Department of Humanities and Social Sciences

Indian Institute of Technology Madras

Ph.D. Programme


The DoHSS has a vibrant research community. Ph.D. admissions are carried out twice a year, in January and July. The range of research topics encompasses fields as diverse as Advertising, Agricultural Policy, African/American/English/Indian Literature, Discourse Analysis, ELT, Economics & Econometrics, German Studies, Health Care, Modern Indian History, History of Science, Technology and Medicine, International Relations, Linguistics, Philosophy, Policy Studies, Science, Sociology, Theatre, Film and Media Studies, Technology and Development, and Science and Technology Education.

Research in HSS – the scholars’ perspective

As researchers from the Dept. of Humanities and Social Sciences situated within the interstices of a technological institute, there is a constant dialogue between questions of technology with those of society and humanity. We as researchers keenly observe critique and act as an interface between these different paradigms. We believe that as a generation of curious Social Scientists and Liberal Humanists, the need of the hour is to establish consilience among diverse academic spaces. As a department, both the members of faculty and research scholars engage in a broad spectrum of research, which is largely interdisciplinary in nature. Being a part of a technological institute of national repute provides us with immense opportunities to witness and evaluate the interaction, transformation and synthesis that occur between technology, society and humanity.

The department of Humanities and Social Sciences, has scholars who pursue research activities in multiple fields including Language testing, Gandhian philosophy, Migration, Public Finance, Development Studies, Alternative education, Film Studies, Environmental evaluation, Sociopragmatics, Dalit and Minority education, European and Chinese studies, Speech and Communication, Ecocriticism, Deep Ecology, Health Economics, Diaspora and Cultural studies.

The department provides opportunities to scholars to work in areas outside of their specific discipline, thereby opening up avenues for innovative researches of interdisciplinary nature. The specially designed courses help the scholars to pursue their specific interests and decide on their research questions. This facilitates the study to evolve over a period of time and lays a sound foundation for the beginning of research. An evaluation of the scholar’s research progress at regular intervals not only facilitates his/her research but also prepares the scholar to engage with greater focus and rigour.

The scholars of the department have been awarded several reputed fellowships like The Fulbright Fellowship, The Erasmus Mundus Fellowship, The Jenesys Fellowship and have visited various countries, with opportunities to pursue research in world class Universities. The institute provides funds for research activities and extracurricular activities and several scholars have also availed these fellowships to attend international conferences during their program of study. The scholars have also published in reputed national and international journals.

The scholars of the department organize a weekly lecture series which serves as a meeting platform for both the faculty and the scholars. This forum allows scholars to share their research interests and outputs, both with members from within the department and also from other departments in the institute. The presentations are followed by discussions.

As a community the scholars also organize informal talks, film/book reviews, seminars and conferences including an annual theater production in collaboration with the post-graduate students of the department.

Being a research scholar in the department of Humanities and Social Sciences is both an enjoyable and enriching experience.

Admission Procedure

Please apply online PhD admission here: