Indian Institute of Technology Bombay

Ph.D. Admissions

  • Introduction

    The CSE department invites applications from students with a "research" bent of mind, to apply for admission to the Ph.D. programme. Applicants must have a creative drive, the willingness to work on challenging technical problems for a sustained duration, and the academic preparation in basic subjects of computer science and engineering. Admission to the Ph.D. programme can be gained in various categories (Full-Time, Part-Time, etc.). Please familiarize yourself with the categories and the admission requirements for each category by reading the official Ph.D. Information Brochure here.


  • CSE Departmental Admissions Procedure
    1. The CSE department's recommendation will be based on the performance of the candidate in the following:
      • Basic written test.
      • For candidates shortlisted from basic test:
        • Advanced written exam.
        • Verbal Interview.

    2. The syllabus for the Basic test and the Advanced exam is as follows:
      • Mathematical Aptitude: Discrete structures (sets, graphs, elementary counting and probability), elementary calculus, linear algebra, geometry.
      • Programming Aptitude: Ability to write programs in C/C++ to solve simple problems. Use of elementary data structures such as arrays, lists, stacks, queues, trees. Familiarity with recursion. Ability to reason about programs, e.g., writing loop invariants and assertions.
      • Computer Science and Engineering: Questions from the following 8 areas of the undergraduate computer science and engineering curriculum:
        • Algorithm Design and Analysis.
        • Artificial Intelligence.
        • Compiler Construction.
        • Computer Graphics and Image Processing.
        • Computer Networks.
        • Database Management Systems.
        • Operating Systems.
        • Theory of Computation.

    3. The Basic written test will consist of simple fill-in-the-blank type questions. The test will have around 40 blanks to be answered in 2 hours. All questions are compulsory. All candidates, except those granted waiver, have to appear for the basic test. The eligibility conditions for waiver from the basic test can be found in the Ph.D. Information brochure. Click here for the May 2016 Question Paper. The basic test will be held in the morning, and a shortlist of candidates will be announced in the afternoon; the candidates shortlisted will appear for the Advanced test that evening and an interview on the next day.

    4. The Advanced written exam will consist of design-based / analytical questions from the 8 areas of Computer Science mentioned above. The candidate is expected to answer 3-4 questions in 3 hours.

    5. In the verbal interview, a panel of faculty members will assess the candidates on their academic background and research potential. Candidates will be given an option to appear before at most 2 interview panels based on their choice of area.
      The dates of the written tests and interview are final and cannot be changed under any circumstance.



  • Ph.D. Qualifier Model

    The PhD qualifier in our department is considered completed when a PhD student meets all of the following criteria:

    • Obtaining a minimum CPI of 7.5 over the specified number of courses, completed within the stipulated time. The course requirements of PhD students for the qualifier depend on the prior education background of the student. Students who already have a post graduate degree in CSE are required to complete 4 PG-level courses in 2 semesters. Students with only an undergraduate CSE degree will need to complete 5 PG courses in 2 semesters. Students who do not have an undergraduate CSE degree will need to complete 6 UG courses and 5 PG courses in 4 semesters.
    • Clearing the PhD seminar course with a grade of BB or higher (you will have two attempts to clear the seminar)
    • Obtaining a pass grade in the communication skills course
    • Finding a CSE faculty member willing to guide you, and a coherent research proposal that is mutually agreed upon by the student and the faculty member.


    Once the student meets the above requirements, he/she may submit a PhD confirmation form to the PhD faculty advisor for approval, which completes the PhD qualifier.
    More info