PhD From IIT - Eligibility, Exams, Admission & Interview Procedure
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PhD From IIT – Eligibility, Exams, Admission & Interview Procedure

The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) are the premier Institutions of India dedicated for scientific and technical education. These are public institutions for higher studies declared as institutions of national importance and committed their powers, duties, and framework for governance as per the Institutes of Technology Act, 1961. By 2018 The Institutes of Technology Act, 1961 has listed down twenty-three such institutes. Every IIT is autonomous, connected to each other through a common IIT Council, which supervises their administration. The Minister of Human Resource Development acts as the ex officio Chairperson of the IIT Council.

Every science student in India aspires to hold an academic degree from IIT and have this question in mind – How To Get PhD From IIT? The Eligibility Criteria, Exams to be written for the same & what is the interview procedure! Below article throws light on the PhD admission procedure at IIT.

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There are 23 IITs in Total in India – their names along with their locations are listed below:

  • IIT Kharagpur
  • IIT Bombay
  • IIT Madras
  • IIT Kanpur
  • IIT Delhi
  • IIT Guwahati
  • IIT Roorkee
  • IIT Ropar
  • IIT Bhubaneswar
  • IIT Gandhinagar
  • IIT Hyderabad
  • IIT Jodhpur
  • IIT Patna
  • IIT Indore
  • IIT Mandi
  • IIT (BHU) Varanasi
  • IIT Palakkad
  • IIT Tirupati
  • IIT Dhanbad
  • IIT Bhilai
  • IIT Goa
  • IIT Jammu
  • IIT Dharwad

IITs provide courses for both engineering and science. Although Biosciences was not one of the primary domains of IIT curriculum, in the recent era the advance in biosciences has definitely had a major impact on the world academic sector. These days biosciences are not limited to studying only classical topics such as taxonomy, histology, physiology, and anatomy. The emerging branches of biosciences such as molecular biology, biochemistry, biophysics, cell biology, genetics, instrumentation have been expanding continuously and has an immense scope of innovative research as well as potential application in various sectors such as medicine, pathology, healthcare, etc. So the huge demand for the scientific study has now lead the inclusion of bioscience and allied branches as one of the primary departments in IITs. But currently, only some IITs provide courses for biological sciences. So, Students who are interested in obtaining a PhD in biosciences subject from IIT, they have to screen the IIT institutes lists which provides a degree in biosciences.

List of IIT institutes that Have Bioscience / Life science Department and offer PhD Degree in Bioscience.

Name of the IIT Institute Name of Department/ school / center
IIT Kharagpur       Biotechnology, Bioscience, Medical Science and Technology
IIT Bombay Biosciences and Bioengineering (BSBE)
IIT Madras Biotechnology
IIT Kanpur Biological Sciences and Bioengineering
IIT Delhi Biochemical Engineering and Biotechnology
IIT Guwahati Biosciences and Bioengineering
IIT Roorkee Biotechnology
IIT Ropar   Biomedical Engineering
IIT Bhubaneswar   Basic sciences
IIT Gandhinagar   Biomedical engineering
IIT Hyderabad Biomedical engineering and biotechnology
IIT Jodhpur   BioSciences and Bioengineering
IIT Indore   BioSciences and biomedical engineering
IIT (BHU) Varanasi      Biochemical and Engineering and Biomedical Engineering
IIT Dharwad BioSciences and BioEngineering


Eligibility Criteria To Get PhD From IIT 

Academic excellence is the key factor required for admission into IITs. The eligibility may differ from institution to institutions slightly but minimum criteria remain more or less uniform such as Master’s degree M.Tech. or M.Sc. in relevant field with minimum CGPA 6.0 or equivalent percentage for unreserved candidates and 5.5 CGPA or equivalent percentage for reserved category students.

A National level fellowship such as DST-INSPIRE, CSIR-UGC NET JRF, DBT JRF, ICMR JRF, ICMR JRF, GATE qualification is another essential requirement for admission into IIT apart from a relevant academic degree.

