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PhD 2023

                                              Doctor Of Philoshpy PhD

What is a PhD?

A PhD is a globally recognized postgraduate academic degree awarded by universities and higher education institutions to a candidate who has submitted a thesis or dissertation, based on extensive and original research in their chosen field. The specificities of PhD degrees vary depending on where you are and what subject you’re studying.

In general, however, the PhD is the highest level of degree a student can achieve (with some exceptions). It usually follows a master’s degree, although some institutions also allow students to progress straight to a PhD from their bachelor’s degree. Some institutions also offer the opportunity to ‘upgrade’ or ‘fast-track’ your master’s degree to a PhD, provided you are deemed to possess the necessary grades, knowledge, skills and research abilities.

Traditionally, a PhD involves three to four years of full-time study in which the student completes a substantial piece of original research presented as a thesis or dissertation. Some PhD programs accept a portfolio of published papers, while some countries require coursework to be submitted as well.

Students must also complete a ‘viva voce’ or oral defense of their PhD. This can be with just a small number of examiners, or in front of a large examination panel (both usually last between one to three hours). While PhD students are traditionally expected to study on campus under close supervision, distance education and e-learning schemes have meant a growing number of universities are now accepting part-time and distance-learning PhD students. 

PhD admission requirements

Generally speaking, PhD admission requirements relate to the candidate’s grades (usually at both bachelor’s level and master’s level) and their potential research capabilities. Most institutions require that candidates hold an honors degree or a master’s degree with high academic standing, along with a bachelor’s degree with at least upper second-class honors. In some cases, you can also apply for a PhD simply on the basis of your master’s degree grades. Grades-based PhD admission requirements may also be based on the type of funding you will be using – you may be able apply with lower grades if you self-fund your PhD (read more on PhD funding here).

Some institutions and subjects (such as psychology and some humanities and science subjects) stipulate that you must find a tenured professor in your chosen institution to serve as your formal advisor and supervisor throughout your PhD program before you can be formally accepted into the program. In other cases, you will be assigned a supervisor based on your research subject and methodology once you have been accepted into the PhD program.

Either way, it is a good idea to approach a faculty member in your chosen institution before applying for a PhD, in order for them to determine whether your research interests align well with the department, and perhaps even help you to brainstorm PhD research options.

PhD applications

Language proficiency

Some PhD applications require proof of proficiency in the language in which you intend to study. You can either provide the results of an approved standardized language exam or show evidence of having completed undergraduate or postgraduate study in the relevant language.

Employment/academic references

Some institutions may also ask for a record of your employment such as a résumé, and/or all your academic transcripts, including details of course modules and module content as part of your PhD application. Details of other research projects you have completed and any publications you have been featured in can also help your application.

Many PhD applicants are also asked to provide references from two or three people who know them well in an academic setting, such as their undergraduate or postgraduate tutors or professors. These references must have a particular focus on your academic performance, coursework and research abilities, your research potential and your interest in your chosen field of study.

Personal statements

Many institutions ask for a personal statement - a short essay which you can use to demonstrate your passion for your chosen subject. You can outline your reasons for wanting to study a PhD, personal motivations for doing so, any extracurricular activities that are particularly relevant or should be highlighted, and any flexibility in your chosen area(s) of research. If you need help, many institutions have a guide to personal statements on their website, which can also help you tailor your personal statement to each institution.

PhD research proposals

Finally, in order to be considered for a place on a PhD program, applicants are expected to submit a PhD research proposal. A research proposal:

  • Outlines your proposed research topics in the context of previous work,
  • Highlights your awareness of current debates within the field,
  • Demonstrates a suitable level of analysis,
  • Identifies relevant gaps in current knowledge,
  • Suggests a relevant research hypothesis to fill some of these gaps,
  • Explains your intended research methodology in sufficient detail,
  • Discusses the implications to real-world policy that your PhD proposal may invite.

This will help admissions tutors to assess your aptitude for PhD research, and also to determine whether your research interests align with their own research priorities and available facilities. They will also consider whether they have the relevant staff to provide you sufficient supervisory expertise.

For this reason in particular, it is important to research institutions thoroughly before applying for a PhD. Not only will you be happier if your research interests fit in with those of your chosen institution, but institutions may be forced to reject your application simply on the basis of discrepancies between their research interests and yours. Note that this initial research proposal is not necessarily binding – it is usually a starting point from which to further develop your research idea.

