PHD Chemistry (Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry ) Admissions, Colleges, Syllabus, Jobs and Scope 2020-21

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Sakshi Gupta

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A PHD Chemistry, in any kind of reputed Indian university will take about six to complete, and according to the UGC, three years is the shortest duration to be awarded with a degree.

Students who are interested in pursuing Chemistry at this level must have a master’s degree, and some colleges have also set a minimum percentage criteria like 55%, which can vary from college to college.

Another thing to note regarding admission is that colleges also ask for your UGC NET or GATE score to offer admission to PHD Chemistry.

PHD Chemistry: Key Highlights

  • Full Form: Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry
  • Duration: 3 to 6 years.
  • Eligibility: Masters degree
  • PHD Chemistry Admission: Entrances + the candidates should have cleared the Entrance test conducted by the respective university.
  • Top Entrance Exams: UGC-NET, GATE, CUCET, etc.
  • PHD Chemistry Syllabus: General Structure, Research Methodology, Scientific Communication, Recent Trends in Chemistry,etc.
  • PHD Chemistry Fees: INR 80,000-3 LPA
  • PHD Chemistry Salary: INR 15 - 20 LPA
  • PHD Chemistry Jobs: Staff scientist, Chemist, Chemistry Professor, Research Specialists, etc. etc
  • Recruiting Areas: Staff scientist, Chemist, Chemistry Professor, Research Specialists, etc

The fees of a PHD Chemistry course varies from college to college, but it mostly sits between INR 80,000-3 LPA, as the average fees annually.

In most PHD Chemistry courses, the focus is primarily on independent research and students are also left to decide their own courses. Some courses that students can choose from include physical biochemistry, inorganic chemistry, advanced analytical chemistry, organic synthesis, physical organic chemistry,and etc.

The table given below lists some of the top ranking colleges for PHD Chemistry in India, according to US News.

NIRF Ranking College Name Admission Process Average Annual Fees Average Placement Offer
2 Indian Institute of Science (Bangalore) JAM/JEET scores 35,200 10 LPA
4 Indian Institute of Technology (Bombay) GATE/UATE/UGC-NET score, written test and personal interview 73,000 20.34 LPA
5 Indian Institute of Technology (Kharagpur) Written test followed by an interview 28,900 30 LPA
6 Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur Entrance Based 64,050 22 LPA 
9 Indian Institute of Technology (Roorkee) GATE/GPAT/UGC-NET/JRF scores, and interview 28,500 13.16 LPA

After completing their PHD Chemistry, students’ salaries can variably hike up according to the experience that they have gained, so the average starting salary is about INR 15 - 20 LPA and in some cases, even more.

Alert: NTA will conduct UGC NET 2020 after July 2020 in view of the ongoing lockdown of COVID 19.

Students are presented with the opportunities to get employed at environment consultancies, forensic science labs, pharma companies, food and drink industry, plastic and polymer companies, educational institutes, and scientific research organizations.

The top recruiters for this course include companies like Aditya Birla, TATA Chemicals, ITC, Hindustan Unilever, Reliance, Dr. Reddy, P & G, and etc.

PHD Chemistry Admission Process

PHD Chemistry Admission Process

To get admitted into any top university like IISc Bangalore, IIT Kharagpur, IIT Bombay, etc offering a PHD Chemistry, students need to sit for entrance exams. The admission process continues with a personal interview, and if they score well, they can also get a scholarship.

Given below are the basic steps regarding the PHD Chemistry admission process followed by the top colleges of India:

Step 1: Applications

  • To get admission in any college for PHD Chemistry, students first have to fill out the form for the course through either online (or offline as some colleges give that as an option) mode.
  • If a university has its own entrance exam, they either ask students to register through a different portal, or some have joint application forms for both the entrance exam and joint application.
  • If entrance exams are not being conducted by the university, students are required to apply for their UGC-NET or GATE through the main websites for the same.

Step 2: Entrance Exams

  • If students are aiming to get admissions in top universities, entrance exams are extremely necessary.
  • Students need to qualify the entrance examinations to move further down the admission process, so that they can receive their offer letter, and complete other formalities if they have been selected.

Step 3: Results of Entrance Exams

  • Before the exam results are declared, students should keep themselves updated by regularly checking the university’s websites, and social media handles.
  • After the exam results have been announced and published, the admission process will continue.

Step 4: Interview and Enrollment

  • If students have qualified the entrance exam, they will be asked by the university to be present for an interview - either online (Skype, Google Meet, Zoom) or offline by calling the students to the university campus.
  • During this, all other eligibility criteria is cross checked, and if the students perform well in the interview, they are granted admission to study Chemistry at the doctorate level.

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PHD Chemistry Eligibility

The eligibility criteria for a PHD Chemistry are:

  • Students should have completed a master's degree in Science or an M.Phil degree in a relevant field.
  • Most universities have the minimum percentage of at least 55% so students are required to score accordingly..
  • Along with that, students also have to score upto the university’s standards in entrance exams, which can either be conducted by the university themselves or national exams like the UGC-NET and GATE.

PHD Chemistry Entrance Exams

If a student is seeking admission for a PHD Chemistry in India, it is necessary that they qualify the required entrance exam.

Some universities have their own exam like Lovely Professional University has LPUNEST, and the national level entrance exams conducted for this course are the UGC-NET and GATE.

Other than those, there is also the CUCET which is a common entrance test for central universities.

PHD chemistry Entrance Exams
Name of the exam Application Period Exam Date Exam Mode
LPUNEST May 23-July 22, 2020 July 24 & July 26, 2020 Online
CUCET March 16-June 6, 2020  To be notified later Offline
UGC-NET March 16 - June 30, 2020 To be announced Online
GATE September-October 2020 February 2021 Online

How to prepare for PHD Chemistry entrance exams?

The PHD Chemistry Entrance Exam will consist of 60 objective MCQs. In this exam, there will be 3-4 choices of answers and students will have to choose the correct answer from the given choices.

The maximum marks that this paper will carry is 100 marks. Students will have only three hours to finish writing their exams. The PHD Chemistry Entrance Exam tests students on three main topics:

  • Inorganic Chemistry,
  • Physical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry.

Given below are some tips on how to prepare for the entrance exams:

  • To prepare for these entrance exams, students can attend coaching institutes for proper guidance from experienced mentors.
  • Students should also go through and understand the examination pattern, as well as its syllabus. For example, the UGC NET consists of two papers which have to be completed within three hours. The first paper tests the teaching, and research aptitude of students, while the second paper includes questions that are subject specific.
  • Instead of studying incredibly hard for the concepts you don’t understand, make your strong concepts even more stronger. so that when you have to give the exam, you don’t feel that you have forgotten the concepts you knew well.
  • In the last couple of months before the exam, practice past year papers so that you can get a better idea of what kind of questions will be asked, and how.
  • Do not neglect yourself while preparing, stay physically and mentally healthy so that you can be alert while giving the exam, and can avoid the adverse effects of not taking care of yourself.
  • While you study, make sure to also train your mind for the exam by practicing past papers around the time you will be giving the exam. For example, if you are giving the exam from 9 am to 12 pm, be consistent and solve papers in that time slot only.
  • To crack the entrance exam, you have to create an exam strategy that is specific to you. You do not always have to approach the question paper the way that it was intended to - but importantly, do not waste time over questions that are difficult.

How to get admission in a good college?

To get accepted into a good college like in any of the IIT, Chandigarh University, Jadavpur University, Amity University, etc, here are some points that candidates should keep in mind.

  • Students have to keep in mind that they need to start planning early. By planning early, they can start studying for their respective entrance exams, as well as the final exams for their master’s degree.
  • By scoring well in their final exams, and above the minimum percentage criteria provided by the university, they can impress the university’s admissions team.
  • Other than scoring well in their final exams, and entrance exams, students should also be well prepared for the personal interviews.
  • A student willing to pursue a PHD Chemistry should have the passion and determination to study Chemistry rigorously, and also be capable to conduct in depth research experiments.
  • Research the colleges you want to attend with utmost importance - make sure you are familiar with the website as well as the social media accounts (if they have any) so you can stay updated with the notices released.
  • Talk to the alumni and seniors so that you can gauge a better understanding of the university’s atmosphere, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of getting admission in that college.
PHD Chemistry: what is it about?

PHD Chemistry: what is it about?

