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PhD Geotechnical Engineering – Eligibility, Admission, Syllabus, Institutes, Scope

PhD Geotechnical Engineering is a full-time doctoral program in geotechnical engineering. It’s a research-based program that takes 3-5 years to complete. Geotechnical engineering, also known as geotechnics, is a branch of engineering that studies the behavior of rocks and soils from an engineering standpoint. Engineering geology and ground engineering are included in this branch of science. Furthermore, the field entails evaluating slope stability as well as the risk of rockfall, landslides, and avalanches. 

The course provides advanced, in-depth knowledge of soil behavior under the influence of loading forces and soil-water interactions. Students will learn how to use soil and rock mechanic principles in the investigation and study of subsurface materials and conditions during this course.

Because geotechnical engineering is concerned with the engineering behavior of earth materials, it includes tasks such as investigating subsurface conditions and materials, designing retaining structures such as dams and embankments, monitoring site conditions, foundation construction, evaluating the stability of natural slopes, and assessing and preventing risks from natural hazards such as rock-slides and earthquakes.


PhD in Geotechnical Engineering: An Overview

The following table lists the major highlights of the PhD Geotechnical Engineering program:

Level of CourseDoctorate 
Also referred asDoctorate of Philosophy in Geotechnical Engineering 
Duration of Course3 Years 
Eligibility CriteriaMaster’s degree 
Process of AdmissionMerit Based/ Entrance Based 
Fee for the CourseINR 10,000-2,00,000 
Average Salary 
Per Annum
INR 2,00,000 to 10,00,000 
Profiles of JobCivil Engineer, Site Civil Engineer, Structural Engineer, Technical Officer, Business Analyst, Quality Assurance Officer 
Top Areas of RecruitmentRoad Construction Companies, Railways, R&D Centers, Infrastructure Development Companies, Colleges and Universities 
Top Hiring FirmsL&T, Unitech, Tata Projects, Sobha Developers Limited, Hindustan Construction Companies etc. 

PhD Geotechnical Engineering Eligibility

Aspirants who want to pursue a PhD in geotechnical engineering must meet the following minimum eligibility requirements:

  • Candidates must hold a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering, Civil Infrastructure Engineering, Architecture Engineering, Geo-Informatics Engineering, or Structural Engineering from an accredited university.
  • Candidates must have a minimum 60 percent aggregate score in their post-graduate degree program.
  • Candidates who are taking their Master’s degree final examination are also eligible to apply for this course.

PhD Geotechnical Engineering Syllabus

Geotechnical Engineering (PhD) Throughout the course, students are required to study a diverse range of subjects. The following is the year-by-year course syllabus: 

First Year Second Year
Building Technology Civil Engineering Drawing 
Electrical Engineering, Electronics and Instrumentation Open Channel Hydraulic Machinery 
Structural Analysis Geotechnical Engineering 
Fluid Mechanics Transportation Engineering 
Engineering Geology Fluids Laboratory 
Third Year
Environmental Engineering 
Irrigation Engineering 
Engineering Economics and Principles of Management 
Design of Hydraulic Structures 
Design and Drawing of RC Structures 

PhD in Geotechnical Engineering Admission Procedure

The admissions process for PhD geotechnical engineering courses varies by college. The majority of colleges grant admission to this course based on the candidates’ entrance exam scores and performance in the personal interview round conducted by the respective colleges/universities.

However, only a few colleges offer admission to this program based on master’s level achievement. Candidates have the option of applying both online and offline. 

Some of the basic steps in the admissions process have been outlined here.

  • If the college or university allows direct admission based on a candidate’s merit, you must do well in the master’s degree program.
  • The application form is available on the college premises. Fill out the application form completely, including all the required information, documents, and the application fee.
  • The college authorities will release merit lists after evaluating all applications. Candidates will be considered for admission if they achieve the cut-off rank.

