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PhD Political Science: Eligibility, Admission, Syllabus, Top Colleges, Scope

Political science is a social science subject that focuses on teaching about the workings of the government, both state and federal, as well as other agencies, and whether that knowledge can be applied practically to improve the country as a whole. In India, a PhD Political Science is a doctoral-level course that lasts 1-3 years. However, part-time political science scholars will most likely have their time extended to a maximum of 5 years. It is a maximum of three years for a regular

The PhD in Political Science program is designed for students interested in advanced fields such as Area Studies, Public Policy, Law, Human Rights, Political Psychology, Violence and War Studies, and even topics related to business, globalization, financial economics, and other related fields. It gives people the flexibility and background they need to generate and express ideas, conduct quantitative and qualitative research, and analyze cross-effects between socioeconomic and cultural factors.

Candidates who complete this course can work in fields such as education, media and journalism, civil service, political firms, and government sector offices. Political Scientists, market trend research analysts, professors, public relations specialists, and survey researchers are the most common jobs offered to PhD political science graduates.


PhD Political Science: An Overview

Name of the CoursePhD in Political Science
Level of CourseDoctoral Degree
Also Referred asPh.D.- Doctorate of Philosophy 
Duration of Course1 to 3 years for regular PhD scholars.
For part-time, up to 5 years depending upon the registered University 
Type of ExaminationYear-wise course
Eligibility CriteriaAllied Post Graduation with around 60% and academic soundness as mandated by the admitting university 
Process of AdmissionEntrance-based (Institute level and national level exams)
Fee for CourseAround 2 Lakhs 
Average Salary
Per Annum
Around 10 LPA depending upon the experience 
Top Hiring Firms Transoplanet, Times of India, Poll Star, Quis Lex, NDTV, India Today, Oxynello, etc. 
Top Areas of Recruitment Accountancy, Media, Entertainment, Education Institutions, Civil Services, Political firms, Government sector, Banking, Public Utilities, etc. 
Positions of JobProfessor, Survey Researchers, Consultant, Market trend Research Analysts,Political Scientists, Public Relations Specialists, Political Research Associate, etc. 

PhD Political Science Eligibility

For admission to PhD Political Science, the majority of art institutions have a number of selection criteria or basic eligibility. The following are examples of eligibility criteria:

  • Candidates for PhD admission should have a PG/UG GPA of at least 55 percent from any reputable institution in the country.
  • When M.Phil. candidates are admitted to PhD programs, they are not required to take an entrance examination or complete course work, and they are considered to have met the UGC (Minimum guidelines and procedure for awarding M.Phil. or PhD degree) requirements.
  • In other cases, if a candidate has completed an M.Phil. at one university and then transfers to another for a PhD, the new university may credit and exempt the previous university’s course work. However, such an applicant will be required to take the same entrance exam as a new candidate who is enrolling in a PhD program for the first time. This procedure will be followed by candidates who have earned a PhD from a foreign university.
  • Some prestigious universities require candidates to pass an all-India level examination, such as the University Grants Commission’s “National Eligibility Test” (NET) for Lectureship. Candidates who are in their final year of a bachelor’s degree are eligible for the program. They must, however, attach attested copies of their qualifying diplomas and final transcripts.
  • Admission is granted following an interview held approximately one month prior to the start of the academic session for which admission is being pursued. If necessary, a written test may be added to the interview.
  • Some Indian institutions consider academic ability and research expertise when deciding whether or not to admit a student to a PhD program in political science.

PhD Political Science Syllabus

The following is a list of the subjects covered in this PhD Political Science program over the course of the program.

Paper 1- Research MethodologyPaper 2- State and Politics in South Asia
Foundations, Approaches and Epistemologies of Political Science ResearchContextualising South Asia
Survey Research MethodsProtracted Disputes, Human Security and Environmental Issues
Statistics and Data CollectionPolitical and Economic Challenges
Research DesignForeign Policies of South Asian Countries and Regional Cooperation Initiatives
Paper 3- Governance and Politics in IndiaPaper 4- Decentralization and Development in India
Approaches and Perspectives to Indian Political SystemDecentralization and Development in India
Party System in IndiaDecentralization and Community Empowerment
Protection for Minorities and Deprived GroupsDecentralization, Governance and the Structure of Local Political Institutions
Structural ConcernsParticipation and Local Development
Paper 5- India and International Political Economy
Political Economy
Land Reforms in India
International and Multilateral Economic Institutions and Developing Countries
Public Policy Analysis

