UGC NET Eligibility 2021: Age Limit, Qualification Requirement, Exemption and Reservation

Updated On -

Mar 19, 2021

University Grants Commission determines the eligibility criteria for candidates. UGC NET 2021 Eligibility criteria is different for JRF and Assistant Professorship. During the time of online application form filling, candidates have to specify in the application form whether they want to apply only for “Assistant Professor” or both “Junior Research Fellowship and Assistant Professor”. 

Latest Update:  

6 January 2021: Check the updated eligibility and age criteria for UGC NTA NET 2021 exam here 

Download UGC NET Sample Papers

UGC NET Eligibility Criteria

UGC NET Eligibility Criteria 2021

Before applying for UGC NET 2021, candidates must ensure that they fulfill the eligibility for the test. 

  • Candidates do not have to send any certificates/ documents to the National Testing Agency in support of their eligibility. 
  • NTA does not verify the details provided by the candidates in the application form and hence their candidature will be purely provisional subject to the fulfillment of eligibility criteria.
  • In case, NTA or UGC detects any ineligibility at any stage, the candidature will be canceled and legal action may be taken against the candidates.

UGC NET 2021 eligibility criteria in terms of academic requirement, age limit, and reservation are explained below: 

UGC NET Educational Qualification Requirements 2021

UGC NET Educational Qualification Requirements 2021

Candidates securing at least 55% marks in their Master’s Degree or equivalent from recognized universities in Humanities (including languages), Social Science, Computer Science and Applications, Electronic Science, etc. are eligible for this test.

  • However, candidates belonging to non-creamy layer of other backward classes (OBC-NC), scheduled caste (SC), scheduled tribe (ST), persons with disability (PwD) and transgender category have to score at least 50% marks. 
  • Candidates who are pursuing their Master’s degree or are waiting for their result or whose qualifying examinations have been delayed can apply for the test.
  • However, such candidates will be admitted provisionally and will be considered for award of JRF or recruitment as Assistant Professor only when they will pass their Master’s Degree with at least 55% marks (50% marks for reserved category).
  • Such candidates will also have to complete their Master degree within two years from the date of UGC NET 2021 Result with the required percentage of marks, failing which they will be treated as disqualified. 
  • Candidates with Ph.D. degree whose Master’s level examination was completed before September 19, 1991 (irrespective of date of declaration of result) will be eligible for a relaxation of 5% in aggregate marks (i.e. from 55% to 50%) for appearing in UGC NET 2021.
  • Transgender candidates will be provided the same relaxation in fee, age, and qualifying criteria for NET (i.e. JRF and Assistant Professor) as are available to SC/ ST/ PwD categories. The subject wise cutoffs for the transgender category will be the lowest among those for SC/ ST/ PwD/ OBC–NCL categories in the respective subject.
  • Candidates are suggested to choose the same NET subject for Paper 2 as their specialization in Post Graduation. However, if your post-graduation subject is not covered in the list of 81 NET subjects, you can appear in a related subject. Read UGC NET Syllabus
  • Candidates possessing Post Graduation Diploma/ Certificate awarded by Indian University/ Institute or foreign degree/ diploma/ certificate awarded by a foreign University/ institute should in their own interest, ascertain the equivalence of their diploma/ degree/ certificate with Master’s degree of recognized Indian universities from Association of Indian Universities (AIU), New Delhi.

UGC NET Age Criteria

UGC NET 2021 Age Limit and Relaxation

UGC NET 2021 Age Limit and Relaxation for Junior Research Fellowship and Assistant Professorship are given below:

  • Junior Research Fellow: Candidates should not be more than 30 years as on June 1, 2021.
  • Candidates belonging to OBC-NC, SC, ST, PwD categories, Transgenders and women applicants are provided a relaxation of up to 5 years.
  • Candidates with research experience will also be provided age relaxation equivalent to the years/ period spent on research in the respective subject or Post Graduation Degree.
  • Relaxation to researchers can be of up to 5 years and will only be provided on production of a certificate from the appropriate authority.
  • Candidates with L.L.M. Degree will be permitted an upper age relaxation of 3 years.
  • Candidates who have served in the armed forces will be provided the benefit of relaxation of up to 5 years subject to the length of service in the armed forces up to June 1, 2021.
  • Total age relaxation on the above ground(s) shall not exceed five years under any circumstances.
  • Assistant Professor: There is no upper age limit to apply for Assistant Professor.

