PhD Geography Colleges, Admission Process, Entrance Exams, Syllabus, Job Profiles, Scope, Salary 2021-22

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Lubaba Shaheen

Content Writer | Updated on - Dec 31, 2020

What is PhD Geography?

What is PhD Geography?

PhD Geography is a research based doctoral course in Geography which is devoted to the study of lands, features, inhabitants and phenomena of the earth & planets. The minimum duration of a PhD Geography course is 3 years, but can be extended depending on research duration. 

Check the full list of PhD Geography Colleges in India

The basic eligibility for this course is completing Post Graduation in Geography from a recognized university. Though minimum marks required vary from college to college, most of the reputed colleges demand minimum 55% marks in their masters’ degree and a minimum of 60% marks in their graduation.

Key Highlights of PhD Geography

  • Full-Form: PhD Geography
  • Duration: Minimum 3 years
  • Eligibility: Post Graduation in Geography
  • Admission Process: Entrance test followed by personal interview. 
  • Top Entrance Exam: JNU PhD entrance exam, Symbiosis PhD entrance exam, UGC NET, AIMA PhD entrance exam etc
  • Top Colleges: Presidency College, Aligarh Muslim University, Jamia Milia Islamia, University of Mumbai, University of Calcutta etc
  • Average Course fees: INR 2,000 to INR 5,00,000
  • Job Options: Water Conservation specialist, Geomorphologist, Geospatial analyst, Hydrologist, Oceanographer, Geographer, Professor, Teachers, etc. 
  • Average Salary Package: INR 4,00,000 to INR 8,00,000

A student seeking admission to a PhD Geography course shall have to clear the entrance examinations like UGC-NET, CSIR-UGC-NET, etc. The students who have passed the entrance test shall have to appear for an interview to be organized by the department concerned.

The average fees for PhD Geography ranges between INR 2,000 to 5,00,000 while the exact fees vary from college to college.

Nearly all the top colleges in India offer this course. We have mentioned some of the top colleges according to NIRF College Ranking Survey 2020 in the table given below:

NIRF University Ranking 2020  College Name  Location  Admission Process  Fee Structure  Average Salary Package 
3 Banaras Hindu University Varanasi  Entrance Exam followed by Interview  INR 3,806 INR. 7,20,000
5 Jadavpur University Kolkata  Entrance Exam followed by Interview INR 8,000
INR 9,00,000
7 University of Calcutta  Kolkata  Entrance Exam followed by Interview INR 3,395 INR 4,00,000 
17 Aligarh Muslim University Aligarh  Entrance Exam followed by Interview INR 9,285 INR 9,18,000
69 Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar Marathwada University  Aurangabad  Entrance Exam followed by Interview INR 22,231 INR 3,00,000 

PhD Geography includes subjects like Geomorphology, Oceanography, Geography of Transport & Trade, Biogeography, Political Geography etc. The candidates will have to research on any one of the topics of their choice and submit the thesis. 

Alert: The exam dates of UGC-NET and UGC-CSIR-NET have been postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Check the latest dates of UGC-CSIR-NET.

After completing this course, the candidates can find jobs as Water Conservation specialist, Geomorphologist, Geospatial analyst, Hydrologist, Oceanographer, Geographer, Professor, Teachers, etc. 

The average starting salary after completing this course generally lies between INR 4,00,000 to INR 8,00,000 depending on the skills of the candidates.

The scope of Geography is very wide, people with a fairly good knowledge of geography are required by the meteorological department & other departments related to predicting the climate & weather conditions. People after gaining a master in PhD degree can also serve as teachers in distinguished institutes.

What is the Admission Process for PhD Geography Course?

What is the Admission Process for PhD Geography Course?

Admission to PhD Geography can be either merit based or entrance based. The admission procedure is briefly discussed below. 

Merit Based Admission 

  • A student seeking admission to PhD. in Geography course shall apply on a prescribed form.
  • Admission to the PhD degree course is open once in the year i.e. (September/ October).

Entrance Based Admission 

  • Admission to the programme is done through entrance examination as well. Students will have to  pass the entrance examination in the relevant subject to get admission to the course. 
  • The concerned Department Committee may give exemption for PhD entrance test and course work to a deserving candidate.
  • If a candidate holds a PhD degree in a related subject from a recognized university, he/she may be exempted from entrance tests and coursework for admission to PhD.
  • Shortlisted candidates shall appear for an Interview to be organized by the Department concerned.
  • The final round of selection is the interview. If you clear the interview, then you will be able to study a PhD Geography. You will be assigned to a research guide who will help you complete your degree in due course of time.