PhD Political Science Admission Procedure

The following are the basic steps for applying for a PhD in Political Science in 2022

  • Create an account and login ID on the institution’s or exam’s official website using the correct phone number and email address.
  • To keep track of important dates, download and read the curriculum brochure.
  • Keep all scan copies of the required documents close at hand.
  • Fill out the application forms properly with accurate information to apply to colleges and entrance exams. If you provide false information, your application may be rejected later.
  • Applicants are invited for a personal interview after passing the entrance exam and verifying their academic background.
  • Those who pass all of the steps will be admitted to the program.
  • PhD can also be aided/funded through a variety of schemes/fellowships. As a result, candidates who require financial assistance should apply.

Several academic institutions recommend entrance exam-based admissions over merit-based admissions because a PhD is expected to be a very difficult course.

  • Even after entrance exams and a review of academic records, institutions such as IIT Gandhinagar and Amity University, Noida, conduct personal interviews with candidates.
  • Some institutions, such as Delhi University (DU) in New Delhi, have their own entrances.
  • Others chose common entrance exams such as the RET and PET, while NET and JRF-qualified applicants will not be required to take any individual institution-level entrance exams. They will, however, be required to attend a personal interview round if necessary.

Based on Entrance

  • The entrance exam is conducted independently by Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in New Delhi, the University of Hyderabad (UOH) in Hyderabad, and Banasthali Vidyapith University in Jaipur.
  • Candidates will have to go through the counseling process to finalize their seats after the entrance examination results are announced.
  • The minimum qualifying eligibility required to sit for the entrance exam and be admitted to the program is a master’s degree with a grade point average of 55 percent.
  • After the entrance exams and counselling process, universities such as Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) in New Delhi conduct a personal interview round.
  • During the entire admission process for a doctorate degree in Political Science, these institutions don’t ever consider academic performance. Admission is granted solely based on the results of the entrance exam.
  • However, some institutions, such as IIT Gandhinagar and Amity University, Noida, value both previous academic records and entrance exam scores equally.

PhD Political Science: Preparation Plan

Anyone who wants to pass the PhD entrance exams in political science must be familiar with the following sections:

  • major technical parts in social studies and politics in India.
  • Reasoning and quantitative parts if needed.
  • English Language
  • Prepare for the Enhanced level of the English Language, which includes the Undergraduate level.
  • Practice the numerical sections until you are confident in your ability to solve them completely.
  • After a thorough examination of analytical skills, numerous complex levels of reasoning skills can be improved.
  • Examine key political events that occurred in India prior to and after independence.
  • Examine the Indian Constitution, article by article, in light of its mandated goals.
  • Keep track of all the updates from the entrance exams you’ve taken.
  • Download the admissions and application information documents for the college or university to which admission is desired.
  • Prepare for the entrance exams by strategizing your action plans well ahead of time.
  • Make sure you’re familiar with all of the sections of the entrance exams you’ve chosen.
  • Keep in mind that some institutions consider PhD political science admission extremely important. As a result, match your academic soundness.
  • Keep track of all entrance exam dates, as the COVID-19 pandemic may have an impact on them.
  • Keep track of the time you spend on the numerical questions because candidates who perform well in the math sections have a better chance of succeeding.
  • Practice mock tests to familiarize yourself with the exam format.

PhD Political Science: Important Entrance Exams

Entrance-based admissions are preferred by the majority of institutions over merit-based admissions. Many Indian institutions have common entrance exams.

  • RET: The acronym RET stands for “Research Entrance Test.” The University of Calcutta, Kolkata, administers this entrance exam for the enrollment of research scholars in Political Science.
  • PET: PET stands for “PhD Entrance Test” and can be abbreviated as such. This entrance is for PhD admissions only and is held by Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University (BAMU), Aurangabad.
  • The University Grants Commission (UGC) National Eligibility Test (UGC NET) : UGC NET stands for University Grants Commission (UGC) National Eligibility Test. This entrance exam is administered by the University Grants Commission (UGC) on behalf of the Indian government in order to facilitate admission to a variety of courses, including a PhD in Political Science. The passing of this exam by itself can exempt you from several entrance exams held across the country.
  • The Combined Research Entrance Test (CRET) CRET stands for Combined Research Entrance Test. Every year, Assam University, Silchar holds this entrance exam for admission to M.Phil and PhD programs.
  • Delhi University Entrance Test (DUET) : DUET stands for Delhi University Entrance Test. Every year, Delhi University, New Delhi, conducts the DUET exam for admissions to its research programs.