UGC NET Exemptions

UGC NET Exemptions for Assistant Professor

NET/ SET/ SLET is the minimum eligibility condition for recruitment and appointment of Assistant Professorship in Indian Universities and Colleges. However, certain exemptions from NET/ SET/ SLET will be governed by UGC regulations and amendments notified in the Gazette of India from time to time.

  • Candidates who have passed UGC/ CSIR/ JRF examination before 1989 are exempted from appearing in NET.
  • Candidates who have cleared States Eligibility Test (SET) accredited by UGC for Assistant Professor held before June 1, 2002, are exempted from appearing in NET, and are eligible to apply for Assistant Professor anywhere in India.
  • However, candidates qualified in SET held after June 1, 2003, are eligible to apply for the post of Assistant Professor only in the universities and colleges situated in the respective states. Check UGC NET Exam Pattern

Frequently Asked Questions

UGC NET 2021 Eligibility FAQs

Ques. What is the minimum qualification for appearing in UGC NET 2021 for candidates of unreserved category?

Ans. Candidates who have secured at least 55% marks (without rounding off) in Master’s Degree OR equivalent examination from universities/ institutions recognized by UGC in Humanities (including languages) and Social Science, Computer Science & Applications, Electronic Science, etc. are eligible for this exam.

Ques. What is the minimum qualification for appearing in the National Eligibility Test for candidates of reserved category/ PWD candidates?

Ans. Candidates belonging to OBC non-creamy layer/ Scheduled Caste (SC)/ Scheduled Tribe (ST)/ persons with disability (PwD) category have to obtain at least 50% marks (without rounding off) in Master’s degree or equivalent examination to be eligible for this exam. 

Ques.  Are candidates who have appeared in their qualifying exam but waiting for the result eligible for UGC NET 2021? 

Ans. Yes, candidates who are waiting for the final result or whose exam is postponed or final year students are eligible for the exam. After the conclusion of the exam or during the time of admission candidates have to show the proof of their qualifying exam’s final result, not doing so could lead to the cancellation of their candidature.

Ques.  Can applicants appear in a subject other than the one in which they specialized in post-graduation?

Ans. No, candidates are advised to appear in the same or related subject of their post-graduation only. The exam is conducted for 81 subjects or specializations. Candidates can check the list of the subjects and can apply according to that. Read UGC NET Syllabus

Ques.  Are B.Tech graduates eligible for the UGC NET Exam?

Ans. B.Tech. graduates are eligible for CSIR NET and not UGC NET. They can apply only for JRF though and must have 55% minimum in their final results.

Ques.  What is the age limit to apply for the NET exam?

Ans. There is no age limit for applying for NET exam if you are applying for assistant professor only. For JRF, the candidate can be maximum of 30 years. Check the entire eligibility criteria here.

Ques.  Is an LLB pass-out student eligible for the UGC NET?

Ans. LLB pass-outs are not eligible for the UGC NET as LLB is a bachelor’s degree. The minimum qualification required is post-graduation in the subject for appearing in this exam.

Ques.  How many attempts are there for UGC net and Jrf?

Ans. For JRF, the candidate can have 3 attempts. However there is no age or number of attempts limit for UGC NET assistant professor posts.

Ques.  Is a master's from IGNOU eligible for the NET exam?

Ans. Yes, a master’s from IGNOU is also eligible for the NET exam provided they have 55% in their aggregate as this is a central government approved university.

Ques.  Can an arts student apply for the JRF NET?

Ans. Yes, students belonging to any art stream for which JRF recruitment is done through NET can apply for the exam.

Ques.  What is the difference between JRF and NET?

Ans. JRF is a Junior Research Fellowship which is awarded to research scholars who are recruited through the NET exam or National Eligibility Test.

Ques.  Am I eligible for UGC even after getting a compartment?

Ans. No, you will not be eligible for UGC NET after getting a compartment as the minimum required marks to be considered is 55% aggregate at post-graduation level.

Ques.  What subject should I select for UGC CBSE NET?