  • PHD Chemistry prepares students for research and teaching careers with a diverse emphasis on the basic, life, medical, physical, energy, materials, and environmental sciences.
  • A PHD Chemistry course usually involves studying topics like physical biochemistry, organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, advanced analytical chemistry, organic synthesis, quantum mechanics, and etc.
  • Doctorate programmes also inherently focus on the overall development of the student’s laboratory skills, as well as research, along with enhancing the student’s knowledge.
  • While the student will have plenty of opportunities to gain hands-on training with modern and sophisticated equipment wherever necessary, they will also benefit from the expertise of the course supervisors, wherever needed.
  • On completion of this doctorate degree they must submit their ‘thesis’. Doctorate degree enables one to keep expanding frontiers of knowledge and provides research training relevant to the present social and economic objectives.
Advanced Analytical Chemistry

PHD Chemistry: Course Highlights 

The highlights of the PHD Chemistry course are as follows:

Course Level Doctorate Degree (Ph.D.)
Full-Form Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry
Duration 3 or 6 years 
Examination type Semester
Eligibility Master’s Degree
Admission Process Entrance Exam
Course Fee INR 80,000-3 LPA
Average Salary INR 15 - 20 LPA
Top Recruiting Areas Chemical Industries, Food Industries, Chemical Research Organizations, etc.
Job Positions Staff scientist, Chemist, Chemistry Professor, Research Specialists, etc. 
Why study PHD Chemistry?

Why study PHD Chemistry?

Following are some of the perks of pursuing a PHD Chemistry in India:

  • Students will acquire a greater understanding of how to deal in a laboratory, the equipment, as well as the application of data collection, and analytical skills to come up with solutions.
  • Usually, tuition fee for a college degree distracts students from pursuing the degree, and they resort to something that is a lot more affordable, however, a PHD Chemistry is different because the student’s tuition fee is covered through stipends, scholarships, fellowships, and research and teaching assistantships.
  • While obtaining a PHD Chemistry, students are required to teach courses and also conduct research work which ensures a hands on training experience - helping students with doctorate degrees stand out when placed next to other job applicants, with no experience in the real world.
  • PHD Chemistry holders have the aptitude to conduct their own independent research, and also know how to manage other scientists in a laboratory.
  • The degree itself adds more credibility to the student’s research, and also makes sure that students have the experience to get placed at a high paying job than the UG and PG degree holders.
PHD Chemistry Vs PHD Organic Chemistry

Course Comparison

The table below displays a comparison between PHD Chemistry and PHD Organic Chemistry on various parameters:

Parameters PHD Chemistry PHD Organic Chemistry
Qualification Doctorate Level Doctorate Level
Full Form Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry Doctor of Philosophy in organic Chemistry
Objective This course covers all topics that come under the subject Chemistry as a whole. This course helps to equip and introduce organic fundamental subjects so that a strong foundation is laid.
Duration 3 to 5 years 3 years
Examination Type Semester Based Semester Based
Average Annual Fees INR 80,000-3 LPA INR 60,000- 2 LPA
Eligibility Master’s Degree Master’s Degree
Admission Process Entrance Exam Based Entrance Exam Based
Colleges Indian Institute of Science (Bangalore), IIT Bombay, IIT Roorkee, IIT Kharagpur, etc. Changu Kana Thakur Arts, Commerce and Science College, GITAM, Indian Institute of Spices Research (Calicut), Konkan Gyanpeeth College of Arts, Commerce and Science, etc.
Average Salary Offered INR 15 - 20 LPA INR 10 - 16 LPA
Job Roles General chemist, research chemist, production chemist, industrial production, professor, government regulator, etc. Research chemist, research associate, synthetic organic chemist, analytical chemistry, associate, chemistry project assistant, organic chemistry professor, etc.
PHD Chemistry Vs PHD Organic Chemistry

Source: University Website and Payscale

PHD Chemistry Colleges

PHD Chemistry Colleges

Tabulated below are some of the top colleges offering PHD Chemistry in India:

College Name City Average Annual Fees (INR) Average Annual Salary (INR)
Indian Institute of Science  Bangalore 35,200 10 LPA
Indian Institute of Technology  Bombay 73,000 20.34 LPA
Indian Institute of Technology  Kharagpur 28,900 30 LPA
Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur 64,050 22 LPA 
Indian Institute of Technology  Roorkee 28,500 13.16 LPA
National Institute of Technology Tiruchirappalli- [NITT] Tiruchirappalli 59,250 13 LPA 
Chandigarh University Chandigarh 85,000 16 LPA 
Jadavpur University Kolkata 30,000 10 LPA
Amity University Noida 1,00,000 4.5 LPA
Lovely Professional University Jalandhar 95,000 10 LPA

College Comparison

The table given below compares the top PHD Chemistry Colleges in India based on parameters like the ranking, average annual fee, top recruiters, placements, etc.

