PhD students

About PhD program PhD is typically the highest degree offered by any institute in the world.  After initial course work (3-7 courses depending on background), student spend most of his time in working on research problems.  Typically PhD in computer science takes 4-5 years to finish.

Why PhD in Computer Science With PhD you learn a research aptitude that is finding and defining problem, solving them, and publishing the results. PhD prepares you to do research. Computer science still being a fast and growing field, requires lot of innovation to happen. So the research aptitude is a welcome skill by computer science industry. PhD are typically hired by top computer science companies like Microsoft, Google, Intel, Facebook, etc, as well as by research labs like HP Lab, MSR, IBM research labs, etc.  For academia, PhD is a minimum required qualification.

Admission process

Admissions for MS(R) and PhD happen twice a year. The advertisement is out in march/September with application deadline in April/October. Please visit admission website of IIT Ropar for regular update.

Typically following procedures is adopted:

Step 1: Applications received are shortlisted based on department criteria.

Step 2: Shortlisted applicants are called for interview/test.

Step 3: Candidates has to appear in person at IIT Ropar for test and interview. The syllabus of the written test is generally GATE syllabus of CS plus general aptitude.

Step 4: Student shortlisted in written test appear for interview. The selected candidates are announced on website.

Stages of PhD

1. Course work: Student with M.Tech. degree are supposed to take minimum 12 credits, and students with B.Tech. degree are supposed to take 18 credits of course work.

2. Comprehensive exam: There are three stages of comprehensive exams (a) Written comprehensive, (b) Oral comprehensive, (c) Thesis proposal seminar. Completing all the comprehensive requirements usually takes 24-30 months, after admission.  More detail about written and oral comprehesive exam format of CSE department is given below.  

3. Synopsis seminar: Synopsis seminar typically happens when most the work for PhD degree is finished. With in two months of successful synopsis seminar, scholar is supposed to submit PhD thesis for evaluation.

4. Thesis submission

5. Thesis defence. 

More detail about PhD program can be found in PG handbook of information, available in Academics section of IIT Ropar main website.

PhD Comprehensive Rules

1.     Course Component

Objective: Breadth requirement in computer science 

Student is supposed to credit minimum four courses as per description given below and should score cumulative GPA of 7.0 in these courses. Choice of the courses needs to be endorsed by DC.   

a.     Data structure and algorithms (CSL606) compulsory requirement

b.     One course from systems bucket: Advanced architecture (CSL610), operating systems (CSL333), databases (CSL301 or CSL620), computer networks (CSL343), compilers (CSL305), software engineering (CSL306).

 i. If a corresponding 600 level course is available in an area, then its corresponding UG level course would not be considered for the written comprehensive. For instance, in case a 600 level course is offered in software engineering, compilers or computer networks then their corresponding UG level courses CSL306, CSL305 and CSL 343 would not be considered for the written comprehensive. 

c.      One 600 level application course

d.     One course (from the list given in handbook of information) as decided by research supervisor/DC.

Once students fulfil this mandatory course requirement, then she/he will be eligible for written and oral comprehensive.

2.     Written and Oral comprehensive: 

Objective: Breadth requirement in area of interest and research readiness.

Student is supposed to do a literature survey in a particular area of interest (may or may not be tightly coupled to research proposal), and find out at least 5 papers. The selected papers should be regular papers from A*/A/B ranked conferences/journals published in last 10 years. The list of papers will be vetted by doctoral committee. It is recommended that student should read/understand the relevant background.

Written Comprehensive:

    DC of the student will conduct a written exam based on the papers identified by student/DC. Scope of the written examination will be the content and underneath basics of the papers. DC will discuss the format and question paper before conducting the exam. The written exam could be open-book/close book, open-time/fixed duration as decided by DC. The evaluation of the written exam would be done by DC members. Question paper as well as answer sheets will be archived in department office after evaluation.

Oral comprehensive:    

·        Student will present these papers in front of department faculty members and doctoral committee members.

·        Doctoral committee will ask questions on basics as well as detail of the research problems being addressed in the given papers.

·        Based on presentation and viva-voce, doctoral committee would decide marks in the oral comprehensive examination.


Written exam and oral exam both will be of 100 marks. In overall score, both will have equal weightage. Minimum pass marks for written as well as oral exam is 50.