Ans. The subject you completed your post-graduation in is the one that should be selected for UGC CBSE NET.

Ques.  How many times can we attempt the UGC NET exams?

Ans. There is no limit to the number of times you can attempt the UGC NET exam for assistant professor posting. But for JRF, you can attempt only three times.

Ques.  What happens after you clear UGC NET & JRF?

Ans. Once you clear NET and JRF, you have 2 years validity of the score for applying to colleges for research fellowship. The score has lifelong validity if you want to apply as an assistant professor. When you have JRF ranking, you can directly apply for fellowship and research at colleges and do not have to sit for the written test.

Ques.  Can science students appear in the CBSE UGC-NET?

Ans. No, science students cannot appear for CBSE UGC NET which is only for humanities subjects. For science students, there is a separate NET which is the CSIR NET. You can learn more about it here.

Ques.  Is the CTET compulsory after the UGC NET exam?

Ans. CTET and NET are two different exams and mutually exclusive of each other. While CTET/TET is conducted for recruiting teachers for classes 1-8, NET is for recruiting assistant professors in college and JRF candidates. If you want to apply for school teacher jobs at government schools after qualifying Net, you have to appear for the CTET /TET exam too. Your NET score holds no value for school service recruitment. You can learn more about CTET here.

3 Months Crash Course

*The article might have information for the previous academic years, please refer the official website of the exam.


Will NTA verify my certificates?
jaya garg

Hi. NTA don’t verify the details provided by the candidates in the application form. Thus candidature of the ones who have applied for the exam is purely provisional subject to the fulfillment of eligibility criteria.

raees ahmed
Hi I m raees ahmed and I have Completed Master's degree in Arabic language .but I don't have graduation can I eligible for net exam..?
diya suresh

You are eligible to apply for NET exam as the educational qualification mentions about only having Master’s degree in any stream of humanities including languages with at least 55% marks in aggregate. There is relaxation in aggregate applicable for different reserved category. Find more details at UGC NET Eligibility 2021.

monika srivastava
If my PGDM was AICTE approved when I passed but the college came under AIU after an year of my passing am I eligible for applying please guide
diya suresh

To be eligible for UGC NET, you need to have passed Master’s degree in relevant stream from a recognised University. In case a candidate has PGDM qualification, then he/she should in their own interest, ascertain the equivalence of their diploma/ degree/ certificate with Master’s degree of recognized Indian universities from Association of Indian Universities (AIU), New Delhi. Check further details at UGC NET eligibility 2021.

shashi bhushan prasad singh
I am 43 years old Am leligible for NET
gurpreet singh

Hi Shashi

There are different adge requirements and educational qualification required for different posts. Visit on our official website of UGC NET Eligibility to check the whole criteria of the exam.

tara kalyankar
I am 43 years old leady.complete M.A.B.Ed. can i apply NET,SET Exam?
aniket ranjan

Hii Tara. Yes, you can apply for assistant professor post as There is no upper age limit to apply. For details regarding eligibility criteria Please Click Here

Dear prepp I have a doubt that now I am studying I am going to take mca as my pg cource. I can write net exam? Please reply this message. I am waiting for your reply. Thank you
diya suresh

Hi, Yes a PG degree in computer application is considered eligible for application. As you have yet not enrolled for Master’s degree, it is recommended that you apply for MCA first and then apply for NET in the final year of qualifying exam. Also you need to secure a minimum of 55% aggregate in PG course. To know more visit UGC NET 2020 eligibility.

rajamma chinthalapudi
I am complete my course mcom recently in 2020 already I attempted this exam I got 25% only my caste OBC disqualified
devnath tiwary

Dear Rajamma Chinthalapudi

Greetings from Collegedunia. You have to score 35% of aggregate marks in both papers of UGC-NET if you belong to the Reserved category like OBC, SC, or ST. You can apply for next year's UGC-NET Examination and score at least 35% of aggregate marks in both papers. For more details, kindly go through this link – CBSE UGC NET Eligibility Criteria

rayees ahmad hajam
Sir..I am UG student in arts subjects Can i choose UGC net exam and i have aslo OBC SC certificates.
devnath tiwary

