Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Life Science Eligibility, Top Colleges, Syllabus, Duration, Salary

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Ayan Dey

Content Curator | Updated on - May 14, 2021

What is PhD Life Science? 

PhD in Life Science is basically a 3 to 5-year duration full time doctorate course which is focused on the study of living organisms including Biology, Ecology, Evolution and Neuroscience. This course is an advanced level Master’s degree course and thus requires a pre-understanding of the workings of the organisms on a more general level. 

Alert: The exam dates of GATE have been announced. Check the latest updates.

This course is a combination of Biology at microorganism level as well as at the level of human beings, thus making the scope of the course very vast. Students who have completed their master’s degree in relevant discipline or an equivalent MSc degree in Science stream from any recognized university will be considered eligible to apply to this course.

Admission to this program will be done based on the candidate's performance in the entrance exam which is followed by a personal interview round conducted by the college or university. However, there are some institutes which offer admission to this program based on merit in the Master’s degree exam.

Some of the top institutes in India offering PhD in Life Science are as follows:

NIRF 2020 Ranking Name of College Admission Process Average Annual Fees Average Annual Salary
8 JNU, New Delhi JNUEE INR 1,390 INR 6,21,000
31 AMU, Aligarh Entrance-Based INR 9,285 INR 6,00,000
32 NIT, Rourkela GATE/ NET INR 51,500 INR 8,00,000
60 Gujarat University, Ahmedabad Entrance-Based INR 14,800 INR 5,00,000
82 SNU, Greater Noida Entrance-Based INR 1,60,000 INR 7,50,000

PhD Life Science degree holders are hired in a wide range of fields as a Product Manager, Analyst & Consultant, Business Intelligence Solution Architect etc. They are recruited in areas such as Agriculture Sector, Animal Care Centres, Bioinformatics, Biotechnology, Beverage Industry, Environmental Protection Agencies, Farm Houses, Food Processing Industry etc.

The average annual tuition fee charged for this course in India ranges between INR 15,000 and INR 4,00,000. In India, the average annual salary that a PhD Life Science degree holder can get ranges between INR 2,00,000 and INR 12,00,000. If students wish to opt for further research, they can become independent researchers and publish their research papers. They can also earn a DSc (Doctor of Science) degree in the related domain in future.

Also check top PhD Life Science Colleges here. 

PhD Life Sciences Admission Process

What is the PhD Life Science Admission Process? 

Most colleges and institutes offering PhD Life Science courses admit students based on their performance in the Master’s degree examination. However, there are some colleges which do conduct entrance examinations to judge a candidate’s abilities and skill sets. The following are the two major pathways through which a PhD Life Science admissions take place:

PhD Life Science Admission

Merit Based Admission Process

In merit-based admission, the aspiring candidates for getting admission in this program, need to obtain the minimum required marks in PG course and qualify the counselling session arranged by the university authority. 

Entrance Based Admission Process

The entrance-based admission process for getting admission in PhD Life Science program followed by the universities is mentioned below: 

  • Visit the official website and register there for the entrance exam by providing your email ID/ phone number and password. It will create a login ID. 
  • Through this login ID, all you need to fill up the application form by providing the necessary details and upload all required documents. 
  • After that, pay the application fee through debit card/credit card/ net banking options and save and print out the application form for further references. 
  • Based on the details the admission authority issued an admit card for the entrance exam, if the candidate fulfills the eligibility criteria. 
  • Once the exam dates are released, the interested candidates need to attend the exam and have to qualify for getting admission. 
  • The admission authority published the entrance exam result and the qualified candidates need to go through the personal interview round for final selection. 

What is the PhD Life Science Eligibility Criteria? 

The common PhD Life Science eligibility criteria that candidates need to fulfil to be successfully admitted into a college offering this course are as follows:

  • The interested candidates must hold a Master’s degree in relevant stream from any recognized university. 
  • Students who have attended their MSc Final year exams are also eligible for this doctorate course. 

Which are the Top PhD Life Science Entrance Exams? 