Application Process

  • Visit the respective colleges or universities’ official websites and register there by providing some basic personal information such as your email address, phone number, and password.
  • Filling out the application form completely and accurately, including all the required information. Make certain that the information you provide is accurate and complete.
  • Scan and upload all required documents in the given format, including mark-sheets, certificates, photographs, and more, as well as pay the application fee online and submit.
  • After reviewing all applications, the college admissions committee will issue admit cards for the entrance exam. Few institutes will accept scores from national-level entrance exams such as GATE, UGC NET, and others.
  • Candidates who have cleared the cut-off rank will be shortlisted for the personal interview session after their entrance exam scores have been evaluated.
  • Candidates who pass the interview round will be given the opportunity to enroll after document verification and payment of the admission fee.

PhD Geotechnical Engineering: Ranking by NIRF

NIRF by RankingInstitute Name  Process of AdmissionAverage Fee 
(Annually)
Average Salary 
Per Annum
IIT, Hyderabad Entrance Based INR 49,300 INR 12,00,000 
41 SRM University, Kanchipuram Entrance Exam + Interview INR 3,00,000 INR 2,60,000 
53 Jodhpur National University, Jodhpur Entrance Exam + PI INR 1,34,000 INR 4,60,000 
57 Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad Entrance Exam + PI INR 60,000 INR 9,50,000 
99 Lovely Professional University, Jalandhar LPU NEST + PI INR 3,16,000 INR 7,00,000 

PhD in Geotechnical Engineering: Focus Areas

The PhD Geotechnical Engineering program focuses on the behavior of soils under the influence of loading forces as well as soil-water interactions.

  • During this course, students will learn about foundation design, geo-synthetics, and clay liners used in construction projects.
  • The course will teach students how to apply engineering principles to ensure a structure’s stability in the event of earthquakes, mudslides, or other natural disasters in the future.
  • The goal of this course is to prepare professionals to work in foundation design, temporary excavation support, highway and railway route selection, landfill disposal, groundwater contamination, and other related fields.
  • The course instructs students on advanced technical principles for determining the most critical details, such as the physical, chemical, and mechanical properties of subsurface materials and structures.
  • During this course, students will receive both theoretical and practical training in the design and construction of structures, as well as technical knowledge.
  • Students interested in taking this course should have a creative approach to solving problems, as well as advanced numeric analysis, computer literacy, and other skills.

PhD Geotechnical Engineering: Important Entrance Exams

Some national-level and university-level entrance exams are held for PhD Geotechnical Engineering course admission. The following are some of the most popular entrance exams for PhD candidates in geotechnical engineering: 

  • DUET: The NTA administers the Delhi University Entrance Test, a national-level entrance exam for admission to various courses offered by Delhi University colleges. 
  • GATE:The Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering is a national-level entrance exam administered by the National Testing Agency each year for admission to various engineering programs.
  • UGC-NET: It is a national-level entrance exam conducted by the University Grant Commission to select the most eligible candidates for assistant professorship or junior research fellowship programs. 
  • LPU NEST: It is a university-level common entrance test held twice a year for admission to the Lovely Professional University’s various courses. 

PhD Geotechnical Engineering: Preparation Plan

If you want to pass the PhD Geotechnical Engineering entrance exams with a high cut-off score, you must be well-prepared before taking the test. We’ve put together a list of important pointers to keep in mind:

