PhD Linguistics Eligibility, Top Colleges, Admission Process, Entrance Exams, Syllabus, Scope, Salary 2020

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PhD Linguistics is a doctorate level course that can be completed in a minimum of 2 years. A PhD Linguistics candidate researches on topics like Advances in Historical and Comparative Linguistics, Dialectology, Bilingualism and Multilingualism etc.

Check the full list of top PhD Linguistics Colleges in India

Students should complete their Master’s degree with more than 55% marks in the relevant stream in order to be considered eligible to apply to this course. 

Admission to this course will be done based on marks scored by candidates in national level entrance exams. Some of the most popular PhD Linguistics Entrance Exams in India are GATE, UGC-NET etc.

Alert: The exam dates of UGC NET and GATE have been postponed amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

The top five universities in India that offer PhD Linguistics programs, as per Outlook India’s 2019 rankings list, are provided in the table given below:

Outlook Rank 2019 College Name Admission Process Average Annual Fees Average Salary
8 University of Delhi Entrance Exam followed by Interview INR 20,000 INR 8,00,000
10 Jadavpur University Entrance Exam followed by Interview INR 20,000 INR 9,16,000
14 Calcutta University Entrance Exam followed by Interview INR 4,400 INR 9,66,000
16 Banaras Hindu University Entrance Exam followed by Interview INR 8,368 INR 8,50,000
18 Jawaharlal Nehru University Entrance Exam followed by Interview INR 20,000 INR 7,00,000

The aim of this course is to learn the basics and in-depth research on linguistics, complete a thesis and successfully establish a carer in the same field. The average course fee to pursue this program ranges between INR 20,000 and INR 1,00,000.

After successfully earning a PhD Linguistics degree, one can get hired as Translators, Professors, Forensic Linguist etc.

Major employment areas that students can work in on completing this course include Data or IT Sector, News and Media, Educational Sector, Hearing Centres etc. 

The average salary package for these candidates ranges from INR 35,000 monthly and above. It basically depends on the level of the company, organization and also on the skill, experience and expertise of the candidate.

If students wish to do further research, they can become independent researchers and publish their research papers. They can also earn a DSc (Doctor of Science) degree in the related domain in future. 

PhD Linguistics Admission Process

PhD Linguistics Admission Process

  • Most of the colleges and universities follow an entrance-based process for admission to PhD Linguistic courses.
  • On cracking the entrance test, candidate’s research topic, proposal, methodology etc. are checked and an interview is held.  

Entrance Based Admission

Most of the colleges and universities offer admission to PhD Linguistics on the basis of entrance exams like GATE, UGC NET etc.

The step-by-step procedure for entrance-based admission is as follows: 

  • Step 1: Students have to register on the official website. 
  • Step 2: Fill the application form with correct details.
  • Step 3: After examination, a cutoff list will be released on the website. Seats will then be allotted to candidates based on their scores in the entrance exam. 
  • Step 4: Some colleges also conduct personal interviews and group discussion for admission to this course. 
  • Step 5: On meeting all the eligibility criteria, a student will then be offered admission to the course.  
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PhD Linguistics Eligibility Criteria

The eligibility criteria for admission into PhD Linguistics courses will differ from institute to institute. The general eligibility criteria for the top colleges are as follows:

  • A masters degree from a recognized university or institute in the same specialization.
  • A minimum aggregate of at least 55% and above must have been scored at the master’s level.
  • Some universities also require the candidates to submit a research proposal that outlines that topic of research and the methodology of the research.

PhD Linguistics Entrance Exams

Admission to PhD Linguistics program will be done based on the candidate's performance in the entrance test.

Some of the popular entrance exams are briefly explained below:

  • UGC NET: The National Testing Agency conducts this exam on behalf of the University Grants Commission. Qualified candidates are granted admission to the various doctorate level courses. This test is also used for  deciding the eligibility for JRF or post of Assistant Professor in colleges and universities. 
  • University of Delhi Entrance Test: Delhi University’s entrance exam is held annually for admission into UG, PG and doctorate programs. The exam pattern is different as per the program applied to. 
  • Banaras Hindu University Entrance Test: Banaras Hindu University conducts an entrance exam for its PhD applicants annually, also called BHU RET. The exam is held in three stages including a research proposal and a personal interview round. 
  • Jadavpur University Entrance Test: Jadavpur University conducts a written test and a round of personal interview for admission to PhD Linguistics program. Candidates with an M.Phil. degree and qualification of SET/NET exam are exempted from the entrance exam.

The application dates, exam dates and the mode of the exam of the above mentioned exams are provided in the table below.