PhD Political Science: Focus Areas

PhD in Political Science encompasses a wide range of the political science field in which the applicant has chosen to conduct their research. The following is a general description of the course:

  • This course necessitates a thorough understanding of Indian politics as well as the political landscapes of other related countries, with a focus on governance, community empowerment, the economy, decentralization, and development in India.
  • These subjects will be divided up on a yearly basis, depending on the mode of education chosen, such as full-time or part-time.
  • Candidates must choose a research topic on which to conduct their research. More information on the chosen topics will be provided to the candidates.
  • Students will be required to carry out case studies on the Indian economy and politics and present the findings in their thesis.
  • Candidates could apply for a post-doctoral degree in political science after completing this course.

PhD Political Science: Top Institutes

In India, there are 213 institutions that offer specialized doctoral courses in political science (110 government and 103 private). Of all these 213 institutions, 47 are included in the NIRF rankings for 2021, which were released worldwide by the MHRD to recognize the best private and government educational institutions.

As a result, we’ve compiled a list of the top government and non-government organizations.

Ranking by NIRF InstitutePlaceAverage Fee
(Annually)
Average Salary
Per Annum
2Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU)New Delhi1,38112,00,000
6University of Hyderabad [UOH]Hyderabad9,94010,00,000
7University of CalcuttaKolkata7,72,000
10Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI)New Delhi13,87010,00,000
11Delhi University (DU)New Delhi70,0008,00,000
69Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University (BAMU)Aurangabad25,0003,00,000
101-150 Assam UniversitySilchar26,545
101-150 Annamalai University [AU]Chidambaram25,0106,50,000

PhD Political Science: Important Books Recommended

The five main subjects in the PhD in Political Science are covered in the following reference books:

Book NameAuthor’s Name
Contemporary Hermeneutics—Hermeneutics as Method, Philosophy and CritiqueBleicher J
Methods Tools and TechniquesGopal and Jain
Research Methods in the Social SciencesNachmias D and Nachmias C
Research Methodology in Political Science: Theory & AnalysisVerma S
‘Situating India’ in India: Emerging PowerStephen P and Cohen
The Camphor Flame: Popular Hinduism and Society in IndiaFuller C J
South Asian Growth Quadrangle: Framework for Multifaceted CooperationMuchkund and Dubey
The New International Politics of South AsiaHewitt and Vernon
The Indian Constitution: Cornerstone of a NationGranville and Austin
Social Change and Political Discourse in India: Structures of Power, Movements of ResistanceSathyamurthy T V
Democracy and Decentralisation in South Asia and West Africa: Participation, Accountability and PerformanceJ. Manor, Crook, and R.C.
Democracy, Decentralisation and DevelopmentHenry and Maddick
The Politics of India Since IndependencePaul R and Brass
Democracy and Discontent: India’s Growing Crisis of GovernabilityAtul and Kohli

PhD Political Science: Important Skills Required

A course in political science teaches the students a few other essential skills that are necessary for a successful career in the field, in addition to gaining a great deal of knowledge about politics and governments in India and abroad. To top it off, candidates must work to improve their skill sets in a few other areas.

  • Political Science students should be able to read and understand work-related material, understand written information with a fairly complex vocabulary, comprehend verbal information clearly, communicate clearly such that listeners can comprehend, listen well, and ask relevant questions.
  • Candidates should be able to analyse ideas and use relevant logic to determine their strengths and weaknesses, use reasoning to find solutions to various types of problems, acknowledge the nature of a problem, come up with new ideas, combine multiple pieces of information to reach a conclusion, develop rules that can group items in various ways, concentrate and not easily become distracted, follow guidelines effectively, and judge a situation.
  • Candidates must have exceptional management skills in order to manage themselves and others with whom they must collaborate. Because piles of work must sometimes be dealt with, great work and time management skills are also required.
  • Working with Others: Candidates must establish a certain decorum and work demeanor when working with others. They should try to understand others’ reactions and deduce the likely causes, notice changes in behavior in relation to specific actions, persuade others to change their approaches for better results, and teach others how to do specific things.

PhD Political Science and PhD Public Administration: Key Differences

We have provided a comparison between PhD Political Science and PhD Public Administration below.

