also one of the good careers for them.


A Master’s degree is required to gain admission to a doctoral program. In some subjects, doing a Masters in Philosophy (M.Phil.) is a prerequisite to start Ph.D.
  • General overview of Ph.D. Course Structure

    The program comprises both course and research work; the amount of coursework one should undergo depends on the candidates' past background and the research one is engaged in.

    Basically, the program includes:

    1. Coursework
    2. Pedagogy
    3. Qualifying Examination
    4. Preparation of Research Proposal
    5. Thesis Work
    • The research work to be undertaken for Ph.D. must include original contribution to the knowledge reserve culminating in a thesis to be submitted for the doctoral degree.
    • The performance of the students in each stage is assessed by means of continuous evaluation throughout the semesters.
    • The students may be sent abroad for the Visiting Scholar Program to fine tune their thesis proposal. After returning to India they defend their thesis proposal and start working on their Ph.D. thesis. The Ph.D. thesis is completed in the last year.


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