Documents Required:

  • Migration Certificate
  • Passing/Degree certificate of the last qualifying degree examination.
  • Mark-list of the last qualifying degree examination
  • Character certificate (from the head of the Institute from which the student has obtained his qualifying degree).
  • Documentary proof for date of birth.
  • Gap certificate (if applicable)
  • Research proposal
  • No objection certificate from the employer (if employed) 
Phd Geography

What is the Eligibility Criteria for Admission to PhD Geography Course?

You must hold a master’s degree in Geography in order to be part of this course.

  • The student must obtain a minimum of 55% marks in their master’s degree and a minimum of 60% marks in their graduation.
  • The above two criteria are the basic requirements for the students who wish to study this PhD Geography.
  • The next important requirement is that a student must clear either UGC or CSIR NET in order to be a part of this course. This requirement is mandatory. Any student not fulfilling this, will not be called for the PhD Interview.

Which are the Top Entrance Exams for Admission to PhD Geography Course?

Some of the top Entrance Exams for admission to PhD Geography have been discussed below. 

  • UGC NET - The National Eligibility Test (NET), also known as UGC NET is a test to determine eligibility for college and university level lectureship and for the award of Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) for Indian nationals. It aims to ensure minimum standards for the entrants in teaching professions and research.
  • Symbiosis PhD Entrance Exam - Symbiosis National Aptitude Test (SNAP Test) is the gateway for Post Graduate Programmes of Symbiosis International (Deemed University). Symbiosis Unversity’s entrance test for the PhD program shall be of multiple-choice questions of 75 marks and of 1 hour 30 minutes duration. 
  • JNU PhD Entrance Exam – The Jawaharlal Nehru University Entrance Exam (JNUEE), JNUEE along with JNU CEEB will be conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA). Time duration to complete the test is 3 hours and it's an online mode examination. Further, sources shared that a total of 1,05,000 candidates appeared for the JNUEE 2019 exam in order to secure admission in 131 courses.

We provide you with detailed information about each exam in the table below.

Exams Conducting Body  Registration Date* Examination Date* Mode of Examination
GATE 2021 IIT Council  September 11 - October 7, 2020 February 06,07,13,14, 2021 Online (CBT)
UGC-NET 2020  NTA  March 16 - June 30, 2020 To be announced Online
CSIR UGC NET NTA March 16 - June 30, 2020 To be Announced Online 
Symbiosis PhD Entrance Exam Symbiosis International  January 23, 2020 – May 20, 2020 July 19, 2020 Online
JNU PhD Entrance Exam JNU March 2, 2020 - June 30, 2020 To be Announced  Online
  • All the colleges have extended entrance exam dates, as the countrywide lockdown has been  extended.
  • Due to COVID 19 all exams are expected to be held online.

How to Prepare for PhD Geography Entrance Exams?

For the entrance test there would be two papers i.e. paper I and paper II.

  • Paper I would be General aptitude test of 100 marks & paper II  would be subject wise of 100 marks.General Aptitude Test will have 50 questions with multiple choice covering Research & Teaching Aptitude, Logical thinking, General Comprehension.
  • Second written test will pertain to the subject to the Department concerned & the test shall be of 100 marks i.e. 30 marks for objective type exam and 70 marks for Descriptive type exam.
  • The students must have a concrete idea about what to study and the type of questions to be asked in the examination. 
  • Most entrance tests have a duration of 2-3 hours and the questions given are of both subjective and objective type. 
  • The candidates should have a clear idea of their concerned subject (Geography) upto the topics taught at the PG Level. 
  • The candidates must practice sample papers daily. They should also try to complete these papers within a stipulated time limit. 

How to Get Admission into a Top PhD Geography College?

