PhD in USA

Study Abroad


Why Study in USA?

Let’s Look at the Numbers!

  • As per the latest QS World University Rankings 2023:
  • 2 US universities are in the Top 5 list
  • 7 more US universities between Top 30 list


Why PhD in USA

Rather than waiting for one or two openings, many departments take PhD applicants each year. This may be an advantage for students because it allows them to apply for a PhD within the regular enrolment period.

In addition to giving annual admissions and vacancies for PhD programs in USA, university departments do not bind you to a specific subject or field of study. In comparison with other nations, where PhD is rewarded based on a certain project, American departments allow you to choose what you want to accomplish in the next 4-5 years of your life.

So these were some of the reasons to study PhD in USA for Indian students.


Top PhD Universities in USA

Following are some top PhD universities in USA:


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


Structure Of PhD

PhD programs in the US are a pure exploration degree. An original exploration is an essential demand for an American doctorate since you need to present your explanation behind the thesis.

US doctorates begin with tutored classes and assessments in the form of a comprehensive test. Upon completion of which a participant finalises their discussion content and start with the exploration.


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 in USA

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


Program Duration & Cost of Education in USA

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)

In the United States, a PhD program normally lasts 4-6 years. On the other hand, some students take eight years to get their degree. There are two types of coursework years: 1-4 years of course work and 2-4 years of study. In the United States, the academic year is divided into two semesters: August to December and January to May. Courses and examinations for PhD candidates take place throughout the academic year.

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Eligibility Criteria for PhD in USA

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.

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Intake & Application Deadlines for PhD in USA

  • 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 in USA

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.


When to Apply for PhD in USA

It is recommended to prepare at least two years ahead of time for applications. By the end of the preceding year, GRE (or GMAT, if applying to B schools) scores should be available. Official undergraduate transcripts, letters of recommendation, a statement of intent, and in certain cases, research project proposals and writing examples should all be presented at the same time.

The application deadline varies by institution and field of study. It is suggested to visit the homepage of the university or department that interests you for getting information related to the application deadline and intake. Application deadlines may range from November to March.


Visa for PhD in USA

International students who wish to pursue Study Abroad PhD in the United States must get a student visa. Canadian and Bermudan students, on the other hand, do not require a visa to study in the United States.

Before acquiring a student visa, students must apply to an authorized institution.
Visa applications are processed by both the US Department of State and the US Department of Homeland Security. The student must have a good moral character and his or her profile must indicate that he or she is travelling to the country to study.


Student Visa Terms and Provisions in USA

  • 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


Choosing the Right University in USA

The PhD degree is awarded by 282 universities in the United States. Different colleges have different admissions standards and academic program difficulties. Candidates can choose from a list of colleges that offers PhD programs in USA based on their previous research expertise, interest in pursuing a PhD, and undergraduate curriculum.


Requirements for PhD in USA

Following is the list of generally required documents for getting PhD admission in USA:

  • Statement of Purpose
  • High GRE score
  • Recommendation letter
  • Language Competency
  • Financial aids

These were some of the PhD requirements in USA for international students.


PhD in USA for Indian Students

Pursuing a PhD in the United States is a very good option for Indian students. There are hundreds of higher education institutions that offer admissions in PhD programs in USA to overseas students.

Students from all across the world attend PhD universities in USA. Whatever and wherever you choose to study, you will be welcomed by academic communities.


How to Apply for PhD Programs in USA

Process for Applying for a PhD in USA:

  • Make a list of your research interests.
  • Find the PhD programs in USA that meet your career goals
  • Find out some ways to finance your studies
  • Give the GRE test
  • Take the Language proficiency test such as TOEFL or IELTS
  • Collect your letters of recommendation
  • Prepare a Statement of Purpose
  • Fill online application form
  • Submit your application form with all the necessary documents


PhD in USA Fees

PhD programs are available at several universities throughout the United States. As every PhD universities in USA have different facilities, therefore, cost of PhD in USA would vary. The fees charged by prestigious universities are significantly more than those levied by other universities.

Private Institution Fees: The average private institution fee for students in the United States is $ 43,300 (about INR 32.5L) each year.

Fees levied by the public university: According to costs structure of the public universities, the average annual fee assessed by the public institution for resident students is $ 12,737 (about INR 9.5L). International students, on the other hand, have to pay higher costs than in-state students.


PhD in USA – Types of PhD Courses in USA

Mostly, the US universities award the standard PhD or as an academic doctorate, which is equal to PhDs in other countries. However, some programs award professional doctorate degrees which include practical projects and case studies in addition to academic classes and dissertation research like the DBA (Doctor of Business Administration) and EdD (Doctor of Education).

The last type of ‘doctoral’ qualification is for students who seek to qualify for regulated professions like law or medicine, for example, JD (Doctor of Laws) and MD (Doctor of Medicine) degrees which are different from academic doctorates.

Following is the list of the most popular PhD courses in USA:


PhD in USA in Management

A doctorate in business administration demonstrates significant discipline and commitment to leadership excellence, distinguishing graduates from their management peers. Depending on their degree focus, hobbies, and industrial experience, doctoral graduates work in a variety of growing industries, including health and information technology. Many PhD in management graduates contribute to the future of business practice through research or teaching.

  • Auburn University
  • Binghamton University
  • California Baptist University
  • Campbellsville University


PhD in USA in Computer Science

The PhD in Computer Science prepares students to research important aspects of computer engineering, such as computer architecture, integrated controller design, photonic processing, high-performance computing, and network computing.