Dear Rayees Ahmad Hajam

Greetings from Collegedunia. Yes, you are eligible to apply for UGC NET 2021 Examination if you have scored 50% marks in Master’s Degree from any recognized university. For more details, kindly go through this link – CBSE UGC NET Eligibility Criteria

I m done my graduation from b.voc fashion and nw I m doing my pg from in entrepreneurship and family business Is am eligible for UGC net
diya suresh

Hi Priyanka, You have not mentioned your percentage but as per eligibility criteria you need to score a minimum of 55% in post graduation i,e M.Com here. Aslso, you need to be in at least final year to apply not before that. If you qualify all these, you are definitely eligible to apply for exam. To get more details on UGC NET 2020 eligibility click here.

koyena biswas
Does the State Eligibility Test (SET) conducted prior to June 2002 confer all India eligibility upon the qualifying candidates for the post of Assistant Professor?
jaya garg

Hi Koyena. All the candidates who have cleared the State Eligibility Test (SET) accredited by UGC for eligibility for Assistant Professor held prior to 1st June, 2002, are exempted from giving the NET exam, being eligible to apply for the post of Assistant Professor anywhere in India. For SET held from 1st June 2002 onwards, the qualified candidates are eligible to apply for Assistant Professor’ posts in any university/ college located in the state from where they have appeared in the exam.

sandeep dhyani
I have done bsc. And I am M.A. in English. Can I choose english for Ugc net exam?
aditi arun

Hello Sandeep,

Yes, you can give UGC NET in any subject you want even if it is not your graduation or post-graduation major. For more information, visit- UGC NET Eligibility.

sandeep dhyani
I am M. A. English. Can I choose different subject for net exam
aditi arun

Hello Sandeep,

Yes, you can choose any subject for the UGC NET Examination. However, it is good to choose the subject you have a major in as the Paper-2 is totally oriented towards the subject knowledge. For more details, visit – UGC NET Eligibility

puja sao
Are professional qualifications, viz. Chartered Accountancy (CA) / Company Secretary / Indian Cost & Works Accountancy (ICWA) valid qualifications to appear in NET?
jaya garg

Hi Puja. No these qualifications do not make the candidate eligible to appear in NET.

reshma jagdale
I obtained my M. A. Political science. Plz reply me net exam age criteria.
aditi arun

Hello Reshma,

If you completed your post-graduation with at least 55% (50% if you are a reserved category candidate) then you can apply for UGC NET. The form was this year has already been filled. You can apply for it next year. The forms are available usually in the month of March. For more information on Eligibility, visit – UGC NET Eligibility and for information on the 2021 examination, visit – UGC NET 2021.

koyena biswas
I obtained my MA degree in Political Science. Can I appear for NET in Public Administration?
jaya garg

Hi Koyena. Yes, in case you have completed M.A in Political Science, you can for the UGC NET exam in Political Subject. But you can't appear for UGC NET exam in Public Administration. If you have cleared the NET, National Eligibility Test before giving this exam.

surabhi s
I obtained my MA degree in Political Science. Can I appear for NET in Public Administration?
jaya garg

Hi Surabhi. In case you have completed M.A in Political Science, you can give UGC NET exam in Political Subject. But you can't appear for UGC NET exam in Public Administration as Public Administration is separate discipline and considered as separate subject by UGC.

vishal sharma
I possess Master of Laws degree from a foreign university. Can I take the UGC-NET examination?
jaya garg

Hi Vishal. Candidates with Master of Laws degree can give the UGC-NET exam in case their Master's degree in Law has been equated with corresponding Master's degree of Indian universities by Bar Council of India, New Delhi.

divakar sharma
Are candidates belonging to the backward category in their state, eligible for concession in eligibility conditions, fee and qualifying cut-off marks in UGCNET?
jaya garg

Hi Divakar. Details related to the candidates falling in the non-creamy layer and whose category is included in the central list of OBC maintained by National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) can be checked on the official website.

swati srivastava

Hi Nagarathinma, candidates having a post graduate degree can apply for NET exam. For more details visit: NET EXAM

Hii, For 2 years M.A programme, I got 50% in 1st year and 60% in second year of my M.A Literature. Am I eligible for NET/SET exam.
swati srivastava

Hi Fatima, you are eligible if you have 55 % in aggregate in your post graduation. For more details visit: NET EXAM