  • Your percentage in graduation should be minimum 60% and in Post graduation should be 55%  from any recognized  university throughout the country. 
  • Along with this your entrance exams rank should lie in the cut-off list of the specific college in which you have given the entrance exam.  
  • So, your rank should be very good only then the students can be able to take admissions in a good college.
  • It is also very important for students to be prepared both mentally and physically for further rounds after the entrance test i.e. counselling and interview.  They need not to be stressed while preparing for the examination. 
  • Candidates are also advised to keep a track of all the important events related to the admission process so that they never miss any deadline. 
  • Aspirants are advised to practice as many sample papers and previous year question papers as they can in order to score really well in the entrance examination. 
  • Candidates should watch out for the best colleges to pursue the PhD course and move ahead with their preparation accordingly. 
PhD Geography: What is it About?

PhD Geography: What is it About?

  • A student studies Geography to understand that the earth is changing. They scientifically and analytically think about why it is changing.
  • To understand the geography of past times and how geography has played an important role in the evolution of people, their ideas, places and environments.
  • In this course, students get to learn about all the factors of Earth and its land distribution, research about areas and regions, type of lands, earth science and much more.
  • Modules may include topics on rivers, sustainability, environmental modelling, the physical environment, the politics of climate change, the making of the modern city, political geography and geopolitics, economic geography, coastal and estuarine environments, environmental hazards and energy resources.
  • This course will help the students to understand where things are found, why they are there, and how they develop and change over time.

PhD Geography Course Highlights

Given below are the major highlights of the PhD Geography Course. 

Course PhD Geography
Level Doctorate
Duration 3 years
Eligibility Post Graduation in any stream
Admission Process Entrance test followed by Personal Interview 
Average tuition fee INR 2,000 to 5,00,000
Average salary INR 4,00,000 to INR 8,00,000 
Top recruiting areas Businesses, Community, Social & Personal Service, Diplomacy, Publishing Houses, Geography Departments, Health & Social Work, Divinity, Hotels & Restaurants, Insurance Industry, Public Service, Research, Public Administration, Retail Sector Student Affairs, Teaching etc.
Top Job Profiles  Water Conservation specialist, Geomorphologist, Geospatial analyst, Hydrologist, Oceanographer, Geographer, Professor, Teachers, etc. 
Why Should You Study PhD Geography Course?

Why Should You Study PhD Geography Course?

  • Geography has been shown to be one of the most employable subject as Geography students have a wide scope in both Government Sector and Private Sector Jobs. 
  • Right now, the largest demand might be for geographers with training in geographic information system.
  • If you care about geography education and want to see it strengthened and supported at all levels, studying geography creates an awareness of place. 
  • More importantly, understanding geography helps us make sense of current and historical events, whether of economic, political, or social importance.
  • We become better critical thinkers knowing this information. Geography pervades just about every aspect of our lives.
Why Phd Geography
PhD Geography vs PhD Geology

PhD Geography vs PhD Geology

Both PhD Geography and PhD Geology are almost similar courses except for a few differences. These two courses have been compared in the table given below. 

Parameters  PhD Geography PhD Geology
Overview  This course includes subjects like Relations between man and land, Earth science and the spatial analysis of natural and human phenomena, etc. This course includes subjects like Paleontology, geological hazards, Petroleum Geology, Geo-Informatics, Economic Geology, Hydrogeology, Sedimentology, etc. 
Eligibility  Post Graduation in any stream. Master’s degree from a recognized university with at least 55% marks.
Admission Process  Entrance Exam followed by Personal Interview  Entrance Exam followed by Personal Interview 
Average Annual Fees  INR 2,000 to 5,00,000  INR 1,00,000 to INR 2,00,000
Job Positions  Clergy Person, Human Resources Officer, Insurance Underwriter, Social Worker, Information Management/Science, Survey Interviewer Teacher, Tutor & Lecturer etc. Environmental Geologists, Earth Science Teachers, Glacial Geologists, Structural Geologists, Hydro geologists, Engineering Geologists, Palaeontologists etc.
Average Salary  INR 4,00,000 to 8,00,000  INR 3,00,000 to INR 9,00,000
Phd Geography Vs Phd Geology

Source: College Websites 

Go through the full list of top PhD Geology colleges in India

Which are the Top Colleges for PhD Geography?

Which are the Top Colleges for PhD Geography?

