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PhD in Humanities

Humanities is a study for understanding human nature and relationships through various areas of history, philosophy, literature, linguistics, cultural studies, religious studies, and visual and performing arts. Through this study students can delve deeper into the functioning human, behavioral patterns and the challenges faced, human interactions and human relationships. The journey of pursuing a PhD in Humanities is not just about getting appropriate knowledge, it is a transformative and revolutionary journey that challenges the students to pose questions like to think critically, various assumptions, and discover a new world of imagination. It is a journey of self-discovery, where students can uncover hidden truths about themselves and the world surrounding them. 

Whether it’s going deeper into the sphere of literary masterpieces, discovering the secrets and mysteries of ancient civilizations, or exploring various human languages, aspirants have the freedom to pursue their passion and contribute to the collective body of knowledge in their selected field of study. Their in -depth understanding of human behavior, culture and society makes them invaluable knowledge in today’s modern, complex and interconnected world. 

Let’s delve deeper to explore the admission process, eligibility criteria, entrance exams, application details, and top colleges for pursuing a PhD in Humanities in India. So, join us as we embark on a journey of intellectual discovery and unravel the mysteries of the human experience

PhD in Humanities: Highlights Of Course

Check the table below for the appropriate understanding of course highlights 

Course Duration  

  3-6 Years  

Eligibility criteria 

At least 55% marks in graduation or post-graduation. 

Admission Process  

Entrance Exams/ Direct Admission 

Entrance Exam  



PhD Specializations 

  • Literature

  • History 

  • Philosophy 

  • Linguistics 

  • Cultural Studies 

  • Visual and Performing Arts 


Career Prospects 

  • Policy Analyst

  • Program Officer 

  • Research Consultant  

  • Public Relations Specialist, 

  • Communications Director  

  • Program Manager 

  • Development Director 

Top Colleges 

Capital University 

Sunrise University, 

Mangalayatan University 

UPES University,  


PhD in Humanities: Admission Process

The Phd admission process for a PhD in Humanities involves some several steps-  

  • Study and research: Start your research by studying about various universities and Research institutes that offer a PhD in Humanities. Also look out for programs that align perfectly with your career objectives and goals. 
  • Eligibility Criteria: Make sure you meet the general eligibility criteria set by the university or research institute, which may also include an undergraduate or master’s degree in a respective field of study, relevant work experience, minimum marks etc. 
  • Application documents submit: Submit necessary documents for applying like personal documents (Identify proof like Adhaar card) , letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and a research proposal showcasing your chosen research topic. 
  • Entrance Exam: Some universities or research institutes may also require you to take an entrance exam, such as UGC-NET or an equivalent exam to successfully qualify but generally not all universities may require these entrance exams. 
  • Interview: Shortlisted candidates by the university may be called up for an interview to assess their capabilities for the program selected.
  • Successful Admission: After completing the above procedure, you will receive an admission letter from the university or research institute for successful admission.

PhD in Humanities: Important Dates

Some crucial exams dates for PhD Entrance Exam 2024 are: 



Registration Date  

Exam Date  




10 June – 20’24 




15th June ‘24 (Tentative) 


IPU PhD Entrance Test (PET) 

March’24 to May’24 



31 August’23  to 

 13 October’23 

3, 4, 10, 11 Febraury’24 


1-7 April’24 

15 May’24 

Application Form 2024 and How to Apply?

The application form for PhD in Humanities is available online through various online as well as offline portals like the official website of the required university or research institute. Aspirants can also avail application forms offline by physically visiting the universities. 

To apply, follow these general steps for PhD admission in Humanities:  

  • Visit the official website of the university or research institute offering the PhD course in Humanities. 
  • Seek for the PhD admission 2024 section and look for PhD programs in Humanities. 
  • Fill out the online application form with accurate and detailed information. 
  • Upload the required documents, like personal documents like identity proof, letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, and research proposal. 
  • Pay the application fee as stated by the university or research institute. 
  • Submit the application before the specified deadline for a successful admission.

PhD in Humanities: Eligibility

The eligibility criteria for PhD in Humanities includes: 

  • Under graduation or master’s degree in a relevant subject from a recognized university. 
  • Minimum qualifying marks are 55% and above in the qualifying examination. 
  • Relaxation of 5% in minimum qualifying marks for SC/ST/OBC/PWD candidates as per government norms. 
  • Qualifying in the university’s entrance exam or national-level exams like UGC-NET, CSIR-NET, or GATE (if applicable).
Phd in humanities Entrance Exam

PhD in Humanities: Entrance Exam

There is a specific criterion for the entrance exam: 

  • Some universities or research institutes choose to have their own entrance exams, while some qualify based on the common national-level exams like UGC-NET, CSIR-NET, or GATE.  
  • The entrance exam is taken to access the aspirant’s capabilities like subject knowledge expertise, research aptitude, critical thinking, and critical writing skills.  
  • The PhD Entrance Exam Syllabus includes several multiple-choice questions (MCQs) or descriptive questions on topics in relevance to the aspirants chosen field of study.  
  • The entrance test includes patterns and PhD syllabus according to the subject and specific guidelines given by the university, but it is usually divided into several different sections including research methodology, subject-specific knowledge, and general aptitude.

