PhD at School of Arts and Sciences

PhD at School of Arts and Sciences

Ahmedabad University’s doctoral programmes involve completing graduate-level course work, passing a comprehensive examination, and successfully completing a dissertation. The School of Arts and Sciences offers doctoral programmes in Humanities and Social Sciences, Life Sciences, and Physics. Details of each of the programmes is given below.

Humanities and Social Sciences

The interdisciplinary PhD programme in the Humanities and Social Sciences at the School of Arts and Sciences of Ahmedabad University is unique among those offered by Indian universities. Its emphasis on interdisciplinarity provides PhD scholars with training that will expand their intellectual range, a training essential for present-day knowledge production. Unlike conventional doctoral programmes, the framework of this programme will equip scholars to ask novel research questions that transcend disciplinary silos. The programme is interested in using an interdisciplinary lens in the study of, for instance, political behaviour, cultural practice, questions of justice, urban transformations, ecological challenges, digital technologies and modern forms of economic organisation. The programme integrates interdisciplinary theoretical training with a focus on cutting-edge interpretive, qualitative and quantitative research methods. It will support scholars who wish to pursue puzzles and solutions that draw on but also go beyond the disciplinary boundaries of history, political science, philosophy, urban studies, anthropology, sociology and psychology.

Goals of the Interdisciplinary PhD programme in Humanities and Social Sciences

  • The interdisciplinary PhD programme in the Humanities and Social Sciences responds to the most crucial intellectual needs of our contemporary world. Understanding increasingly complex human problems requires us to appreciate the intersecting nature of disciplinary domains.
  • The programme collaborates and works closely with faculty from other Schools and Centres at Ahmedabad University, whose work overlaps with the School of Arts and Sciences.
  • The programme aims to prepare candidates for careers in academia, research and related practice-based careers of applied knowledge. 

Life Sciences

At the Biological and Life Sciences division, we study fundamental biological questions that span biomolecules, cells, organisms and ecosystems. The objectives of our programme are to nurture science and innovation through rigorous teaching and research, in areas that are central to human and environmental health. The educational objectives are to train students in modern biological techniques in molecular, cellular, biochemical, integrative and computational biology. We encourage multi-disciplinary thinking, cross-disciplinary interactions, and research collaborations with engineers, physicists, chemists, and faculty from the arts and humanities.

We not only celebrate knowledge creation but also its application, by facilitating engagement with industries and by promoting entrepreneurship via VentureStudio (the startup incubator at Ahmedabad University). Students are actively encouraged to break traditional disciplinary boundaries as they design their course work and research programme. Throughout the programme of study and research, we emphasise scholarship and provide an environment that is open to intellectual discussion. Our faculty are from diverse, often interdisciplinary, backgrounds, with many engaging in interactive research in overlapping areas that include, but are not limited to:

  • Species, Climate Warming, and Evolution 
  • Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Ecology and Wildlife Biology 
  • Molecular parasitology
  • Forensic Science and Toxicology 
  • Animal Behaviour and Disease ecology 
  • Systems Biology and Evolution
  • Cancer Biology
  • Structural  Biology/Biochemistry/Bioinformatics


At Ahmedabad University, we encourage students to think beyond the traditional borders of the conventional sub-areas of Physics as well as across other disciplines. While some of the current research interests of the faculty involve core areas of Physics, the research interests of faculty involve a significant interdisciplinary approach combining physics, biology and atmospheric sciences. This provides students with opportunities to explore diverse possibilities. The PhD course curriculum comprising of various electives reflects this thinking. PhD aspirants are encouraged to go through the research activities of the faculty members and have an open mind while deciding their research career. It may also be helpful for them to examine the PhD programmes in Life Sciences, and in Humanities and Social Sciences, which give a sense of the engaged, interdisciplinary and collaborative learning practices that are expected at the School of Arts and Sciences.

The PhD Programme in Physics is designed to prepare students for a career as a researcher, either in academia or in industry. Careers in industry will depend on the area of doctoral research and the extent of industrial research in that field. Through coursework and research projects that will expose students to research in different branches of Physics, students will be prepared for the expected and appropriate level of research in the PhD programme.

The Structure of the curriculum is as follows:

 I  Courses in Physics and related areas 27 credits
II Research Methodology 3 credits
III Statistics 3 credits
IV Technical Writing 3 credits
  Total 36 credits

Doctoral students are required to take courses in Mathematical Physics, Computational Physics, Research Methodology, Technical Writing, and Statistics. In addition, students will take five additional courses out of a set of elective courses depending on their area of interest, and complete two Research Projects. Doctoral programme students will choose their research topic in consultation with the faculty during their coursework in the PhD programme.

Broad research areas

  • Atmospheric Physics, Air Pollution
  • Gravitation and Cosmology
  • Magneto-optics, Optical Magnetometry
  • Quantum Computing
  • Statistical Physics

Programme Must Knows

Minimum Programme Credits:

Humanities and Social Sciences | Life Sciences | Physics