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PhD In USA in 2022: Top Universities, Requirements, Cost, Scholarships, Scope & More

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With more than 4500+ universities especially for PhD studies, USA has proven to be the ideal choice for doctorate students globally. The benefits of doing PhD in USA are multiple. From studying in institutes that are QS ranked to sharing a classroom experience with the best minds in the industry, a PhD In USA offers more in academic value.

USA has always been a study abroad destination due to the high academic standards, recognised USA education system and above all being the hub for innovative research which is exactly what PhD graduates aim to grasp. Thus if you’re looking to study PhD in USA, this blog covers all the essential information related to PhD in USA for international students.

Table Of Contents:

  1. Overview Of PhD In USA
  2. Why Study PhD In USA
  3. Top Universities In USA For PhD
  4. Eligibility Criteria For PhD Admission In USA
  5. Admission Process For PhD Courses In USA
  6. Documents Required For PhD Admission In USA
  7. Cost Of PhD In USA
  8. Scholarship For PhD In USA
  9. Career Opportunities After PhD In USA
  10. PR Opportunities After PhD In USA
  11. Frequently Asked Questions About PhD In USA

Overview Of PhD In USA

Before you can proceed towards learning about PhD requirements in USA for international students, here is a quick overview of what to expect from a PhD in USA:

Course Duration

4-7 years (varies based on the course)

No. of PhD universities

4500+

No. of Nobel Prizes

383

No. of Doctorate Granting Institution

431

Popular PhD Specializations

Stem education, Public health, Psychology, etc

Popular PhD Courses

Economics, History, Biological Sciences, Religion, etc

Top PhD Institutes

Princeton University, Columbia University, Harvard University, Stanford University, etc

Degree Type

Full-time

PhD Fees

3,531- 57,590 USD/ year (fees differ based on the years)

Admission Intake

August-May (most admission intake is December, January, September)

PhD Structure

Subject based, Thesis and Dissertation

Benefits of Doing PhD In USA?

To help you understand better about PhD in America for Indian students, you first need to analyse why the perks of this investment. Thus here are four such benefits of doing PhD in USA:

  1. Subject Focused- The best part of catering to PhD admission requirements in USA is the fact that students will be able to study their core subjects in the initial stage. After they grasp good knowledge their research skills to complete the thesis and dissertations will come in the end for them. This gives them better knowledge on how to get started.
  2. Advanced Facilities- USA is the hub for any new innovations. The country has a good economy which leads them to invest in the right sectors, one of which is education. For PhD students, conducting innovative research with the right resources matters and that is exactly why the support of such USA investments make sense.
  3. Scholarship Opportunities- For students looking to study PhD in USA, there is a range of scholarship opportunities to apply from. Most of these scholarships are provided by the university who offer either full or partial funding that covers most of the tuition fees and living expenses.
  4. Widely Recognized Institutes- Doing a PhD in America for Indian students gives them the opportunity to study in universities that are listed on the QS World University Rankings of 2023. Top PhD universities in USA include Stanford University (Ranked 3), Harvard University (Ranked 5), University of Chicago (Ranked 10), etc.

Suggested: View more benefits of studying in USA

Top Universities In USA For PhD

USA is home to well-established and prestigious universities that offer a range of courses and programs catered to every international student's needs. The country has become a popular preference especially for PhD studies. Thus to help you choose better from the list, we have shared five such universities in USA for PhD that you should consider right away. 

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  2. Stanford University
  3. Harvard University
  4. Princeton University
  5. Columbia University

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

MIT is the number one college preference when it comes to pursuing PhD programs in USA. Close to 7,000 students are currently enrolled in their diverse degree programs. The university is a preferred choice amongst international students due to the rich educational experience they offer.

QS World University Rankings 2023

1

Course Duration

5 years

Academic Reputation

100

Employee Reputation

100

Average Tuition Fees

57,590 USD/year

Courses Offered

PhD in Finance, Accounting, Management Science, Economic Sociology, etc

Degree Type

Full-time

Location

Massachusetts

2. Stanford University

Stanford university is another popular choice when it comes to studying PhD in USA. The reason why Stanford is chosen by multiple PhD students is that advantage they offer by offering a five year funding opportunity. They offer tuition fees assistance, assistantship salaries, etc.