PhD in Humanities: Selection Criteria

Selection criteria for PhD in Humanities may differ from university to university, research institute, and the chosen course for advanced study. Some basic selection criteria include: 

  • Academic Record: Most of the universities and research institutes need a strong academic background along with highly qualified educational skills in Undergraduate or postgraduate degrees. 
  • Research Proposal: Aspirants are usually made to submit a detailed research proposal describing the various key features of their proposed research topic, literature, methodology etc. The topic of the research proposal should be very unique in relevance to the field of study.  This is further considered to analyze the originality of the proposed research. 
  • Letter of Recommendation: Letters of recommendation from professional experts and university mentors working with the candidates’ academic research abilities are required and must be attached to the applicant’s form for getting an advanced PhD Degree in Humanities. 
  • Statement of Purpose (SOP): Statement of Purpose is required for stating the applicant’s studies, research interests for the PhD degree. 
  • Entrance Tests: Some universities or research institutes may also require aspirants to qualify for a national standardized common test like CSIR UGC NET, UGC NET, IIT JAM, NPAT, and Gate. While some universities and research institutes take their own entrance exams like Symbiosis International University. 
  • Interviews: In mostly all the necessary cases, aspirants may need to attend in-person or virtual interviews to discuss various research interests and goals. 
  • Work experience: Some specific work experience, mainly in research or in an academic area, may turn out to be a necessary requirement for some universities but mostly not all.
  • Publications and presentations: Aspirants who have presented research papers at conferences or who have already published research papers may receive an edge over other aspirants.

PhD in Humanities: Top Colleges

The top best PhD in humanities colleges are: 

  • Sunrise University, 
  • Capital University, 
  • Mangalayatan University, 
  • UPES University, 
  • Amity University 
  • SRM University 
  • Birla Institute of technology and science 
  • Indira Gandhi National Open University

PhD in Humanities: Syllabus

The syllabus for a PhD in Humanities and social sciences is diverse, which varies depending on the university and the specialization considered by the aspirant. However, the syllabus is designed to provide students with a deep understanding of their chosen field of study and the research skills necessary to contribute to the advancement of knowledge in the humanities.

Syllabus usually covers: 
  • Research Methodology 
  • Theory and Criticism 
  • Specialized Courses in Literature, History, Philosophy, Linguistics, Cultural Studies, Religious Studies, Visual and Performing Arts 
  • Seminar Courses 
  • Independent Research 
  • Elective Courses 
  • Language Requirement

Tip and Tricks for PhD Course

Some useful tips and tricks are: 

  • Stay focused throughout the admission journey 
  • Prepare a proper planner or schedule to prepare well for course 
  • Get help from researchers, professionals, and mentors. 
  • Start thinking about your research topic and objectives as soon as possible. 
  • Participate in academic conferences, seminars, and workshops to present your research. 
  • Starting collaborating with fellow PhD students can provide fresh perspectives and insights into your research.

Final Thoughts

Through extensive research, critical analysis, and academic discovery, students in the humanities can gain a deep understanding of human nature and make insightful contributions to the field of humanities. While the road to a PhD in Humanities may be hard and tiring, it is also full of opportunities for personal as well as professional growth. Embrace the challenges, celebrate your achievements, and remember that your work can make a meaningful impact on academia and beyond.

So, take the upcoming challenges, gear up yourself, cherish the new experiences, and let your curiosity and imagination guide you as you pave the road to the word of Humanities

Frequently Asked Questions

Graduates with a PhD in Humanities can pursue careers as Policy Analysts, Program Officers, Research Consultants, Public Relations Specialists, Communications Directors, Program Managers, and Development Directors, among others.

Common entrance exams include CSIR UGC NET, UGC NET, IIT JAM, NPAT, and Gate, depending on the university and specialization

Some universities offer PhD in Humanities online or part- time but the availability may vary. It is advisable to check with individual universities for their specific offerings.

The admission process usually involves an entrance exam followed by an interview. Some universities also offer direct admissions based on merit.

Specializations include Literature, History, Philosophy, Linguistics, Cultural Studies, Religious Studies, and Visual and Performing Arts, etc.

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