Merely having the requisite qualification does not guarantee a seat in IIT. These are the eligibility criteria for applying to different IITs. The interview may be conducted in multiple rounds (usually 2). The final selection is based on performance in the interview.

For a candidate having the previous degree from NIT or IIT with CGPA more than a cut-off, set by the respective institute (usually 7.00-8.00), the requirements of national fellowship and the written test could be exempted. They can be directly shortlisted to appear in the interview.

Application Procedure

The IITs offer admission to various PhD programs twice in a year. The two sessions are July-August also called as autumn semester and December- January also named as spring semester.

The notification for the autumn session application is out in the month of Mar-Apr followed by an interview in May and admission by the end of July to start the course in August. Similarly, notification for the spring session application is out in the month of Sep-Oct followed by an interview in December and admission by the end of December to start the course in January. So students must stay alert to check the official website for the updated information regarding the admission in respective institutes.

One of the smart ways to get notification regarding admission is to subscribe Biotecnika so that the students get alert about each and every admission update without fail.

PhD from IIT – Admission Procedure

The PhD admission procedure is online. Before applying read very carefully the instructions to the candidates and information brochure as the process may vary from institute to institute. Within the deadline, students have to apply with all the required information. So it is recommended to keep softcopies of all the essential academic documents ready as per the instructions mentioned in the information brochure. Though hard copy need not be sent it has to be produced at the time of interview. So a copy should be saved for future correspondence. On the date of declaration of the shortlisted candidates, students can check their status. The students will also be notified via email or their application portal.

Preparation Tips for the IIT Written Test & Interview

  • Countless students apply for PhD admission at IIT. So to shorten the list for the interview a written test is conducted as the preliminary step for elimination of candidates.
  • Usually, the written test is conducted for one hour having multiple choice questions.
  • Questions usually covered from very basic concepts to check the depth of knowledge of the students in basic topics.
  • Questions will be asked from almost every branch of the subject such as in biological disciples questions will comprise of topics such as biochemistry, cell biology, molecular biology, genetics, biostatistics, bioinformatics, instrumentation, and common laboratory techniques.
  • The cut-off mark of the test depends on the number of students appearing the test and the no of candidates required to be eliminated. There is no fixed rule for that. If the number of students is less than thirty all of them might be interviewed.

Interview Procedure For PhD Admission at IIT

  • Though the written test is the preliminary screening for selecting suitable candidates, the final selection is solely based on the performance of the candidate in the interview.
  • The interview panel consists of all the faculty members of the respective department /center or school.
  • Since you are facing eminent scientists across the country you cannot be totally unafraid, but being bold and confident with your response is the key factor to pass the interview successfully.
  • It is okay not to know the answer of all the questions being asked but the way of responding is vital. Generally, the interview starts with an introduction, so be skillful enough to introduce yourself in such a way to impress the interviewers.
  • Try to overcome your nervousness while responding. Sometimes the question could be regarding your research interest or your favorite topic.
  • Make sure your research interest should not something completely outside the institute research domain. It should be something achievable with the facilities provided by the institute and similar to other ongoing research work there.
  • Ensure that whatever topic you mention you are absolutely thorough about it. For instance, if you say biochemistry then absolutely you should be confident regarding the biomolecule, structure, importance, function, etc. More specifically the amino acid structure, relevant properties, etc should be known to you. You may mention it is molecular biology, so have all the clarification related to replication (enzymes, important sites), etc, transcription factors, detail process, and enzymes, etc.
  • Also list down the most common type of instruments and their applications in different laboratories such as FACS in the cell biology lab and documentation in the molecular biology lab, etc.
  • Also be very clear regarding your Master’s Dissertation thesis or any other project work, starting from objective to materials and methods, result in the discussion part.
  • Don’t try to answer something that you don’t know. If you are unable to answer any question politely say that you don’t have any knowledge regarding this. It is definitely better accepted than talking something irrelevant.
  • Keep your posture proper, be confident yet humble while answering.