Some colleges that offer PhD Life Science programs require their candidates to sit for an entrance examination. Listed below are some of the popular PhD Life Science entrance exams:

  • CSIR-UGC NET Entrance Exam: CSIR UGC NET is a national-level exam conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA) on behalf of CSIR (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research) to select candidates for the award of Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) or lectureship in Indian universities and colleges.
  • GATE: GATE is a national-level exam conducted jointly by the Indian Institute of Science and IITs to select candidates for the award of PhD degree jobs or lectureship in Indian universities and colleges.

The application dates, exam dates and the mode of the exam of the above mentioned exams are provided in the table below.

Exam Name Application Period Exam Date Exam Mode
GATE 2021 September 14, 2020 February 5-7 & 12-14, 2021 Online

UGC NET 2020

June 30, 2020
 September 16 - 25, 2020  Online

How to Prepare for a PhD Life Science Entrance Exams? 

The syllabus for PhD Life Science entrance exams will vary from college to college. Candidates can follow the tips given below to prepare for PhD entrance exams: 

  • Go through the detailed syllabus of the written test, start studying them, revise your concepts.
  • One important hack to crack entrance exams is to develop a reading habit, be it a newspaper, novel, books, biographies and case studies.
  • Time management is one of the most important aspects to crack entrance exams, this is not only applying to the study schedule but attempting the most exam as well. 
  • Practicing sample papers and mock test papers will assure you of the time management skills by the time your entrance exam starts.
  • Practice is the main rule to crack any entrance exam. Make sure that your concepts are clear and you are aware of all the right ways to solve questions within the time frame.
  • Start learning from the basics and thereafter move to higher and difficult levels of concepts.

How to Get Admission to a Good PhD Life Science College? 

To get admission in the top PhD Life Science college, the following points must be kept in mind:

  • Candidates are shortlisted by the college through respective entrance exams followed by an interview.
  • To get a good college for PhD Life Science, appearing for the UGC NET exam is the best way and for some of the colleges’ UGC NET is also considered good to approach.
  • A few private institutes are there offering the course to admit students based on their performance in a relevant entrance test followed by a round of Group Discussion and Personal Interview.
  • Getting into a good college for the admission in PhD Life Science program, candidates need to score well in the respective entrance exams.
  • Candidates should put their time and effort into the entrance test as well as be prepared for a personal interview round.
  • They should be well versed with their research topic so that they can impress the interview panel with their research idea. 

PhD Life Science: What is it about? 

The detailed information about the PhD in Life Science Course is mentioned below: 

  • PhD Life Science course is about the study of organisms at all the possible levels. The candidates of Life Science are required to study organisms and microorganisms at the molecular and physiological levels. 
  • This course is an advanced level master’s degree course and thus requires a pre-understanding of the workings of the organisms on a more general level. 
  • This program is a combination of biology at microorganism level as well as at the level of human beings, thus making the scope of the course very broad.
  • The doctoral degree course in Life Science field is an unparalleled research experience to candidates with a fortifying interdisciplinary course.
  • The focus areas of this program are currently at the cutting edge of nano-bio interfaces. Specializations include nanomedicine, nanobiotechnology, nanotoxicology, stem cell biology, environmental biotechnology, bioinformatics, and bioengineering. 
  • The goal of this course is to create knowledge which will enrich human as well as environmental life.
PhD Life Sciences Course Highlights

PhD Life Science Course Highlights 

Course Level Doctorate Degree
Duration of the Course 3-5 Years
Examination Type Semester-Type
Eligibility Master’s degree in related subject from a recognized university
Admission Process Entrance Exam followed by Personal Interview
Average Course Fee INR 15,000 to 4,00,000
Average Annual Salary INR 2,00,000 - 12,00,000
Top Recruiting Companies AIIMS, BCS-Insilico Biology, Tata Memorial Centre, Indian Society of Cell Biology, Biocon, Reliance Life Science, Novo Nordisk India, TransAsia Bio-Medicals, Bharat Biotech, Jubilant Life Science etc.
Top Job Areas Agriculture Sector, Animal Care Centers, Bioinformatics, Biotechnology, Beverage Industry, Environmental Protection Agencies, Farmhouses, Food Processing Industry etc.
Top Job Positions Product Manager - Life Science, Analyst & Consultant - Pharmaceuticals product Life Science, Business Intelligence Solution Architect - Life Science, Research Analyst - Life Science, Manager - Medical Affairs, Research Scientist - Metabolic Identification etc.
Why Study PhD Life Sciences?

