PhD Admission 2021: Admission Process, Important Dates, Eligibility Criteria, Entrance Exams, Colleges, Syllabus 2021

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Arunima Sethi

Content Curator | Updated on - Sep 29, 2021

PhD Quick Update

September 29: Register for Veer Surendra Sai University of Technology PhD Program by October 07, 2021. Apply Now!

September 29: Register for IIM, Ahmedabad PhD Program by January 17, 2022. Apply Now!

September 29: Register for Karunya Deemed University PhD Program by November 10, 2021. Apply Now!

September 29: Register for NERIST PhD Program by October 01, 2021. Apply Now!

PhD Admissions 2021 are based on entrance exams, however there are a few colleges that consider admissions based on merit followed by a personal interview.

The PhD Admission for the academic year 2021 is currently open in several universities such as  IIMA, NERIST. The last date to apply at IIMA for PhD in Management is January 17, 2022. The registrations for PhD admission 2021 have been completed in DTU Delhi, NIFT, BITS etc. 

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) is a 3 years research program that extensively deals with the research studies in various domains like Humanities / Arts, Science, Engineering, Management, Pharmacy, Mass Communication, Law, Commerce, etc. 

Students applying for PhD Admission 2021 should have a minimum qualifying marks of 50% aggregate or equivalent CGPA score in their postgraduate degree, post which a valid cut-off score in entrance exams or performance in personal interviews and written tests will make you eligible to secure admissions in top PhD Colleges.

Top PhD Colleges: Application Deadline 

College Application Deadline
IIT Bombay (IITB) March 24, 2021- April 04, 2021 (Closed)
Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore March 20, 2021- April 20, 2021 (Closed)
IIT Delhi March 15, 2021- April 30, 2021 (Closed)
IIT Madras March 15, 2021- April 30, 2021 (Closed)
IIT Kharagpur March 30, 2021- April 20, 2021 (Closed)
IIT Kanpur January 02, 2021- February 06, 2021 (Closed)
University of Delhi July 2021 – August 2021 (Closed)
University of Hyderabad  January 10, 2021- February 03, 2021 (Closed)
IIT Roorkee January 01, 2021- February 28, 2021 (Closed)
IIT Guwahati  March 16, 2021- April 18, 2021 (Closed)

PhD Admission 2021: Important Dates

The table below lists the applications form dates for PhD Admission 2021 in top colleges offering different PhD courses:

College Mode of Admission Application Dates
IIT Madras, Chennai Merit/Entrance March 01, 2021 to April 30, 2021
Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT Vellore) Entrance December 16, 2020 
NIT Patna Entrance January 18, 2021 
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi Entrance Up to July 2021
Rama University, Kanpur Entrance June 2021
IISc Bangalore Entrance February 22, 2021 to March 31, 2021
Nirma University, Ahmedabad Merit February 21, 2021 to April 15, 2021
Mumbai University Entrance March 02, 2021
Chennai Mathematical Institute Merit/Entrance May 01, 2021 to May 31, 2021
TIFR Mumbai Written Test & Interview March 31, 2021
NITTTR Chandigarh Merit (Work experience required) February 12, 2021 to March 10, 2021
University of Calcutta Entrance Up to March 10, 2021
University of Lucknow CET & Interview March 09, 2021 to April 15, 2021
IIIT Delhi Written Test & Interview April 04, 2021
IIIT Bangalore Entrance February 2021 to May 05, 2021
IIT Mandi Entrance March 16, 2021- April 15, 2021
PGIMER, Chandigarh Entrance April 27, 2021
SLEIT, Sangrur Entrance July 15, 2021 
BIT, Mesra Entrance June 10, 2021
IIT, Jammu Entrance May 15, 2021
IGIDR, Mumbai Entrance May 10, 2021
Thapar University Entrance June 30, 2021
MAHE Entrance May 15, 2021

PhD Admission 2021: Entrance Exams

Various universities accept national level entrance exams to offer admission to the PhD course. However, there are several universities that conduct a university level entrance exam to offer PhD Admission 2021. Some of the PhD Entrance Exams along with their schedules are mentioned below.

PhD Admission 2021: Entrance Exam Schedule 

Different kinds of entrance exams are conducted as PhD courses are offered in various PhD Specializations like Education, Engineering, Mathematics, Engineering, Planning, etc. Exam schedules for the top PhD Entrance Exams in India are given in the below table.

Also Check: PhD Education Entrance Exams

Entrance Exam Registration Date Exam Date
IIT JAM September 10, 2020 February 14, 2021
GPAT Up to January 30, 2021  February 22 & 27, 2021
CUCET Up to 1st week of July 2021 Fourth week of July 2021
VITMEE March 3- June 14, 2021 To be Notified
RUET 2nd week of March 2021 1st week of June 2021

National Level PhD Entrance Exams 

Some of the national level PhD entrance exams which are listed in the above table are discussed here.

