Department of Computer Science & Information Systems

Computer Science & Information Systems

    PhD Qualifying Exam

    FAQ For PhD Qualifiers

    1Total number of subjects
    4 (four)
    2Choice of subjects
    (Subject 1): Compulsory: Algorithms.
    (Subject 2 & 3): From your own Research Area.
    (Subject 4): From any Area other than your Research Area.
    3Full marks for exams
    400 (100 marks per subject).
    4Choosing your subjects

    (i) A student will select 2 Research Areas from choices available at this [Link].

    Note that:
    The First Research Area, let's call this RA1 here, should match with your planned area of research (always in discussion with your supervisor, of course). The Second Research Area, let's call this RA2 here, can be any other available on the link provided above.

    (ii) Now (a) select 2 subjects from RA1; (b) select 1 subject from RA2; (c) Algorithms is the compulsory 4th subject to be written by all students.

    (iii) Full marks for each subject will be 100 with the following break-up:
    Written - 75 marks; Viva - 25 marks;

    5The different Research Areas and sub-Areas.
    Available at this [Link].
    6What is the Pass marks?

    A student needs to score a total of 100-out-of-200 in each of the 1st (RA1) and the 2nd (RA2) Research Areas.
    For example, if a student scores (say) 99/200 in RA1, they will fail the exam, even if they score (say) 100/200 in RA2.

    7Formalities to appear for the exam

    Good question!
    Once you have made the choice of subjects, the best way out is for you and your supervisor to work as a team and collate a list of possible Examiners for each of your subject choices.

    A list of possible Examiners are available at this [Link] (although note that these are Not 'set in stone', for example a named Examiner may not be available during a certain cycle).

    Once you have that list - send that out to the DRC convener via an email - with the following details:
    (a) Your name:
    (b) Your Student id:
    (c) Research Areas, choice of subjects, and proposed Examiners.

    The sooner you send the mail, the better it is for the DRC to prepare and plan accordingly - see point no. (8) for some pointers.

    Note that in the case that you and/or your supervisor need(s) help in choosing Examiners, you can always reach out to any member of the DRC, and we will try to resolve your issue to the best possible. The final decision will be with the DRC Convener.

    8Some points to note with regards to Examiner selection

    (Please read Point 7 before you read the contents here)

    --> Note that just like you, there will be other students who will be providing their list of suggested/agreed examiners.
    --> Thus, a situation may arise, where
    Student A suggests Examiner B for a subject C
    Student X suggests Examiner Y for the subject C

    But there can be only 1 examiner for subject C in 1 cycle of the Qualifier exams.
    In such cases, the DRC will handle the case, and will finalize either Examiner B or Y who will examine both candidates A and X on the subject C.



    9Can my supervisor be my Examiner?

    Of course. However, your supervisor can examine you for at the most 1 subject, not any more than that.

    10How will I know the exam dates?

    The final dates are announced by the AGSRD every semester and every cycle.
    Note that individual departments Do Not know about these.
    However, you can get an estimated timeline at the AGSRD site - see [Here].

    11Formalities once the exam dates are announced
    (i) Download all relevant forms available under the appropriate header at this [ link ].
    (Note: All materials available at this link are maintained by the AGSRD. If you find any issue with any content, please approach the AGSRD, not the CSIS DRC/Office.]

    (ii) Create a Google Drive Folder with the following format "[Name]_[StudentID]_PhDQualifier".

    (iii) Now put all filled in forms and other relevant documents in this folder.

    (iv) Send an email to the DRC convener, cc to CSIS office and your supervisor, providing the link to this folder for further processing.

    (v) Note: When sending the email, you will be prompted to provide edit/view rights; please provide 'Edit' rights to all addressees (including cc).
    12When will the Qualifier results be declared?

    Officially, it takes a few weeks before the AGSRD office notifies you about the outcome of your exam.

    Note that it is the AGSRD  who declares your results; Not the DRC.


    13Timeline for appearing in the PhD Qualifier

    Have you taken admission during or after the Jan 2024 cycle?
    No - You need to take your Qualifier exams within 1 year of your admission.

    Yes - You need to fulfill compulsory coursework prior to being eligible for appearing in the Qualifier exams. Please consult your supervisor on how to proceed. (Note that this is a newly introduced concept and the guidelines are not clear to the DRC presently).

    14Exam Timelines
    Announced by AGSRD as (let's say) 44th - 46th of month May-Mars.
    1. On the 44th May-Mars, there will be 2 written exams. First paper in Forenoon (FN); second paper in the Afternoon (AN). [75 marks each  subject ]
    2. On the 45th May-Mars, there will be 2 written exams. First paper in FN; second paper in the AN. [75 marks each subject ]
    3. On the 46th May-Mars,Viva-voce for all exams will be conducted. [25 marks each subject]
    The exact Rota and Venue will be declared nearer the time and cannot be confirmed ahead of time.
    15For any further questions

    For any further questions, the first point of contact is