  • Candidates must be well-versed in the most recent exam pattern. Exam pattern information can be found on the official websites of the respective colleges and universities.
  • Attempt to gain a thorough understanding of the entrance exam syllabus and prepare accordingly. The exam syllabus can be downloaded from the exam conducting body’s official website.
  • The majority of the questions on the entrance exam are multiple-choice. There are sometimes negative markings, so don’t guess and only mark an answer if you’re certain.
  • Examine sample question papers and question sheets from previous years. It will assist you in identifying your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Regular revision is required to pass any entrance exam. Every day of preparation will aid you in being well prepared for the examination.
  • Keep yourself informed by reading the newspaper on a regular basis. It will assist you in gaining current-events knowledge.
  • It is critical to keep track of time. You must schedule time for preparation on a regular basis to achieve a good score on the entrance exam.
  • Candidates must be familiar with the most recent exam format. Exam patterns can be found on the respective colleges’ and universities’ official websites.
  • Make an effort to comprehend the entrance exam syllabus completely and prepare accordingly. The exam syllabus can be found on the official website of the exam conducting body.
  • On the entrance exam, the majority of the questions are multiple-choice. Negative markings can occur, so don’t guess and only mark an answer if you’re certain.
  • Examine previous year’s sample question papers and question sheets. It’ll help you figure out your strengths and weaknesses.
  • To pass any entrance exam, you must revise frequently. Each day of preparation will help you be well prepared for the exam.
  • Reading the newspaper on a regular basis will keep you informed. It will assist you in learning about current events.
  • Keeping track of time is essential. To get a good score on the entrance exam, you must set aside time for preparation on a regular basis.
  • The master’s degree score is used as an eligibility criterion by colleges offering PhD Geotechnical Engineering courses. As a result, at the master’s level, a 60 percent aggregate score is required.
  • The majority of colleges admit students to this program based on their performance on national or university-level entrance exams. Prepare thoroughly for the entrance exam.
  • Begin studying for the entrance exam at least a year in advance of the exam date. This will assist you in improving your performance and self-assurance.
  • Candidates who pass the entrance exam are required to attend the personal interview round. As a result, you must also be prepared for the interview.
  • Examine the course offerings at the colleges to get a better idea of the faculty members.
  • It is necessary to have a clear understanding of the placement situation at the respective colleges and universities. Keep up with the latest news, admissions procedures, and other information.
  • Above all, try to submit the completed application form before the deadline; otherwise, your application will be rejected.

PhD in Geotechnical Engineering: Top Institutes

In India, the PhD in Geotechnical Engineering course is taught in a number of prestigious colleges and universities. Some of India’s well-known PhD geotechnical academic institutions include:

Ranking by NIRFInstitute Name Average Fee 
(Annually)
Average Salary 
Per Annum
IIT INR 49,300 INR 12,00,000 
24 Bharath University INR 2,00,000 INR 6,00,000 
41 SRM University INR 3,00,000 INR 2,60,000 
53 Jodhpur National University INR 1,34,000 INR 4,60,000 
57 Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University INR 60,000 INR 9,50,000 
59 CET INR 31,225 INR 6,00,000 
62 CUSAT INR 1,03,000 INR 4,94,000 
99 Lovely Professional University INR 3,16,000 INR 7,00,000 
151 Jaypee University of Information Technology INR 46,000 INR 4,50,000 
164 Thejas Engineering College INR 1,68,000 INR 4,80,000 
151-200 Pacific University INR 70,000 INR 6,60,000 
151-200 Sharda University INR 1,80,000 INR 6,28,000 
217 GNDEC INR 1,95,000 INR 3,50,000 
201-250 MRECINR 56,000 INR 2,50,000 
– Shri Jagdishprasad Jhabarmal Tibrewala University INR 1,81,000 INR 4,25,000 

PhD Geotechnical Engineering: Important Documents Required

  • A character certificate (from the head of the institute from which the student has obtained his qualifying degree)
  • Gap certificate (if applicable)
  • Migration Certificate (No objection certificate from the university last attended)
  • Documentary proof of the date of birth
  • Research Proposal
  • passing/degree certificate of the last qualifying degree examination.
  • No objection certificate from the employer (if employed)
  • Mark-list of the last qualifying degree examination

Students should be aware that if the aforementioned certificates are not attached to their application, their application will not be taken into account for admission.


PhD Geotechnical Engineering and PhD Civil Engineering: Key Differences

A comparison of PhD geotechnical engineering and PhD civil engineering on various major parameters is shown in the table below.