Listed below are some of the best institutes in India that offers Ph.D in Geography:

NIRF University Ranking 2020  College Name  Location  Fee Structure  Average Salary Package 
3 Banaras Hindu University Varanasi  INR 3,806 INR. 7,20,000
5 Jadavpur University Kolkata  INR 8,000
INR 9,00,000
7 University of Calcutta  Kolkata  INR 3,395 INR 4,00,000 
10 Jamia Millia Islamia New Delhi INR 13,870 INR 8,00,000 
17 Aligarh Muslim University Aligarh  INR 9,285 INR 9,18,000
63 Bharati Vidyapeeth Pune INR 30,000 INR 4,80,000
65 University of Mumbai Mumbai INR 1,931 INR 3,76,000
69 Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar Marathwada University  Aurangabad  INR 22,231 INR 3,00,000

Top Colleges for Phd Geography

Source: College Websites 

PhD Geography in IITs

  • The Earth Sciences department of many IITs in India provide research opportunities for PhD Geography scholars. 
  • The admission to the research based course is given on the basis of Entrance Exam Scores followed by Personal Interview. 
  • The eligibility criteria for most of the IITs is minimum 60% marks at the postgraduate level. 
  • The students will need to have a clear idea of the research they will be conducting, so that they can impress the selection panel. 
  • The duration and fees of the course depends on the duration of the research and topic of research chosen. 

PhD Geography in IGNOU

  • PhD Geography is offered by Indira Gandhi National Open University, Delhi. 
  • The course duration is between 3 - 5 years. 
  • The average annual fees for the program is INR 1,000.
  • The eligibility criteria for admission is minimum 55% marks in Post Graduate level. 

College Comparison for PhD Geography

Parameters  Banaras Hindu University University of Calcutta Jadavpur University
Overview  Banaras Hindu University is a public central university located in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. It is one of the oldest universities in India, and one of the largest public residential universities in Asia. BHU consists of 6 institutes and 14 faculties (streams) and about 140 departments. It has over 75 hostels for resident students with all the modern facilities and amenities.  Calcutta University (CU) State Owned University located in Kolkata. It is a "Five-Star University" and accredited "A" Grade by NAAC. It provides Bachelor degree, Postgraduate degree and Doctorate degree in many streams including Engineering, Management, Science, Arts, and Commerce.  Jadavpur University is a public university in Kolkata. It started its operation in 1955. It has two campuses in Kolkata City and it is a semi-residential university. It has received many national and international recognitions. Jadavpur University was ranked 651-700 by the QS World University Ranking in 2020.
NIRF 2020 Ranking  10 11 12
Location  Varanasi Kolkata Kolkata
Admission Process  Entrance & Merit based Entrance followed by Interview Entrance followed by Interview
Average Annual Fees  INR 3,806 INR 3,395 INR 8,000
Average Annual Salary  INR. 7,24,000  INR 4,00,000  INR 9,00,000
Top Recruiters ICICI Bank, Infosys, IBM, Amazon, Wipro, Berger, Reliance, IDBI Bank, HDFC Bank, Bosch Ltd etc. TATA, Aditya Birla Groups, Wipro, HDFC Bank, HSBC, etc. Cisco, Cognizant, Facebook, IBM, Maruti Suzuki, Oracle, etc.
Phd Geography College Comparison

Source: Course Websites 

Which Subjects are Taught in the PhD Geography course?

Which Subjects are Taught in the PhD Geography course?

Syllabus of  Ph.D in Geography  as prescribed by various Universities and Colleges.

Main subjects covered in the discipline are:

Year I Year II Year III
Geomorphology Population Geography Geography of India
Climatology Settlement Geography Cartography
Oceanography Economic Geography Statistical Methods
Biogeography Agricultural Geography Research
History of Geographic Thought Industrial Geography Social Geography
Political Geography Geography of Transport and Trade Regional Planning
--- Cultural Geography ---

What are the Job Profiles and Career Options Available to the PhD Geography Candidates? 

There are many jobs available for PhD Geography Candidates. The candidates can work as Cartographer, Environmental Consultant, Geographical Information System Officer, Planning & Development Surveyor, Teachers and Professors, etc.

Salaries offered to PhD Geography Candidates for some of these job profiles are listed in the table below. 

