PhD History: Eligibility, Admission, Syllabus, Institutes, Scope

  • Posted 3 weeks ago

Mohit Dhulia

A PhD in History is a research-intensive doctoral-level program that can last anywhere from three to five years. It explains a broad range of prehistoric social, cultural, religious, political, and economic developments. It allows students to learn about some of history’s most important people, events, and cultures. After completing this course, PhD history graduates can choose to work as professors or lecturers in schools, colleges, or universities, or they can join any historical group that conducts research and publishes their findings on a global scale, or they can pursue personal research if they so desire.

The course consists primarily of research-based assignments, tours, a thesis, visits to historical sites, and materialistic history study. 

PhD History: An Overview

Level of CourseDoctorate
Also Referred AsDoctor of Philosophy in History
Duration of Course3 years
Type of ExaminationSemester-based
Eligibility CriteriaMaster’s Degree with a minimum of 55%
Process of AdmissionMerit-based / Entrance Examination
Fee for CourseINR 5,000 – 1 Lakh
Average Annual SalaryINR 2 – 12 LPA
Top Hiring FirmsEdison education, FIITJEE ltd, CACTUS communications private ltd, Accenture private ltd, IPE global limited
Positions of Job Researcher, History teacher, Corporate historian, Tutor, Historical Writer, etc.
Employment Area Art galleries, historical sites, Museums, national parks, archaeological survey of India

Relevant Links
Ph.D. (hindi) Ph.D. (sociology) Ph.D. (political Science)
Ph.D. (psychology) Ph.D. (geography) Ph.D. (tamil)

PhD History Eligibility

The following are the PhD in History  criteria for eligibility for being accepted into a college that offers this course:

  • Any aspiring candidates must have earned a minimum of 55 percent (50 percent for SC/ST/PH candidates) or an equivalent grade from a University or a recognized institution of higher learning after completing an M.Phil degree and a Postgraduate degree in a relevant discipline.
  • A master’s degree in a relevant discipline with a minimum of 55 percent (50 percent for SC/ST/PH candidates) or an equivalent grade from a university or a recognized institution of higher learning, as well as five years of senior-level teaching, industry, administration, or professional experience.
  • Students without an M.Phil. must pass a post-graduate history course with a minimum of 50% aggregate to be considered for direct admission to the PhD program. They must pass Part I of the examination. The thesis must be submitted within three years of the end of the three-year period.
  • For students with an M.Phil in History,   The Part I examination is cancelled for these students. The thesis has a two-year deadline for submission.

PhD History: Focus Areas

History is the study of the past with a particular focus on human activities over time. A PhD in history is a comprehensive academic degree awarded by many universities for in-depth research into any specific part of history.

  • PhD history is viewed as one of the highest degrees that anyone can earn in a few countries because it entails extensive study over long periods of time as well as research on the events in question.
  • The format for awarding a PhD in History to any candidate varies with location. While some colleges/universities may require detailed evidence of the studies completed to obtain the degree, others may only require the thesis and verification of the research work completed.
  • The degree of Doctor of Philosophy is not awarded in any particular order. Typically, the university or college provides the funds required for this type of research from the student welfare fund.
  • From prehistoric times to the present, PhD History tells the story of political, social, cultural, religious and economic developments. The lessons usually begin with an overview of the people’s behavior and major events that occurred during those times around the world.

PhD History Admission Procedure

Students are admitted to PhD history programs at most colleges and institutes based on their graduate degree level examination results. Some institutes, on the other hand, do administer entrance exams to assess a candidate’s abilities.

The two major pathways for PhD history admissions are as follows:

  • Based on Merit: The majority of private universities offering PhD history programs accept students based on their master’s graduate degree grades. In addition, these universities might conduct a personal interview or a brief written test to learn more about the candidate’s abilities.
  • Based on Entrance: Top PhD colleges such as Banaras Hindu University, Jamia Millia Islamia, University of Madras, and others offer admission to PhD history programs through entrance exams that typically consist of multiple-choice questions.

