UGC NET Opens Doors for Four-Year Undergraduates, No Need of Post Graduation to Pursue PhD!

The landscape of higher studies in India has undergone a paradigm shift within the last few hours. University Grants Commission (UGC) Chairman Jagadesh Kumar has announced that post graduation or a masters degree is not required to pursue a PhD . This broadens access to PhD programs, students holding four-year UG degrees can now directly appear for the National Eligibility Test (NET). This eliminates the previous requirement of a master’s degree for NET eligibility.

Previously, the standard pathway to a PhD was to complete your masters degree and then appear for NET. If you are able to crack the exam then you can go for your research studies. NET serves as a national benchmark to assess a candidate’s eligibility for Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) and teaching positions in Indian universities and colleges.  However, this new regulation allows students with immense expertise in their respective field of study to pursue PhD just after UG.


Here is a detailed breakdown of the eligibility to be fulfilled for applying:

  •  Eligibility: Students who have completed a four-year undergraduate program with a minimum of 75% marks or equivalent grade can now directly register for the UGC-NET exam. There will be relaxations accordingly for SC, ST and OBC as per the guidelines by UGC.
  •  Exam Mode:  The upcoming UGC-NET exam, scheduled for June 16th this year, will be conducted in online mode. Students will go through a  Computer Based Test (CBT). 
  •  Subject Choice:  This is the most significant change in Indian education history. Students can apply for any subject irrespective of the discipline of their bachelor’s degree, in NET. This allows for greater flexibility. If a student has a UG degree of chemistry then he or she can apply for History in NET.


This new policy by the UGC presents a bright opportunity for meritorious students. Previously if a student wanted to pursue PhD in neuroscience, he or she must have the M.Sc. The revised regulation allows this student to directly pursue their research passion in Neuroscience after clearing the UGC-NET exam. This would save their time and they would be able to devote more time towards research.

Of course, successfully completing a PhD program can be tough for students who have just graduated from colleges. So it is assumed that  Universities may have additional requirements for PhD admissions. They may introduce specific programs or contact separate entrance tests according to their considerations.


The subject for the NET exam doesn’t have to be tied to your undergraduate degree. This opens doors for so many students who have some specific interest in some specific field of study. It allows them to explore research areas that truly ignite their curiosity. The upcoming June 16th UGC-NET exam holds immense significance in all aspects. But a question remains unanswered. How much will this arrangement be fruitful? Will the young minds who have just passed college be able to cope up with the sincerity of PhD? What are your thoughts? Share in the comment below.

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