Exam Name Application Deadline Date of Examination Mode of Exam
UGC NET June 30, 2020 To be announced Online
DUET July 18, 2020 To be announced Online
BHU UET  June 26, 2020 July 16, 2020 Offline
Jadavpur University Entrance Test Last week of June 2020 Third Week of July 2020 Offline

How to prepare for PhD Linguistics entrance exams?

Most of the institutes which conduct entrance exams for PhD Linguistics course do not have a well-defined syllabus. Tips for preparation for entrance tests are as follows.

  • Some general topics to be studied for the entrance tests include General Research Aptitude, Phonology, Morphology, Syntax, Semantics-Pragmatics, Sociolinguistics, Historical Linguistics etc.
  • Brush up all basic linguistics study material learnt at masters and undergraduate level.
  • Get up to date with the latest news, general knowledge etc., based on which questions might be asked in the personal interview round.
  • The research proposal for the program is to be prepared and studied thoroughly.
  • Past papers of entrance exams can be downloaded from university websites and used for practice. The practice must be done while timing oneself and recreating exam situations.

Also, read more about the GATE Exam Question Pattern, Syllabus, and Important Tips in detail. 

How to get admission in a Good PhD Linguistics college?

  • To secure a seat in a good college for a PhD Linguistics program, candidates must hold an exceptional academic record.
  • Look out for the eligibility, cut-offs, selection criteria, admission process, application procedure, and other updates to benefit you for better preparation.
  • The qualifying cut off marks of UGC NET for General category is 75.33%. 
  • Candidates should put their time and effort into the entrance test as well as be prepared for a personal interview round.
  • They should be well versed with their research topic so that they can impress the interview panel with their research idea.
PhD Linguistics: What is it about?

PhD Linguistics: What is it about?

Information and details about the PhD Linguistics program are as follows.

  • PhD Linguistics is a doctorate level program that can be completed over a span of 2 to 3 years.
  • This course has been designed to specialize students in the field of gathering in-depth knowledge of theoretical issues in the field of Linguistics. 
  • It is an interdisciplinary field which combines computing and rule-based modeling of natural language, computational linguistics, translators for industry jargons, etc.
  • This program includes identification and codification of the current meaning and usage of words, studying how language has changed over time, documentation of undocumented languages, reconstructing and encouraging the growth of dead or dying languages. 
  • Upon completion of the course, one gets employment in the Educational Sector, Translation Companies, Media and News Companies, Data Centres etc. in both private and public sector companies.

PhD Linguistics Course Highlights

Highlights for PhD Linguistics program are provided in the table given below:

Course Level Doctorate
Full-Form Doctor of Philosophy in Linguistics
Duration 3 years
exam type Semester System
Eligibility Post-graduate degree
Admission Process Entrance exam
Course Fee INR 2,000 to INR 1,00,000 p.a.
Average Salary INR 35,000 and upwards
Top Recruiting Companies Colleges, Universities, Public and Private Organizations, News and Broadcasting etc.
Job Positions Audiologist, Translator, Lexicographer, Broadcaster, Psycholinguist etc.
Why study PhD Linguistics?

Why study PhD Linguistics?

The goal to attain a PhD in Linguistics degree will depend on each individual’s aspirations and goals. Some of the reasons to pursue this course are as follows.

  • Career choices: Any candidate with a doctorate degree in linguistics is eligible for numerous job opportunities. One can not only work in the educational industry as teachers and professors but also as Translators, Writers, in the foreign language industry, Psycholinguist etc.
  • High pay: Pay is an attractive feature for linguists. No matter the industry one chooses to work in, having a doctorate degree in linguistics will act as an advantage to the salary. If one is lucky enough to get employed in a foreign organization, the pay is even higher.
  • A better understanding of the world’s cultures: Linguistics acts as a tool to approach languages across the globe in a scientific manner. One gets to learn about the sounds, semantics, syntactic etc. This opens up the world to an average candidate. One is able to dive deep into not only the language but also the culture of different countries.
  • Advanced linguistics skills: Being a doctorate level program, one is guided by the best in the industry. Candidates are researching and working in an on-hands manner which helps in learning all existing linguistics skills as well as pick up new ones.

PhD Linguistics Course Comparison

Just like PhD Linguistics, an MPhil in Linguistics is a research course. One gets to learn about the scientific study of various aspects of linguistics in MPhil Linguistics. The difference between M.Phil. Linguistics and PhD Linguistics are as follows.