PhD History: Important Documents Required

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

Students should be aware that if the above documents are not attached to their application, their application may not be taken into account for admission.

PhD History: Important Entrance Examinations

Some academic institutions that offer PhD programs in history require applicants to take an entrance exam.Some of the most widely known PhD entrance examinations in history are listed below:

  • CSIR-UGC NET for JRF Entrance Exam: The National Testing Agency (NTA) administers the CSIR–UGC NET exam on behalf of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to screen applicants for Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) or lectureship positions in Indian universities and collegesThe UGCe UGC UGC NET Entrance Exam: The UGC NET for JRF, also known as the National Eligibility Test (NET) or NTA-UGC-NET, is a test used to determine whether or not a candidate is eligible for a Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) or an Assistant Professor award in Indian colleges and universities.
  • JMI Entrance Exam: Various research programs in M.Phil. and PhD courses are available at Jamia Millia Islamia. Candidates for PhD programs must have a Master’s Degree.

PhD History Syllabus

Even though the PhD history curriculum design varies by college, it generally consists of a few common core subjects that students can choose from depending on their interests.The table below lists the most common subjects and subjects included within the organized PhD history syllabus:

First YearSecond YearThird Year
Readings in trends in the historiography IReadings in trends in the historiography IIReadings in trends in the historiography III
Research Methodology IResearch methodology IIResearch Methodology III
Themes in early Indian history IThemes in early Indian history IIThemes in early Indian history III
Aspects of medieval India’s social-economic history IAspects of medieval India’s social-economic history IIAspects of medieval India’s social-economic history III
Debates in Modern Indian History IDebates in modern Indian History IIDebates in Modern Indian History III
Language Language Language 

PhD History: Courses Available Online

The face of education has changed as a result of online learning. Students can study at top faculties from anywhere in the world without having to relocate. Another benefit is that online courses will be much less expensive than traditional courses:

  1. Indiana University
  2. Liberty University
  3. University of Pennsylvania
  4. Iowa State University
  5. University of Rochester

PhD History: Top Institutes

The table below lists the best full-time institutes which offer the course.

InstitutePlaceAverage Fees
Average Salary
(Per Annum)
Banaras Hindu UniversityVaranasiINR 8,368INR 4 Lakhs
University of HyderabadHyderabadINR 9,940INR 6 Lakhs
University of CalcuttaKolkataINR 4,400INR 5.50 Lakhs
Jamia Millia IslamiaNew DelhiINR 20,000INR 5 Lakhs
Loyola CollegeChennaiINR 9,285INR 4 Lakhs
University of MysoreMysoreINR 11,000INR 8 Lakhs
University of MadrasChennaiINR 10,970INR 6.25 Lakhs
Banasthali VidyapeethJaipurINR 1,44,000INR 7.50 Lakhs
IIT BHUVaranasiINR 46,815INR 6.50 Lakhs
Utkal UniversityBhubaneswarINR 9,500INR 3 Lakhs

PhD History: Suitable Candidates for the Course

  • Students who are interested in learning about research and analyzing historical facts and data in depth will benefit from this course.
  • They also have qualities such as the ability to think objectively and approach challenges and future situations with a fresh perspective.
  • Applicants should also be able to recognize the critical factors that affect the activities of individuals and groups in society.
  • Candidates should also be able to construct a debate and communicate findings both orally and written in a clear and convincing way.

PhD History: Top Foreign Institutes

Many of the world’s top universities offer doctorate degrees in history and its diverse specializations. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most well-known universities and colleges that offer PhD programs in history:

  1. Queensland University
  2. University of Leeds
  3. Harvard University
  4. The University of Auckland
  5. University of Alberta
  6. American Business School, France
  7. Monash University
  8. Lancaster University
  9. Colorado State University
  10. University of Bayreuth.