Parameters IISc Bangalore IIT Bombay IIT Roorkee
College Overview It is renowned for its academic freedom, focus on research excellence, and the high quality of its faculty and students. Research and academic programmes are driven by an outstanding faculty, reputed for their research internationally. It is among the institutes of national importance in higher technological education and in engineering, basic and applied research.
NIRF Ranking 2 4 9
Location Bangalore Mumbai Roorkee
Average Annual Fee INR 35,200 INR 73,000 INR 28,500
Average Annual Package 10 LPA 20.34 LPA 13.16 LPA
Top Recruiters SIEMENS, TATA, MathWorks, Reliance, L&T, etc. ITC, Unilever, Piramal, TATA, etc. Google, Amazon, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Microsoft, etc.
PHD Chemistry Syllabus

PHD Chemistry Syllabus

The college faculty usually assists students with their independent research work, and students can also choose to work under their professors as assistants to gain more experience. By doing so they will gain a better understanding of what kind of work they will have to do if they want to become a professor as well after the completion of their PHD.

The PHD Chemistry syllabus is as follows, however it can vary depending on the college a student is planning to attend. The PHD course is based on research, and also learning through experience, hence no books can be specified for the same.

Subjects To Be Studied
General Structure
Research Methodology
Scientific Communication
Recent Trends in Chemistry

PHD Chemistry Job Prospects and Career Options

Students spent a great deal of time researching in a laboratory, and have an incredible understanding of how scientific equipment is used throughout the course duration. Therefore, after the completion of the course, students now have all the skills necessary to secure a high paying PHD Chemistry Jobs in India.

Various PHD Chemistry Jobs in India are available in various industries, like food and drink, research labs, pharma companies, educational organizations, etc.

Some of the top companies known for PHD Chemistry recruitment are listed below:

  • Aditya Birla
  • Jaypee Group
  • Technip
  • TATA Chemicals
  • United Phosphate Limited
  • Ranbaxy
  • Sun Pharma
  • KBR
  • Lupin
  • Glenmark

The table below shows some of the prime PHD Chemistry Jobs, along with the description of the roles and average salary offered.

Job Role Job Responsibilities Average Annual Salary (INR)
Chemical Researcher Researchers formulates the thesis for their research by finding the new chemical solution for a particular issue for solving global or private problems. 14 LPA
Medical Technologist Medical Technologists are capable of finding new chemical formulations for the benefit of treating diseases for the welfare of the people. 10 LPA
Junior Scientist Junior Scientist come up with various new findings and report documents with their experience and interest in the field 11 LPA
Research Chemist These professionals study compounds and use this research to create as well as improve processes and products, from drugs and medical treatments to manufactured goods such as cosmetics, electronics, food and drink.
13.75 LPA
Forensic Chemist
Analyzes non-biological trace evidence found at crime scenes to identify unknown materials and match samples to known substances 16 LPA
Government Regulator
Ensures that products are manufactured and distributed in compliance with appropriate legislation.
20 LPA
PHD Chemistry Salary trend

Source: Payscale

PHD Chemistry Future Scope

PHD Chemistry Future Scope

The scope of a PHD Chemistry relies upon you, and your interests. Chemistry is not exactly a small field, and includes a variety of other fields. With a PHD Chemistry degree you make a career in chemistry engineering, organic chemistry, natural chemistry, analytic chemistry, etc.

After completing their PHD Chemistry students can choose to continue in the above mentioned sectors, be a part of any university’s faculty of their choice, or go to a foreign university to work on research projects if you have an interest in working in a laboratory.

Further study options for a PHD Chemistry are offered nationwide, with plenty of research programmes as well as other training programmes. Students can pursue further research in any Chemistry related field that they are interested in, like organic chemistry, inorganic synthesis, etc.

The future scope for this course is huge, as there are companies who are always on the lookout of new and fresh talent, who are pursuing research in various undiscovered fields - there is always something new to bring to the table.

PHD Chemistry: FAQs

PHD Chemistry: FAQs

Ques. How hard is a PHD Chemistry?