Parameters MPhil Linguistics PhD Linguistics
Overview M.Phil. in Linguistics is a research course that can be completed in two years. The main focus of this course is on the scientific study of human language.  It is a doctorate level program in Linguistics where one researches in an area of Linguistics. This course combines computing and rule-based modeling of natural language, computational linguistics etc. 
Admission Criteria Admission is either through an entrance exam or merit basis. Admission is strictly on the basis of an entrance exam.
Eligibility Criteria Candidates must hold a master’s degree with 55% aggregate score Master’s degree in the same field or others with at least 55% aggregate score.
Average Course Fees INR 2,000 to INR 1,00,000 INR 4,000 to INR 1,00,000
Average Placement Package INR 3,00,000 to INR 5,00,000. INR 35,000 per month and upwards
Top Colleges Delhi University, Osmania University, Annamalai University etc. Delhi University, Jadavpur University, Banaras Hindu University etc.
MPhil Linguistic VS Phd Linguistics

Source: College Websites

PhD Linguistics Top Colleges

PhD Linguistics Top Colleges

The top colleges offering PhD Linguistics program in India along with their respective NIRF University Rankings, 2020 are provided in the table given below: 

NIRF Ranking  2020 College Name City Average Annual Fees Average Annual Package
2 Jawaharlal Nehru University New Delhi INR 20,000 INR 7,00,000
3 Banaras Hindu University Varanasi INR 8,368 INR 8,50,000
5 Jadavpur University Kolkata INR 20,000 INR 9,16,000
7 Calcutta University Kolkata INR 4,400 INR 9,66,000
11 University of Delhi New Delhi INR 20,000 INR 8,00,000
13 Bharathiar University Coimbatore INR 60,000 INR 4,20,000
17 Aligarh Muslim University Aligarh __ INR 9,36,000
19 Andhra University Visakhapatnam INR 16,250 INR 2,50,000
23 Kerala University Thiruvananthapuram INR 7,443 INR 2,50,000
27 Mysore University Mysuru __ INR 7,20,000
Top College for PhD Linguistic vs Average Annual fee

Source: College Websites

PhD Linguistics College Comparison

To help choose between which university/ college to take admission in for PhD linguistics, a side by side comparison of the top three universities is given below.

Parameters University of Delhi Jadavpur University Banaras Hindu University
Overview Also known as Delhi University or simply DU, the university was established in 1922. It is one of the most popular universities in North India. Jadavpur University is a public institute from the state of Kolkata, West Bengal. The university was established in 1955. This university provides a large number of courses at the UG, PG and the Research level.  Renamed from Central Hindu University, BHU was established in 1916 by Madan Mohan Malviya in Varanasi. This university is well known for its faculty and the courses it offers. 
Ranking as per NIRF 2020 11 5 3
Average Fee INR 20,000 INR 20,000 INR 8,368 
Average Annual Placement Package INR 8,00,000 INR 9,16,000 INR 8,50,000
Top Recruiting Areas Publishing Industry, Research laboratories, Hospitals, Govt. bodies etc.  Research Laboratories, Educational Sector, Embassies, Counsels etc.  Healthcare industry, Media Companies, Publishing Industry, Counsels, Hospitals etc. 
Phd linguistic College comparison

Source: College Websites

PhD Linguistics Syllabus

PhD Linguistics Syllabus

  • PhD Linguistics is a program that is a blend of classes and individual research.
  • Researching a chosen topic and writing a thesis takes up the majority of the course load.
  • In order to pass the program, candidates are also required to sit for numerous exams.

This is a mostly theory based program and the following broad subject areas are covered. The topic-wise syllabus of PhD Linguistics is provided in the table below:

Units Topics
1 Language and Linguistics, Aspects of Speech Production and Study
2 Basics of Morphology and Syntax
3 Semantics and Lexicography
4 Advances in Historical and Comparative Linguistics
5 Dialectology, Bilingualism and Multilingualism
6 Indo-Aryan, Dravidian and Kannada Linguistics
7 Schools of Linguistics
8 Linguistics and Education
9 Linguistics and Communication
10 Applied Linguistics
PhD Linguistics Job Prospects and Career Options

PhD Linguistics Job Prospects and Career Options

A PhD Linguistics degree holder is able to be hired in both government and private organizations in different areas of different industries.

  • Some work areas where one can expect to get hired are Healthcare, Educational Sector, Media Companies, Publishing Industry, Research-Based jobs etc.
  • The salary package one can expect to earn on completion of this degree usually depends on the candidate’s skills and experiences. The average salary package ranges from INR 4,00,000 to INR 5,00,000 per annum. 
  • Some of the most common job profiles where a PhD Linguistics degree holder gets hired are Audiologist, Psycholinguist, Translator, Broadcaster, Lexicographer etc.