PhD History: Preparation Plan

  • The PhD History entrance exam syllabus will differ from one institute to the next. Most exams, on the other hand, focus on historical knowledge and skills as they relate to current events.
  • In most subjects, the entire entrance exam is worth a maximum of 100 points, and the test lasts two hours or three hours depending on the subject.
  • The PhD entrance exam question paper is divided into two parts: one part contains objective type questions, and the other part contains subjective type of questions related to the subject.
  • Candidates should study the question papers from the previous year’s PhD entrance exams to get a sense of the format.
  • Students should consider purchasing study and practice materials for PhD (History) entrance exams in order to adequately prepare for them.
  • Every year, the application procedure for most institutes begins in January, and classes start in August.
  • Candidates are chosen for interviews after passing their respective entrance exams.
  • The best way to get into a good PhD college is to take the CSIR-NET and UGC-NET exams, and some colleges require GATE as a prerequisite.
  • Candidates must perform well on the respective entrance tests in order to gain admission to a good college for a PhD History program.

PhD History: Important Book Recommendations

A few of the PhD History subject books that could help students gain a wider and better insight of the course are listed below. Students can use the books listed below to help them pass numerous PhD History exams.

Book NameAuthor’s Name
Indian HistoryKrishna Reddy
Modern IndiaSumit Sarkar
Medieval IndiaSatish Chandra
India’s struggle for IndependenceBipan Chandra
The Wonder that was IndiaA.L. Basham

PhD History: A Comparison between Institutes

Basis of ComparisonBanaras Hindu UniversityLoyola College
HighlightThis  is a public university in Varanasi, and it is one of the country’s oldest. It is one of the top universities for those interested in pursuing a PhD.Loyola College was founded in 1925 and has students from all over the United States. Its PhD program is held in high regard among other bachelor’s degree programs in education.
Ranking by NIRF36
Average Fees
INR 8,368INR 9,285
Average Salary
(Per Annum)
INR 4 LakhsINR 4.50 Lakhs
Top Hiring Firms Coal India, ICICI Bank, Pantaloon, Visa Steel, IDBI Bank, FINO, Infosys, Ansal API, etc.Amazon, TCS. Wipro, Syntel, Stratagem, etc.

PhD History and PhD Ancient History: Key Differences

PhD history and PhD ancient history both have a promising future in the field of historical research and analysis. Many academic institutions in India prefer to offer both courses as part of their academic program.

For more comparison information, see the table below:

Basis of ComparisonPhD HistoryPhD Ancient History
Also Referred AsDoctor of Philosophy, HistoryDoctor of Philosophy, Ancient History
Duration of Course3 years3 years
Eligibility CriteriaMaster’s Degree with a minimum of 55%Post-graduation
Type of ExaminationSemester-basedSemester-based
Process of AdmissionMerit-based / Entrance ExaminationMerit-based / Entrance Examination
Profiles of JobResearcher, History teacher, Corporate historian, Tutor, Historical Writer, etc. Archaeologist, Editor, Associate Lecturer, Junior Research Fellow, Subject Matter Expert, Data History Analyst, Curriculum Design Consultant, Historian Researcher,etc.
Employment AreasArt galleries, historical sites, national parks, Museums, archaeological survey of IndiaMedia and Press, Educational institutions, Research Labs, Govt. research, Civil services, Museums, etc.
Average Annual FeesINR 5,000 – 1,00,000INR 4,000 – 1,00,000
Average Salary
(Per Annum)
INR 2 – 12 LPAINR 3 – 10 LPA

PhD History: Important Job Profiles

PhD History is one of the most popular arts careers in India, with students choosing to research and analyse historical facts and data. For history graduates, there are numerous job opportunities in India and in many other countries.

  • After earning the degree of PhD History, people can start as professors or lecturers in Universities or join any historical group who carry out research and publish their works on a global scale and they also can continue personal research if they intend to.
  • Having a PhD History degree and a postgraduate qualification in Museum Studies, they could be a curator.
  • If graduates want to be in an administrative position likewise in the other sectors this course will be required.
  • A lot of museums and galleries have so many vacancies and they will be looking for graduates with teacher training experience rather than there will also be support roles for unqualified people.
  • The National Department has a large number of heritage sites that not only manages historic buildings but also vast acreages of grounds which will require traditional agricultural and horticultural management.

