National Law University Delhi
(Accredited in 'A' grade with a score 3.59 on a four point scale by NAAC) 

Ph.D. Programme


The law is not the private property of lawyers, nor is justice the exclusive province of judges and juries. In the final analysis, true justice is not a matter of courts and law books, but of a commitment in each of us to liberty and mutual respect.

Jimmy Carter

The admission to Ph. D Programme conducted by NLU, Delhi is a two-stage process and is strictly based on merit.

Procedure For Admission

  1. Notification of Ph. D seats: The number of seats available for Ph.D. programme will be notified by the University every year before the start of admission process keeping in view the availability of teachers for guiding Ph.D. Scholars. However, the number of seats may be increased up to 25% for considering the applications of regular faculty members of the NLU Delhi for Ph.D. admission, who are otherwise fulfilling the required eligibility criteria
  2. Written test for admission: The admission shall be through a qualifying written test to be conducted by the university. The written test is only a qualifying test and there will be no weightage of marks secured in test in the final selection. The university has modified the evaluation system of written tests for admissions (applicable from entrance examination- 2018). Negative marking has been introduced for written test for Ph. D programme also. (The criteria for negative marking will be based on the formula 0.25*4= 1 that means per wrong answer 0.25 marks will be deducted. Therefore, four wrong answers will lead to deduction of 1 mark).
  3. Submission of Research Proposal: The candidate shall secure minimum 50% marks (40% in case of SC/ST candidates) in the written test to qualify for submission of research proposal. The qualified candidates will be asked to submit their Research Proposal for scrutiny. The University has the right to keep the seats vacant if sufficient numbers of candidates with minimum cut off marks are not available.
  4. Exemption from written test: Candidates who have qualified UGC NET/JRF, SLET, and M. Phil. are exempted from the taking the admission test. They will be asked to submit their Research Proposal for scrutiny along with other qualified candidates.
  5. Evaluation of Research Proposals by Research Advisory Committee: All qualified candidates along with exempted category candidates shall submit research proposal. The Research Advisory Committee will short list the candidates after evaluating their research proposals for giving presentation before the Doctoral Committee as per the guidelines prescribed by the university.
  6. Presentation before Doctoral Committee: The candidates equal to three times of number of seats, based on scoring given by the Research Advisory Committee, will be called to give a presentation before the Doctoral Committee on the proposed topic of research on a date notified by the University. Based on identified criteria, the Doctoral Committee will evaluate the candidates for maximum of 50 marks. The decision of the Doctoral Committee in recommending the name of the candidates for admission to Ph.D. programme shall be final. The admissions will be finally approved by the Vice-Chancellor on the recommendations of the Doctoral Committee. Reservation policy would be applied suitably at the appropriate stage of the selection process . The University has a right to keep the seats vacant if the sufficient number of candidates are not found suitable by the Doctoral Committee.

Eligibility For Admission

To be admitted to the candidature for a doctoral degree an applicant shall have:
  1. A Master's degree in law or a professional degree declared equivalent to the Master’s degree in law by the corresponding statutory regulatory body, with at least 55% marks in aggregate or its equivalent grade 'B' in the UGC 7-point scale (or an equivalent grade in a point scale wherever grading system is followed) or an equivalent degree from a foreign educational Institution accredited by an Assessment and Accreditation Agency which is approved, recognized or authorized by an authority, established or incorporated under a law in its home country or any other statutory authority in that country for the purpose of assessing, accrediting or assuring quality and standards of educational institutions.
  2. Or

  3. obtained a degree in law and Master’s Degree with M. Phil. in social sciences or humanities of any recognised university with at least 55% marks in aggregate or its equivalent grade 'B' in the UGC 7-point scale (or an equivalent grade in a point scale wherever grading system is followed).
    Provided that candidates with qualifications in social sciences and humanities may be admitted to the programme if the research they wish to pursue interfaces with the discipline of law with a special focus on Public Policy or Law.

