Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Program

The department is actively involved in research in all current areas of Computer Science. The focus of the PhD program is on research training with a high degree of specialization. The aim of such a training is to make our PhD students very competent in their respective areas, so that they may be able to take up teaching or research-and-development professions.


Duration of the Program

The residence requirements for PhD program is four or six semesters depending on whether the student has M.Tech. or B.Tech. degree, respectively.

Course Requirement

For PhD students who have an M.Tech. degree, the minimum requirement is that of 64 units, out of which at least 16 units should be through regular post-graduate courses and at least 32 units should be through research. In case of PhD students holding a B.Tech. degree, the minimum requirement is that of 96 units, out of which 40 units should be through post-graduate courses and at least 32 units should be through research. A typical course is considered to be 4 units. All the courses in the PhD program are electives. A list of all computer science courses is available here. A large number of electives are offered in each semester. The exact courses offered will depend on availability of faculty members in a particular semester.

Areas of Research

The department has faculty members in all areas of Computer Science & Engineering. Active research is currently being carried out in the areas of VLSI design, computer architecture, software engineering, fault tolerance, compilers, database systems, multi-media systems, operating systems, computer networks, Internet technologies, distributed computing, computer graphics and animation, CAD, algorithms, complexity theory, and artificial intelligence, etc.

What a PhD student can expect?

The department of Computer Science & Engineering at IIT Kanpur has always been a very open and supportive department for all its students, and particularly so for the PhD students. There is a relaxed, friendly atmosphere, where faculty and students mix freely. PhD students are respected as much as any faculty member. They have their own air-conditioned office space, furniture, etc., with a telephone. Each student is given a PC on her/his desk, when they join. They get office support for photocopying, laser printing, mailing, stationery, etc. They have a say in deciding the books and journals to be bought by the library. They can expect to get travel support to attend conferences. There are a number of industry fellowships of upto Rs.15,000 per month available for PhD students. More details on financial assistantship is given below. In addition, the deparment runs a large number of short-term courses for the industry, in which PhD students have a choice to teach. If they choose to teach those courses, they will be given additional handsome remuneration for that.

Financial Assistance

Non-sponsored candidates admitted to the regular full-time PhD Program who are Indian Nationals are eligible for financial assistance as follows: TA/RA ship: Candidates admitted to the PhD program (and satisfying some conditions like either holding M.Tech. degree or having a valid GATE score, minimum marks in qualifying degree examination, etc.) will be offered the Teaching Assistantship (TA) or Research Assistantship. A teaching assistant can be asked to conduct labs, help an instructor in grading, and other course-related tasks. In some cases, TA can also be asked to teach tutorial sessions to the first year BTech students. A research assistant can be asked to support the department in various academic activities. An RA can also be assigned to faculty members to help them in their research effort. The assistantship amount depends on whether the candidate has a BTech degree or an MTech degree. The assistantship after MTech is Rs. 25000 per month. This amount can be supplemented by various grants. Ph.D students are given stipend of Rs. 25,000 per month for first two years which increases to Rs. 28,000 per month for next three years. Project Assistantship: Several faculty members are working on sponsored projects, supported by government funding agencies such as MHRD, DoE, DST, AICTE, etc. Some projects are also funded by Industry. A PhD student can be hired as a project employee to carry out research. The assistantship amount in such cases may be more than the default stipend of Rs. 25,000 p.m. Industry Fellowships: Several companies are supporting PhD students by providing them with a fellowship. The amount in these cases is usually more than Rs.10,000 per month. Infosys Technologies has setup two Infosys Fellowships for PhD students in the department. Det Norske Veritas (DNV) has setup one DNV Fellowship for PhD students in the department. Lucent Bell Labs Bangalore has setup Bell Labs Fellowship for PhD students (in the field of networking) in the department. These fellowships pay more than Rs.15,000 per month to a PhD scholar.

Comprehensive Examination

Each PhD student, who joins the programme after a masters degree, must successfully clear the comprehensive exam before the completion of 4 semesters. Those who join directly after the bachelors degree, get 5 semesters to clear these examinations. In the Computer Science department these exams have two parts.

In the first part each student must clear written exams in any 3 out of 9 subjects: Theory of Computing, Discrete Mathematics, Algebra and Logic, Algorithms, Networks, Compilers, Operating Systems, Architecture, and Databases. They must receive a B or better grade to clear the subject. These exams are held every semester. Student does not have to appear in all the three exams in single semester. But they cannot appear in more exams than required. The choice of the subjects are independent of the area of research interest.

The student can appear for the second part of the comprehensive exams only after (i) completing the entire course work, and (ii) completing the first part of the comprehensive exams. In this part the supervisor and the DPGC convenor select one CSE faculty member who will be in charge of this part. He / she will give one or two research papers, not in the narrow area of the student's research interest. The student must read these papers and submit a summary of the paper in about 25 days after the assignment of the paper to the faculty in charge. On the 30th day the student must present the content of the paper to the comprehensive examination committee and answer the questions satisfactorily. The committee includes the faculty in charge, supervisor, at least one more faculty member from the department and one from outside the department.  The selection of the last two members is done by the faculty in charge in consultation with the DPGC convenor.


Extension of financial Assistantship for PhD Scholars (2016 – 2017 - I) Letter.

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