QS World University Rankings 2023

3

Course Duration

4-5 years

Academic Reputation

100

Employee Reputation

100

Average Tuition Fees

Quarter basis payments

 

Year 1- 11-18 units - 18,105 USD/year

Year 2- 4 - 8-10 units - 11,770 USD/year

Year 5- 3,531 USD/year (health related fees)

Courses Offered

PhD in Education, History, Economics, Health Policy, Bioengineering, etc

Degree Type

Full-time

Location

Stanford, California

3. Harvard University

Harvard University is a well known and recognised name when it comes to studying in USA. This university also offers a five year funding opportunity for international students. They have a range of PhD courses in USA to choose from such as Business economics, comparative literature, etc.

QS World University Rankings 2023

5

Course Duration

6-7 years

Academic Reputation

100

Employee Reputation

100

Average Tuition Fees

Year 1 and 2- 52,456 USD/year

Year 3 and 4- 13,638 USD/year

Year 4+ - 3,470 USD/year (facilities fees)

Courses Offered

PhD in Political science, Psychology, Public policy, Health sciences, etc

Degree Type

Full-time

Location

Cambridge, Massachusetts

4. Princeton University

Princeton University is another popular choice to study PhD in USA. Their PhD courses are designed to cater to multiple aspects such as increase engagement between the faculty and students, provide adequate financial support and design courses that will help students learn all the skills required to function in any field of their choice.

QS World University Rankings 2023

16

Course Duration

5 years

Academic Reputation

99.9

Employee Reputation

98.9

Average Tuition Fees

57,410 USD + 3000 USD/year (health plan fee)

Courses Offered

PhD in Music, Finance, Religion, Engineering, Philosophy, etc

Degree Type

Full-time

Location

Princeton, New Jersey

5. Columbia University

Lastly, Columbia university also makes it to the list of top universities to consider when pursuing PhD studies in USA. Columbia University has been a great pick amongst international students for the warm environment they create for the former. Apart from this, there is a range of PhD programs to choose from.

QS World University Rankings 2023

22

Course Duration

4-6 years

Academic Reputation

99.7

Employee Reputation

98.1

Average Tuition Fees

Residence Unit - 25,248 USD/ per semester

Extended Residence- 12,624 USD/per semester

Courses Offered

PhD in History, Environment Sciences, Architecture, Economics, Italian, etc

Degree Type

Full-time

Location

New York

Eligibility Criteria For PhD Admission In USA

To pursue PhD in USA for Indian students, there are a set of eligibility criterias that needs to be followed. These criterias can differ based on the university choice, however there is a standard requirement that is followed by all.

Here is an overview of the eligibility for PhD in USA:

1. GRE

GRE (Graduate Record Examination) helps universities analyse a students skills in multiple factors. Most USA universities require the GRE score as part of their admission process.

2. ELP

ELP (English Language Proficiency) test is an exam that helps universities judge the English language skills of the students. Most USA universities accept TOEFL and IELTS scores. It is better to score the minimum score or higher for these exams (IELTS- 7, TOEFL- 100 ibt).

3. Bachelors and Masters Degree

To study PhD in USA , students should have completed their previous academic studies. A degree in Bachelors and Masters is mandatory when applying for PhD admission in USA.

4. Work Experience

While this isn’t a mandatory requirement, it is better if students submit their work experience as it can enhance the application process.

Admission Process For PhD Courses In USA

You are now able to tick the checklist related to eligibility for PhD in USA. It’s now time to apply for the same. Here is a simple process that answers the most common question of how to apply for PhD in USA?

  • Identify which PhD course you wish to study for
  • Choose a university that offers the same course in USA. Also identify which faculty you wish to conduct your PhD research with
  • Check all the PhD requirements in USA by visiting the universities official website
  • Pay the application fee which costs around 75-125 USD
  • Submit the PhD application along with all related documents before the submission deadline
  • Attend the interview well
  • Once accepted, apply for scholarship, arrange for funding and get started with your student visa

Suggested: Latest update about US student visa for Indian students

Documents Required For PhD Admission In USA

To successfully meet the PhD requirements in USA for international students, there are a few supporting documents that needs to be attached. Ensure the below are checked:

  • PhD Application form
  • ELP score proof
  • GRE score proof
  • All educational transcripts
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • CV/Resume
  • Work Experience
  • Sample writing (in the form of essays, thesis, etc)
  • Payment of application fee
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Scholarship proof if applied

Cost Of PhD In USA

Now that you’re aware of the PhD admission in USA, it’s time to move ahead towards the cost factor. To calculate the cost of PhD in USA, there are two factors to consider, tuition fees and cost of living in USA.