Some subject areas (such as science and engineering) do not ask for original research proposals. Instead, the institution presents a selection of PhD research projects which are formulated by the supervisor(s) concerned and peer reviewed. This may be done at a certain time of year or year-round, depending on the institution. Students can then submit a statement demonstrating a clear understanding of the research to be undertaken and their suitability to undertake it.

These PhD research projects may also have been formulated in consultation with another organization that may provide funding/scholarships for the successful candidate. These pre-defined PhD projects are less common in arts, humanities and social sciences subjects, where it’s more common for students to submit their own proposals.

Can I apply for a PhD without relevant qualifications?

If you wish to do a PhD but do not have the relevant qualifications or their equivalent, you may still be able to apply for a PhD program by fulfilling additional requirements as stipulated by your institution of choice. Some possible requirements could be to undertake specified extra study or passing a qualifying examination.

You may also be able to make a special case to your chosen institution, either on the basis of a non-degree professional qualification and considerable practical experience, or on the basis of foreign qualifications. Special case PhD applications will require the strong backing of your potential supervisor, so you will need to seek his/her advice and support before applying in this manner.

PhDs through MPhil

Another option available for potential PhD candidates is to apply as a general research student or for an MPhil degree. This is a common path taken by PhD candidates. The MPhil is an advanced master’s degree awarded for research and can be suitable for students who do not have a strong research background. You will be required to take some taught courses to get you up to speed with things like research methods.

The successful completion of a one-year taught program may lead to the award of the MRes degree, which includes more taught components than the MPhil and can be awarded in lieu of a PhD for students who have not completed the required period of study for a PhD. Alternatively, the successful completion of original research may lead to the award of the MPhil degree, which can be awarded without the candidate having to present a defense of their dissertation (a requirement to achieve a PhD).

If, after the first or second year of your research (i.e. during your MPhil), the institution is satisfied with the progress of your work, you may then be able to apply for full PhD registration. Usually, your supervisor or tutor will be in charge of determining whether you are ready to progress to a PhD. If you’re deemed to be ready, you will then need to develop a title for your thesis and choose your PhD program.

Starting a PhD

When registration has been completed you should be officially informed of: your supervisor(s) and their area(s) of expertise; the topic or field of PhD research for which you have been accepted; the minimum length of time required before submission of your thesis; the formal assessment methods preferred by the institution.

Most institutions will also provide you with a comprehensive list of provisions and available facilities for PhD and research students at the university. They will also include a detailed outline of the milestones you must reach on your journey to achieve a PhD. Your supervisor will be in charge of going through these milestones with you, making reports on your progress, and advising you on your next steps. You will need to make adequate progress each year in order to continue your PhD studies.

Alternatives to a PhD

When looking for PhD programs, keep in mind that there are several types of degrees which have the term “doctor” in their title, such as the Juris Doctor (common in the US, Canada, Australia, Mexico and parts of Asia), the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) or the Doctor of Pharmacy (DPharm) and the US and Canada version of the Doctor of Medicine (MD).

These degrees are generally not classified as PhDs as they lack that vital component that really defines the PhD: academic research. These other types of doctorate degrees are instead referred to as entry-level doctorate degrees. Candidates who wish to pursue a PhD may do so afterwards, and this may be known as a ‘post-professional doctorate’.

Neither the JD nor the US/Canada MD programs universally require students to complete a specified academic research component in order to be awarded the degree title. However, there are also many research degrees, such as the MD, which conduct scholarly research (medical in the case of the MD) which is published in peer-reviewed journals. This makes them very similar to PhDs, and some countries consider them equivalent. Some institutions therefore offer combined professional and research training degrees, such as the MD-PhD dual program, which is useful for medical professionals looking to pursue a research career.

Degrees higher than a PhD

In addition to various degrees which may be considered equivalent to a PhD, there are also some ‘higher doctorate’ courses considered to be a step above the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). These are most common in UK universities and in some European countries, although they are increasingly awarded as honorary degrees. The US does not have a system of higher doctorates and offer the titles solely as honorary degrees. Honorary degrees are sometimes signified by adding ‘hc’ (for honoris causa) to the end of the degree title.

