United Academy

Requirements For PhD in Nepal

Ms. Ayushree Maharjan

September 07, 2020
Last updated March 24, 2022
Requirements  For PhD in Nepal
KMC Lalitpur


Requirements for A Doctor in Philosophy (PhD) degree in Nepal

A Doctor in Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in Nepal is governed and supervised by University Grants Commission Nepal (UGC), has been setting rules, regulations, and provisions available to bind it into a system under disciplinary action. The Ph.D. degree has its motive to generate skillful and critical thinkers in the area of research and analytics that will contribute to developing manpower for the country’s brick in educational development. Therefore, an individual to be granted a Ph.D. degree, requires a meticulous study, observation, verification, analysis, critical thinking, and producing new content and research advantages that will bring out data and information for the successors as scholars and educationists in the future. Therefore, one holding a degree is itself a proof of her dedication in research and diligence in finding outcomes useful for further students and other beneficiaries.

University Grants Commission Nepal (UGCN) was established as a self-governing and statuary government body in Nepal as one of the revolutionary political changes in the year 1990, under the University Grants Commission Act (1993). It was established to promote, upgrade, and encourage quality in higher education up to the mark of worldwide guidelines. It was limited to only two universities as Tribhuvan University (est. 1959) and Mahendra Sanskrit University (estd.1986), could enroll only a few of the aspiring population. However, in today’s area of date, it has now extended to an additional three universities, underlining the requirements and provisions under UGC Act (1993).


UGC is responsible to the management and smooth running of activities in educational institutions by facilitating them with guidance and commands under the UGC Act(1993) with a distribution of awards to colleges and advanced education organizations with an accompanying capacities:

● Allocation of government grants to universities and higher education institutions through policies formulation;  

● Providing proposals in overhauling the provision of grants and dispensing the grants to universities and colleges;

● Award grants for research, scholarships, and fellowships;

● Quantifying actions to maintain the guidelines of higher education;

● On the matters concerning operations/actions of education institution(s) or establishment of the new universities in an affiliation to foreign universities/institutions;

● Logistics management such as the exchange of resources, funds, and fellowships between universities and educational institutions within and outside Nepal.

Guidelines on Minimum Standards and Procedures for PhD degree in Nepal: 

United Grants Commission Nepal, under UGC Act 2050 (Rule 6.1), Sanothimi, Bhaktapur had published guidelines regarding Minimum Standards and Procedures required for a Ph.D. degree in Nepal in the year 2073. The guidelines are applicable from the approved date of its publication to all accredited universities in Nepal, or educational institutions affiliated with those universities.

Prerequisites for Educational Institutions to run the Ph.D. program:

  • Non-compliance of Distance and Open Learning mode ;
  • Must have been offering Masters or M.Phil programs over the past five years. In the case of merging of two educational institutions, requisite criteria can be evaluated for Masters or M. Phil or Masters Programs offered by one of the educational institutions.
  • Ph.D. programs must be of a minimum of three years or with an accredited number of credit hours.
  • A Ph.D. degree is a full-time program. A Ph.D. candidate must meet all requirements in a speculated period proposed by her institution to meet the Residential requirement.  
  • For any Ph.D. programs offered, the institution must be able to arrange experts or specialists.
  • For any qualified Ph.D. candidate, relevant coursework must be proposed as per institutional standards, including Mandatory Coursework on Philosophy and Methodology of 12 credit hours and 6 credit hours of Selective Coursework.
  • Education institution must have the following resources and structure to run any Ph.D. programs:
  1. Comprised of 2 Professors and 6 Associate/Assistant Professors holding a Ph.D. degree with at least 3 years of work experience in higher education institutions or universities.
  2. Ph.D. student directory constituting a complete handbook with guidelines for the required level of qualification, skills, and targets of the research work for a Ph.D. degree.
  3. A specified directory comprised of guidelines on the Code of Academic Integrity and Procedure to address an allegation of Research Misconduct.
  4. The organizational structure of a Research Committee (comprised of guidelines regarding research supervision and direction, evaluation, quality control, code of conduct, and Safety measures).
  5. Planning and preparation for financial (external or internal) facilitation and support for Ph.D. research projects.
  6. Must have a provision of entrance examination as per the UGC (national/international) standards.
  7. Admission notice must be published on an annual or half-yearly basis mentioning a specifying number of seat availability and terms & conditions.

