Top 21 National Level PhD Entrance Exams In India

PhD Entrance Exam: Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy) is one of the highest and most valuable academic degrees in the world. Awarded by most Universities and institutions. India’s higher education system is one of the world’s biggest, with well over 850 different universities. It’s also one of the most diverse, as these institutions fall into a range of different categories.

This article provides a comprehensive and accessible Top 21 National Level PhD Entrance Exams In India, with information on universities, fees, funding opportunities, and application requirements.

Top 21 National Level PhD Entrance Exams In India

A Ph.D. degree in life Science signifies an expert in the field of life science. Usually PhD professionals decide to commit their careers to research or teaching. International students who choose to obtain a doctoral degree in life science are expected to perform research that is both excellent and creative, while also bringing up new concepts or problems within the biological science community.

Thus, the responsibility of a Ph.D. graduate in life science is to move the industry forward in a new direction. Pursuing a Ph.D. is beneficial to international students looking to further their education and put themselves ahead of the average Ph.D. graduate. Ph.D. programs are intended to produce expert researchers in the field.

If you are looking to get admission to a Ph.D. for a new challenge to develop yourself with extensive learning opportunities with excellent benefits and want to stimulate your career growth these 21 national level PhD Entrance Exams could be given chance to you prove your skill and contribution to research and developments.

1. CSIR UGC NET

CSIR-UGC NET (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research – University Grants Commission National Eligibility Test) is a prestigious PhD entrance exam for pursuing a Ph.D. degree. CSIR, established in 1942 by the Government of India, is a national R&D organization funded by the public. With 38 laboratories/institutes across India, CSIR-UGC NET is conducted twice a year, in June and December.

This national-level exam, conducted by CSIR-UGC, aims to award junior research fellowships or lectureships. It covers various disciplines, including life sciences, earth sciences, mathematical sciences, chemical sciences, and physical sciences. Eligible candidates, who have completed or are appearing for a Master’s degree, must have secured at least 55% (for general and OBC candidates) or 50% (for SC/ST/PWD candidates) to qualify.

Successfully qualifying in CSIR-UGC NET allows candidates to directly register for doctoral programs or pursue a Ph.D. degree, paving the way for advanced research opportunities.

Exam FeaturesDetails
Exam NameCSIR-UGC NET
Conducting BodyNational Testing Agency (NTA)
QualificationsMSc in Basic Science
Mode of ExamOnline -CBT (Computer Based Test)
Exam Fees☆ Rs. 250 for SC/ST
☆ Rs. 500 for OBC
☆ Rs. 1000 for general category
Exam duration3 Hrs (180 min)
No. of Papers☆ Paper 1: 200 Marks
☆ Paper 2: 200 Marks
Paper LanguageEnglish and Hindi
Official websitehttps://csirnet.nta.nic.in

2. NCBS (National Centre for Biological Sciences)

The National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), situated in Bangalore, is a constituent of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) based in Mumbai. NCBS conducts entrance examinations for admission to its Ph.D. programs. These PhD entrance exams are highly regarded at the national level and serve as a gateway for aspiring researchers.

NCBS Ph.D. entrance exams are conducted for candidates holding master’s degrees in basic science disciplines such as chemistry, physics, mathematics, and biology. These exams provide an opportunity for candidates to pursue advanced research and academic endeavors in their respective fields of study.

Exam FeaturesDetails
Exam NameNCBS Ph.D. exam
Conducting BodyNCBS
QualificationMSc in basic science
Mode of ExamOffline
Exam Fees———-
Exam duration3 Hrs
No. of Papers————
Paper LanguageEnglish and Hindi
Official websitehttps://ncbs.res.in
PhD Entrance Exam

3. DBT JRF Exam

The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) is a government department in India operating under the Ministry of Science and Technology. DBT conducts a prominent Ph.D. entrance examination tailored for biotechnology students. This department collaborates with the National Centre of Cell Science to facilitate fellowship opportunities exclusively for biotechnology students nationwide.

Candidates aspiring to pursue Ph.D. programs are selected through the Biotechnology Eligibility Test (BET) examination administered by DBT. Among the successful candidates, the top 275 students are eligible to register for Ph.D. programs in universities and institutes, while the subsequent 100 students are enrolled in DBT-sponsored projects. This initiative aims to foster research and innovation in the field of biotechnology by providing opportunities for advanced study and practical experience.

