PhD Microbiology Eligibility, Top Colleges, Admission Process, Entrance Exams, Syllabus, Scope and Salary 2020-21

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Sakshi Gupta

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PhD Microbiology is a 3-5 years long doctorate course which aims to provide eligible candidates with research training in various topics of Microbiology. This course basically deals with an advanced study of microorganisms which are microscopic, unicellular and cell-cluster organisms.

Check the latest Cutoffs for admission to PhD Microbiology colleges

In order to be eligible for PhD Microbiology course, candidates must hold a Postgraduate degree in relevant discipline with an aggregate of at least 55% marks. Many colleges demand for an experience of five years or more in the field of Microbiology.

Key Highlights of PhD Microbiology 

  • Full-Form: Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology 
  • Duration: Minimum 3 year, can be stretched up to 5 years (depends on the length of the research) 
  • Minimum Eligibility: Masters in Microbiology along with an aggregate of 55% marks. 
  • Admission Process: Entrance Exam followed by Interview. 
  • Top Entrance Exam: UGC-NET, UGC-CSIR-NET. 
  • Top Colleges: BHU, MGU, University of Calcutta, University of Hyderabad.
  • Average Annual Fees: INR 2,000 to INR 8,00,000
  • Top Career Prospects: Food Industry, Development Laboratories, Colleges and Universities as a Technical Specialist, Medical Technologist, Laboratory Scientist, Lecturer, etc.
  • Average Annual Salary: INR 8,00,000 to INR 16,00,000.

The admission to PhD Microbiology course is generally based on marks scored by candidates in Entrance Exams. But, there are few colleges which grant merit based admissions also. Some of the most popular PhD Microbiology entrance exams are GATE, UGC-NET, CSIR-UGC-NET, etc. 

Some of the top institutes offering PhD Microbiology course are provided in the table given below: 

NIRF Ranking 2020  Name of the College/ University Admission Process  Average annual fees Average placement package
10 Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi  Entrance-Based INR 8,368 INR 12,00,000
11 University of Calcutta, Kolkata Merit + Interview  INR 4,400 INR 11,85,000
15 University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad Merit + Interview INR 11,210 INR 15,41,000
43 Vels Institute of Science, Technology and Advanced Studies, Chennai Entrance-Based INR 46,000  INR 8,80,000
49 Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam Merit + Interview INR 33,200 INR 9,70,000

The average annual program fee for PhD Microbiology courses in India ranges between INR 2,000 and INR 8,00,000, depending on the institute offering the program. 

Alert: The exam dates of UGC-NET and UGC-CSIR-NET have been postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Check the latest dates of UGC-NET.

After completing this course, students will be able to find jobs in Food Industry, Development Laboratories, Colleges and Universities as a Technical Specialist, Medical Technologist, Laboratory Scientist, Lecturer and numerous others. 

The average annual starting salary offered to PhD (Microbiology) degree holders in India range between INR 8,00,000 and INR 16,00,000, depending on the candidate's expertise in the field.

After completing PhD Microbiology,  candidates can choose to go for further research. They can publish their own research papers. These candidates will be eligible for a DSc degree in the relevant field, if they have minimum 4-5 years of research experience after their PhD. 

PhD Microbiology Admission Process

PhD Microbiology Admission Process

Most of the institutes and universities in India follow an entrance-based admission process for admission to PhD in Microbiology course. Top PhD colleges such as BHU etc. offer admission through entrances like UGC NET, CSIR (JRF), GATE etc.

The steps of the Entrance-Based Admission are provided below: 

  • Online Registration: Students are required to register for the entrance test through the official website of the conducting body. 
  • Filling up of application form: After creating the login id, candidates have to fill up the online application form by providing their personal and academic details. 
  • Uploading of documents: In this step, candidates have to upload the necessary documents such as photograph, signature, id proof, Class 10 and 12 certificates etc. 
  • Download Application Form: After paying the application fee, candidates have to save and download the form for future references. 
  • Issuing of Admit Card: Based on the record of the details submitted by the students, the admission authority will issue the admit cards to the eligible students. 
  • Declaration of Result: After the entrance exam, admission authorities will release the results of the entrance test they have appeared for.
  • Group Discussion and Personal Interview: The selected candidates have to appear for further admission rounds such as group discussion and personal interview. 

Merit-Based Admission – There are some institutes as well that offer admission to PhD Microbiology course based on the candidate's performance in the postgraduate examination followed by Group Discussion and Interview. 