CUCET 2021

  • Central Universities Common Entrance Tests (CUCET) is a national level examination that is regulated by ten central universities jointly. 
  • Admission to the central universities is done through this exam for all types of courses like UG, PG, and others.
  • The exam is conducted in an offline mode.
  • The duration of the exam is 2 hours which consists of Multiple Choice Questions.

GPAT 2021 

  • Graduate Pharmacy Aptitude Test (GPAT) is a national level entrance exam conducted every year for admission to PG Pharmacy and other equivalent courses like Integrated PhD.
  • GPAT is conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA).
  • The exam is conducted in an online mode.
  • The duration of the exam is 3 hours for a total of 500 marks.

Institution Level PhD Entrance Exams 

Some of the institution level PhD entrance exams that are conducted specially for the admission of courses offered by those institutions are discussed in this section.

VITMEE 2021 

  • Vellore Institute of Technology Master’s Entrance Examination (VITMEE) is an institution-level entrance exam that is conducted for admission into the PG courses like M.Tech, MCA, and also admission to the integrated PhD courses.
  • It is conducted mainly for the admission to the Vellore Institute of Technology institutions and is conducted every year by the Vellore Institute of Science and Technology.
  • The exam is conducted in an online mode.
  • The duration of the exam is 2 hours.

RUET 2021 

  • Rama University Entrance Test (RUET) is an institute or university level entrance exam which is conducted for the admission of UG, PG, and PhD courses offered by Rama University.
  • The exam is conducted by Rama University with 120 multiple-choice questions.
  • The exam is conducted in an offline mode.
  • The duration for the PhD course entrance exam is 3 hours.

PhD Admission 2021: Syllabus 

  • The syllabus for the PhD courses varies based on the specialization the candidates opt for.
  • PhD courses consist of both normal academic classroom sessions and research work.
  • The research work plays a major role in PhD courses.
  • The structure of a PhD course includes course work, qualifying examination, research proposal preparation and thesis work.

PhD Admission 2021: Entrance Exam Preparation Tips

  • Collect previous year entrance exams question papers available through the internet.
  • Refer to the syllabus of PhD entrance exam as per the specialization.
  • The format of the entrance exam varies depending upon the conducting body and hence be aware of the format to plan accordingly.
  • Cover all the topics of the exam at least one month before the commencement of the exam.
  • Practice various mock tests available to eliminate the exam pressure.
  • Get updated upon the current affairs as it plays a crucial role in getting marks.
  • Visit the exam center a day before the exam to avoid the last time confusion of searching the exam center.
  • Take a deep sleep before the day of the exam.
  • Visit the exam center earlier by 1 hour to avoid traffic congestion.
  • Stay calm on the day of the exam.

PhD Admission Process 2021

Admission for PhD courses is carried out both through merit as well as the entrance based process. The admission process for both courses is explained below along with the basic eligibility criteria.

PhD Admission 2021: Eligibility Criteria 

  • The basic eligibility for applying to a PhD course is the possession of Masters or a PG degree.
  • The candidates should have obtained at least 50 - 55% of marks or grades in the PG course based upon the community the candidate belongs to. 
  • Candidates with work experience in the field of research are highly preferred and are given more preference.

Merit-Based PhD Admission 2021 

  • Top institutions offer PhD admission through a merit-based process.
  • For this, the institute may ask for the candidates to submit the outline of the research proposal.
  • This is done mainly for scrutinizing the candidates and the selected candidates are notified after the process.
  • Also, the candidates should fulfill the basic eligibility of 50 - 55% of marks in the PG course.

Entrance Exam Based PhD Admission 2021 

  • National wise and institution wise entrance exams are conducted for the admission of PhD courses.
  • Some institutions even organize personal interviews along with the entrance exams for the admission of PhD courses..

PhD Admissions 2021: FAQs

Ques. Why should we do a PhD admission in 2021?

Ans. PhD is a very honorable degree in India. Earning a PhD degree is very useful to the candidates as it also plays a major role in boosting up the salary along with a promotion in a job if the candidate is in the teaching field.

Ques. What is the process of Ph.D admission 2021?

Ans. Normally the admission process of a PhD is done by two methods. The first one is the merit-based one in which the admission is done depending upon the marks of the candidates in the PG degree. The next one is the entrance based admission which is done through the marks scored by the candidates in the entrance exam.

Ques. What is the age limit of a PhD course?

Ans. There is no specific age limit for PhD courses. It can be pursued at any age but the candidate should satisfy the eligibility criteria.

Ques. What is a Direct PhD?

Ans. Direct PhD is a program that can be done immediately after completing a B.Tech degree. There is no need to complete a master’s degree. It is devised mainly for the students who want to pursue a career in the research field. It is now being offered in IIT institutions like IIT Madras.

