M.Phil. Master of Philosophy

Philosophy is a comprehensive system of ideas about human nature and the nature of the reality we live in. Master of Philosophy is a Postgraduate Academic Research Degree which is awarded for a course or program in Philosophy. It is popularly known as M.Phil. which is an abbreviated form of Master of Philosophy degree. The duration of Master of Philosophy degree is 1-2 years involving a number of semesters. The syllabus of Master of Philosophy is a mixture of theory and practical. Scholars are trained to present their research findings. A pre-doctoral programme – Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) is taken after completion of the Master’s Degree. This can either be completely research based or can include course work as well. Masters Degree in Philosophy is offered by various Indian Universities in a wide variety of subjects ranging from English, Mathematics, Physics to Management. Some of the prominent Institutes providing M.Phil. are Delhi University, University of Calcutta, University of Mumbai, University of Pune, Punjab University etc. Masters Degree Programs in Philosophy can also be pursued through distance learning programs which one can pursue at one’s own flexibility. After completing Master of Philosophy through distance learning, one can continue further research through other doctoral programs. Some of the Institutes providing Distance Education in Philosophy are Alagappa University, Andhra University, Dr.B.R. Ambedkar Open University, Tamil Nadu Open University etc.


To puruse M.Phil. one needs to have a Master’s degree in science, arts or engineering. Candidates need to acquire 55% marks in the subject chosen for M.Phil. course or an allied subject at the postgraduate level to be considered eligible for the course. A written test maybe conducted to assess the candidate’s knowledge. Those who qualify in the written test will be required to appear in an interview. The admission procedure and mode of selection for admission to Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) through distance learning however, may vary from one Institute to another. Some Institutes have specify added eligibility criteria for admitting candidates into their distance learning M.Phil. program.

About Ph.D

What is Ph.D/Doctorate degree?

  1. Full form of Ph.D is ‘Doctor of Philosophy’. ‘Philosophy’ word does not relate to the subject but is a broader term.
  2. In many countries, Ph.D. is the highest academic degree awarded by its universities.
  3. One needs to come up with original idea in his/her field of study and carry out extensive research under the supervision of a subject matter expert/guide.

What are the benefits of doing Ph.D?

  1. People pursue Ph.D because they like to do research on topics that have rarely been researched.
  2. You have a sincere liking for your subject & want to advance your knowledge in that field.
  3. You would be able to hold a higher position in the national/international academic sphere.
  4. Also, after completing Ph.D., one can prefix ‘Dr.’ before his/her name.

What is the eligibility criteria and age limit for Ph.D?

  1. There is no age limit to do PhD. Any person of any age can go for a Ph.D/Doctorate degree.
  2. For Full Time Ph.D: Master’s Degree in a ‘related’ field of your topic with minimum 50% marks. Eg: Do not choose ‘Journalism topic’ if you are a Botany graduate.
  3. For Part Time Ph.D: An employed candidate with a minimum 4 years of work experience can apply.
  4. Some universities require NET (National Eligibility Test) scores conducted by UGC (University Grants Commission).
  5. Some institutes consider GATE (Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering), JRF (Junior Research Fellowship) scores.

What is the preparation needed for Ph.D?

  1. Analyse if this is the right time for you to start extensive research work as it requires a lot of commitment.
  2. Research topic must be specific. Example: Instead of ‘A Study on Newspapers’, choose ‘How Editorials Influence Common Man.’
  3. Most universities require you to get a guide before you apply. Talk to teachers / Ph.D students before you confirm a guide.
  4. Make sure your guide is really interested in your topic or else you will have a hard time working on it.
  5. Publish articles and write-ups on your area of research. This adds additional value to your work.
  6. Getting a Ph.D is neither easy nor difficult. Depends how you approach it. Have confidence in yourself and you can do it.

What are the steps involved in registering for Ph.D?

  1. Write a detailed synopsis on your topic and get it finalised with your guide.
  2. Apply in the Universities/ Institutions you have chosen. Application forms are easily available.
  3. The department/ institution head will have to confirm your topic.
  4. A written test/ interview, or both, will be conducted depending on the institution you apply in. Please note that some universities have different method of admitting candidates for PhD. You will be admitted for Ph.D once you pass the interview.

What is the time duration for completing a Ph.D program?

  1. Full time Ph.D: 3 to 6 years.
  2. Part time Ph.D: 4 to 7 years.
  3. Exemption of 1 year from the minimum duration is permissible for M.Phil., Law, Engg., M.D. & M.S degree holders.

How can one apply for a Ph.D program via Distance Education?

  1. You have provisions to do Ph.D. via correspondence or distance education.
  2. Many good institutes provide extensive coaching for Ph.D like Indira Gandhi National Open University(Delhi), Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Open University(AP) and Karnataka/Madhya Pradesh Open universities.
  3. Enquire well about the institute before enrolling yourself. Do not go by ads like ‘Get Ph.D in a 6 months’. PhD program usually takes about 5 years.

Can one get funding for Ph.D?

  1. Some Universities take Ph.D students as Research Assistants. This way you earn while you learn.
  2. JRF (Junior Research Fellowship) candidates may get funding from University Grants Commission (UGC) in India.

What is the difference between MS and Ph.D?

  1. For Ph.D, research knowledge, experience and faculty recommendations are considered.
  2. For MS, academic credentials or GRE score, work experience matter.
  3. A Master’s Degree holder in any subject can do Ph.D.
  4. In Ph.D, one is expected to come up with an original/new idea, produce a thesis and defend it; while in MS, one can do study in an ‘existing’ area and modify it.
  5. After doing MS, one cannot prefix ‘Dr’ to their name as that is allowed after successful completion of Ph.D.