    For the above two categories, a relaxation of 5% of marks, from 55% to 50%, or an equivalent relaxation of grade, may be allowed for those belonging to SC/ST/OBC (non-creamy layer)/Differently-abled and other categories of candidates as per the decision of the Commission from time to time, or for those who had obtained their Master's degree prior to 19th September, 1991. The eligibility marks of 55% (or an equivalent grade in a point scale wherever grading system is followed) and the relaxation of 5% to the categories mentioned above are permissible based only on the qualifying marks without including the grace mark procedures.
  4. Or

  5. Candidates possessing a Degree in law and Master’s Degree considered equivalent to M.Phil. Degree of an Indian Institution, from a Foreign Educational Institution accredited as per UGC Regulations shall be eligible for admission to Ph.D. programme.
  6. Or

  7. Degree in law and Ph.D. in any discipline.
  8. Or

  9. Judge of any State High Court in India with three years’ experience or Judge of Supreme Court of India.
  10. Or

  11. A foreign student, who is interested to enroll from outside India from reputed University/Institutions may be allowed to be registered for Ph.D. in National Law University Delhi subject to the condition that one supervisor will be from the National Law University Delhi and one from the parent foreign University/Institutions of the student. He /She will be exempted from appearing in the Entrance Test subject to the condition that he/she fulfills the other minimum eligibility conditions. The Vice-Chancellor will be competent to allow registration of such students on case to case basis on the recommendations of Doctoral Committee. The student will be required to visit National Law University Delhi for Viva-Voce to defend his/her Thesis as per University Regulations.

    The Vice-Chancellor may permit a member of the NLU, Delhi faculty to take up Ph.D. Degree course along with his / her teaching assignment in the interest of faculty improvement on the condition that his / her teaching and other responsibilities are not hampered in any way provided such candidates fulfill the conditions prescribed in the Ph.D. Regulations.

Categories Of Enrolment

  1. Full-time enrolment
    i) Enrolment for the Ph.D. Degree shall ordinarily be full-time. The candidate shall put in a minimum of three-years residence of which at least 18 months shall be in the university. During this period, a scholar can be attached to a supervisor and assist the supervisor in teaching at the University. After this period, a scholar may be permitted to conduct empirical research work outside the university. There shall thus be provision for the candidate to earn credits for research work done outside the university.

    ii) Five years shall be the maximum period in which a full time candidate should complete the work and submit it for evaluation. However, this time period is extendable up to one year in two extensions of six months each in case the scholar requests in writing for such extension. This is subject to the approval of the doctoral committee on recommendation of the Research Advisory Committee.
  2. Part-time enrolment
    There shall be provision for part-time enrolment for the Ph.D. Degree.
    i) A part-time candidate shall put in a minimum of four years of part-time study in the University including time spent for research at any other place with the permission of the supervisor.

    Provided that the part-time candidates shall put in residence in the University for at least a total period of two semesters spread over the five-year period. However, persons working at senior level such as a Judge in the High Court / Supreme Court, a senior Advocate in Supreme Court and Judicial Officers (with LL.M. degree and ten years’ experience as Judicial Officer) may be exempted from the said residence condition with the condition that they should complete the certificate course in research methodology within six months after admission.

    ii) Five years shall be the maximum period in which the part-time candidate shall complete the research work and submit it for evaluation. However, this time period is extendable up to one year in two extensions of six months each in case the scholar requests in writing for such extension. This is subject to the approval of the doctoral committee on recommendation of the research advisory committee.
  3. Conversion
    Conversion either from part-time to full-time or from full-time to part-time is to be permitted only with the approval of the Doctoral Committee. All cases of pre and post - employment of research scholars including JRF and SRF will be considered and approved by the Doctoral Committee.
  4. Monitoring the Research Work
    In cases of both part-time and full-time enrolment the supervisor of the candidate shall ensure monitoring of the research work done by the scholars outside the university campus by insisting on production of adequate proof of work done.
  5. Expiry / Lapse of Enrolment
    Enrolment for the Ph.D. shall be deemed to have lapsed after six years from the date of enrolment both in case of full-time scholars and part-time scholars.

    The women candidates and Persons with Disability (more than 40% disability) may be allowed a relaxation of two years for Ph.D. in the maximum duration. In addition, the women candidates may be provided Maternity Leave/Child Care Leave once in the entire duration of Ph.D. for up to 240 days.

Guidelines for Writing Ph. D Synopsis