NUS-IITM Joint Ph.D.

NUS-IITM Joint Ph.D.

About IITM


IIT Madras is one among the foremost institutes of national importance in higher technological education, basic and applied research. The Institute has fifteen academic departments and a few advanced research centres in various disciplines of engineering and pure sciences. A faculty of international repute, a brilliant student community, excellent technical and supporting staff and an effective administration has all contributed to the pre-eminent status of IIT Madras. The campus is located in the city of Chennai , previously known as Madras. Chennai is the state capital of Tamilnadu, a southern state in India.

Joint Degree Requirements

The Joint Doctoral programme with be offered by NUS Engineering and the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM).

This Ph.D. programme will have all the academic requirements of the normal Ph.D. degree of both NUS Engineering and IITM. Faculty members from both universities will participate in the teaching of modules and the joint supervision of research projects in Singapore , in India and via teleconferencing.

The students will be registered at both NUS Engineering and IITM, and graduate with a joint degree. The candidate may apply to either NUS Engineering or IITM. When accepted, the admitting university will be the home university.

At NUS Engineering, the coursework/education requirements for NUS-IITM Joint Ph.D. programme in Engineering are:

Coursework element

Research degree programme includes an element of coursework in the same or related fields. This provides a graduate-level foundation and prepares the student for research.

For doctoral coursework requirements, the student is required to undertake coursework as specified by the relevant department of the home university. This comprises not less than 24 MCs (typically 6 graduate modules). Students of some departments may be required to read additional modules.

Doctoral students are expected to achieve a CAP of at least 3.50 in the best 6 modules (equivalent of 24 MCs), inclusive of core modules (if any).

English language requirements (if not exempted) include having to take and obtain at least a Grade C) in the Graduate English Course (Advanced level).

Doctoral Seminar

To cultivate a strong research culture among graduate students, the required coursework includes a “doctoral seminar”.

A doctoral student is required to attend seminars and also deliver presentations of his/her research work. Please check with your Department for the detailed requirements. Participation in seminars is an integral part of graduate study as it helps to enhance knowledge, broaden research outlook, sharpens thinking and improves communication skills.

A ‘Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory’ grade is awarded on the basis of attendance, presentation and document submission. All research students are also expected to obtain a satisfactory grade for the seminar module.

Ph.D. Qualifying Examination

A doctoral candidate must complete a prescribed set of modules before proceeding to the Ph.D. Qualifying Examination (QE). The QE comprises a comprehensive written examination and an oral defence of the Ph.D. thesis proposal. The written comprehensive examination tests the general competence of the candidate in his/her discipline(s), while the oral defence ensures that the candidate is prepared to embark on his/her thesis research. The QE should usually be taken 12 to 24 months from the start of the Ph.D. candidature.

Doctoral students are expected to pass both the written comprehensive examination and the oral defence.

Thesis component

The Ph.D. requires a thesis, which is not measured by MCs. The thesis will be examined by internal/external examiners from NUS, IITM and other universities.

Oral Defence Examination

The Oral Defence of the thesis would be conducted at the home university with a possible teleconferencing link to the examiner(s) at the partner university. The Oral Defence examiners will comprise examiners of the thesis, mutually agreed by both the home and the partner universities.


Candidates would spend at least two semesters of their candidature each at NUS Engineering and IITM, either reading modules and/or undertaken research. The cost of travel, accommodation between home and partner universities and any living expenses will be incurred by the students.

Candidates would spend their final semester of study at their home university.

Research Scholarships

Full-time candidates may be awarded with a research scholarship from his/her home university and is bound by the terms and conditions of the research scholarship. Research Scholarship would be applied together with the admission of the joint Ph.D. programme.

Conferment of Joint Degree

Conferment of the joint degree will be by both universities, which awards one certificate bearing the crests of both the home and the partner universities.

The degree awarded to all successful candidates is identical except that a candidate may use the title of either Ph.D. (NUS-IITM) or Ph.D. (IITM-NUS) with his/her home university mentioned first.

Each university shall issue a transcript for their respective courses, with a remark indicating that the candidate has taken certain modules at the other university, where applicable.


Applications for the Joint Ph.D. programme should be submitted to the university which the candidate wish to be registered with as their home university.

The minimum admission criteria is at least a relevant Bachelor’s degree with Honours (at least Second Class Upper) or its equivalent.

Application Forms