Why study PhD Life Science? 

The goal to attain a PhD in Life Science degree will depend on each individual’s aspirations and goals. Some of the reasons to pursue this course are as follows.

  • Prestigious Job Prospects: According to the research, it has been proved that the demand of Life Science graduates in the medical and research field is increasing day-by-day. 
  • Lucrative Pay Packages: There are many different positions available for the PhD degree holders in Life Science, like Product Manager - Life Sciences, Analyst & Consultant - Pharmaceuticals product life sciences, Business Intelligence Solution Architect - Life Sciences, Research Analyst - Life Sciences, Manager - Medical Affairs, Research Scientist - Metabolic Identification etc.
  • Depending upon their position in the field, they can easily earn INR 2,00,000 to 12,00,000 per year. 
  • After completing this course successfully, the graduates can work in the field of Agriculture Sector, Animal Care Centres, Bio-Informatics, Biotechnology, Beverage Industry, Environmental Protection Agencies, Farm Houses, Food Processing Industry etc.
PhD Life Sciences vs PhD Health Sciences

PhD Life Science vs PhD Health Science

Both PhD Life Science and PhD Health Science are somewhat related courses. However there is a difference between these two. Also, check the list of Top PhD Health Science Colleges in India.  Check the table below for more comparative details:

Parameters  PhD Life Science PhD Health Science 
Course Overview  This course is a combination of biology at microorganism level as well as at the level of human beings, thus making the scope of the course very broad. In this course, students build knowledge and skills in scientific communication, teaching, and mentoring which helps to build their career in the education field.
Duration  3 to 5 years  3 to 5 years 
Examination Type  Semester/ Annual Type  Semester/ Annual Type 
Eligibility  Master’s degree in relevant subject from a recognized university Master’s degree with minimum 55% marks
Admission Procedure  Merit Based or Entrance Exam Based Merit Based or Entrance Exam Based 
Average Fees  INR 15,000 to 4,00,000 INR 10,000 to 2,00,000
Areas of Employment  Agriculture Sector, Animal Care Centres, Bioinformatics, Biotechnology, Beverage Industry, Environmental Protection Agencies, Farm Houses, Food Processing Industry etc. Universities, Public Health Clinic, Govt. & Private Hospitals, Laboratories and more. 
Job Positions  Product Manager, Analyst & Consultant - Pharmaceuticals product life sciences, Business Intelligence Solution Architect - Life Sciences, Research Analyst - Life Sciences, Manager - Medical Affairs, Research Scientist - Metabolic Identification etc. Health Educators, Pharmacists, Health Inspectors, Professors, Physiotherapists, Nurses etc. 
Average Salary INR 2,00,000 - 10,00,000 INR 2,00,000 - 10,00,000

Source: College Websites

PhD Life Sciences Top Colleeges

Which are the Top PhD Life Science Colleges? 

The table below shows the best PhD Life Science colleges and universities that offer the course in a full-time mode.

NIRF 2020 Ranking Name of College Admission Process Average Annual Fees Average Annual Salary
8 JNU, New Delhi JNUEE INR 1,390 INR 6,21,000
31 AMU, Aligarh Entrance-Based INR 9,285 INR 6,00,000
32 NIT, Rourkela GATE/ NET INR 51,500 INR 8,00,000
60 Gujarat University, Ahmedabad Entrance-Based INR 14,800 INR 5,00,000
82 SNU, Greater Noida Entrance-Based INR 1,60,000 INR 7,50,000
95 Mumbai University, Mumbai Entrance-Based INR 8,636 INR 6,79,000
101 Assam University, Silchar Merit-Based INR 27,245 INR 4,29,000
101 GEA, Dehradun GATE/ NET/ SLET INR 92,900 INR 7,00,000
151 Presidency College, Kolkata Entrance-Based INR 14,500 INR 4,64,000
151 DAV, Indore Merit-Based INR 73,600 INR 5,74,000

Source: College Websites

PhD Life Science College Comparison 

The tabulation below depicts the comparison made among the two top PhD Life Science colleges in India.