  • The George Washington University
  • Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)
  • University of New Mexico
  • Northern Arizona University


PhD in USA in Psychology

The American Psychological Association recognizes three doctoral programs in psychology: clinical, counselling, and school psychology. Those who wish to teach or conduct research should get a PhD in Psychology, whereas those who want to work in private practice or with patients should get a Psy.D.

  • University of Arizona
  • University of Maryland Baltimore County
  • University of San Francisco
  • Grand Canyon University


PhD in USA in Marketing

A PhD in Marketing is a full-time doctoral program that lasts three to five years. This is a professional degree that aims to prepare students to teach and do research by focusing on theoretical aspects of marketing.

  • Harvard University
  • Indiana University
  • New York University
  • Stanford University


PhD in USA in Biotechnology

PhD in Biotechnology is a three-year biotechnology doctoral degree that takes about three years to complete. Students in this program will learn about research methodology, scientific communication, and recent biotechnology trends, among other things.

  • University at Buffalo
  • University of Vermont
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Arizona


PhD in USA in Physics

Those pursuing a PhD in Physics may anticipate it to take four to five years to complete, with two years of classroom study and two to three years of research and experimental work for their dissertation.

A PhD in Physics may take four to five years to complete, with two years of classroom instruction and two to three years of thesis research and experiment work.

  • Cornell University
  • Rice University
  • Southern Illinois University
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute


PhD in USA in Microbiology

Microbiologists often need a PhD to do independent research and work at universities and institutions. Graduate students in microbiology focus on a particular branch, such as bacteriology or virology. A PhD program typically includes coursework, laboratory research, and the completion of a thesis. PhD in Microbiology typically takes four to six years to complete.

  • University of Arizona
  • University of Kentucky
  • Colorado State University
  • University of Nevada


PhD in USA in Public Health

A doctor of public health (DrPH) is a terminal degree that prepares graduates for careers in public health administration, management, research, or education.

  • University of Utah
  • Ohio State University
  • University at Buffalo
  • University of San Francisco


PhD in USA in Design

PhD in Design combines creativity and practical skills to produce a degree program with a wide range of applications. The topics and disciplines you study will be determined by your goals. From painting to lighting to animation and graphic design, a student can study it all.

  • University of California
  • Cornell University
  • Kansas State University
  • University at Buffalo


PhD in USA in Pharmacology

Three years of full-time study is required for a PhD in Pharmacology. In this course, students conduct research and ask questions concerning drug action and disposition. This course will prepare students to work in medical centers, clinics, or hospitals by providing them with a wide grasp of prescription drugs.

  • Harvard University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • University of Washington
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Some other top PhD courses in USA are:

  • PhD in Data science USA
  • PhD in Finance in USA
  • PhD in Mathematics in USA

So, these were some top courses to study PhD in USA for Indian students.


PhD in USA with Scholarship

In the United States, universities usually provide financial aid to their students and it is rare for successful graduate students to be totally self-sufficient. Although the ‘sticker price’ for a US PhD may appear high, it is unlikely that you will pay that amount.

Funding will be available in a variety of forms. ‘Full-ride’ scholarships will cover tuition, living expenses, and other fees. Partial price reductions or full price waivers are also common options.


PhD in USA With Scholarship for Indian Students

Following is the list of scholarships for Indian students to pursue PhD in USA:

  • Fulbright-Nehru Research Fellowship
  • AAUW International Fellowships
  • University of Iowa’s PhD Programs
  • Fulbright-Nehru Doctoral research fellowship


Salary After PhD in USA

Unlike several European countries, the United States does not have a national minimum wage or compensation scale for PhD students. Depending on their school, the field of study, and location, PhD students can earn anywhere from $15,000 to $30,000 per year.


PhD in USA with Stipend

The issue area and institution determine the amount of the stipend. Some universities give graduate students more money, while others give them less. Grants may be used to supplement an adviser’s income if he is well-funded. However, the most common figure is between INR 13.5L and 18.7L.


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Manya – The Princeton Review have a trained team of counselors and advisors that will help candidates who are willing to get PhD admission in USA. We at Manya will help you with:

  • Course selection
  • Application submission
  • Visa counseling
  • Offer acceptance
  • Fund or payments
  • Pre-departure Orientation

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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

Is it possible to pursue PhD in USA without GRE?

  • When applying for a PhD in the USA you will discover several universities that do not require GRE scores but prefer applications that include them. Here are the main possibilities for applying for a PhD in USA without GRE:
  • You can apply to universities in the USA that offer PhD programs.
  • You can choose from online or part-time PhD programs in the USA, as well as less selective universities that do not require the GRE.

What is part time PhD in USA?

A PhD, or Doctor of Philosophy, is a university-awarded postgraduate degree. It is the highest level of academic degree available in a field. A Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) is a post-graduate degree awarded by a university’s business school or business faculty. Completing a Part Time PhD or a Part Time DBA can improve your career prospects significantly. A Part Time PhD or Part Time DBA degree can provide an advantage or be a required qualification for students or professionals interested in leadership, academia, consulting research, and entrepreneurship. Part-time PhDs and Part-time DBA programs are available at many universities around the world. The number of Part Time PhD and Part Time DBA programs available can be overwhelming.

Below are some of the part time PhD in USA which you can opt for your further studies:

  • Ed.D. in Organization and Leadership
  • PhD in Information and Technology
  • PhD in Strategic Leadership
  • PhD in Public Health
  • PhD in Neuroscience
  • PhD in Mechanical Engineering

Can I do PhD after MBA in USA?

Yes, after an MBA, one can pursue a PhD in USA. Several business schools around the world offer PhD programmes that can be pursued after completing an MBA. Many schools require some years of work experience for the MBA program.

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