Ph.D. in Political Science: Overview, Course, Eligibility Criteria, Admission, Syllabus, Fees, Scope, Result and Cutoffs, & FAQs


Best Ph.D. in Political Science Colleges in India 2023: Ph.D. in Political Science stands for the Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science subject. It is a higher-level degree that is done after completing a master’s-level program in the relevant field. It takes up to 3 years to complete the course if you are a full-time candidate and it may take up to 5 years if you are a part-time candidate. If you choose to be a student for a doctorate in political sciences, then you will be doing in-depth research on all the areas of political sciences. Having prior knowledge of Decentralisation, Governance, Economy, Development, and Community Empowerment for Indian politics as well as in other countries is going to be an added advantage.

You will be choosing the topic according to your preference and conducting in-depth research as well as case studies on that topic whose outcomes shall be included in your thesis for final approval from your higher authorities. The candidate needs to clear various university-level examinations to get admitted into the best political science Ph.D. programs like CRET, PET, RET, etc. You can earn up to 3 to 10 lakh per annum as a fresher after completing your research and getting your thesis approved by the professors. You can look up to good opportunities further & work as Professor, Political Scientist, Public Relations Specialist, Market trend Research analyst, and Survey Researcher ahead. Let’s now jump into the Political Science Ph.D. program details.

Course Highlights

Name of DegreeDoctorate Level Course/Ph.D. in Political Science 
Degree Full FormDoctor of Philosophy in Political Science
Examination TypeSemester-based Examination
Age LimitNo Age Bar
Course DurationThree to Five Years
Entrance Exam NET, CRET, RET, PET 
Eligibility CriteriaM.Sc./MA Degree in any field with a minimum 55% aggregate score + Entrance exam scores
Average Course FeesINR 2 lakh to INR 15 lakh per annum
Average Expected SalaryINR 21,000/- to INR 1,50,000/- per month
Skills Required Critical Thinking skills, Researching, survey skills, statistics, Interpretation skills, Logical Reasoning, Indian political system knowledge, etc
Minimum PercentageGeneral Category: Minimum 55% aggregate in 12th Standard & bachelor/Master degrees 
SC/ST/OBC: Minimum 50% aggregate in 12th Standard & bachelor/Master degrees
Cut-off MarksVaries University Wise
Admission ProcessMerit-Based Or Entrance Exam Based
OpportunityUniversities, Museums, Education Departments, Coaching Centres, Research and Development agencies, etc. 
Career RolesJournalist, Professor, Political Science Professor, Political Research Associate, Public Relations Specialist, Political Writer, Political Scientist,  etc.
Top Recruitment FirmsPoll Star, Quis Lex, India Today, government offices, Times of India, etc. 

Also Read: Top Engineering Colleges in India

Eligibility Criteria

The Ph.D. in Political Science admission 2023 process has various parameters & eligibility criteria that a student needs to meet before he can join the best university for Ph.D. in Political Science in India.

  • All the aspirants from the general category should have at least 55% aggregate marks in their 10th and 12th standards. ST, OBC, and SC aspirants should have at least 50% aggregate marks in their 10th and 12th standards.
  • Candidates undergoing the Ph.D. in Political Science admission 2023, should have completed their undergraduate and postgraduate programs in the relevant field with at least a 55% aggregate score. Whereas various Central universities demand 80% UG/PG scores for eligibility.
  • Before you complete the Ph.D. entrance exams syllabus for the political sciences program, you should know that various universities consider students with a high research-oriented mindset and academic excellence along with having strong political and economical knowledge.
  • Despite having academic excellence, you need to clear the entrance examinations with at least passing scores to be eligible for admission to Ph.D. in the Political Science program.