Basis of ComparisonPhD Political Science PhD Public Administration 
HighlightThis doctoral degree focuses on the theories and practices used in India’s political arena. Politics’ schemes and history are very well discussed.It is in charge of putting various government policies into effect. It primarily focuses on the government’s techniques for proper administration.
Type of ExaminationYear-wise regular and part-time Course.Year wise regular and part-time Course.
Average Fees
(Annually)
INR 2,00,000INR 2,00,000
Duration of CourseRegular PhD students can expect to be in school for one to three years.
Part-time studies can last up to 5 years, depending on the registered university.
Regular PhD students can expect to be in school for one to three years.
Part-time studies can last up to 8 years, depending on the registered university.
Eligibility CriteriaRelevant PG Post Graduation in Arts. Relevant PG Post Graduation in Arts. 
Process of Admission Entrance-based (Institute/ national level entrance)Entrance-based (Institute/ national level entrance)
Job Profiles Professor, Survey Researchers, Consultant, Market trend Research Analysts, Political Scientists, Public Relations Specialists, Political Research Associate, etc.  Corporate Managers, Labor Managers, Administrative Officers,Public Relations Specialists. 
Average Salary 
Per Annum
INR 8 to 10 LPA depending upon the expertise.INR 8 LPA depending upon the expertise.

PhD in Political Science: Top Foreign Institutes

As you may be aware, universities such as the Ivy League in the United States, the London School of Economics and Political Science in the United Kingdom, the University of Toronto in Canada, and others have established themselves as renowned names when it comes to pursuing a PhD in Political Science and other political science courses. There are, however, a number of new study abroad destinations and options that have steadily risen in rankings, have globally recognized faculty, and offer exciting opportunities to pursue a career in political science, among other fields. We’ll go over a few of them here.

Institute NamePlaceRankOffered Courses
Duke UniversityUSA20PhD in Politics, Public Life & Governance
University of EdinburghUK30PhD Politics & International Relations
King’s College LondonUK35
MPhil/PhD Politics Research
MPhil/PhD Political Economy Research
MPhil/PhD in International politics Economy
PhD in Russian & Eurasian Studies
University of Texas-AustinUSA44PhD in American Politics
Georgia Institute of TechnologyUSA38PhD in History & Sociology of Technology & Science-US Society and Politics/Policy Perspectives
Australian National UniversityAustralia59
PhD in International Politics & Strategic Studies
PhD in Political Science & International Relations
PhD in Diplomacy
University of ManchesterUK51PhD Politics
The University of QueenslandAustralia62PhD Government
PhD Government/History

Future Trends in PhD Political Science

Many new research topics and areas of interest emerge from time to time in the ever-changing, ever-dynamic world of politics, prompting people to ask questions and explore ideas further. The following are some hot topics of debate and emerging trends in political science that can be seen today:

  • Right to Same-Sex Marriage and LGBTQ Adoption The millennial generation, also known as Generation Z, has recently proven to be quite politically active, organizing and carrying out numerous protests in support of LGBTQ rights.Questions about gay marriage, LGBT adoption rights, and other related issues were sent to governments all over the world, leading to the legalization of same-sex marriage in countries such as Germany, Malta, Colombia, Greenland, Ireland, Finland, Luxembourg, Scotland, England, Brazil, and many others.
  • Abortion Rights- A relatively new topic that has sparked intense debate around the world, many laws are passed granting a woman the choice to abort her child in a variety of circumstances.
  • Following the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s been a lot of scapegoating, hate, scaremongering, and xenophobia, with various communities being blamed for the virus’s spread. 
  • Anti-foreigner sentiment, migrant and refugee detentions, and anti-Muslim attacks have all spread across the globe.
  • Many communities have been enraged and resentful as a consequence of global preaching of hate symbols and vilifying speech, and governments all over the world are pleading for this movement to be kept under control.

PhD Political Science: Important Job Profiles

market trend Research Analysts, Political Scientists, Public Relations Specialists, Survey Researchers, and Research Analysts are the most common roles for PhD Political Science holders. The average salary for these doctorate holders is between INR 5 and 15 LPA per annum. After completing their PhD in Political Science, research scholars are mostly employed in industries that require knowledge of Indian politics. Companies such as NDTV, Transoplanet, Times of India, Pollstar QuisLex, India Today, Oxynello, and others are hiring for political and research/analysis-related positions.

