FAQs for Physics Admissions

  1. What fields of research can I do my PhD research in ?
    Broadly, the physics research at TIFR spans the basic areas of astronomy, astrophysics, condensed matter physics, nuclear physics, atomic, molecular and optical physics and high energy physics. We also do interdisciplinary research involving these subjects as well as other subjects involving the combination of physics with chemistry and biology. Research is pursued on experimental and theoretical aspects of these areas. You may like to see the Web pages of the Departments you are interested in.
  2. Do I have to choose specific department at the time of application ?
    Yes, you have to give choices of the departments of your interest and number them in the order of your preference. The selection is based on your performance in the written test and interview as well as your choices.
  3. Can I change my Department after joining TIFR ?
    A limited number of students (whose performance in the course work is rated very good) may be given the option of changing their departments at the time of group/guide allocation. Students who are admitted to TIFR will be given the details of this process.
  4. If my background training is in a different stream, can I still do my Ph.D. in physics ?
    The standard qualifications of a student doing a Ph.D. in physics is a B.Sc. or M.Sc. degree in physics. The coursework mandated for students with these two qualifications is of course different. If you have a degree in a different (science/engineering) stream, you can still do a Ph.D. in physics if you are selected through the Admissions process. The coursework you will be required to do at TIFR will be decided when you are admitted, depending on your coursework during the degree you enter TIFR with.
  5. I'd like to know about the written test. What is the syllabus? What is the Interview like ?
    Our written test and interview attempt to find out a candidate's understanding of the basic physical principles. The test consists of multiple choice questions. We emphasize problem solving. You may like to download the previous Test Papers from this link. There is no special guide book. The basic syllabus can be found on the link provided on the Graduate Admission site. The Interview also tests problem solving, typically beginning with the area you are most comfortable in. Please note that a call for the physics interview depends on crossing a certain level of performance in the TIFR written test.
  6. Are NET/CSIR/JEST/GATE qualified students eligible for the PhD program ?
    A NET/CSIR/JEST/GATE qualified student is not automatically eligible for TIFR admission. He/She has to undergo our written test and interview as is the case with other students.
  7. I am a Physics MSc/BSc. I want to do PhD/IntPhD in Biology. Should I appear for both the written tests Physics as well as Biology ? I am worried that I do not have sufficient background in Biology.
    Please note that different streams of research at TIFR (Physics, Chemistry, Biology etc.) have different selection criteria and selection in one stream does not enable automatic selection in the others. At present, we have a question in your application form to know if you are interested in being considered for a Ph.D. programme in Biology. Please tick that and you may also be called for the Biology interviews/written test depending on their selection criterion at a later date.
  8. Can I think of the Ph.D. program as an M.Sc. program (ie plan to get an M.Sc. and leave in 3 years) ?
    What we offer is a Ph.D. program in Physics. We expect that the students we admit and those who fulfill the performance requirements graduate with a Ph.D. degree. If a student graduating with a Ph.D. is interested in getting an M.Sc. degree along with it (for applying for jobs etc.), we also handover the M.Sc. degree along with the Ph.D.degree. Occasionally, under special circumstances we may allow a student to leave with an M.Sc. degree after the THIRD year subject to fulfilling thestipulated performance requirements (that is completion of prescribed coursework and one year internship). We wish to clarify that an M.Sc. degree in Physics is not a routine/standard 'stand-alone' offering at TIFR.
  9. Can I write to faculty members or the students directly ?
    Yes. However, the response may not be immediate, as we get hundreds of such mails. So if you do not receive any answer, please do not interpret that as lack of interest in your query. We try our best to answer as many mails as possible, but some times it is not possible to individually answer the huge number of mails we receive.We hope that this FAQ section addresses most of the common questions and concerns.In case of any queries, please contact gsch@tifr.res.in