Admission Process

The Ph.D. in Political Science admission process takes place through merit scores or the entrance examination. The admission process is very rigorous, so even lagging by 1% would not let you join the university. The best university for political science Ph.D. programs held their university-level entrance exam, whose syllabus, cut-off score, exam date, etc get published on their official website a few months before. You can get Ph.D. in Political Science admission in 2023 in the following ways-

  • Merit-Based Admission: While the institutions that use a merit-based admissions system do not conduct entrance exams, they do demand strong grades, such as a cumulative grade point average of at least 55% from the applicant’s prior academic years. A candidate’s interest, political system knowledge, and research plans are all taken into consideration during interview rounds at various universities in India.
  • Entrance Exam-based admission: For separating qualified applicants from those who are not, certain prestigious universities like Delhi University choose an entrance-based examination method. A candidate must attempt the university’s entrance exam and receive at least a passing grade to be considered. CSIR-Net/JRF exams are accepted by the majority of India’s top universities for Ph.D. political science. Multiple-choice questions are in the questionnaire, and you must choose the correct answer from the list of options. Every year in January, the procedure for applying to the best political science Ph.D. programs through entrance exams begins. Starting in August, lessons are held.

Syllabus for Ph.D. in Political Science

The Ph.D. in political science syllabus covers various topics related to politics and the economic system. The entire syllabus of Ph.D. political science is divided into 6 semesters and one year will have two semesters. Here is the detailed list of all the topics that you will be studying in the Doctorate of political science course –

Ist Year Syllabus

Semester – Ist
Foundations, Approaches, and Epistemologies of Political Science ResearchStatistics and Data Collection
Research DesignSurvey Research Methods
Semester – IInd
Contextualising South AsiaForeign Policies of South Asian Countries and Regional Cooperation Initiatives
Protracted Disputes, Human Security and Environmental IssuesPolitical and Economic Challenges

IInd Year Syllabus 

Semester – IIIrd
Approaches and Perspectives to the Indian Political SystemStructural Concerns
Protection for Minorities and Deprived GroupsParty System in India
Semester – IVth
Decentralization and Development in IndiaDecentralization, Governance, and the Structure of Local Political Institutions
Decentralisation and Community EmpowermentParticipation and Local Development

IIIrd Year Syllabus 

Semester – Vth
Political EconomyLand Reforms in India
Semester – VIth
International and Multilateral EconomicInstitutions and Developing Countries
Public Policy Analysis

Fee Structure for Ph.D. in Political Science

The fee structure of the best Political Science Ph.D. programs is very nominal and ranges between INR 1,000 to INR 15 lakh per annum. Fees for the private Ph.D. in Political Science universities are higher than the government Ph.D. in political science universities. In total, we have 213 best universities for Ph.D. in Political Science in India. From these 213 institutions, we have 110 Government Ph.D. in Political Science universities & 103 Private Ph.D. in Political Science universities in India. Almost 47 of these universities from 213 have secured a place in the 2021 NIRF rankings. The ranking is determined by MHRD so that the process of choosing the best Ph.D. in Political Science universities whether government or private can become easy.

If you are looking for the best government Ph.D. universities having affordable fees between INR 1,000/- per annum to INR 10,000/- per annum with top-notch academic delivery, then you can apply for ‘Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi,’ ‘The University of Hyderabad (UOH), Hyderabad,’ ‘University of Calcutta, Kolkata,’ ‘Savitribai Phule University, Pune’, etc. Other well-known universities like ‘Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University (BAMU), Aurangabad,’ ‘Assam University, Silchar,’ ‘Annamalai University (AU), Tamil Nadu,’ ‘Delhi University (DU), New Delhi’ have fees structure approximately between INR 25,000/- per annum to INR 70,000/- per annum.

Top Entrance Examinations for Ph.D. in Political Science

The best university for Ph.D. in Political Science in India like Hindu College, New Delhi considers conducting entrance examinations instead of accepting students based on their merit. The following examinations you need to clear before getting admitted to renowned universities for Ph.D. in Political Science –

  • DUET 2023: DUET or Delhi University Entrance Test entrance exam is held by the ‘Delhi University,’ New Delhi each year. The doctorate of philosophy in political sciences entrance exam is generally conducted to select students for research-associated admissions.
  • RET 2023: RET or Research Entrance Test, is held by every university. It is conducted for selecting political science aspirants and research scholars.
  • UGC NET 2023: The full form of UGC NET is the University Grants Commission National Eligibility Test. It is a type of university-level entrance examination held by UGC following the ‘Government of India.’ The UGC NET exam is helpful in the various courses of the admission process & Ph.D. Political Science is one of them. It is a powerful exam with a huge weightage which means that clearing UGC NET could save you from various other entrance examinations.
  • CRET 2023: CRET or Combined Research Entrance Test is held by Assam University, Silchar every year. The entrance examination helps in filtering the right candidates for the admission process in the MPhil course as well as Ph.D. level programs.
  • PET 2023: PET is a short form for the Ph.D. Entrance Test. The PET entrance test is generally held by Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University (BAMU), Aurangabad. It helps with Ph.D. admission in political science and various other doctorate-level programs.

