Academic Regulations for PhD Programmes

January, 2022

Ph.D. Programme

Ph.D. is a research programme. The dissertation is the centerpiece of the programme. The coursework and qualifiers are there to ensure the necessary breadth in the areas for the student.

The semester-wise courses and the planning of Ph.D. study are dependent on the student's background. It is expected that a Ph.D. student will take the relevant courses in the first two semesters. Thereafter, the steps involved are:

                        1. Clearing Breadth Qualifier Courses

2. Clearing of Depth Courses

3. Comprehensive Exam

4. Thesis proposal defense

5. Final Thesis defense

For students who joined the PhD programme with an Master of Science or M.Tech with high quality Thesis, please refer to Appendix-1 for guidelines regarding points 1, 2, and 3 above.

1. Breadth Qualifier courses

A PhD student should clear 3 courses to establish breadth of knowledge in the respective programmes. Satisfactory performance of a course is defined as getting a grade of ‘B’ or higher in each of the courses. One B- grade will be accepted, provided the average must be ‘B’ grade in all the breadth (3) courses.



·         Independent Study / Project are not counted towards breadth qualifier requirement.

·         Extra courses may be suggested by the advisor based on the student’s background.

·         Reduction in course work may be allowed based on the student’s background on advisor’s recommendation and approval of a committee led by PG Chair.

A list of recommended breadth courses for the respective program is given in the respective progarmme pages.

2. Minimum Depth course requirements

A student has to complete 3 depth courses other than breadth courses. These courses should be from level 400 and above. One project/Independent Study is allowed in place of a depth course. These courses should be advised/approved by the thesis advisor. List of recommended depth courses for the respective programmes is given in the respective programme pages.

Depth courses are courses that are very relevant to student’s research work and aligns with the thesis work. All depth courses should be approved by the Advisor.



·         Extra courses may be suggested by the advisor based on the student’s background.

·         Reduction in course work may be allowed based on the student’s background on advisor’s recommendation and approval of a committee led by PG Chair.

3. Comprehensive Exam

The comprehensive exam is meant to assess the student’s capacity to do research and problem-solving ability.

After clearing the breadth qualifier, the student will conduct literature survey in the area of his/her research. The student and his/her advisor will select a set of research papers (typically 8-10 seminar papers published in premier conferences/Journals with high impact factor), which will be forwarded for approval of the Advisory Committee. After studying these papers in depth, and also after studying the related papers in the form of literature survey, the student has to submit a report followed by a presentation and an oral examination by a committee.

The advisory committee consists of the advisor, a subject matter expert and another member outside the area of research.

During the Comprehensive Exam, student is expected to have:

-        Clear understanding of the state-of-the-art literature

-        Understood the key contributions

-        Understanding of significant gap areas

-        Understood the scope of research in the chosen research area

-        Ability to perform research in the chosen research area

Timelines for the course work and Comprehensive Exam:

  • All recommended course work should be completed in 3 or 4 semesters. 
  • The Comprehensive Exam has to be completed by end of 2nd year (before starting 5th semester).
  • Any extension requires approval of PG Chair.

Thesis Credits:

A student must register for a total of at least 60 credits of doctoral dissertation (called thesis credits) to be eligible for the degree.

Externally registered PhD students must register for 4 thesis credits even when they are at their host Institutions.

4. Thesis Proposal Defense:

Once the student is ready to defend his PhD Thesis proposal, he/she has to submit the PhD Thesis proposal request form in the Academic office for further process.

A doctoral student is expected to defend his or her dissertation proposal to an appropriate committee. The committee should have one expert examiner from the Institute and another examiner from outside of the Institute. They are nominated by the PG Chair and the Dean (R&D). A student is declared a Ph.D. candidate after this requirement is satisfied. This is expected to be accomplished before the end of 10 semesters.

5. Final Thesis Defense:

Once the student is ready to defend his PhD dissertation, he/she has to submit the Graduation Request Form (GRF) in the academic office as per the guidelines given on intranet

Thesis Template in LaTeX Format, Word Format  and PDF Format are given below:

The dissertation has to be successfully defended to a committee of examiners (and advisors) set up by the PG Chair and Dean (R&D). The committee will have one or two examiners from the Institute and one or two examiners from outside. An examiner from the Institute serves as the chair of the evaluation committee. The dissertation is expected to be supported by accepted publications in conferences and journals of repute.

Academic Performance:

The student should have a CGPA of 7.0 in the coursework to graduate with a Ph.D degree.

Residency requirements:

Minimum is 6 semesters. The maximum duration for a Ph.D is 12 semesters. To continue beyond 5 years, explicit approval of the Dean (R&D) needs to be obtained.

Students must give a 1-page report on work done so far and a brief amount of what needs to be done and when it will be done. The advisor should write a brief report on the students’ report also. A student cannot register without this permission. 



PhD Qualifiers for students converted from Master of Science / M.Tech to PhD.

Student Background


MS or M.Tech with high quality Thesis completed and obtained degree

·    No Comprehensive VIVA

·    No extra courses required

MS course work completed but thesis is not submitted

·    Coursework will be transferred.

·    Required to meet breadth requirements as per the respective program guidelines.

·    Comprehensive VIVA is required.

MS in one Stream to another stream

·    Required to meet the breadth requirements of the PhD progamme.

·    Comprehensive VIVA is required.

In addition to three breadth/depth courses requirement, additional foundation courses can be recommended by the advisor.

Page last updated on May, 2023