The following are some of the most popular PhD political science job roles and their associated salaries:

  • Legal Adviser to Political Parties
  • Civil Services (Indian Administrative Services, Indian Foreign Services)
  • Secretary to government departments 
  • Banking Analyst or Executive
  • Journalism
  • Budget Examiner or Analyst
  • Human Rights Activists
  • Foreign Service Officer
  • Immigration Officer
  • Legislative Assistant
  • Policy Analyst
  • Career Counselor
  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Politician 
  • Election and Campaign Manager
  • Teacher/ Professor 
  • Corporate Manager
  • Advocate/Organizer
  • Mediator
  • Political Scientist
  • NGO
  • Public Affairs Research Analyst
  • Congressional Officer/Committee Staffer
Profile of Job Description of JobAverage Salary
Per Annum
Political ScientistResponsibilities include preparing political reports based on the assertions and advancements seen in Political6 LPA
Market trend Research AnalystsThey are in charge of investigating a wide range of data using three basic questionnaires: What, Who, and How. 4 LPA
ProfessorIn charge of educating and training individuals in the discipline of Political Science, which deals with Indian politics.10 LPA
Public Relations SpecialistsThey are in charge of raising brand awareness and company to which they have been assigned.6 LPA
Survey ResearchersThey are primarily in charge of designing surveys based on the information gathered and available for analysis.5 LPA
Research AnalystsThey are able to analyze the given data and generating accurate/factual information from it.4 LPA

PhD Political Science-Average Estimated Salary

While salaries vary greatly depending on years of experience, job profile, and a variety of other factors, the following are the average annual salaries for certain political science job profiles:

Profile of JobAverage Salary Per Annum
Civil Services (Indian Administrative Services/Indian Financial Services)Rs. 6.73 – Rs. 30.00 Lakhs p.a. (Approx.)
Political ScientistRs. 6.00 Lakhs p.a. (Approx.)
Legislative AssistantRs. 2.76 Lakhs p.a. (Approx.)
Social Media ManagerRs. 9.60 Lakhs p.a. (Approx.)
Political ConsultantRs. 5.56 Lakhs p.a. (Approx.)
Policy AnalystRs. 5.50 Lakhs p.a. (Approx.)
Public Relations SpecialistRs. 4.50 Lakhs p.a. (Approx.)

PhD Political Science: Benefits and Scope

The majority of PG graduates choose to pursue a PhD in Political Science for the following reasons:

  • Postgraduate candidates tend to be passionate about Indian politics, the economy, and development. As a result, a doctoral degree will provide them with numerous research opportunities as well as expertise in their chosen field.
  • The projects that will be funded have the following scope:
  • Doctoral holders in Political Science have a better chance of receiving government and non-government funding for their research.
  • Good Annual CTC: Because of their lack of research knowledge and skills, PG graduates in Political Science usually receive a lower annual CTC. On the other hand, holders of PhD in Political Science tend to earn a higher annual CTC of around 10 lakhs because they have a wide range of research skills and knowledge in politics and the Indian economy.
  • Studying Abroad’s Scope:
  • These doctoral holders have a chance to get placed or work in many foreign countries because they hold one of the most prestigious degrees in their discipline and have been subjected to continuous knowledge gathering in many countries’ politics.
  • Because these candidates are experts in Indian and other countries’ politics, they may be able to work in polling firms that determine leadership in some countries.

FAQs

What does it mean to have a PhD in Political Science?

PhD Political Science is an arts degree that stands for Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science.

Can you name a few prestigious private universities that offer PhD programs in political science?

The top private institutions that offer PhD Political Science are Amity University and Banasthali Vidyapith University.

Which of the following eligibility tests exempts candidates from taking a number of entrance exams?

The National Eligibility Test (NET) is a national level entrance exam that exempts candidates from taking the majority of the entrance exams administered by India’s educational institutions.

Can you name a few prestigious government institutions that offer PhD programs in political science?

The top governmental institutions offering PhD Political Science are Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI), and University of Hyderabad.

What is the best place to get a PhD in political science?

The top-ranked (NIRF 2021) institution offering PhD Political Science is Presidency College in Chennai.

What are the most common entrance exams for admission to a PhD program in Political Science?

The common entrance exams for PhD Political Science admission are the CRET, RET, and PET.

What industries pay well for a PhD in Political Science?

The market-trending analyzing, teaching, and polling sectors are the ones that pay well for a PhD in Political Science.

What is the value of pursuing a PhD in Political Science in India?

Pursuing a PhD in Political Science in India is significant because it qualifies one as a professional and leader in the fields of politics and economics.

What options do I have after completing a PhD in Political Science?

PhD Political Science holders may be hired internationally, in the Indian Civil Services, as market trend analysts, or as professors in educational institutions.

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