Another important thing to keep in mind during the PhD admission interview at IIT is – having knowledge regarding the research domain and the faculty profile of the institute. Sometimes during the interview itself, they might ask you about your preferred faculty and why you are interested to join the faculty’s lab. You can justify yourself only if you have the detail information regarding the faculty profile, his past publications, his ongoing research activity, etc. Hence it is always recommended to prepare a list of one or two faculty of the institution who share similar research interest with you. This could be one of the most important factors in successfully making through the interview.

PhD Procedure at IIT

  • Once you are selected the offer letter is sent by email.
  • Students are admitted to respective departments.
  • Though you are admitted to the PhD program at IIT, the official registration is yet to be done.
  • Another important aspect of the PhD program is coursework. Every PhD student has to take up subjects meeting the required credit points for one semester.
  • The theory paper has to be studied and examinations conducted in those papers have to be cleared by the students.
  • The registration of PhD may need successful clearance of a comprehensive viva or presentation of the research work by the student.
  • The duration of the PhD work allowed is a minimum of 2 years to maximum extendable to 7 years. But the financial assistantship can be availed by the student is maximum for 5 years.
  • After the end of the research work, the thesis has to be submitted along with the synopsis. The thesis is reviewed and evaluated by prominent scientists from other reputed institutions. If the review is successful thesis can be submitted.

The Ph.D. degree at IIT is awarded in recognition of great achievements, independent research, and application of scientific knowledge by the student for solving the technical and scientific problems. The creative and productive inquiry is the elementary concept underlying the research work.

Before the award of the degree, students have to face the PhD viva where they need to explain their research work to external faculty members. Upon successful completion of PhD viva, the degree is presented in the following convocation.

The students are provided hostel accommodation where they enjoy all type of comfortable lifestyle amenities. In order to keep the students uplifted and motivated to work, spring fest, tech fest are hosted by the institute which also serves as a platform for cultural exchange.

Future Career Prospects After Completing PhD from IIT.

Enrolling for PhD in IIT can also open the path for a student to work as a visiting student or intern in international institutes also. This might be facilitated through a student exchange program or through a collaboration of the supervisor with international institutions.
IITs are flexible in providing doctorate degree to a different category of students through programs such as a full-time research scholar who has own fellowship (by any funding agency such as CSIR/UGC/DBT/DST etc) or with institute assistantship.

Similarly, working professionals from the academic field can join through a teaching assistantship. So as other working professionals say from industries can join in sponsored category provided their expenditure is contributed by the respective sponsors. Apart from that part-time PhD are also provided for working professionals. The detail guidelines for each type of program can be obtained from the institute brochure. So a student has the liberty to choose any program to enter IIT that best suits his/her career.

This article briefly explains How To Get PhD From IIT. Being part of the most prestigious institution in the country demands a good academic profile, strong enthusiasm, true dedication, and a creative mind.

About the Author
Manisha is a dynamic professor at Biotecnika and an avid follower of latest life science journals. With a profound background in research, the above article is penned by her based on thousands of queries received from candidates across India who want to do their Ph.D. degree in Bioscience from IIT.

Keywords: How to Get PhD from IIT, IIT PhD admission, IIT Bioscience Department, PhD Biotech at IIT, PhD Life science at IIT, PhD Biosciences at IIT, IIT PhD Biotech admission procedure, IIT admission interview Procedure, IIT PhD admission details.

Perfection is her hobby, Reliability is a synonym, Editing is her passion, Excellence is her Goal, Tactfulness is in her genes, Yellow is her Fav color. Preety is the name of the Professional on whom entire BioTecNika relies when it comes to its website. A Gold Medalist in Biotech from SRM University, Chennai with a 9.9 CGPA ( was awarded the Gold Medal by Honorable Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi , as seen in the pic ), She decided to join forces with BioTecNika to ensure India's largest BioSciences Portal expands its reach to every city in India. She has redesigned the new avatar of BioTecNika from scratch and heads the most dynamic, vibrant and well informed Online Team at Biotecnika Info Labs Pvt Ltd


  1. How I get Ph.D from other institutes like IISc,and also from some foreign institute??????

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