PhD Microbiology Eligibility Criteria

Students who wish to pursue PhD Microbiology course are required to follow the minimum eligibility criteria given below: 

  • The students must hold a postgraduate degree from a recognized university. 
  • The candidates must score an aggregate of at least 55% marks (50% for candidates belonging to SC/ ST category) in post graduation. 
  • They also must hold an experience of at least 5 years in teaching/ industry/ administrative etc. 

PhD Microbiology Entrance Exams

Some of the top colleges and universities which offer this PhD Microbiology program conduct an entrance test for admission to this program. 

With the help of these examinations, institutes/ universities will be able to test the student’s knowledge and ability on the basis of which the selection takes place. 

We have described some of the most popular entrance exams for this course below. 

  • GATE: Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering is managed by the IIT Council. It helps in acquiring admission to PG and PhD programs in Engineering, Technology, Biotechnology and other branches of science.
  • UGC-NET: This Entrance Exam is run by the National Testing Agency (NTA) twice a year. It helps the students to get fellowships, getting selected for the post of Assistant Professors and also seeking admission to the PhD courses. 
  • GPAT: This exam is also conducted by NTA. GPAT score is accepted for enrollment in PG and PhD programs offered by all colleges approved by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). 
  • UGC-CSIR-NET: It is a national-level exam conducted by National Testing Agency (NTA) to select candidates for the award of Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) and for determining their eligibility for appointment as lecturers in Indian universities and colleges.

Some of the important dates related to these exams are given in the table below. 

Exams Conducting Body  Registration Date* Examination Date* Mode of Examination
GATE 2021 IIT Council  From the 4th week of August, 2020 (tentative)  February 06-07, 2021 Online  (CBT)
UGC-NET 2020  NTA  March 16 - June 30, 2020 To be announced Online
CSIR UGC NET NTA March 16 - June 30, 2020 To be Announced Online 
GPAT 2020 NTA First week of November, 2020 (tentative)  Fourth week of January, 2021 (tentative)  Online (CBT)

How to Prepare for PhD Microbiology Entrance Exams? 

Candidates are advised to keep the below mentioned points in mind to crack the entrance exams.

  • Syllabus and question structure: The students must have a concrete idea about what to study and the type of questions to be asked in the examination. Most entrance tests have a duration of 2-3 hours and the questions given are of subjective type. 
  • Section-wise Preparation: Questions are mainly asked from the subjects to which candidate is seeking admission to. Therefore, the students should have a clear understanding of the subject. 
  • Previous Question Papers: Aspirants must not forget to study the previous year’s question paper in detail. This will help them to understand the type of questions asked in the examination. 
  • Time Management: This is the most important aspect of one’s preparation, so students are recommended to make a proper time table and follow the same strictly. They should also focus on practicing time-based papers.

Check the Question Pattern and Marking Scheme of UGC-NET

How to Get Admission to a Good PhD Microbiology College?

  • Since most colleges offer admission to PhD Microbiology program based on candidate’s performance in the qualifying examination i.e. M.Sc. Microbiology and professional experience, so it is very important to get a good score in the qualifying examination and also pursue suitable experience in the related field. 
  • It is also very important for students to be prepared both mentally and physically for further rounds after the entrance test i.e. counselling and interview.  They need not to be stressed while preparing for the examination. 
  • Candidates are also advised to keep a track of all the important events related to the admission process so that they never miss any deadline. 
  • Aspirants are advised to practice as many sample papers and previous year question papers as they can in order to score really well in the entrance examination. 
  • Candidates should watch out for the best colleges to pursue the PhD course and move ahead with their preparation accordingly. 

Check the full list of top PhD Microbiology Colleges in India

PhD Microbiology: What is it about?

PhD Microbiology: What is it about?

Some of the important points related to PhD Microbiology course are provided below: 

  • This program is designed in such a way as to provide eligible candidates with research training which is relevant to the current social and economic objectives of the country. 
  • Candidates admitted to this course are provided with training to write research reports, with an aim to augment student’s skills of data presented in graphical form. 
  • This program also covers aspects of the Biochemistry, Physiology and Genetics of Microorganisms.
  • The course curriculum includes subjects such as Virology, Immunology, Molecular Biology, Recombinant DNA Technology, Microbial Genetics etc. 
  • The program is meant to prepare students for a prosperous career in the field of Microbiology.