Following is a list of some of the most widely known PhD History career paths after completion of the course:

Profile of JobDescription of JobAverage Salary
(Per Annum)
History TeacherAt middle school, high school, and post-secondary schools, these professionals help students learn about historical events and social science. They are also in charge of overseeing, supervising, and evaluating student performance, as well as serving as officials.INR 5 Lakh
ResearcherThey communicate with team leaders and ensure that all projects and tasks are completed on time. Researchers collect data, but the amount varies depending on the industry and project requirements. They’re putting together tenders for research contacts, as well as identifying and advising on potential strategies.INR 5.45 Lakh
Historical WriterThey do collect data from a variety of sources, including archives, books, and architects. They’ll examine and interpret historical data to determine its validity and importance.INR 7.5 Lakh
Corporate HistorianHistorians in corporations communicate with other historians, archivists, and those who request research. They set up interviews with experts in the field to learn about the project’s outcomes. They also make preparations regarding the information and interpret its meaning..INR 6.25 Lakh
TutorThey arrange tutoring sessions for students in their homes, libraries, or schools, as well as meetings with students and their parents. They will keep an eye on students’ behavior and performance in the classroom.INR 3 Lakh

Some other Areas of Employment-

  • History Teacher
  • National Parks
  • Museums
  • Historical Writer
  • Archaeological Survey of India
  • Corporate Historian
  • Researcher
  • Tutor
  • Historical Sites
  • Art Galleries

PhD History: Benefits and Scope

Students who are interested in learning about research and analysing historical facts and data in depth will benefit from this course. They’ll also have qualities such as the ability to think objectively and approach problems and new situations with a fresh perspective. Candidates will also be capable of constructing an argument and communicate that information both orally and in writing in a clear and convincing manner.

The following are some of the most common reasons why a PhD in history should be pursued

  • Candidates with this degree can work in a variety of settings around the world, including educational institutions, libraries, archives, and archaeological departments’ museums.
  •  analyst, journalist, lecturer, library facilitator, educator, researcher, writer, producer, project officer, Data analyst, research assistant, professor, chief operation officer,  communication coordinator,project manager, and marketing assistant are some of the jobs available in this field.
  • History education careers can also lead to careers in broadcasting or writing, allowing historians to share their knowledge with public audiences and/or readers.
  • Libraries, galleries, museums, and other historical archival materials are all good places to look for archiving and heritage jobs.
  • A Doctor of History course aims to identify patterns and themes in human history in order to uncover meaning and common causality.
  • Historians, educators, and archivists are among the professions that PhD History Holders can pursue.
  • They can also work in museums and historical sites, where they can educate visitors on the historical significance of displays.
  • They can also go into teaching areas, both permanent and private, after passing the course.


What are the topics covered in a PhD in History?

Indian history, ancient history, modern India, and other topics are covered in PhD history classes.

What are the best colleges for pursuing a PhD in history?

University of Madras, Loyola College, Banaras Hindu University, Utkal University, and IIT BHU are among the top institutes and colleges for PhD History.

What types of jobs are open for a history PhD?

PhD history students are able to work as a Researcher, History Teacher, Tutor, Corporate Historian, Historical Writer, and Researcher, among other things.

What is the future of history after a PhD?

Students can choose from a variety of opportunities in educational institutions, archives, libraries, and archaeological department museums all over the world.

What is the average annual tuition for a PhD program in History?

Annual tuition fees at top PhD History academic institutions range from INR 5,000 to INR 3 lakh.

What types of jobs are available in the field of PhD history?

Students can work in art galleries, historical sites, museums, national parks, and archaeological surveys in India, among other places.

Which IIT is the best for a PhD in History?

IIT Varanasi is among the best places to study history for a PhD.

Is it possible for me to pursue a PhD in History through IGNOU Distance Program?

Yes, IGNOU does offer a PhD in History Distance Course with a specialization in the subject.

What is the highest-paying history-related job?

“A public relations manager”, according to, is among the highest-paying jobs for those with a history degree. While it may not be the first thing that comes to mind when individuals think of a history degree, it does require many of the skills they have learned as a communicator.

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