Let’s learn about them in detail:

Tuition Fees

The tuition fees to pursue PhD in USA for Indian students is 3,531- 57,590 USD/ year. These fees differ based on the year you’re studying in. Most of the tuition fees will have the health fee either included or to be added when making this payment.

Cost of Living

The next cost factor you need to keep in mind is the living expenses during your PhD study period. On average, international students require 10,000- 20,000 USD/ year. These expenses include accommodation, food, groceries, area you choose to live in, etc. The living expenses figure can also vary based on a student's lifestyle choices.

Suggested: A detailed guide on cost of studying in USA

Scholarship For PhD In USA

While you cater to other PhD requirements in USA, most international students struggle to cater to the obvious requirement, cost of PhD in USA. However, students can now relax since there are opportunities for scholarships for PhD in USA. These scholarships offer a good amount that can help students enjoy a hassle free learning experience.

Here is an overview of the top scholarships for PhD in USA:

Scholarship Name

Amount/Value/Benefit

Yale University Scholarships USA

50,000 USD

IBM PhD. Fellowship Awards Program

60,000- 25,000 USD

Franklin Mosher Baldwin Memorial Fellowship

15,000 USD

Josephine De Karman Fellowship Trust

25,000 USD

NCITD International Trade Scholarships

1000 USD

Suggested: List of scholarships for Indian students to study in USA

Career Opportunities After PhD In USA

After completing PhD in education in USA, international students have a range of job profiles to choose from. On average, a doctorate student can earn up to 101,000 USD a year. However this salary figure can differ based on the job profile chosen.

Here is an overview of the popular job profiles and average salaries after completing PhD in USA for Indian students:

Job Profile

Average Annual Salary

College Professor

79,628 USD

Legal Officer

89,046 USD

Research Scientist

97,507 USD

Manager

80,343 USD

Senior Data Analyst

96,809 USD

Suggested: Stipend and Salary information on PhD in USA

PR Opportunities After PhD In USA

Many students, especially international students, prefer to extend their stay in USA after they complete their education. The top reasons being the country can offer a better career path, the opportunity to work with the best brands in the market, etc.

Thus multiple students apply for a green card in order to avail for a PR (Permanent Residence) in USA. The process is simple:

  • Check whether your eligible for a green card by visiting the official website
  • If yes, fill the form I-485 with USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration services) and submit all payments and documents accordingly.
  • If accepted, your green card will be valid for 10 years.

As per recent rules, USA has introduced a new post study work visa called the Graduate Route visa. In this type of visa, in this case PhD students can stay up to 3 years to find a job in the country. There is no limitation of any salary figures or a confirmed job offer.

So if a PhD student has received a job offer in that three year stay back period, they can apply for a green card through employment.

Wrapping Up….

When you pursue a field such as a doctorate program, it is wise to invest in a place where you receive twice the value from this investment. PhD in education in USA proves to be one such fruitful investment. Students will be able to not just enhance their skills and knowledge on their favourite subject, but they will also be able to put these skills to use with the best brands in the market. If you’re still seeking answers to your queries about PhD in USA, speak to our Yocket counsellors who will help you better.

Frequently Asked Questions About PhD In USA

Ques: Is a PhD in USA worth it?

Ans: Yes a PhD degree from USA is valuable as you hold impressionable academics that can open better opportunities in your career.

Ques: Do we need GRE for PhD admission in USA?

Ans: Yes, for a few PhD courses in USA, students are required to undertake and submit GRE scores.

Ques: How many years are PhD courses in USA?

Ans: The standard PhD in USA program is 4-7 years. However this can vary based on the PhD program chosen.

Ques: Do PhD students get F1 visas?

Ans: Yes, PhD students should apply for F1-visa if they wish to pursue their former education in USA.

Ques: Can international PhD students apply for a green card?

Ans: Yes, international students are eligible to apply for a green card upon completion of their PhD studies.