Syllabus for Entrance Exam

UGC-NET is the exam conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA), which is accepted by all Indian colleges affiliated with the University Grants Commission (UGC). The syllabus for the UGC-NET Political Science exam is mentioned below.

TopicsSub Topics
Political TheoryConcepts
Liberty, Equality, Justice, Rights, Democracy, Power, Citizenship, Political Traditions, Liberalism, Conservatism, Socialism, Marxism, Feminism, Ecologism, Multiculturalism, Postmodernism
Political ThoughtConfucius, Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Hegel, Mary Wollstonecraft, John Stuart Mill, Karl Marx, Gramsci, Hannah Arendt, Frantz Fanon, Mao Zedong, John Rawls
Indian Political ThoughtDharamshastra, Kautilya, Aggannasutta, Barani, Kabir, Pandita Ramabai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Swami Vivekanand, Rabindranath Tagore, M.K Gandhi, Sri Aurobindo, Periyar E. V. Ramasamy, Muhammad Iqbal, M.N.Roy, V D Savarkar, Dr. B.R.Ambedkar, J L Nehru, Ram Manohar Lohia, Jaya Prakash Narayan, Deendayal Upadhyaya
Comparative Political AnalysisApproaches: Institutional, Political Culture, Political Economy and New Institutionalism; Comparative Methods

Colonialism and decolonization: forms of colonialism, anti-colonial struggles and decolonization

Nationalism: European and non-European.

State theory: debate over the nature of state in capitalist and socialist societies; post-colonial state; welfare state; globalization and nations-states

Political regimes: democratic (Electoral, Liberal, Majoritarian and Participatory) and non-democratic regimes (Patrimonialism, Bureaucratic authoritarianism, Military dictatorship, Totalitarianism, and fascist).

Constitutions and Constitutionalism: forms of constitutions, rule of law, judicial independence and liberal constitutionalism; emergency powers and crisis of constitutionalism.

Democratisation: democratic transition and consolidation.

Development: Underdevelopment, Dependency, Modernization, World Systems Theory, development and democracy.

Structures of Power: ruling class, power elites, democratic elitism

Actor and Processes: Electoral Systems, Political Parties and Party System, Interest groups, Social movements, new social movements, Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and civil society campaigns; Revolutions.
International RelationsApproaches to the study of International relations: Idealism, Realism, Structural
Marxism, Neoliberalism, Neorealism, Social Constructivism, Critical International Theory, Feminism, Postmodernism.

Concepts: State, state system and non-state actors, Power, Sovereignty, Security: traditional and non- traditional.

Conflict and Peace: Changing Nature of Warfare; Weapons of mass destruction; deterrence; conflict resolution, conflict transformation.

United Nations: Aims, Objectives, Structure and Evaluation of the Working of UN; Peace and Development perspectives; Humanitarian intervention. International law; International Criminal Court

Political Economy of IR; Globalisation; Global governance and Bretton Woods system, North-South Dialogue, WTO, G-20, BRICS.

Regional Organisations: European Union, African Union, Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, ASEAN.

Contemporary Challenges: International terrorism, Climate change and Environmental Concerns, Human Rights, Migration and Refugees; Poverty and Development; Role of Religion, Culture and Identity Politics.
India’s Foreign PolicyPerspectives on India’s Foreign Policy: India’s Identity as postcolonial, development, rising power and as emerging political economy

Continuity and change in India’s Foreign Policy: Principles and determinants; Non-Alignment movement: historical background and relevance of Non Aligned Movement; India’s Nuclear Policy

India’s relations with major powers: USA, USSR/Russia, People’s Republic of China

India’s Engagement with multipolar world: India’s relations with European Union, BRICS, ASEAN, Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, African Union, Southern African Development Community, Gulf Cooperation Council

India’s relations with neighbourhood: SAARC, Gujaral doctrine, Look East/ Act East, Look West.

