Course duration and tentative fees of a reputed PhD

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The students or professionals who would like to pursue their PhDs are not often sure about the duration of the doctoral studies. Yes, there is an ambiguity in regards to the duration and the fees of PhD. And students want to know how much time they need to put in to be called doctorate and how much fees they need to bear to get that.

Many articles have been written on the fees and duration of the PhD programme but literally the confusion only increases. Thus, we have decided to provide information related to duration and fees of PhD programmes in foreign and Indian universities. Let’s jump in and begin.

In the beginning
Duration of PhD often depends on the subject you are studying or the discretion of the university you are studying in. Most universities in India offer you full time PhD for 2 years and part time PhD for 3 years. But according to the Senate Memo No. 2006/318/05/14 (Revision) – May 2006, the duration of a full time PhD in India is 36 months i.e. 3 years. For part time PhD the minimum duration is 60 months meaning 5 years and the maximum (without taking any extension) is 96 months i.e. 8 years.
But in foreign countries, the duration may vary and it can be more or less.

If you are concerned about the fees, know that in Indian universities the fees for PhD are much lesser compared to the fees in foreign universities. Thus many foreigners are coming in India to do PhD in reputed Indian universities.

A comparative analysis – Indian & Foreign PhDs (Fees, Stipend, Duration)

When a student look at tenure of PhD s/he should not only look at the time need to be spent in the university, but s/he should also think that this portion of life they will never get back. Thus before committing to a long project like PhD they should ponder that whether they are ready to put in so much of time in one paper of thesis or not. If not they should not go for a full time PhD.

First of all full time PhD is like a job with a mere payment of stipend. Though, in foreign countries it’s different. In foreign countries the stipend is enough for living well. But in India, the stipend is high in reputed institute like IIM, IIS and IIT, but in 2nd tier institutes, the stipend is not that good to keep up the cost of living only with full time PhD; you also need to have other source of income. Thus, you need to think about the cost of putting in 3 years of your life without earning a decent pay check.

Now, if we talk about the part time PhD, it’s usually more time bound than the full time PhD. But it has many benefits if you choose to pursue your PhD from India. While pursuing part time PhD, you can have a job or you can teach in an institute as an assistant professor. Rather this is the requirement of part time PhD in Indian universities – you need to be professionally employed somewhere or be an assistant teacher of an institute. Having a job along with pursuing your PhD studies is a boon, not because you have a decent source of income, but later in your life you would be treated as similar as a PhD scholar who pursued full time PhD from India.

The best part of PhDs in India is that even in reputed institutes like IIM, they don’t charge a dime for selected students. Rather they provide a stipend of Rs. 29,400 per month. But not every university is as generous as IIMs. IIM is able to provide a monthly stipend of Rs. 29,400 because they are also very stricter in the selection process.

Universities like Amity and other institutes charge fees for PhD students as well. So, in India, PhD is very dynamic in terms of fees, stipends, duration and subject matters. So, if you want to go for universities like Amity, you need to pay Rs. 50,000 per semester for full time plus Rs. 10,000 as registration fees and Rs. 10,000 as security deposits. And for part time the payment per semester Rs. 33,500 and Rs. 20,000 as registration fees and security deposits.

If you decide to pursue your PhD in university like Amity, your total cost of full time PhD would be around (if you complete full time PhD within 2 years) is around Rs. 2,20,000 which is quite reasonable. Even part time is also reasonable if you do your math.

So, if you are worried about fees of your PhD, never bother. If you have a decent income, doing a PhD in India is not a big deal. Now, thinking about foreign PhD, it’s naturally costlier than Indian PhD and yes, the reputation is also worldwide.

But if you think you need to pay fees, you are wrong. Most PhDs in foreign universities are offered on scholarships and everyone in foreign countries treat PhD as a job rather than a degree. You are paid for what research you do. Only thing you need to think about is the traveling expense and the living expense.

A lot of students in foreign universities complain that the stipends that are being provided are not enough for them to live well. Thus, they need to find a part time job for covering the remaining expense. But that may not be true always. If you join institutes like Harvard, Stanford or Princeton, the stipend would be much higher than the 2nd tier institutes in USA, UK or Australia.

So, the anxiousness regarding fees is busted.

Now, let’s talk about duration. Once you choose a subject or a topic to do your doctorate on, search for all the possible angles which will help you understand how much time you need to take to write a final thesis paper. Then compare it with your university’s allowance on the tenure.

Normally, a little bit buffer time is added while designing the tenure for the PhD because as a PhD student you are expected to search and research various dimensions of a single topic and to work on various projects at the same time. If you pursue a part time PhD, working on various projects wouldn’t be possible. But if you opt for PhD full time, working on various ideas with various people is a given.

Thus, don’t think much about duration. Try to finish your PhD in 3 years if you are in India. If you are in abroad and you are connected to various collaborators, then limit it to 4-5 years. Duration is always not in your hands, but you can talk to your guide for guidance and tell him/her your reasons for completing your PhD sooner.