PhD Microbiology Course Highlights

Some of the major highlights of the course are provided in the table given below: 

Course Level Doctorate
Duration of the Course 3 to 5 years
Examination Type Semester System
Eligibility Postgraduate degree with an aggregate of at least 55% marks. 
Admission Process Entrance/ Merit-Based followed by Interview
Average Course Fee INR 2,000 to INR 8,00,000 
Average Starting Salary INR 8,00,000 to INR 16,00,000
Top Job Areas Colleges, Universities, Food Industry, Development Laboratories etc.  
Top Job Positions Laboratory Technologist, Technical Specialist, Medical Technologist, Laboratory Scientist, Lecturer etc.  
Why Study PhD Microbiology?

Why Study PhD Microbiology?

There are many benefits of pursuing a PhD Microbiology course. Some of them are:

  • On completion of this course, students easily get high paid jobs such as Laboratory Scientist, Lecturer, Technical Specialist in govt. or private laboratories. 
  • If you are interested in research in the field of microorganisms and biology, then you should definitely look forward to pursuing this course. 
  • This sector involves a large number of research activities in the field of Microbiology. So, if you are curious and are always ready to discover something new, this course never disappoints you. 
  • Students can opt for jobs in numerous sectors such as Colleges, Universities, Food Industry, Development Laboratories etc.  
  • Handsome salary packages are offered with an average salary of INR 8-16 lakh per annum.

PhD Biotechnology vs PhD Microbiology

PhD Biotechnology vs PhD Microbiology

Both PhD Biotechnology and PhD Microbiology are specialized courses and are pretty popular among students. The basic difference between these two courses is provided in the table below: 

Parameters PhD Biotechnology PhD Microbiology
Qualification Doctorate in Biotechnology Doctorate in Microbiology
Course Overview PhD in Biotechnology is a full-time research program which is of 3-year duration and is a more diverse field as compared to PhD Microbiology.  Doctorate in Microbiology is a full-time doctorate program the duration of which is 3 years and can be pursued after completing post graduation.  
Examination Type Semester Semester
Average Annual Fees INR 20,000 to INR 1,50,000  INR 2,000 to INR 1,20,000 
Duration 3 to 5 years 3 to 5 years
Eligibility Criteria Post Graduation in relevant discipline.   Post Graduation in relevant discipline.  
Admission Process  Merit-Based followed by Interview Merit-Based followed by Interview
Top Colleges Punjab University, Amity University, Lovely Professional University, Amity University etc.  Punjab University, Mahatma Gandhi University, Banaras Hindu University etc. 
Average Salary INR 7,00,000 to INR 20,00,000  INR 8,00,000 to INR 16,00,000 
Top Job Areas Colleges/ Universities, Research Laboratories etc.  Colleges/ Universities, Research Laboratories, Food Processing Units, Environmental Organizations etc. 

Source : College Websites 

Also, go through the full list of top PhD Biotechnology Colleges in India

PhD Microbiology Top Colleges

PhD Microbiology Top Colleges

Some of the top colleges offering PhD Microbiology program are provided in the table given below: 

NIRF Ranking 2020  Name of the College/ University Admission Process Average Annual Fees
10 Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi Entrance-Based INR 8,368
11 University of Calcutta, Kolkata Merit + Interview  INR 4,400
15 University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad Merit + Interview INR 11,210
43 Vels Institute of Science, Technology and Advanced Studies, Chennai Entrance-Based INR 46,000 
44 Punjab University, Chandigarh Merit + Interview INR 15,667
49 Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam Merit + Interview INR 33,200
58 SRM Institute of Technology, Kanchipuram Merit + Interview INR 16,000
81 Pondicherry University, Pondicherry Merit + Interview INR 36,283
101-150 Utkal University, Bhubaneshwar Merit + Interview INR 9,500
101-150 Assam University, Silchar Merit + Interview INR 26,545

Source : College Websites 

PhD Microbiology College Comparison

The basic difference between the top institutes/universities offering PhD Microbiology program is provided in the table given below: 

