NLSIU Bangalore

Ph.D (Interdisciplinary)

The Interdisciplinary Ph.D programme in NLSIU involves research across disciplines to arrive at a more comprehensive perspective and solution for a particular problem. With a strong, established interdisciplinary research focus and a research advisory committee involving faculty from different disciplines, a candidate is well placed to explore such solutions in NLSIU.

As part of the Ph.D programme, candidates are provided the opportunity to teach in areas related to their research, allowing for deeper integration with the NLSIU community and also provide diverse feedback opportunities.

Applications are invited for admission to the Research Degree Programmes at the National Law School of India University (NLSIU) for Academic Year 2024-25.

The PhD (Interdisciplinary) encourages students with any degree in the social sciences, humanities, engineering, medicine or any other inter- or multi-disciplinary field to apply. Candidates are encouraged to review the ongoing research projects and research of the faculty on the University website.

Eligibility for Ph.D. (Interdisciplinary)

The following candidates shall be eligible to apply for the Ph.D. (Interdisciplinary) programme:

a) Candidates having a Master’s degree in any discipline through regular mode with a minimum of 55% or equivalent grade (50% of marks or its equivalent grade in case of SC/ST/OBC-NCL/Persons with Disability) and a Bachelor’s degree from a recognized University through regular mode; or

b) Candidates having passed the Company Secretaryship examination conducted by the Institute of Company Secretaries of India and been awarded Associate Membership of the Institute (ACS) and having completed a bachelor’s degree programme in Law (LL.B.) from a recognized University through regular mode; or

c) Candidates having passed the Chartered Accountants examination conducted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and been awarded Membership of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, and having completed a bachelor’s degree programme in Law (LL.B.) degree from a recognized University through regular mode;

Provided that candidates in their final year of study in the respective degrees in (a), (b) and (c) shall be eligible to apply, subject to the candidate securing the minimum marks or equivalent grade prior to the date of commencement of the Ph.D.

International Students

Candidates can apply for the NLSAT – International Examination for “international student” category, if they fulfil the following conditions:

  • They should be a citizen of a country other than India; AND
  • They should have completed a minimum of ten years of their education in a school/college/university outside India.

For more details, click here.

Admission Process

Admission to the programme will be through an all-India written admissions test, the National Law School Admissions Test (NLSAT-PhD). Candidates shall submit the application form duly filled up along with a research proposal of about 6-8 pages. The application form is available here.

The research proposal should contain:
i. Tentative Title
ii. Statement of the problem and the background information on the subject.
iii. A brief outline of the research design including a set of research questions, a brief review of the relevant literature on the issue identified for research, a research hypothesis (where applicable) and the proposed methodology. Students who demonstrate a firm grasp of these foundational issues will be awarded higher marks.

The NLSAT-PhD shall have the following scheme:
a) Research Aptitude: 50 marks
b) Essays/Answers on relevant topics pertaining to law/ other disciplines: 50 marks

Candidates securing not less than 50% marks on the aggregate in the written test will qualify for evaluation of their Research Proposal and making an oral presentation before a Panel of Experts on the date specified by the University.

Selection Process

Candidates will be selected based on the marks obtained by the candidate in the NLSAT- PhD, the research proposal, and the oral presentation. The weightage of each score component shall be as follows:

a) NLSAT-PhD: 50%
b) Research Proposal: 35%
c) Oral Presentation: 15%

Important Dates

  • The National Law School Admissions Test-PhD (NLSAT-PhD) will be held on March 17, 2024 (Sunday), from 10.00 am to 12.30 pm in specified centres across the country.
    The duration of the test shall be 150 minutes.
  • Application deadline has been extended to 11:59 pm IST, on February 28, 2024. View official notification.
    An application fee of Rs. 3000/- (Rupees Three Thousand Only) shall be payable at the time of submission of the application.
  • The dates for the oral presentation shall be announced after the completion of the NLSAT-PhD. They are likely to be held in April – May 2024.
  • Classes for coursework component of the Ph.D. programme shall commence in the University in July 2024.

Intake

The maximum number of Ph. D seats for the Academic Year 2024-25 are 8 (Eight). This includes 4 in Ph.D (Law) and 4 in Ph.D (Interdisciplinary). The University reserves the
right not to fill all the seats where sufficient candidates do not satisfy the admission requirements.

