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.


  • Process for Ph.D. admissions: Nov/Dec 2020.
    Step Date
    Applications close (IITB Academic office Portal) Oct 25th
    Shortlist for Written Test put up on CSE Admissions website and emails sent to shortlisted candidates WITH SAFE instructions. Oct 30th
    Deadline for candidates to Register for SAFE exam and download SAFE software Nov 5th
    First mock SAFE exam* Nov 8th
    Second mock SAFE exam* Nov 15th
    Shortlisting SAFE exam* Nov 22nd
    Panel specific papers to be read for interviews put up on CSE website. Candidates are expected to read and be conversant with the paper(s) put up in the area they indicate interest in. Nov 25th
    Shortlist for interviews along with interview schedule put up on CSE website
    (shortlisted candidates contacted via email)
    Nov 25th
    Interviews Nov 26th - Dec 6th
    Final selection will be available on admissions portal Post Dec 11th.

    * SAFE Exam will be conducted only for registered candidates

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

    2. The syllabus for the written test 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 written test will consist of simple fill-in-the-blank type questions. The test will have around 40 blanks to be answered in 3 hours. All questions are compulsory. All candidates, except those granted waiver, have to appear for the written test. The eligibility conditions for waiver from the written test can be found in the Ph.D. Information brochure. Click here for the May 2016 Question Paper.

    4. The Students who have been shortlisted from the written exam are expected to read/gothrough some research papers in their chosen area. These research papers will be uploaded before the interviews. (further information will be uploaded soon)

    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 1 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.

    6. We will soon publish the list of research areas for interviews.


  • 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