India’s Negotiation Strategies in International Regimes: The United Nations, World Trade Organisation, International Monetary Fund, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Contemporary challenges: maritime security, energy security, environmental security, migrants and refugees, water resources, international terrorism, cyber security
Political Institutions in IndiaMaking of the Indian Constitution: Colonialism heritage and the contribution Indian National Movement to the making of the Indian Constitution

Constituent Assembly: Composition, Ideological Moorings, Constitutional Debates Philosophy of the Constitution: Preamble, Fundamental Rights, Directive Principles

Constitutionalism in India: Democracy, Social Change, National Unity, Checks and Balances, Basic Structure Debate, Constitutional Amendments

Union Executive: President, Prime Minister and Council of Ministers

Union Parliament: Structure, Role and Functioning, Parliamentary Committees

Judiciary: Supreme Court, High Court, Judicial Review, Judicial Activism, Judicial Reform.

Executive and Legislature in the States: Governor, Chief Minister, State Legislature

Federalism in India: Strong Centre Framework, Asymmetrical Federal Provisions and Adaption, Role of Intergovernmental Coordination Mechanisms, Inter-State Council, Emerging Trends.

Electoral Process and Election Commission of India: Conduct of Elections, Rules, Electoral Reforms.

Local Government Institutions: Functioning and reforms.

Constitutional and Statutory Bodies: Comptroller and Auditor General, National Commission for Scheduled Castes, National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, National Commission for Human Rights, National Commission for Women, National Commission for Minorities.
Political Processes in IndiaState, Economy and Development: Nature of Indian State, Development Planning model, New Economic Policy, Growth and Human Development.

Process of globalisation: social and economic implications.

Identity Politics: Religion, Tribe, Caste, Region, Language.

Social Movements: Dalit, Tribal, Women, Farmers, labour

Civil Society Groups: Non-Party Social Formations, Non-Governmental Organisations, Social Action Groups.

Regionalisation of Indian Politics: Reorganisation of Indian States, States as Political and Economic Units, Sub-State Regions, Regional disparities, Demand for New States,

Gender and Politics in India: Issues of Equality and Representation.

Ideology and Social basis of Political Parties: National Parties, State Parties.

Electoral Politics: Participation, Contestation, Representation, Emerging trends.
Public AdministrationPublic Administration: meaning and evolution; public and private administration Approaches: System Theory, Decision Making, Ecological Approach

Public administration theories and concepts: Scientific Management Theory, Rational Choice theory, New Public Administration, Development Administration,

Comparative Public Administration, New Public Management, changing nature of Public Administration in the era of liberalisation and Globalisation

Theories and Principles of Organization: Scientific Management Theory, Bureaucratic Theory, Human Relations Theory

Managing the organization: Theories of leadership and motivation.

Organisational Communication: Theories and Principles, Chester Bernard Principles of Communication, Information Management in the organization

Managing Conflict in the Organization: Mary Parker Follett Management by Objectives- Peter Drucker
Governance and Public Policy in IndiaGovernance, good governance and democratic governance, role of state, civil society and individuals.

Accountability and control: Institutional mechanism for checks and balances, legislative control over executive, administrative and budgetary control, control through parliamentary committees, judicial control over legislature and executive, administrative culture, corruption and administrative reforms

Institutional mechanisms for good governance: Right to Information, Consumer Protection Act, Citizen Charter; Grievance redress system: Ombudsman, Lokpal, Lokayukta

Grassroots Governance: Panchayati Raj Institutions and their functioning

Planning and Development: Decentralised planning, planning for development, sustainable development, participatory development, e-governance; NITI Aayog

Public policy as an instrument of socio-economic development: public policies with special reference to housing, health, drinking water, food security, MNREGA, NHRM, RTE

Monitoring and evaluation of public policy; mechanisms of making governance process accountable: jansunwai, social audit.