PhD Regulations

Regulations governing the PhD programme are available here. 
Candidates should familiarize themselves with the requirements of the programme, before applying.

The admission notification for AY 2024-25 is available here.

For any queries regarding NLSAT, please write to

Apply for the Programme

For Indian Nationals

Fee Amount
Registration Fee (at the time of admission) Rs. 30,000/-
Course Work Fee (at the time of admission) Rs. 30,000/-
Annual Fee (every year for the first three academic years of the programme) failing which a fine will be charged by the University Rs. 25,000/-
Continuation Fee (after the first three academic years of the programme)  Rs. 15,000/- p.a.
Fee for Final Presentation Rs. 50,000/-
Examination Fee (at the time of submission of Thesis) Rs. 20,000/-
Re-submission of thesis Rs. 20,000/-

For International Students

Fee Amount
Registration Fee (one time) Rs. 90,000/-
Course Work Fee (one time) Rs. 90,000/-
Annual Fee (every year for the first three academic years of the programme) failing which a fine will be charged by the University Rs. 75,000/-
Continuation Fee (after the first three academic years of the programme) Rs. 45,000/- p.a.
Fee for Final Presentation Rs. 1,50,000/-
Examination Fee (at the time of submission of thesis) Rs. 60,000/-
Re-submission of thesis Rs. 60,000/-

The total amount payable at the time of admission by foreign students for AY 2024-25 is Rs. 2,55,000/- as provided below:

Registration Fee – one time 90,000/-
Course Work Fee – one time 90,000/-
Annual Fee 75,000/-
Total fee – per annum 2,55,000/-

* Fees mentioned above are provisional and subject to ratification by the University Governing Bodies.

Sample questions for NLSAT 2024 will be released to candidates who have registered through the admissions portal prior to the admissions test.

The University’s PhD programme in the previous year was offered in terms of the Ph.D. Degree Programme Regulations, 2021. The Regulations have been revised since the Academic Year 2023-24. 

The FAQs below reflect the Ph.D. Degree Programme Regulations 2023. 

What are the Ph.D. programmes that NLSIU offers?

NLSIU currently offers two Ph.D programmes:

– The Ph.D. (Law) programme allows a candidate to contribute academically in the field of law;
– The Ph.D. (Interdisciplinary) involves research across disciplines to arrive at a more comprehensive perspective and solution for a particular problem.

Can students of the 3-year and 5-year law programme apply for the Ph.D (Interdisciplinary) programme?

No, candidates applying for the Ph.D (Interdisciplinary) programme are required to have a Master’s degree.

What is the eligibility criteria for the Ph.D. (Interdisciplinary) programme?

a) Candidates having a Master’s degree in any discipline through regular mode with a minimum of 55% or equivalent grade (50% of marks or its equivalent grade in case of SC/ST/OBC (non-creamy layer)/PWD) and a Bachelor‟s degree from a recognized University through regular mode; or

b) Candidates having passed the Company Secretaryship examination conducted by the Institute of Company Secretaries of India and been awarded Associate Membership of the Institute (ACS) and a having completed a bachelor‟s degree programme in Law (LL.B.) from a recognized University through regular mode; or

c) Candidates having passed the Chartered Accountants examination conducted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and been awarded Membership of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India , and having completed a bachelor‟s degree programme in Law (LL.B.) from a recognized University through regular mode; or

d) Candidates having passed the Solicitors Examination conducted by the Bombay Incorporated Law Society and having a completed a bachelor‟s in Law (LL.B.) degree from a recognized University through regular mode; or

e) Candidates having a Master of Business Laws (MBL) degree from the National Law School of India University with minimum CGPA (Cumulative Grade Point Average) of 4.00 and having completed a bachelor‟s degree from a recognized University through regular mode;

Note: Provided that candidates in their final year of study in the respective degrees in (a) and (e) shall be eligible to apply, subject to the candidate securing the minimum marks or equivalent grade prior to the date of commencement of the Ph.D.

Is there any age limit to apply for the Ph.D programmes?

No, there is no age limit to apply for the programmes.

How do I apply for the Ph.D (Interdisciplinary) programme? 