Ques. Is a direct PhD advisable in India? Can a candidate apply for an assistant professor post after that in India?

Ans. Direct PhD is indeed available in India. But if a candidate wishes to go into the teaching profession then the normal PhD program will be the best option rather than the direct PhD program.

Ph.D. : 15 answered questions


Ques. What is the procedure for a PhD admission in ISI Kolkata?

● Top Answer By Hitesh Sinh on 22 Sept 21

Ans. Every year, around February-March, ISI announces admission for Ph.D. You must complete the form and appear for the written examination. The test will be divided into two parts: (a) Mathematics, which is the same for everyone; (b) Questions related to your field. If you pass the written exam, you will be approached for an interview, and qualifying it would secure you a seat in ISI. There are more than 60 seats available for Ph.D. across various departments at ISI Kolkata. Some of which include Mathematics, Statistics, Computer Science, Quantitative Economics, and many more.Read more
1 Answer

Ques. Can I pursue ph.d after complete my IPM course from IIM Indore?

● Top Answer By Ashish Singla on 27 Aug 21

Ans. The IPM course in IIM Indore used to be a diploma course and earlier it was not possible to do a Ph.D. after graduating. But now because the five-year integrated IPM program is a degree course, you can easily enroll for Ph.D.  To the best of my knowledge, if you are a commerce student you are not eligible for the IPM entrance exam that is IPMAT. Commerce students with maths as a subject are still eligible for the paper. The IIM authority has clearly stated that maths has to be a compulsory subject in class 12th to be eligible for IPMAT. It is a primary criterion. You can also be eligible if maths is an optional subject instead of PE or CSC.Read more
1 Answer

Ques. How is Thapar University for doing a PhD?

● Top Answer By Jai Dhingra on 07 Aug 21

Ans. Thapar University is not good for doing Ph.D. The Computer Science department is full of people who are self-involved.  Except for a few faculty members, others are not good. They will not help you in your research work and due to which you could miss deadlines.  Clearing GATE and then going for some decent college is the better option. Your thesis will be the real mirror of what you do during your entire Ph.D program. Work hard and get into one of the prestigious colleges in the country. We can say that give your best shot in the GATE exam and get your seat reserved in some decent college, so that you gain some knowledge along with the hands-on industry training.Read more
1 Answer

Ques. What is the minimum GATE score to do a PhD in the IIT, Madras?

● Top Answer By Ishaan Bhaumik on 30 Jul 21

Ans. There is no minimum benchmark GATE score that is required to do a Ph.D. in IIT Madras. Students just need to clear GATE to make an application for entry into IITs as a Ph.D. scholar. The points below give a brief overview of the detailed procedure of entrance into IITs for a Ph.D. For doing a Ph.D. in IIT Madras, clearing GATE is not the only criteria. You should have at least 70% marks in 12th class, B.Tech, and M.Tech. If all the conditions are satisfied, you will get a chance to sit for the written test. Once you are shortlisted, you will have to sit for a written test and then go through an interview process. Your performance in these two processes will decide your entry into IIT Madras or not. Over the above criteria, every department in IIT Madras is free to change their own shortlisting criteria anytime or change their process of test or interview as per their will. Therefore, there is no cut-off set by any department of IIT Madras for the entry of students as Ph.D. scholars in the institute.Read more
1 Answer

Ques. How is the Direct PhD program of IIT Madras?

● Top Answer By Anuradha Karmakar on 23 Jul 21

Ans. You can easily be misguided about this topic; I would try my best to make you more aware in this regard. I will share some points which might help you understand it a bit better. The professors allocated for lectures here, especially in the EE department, are extremely active and the best. My friend can easily vouch for this since she is a Ph.D. scholar in the EE department from IIT M. She enrolled for an M.S. at the institution and later opted for an M.S.+ Ph.D. program in her second year of college.However, the direct Ph.D. program offered by the institute is also excellent. You can also opt for an M.S. + Ph.D. candidature with the help of the direct PhD program. You can also alternatively apply for the M.S. program as well and then can get it converted to a dual M.S. + PhD program after a year. Both of these programs would have a duration of about 5 years (on average) to be completed. My suggestion for you would be to apply for both the direct Ph.D. and the M.S. programs. If you are interested in studying, I also would suggest that you thoroughly prepare for the interviews for the application process. After the completion of the course, you can go and pursue a postdoctoral program or get recruited for a job of your choice.Read more
1 Answer


ms amrita kushwaha
Phd addmision
Mrittika Mallick

Ph. D or Doctor of Philosophy is a 3-years doctorate degree. It is a research course that specializes the candidate in a particular subject or field. It is one of the most prestigious degrees for establishing a good career and attaining vast knowledge. Ph. D courses are offered for many subjects. To know more about the eligibility criteria, admission process, fee structure, and colleges, check out the link Ph.D. Course Details.

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