 Minimum Requirement Criteria for Supervisor:

A) Prerequisites for Principal Supervisor

  • Must hold a Ph.D. degree.
  • At least one year of experience as an Associate Professor.
  • Publication of minimum 5 Research papers on Indexed Journals or Journals as per UGC standards, (Or, Having 10 years of work experience as Professors for higher education or on Research works after receiving the Ph.D. degree).
  • Working full or part-time in the same institution as a Professor, or has been working as a consultant in an agreement with the institution.
  • Each Professor can supervise a maximum number of 5 and each Associate Professor can supervise 4 number of Ph.D. candidates in one academic year (annual/half-yearly).

B) Prerequisites for Co-supervisor

  • Must hold a Ph.D. degree.
  • At least one year of experience as an Assistant Professor.
  • Publication of minimum 2 Research papers on Indexed Journals or Journals as per UGC standards.
  • Each Professor, Associate Professor, and Assistant Professor can supervise a maximum number of 5, 4 and3 Ph.D. candidates in one academic year (annual/half-yearly) respectively.

C) Prerequisites for a Ph.D. candidate

  • Must hold Second division or 3.0/4.0 CGPA in the relevant course work for Ph.D. degree qualifying required standards by Higher Education Qualification Framework (HEQF).
  • Completion of 30 credit hours conversion of interdisciplinary courses under HEQF standards.
  • Publication of a minimum one Research Paper on Peer Viewed Journal enlisted in UGC standards.
  • Must have work experience on Research, or teaching experience for higher education or similar work experiences having following scores in Masters/M. Phil degree:
  1. For Second division or 3.0/4.0 CGPA: 2 years of work experience
  2. First Division or 3.3/4.0: 1 year of work experience
  3. Distinction or 3.7/4.0 CGPA: No work experience is required.
  • Must have passed entrance examinations conducted by the institution or the UGC (national/international) standards.
  • Full or part-time student.

Terms & Conditions and Procedures for Ph.D. degree:

 A) Admission Process:

  • Annual or half-yearly announcement of applications and candidates capability checking resources availability such as perquisites and minimum criteria of principal and co-supervisors.
  • Conduction of entrance examination to evaluate candidates as per the performance in the examination.
  • Admission of candidates through the interview process by the Selection Committee with a presentation of the proposed Principal Supervisor.

B) Terms & Conditions and Procedures

  • A candidate must submit a proposal regarding preliminary research on an agreement with her principal supervisor to Research Committee or a department allocated by the institution.
  • Must form a Guidance/Supervision Committee of at least 3 members comprised of Principal Supervisor, a supervisor from the Selection Committee, and other experts/specialists on proposed coursework to provide guidance and direction on course work, research, publication, thesis/dissertation in the duration of her Ph.D. program.
  • Relevant coursework shall be decided under the supervision of the Guidance/Supervision Committee. The chosen coursework can be pursued from any educational institution and later the credit hours shall be transferred, which can be completed in the given time of completion of the Ph.D. program.
  • After completing the admission and approval process, research work starts its initial phase.
  • Candidate must submit a proposal of the coursework within one year of admission in the allocated department by the institution.
  • Candidate must submit yearly progress reports to the Guidance/Supervision Committee to get guidance and supervision and to work accordingly.
  • Candidate must publish or have been approved to publish at least 2 Research papers on Indexed Journals or Journals enlisted in UGC and must propose and plan accordingly.
  • Final evaluation and grading of Thesis/Dissertation shall be announced as follows:
  1. Candidate must submit her thesis/dissertation within the speculated time provided by the institution.
  2. Must form an Evaluation Committee constituent of at least 3 members of experts/specialists on relevant coursework with one of them as an international expert on research. The international expert must hold a Ph.D. degree having experience as an Associate professor and has published at least 3 publications of Research papers on the Indexed Journal.
  3. The candidate must take her Viva Voce examination. During the examination, at least one international expert or specialist from an external university must be present as an examiner/evaluator.
  4. Candidate must pass the Plagiarism Clearance test before the approval of her thesis/dissertation.
  5. The thesis must be translated in English and Nepali regardless of its language originality.
  6. The institution reserves the right to grade the candidate as per the performance.
  7. For candidate after the completion of her Ph.D., must submit a copy of her dissertation in a digital form (CD).


A) Sandwich Ph.D. Program:

Accredited universities or educational institutions can collaborate with international universities for Ph.D. programs as per their necessities and requirements for which it must meet minimum standards and terms and conditions for coursework set by UGC standards.

B) Other Equivalent Degrees:

For any other equivalent degree such as D. Sc- Doctor of Science, D.M-Doctor of Medicine, D. Eng- Doctor of Engineering, D.M.- Doctor of Management, etc. , it must meet standards and terms & conditions specified by UGC.

C) Other Provisions and Procedures

For other provisions and procedures regarding Ph.D. degree shall be administered according to timely updates provided by UGC or accredited educational institutions providing higher education.

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