1 General.

1.1 Should I take a post-graduate degree in Computer Science from IIT Kanpur?

Absolutely, yes. See why

1.2 How to apply?

We have an online application process through which you should apply. Once the necessary online forms are filled, you need to print the application form and send it to us together with the application fees (if applicable).

The address to send the completed application forms is

The Admission-in-charge,
Department of Computer Science and Engineering,
Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur,
Kanpur, UP, 208016.

1.3 How should I send the recommendation letters?

The recommendation letters are supposed to be confidential. Please ask your referee to send the letters in a sealed envelope to.

The Admission-in-charge,
Department of Computer Science and Engineering,
Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur,
Kanpur, UP, 208016.

It can also be sent via email to . However, ensure the following:

  1. Please send either a plain text or a pdf. Do not send doc or other closed formats.

  2. The subject field clearly mention that the email is a recommendation. For example use the following format for the subject field

Subject: [recommendation] Letter of recommendation for Albert Einstein

1.4 I am a foreign national. How do I apply?

The procedure is same as for Indian national — check the notices. You can however ignore the last dates mentioned there.

1.5 I would like to do an M.Tech/Ph.D as a sponsored candidate. What do I need?

The requirements can be summarised as follows (Details check the pg manual)

  1. At least 2 years of experience with the current employer.

  2. A written letter from your employer agreeing to relieve you for the duration of your stay at IIT Kanpur.

  3. You need a written letter from your employer agreeing to sponsor you by providing you full salary during your period of study. This is very important, and we will not consider applications without this.

Candidates will have to still pass the test/interview at IITK. Only the GATE requirement is waived for sponsored candidates.

1.6 When are the tests/interviews?

M.Tech admissions:

For selection to our M.Tech program, the interviews and tests are usually held in the beginning of May.

Ph. D admissions:

Ph.D selections happens twice an year, once in the month of December and once in May. In addition, for exceptional Ph.D candidates, we conduct walk-in interviews all through the year. You have to arrange for the dates in advance.

Look out for announcements on our homepage

2 M.Tech admissions

2.1 Should I have a valid GATE score for M.Tech admission?

Unless you are a sponsored or part-time student you do need a valid GATE score.

2.2 I am a final year B.Tech student in a C.F.T.I. Do I require GATE?

At present the direct admission, i.e. with out GATE, is only for Ph.D admissions and not M.Tech admissions.

2.3 What is the syllabus for the entrance test/interview at IITK?

The test has the same syllabus as that of GATE. During the interview, the panel will ask you similar questions in greater detail.

2.4 Is there a fixed number of candidates who are selected?

No. We have usually 30-40 students joining the M.Tech programme every year. However, we will select more candidates if we find them suitable, and likely to succeed in our PG programme.

2.5 Can I do a part-time M. Tech?

We rarely select part-time M. Tech students. We do not run special evening classes we feel it will be difficult for such candidates to succeed in our program.

2.6 Is an M.C.A. eligible to apply for M.Tech?

Yes. The same qualification criteria as B.Tech students apply.

2.7 I am working as a teacher. How do I apply for an M.Tech?

Please apply through the QIP programme. The eligibility criteria mentioned there, apply.

2.8 When will I know the results?

We release the results typically within a week of the interview. The selected candidates will be listed one our website. We will also mail the candidates individually.

Please look out for announcements on our main page

3 Ph.D admissions

3.1 Should I have a GATE score for a Ph.D?

For M.Tech/M.E students:

If you have an M.Tech or M.E. degree in any discipline with minimum requirements from a recognized university, there is no need for GATE. This includes dual degrees (B.Tech-M.Tech dual) from places which offer this, like BITS Pilani. If you have doubts about whether your postgraduate degree is recognized, please contact (admissions at cse.iitk.ac.in). The minimum requirements are given in Section 2 of the PG Manual.

For B.Tech, M.C.A. and M.Sc. Computer Science students (general):

For Ph. D students, we provide Ph.D scholarship against teaching assistance in the courses taught here. The GATE score is necessary to obtain such a teaching assistanctship from the Ministry of Human Resources Development, Govt. of India. Note that this is technically not an admission requirement, but is practically relevant. Unlike M.Tech admission, Ph.D. admission has no cutoff for GATE score. We will select candidates based on their performance in our admission test and interview. The exact requirements are given in Section 2 of the PG manual.

Direct admission for final year B.Tech students:

Recently M.H.R.D approved teaching assistantship for admission of final year B.Tech students from any of the CFTIs. These candidates need not have a valid GATE score. You can apply to us either in the summer (usually some time in May) or in winter (usually in December). Once you have cleared our written test and interview you will be given a provisional admission. You will need a CPI of 7.5 at the time of qualifying to get this provisional admissions confirmed. For details consult the announcement on our homepage.