Basis of ComparisonPhD Geotechnical Engineering PhD Civil Engineering 
Qualification Doctorate Level Doctorate Level 
HighlightThis course provides advanced knowledge of soil behavior under the influence of loading forces and soil-water interactions.The program provides advanced training in the design, construction, and maintenance of structures such as roads, dams, bridges, canals, railways, and sewage systems.
Duration of Course3-5 years 4-5 years 
Type of ExaminationSemester Based Semester Based 
Eligibility CriteriaMaster’s degree in Architecture Engineering/ Geo-Informatics Engineering/ Structural Engineering/ Civil Engineering Master’s degree in Civil Engineering or any branch of engineering from a recognized university 
Process of AdmissionMerit or Entrance Based Merit or Entrance Based 
Average Fees 
(Annually)
INR 10,000-2,00,000 INR 19,000-73,000 
InstitutesLovely Professional University, Sharda University, IIT Hyderabad, SRM University, Jodhpur National University etc. IIT Delhi, IIT Kharagpur, IIT Roorkee, NIT Tiruchirappalli,IIT Madras IIT Varanasi etc. 
Average Salary 
Per Annum
INR 2,00,000-10,00,000 INR 2,00,000-9,00,000 
Roles of Job Site Civil Engineer, Technical Officer, Structural Engineer, Civil Engineer,Quality Assurance Officer, Technical Officer, Business Analyst, Manager etc.  Head Quality Controller, Civil Engineer, Project Coordinator, Project Manager, Site Engineer,Quality Assurance Manager, Project Procurement Manager etc. 

PhD Geotechnical Engineering: Important Book Recommendations

Given below the list of some of the most important books for PhD Geotechnical Engineering Course study: 

Book NameAuthor’s Name
Geotechnical Engineering (Soil Mechanics) Prof. T.G. Sitharam, Prof. T.N. Ramamurthy 
Foundations and Applications of Engineering Mechanics H.D. Ram and A.K. Chauhan 
Structural Analysis R C Hibbeler 
A Textbook of Fluid Mechanics and Hydraulic Machines R.K. Bansal 
Irrigation and Water Power Engineering Dr. B C Punamia 

PhD Geotechnical Engineering: A Comparison among Institutes

The table below compares India’s top three PhD Geotechnical Engineering colleges based on a variety of factors such as NIRF ranking, admission process, course fee, average placement packages, and so on. 

Institute NameIIT Lovely Professional University SRM University 
HighlightIt is a UGC-recognized top-ranked engineering college in India. This institute offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs in Engineering and Science.It is a UGC-accredited private institute that offers 200+ undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs in 55 different disciplines.It is a top-ranked university in India that offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degree programs in Management, Engineering, Science, Medicine, and Humanities, among other fields.. 
Place Hyderabad Jalandhar Kanchipuram 
Ranking by NIRF99 41 
Eligibility CriteriaMaster’s degree in the relevant discipline Master’s degree/ M.Phil in relevant discipline with 55% aggregate Master’s or PG Diploma in the relevant discipline 
Process of AdmissionEntrance Based LPU NEST + Personal Interview Entrance Exam + Interview 
Average Fees 
(Annually)
INR 49,300 INR 3,16,000 INR 3,00,000 
Average Salary
Per Annum 
INR 12,00,000 INR 7,00,000 INR 2,60,000

PhD Geotechnical Engineering: Top Foreign Institutes

  • The University of Surrey
  • Trinity College, Dublin 
  • University of Washington
  • Northwestern University
  • Texas A & M University
  • University of Dundee 
  • The University of Auckland 
  • University of Exeter 
  • University of Birmingham
  • University of Leeds 
  • The University of Queensland 
  • University of New South Wales
  • National University of Singapore
  • Newcastle University 
  • The University of Hong Kong 

PhD in Geotechnical Engineering: Job Profiles

Candidates who successfully complete the PhD in Geotechnical Engineering course will have numerous job and career opportunities.PhD holders in Geotechnical Engineering can find work in a variety of fields, including construction, road construction, railways, research and development, and infrastructure development.

