8 things you should know about part-time phds

UGC regulation for Part Time PhD Program for Working Professional

The draft of the UGC (Minimum Standards and Procedure for Award of Ph.D. Degree) Regulations that the University Grants Commission proposed in March of this year is currently being finalized. The changes will allow working professionals to enroll in part-time PhD programs. IITs in India are already offering Part-Time PhD Programs, as reported by Indian Express

Eight Things you Should know about Part-Time PhD Program Proposal by UGC:


  1. The eligibility requirements are the same for both full-time and part-time students. Similar to how it is done for full-time PhD students, the work will also be evaluated. See PhD Admission Notifications
  1. The bosses of the part-time PhD candidates will also need to provide a No-Objection Certificate, or NOC that they have no objection if the candidate pursues part time PhD Programs. The NOC must explicitly state that they will be allowed enough time to complete their research.
  1. For the  doctorate scholar, the employer will need to set up facilities in the employee’s area of expertise. The organization will also need to submit documentation stating that the employee will be excused from work if necessary so that they may finish the necessary courses.
  1. PhD Guide: The proposal states that, The part-time PhD student will primarily work independently, but will discuss their research with their advisor. They will need to enroll in full-time classes for at least six months. Once students have finished their coursework, they can do research with the help of a guide/supervisor using the research facilities available to them, whether those are located in their own organizations or in the Research Facility of respective Universities/institutions.
  1. Guide/Supervisor: Research supervisors may be recognised as tenure-track faculty members with a PhD who are Professors or Associate Professors and who have published at least five publications of original research in peer-reviewed or refereed journals.

Under the proposed standards, permanent faculty members serving as Assistant professors who have a PhD and at least three publications in peer-reviewed or recommended journals are also eligible to serve as supervisors.

  1. The Universities that can provide Part-time Phd Programs include “Every university founded or incorporated by or pursuant to a Central Act, a Provincial Act, a State Act, as well as every college and higher educational institution declared by a notification in the Official Gazette by the Central Government pursuant to Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956, shall be subject to the PhD regulations.”
  1. Are MPhil Candidates eligible: UGC Chairman Prof Kumar Said “research experience during M.Phil would be helpful just as in the case of the four-year UG honors with researchers who gain some research experience. In fact, many from scientific research organizations may have some kind of research experience already. That would certainly help them in their part-time PhD programme. Such applicants would also bring a diversity in research problems being studied in the university system,”  
  1. With regards to Tech Employees of IT Companies, UGC Chairman Said “Anyone is eligible to apply as long as they meet the eligibility requirements for PhD admissions, are regular full-time employees, and have a workplace or organization that is recognised by the relevant university.”

The UGC’s proposal will increase the list of higher education institutions across the nation who offer the programme, enabling professionals who cannot afford to take extended periods of absence to further their studies.