AspectHighlights
Exam NameDBT JRF Entrance Exam
Conducting AuthorityDepartment of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India
PurposeAwarding Junior Research Fellowships for pursuing Ph.D. in Biotechnology and allied areas
FrequencyConducted once or twice a year depending on notification
Eligibility Criteria★ Master’s degree in Biotechnology, Life Sciences, Agriculture, Veterinary Science, Pharmacy, or Medicine (MBBS) with at least 60% marks (55% for SC/ST/OBC/PH candidates)
Exam FormatOnline test (multiple-choice questions)
Subjects CoveredBiotechnology, Life Sciences, General Science
Exam Duration3 hours
Exam CentersVarious centers across India
Fellowship BenefitsFinancial support for pursuing Ph.D. studies, contingency grant, and other allowances
Apply Onlinehttps://www.dbtjrf.gov.in/

4. ICMR JRF

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) conducts a national-level Ph.D. entrance examination for candidates holding an MSc or equivalent degree in basic sciences. This examination is held across various states in India, including Bangalore, Mumbai, Bhopal, Hyderabad, Varanasi, among others.

To be eligible for the ICMR Ph.D. entrance examination, candidates must secure a minimum of 55% marks for the general/OBC category and 50% for SC/ST/PWD categories in their MSc or equivalent degree.

ICMR’s initiative aims to promote advanced research in the field of medical sciences by providing opportunities for aspiring researchers to pursue Ph.D. programs and contribute to the advancement of knowledge in healthcare and related disciplines.

Exam FeaturesDetails
Exam NameICMR JRF examination
Conducting BodyPGIMER Chandigarh
QualificationMSc in basic science
Mode of ExamOnline
Exam Fees———-
Exam duration2 Hrs
Type of QuestionsObjective type
Paper LanguageEnglish
Official websiteicmr.nic.in, pgimer.edu.in

5. TIFR JGEEBILS

Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) conducts a national-level entrance examination called JGEEBILS (Joint Graduate Entrance Examination for Biology and Interdisciplinary Life Sciences) for biology, which serves as an entry point for their Ph.D. program. More details can be found at http://univ.tifr.res.in. The entrance exam is known as TIFR PhD, and candidates must have an MSc in basic science to be eligible. Successful candidates may receive a monthly stipend of Rs. 25,000.

6. GATE (Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering)

GATE (Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering) is a prestigious entrance examination conducted by the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and seven Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) including IIT Delhi, IIT Bombay, IIT Madras, IIT Kanpur, IIT Kharagpur, IIT Roorkee, and IIT Guwahati. The exam is held annually in February at 660 centers across various countries including India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, etc. For candidates in their final year of bachelor’s and master’s degrees, GATE serves as a gateway to pursue master’s and Ph.D. programs. For further information, interested individuals can visit http://gate.iitg.ac.in.

  • Name of Entrance Exam: GATE exam
  • Qualifications: Candidates must hold an MSc degree in basic science to be eligible.
  • Remuneration: Successful candidates may receive a monthly stipend of Rs. 25,000.
  • Application Fees: Rs. 750 for SC/ST/PWD candidates and Rs. 1000 for open and OBC candidates.

7. JNU PhD Entrance Exam

Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) is renowned as one of the top universities in India, established on April 22, 1979. It has earned international acclaim and is ranked 2nd among universities in India. JNU conducts Ph.D. entrance examinations for admission to its doctoral programs. For further details, interested individuals can visit www.jnu.ac.in.

  • Name of Entrance Exam: JNU Ph.D. Entrance
  • Qualifications: Candidates must possess an MSc degree in basic science to be eligible.
  • Remuneration: Successful candidates may receive a monthly stipend of Rs. 25,000.

8. NIMHANS PhD Entrance Exam

The National Institute of Mental Health and Neuroscience (NIMHANS) is recognized as one of the most prestigious institutes in India, designated as an “Institute of National Importance.” It specializes in training and research in mental health and neuroscience.

NIMHANS is renowned for producing over 1000 psychiatrists annually and offers studies in various disciplines including basic biological sciences, ancient health systems, molecular biology, and more. The institute conducts an entrance examination for admission to its doctoral degree programs, known as the NIMHANS JRF Entrance Exam. For further information, interested individuals can visit http://www.nimhans.ac.in.

