PhD in the US

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A go-to destination for PhD aspirants!

Why Study in USA?

Let’s Look at the Numbers!

  • As per the latest QS World University Rankings 2018:
  • 31 US universities are in the Top 100 list
  • 27 more US universities between Top 100 and Top 300 list


Top Universities

  • Universities
  • Harvard University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Stanford University
  • California Institute of Technology
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Purdue Universi
  • Universities
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of Texas, Austin
  • University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign
  • Ohio State University
  • University of Pennsylvania


Specific Reasons to Study in USA

Outstanding curriculum Cutting Edge Innovation & Research Affordable Education Extensive International Exposure Strong Employment Prospects
Renowned Curriculum Scientific & Creative Innovation Full Funding option Diverse Class Job options (Academia or industry)
Globally reputed faculty Research Opportunities & Exposure Numerous financial aid options Cross-cultural exposure Excellent post doctoral projects


Popular Fields of PhD Study

  • Biological Sciences
  • Education
  • Anthropology
  • Engineering
  • Sociology
  • Psychology


Program Duration & Cost of Education

Duration Cost of Education (Tuition Plus Living)
Three to five years of study Mostly Living Costs since financial aid/full funding is mostly available (based on merit) Financial aid in the form of graduate assistantships, teaching assistantships, research assistantships, fellowships & tuition waivers

After the completion of the degree, you can opt for Optional Practical Training (OPT) for a minimum of 12 months (or for 36 months, in the case of STEM programs)


Eligibility Criteria for PhD Programs

Strong Academic Credentials Standardized Test Scores Strong Academic Profile
Successful master’s degree Students with exceptional profile & undergraduate performance can directly apply for PhD with 16 years of education Competitive GRE score (GMAT for post-doctoral management programs) Many universities require GRE Subject Test scores as well IELTS/TOEFL Academic & Research projects, Internships and/or publications


  • Applicants must submit transcripts, application form and fee, a statement of purpose, recommendation letters and a detailed resume.


Intake & Application Deadlines

  • Start preparing for applications at least 2 years in advance
  • Fall intake is the preferred intake; submitting applications for Spring intake is not recommended.
  • Fall Semester deadlines are between November & February


A Sneak Peek into the PhD Application Process

The following documents are required

  • College Transcripts
  • Detailed Resume
  • Scanned Copy of Passport
  • Some universities additionally ask for a research proposal
  • Application Form
  • Letters of Recommendation


Networking with US universities professors is an integral step before starting the application process.

Student Visa Terms and Provisions

  • Students need an F-1 visa to pursue a full-time education in US universities
  • Upon receiving the I-20 from the admitted university, a student must apply for a visa
  • Students can apply up to 120 days from the program start date

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Find Popular Colleges/Universities in USA

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Why choose the USA for your PhD?

PhD from USA has numerous advantages, especially for international students. Universities in USA follow a different structure compared to Europe as its PhD curriculum is designed for students to take their time to understand the subject fundamentals well before commencing their research. US universities have the best of faculty for PhD programs, students get access to industry experts to interact and learn from, learning in a multicultural environment provides Indian students with a diverse academic community adding to their network.

What is the structure of a PhD Program in the USA?

The first part of a PhD program in USA is generally like a taught Master’s with two types of coursework to study- core and elective. The design of the program will determine a student’s freedom to choose classes. Some courses may mandate personal development activities to provide a holistic learning experience. This is followed by a dissertation qualifying exam. Students who qualify get to work on their capstone project to finish the PhD degree in USA.

What is the duration of PhD programs in USA?

Duration of PhD programs in USA can vary depending on an individual’s level of education, choice of subject and available research opportunities. Typically PhD in USA takes 8-10 years to complete. Full-time students can complete their PhD degree in 5-6 years. If one has a Master’s degree s/he can complete her/his PhD degree in 4-5 years. In the US PhD, students spend the first 4 years on their program coursework and another 2-4 years on their PhD dissertation.

What are the advantages of doing a PhD in the USA?

PhD from USA has its oblivious advantages. Being a developed nation the country has the best infrastructure to offer to students with world-class academia. Funds are allocated in good numbers for research purposes that make USA a sought after destination for PhD aspirants. Close tie-ups with corporates keep students updated with the latest industry developments and the universities focus on providing talent that industry requirements, enhancing students’ earning potential.

Why should one pursue a PhD in the USA rather than a Master’s/ Bachelor’s?

The decision is more between a Master’s or a PhD from USA. A bachelor’s degree from USA is a matter of personal choice as it tends to be a year longer compared to European universities. Universities in USA grant PhD admission without a master’s degree for most of their courses. They do not offer coursework reduction for students who already have a master’s degree, which takes the course duration anything between 5-7 years for full-time students.

What are the Intake seasons for PhD programs in USA for Indian Students?

USA graduate programmes have specific application deadlines tied to the start dates for their taught classes. It’s common for application windows to open between August and December for admission to a PhD in the autumn or fall of the following year. The academic year for PhD in the USA consists of two teaching semesters: August-December and January-May.

What are the requirements to do a PhD in the USA for Indian Students?

Eligibility criteria for PhD programs in USA for Indian students are as follows:

  • Successful master’s degree students with an exceptional profile and an undergraduate performance can directly apply for PhD in USA with 16 years of education.
  • Competitive GRE score (GMAT for post-doctoral management programs).
  • Many universities require GRE Subject Test scores.
  • IELTS/TOEFL score for language proficiency
  • Academic & Research projects, Internships and/or publications as desired by the university.

How to shortlist Universities for your PHD in the USA?

Universities in USA are known for providing quality education however while shortlisting a university for a PhD program there are certain considerations to be made. They are as follows:

  • Choose a course- Not a university-based on ranking. Course curriculum, training, research opportunities, faculty, university accreditation are some of the more important points to be considered.
  • Location- Completing a PhD program can take 6-8 years. Looking at your lifestyle and personal preferences before shortlisting a university. If you have an active lifestyle then a big city might be better, but if you like a relaxed way of living then a university away from the city may be better suited.

How do I Apply for a PHD in USA and what will be the application Fee?

Application requirements for PhD in USA may vary depending on the university you wish to apply to. However, there are some basic requirements across all US universities as mentioned below:

  • Academic Transcripts
  • Standardised Test Scores-GRE/IELTS/TOEFL
  • Personal statements/Essay – describing your achievements and extra-curricular interests.
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Writing Samples-published papers, reports or articles if any. Or you may be asked to write an essay on a specific subject.
  • Research Statement- If required by the university you will describe your general research interest and give some idea about your future course of direction.

The application fee may vary from $100-150 plus the fee for tests.

What are the employment opportunities after PhD in the USA for Indian Students?

Indian students can apply for jobs after completing their PhD degree in USA. However, the availability of jobs depends highly on one’s area of specialisation. A biomedical student may find more job opportunities than a music student. Taking up academic jobs are more common for PhD students. Also as an international student your visa type, status, work permit, sponsorship and employment rules for foreign nationals will play a crucial role in determining your career prospects in USA post-course completion