Parameters  JNU, New Delhi AMU, Aligarh NIT, Rourkela
Overview  Jawaharlal Nehru University offers a variety of courses in disciplines like Social Sciences, International Studies, Language & Literature, Management, Engineering etc.  AMU runs a variety of undergraduate, postgraduate and research courses in numerous disciplines.  This deemed institute offers two undergraduate, three postgraduate courses in the field management and technology. It also provides doctoral programs in multiple disciplines.
Location  New Delhi Aligarh Rourkela
Eligibility  Master’s degree in relevant discipline from a recognized board Master’s degree in relevant discipline from a recognized board Master’s degree in relevant discipline from a recognized board
Admission Procedure  Entrance-Based Entrance-Based Entrance-Based
Average Fees  INR 1,390 INR 9,285 INR 51,500
Average Salary INR 6,21,000 INR 6,00,000 INR 8,00,000
Top Recruitment Areas Agriculture Sector, Animal Care Centres, Bioinformatics, Biotechnology, Beverage Industry, Environmental Protection Agencies, Farm Houses, Food Processing Industry etc. Agriculture Sector, Animal Care Centres, Bioinformatics, Biotechnology, Beverage Industry, Environmental Protection Agencies, Farm Houses, Food Processing Industry etc. Agriculture Sector, Animal Care Centres, Bioinformatics, Biotechnology, Beverage Industry, Environmental Protection Agencies, Farm Houses, Food Processing Industry etc.

Source: College Websites

PhD Life Sciences Syllabus

What is the Syllabus of PhD Life Science?

The syllabus for PhD Life Science discipline may be differ for different colleges/universities, but the subjects usually remain the same during the course period. The following table consists of the common topics covered during the course: 

Subjects of Study
Research Methodology in Life Sciences
Research Trends in Life Science
Molecular Biology
Phytochemistry and Toxicology
Neurobiology
Biochemistry, Metabolism and Nutrition

Which Books to Study for PhD Life Science? 

Some of the most important books recommended for PhD in Life Science program to help the students better understanding the course are mentioned below: 

Books  Author 
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology of plants  Buchanan
Cell and Molecular Biology; Concepts & Experiments Karp G
Cell Proliferation and Apoptosis  Hughes & Mehnet
Molecular Cell Biology Lodish
Cell & Molecular Biology  De Robertis & Df Robertis.
PhD Life Sciences Jobs and Scope

What are Job Prospects and Career Options after a PhD in Life Science? 

  • There is a wide range of employment opportunities in the field of Biomedical, Biology and Life Science for PhD Life Science degree holders. 
  • Professional candidates in this career may also opt for teaching occupation in colleges and universities. Biomedical candidates in this field can seek career opportunities in healthcare industries for example pharmaceutical industries, genetic engineering, medical research, lab technology as well as pharmaceutical sales. 

The table given below shows some of the most common PhD Life Science job profiles and career prospects after completing the course: 

Job Profiles Job Description Average Annual Salary
Food Scientist Food Scientist is in charge of assessing the nutritional value of a wide variety of food products, and selecting the colour, surface, flavour and lifespan of. They additionally test food samples to analyze its yeast and microscopic organisms tally and decrease segments that might be unsafe. INR 4,14,000
Food Technologist Food Technologists are in charge of arranging fabrication of food and drink products. They are also in charge of generating new concepts and recipes for food items to be resold in the market. INR 5,24,000
Immunologist The Immunologists are responsible to provide information on how to enhance the immune systems of the human body. INR 8,52,000
Analyst and Consultant in Pharmaceuticals The Analysts and Consultants are responsible to sell drug companies' items to health care experts in clinics, hospitals, surgeries, and pharmacies. INR 9,08,000
Product Manager- Life Science The job of the Product Manager is responsible for developing products through identifying important elements of products, generating product requirements; conducting market research, determining specifications, pricing production time frame and developing marketing strategies. INR 9,78,000

Source: College Websites

What are the Future Scopes of PhD Life Science?