  • Name of Entrance Exam: NIMHANS Entrance
  • Qualifications: Candidates must hold an MSc degree in basic science to be eligible.
  • Remuneration: Successful candidates may receive a monthly stipend of Rs. 25,000.

9. Manipal University PhD Entrance Exam

Manipal University is one of the best Universities in India with a great reputation among the Universities in India This Universities organized an entrance examination for MSc students to get admission for Ph.D. The selection criteria are MET or MET + DT or DT or national level entrance examination. Mate is the Manipal entrance exam and DT is a departmental exam. The admission process includes applying online and applying for the selection process. If the selected candidates have to take admission through the counseling process. More information. www.manipal.edu.

10. IIT guwahati PhD Entrance Exam

IIT Guwahati is one of the best institutes in India and provides education in different sectors. IIT Guwahati held and Ph.D. entrance examination for admission in Ph.D. Candidates with master’s degrees are eligible to apply for the Ph.D. Entrance examination. More information. www.iitg.ac.in

11. IISC PhD Entrance Exam

IISc Bangalore is world world-famous academic Research to pursue excellence in research and promotion of innovation it offers world-class Education to train Future Leaders in India. It offers a Ph.D. program in integrated Ph.D. and research programs and held Ph.D. Entrance examination to get admission. More information. www.iisc.ac.in

AIIMS PhD Entrance Exam

AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Science) mainly leads in medical research. Most Medical students are from the medical field for those candidates who want to study research AIIMS is there to give you opportunities in the Medical research field. Every year AIIMS held a PhD Entrance exam for Medical, non-medical, and nursing students. For Medical students Candidates with MBBS/BDS with 55% in the diplomat of the National Board of examination. And for nursing students candidates with a Master’s degree minimum of 55%. And for non-medical candidates Masters’s degree holders are eligible. Stipend -25,000/month, Application fees- Rs.1500 for OBC and general and for SC ST 1200 Rs. More information. www.aiims.edu

13. NIPER PhD Entrance Exam

The National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) in Hyderabad conducts a renowned entrance examination for master’s and Ph.D. degrees, commonly known as NIPER-JEE or NIPER.

This examination, jointly conducted by NIPER, provides opportunities for students interested in research across various states in India, including Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Nagpur, Bangalore, among others. For further information, interested individuals can visit http://www.niper.nic.in.

  • Name of Entrance Exam: NIPER
  • Qualifications: Candidates must possess an MSc degree in basic science to be eligible.
  • Remuneration: Successful candidates may receive a monthly stipend of Rs. 25,000.

14. University of Hyderabad PhD Entrance Exam

The University of Hyderabad, esteemed as one of the premier universities in India, conducts a Ph.D. entrance examination for aspiring candidates. Offering over 13 Ph.D. degrees in various subjects such as Biotechnology, Microbiology, Botany, etc., the university is renowned for its academic excellence and research opportunities. For further details, interested individuals can visit http://www.uohyd.ac.in.

  • Name of Entrance Exam: UoH PhD
  • Qualifications: Candidates must possess an MSc degree in basic science to be eligible.
  • Remuneration: Successful candidates may receive a monthly stipend of Rs. 25,000.

15. BITS Pilani PhD Entrance Exam

BITS (Birla Institute of Technology Science offers admission to Ph.D. programs at Pilani, Goa, and Hyderabad for Biological Science, chemical engineering, chemistry, civil engineering, pharmacy mathematics and Biotechnology, and other courses. Candidates with a Master’s degree or equivalent degree with a minimum 60% aggregate are eligible for a Ph.D. admission Stipend -of 25,000/month, Application fees of -2,200 for all students. More information.. http://www.bits-pilani.ac.in

16. NDRI PhD Entrance Exam

National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI) is deemed University which holds the Ph.D. entrance examination for admission to the Ph.D. program. The exam is generally in May of every year. MSc candidates are eligible to apply for the PhD Entrance. Fees -Rs.1200 for the general category and Rs. 600 for SC/ST candidates. More information. http://www.ndri.res.in

17. BARC PhD Entrance Exam

Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC) is offering Ph.D. programs for ME and M.Tech and equivalent degrees for admission to Ph.D. under the home bhabha national institute (HBNI) normally exam is held in June every year. Stipend -40,000/month More information. http://www.barc.gov.in

18. IISER PhD Entrance Exam

Indian Institute of Science Education and Research held an examination for admission to Ph.D. Students with Masters in any branch of science like mathematics, biology, or physics have secured 60% marks for the general category and 50%  marks for SC/ST candidates. Candidates must have qualified NET, GATE, and CSIR-UGC are eligible. More information. http://www.iiserpune.ac.in

19. National Brain Research Center PhD Entrance Exam

National brain research center are leading center of research and development center in India held an Examination for Indian students. Candidates with a Master’s degree or equivalent degree in any branch of science like life science, chemistry, physics pharmacy, etc at least 55% (50% for SC/ST) of marks in master’s degree.

20. Indian Agriculture research institute PhD Entrance Exam

IARI (Indian agriculture research institute New Delhi) organized Ph.D. entrance exams to various disciplines of agriculture, engineering, horticulture, etc. Candidates with Masters’s degrees have secure 60% for the general category and 55% for SC/ST candidates. Stipend:25,000/month, Application fees: 1000 for the general category and 500 for SC/ST candidates. More information. www.iari.res.in

21. GTU PhD Entrance Exam

Gujrat Technological University held an Examination for admission to the Ph.D. programs in engineering, management, pharmacy, and computer science candidates with a Master’s degree of at least 55% for the general category and 50% for SC ST candidates are eligible to apply for the Ph.D. Entrance examination. Selection of candidates for GTU Ph.D. is based on entrance test exams generally hold in November. Stipend – 25,000/month, Application fees- Rs.1200 for open category and Rs.1000 for SC/ST candidates. More information www.gtu.ac.in

Everyone wants to get study at the research level and these opportunities provide you these 21 national-level PhD Entrance Exam across the Country. Getting admission in PhD means learning more new things, and improving our skills, and confidence. These 21 PhD Entrance Exams are helpful to you for getting admission to Ph.D.

Most programs have screenings, qualifiers, dissertation proposals, and dissertations. Screening exams are usually taken in the first and second years. Usually, they are written exams to test the Ph.D. student’s skills. If you fail, you have to leave the program. The qualifier tests whether the student has the ability to do research and write a dissertation. Usually, a written exam but some disciplines may ask to do a short study or design a such study. You fail and you are out.

A dissertation proposal is where you either design or do a small-scale study that would be your dissertation. If you don’t pass, then most schools give you a second chance. If you still don’t pass then you have to leave. A dissertation is the final destination. You present your original research. You will have to keep revising it until you pass. Most of the time, you will pass after two or three revisions.

FAQs on PhD Entrance Exam

What is required for Ph.D. in India?

Answer: The minimum requirement for admission to an Indian Ph.D. is a Masters’s degree in a relevant subject, usually with an overall grade. Candidates will also be expected to have the necessary language skills for their course.

Is there an age limit for Ph.D. in India?

Answer: There is no age limit to do Ph.D. through GATE. Candidates with a master’s degree in a related subject with a minimum of 55% marks are eligible to apply for Ph.D. GATE-qualified candidates are given admission through personal interviews. So you can apply for Ph.D. in various universities in India.

Is NET mandatory for Ph.D.?

Answer: No, it is not compulsory in many universities as they conduct their own research / Ph.D. entrance exam, which is followed by an interview or counseling. And if you are NET qualified then you will be exempted from the entrance examination. However, the top institutes prefer candidates with NET / SET certificates.

Is a Ph.D. in India worth it?

Answer: It is not worth the effort unless you are lucky enough to get a job in a government institution. “If you do a Ph.D. in India, the mentor should be the one who leads you to the path of completion.

Is it easy to do Ph.D. in India?

Answer: It is not very difficult to register for PhD in India. Almost all universities in India conduct Ph.D. entrance exams and if you crack the exam, you will get registration for Ph.D.

What is a Ph.D. in full form?

Answer: Doctor of Philosophy in English-speaking countries, PhD in English, Ph.D., d. Phil. Or called DPhil (as Latin philosopher doctor or Doctor Darshania). The full form of a Ph.D. is a Doctor of Philosophy.

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