Name of the College Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam Punjab University, Chandigarh SRM Institute of Technology, Kanchipuram 
Overview Mahatma Gandhi University is a state university which is located in Kottayam, Kerala and is ranked among the top 50 universities across India.  Punjab University is a prestigious university which is situated in Punjab and offers a wide range of programs at the undergraduate, postgraduate and research level. SRM Institute of Technology is one of the top ranked colleges in India with more than 20,000 students and over 2,600 faculty across all its campuses. This institute offers a large number of courses at the undergraduate, postgraduate and doctorate level courses  in the field of Engineering, Management, Medicine, Health Sciences, Science and Humanities.
Location Kottayam, Kerala  Chandigarh Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu
NIRF Ranking 2020  49 44 58
Eligibility Criteria Hold a postgraduate degree in relevant discipline with an aggregate of at least 55% marks.   Hold a postgraduate degree in relevant discipline with an aggregate of at least 55% marks along with 5 year of experience in the relevant field.  Postgraduate degree from a recognized university. 
Admission Process Merit-Based followed by Interview  Merit-Based followed by Interview Merit-Based followed by Interview
Average Annual Fees INR 33,200 INR 15,667 INR 16,000
Average Salary Package INR 9,70,000 INR 10,85,000 INR 12,15,000
Top Recruiting Areas  Pharmaceutical Industry, Food and Drink Industry, Healthcare Organizations etc.  Biotechnology Firms, Environmental Agencies, Food Processing Units, Research Laboratories etc.   Food Production Units, Research Laboratories, Research Organizations. 

Source : College Websites 

PhD Microbiology Syllabus and Course Description

PhD Microbiology Syllabus and Course Description

The PhD Microbiology course includes one year of compulsory coursework which is spread into two semesters. The detailed semester-wise syllabus of PhD Microbiology coursework program is provided in the table given below: 

Semester I

Semester II

Diversity of Prokaryotic Eukaryotic Microbes Environmental microbiology Conservation
Microbial Physiology and Metabolism Plant-Pathogen Interaction
Virology Microbial Pathogenicity 
Immunology __
Molecular Biology __
Recombinant DNA Technology __
Microbial Genetics __
Industrial and Food Microbiology

After completing the coursework program, the students will have to present their research idea in front of the college faculty members. If the panel gets impressed, their research idea will get approved. In the next two to four years, the students will have to complete their research and submit the thesis in order to get their PhD degree. 

PhD Microbiology Career Prospects

PhD Microbiology Career Prospects

  • Nowadays, Microbiologists are in huge demand in the field of Medical Research, Quality Control and the biotechnology industry. 
  • A large number of research scholars get jobs as researchers working in Universities, Pharmaceutical and Bioscience companies and institutes across India and Abroad. 
  • On completion of a PhD in Microbiology program, students can also move forward to laboratory-based careers in clinical or technical roles involving research.
  •  There are a large number of job opportunities for those who want to pursue their career in the field of Microbiology. 
  • Microbiologists will be able to find jobs in numerous sectors including government and private hospitals, food industries, research and development organizations, chemical industries and pharmaceutical industries. 
  • PhD Microbiology graduates can also opt for a career as a Laboratory Scientist and perform research for the betterment of the environment.
  •  The salary of PhD in Microbiology degree holders depends on various factors including qualification, experience and job profile. 

Some of the popular professional jobs available to PhD Microbiology graduates along with the corresponding salaries are provided in the table given below: 

Job Position Job Profile Average Annual Salary
Agricultural and Food Scientist The job role of an Agricultural and Food Scientist is to do research and find ways to enhance the productivity and well-being of people.  INR 9,20,000
Biochemists and Biophysicists  Biochemists and Biophysicists used to do research on physical aspects of living beings and related organic techniques such as cell improvement, development, heredity etc.  INR 10,44,000
Biological Technicians The job of a Biological Technician is to enable biological and medicinal researchers to perform lab tests and other related investigations.  INR 8,78,000
Chemical Technicians Chemical Technicians tend to apply complex instruments and ways in order to enable scientists to examine, create, produce and check substances and procedures.  INR 11,22,000
Epidemiologists The job of an Epidemiologist is to research and find reasons for sickness and damage in the population. They look forward to minimizing the hazards and events of illnesses by their research and implementation of well-being strategies.  INR 14,88,000

PhD Microbiology Future Scopes

PhD Microbiology Future Scopes

On completion of a PhD Microbiology program, one can opt for a wide range of professions. 

  • With the help of PhD Microbiology degree, students will be able to make their career in the field of Microbiology as a Microbiologist, Bacteriologist, Virologist, Epidemiologist, Biological Technicians etc. 
  • There are several areas both in the private as well as in the public sector where a PhD Microbiology degree holder may start working. 
  • With this degree, students will be able to make their career in the research field and work as a Research Scientist in Microbiology. 
  • If you love to teach, you can also go for a teaching profession and work as a professor in a global university. 
  • This is one of the highest honorary degrees awarded to an individual who has contributed in the field of research. So, after getting this degree one can opt for some of the top positions in the global world or can also go for research work.
  • After this course, the candidates can also earn a DSc degree provided they complete a minimum 4 to 5 years of research work after completing their PhD. 