Ans. When you decide to get involved in a Ph.D. programme, it basically means that you have a genuine interest in the subject. So it is not about how difficult obtaining a doctorate degree in Chemistry will be, as it requires your full commitment, it only depends on your level of interest in the subject.

Ques. How many years does it take to complete a PHD Chemistry in India?

Ans. If you’re studying in a reputed institute, a Ph.D. can usually take you six years to complete, or even less than that, i.e, three years.

Ques. What degree is required to be eligible for PHD Chemistry?

Ans. A PHD in Chemistry requires students to have completed their master’s degree in science, or an M.Phil in Science

Ques. What is the minimum percentage required by colleges for admission?

Ans. Most of the top colleges have the minimum percentage scored criteria as 55%, but it can vary from college to college.

Ques.What are the career options after pursuing a PHD Chemistry?

Ans.Other than pursuing your own independent research work, and working alongside fellow scientists, as well as becoming a Chemistry professor, there are various openings in R&D sectors in various FMNC like Patanjali, Dabur, HUL. You can also look for job opportunities at pharma companies, like Dr. Reddy, and etc.

Ques. Does doing a PhD in Chemistry limit your options in the industry?

Ans. No, they do not, as attaining a doctorate degree adds more credibility to your research work, and can also widen your career options, as well as opportunities.

Ques. Is a PhD Chemistry worth doing if you are not planning to become a professor?

Ans. In terms of prospective careers, teaching is not the only option, through a Ph.D. you can get into various other positions with a Ph.D. like mentioned earlier, you could become a researcher, or a scientist, chemist, and work at food and drink industries, pharma companies, and etc.

Ques. Are scholarships offered for a Chemistry PHD?

Ans. Depending on students’ score in the entrance exams and their application overall, universities may choose to offer scholarships based on the students’ merit.

Ques. Which entrance exams are required for PHD Chemistry?

Ans. Based on the college that a student is trying to get admission in, they have to give exams like UGC-NET, GATE, and some also conduct their own exams like Lovely Professional University has LPUNEST, etc.

Ques. Can we get admission in IIT for PHD Chemistry, by clearing GATE and NET?

Ans.Yes, because all IITs require candidates to clear entrance exams, before passing them on to the interview list.

Ques. Is a PHD Chemistry research based?

Ans. Almost all PHD programs are research based, especially Chemistry, as it requires students to do independent research with the assistance of their respective university’s faculty.

Ph.D. (Chemistry) Fee Structure in India

4.67 K (Minimum Fee)PUBLIC COLLEGES2.91 L  (Maximum Fee)
78.33 K (Average Fee)
17 K (Minimum Fee)Private COLLEGES10.50 L (Maximum Fee)
2.22 L (Average Fee)

Ph.D. (Chemistry) Fee Structure By state

Tamil Nadu

58.63 K
20.53 KPrivate COLLEGES2.35 L
91.50 K


92.35 K
45 KPrivate COLLEGES4.59 L
1.96 L


99.74 K
17 KPrivate COLLEGES3.15 L
1.62 L

Uttar Pradesh

94.65 K
26 KPrivate COLLEGES10.50 L
2.53 L


93.44 K
1.79 LPrivate COLLEGES5.90 L
2.68 L

Delhi NCR

96.70 K
40 KPrivate COLLEGES4.90 L
2.74 L

Madhya Pradesh

1.41 L
71 KPrivate COLLEGES5.10 L
2.26 L


1.27 L
54 KPrivate COLLEGES2.52 L
1.71 L


46.40 K
47.90 KPrivate COLLEGES47.90 K
47.90 K


53.93 K
1.65 LPrivate COLLEGES4.53 L
2.79 L

West Bengal

40.20 K
53 KPrivate COLLEGES4.50 L
2.59 L


1.04 L
56.30 KPrivate COLLEGES3.97 L
2.48 L

Andhra Pradesh

90.26 K
40 KPrivate COLLEGES2.05 L
1.50 L


92.72 K
2.25 LPrivate COLLEGES2.25 L
2.25 L


41.11 K
1.22 LPrivate COLLEGES5.34 L
2.62 L

Himachal Pradesh

1.70 L
1.99 LPrivate COLLEGES4.59 L
2.81 L


1.04 L
55.50 KPrivate COLLEGES3.59 L
2.25 L
64.02 K
58.98 KPrivate COLLEGES3.41 L
2.47 L


74.94 K
2.50 LPrivate COLLEGES2.50 L
2.50 L


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