PhD is a research programme whose centerpiece is the dissertation. The course work and the qualifiers are there to ensure the necessary breadth in the areas for the student. The semester-wise courses and the planning of PhD study is dependent on the students background.
A PhD student takes the relevant courses in the first one or two semesters, depending on the background, just like a student of MS by research. After the first year, the student works on clearing the PhD qualifying exam which tests his or her breadth of knowledge in the field of study. This is followed by the PhD proposal defense where the depth of the knowledge of the student in his field of dissertation is tested.
The PhD is awarded on completion of thesis followed by successful thesis defense. Research Exchange Programme allows a PhD student to spend time abroad.
This programme allows highly meritorious out-of-station candidates to enroll for PhD and carry out the main part of their research from their home institute. They are required to spend their first semester for course work in the institute, and again for a semester later while carrying out their research.
The Institute has extremely ambitious programmes for the creation of the next generation of researchers, faculty members and innovators called the Research Exchange Programme. The candidate registers for PhD and spends even amount of time at the Institute and with a partner research group abroad. Financial support is guaranteed at both ends. He may also obtain his PhD from the partner research group abroad. The partnership has been worked out with leading research groups at CMU, University of Pennsylvania, and University of Illinois among others.