Some higher doctorate degrees include:

  • Doctor of Science (DS/SD): Awarded in recognition of a substantial and sustained contribution to scientific knowledge beyond that required for a PhD.
  • Doctor of Literature/Letters (DLit/DLitt/LitD): Awarded in recognition of achievement in the humanities or for original contribution to the creative arts.
  • Doctor of Divinity (DD): Awarded above the Doctor of Theology (DTh), usually to recognize the recipient’s ministry-oriented accomplishments.
  • Doctor of Music (DMus): Awarded in the UK, Ireland and some Commonwealth countries on the basis of a substantial portfolio of compositions and/or scholarly publications on music.
  • Doctor of Civil Law (DCL): Highest doctorate excepting the DD, offered on the basis of exceptionally insightful and distinctive publications that contain significant and original contributions to the study of law or politics in general.
FAQ


1. What is the minimum qualification for admission to a PhD Program ?

Minimum qualification for admission to a PhD program is normally a Master’s Degree in the relevant field. Kindly refer to the concerned PhD program on amity.edu/phd (Programs & their eligibility) for exact details on eligibility criteria, percentage requirement and relevant subject areas.

2. To apply for a Ph.D program at Amity, is it mandatory that I have with me all mark sheet of the required degree/master’s program, till the final semester?

Yes, it is mandatory to have all required mark sheets. A candidate's form will be registered and he /she will be offered a PET date only on submission of all required documents including last semester marksheet in case of final year appearing candidates.

3. Can I apply to the PhD program by personally visiting the campus and submitting a hard copy?

No, PhD Application forms can only be filled and submitted online through the website www.amity.edu/Phd.

4. When can I apply to a PhD program at Amity?

The Ph.D. Application forms are accepted twice a year i.e.
For January Session    -  Between October to December
For July Session    –  Between April to June

5. Who all are expected to submit an NOC (No Objection Certificate)?

If you are in a job, then it is mandatory for you to produce an NOC from your employer at the time of joining

6. What is the admission procedure?

After your online form is found complete in all respects and is accepted, you will be asked to appear for an Entrance Test (unless you are exempted) followed by an Interview at the Noida campus on the date given to you. The entire selection process will take place on the same day. You will be allowed to appear in the selection process of a particular PhD Program (irrespective of whether it is full time or part time), only once in one session. ​Further, Form fee is non- refundable.

7. In the PhD entrance test, what subject will I be tested in and what is the difficulty level?

In addition to the General Section, you will be tested in the subject of the PhD program you have applied to and the subject you have done your Master’s degree in, if the two subjects are different but allied. Difficulty level is UGC-CSIR-NET, GATE etc.

8. On what basis is a candidate selected for a PhD program at Amity University?

Following parameters are considered for selection to a PhD Program at Amity:

- Score in the Amity Entrance Test
- Performance in the Interview rounds
- Proposed research idea - its relevance and brilliance
- Academic record

9. I have completed M. Phil. Will I be exempted from the Ph.D Entrance Test?

Exemptions are given as per Amity University guidelines based on U.G.C regulations


10. I have a rich teaching /corporate work experience, Am I exempted from the Entrance Test?

No, you have to go through the entire selection procedure.

11. Is Ph.D. available on distance mode?

No, Amity does not offer Ph.D. Programs on distance mode.

12. How is a research topic/ preliminary research idea decided?

Research topic is conceptualized by the candidate. It can be modified with the help of the appointed Guide and Co-Guide after selection. It is finally approved by the Competent Authority of the University.

13. Is the preliminary research idea uploaded at the time of applying, final?

Not necessarily. You are allowed to modify/ improve upon your research idea with the help of your appointed Guide after registering for the PhD program.

14. How do I write the preliminary research idea?

Refer to the guidelines available on amity.edu, under Application Procedure.

15. Does University provide any Hostel facility to a PhD scholar?

Hostel facility may be offered to full time research scholars subject to availability. Preference is given to undergraduate and graduate students.

16. What is the pattern of classes for full time and part time candidates during the first year coursework?

For full time PhD candidates, classes are held during the week days tentatively between 9.15 am - 6.10 pm.

For part time PhD students, Saturday-Sunday, 9.15 am - 6.10 pm.

No adjustments are possible in this schedule, especially, for the first semester, as, classes are jointly held in a group.

17. How is a Guide and Co-Guide decided?

The Main Guide and Co-Guide are decided by the Departmental Research Committee (DRC) and Faculty Research Committee (FRC). The Main Guide will have to be from Amity. The Co-Guide, if required, is expected to be from outside Amity. A Co-Guide will be appointed only after his/her profile is approved by the university authorities

18. Am I assigned a Guide by the university or I select one on my own and when?

A candidate is assigned a Guide by the University after admission to the PhD program. Appointment of a Guide is based on availability of an eligible guide , candidate's area of research and candidate's preference as given by him/her in a form after having met all the eligible guides of the university after joining the program
.
19. How many Guides am I allowed to work with?