Some of the most popular and potentially lucrative job options for PhD geotechnical engineers are listed below: 

Profile of Job Description of Job Average Annual Salary 
Civil Engineer While civil project engineers begin a new building construction project, civil engineers are responsible for providing an estimate of the materials cost and expected project completion time. Aside from that, they have to work with the blueprints that the civil project engineers have drawn and studied. INR 3,25,000 
Site Civil Engineer Their primary responsibility is to direct and evaluate a project, as well as to thoroughly survey the area in which the project will take place. Aside from that, they must pay special attention to government codes and environmental concerns that must be addressed prior to the start of the construction project.INR 2,40,000 
Technical Officer They must examine business structures and ensure that the company’s internet and web systems are functioning properly. They primarily work in an office setting, despite the fact that they must monitor and troubleshoot hardware in server and system areas.INR 6,14,000 
Manager Their primary responsibility is to plan and organize various government and private-sector activities. They are primarily in charge of monitoring expense reports, analyzing internal programs for cost-benefit approaches, and planning and coordinating various educational assignments for the company’s employees.INR 7,75,000 

Some other important Job Profiles are

  • Civil Engineer
  • Construction Manager
  • Technical Officer
  • Geotechnical Engineer
  • Business Operations Manager
  • A Public Health Engineer 
  • An Urban Planning Engineer
  • Transportation Engineer
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Site Civil Engineer
  • Business Analyst

PhD in Geotechnical Engineering: Benefits and Scope

  • Students interested in structural construction, soil mechanisms, and other related topics will benefit from the PhD Geotechnical Engineering program.
  • The course is worthwhile for students who want to pursue a career in research or as a subject matter expert in their chosen field.
  • Students with a PhD in Geotechnical Engineering can pursue career and job opportunities in both the government and private sectors.
  • Graduates can find work in major industries such as railways, road construction companies, research and development centers, construction companies, and infrastructure development companies, among others.
  • Students will be hired for major job roles such as civil engineer, site civil engineer, technical officer, structural officer, quality assurance officer, manager, business analyst, and others after completing this doctoral level course.
  • Aside from that, some of them want to work as assistant professors or lecturers at reputable colleges or universities.
  • Freshers can easily earn an average annual salary of INR 2,00,000 to INR 10,00,000 per year, depending on their skills and expertise in the field.

FAQs

How long does a PhD in Geotechnical Engineering take to complete?

A PhD in Geotechnical Engineering usually takes 3-5 years to complete.

What are the requirements for a PhD in Geotechnical Engineering?

Interested candidates must have earned a Master’s degree in a relevant discipline from a recognized university with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 60 percent.

Is there any kind of entrance exam required for this course?

The majority of universities have their own set of entrance exams. UGC NET, GATE, LPU NEST, and other national and university-level entrance exams are among the most popular.

What are the best colleges in India to study Geotechnical Engineering for a PhD?

Lovely Professional University, SRM University, IIT Hyderabad, Sharda University, Thejus Engineering College, Bharath University, and others are some of the most prestigious colleges or universities in India that offer PhD in Geotechnical Engineering.

What is the average cost of a PhD in Geotechnical Engineering?

The cost of a PhD in Geotechnical Engineering varies depending on the institute. However, the average tuition fee charged by India’s top colleges typically ranges from INR 10,000 to INR 200,000.

What job opportunities will be available to students after they complete this course?

Civil Engineer, Site Civil Engineer, Technical Officer, Structural Engineer, Quality Assurance Officer, Business Analyst, and others are the most common and popular job profiles for PhD Geotechnical Engineering degree holders.

What should a PhD Geotechnical Engineering degree holder’s starting salary be?

An average starting salary of INR 2,00,000 to 10,00,000 per annum can be expected after completing a PhD Geotechnical Engineering course.

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