Scholarship and Fellowship

Candidates can get the full benefit from the various fellowship & scholarship schemes made by the government of India to provide financial aid to deserving students. Attempt for the UGC NET / NET JRF examination in a political science subject. Once you successfully clear the exam, the government is going to sponsor your entire fee. The JRF (Junior Research Fellowship) is chosen by clearing the UGC NET entrance exam – (University Grants Commission National Eligibility Test). He is eligible to receive the INR 31,000 stipend every month. The INR 20,000/- contingency grant is provided to the university for every candidate. The candidate can attempt the SRF (Senior Research Fellowship) program after 2 years. He will get an INR 35,000 stipend every month.

Result and Cutoffs

Candidates need to meet the cutoff score set by their desired University to be eligible to be admitted there. Various parameters make the university come to a particular cutoff number. It is generally based on the infrastructure, the curriculum, the location, the student population, and the popularity of that particular university. The cutoff marks are going to vary for every university, so you need to make sure that you have scored the minimum eligible marks in your 10th and 12th standards along with meeting the minimum cut-off mark requirements in the entrance examination conducted by the university. You can check the previous year’s cut-off marks of your desired university to get an idea of how much the university expects from a candidate, as well as browse through their official website to get a clear idea on this subject & recent updates on cutoff 2023.

Future Scope and Career Options after Ph.D. in Political Science

The future seems bright for the candidates after taking Ph.D. admission in political sciences in 2023. The salary is not only the major attractive point to get admitted to a Ph.D. in Political Science 2023. In the future, you will be part of major decision-making in our political and economical system. Henceforth, you are going to get into various dignified job roles. According to your preference, you can either get into research-based profiles, government job roles, or even private sector job roles. The scope of a doctorate in philosophy in political sciences is not limited to a particular industry, you will get a chance to work with various sectors like publishing houses, universities, schools, etc. The top recruiters like Times of India, NDTV, and India Today will be coming to your campus for recruitment purposes so it in itself is a very big opportunity after completing Ph.D. in Political Science. Here in the below section, we have compiled the list of job roles, employment sectors as well as top recruiters-

Job Roles 

Researcher Research AnalystsProfessor
JournalistPublic Relation SpecialistSurvey Researcher
Project ManagerEducation DeveloperPolitical Scientist

Employment Sectors 

MuseumsPublishing HouseResearch and Development Agencies
Education DepartmentPrivate TuitionsEducation Consultancies
SchoolsCoaching CentersUniversities/Institutes/Colleges

Top Recruiters

Times of IndiaQuisLexOxynello
TransoplanetIndia Today

Salary Package After Completing Ph.D. in Political Science

According to the pay scale, the highest salary, lowest salary, and average salary for a Ph.D. in Political Science graduate are INR 20,00,000/-, INR 2,00,000/-, and INR 3,00,000/-. As per Glassdoor, the average salary for a Ph.D. in organic chemistry graduate is INR 9, 00,000/-. The same source also revealed the average salary for private & government careers. If you wish to pursue a career in government jobs of a Ph.D. in Political Science like survey researcher, political associate, etc, then your average salary would be INR 6, 00,000/-. If you get hired in a public sector career job role with Ph.D. in Political Science then your average salary is going to be INR 10, 00,000/-. Here is the list of job roles with their salary packages per annum respectively –

Profile Average Salary (Annually)
Political ScientistINR 6,00,000/- to INR 9,00,000/- (Source: “Glassdoor”)
JournalistINR 6,00,000/- to 10, 00,000/-
Research AnalystINR 5,00,000/-
Public Relation SpecialistINR 8,00,000/- to INR 11,00,000/- (Source: “Naukri”)
Political Science Professor/Lecturer INR 10,00,000/- to INR 15,00,000/- (Source: “Naukri”)
Market Trend Research AnalystINR 4,00,000/- to 8,00,000/- (Source: “Naukri”)
Survey ResearcherINR 6,00,000/- to INR 7,00,000/- (Source: “Glassdoor”)
Research AssociateINR 5,00,000/-(Source: “Glassdoor”)
Education DeveloperINR 8,00,000/-(Source: “Glassdoor”)
ConsultantINR 8,00,000/-(Source: “Glassdoor”)
Political AssociateINR 9,00,000/-(Source: “Glassdoor”)