PhD degree is a doctorate level degree and is known to be the highest educational degree one can earn in the country. Generally one does not pursue higher education on completion of a PhD Life Science course. Employability is high and graduates are hired quickly upon completion of their degree in high pay job profiles. With this knowledge, there is no limit to learning and knowledge.

  • After completing this course, students can opt for teaching jobs in colleges/universities and then clear the UGC-NET exam required to become a permanent lecturer.
  • Students can also opt for jobs as a Scientist and indulge in the research activities. 
  • Students can also opt for a DSc (Doctor of Science) degree in any related field. 
  • Once you finish your PhD you can also be qualified for a lecturer post in Life Science and also to teach in colleges and universities with UGC scales. 

PhD Life Science FAQs

Ques. What is the syllabus for a PhD in Life Science entrance exam?

Ans. There is no syllabus in PhD. Your guide will give you the topic concerned to your interested topic and then you must research that paper.

Ques. What happens if I fail the Entrance exam?

Ans. A positive assessment report permits the doctoral student to pursue his or her thesis. If the report is negative, the examination can be taken a second and final time before the end of the first 18 months. If the doctoral student does not make the second attempt, or if he or she fails on the second attempt, he or she is eliminated from the doctorate.

Ques. What do I need to prepare for the Entrance exam?

Ans. In preparation for the oral examination, the doctoral student submits a written report on the progress made on research projects and the thesis project. The examination begins with an oral presentation by the doctoral student, followed by a series of questions.

Ques. Can I pursue this course if I have Commerce subjects in my Master’s degree?

Ans. No, you are not eligible for the course as it requires a masters in the science background.

Ques. I am expecting my 12th result. Can I apply for this course?

Ans. No, you need to complete your graduation then your masters and only after that will you be eligible to apply for this course.

Ques. Do we have a future in Life Science?

Ans. Until there is life on earth there is a scope because life keeps on evolving and there is change now and then so there is a scope for improvement every now and then.

Ques. Does life get better after PhD?

Ans. Actually, PhD does not promise to give you a good life, but it gives you knowledge where you can make your life from Good to Better, and Better to Best. The question is not “do you get a better life AFTER doing a PhD”, but rather “do you get a better life WHILE doing a PhD”.

Ques. Does having a PhD increase salary?

Ans. According to PayScale, PhDs can expect to make more money than applicants without doctorates and have access to more jobs. The median income for an employee with a PhD degree and less than a year experience. 

Ph.D. (Life Science) Fee Structure in India


3.96 K (Minimum Fee)PUBLIC COLLEGES6.80 L  (Maximum Fee)
1.51 L (Average Fee)
30 K (Minimum Fee)Private COLLEGES7.20 L (Maximum Fee)
2.66 L (Average Fee)

Ph.D. (Life Science) Fee Structure By state


Madhya Pradesh

1.36 LPUBLIC COLLEGES2.75 L
2.05 L
1.50 LPrivate COLLEGES6.60 L
3.90 L

Rajasthan

2.70 LPUBLIC COLLEGES6.80 L
4.75 L
1.79 LPrivate COLLEGES7.20 L
3.27 L

Delhi NCR

3.96 KPUBLIC COLLEGES3.40 L
1.20 L
2.25 LPrivate COLLEGES4.90 L
3.58 L

Gujarat

1.44 LPUBLIC COLLEGES1.62 L
1.53 L
1.89 LPrivate COLLEGES1.89 L
1.89 L

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Ph.D. (Life Science) Colleges IN INDIA

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51.5 K first year fees
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1.39 K first year fees
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9.29 K first year fees
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Presidency University
Kolkata, West Bengal
UGC
14.5 K first year fees
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Mumbai University - [MU]
Mumbai, Maharashtra
UGC
20.4 K first year fees
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