Two guides will be allowed, one Main Guide from the concerned Department at Amity and one Co-Guide who must be from outside Amity. In case of interdisciplinary topics, there is a provision to appoint a third Guide, if necessary.

20. Am I allowed to change my appointed Guide during the course of the PhD program?

No, unless the Guide himself becomes unavailable for certain reasons.

21. Is a transfer to/ from another University (Including Amity in another city) possible during the course of PhD program?

No transfers are possible at any stage.

22. What are the criteria for Exemption from the Course work?

Candidates who have cleared the M.Phil. course work with at least 55% marks in aggregate or its equivalent grade 'B' in the UGC 7-point scale (or a n equivalent grade in a point scale wherever grading system is followed) and successfully completing the M.Phil. Degree shall be eligible to proceed to do research work leading to the Ph. D. Degree in the same Institution in an integrated programme.A person whose M.Phil. dissertation has been ev aluated and the viva voce is pending may be admitted to the Ph.D. programme of the same Institution

23. If I want to withdraw from the program, then what is the procedure and refund policy?

Application for withdrawal from the program is to be submitted through Amizone (www.amizone.net). No other mode of request will be considered. Withdrawal application will be processed as per AUUP refund Guidelines given on the main university website www.amity.edu.

24. Can I complete course work at my work place?

No, there is no such arrangement/relaxations in rules.

25. Is it mandatory to publish a research paper before submitting the thesis for award of PhD degree from Amity University?

Yes, minimum two papers in reputed journals.

26.Is the PhD degree conferred by Amity University recognized in India and abroad? And, is it valid for Indian Government jobs?

Yes


27. Can PhD Scholars apply for ASTIF i.e Amity’s fellowship program?

Yes, only Full- Time PhD scholars are eligible to apply for it but after their selection to the PhD program. The Amity Science, Technology & Innovation Foundation (ASTIF) awards Fellowships to brilliant young researchers and scientists. Fellowships are available in all disciplines and are not restricted in number. The candidate must have first class academic record throughout up to Masters’ degree from a recognized University. The PhD research area should be of above average academic brilliance and relevance. The ASTIF Fellowship will be given to only those candidates who are not getting fellowship from any other agency and who meet the above eligibility criteria. Decisions regarding ASTIF Fellowship awardees, are made entirely by the management and are not fixed. The Fellowship amount varies from 10,000/- to 14,000/- and HRA (30%) per month according to the merit and research experience of the candidate For further details, please visit https://www.amity.edu/astif/.

28. Do all Ph.D scholars get stipend/financial assistance for pursuinga PhD program at Amity?

Full time scholars who are JRF/SRF holders of NET of UGC/CSIR/ICMR/ICAR/INSPIRE or any other fellowship and have joined the program within the validity period, get fellowship/grants from their respective funding organizations to pursue PhD at Amity. Additionaly, Amity University offers opportunities to full time scholars to work in the ongoing projects in various institution on campus. For this the candidate can directly approach the head of the institution or apply at career@amity.edu before or at the time of applying for a Ph.D program. Beside this , teaching assistantships may be offered to full time Ph.D scholars.

29. As a full time Ph.D student, can I work after classes to support myself financially?

Yes, as long as you attend coursework classes regularly and maintain an attendance of 75 % which is mandatory, you may engage in part time work inside or outside the campus with the knowledge of your Guide.
30. Duration of the Programme: As per University Grants Commission (Minimum Standards and Procedures for Award of Ph.D. Degree) Regulations, 2022
(1) Ph.D. Programme shall be for a minimum duration of three (3) years, including course work, and a maximum duration of six (6) years from the date of admission to the Ph.D. programme. 

(2) A maximum of an additional two (2) years can be given through a process of re-registration as per the Statute/Ordinance of the Higher Educational Institution concerned; provided, however, that the total period for completion of a Ph.D. programme should not exceed eight (8) years from the date of admission in the Ph.D. programme. Provided further that, female Ph.D. scholars and Persons with Disabilities (having more than 40% disability) may be allowed an additional relaxation of two (2) years; however, the total period for completion of a Ph.D. programme in such cases should not exceed ten (10) years from the date of admission in the Ph.D. programme. 

(3) Female Ph.D. Scholars may be provided Maternity Leave/Child Care Leave for up to 240 days in the entire duration of the Ph.D. programme. 

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