Top Cities for Ph.D. in Political Science

Candidates will find that every corner of India is filled with Ph.D. universities for political sciences, but the best of them are very few. The choice of the best location for a political science doctorate course is based on factors such as placements, infrastructure, laboratories, research centers, live projects, internships, etc. Here is a list of the best cities that you can choose for doing your political science doctorate course –

Bangalore Chennai Pune 
Mumbai Hyderabad Mysore
KolkataDelhi NCR Uttar Pradesh 

Top university for Ph.D. in Political Science in India

Candidates are becoming more alert before choosing government and private universities for their Ph.D. in Political Science. Both university types have their pros and cons. Government Universities have lower fee structures and more job opportunities. Whereas private Universities have a higher fee structure and a decent amount of job opportunities although admission criteria in government universities are quite difficult as compared to private Universities. Let’s discuss them below –

Best Private/Government Ph.D. in Political Science Universities in India: Here is the list of top-ranked government & private doctorate in political science universities according to ‘The Week, ‘ ‘India today’ & ‘Outlook’ –

Name of UniversityRanking 
St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai,  Maharashtra8th out of 50 in ‘The Week’ 19th out of 171 in ‘India Today
Miranda House, New Delhi3rd out of 171 in ‘India Today 2nd out of 115 in ‘Outlook’
Madras Christian College (MCC), Chennai, Tamil Nadu5th out of 115 in ‘Outlook’ 6th out of 171 in ‘India Today
Hindu College, New Delhi1st out of 171 in ‘India Today3rd out of 115 in ‘Outlook’
Mount Carmel College (MCC), Bangalore, Karnataka24th out of 171 in ‘India Today24th out of 115 in ‘Outlook’
Christ University, Bangalore, Karnataka9th out of 171 in ‘India Today10th out of 115 in ‘Outlook’
Lady Shri Ram College for Women (LSR), New Delhi1st out of 115 in ‘Outlook’ 4th out of 171 in ‘India Today
Isabella Thoburn Degree College (ITDC), Uttar Pradesh40th out of 115 in ‘Outlook’ 45th out of 171 in ‘India Today
Mithibai College of Arts, Mumbai,  Maharashtra12th out of 115 in ‘Outlook’ 13th out of 171 in ‘India Today
Sri Venkateswara College, New Delhi14th out of 171 in ‘India Today 6th out of 115 in ‘Outlook’

Top University for Ph.D. in Political Science in World: According to the source, ‘QS top universities,’ the ranking of best Ph.D. in Political Sciences universities with a score in the World are mentioned below –

Name of UniversityRanking Overall Score
Harvard University, Cambridge,  US193.3
Sciences Po,  Paris, France290.8
The University of Oxford,  Oxford, UK389.6
Princeton University, Princeton, US487.9
The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), London, UK586
University of Cambridge,  Cambridge, UK684.9
Stanford University,  Stanford, US784.6
Yale University,  New Haven, US883.5
The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia980.8
National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore 1080.5

FAQ’s Related to Ph.D. in Political Science

Q. What is the full form of a Ph.D. in political science?
Ans. Ph.D. political science stands for ‘Doctorate of Philosophy in Political Sciences. ‘

Q. What is the average salary of a Ph.D. political science graduate?
Ans. The doctorate in political science graduate has an average salary of INR 9 lakh per annum according to glassdoor. He can make between INR 2 lakh per annum to 20 lakhs per annum based on his knowledge, expertise & hands-on experience.

Q. Mention the top recruiters that hire Ph.D. in political science graduates.
Ans. The top companies that hire political science doctorate graduates are Times of India, India Today, NDTV sector, etc.

Q. What career options do I have after completing a Ph.D. political science course?
Ans. After completing Ph.D. in political science abroad or India, you can get into job roles like Political Science Professor, Political Associate, Education Developer, Political Research Associate, etc.

Q. What entrance exams are held for admission to Ph.D. in political science?
Ans. PET, CRET, RET, and UGC NET are the general exams that will help you to get admission to Ph.D. political science.

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