Some of the topmost career choices after completion of PhD Microbiology course are provided below: 

  • Professor: If you love to teach and share your knowledge with students, you can opt for a teaching job as a professor in universities across India or Abroad. 
  • Researcher: If you wish to contribute towards the betterment of the world, you can indulge yourself in the research work and work as a researcher. 
PhD Microbiology FAQs

PhD Microbiology FAQs

Ques. What can I do after PhD Microbiology? 

Ans. On completion of PhD Microbiology program, you can opt for jobs as a Research Scientist, Epidemiologist or you can also opt for Research in Microbiology and other related fields. 

Ques. Where can I pursue a PhD Microbiology program in India? 

Ans. Some of the top universities and institutes offering PhD Microbiology program in India are provided below: 

  •  Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi
  • Presidency College, Chennai
  •  Chandigarh University, Chandigarh
  •  NIMS University, Jaipur
  • VELS institute of Science, Technology and Advanced
  • Studies, Chennai
  •  Kuvempu University, Shimoga

Ques. Is PhD in Microbiology a good career option? 

Ans. Yes; PhD in Microbiology is a good career option and is the highest qualification one can pursue in the concerned field. This degree also offers students a promising career with handsome salary packages. 

Ques. What subjects are taught in PhD Microbiology courses?

Ans. The main subjects of study included in the PhD Microbiology curriculum are Virology, Immunology, and Molecular Biology etc. 

Ques. How tough is the PhD Microbiology course?

Ans. PhD Microbiology course is not at all tough. If you have interest in Botany, Zoology, Microbiology and Life Sciences then it seems easy to you. Basically, it totally depends on your interest. 

Ques. What are the eligibility criteria for admission to PhD Microbiology program? 

Ans. Candidates must hold a postgraduate degree in relevant discipline with an aggregate of at least 55% marks to seek admission to PhD Microbiology course. 

Ques. What is the duration of a PhD Microbiology course? 

Ans. The duration of this course ranges from three to five years. 

Ques. What are the admission criteria for a PhD Microbiology course?

Ans. Most of the universities/ institutes offer admission to PhD Microbiology programs based on the candidate's performance in the Postgraduate course. 

Ques. When will the UGC NET 2020 examination be conducted? 

Ans. The UGC NET 2020 June session is usually conducted in the month of June, but owing to this COVID-19 situation, the exam stands postponed to the month of August, 2020. However, this date is again tentative. 

Ph.D. (Microbiology) Fee Structure in India

5.88 K (Minimum Fee)PUBLIC COLLEGES3.43 L  (Maximum Fee)
78.69 K (Average Fee)
11 K (Minimum Fee)Private COLLEGES10.50 L (Maximum Fee)
2.54 L (Average Fee)

Ph.D. (Microbiology) Fee Structure By state

Tamil Nadu

79.60 K
11 KPrivate COLLEGES1.20 L
75.31 K


66.23 K
59.01 KPrivate COLLEGES2.25 L
1.02 L

Uttar Pradesh

25.06 K
2.09 LPrivate COLLEGES10.50 L
4.25 L


1.80 L
21.75 KPrivate COLLEGES2.52 L
1.70 L


84.69 K
1.79 LPrivate COLLEGES6.80 L
3.16 L

Delhi NCR

5.88 K
65.05 KPrivate COLLEGES4.53 L
3.22 L


69.69 K
1.95 LPrivate COLLEGES3.43 L
2.45 L

Madhya Pradesh

50.80 K
2.10 LPrivate COLLEGES5.10 L
2.90 L

West Bengal

29.74 K
3.10 LPrivate COLLEGES3.46 L
3.28 L


67.86 K
2.85 LPrivate COLLEGES4.53 L
3.72 L


1.67 L
55.50 KPrivate COLLEGES2.48 L
1.66 L

Himachal Pradesh

1.54 L
1.99 LPrivate COLLEGES4.59 L
2.82 L


1.76 L
2.86 LPrivate COLLEGES2.86 L
2.86 L


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Fee Structure And Facilities :

The general fee structures for any research course is expensive due to the different requirements that the course demands. However, I have come across many colleges and I can confidently say that Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute provides an very feasible fee structure.

Campus Life :

The labs of the college are excellent which is where we spend most of our time. Apart from this we also engage in different workshops and seminars which the college arranges for their students as a part of their educational and personal development.

Admission :

After completing my MD in Microbiology I planned to pursue a PhD in this course and that is when my parents told me to check out the details of this course from Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute.I cleared the entrance examination for the course.

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