Candidates will have to appear for the admission test NLSAT – Ph.D, conducted by the University. To apply, visit admissions.nls.ac.in

Note: While submitting the application for the admission test, candidates should also submit a research proposal of about 6-8 pages. The research proposal should contain:
i. Tentative Title
ii. Statement of the problem and the background information on the subject.
iii. A brief outline of the research design including a set of research questions, a brief review of the relevant literature on the issue identified for research, a research hypothesis (where applicable) and the proposed methodology. Students who demonstrate a firm grasp of these foundational issues will be awarded higher marks.

Can I apply for both Ph.D programmes at NLSIU?

No. Candidates may apply for either Ph.D (Law) or the Ph.D (Interdisciplinary) programme.

To apply for the Ph.D programmes, visit admissions.nls.ac.in

What is the examination pattern for the NLSAT-Ph.D?

The University shall conduct a written test (NLSAT-Ph.D) along the following scheme:

a) Research Aptitude – 50 marks
b) Essays on relevant topics pertaining to law/ other disciplines – 50 marks 

What is the basis of selection of candidates for the programme?

Candidates will be selected based on the marks obtained by the candidate in the NLSAT- PhD, the research proposal, and the oral presentation. The weightage of each score component shall be as follows:

a) NLSAT-PhD: 50%
b) Research Proposal: 35%
c) Oral Presentation: 15%

How will I know if I am selected for the programme?

The list of selected candidates as above shall be displayed on the NLSIU website.

If I am selected, am I required to be on campus throughout the duration of the programme? 

Candidates are required to be present at the NLSIU campus for the duration of their coursework spread over three trimesters. Course work is compulsory for all the Ph.D. candidates.

The first component of the course work must be completed during the first trimester upon their admission. The remaining two trimesters of the course work needs to be completed within the first two academic years.  

What is the duration of the programme?

a) The candidate will have to complete a minimum of three (3) years’ research in their chosen subject, including the mandatory course work as provided in these Regulations.

b) Maximum period: The maximum duration of the Ph.D. programme shall be six (6) years* from the date of admission in the Ph.D. programme, subject to the fulfilment of the requirements per the Regulations.

*- Provided that candidates who are Persons with Disabilities (having more than 40% disability) may be allowed a relaxation of upto two (2) years; however, the total period for completion of a Ph.D. programme in such cases should not exceed eight (8) years from the date of admission in the Ph.D. programme;
– Provided further that female Ph.D. candidates may be provided Maternity Leave/ Child Care Leave for up to 240 days in the entire duration of the Ph.D. programme; however, the total period for completion of a Ph.D. programme in such cases should not exceed six (6) years and eight (8) months from the date of admission in the Ph.D. programme.

c) Failure to complete the course within the maximum period set out in point (b) above will automatically result in cancellation of registration.

What are the course work requirements? How long will the course work extend?

There are a total of six courses that a doctoral candidate has to complete. Three of these are compulsory taught courses. Each taught course will extend for around 10 weeks and will be held on campus.

The first compulsory taught course is to be completed in the initial trimester on admission to the programme. The second compulsory taught course can be completed in the initial or any subsequent trimester (depending on when the course is offered). These two taught courses have to be completed prior to the first presentation before the Research Advisory Committee. In addition, there are also two course requirements relating to review of literature and fine-tuning of the proposal which need to be completed under the guidance of the Supervisor prior to the first presentation before the Research Advisory Committee.

The third compulsory taught course has to be completed prior to the second presentation before the Research Advisory Committee. In addition, candidates also will also need to complete the course requirement relating to teaching/research assistantships as will be decided by the Supervisor/relevant University body of the University.

What kind of supervision is provided to Ph.D students at NLSIU?

There is a Research Advisory Committee for each Ph.D. scholar consisting of a Supervisor and two members (one from within NLSIU and one external member).

How much is the tuition fee for the programme?

Please refer to the fee tab on the respective programme pages for fee details. 

Will any sample questions be provided?

Yes, the University will release sample questions at a later date.

Does NLSIU admit students throughout the year for Ph.D programmes?

We do not offer rolling admissions to the PhD programme. New students are admitted once a year, to begin studying at the start of the Academic Year in July.

Can I reapply for the programme if my application has been rejected?

Yes, but only in the next academic year. Candidates will have to appear for the NLSAT after applying for the programme in any given year.  

Can I visit the campus before submitting the application?

Yes. The University will notify a ‘Campus Open Day’ for you to visit us and familiarize yourself with the campus before applying for any programme through the NLSAT. Follow our website for further updates.