Jobs Description  Average Annual Salary 
Geographical Information System Officer As a GIS officer, you'll be involved in the collection of geographical and spatial information and its storage, analysis and presentation. You'll need to: use a range of GPS tools in the field to capture the location of 'assets' such as bridges, street lights, road barriers and flood defenses. INR 4,78,000
Environmental Consultant Environmental consultants provide expert assessment and advisory services for their clients on matters pertaining to the management of environmental issues. Furthermore, you'll be responsible for making sure that revised environmental policies and procedures comply with environmental laws and regulations. INR 8,18,000
Cartographer Cartographers are concerned with all aspects of map-making (scientific, technological and artistic). They are responsible for: researching, collecting, storing, retrieving, evaluating and manipulating data, designing maps. INR 7,49,000
Nature Conservation Officer As a nature conservation officer you'll work to protect, manage and enhance the local environment. This can include grassland, woodland, forests, coastal areas, moorland, mountains and rivers. Depending on the region, you might also work in marine habitats. INR 6,00,000
Human Resources Specialist The role of a Human Resource (HR) Specialist is to recruit, support, train, and place employees of a company. Depending on the company's size, a human resource department may have multiple specialists to perform specific tasks including overseeing performance reviews and maintaining employee records. INR 6,90,000
salary trend graph for Phd Geography
What are the Future Scopes for PhD Geography Candidates?

What are the Future Scopes for PhD Geography Candidates?

  • A PhD in Geography offers more research and educational opportunities. You  can take geography classes, and may be able to choose a specific area of concentration.
  • If you want to teach geography at the college level, a PhD can help you in achieving your goal.
  • You will also have more opportunities to perform and head research studies with a doctorate degree.
  • You might also work as a meteorologist, environmental consultant, cartographer, urban planner, geography writer or climatologist.
  • You can work as a researcher in various government labs and organisations. 
PhD Geography: FAQs

PhD Geography: FAQs

Ques. What can I do with a PhD Geography degree?

Ans. You can grab jobs in the areas like Geography Departments, Health & Social Work, Divinity, Hotels & Restaurants, Insurance Industry, Public Service, Research, Public Administration, Retail Sector Student Affairs, and Teaching etc.

Ques. What is the average salary for jobs after a PhD Geography degree?

Ans. A PhD Geography candidate receives an average salary of INR 4,00,000 to 8,00,000 per annum.

Ques.  Is there any scope of PhD Geography degree?

Ans. The scope of Geography is very wide, people with a fairly good knowledge of geography are required by the meteorological department & other departments related to predicting the climate & weather conditions

Ques. What are the top colleges of PhD Geography degree?

Ans. Presidency College, Aligarh Muslim University, Jamia Milia Islamia, University of Mumbai, University of Calcutta etc

Ques. How can I crack the entrance exam to take admission in a PhD Geography degree course?

Ans. You should upgrade observation & visualization, you should improve speed, Try to solve maximum sample papers.

Ques. What are the top entrance exams for a PhD Geography course?

Ans. JNU PhD entrance exam, Symbiosis PhD entrance exam, UGC NET exam, AIMA PhD entrance exam etc

Ques. What are the subjects we have to study in the PhD Geography course?

Ans. This course includes subjects like Geomorphology, Oceanography, Geography of Transport & Trade, Biogeography, Political Geography etc.

Ques.  What is the duration of a PhD Geography course?

Ans. The minimum duration for completion of PhD Geography Course is 3 years, but it can be extended further. 

Ques. What is the basic admission process of a PhD Geography course?

Ans.  Entrance test and direct interviews of the shortlisted candidates.

Ph.D. (Geography) Fee Structure in India


3.9K (Minimum Fee)PUBLIC COLLEGES540K  (Maximum Fee)
88K (Average Fee)
5K (Minimum Fee)Private COLLEGES740K (Maximum Fee)
180K (Average Fee)

Ph.D. (Geography) Fee Structure By state


Maharashtra

34KPUBLIC COLLEGES90K
53K
100KPrivate COLLEGES230K
190K

Rajasthan

240KPUBLIC COLLEGES540K
390K
30KPrivate COLLEGES300K
190K

West Bengal

26KPUBLIC COLLEGES430K
99K
5KPrivate COLLEGES300K
140K

Madhya Pradesh

39KPUBLIC COLLEGES140K
83K
57KPrivate COLLEGES360K
230K
67KPUBLIC COLLEGES67K
67K
30KPrivate COLLEGES340K
120K

Haryana

240KPUBLIC COLLEGES240K
240K
290KPrivate COLLEGES300K
290K

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