Some of the top job profiles offered to a PhD Linguistics degree holder along with the average annual salary package are in the table below.

Job Profile Job Description Average Annual Salary
Audiologist They work in the health sector where the professionals use technology, problem-solving skills and linguistics skills to identify and treat hearing issues, balance problems, tinnitus and other similar auditory disorders. INR 4,50,000
Translator Translator’s job is to read through or hear written words in another language and translate them to other languages. They are hired in legal companies, media companies and also work in business and technical fields. INR 3,50,000
Lexicographer A Lexicographer works as an author or editor of a dictionary. They plan, update definitions, add new words with definitions to the dictionary. They also decide which words to leave out when updated. INR 6,87,000
Broadcaster A Broadcaster works in the media industry in either television or radio. The job role of the broadcaster is to write and rehearse scripts, choose music to play, consult with producers to produce new content, interview guests, present traffic and latest news and also review books, films etc. INR 4,37,000
Psycholinguist Psycholinguists is a scientific job where one investigates and psychological processes of how the human mind works with languages. They work on speech development, language development and make advancements in the field. INR 7,14,000
Average annual salary Vs Job Profile

Source: College Websites

PhD Linguistics Future Scope

PhD Linguistics Future Scope

PhD degree is a doctorate level degree and is the highest educational degree one can earn in the country. Generally one does not pursue further studies post completion of the PhD Linguistics degree.

Employability is high and graduates are hired quickly upon completion of their degree in high pay job profiles. With this knowledge, there is no limit to learning and knowledge.

If one wishes, the following programs can be pursued after a PhD:

  • MBA/PGDM: MBA degree is a professional course where one is hired in management positions after graduation. While PhD is a research based program, MBA is all about practising and managing businesses. For a PhD holder, one can also opt the Executive MBA program which is a short one-year fast-track program for candidates with work experience. On completion of this course, one can get hired as Managers in various areas of the industry.

  • Law Courses: Law Courses are also a popular alternative for many. One has to complete the undergraduate level degree of law which is shortened in case of candidates with a prior degree. Job profiles available are Lawyers, Judges, Legal Advisory in Courts and Organizations etc.



Some of the most frequently asked questions pertaining to PhD Linguistics program are as follows:

Ques. What is the full form of PhD?

Ans. It stands for Doctorate of Philosophy.

Ques. How long does a PhD degree take to complete?

Ans. A normal PhD degree is completed over 2 to 3 years.

Ques. What is the difference between M.Phil and PhD?

Ans. M.Phil is a doctorate level program which is more scientific and not research based as PhD degree is.

Ques. What is the eligibility criteria for the program?

Ans. Candidates need to have a masters degree in any specialization with at least 55% aggregate score from a recognized university.

Ques. What is the admission process for admission to PhD Linguistics program?

Ans. Admission process starts with an entrance exam. After qualifying the test, a personal interview round is held where candidates are to present research proposals describing the topic, methodology etc.

Ques. What is the average course fee for the program?

Ans. The average course fee ranges between INR 2,000 and INR 1,00,000. 

Ques. What is the average placement package offered to a candidate on completion of a PhD Linguistics course?

Ans. The average annual placement package is between the range INR 4,00,000 and INR 5,00,000. 

Ques. Are only teaching jobs available for a PhD Linguistics degree holder?

Ans. A PhD Linguistics degree holder can get hired in Media, Publishing, Healthcare, Research, Education and many more.

Ques. What are the top colleges for a PhD Linguistics degree?

Ans. Delhi University, Banaras Hindu University and Jadavpur University are the top colleges in India to pursue this degree.

Ques. What are the topics covered in the entrance exams for PhD Linguistics?

Ans. Only the basic Linguistics topics are covered like General Research Aptitude, Phonology, Morphology, Syntax, Semantics-Pragmatics, Sociolinguistics, Historical Linguistics etc.

Ph.D. (Linguistics) Fee Structure in India

3.95 K (Minimum Fee)PUBLIC COLLEGES1.50 L  (Maximum Fee)
54.79 K (Average Fee)
23.90 K (Minimum Fee)Private COLLEGES6.60 L (Maximum Fee)
3.42 L (Average Fee)


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Ph.D. (Linguistics) Colleges IN INDIA

View All
1.38 K first year fees
Delhi University - [DU]
New Delhi, Delhi NCR
1.15 L Total fees
University of Calcutta
Kolkata, West Bengal
4.4 K first year fees
Mumbai University - [MU]
Mumbai, Maharashtra
14.18 K first year fees
Annamalai University - [AU]
Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu
25.01 K first year fees
Banaras Hindu University - [BHU]
Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
8.37 K first year fees
11 K first year fees