PhD is the often regarded as the highest educational qualification. It is a postgraduate academic award given to students who have completed extensive research in a particular field of study. After successfully completing a PhD, students are referred to as “doctors”. Also, although PhD stands for Doctor of Philosophy, the term philosophy is used in a general sense and does not refer specifically to the subject. Nevertheless, in most countries, PhDs are still awarded only in the liberal arts, such as humanities and other social sciences.
The course is open to students who have completed their masters, with a minimum of 55% and seek to specialize in a particular subject. For some subjects, especially science subjects, students are also required to complete an M.Phil. Although institutes have their own eligibility criteria for PhD, students seeking funding, fellowship, and a career in lectureship need to appear for the National Eligibility Test (NET), which is conducted by the University Grants Commission. Some institutes may also have their individual entrance tests. After clearing the entrance test, shortlisted candidates are called for a personal interview. They also need to submit their research proposal and make presentations for the same.