3.2 I am eligible for direct admission to PhD. However, I missed the December admissions. What should I do?

Please apply in the May session. The December admission for candidates eligible for direct admissions is an enabler, and it does not preclude you from applying in May.

3.3 Should I apply in December or in May?

In general, you should apply in December only if you can/are willing to join IIT Kanpur in the winter semester, i.e. the semester that starts immediately in January. However, if you are a final year B.Tech student from one of the CFTIs and want to apply to us via the Direct admission scheme, then consider applying in the month of December itself even though you can join only in the subsequent summer.

To illustrate, here are four examples (we are currently in Oct of 2014)


Is currently doing his M.Tech and is expected to complete in June of 2015. He is keen on working on algorithms. We recommend applying in the summer of 2015 (some where around May).


Already has an M.Tech degree and is fixing COBOL bugs in an outsourcing company. He is fed up with his job and fondly remembers the time he spent breaking the encryption scheme behind the enigma machine. We recommend him applying for the December 2014 admissions session so that he can join us tout suite (semester starting end December).


She is a final year B.Tech student at a CFTI and will finish her UG program some time in May 2015. Her dream is to work on the programming aspects of the recently proposed Analytic Engine. We recommend her applying in December. She can then join us in the summer of 2015.


He is a final year B.Tech student at a CFTI and will finish his UG program some time in May 2015. Ever since he has been working on perfecting the chakravala method, he has been forgetful about deadlines and has missed the December admission process. We recommend him applying in the next summer (sometime in May 2015). He can avail the direct admission clause for the summer admissions as well. Next time be more careful about deadlines otherwise your work will be know by other peoples names.

In the future, we might change the process. Please keep an eye on the announcements section of our main page.

3.4 What is the syllabus/format for the test/interview for Ph.D candidates?

We use the test to screen the short listed candidates. The test has the same syllabus as that of GATE and involves basics in computer science and aptitude. Although the interview is also based on the same syllabus, we would like to gauge the depth of understanding of the candidate. Often, you would be asked questions in specific topics which you are comfortable with or in areas that you want to work on for your Ph. D.

3.5 Is there a fixed number of candidates who will be selected?

No. We will select all able candidates. What we are looking for are competent, motivated students who are highly likely to succeed our Ph.D programme.

3.6 Can I do a part-time Ph.D?

There is a provision for a part-time Ph.D. If you’re selected after the test/interview, and want to do a part-time Ph.D, you have to do the following.

There are 3 components for a Ph.D - coursework for about 2 years and a qualifying exam, and thesis work after that. During the time you take coursework and the qualifier, you have to attend classes during normal hours. (There are no evening classes, weekend classes etc. solely for part-time students.) This means that you will have to be on Campus during these 2 years.

Afterwards, during the thesis requirements, the institute specifies that the students be “local”. This is vague, and we will liberally interpret it — you can make an arrangement with your Ph.D guide about this.

3.7 Can I do an external Ph.D?

Yes. You need to be working at your current institution for more than 2 years. You also need a written consent from your employer, relieving you from duties.

Moreover, you need a person who can supervise you at your location outside IITK campus. If you don’t have someone of that sort, then you could try for a part-time Ph.D.

Such students are selected through our test/interview. External Ph.D students need not have a GATE score.

3.8 What is the difference between external and part-time Ph.D?

External Ph.D was designed to be able to do a Ph.D from another academic, scientific or research institution. In effect, it means that you should be working at a location where at least one person is willing and able to supervise your Ph.D work.

Part-time Ph.D can be done by a person who is currently working in a setting where (s)he need not have any Ph.D guide - for example, in the industry.

3.9 Is an M.C.A. eligible to apply for Ph.D?

Yes. Please see the question on GATE score for details.

3.10 How long does a Ph.D take?

It really depends. You have to spend time to finish the coursework and qualifiers, which takes about 2 years.

The typical duration for a Ph.D degree is about 5 years. But students have graduated with a Ph.D degree from the CSE department in around 3 years.

Unlike any other degree that you do, a Ph.D degree does not have a fixed duration, or a predefined outcome. It depends on a willingness to explore, and to do research at the highest level. There is no minimum period you have to spend, just a level of quality and productivity that you have to meet.

4 Travel and Accommodation.

4.1 How do I reach IIT Kanpur.

See the travel info page

4.2 Where do I stay?

We will arrange the accommodation for you.

4.3 Do I need to bring anything with me other than the certificates?

For the test/interviews held during winter consider bringing warm clothes, blankets etc. Kanpur can get quite cold during the month of December.