Find the list of top 50 PhD admission tests before the next PhD admission session kick starts

New Delhi: Doctoral degree, or popularly known as PhD, is one of the highest degrees practiced by Higher Education system in India. Most of the universities or institutes in India admit PhD students in two sessions: Autumn (July-August) and Spring (January-February). Of course, there are many universities or research institutes admit candidates once a year for PhD programmes.

For the January 2018 (Spring) session, some universities have already notified their admission process for doctoral programmes. PhD aspirants or students should know and kick start start their preparation to clear the PhD Admission Test. Here, SkillOutlook presents the Top 50 PhD admission tests or entrances, which may help PhD aspirants to fine tune their decision in selecting universities or institutes.


Undoubtedly, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi is the most popular destination for PhD programmes in general stream subjects. The entrance test of JNU for PhD programmes is tough due to competition as a large number of students apply for it. JNU admits candidates once a year for the academic session. PhD programmes offered by Banaras Hindu University are another popular choices for students. BHU takes PhD scholars twice a year.

List of Top PhD Admission Entrances conducted by Universities or Institutes

Name of Institutes/Universities Remark
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New DelhiThe most popular PhD Entrance Test in India.  JNU Entrance conducted once in a year in May-June
Banaras Hindu UniversityThe larsgest residentail university in Asia.
Jamia Millia IslamiaA premier central university
Central Universities Common Entrance Test (CUCET)CUCET 2017 is a pan India test conducted by a consortium of 10 Central Universities, for selecting students in various programmes including UG, PG and PhD in the 10 participating universities.
Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU)Notifies PhD entrance test once in a year in October month.
Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISER) MohaliOne of the IISER group. It offers PhD programmes with JRF.
Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISER) MohaliOne of the IISER group. It offers PhD programmes with JRF.
Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISER) ThiruvananthapuramThese are a group of premier science education and research institutes under Ministry of HRD. There are seven IISREs: Mohali, Pune, Bhopal, Thiruvananthapuram, Kolkata, Tirupati, and Berhampur. Generally, they don’t conduct own PhD entrance test. Candidates must qualify in at least one of the National Level Eligibility Tests or Fellowships.
Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC)Human Resource Development Division (HRDD), BARC offers DGFS-Ph.D. programme under the aegis of Homi Bhabha National Institute (HBNI).
Savitribai Phule Pune UniversityFormerly University of Pune and University of Poona. It is one of popular universities for PhD programmes.
Indira Gandhi Delhi Technical University for Women (IGDTUW) It is a women’s university located in New Delhi.  Conucts Research Aptitude Test (RAT) once in a year , Notifies in May
IIT (ISM) DhanbadISM admits Junior Research Fellows( JRFs ) for PhD.programme through GATE / Written Test and Interview twice in year (Phase 1 & Phase 2). Notifies in March and September
IIT MadrasAdmits PhD students twice a year on  a rolling basis. Fellowship is offered as per Ministry of HRD rules.
IIT BombayAdmits PhD students twice a year. Fellowship is offered as per Ministry of HRD rules.
IITsExcept few new IITs, all IITs offer doctoral programmes. Generally, admit PhD students with JRF twice a year.
Punjab University, ChandigarhFor academic year 2017-18, the total PhD Seats were 482.
Chhattisgarh Swami Vivekanand and Technical University, BhilaiFor academic year 2017-18, 652 seats. Offers all most all subjects: Science, engineering, Humanities, Management.
Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla PhDFor academic year 2017-18, total PhD seats were 224.
Mahatma Gandhi University, KottayamFor academic year 2017-18, total PhD seats were 381 seats. The PhD test is poplarly known as PhD Written Aptitude Test (WAT).
Joint Entrance Screening Test 2017 (JEST) 2017Admission  for a PhD / Integrated Ph.D Programme in Physics or Theoretical Computer Science or Neuroscience or Computational Biology in  one  of the Participating Institutes.
BITS PilaniA popular private university. Admits students twice a year.
Delhi Technological UniversityThe University offers Full Time/Part-Time scholars for PhD in various branches of Engineering, Sciences, Humanities and Management.
Central University of HyderabadA premier central university and conducts its own entrance test.
Pondicherry  UniversityA Central University
Tata Institute of Fundamental Research A public research institution in Mumbai and Hyderabad.
NIT SurathkalFor academic year 2017-18, total PhD seats were 150 seats.
NIT RourkelaA leading National Institutes of Technologies (NIT) group of Institute
NITsThere are 31 NITs in India.
Symbiosis International University, PuneA premier private university based in Pune. Notifies PhD admission in May month each year.
Thapar UniversityA private university based in Patiala, Punjab.
Amrita UniversityA private university based in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu
UGC-NETSome universities exempt UGC NET qualified candidates to appear PhD entrance tests.
CSIR -UGC NETSome universities exempt CSIR-UGC NET qualified candidates to appear PhD entrance tests.
National University of Educational Planning and Administration.NUEPA offers MPhil and PhD programmes in the following research areas: Education Policy, Education Planning, Education Administration and Education Finance.
Alagappa UniversityAlagappa University is a public university located in Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu.
University of MysoreA state university  Karnataka
BR Ambedkar Open UniversityA public university based in Hyderabad.
Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University LucknowA Central University in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
SRM UniversityA private university based in Chennai
VIT UniversityVellore Institute of Technology, formerly known as Vellore Engineering College, is a private university in Tamil Nadu, India.
Manipal UniversityIt is a private research and educational institute located in Manipal,
North Eastern Hill University, Shillong A Central University based in Meghalaya
Tezpur University, AssamaACentral University located in Tezpur, Assam.
Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), BangalorePrimarily conducts research primarily in the areas of astronomy, astrophysics and related subjects.
South Asian University, New DelhiSouth Asian University is an International University sponsored by the eight Member States of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation.
University of DelhiA leading university in India
Jadavpur UniversityJadavpur University is a public state university based in Kolkata, West Bengal, India.
Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research BangaloreIt is a multidisciplinary research institute located at Jakkur, Bangalore
Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST)It is a government-aided institute and deemed university for the study and research of space science, based in Thiruvananthapuram.
Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE)Mainly, it is benchmark test for Mtech programmes in IITs and NITs. But some use as benchmark for PhD and Intergrated PhD programme admission.

Indian Institutes of Technology, India’s premier engineering & technology institutes, admit PhD students in two phases or two sessions. For IITs (IIT Bombay and IIT Gandhinagar) , the admission process for the January 2018 (Spring) session has been notified. However, most of the IITs will soon notify their admission process for the next semester of 2017-18 PhD programmes.

During the current session July 2017-18, SkillOutlook observed that the following university has advertised for large number PhD seats for admissions:  Chhattisgarh Swami Vivekanand and Technical University, Bhilai  (682 PhD seats), Punjab University, Chandigarh (482 PhD seats ), Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam (382 PhD seats), and Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla (224 PhD seats) and University of Mysore (958 PhD seats).

Among private universities, BITS Pilani, Manipal University, Amrita University, SRM University, etc conduct their own PhD entrance test for short listing candidates for research interview. BITS Pilani and Manipal University releases PhD admission notification twice a year.


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