Pursuing PhD in the USA

Universities In South Carolina

Written by Shefali Onawale

Someone, somewhere said a thing...and now we remember it because they probably wrote it down! She used to write for herself and now writes to help others. Writing has brought her a long way and she wishes to walk some more, preferably making sojourns along the way.

March 7, 2021

American Universities have a leading presence on QS World Rankings and Times Higher Education. Approximately 156 universities rank well globally, out of which 30 universities rank among the top 100. The country offers a unique set of benefits to students and businesses and is one of  the most successful capitalist countries in the world. What does this mean? Simply put, the USA generates opportunities for students wanting to pursue higher education in the country. Encouraging students to apply to universities and funding their studies on a regular basis. If you think you have already missed your chance to study in the USA, think again. A PhD in USA could be the next step of your academic progression. 

Let’s answer some of the most frequently asked questions about pursuing PhD in USA

phd in the USA

Which Subject Do I Choose? 

When it comes to choosing a subject for your doctoral program, none of the universities in the USA limit a student’s preference. A PhD course may take candidates to a minimum of 3 to a maximum of 6 years to complete. This means, investing a great deal of time and effort into constructing a unique contribution in your field. 

Moreover, universities do not expect students to have a background in the subject they choose to get their doctoral degree in. A student with a background in Engineering can also apply for a subject such as Clinical Psychology.

To simply answer this question, choose a subject that motivates you. Zero in on subjects that drive you intrinsically and then finally choose the subject you know you will be committed to. 

If you still have trouble choosing between subjects, here is a list of the most popular subjects for PhD in USA:

  1. Education 
  2. Psychology
  3. Engineering 
  4. Physics 
  5. English and Literature
  6. Sociology
  7. Biological Sciences 
  8. Politics 
  9. Medicine 
  10. Anthropology 

Am I Eligible for a PhD in the USA? 

You are eligible to apply for a Phd in USA if you:

  1. Have Previous Education: A successful Master’s and Bachelor’s degree in any field with a well organised CV. Anyone with 16 years of education with an outstanding portfolio will be highly considered by a university. Profiles which include previous research experience, internships and good academic scores make up for a strong candidature. 
  2. Test Scores: Most universities expect international students to provide evidence of English proficiency. This can easily be proven by a candidate who has appeared for English Language Tests like IELTS and TOEFL. Some post-doctoral management programs ask candidates to present their GMAT scores as well.
  3. Have Found a Supervisor: Finding the right subject and applying to universities is not enough. One needs to plan ahead in time while choosing the subject and topic of research. Moreover, your idea needs approval from a supervisor. Your supervisor will guide you through all the necessary steps and help you mould your research based on the requirements of the university. 
  4. Have Funding: Most universities in the USA guarantee funding by wavering off their tuition fees. In cases where universities are unable to offer such grants, they offer a basic stipend to students to help them with their basic expenses such as cost of living. 

The average cost of PhD in USA for international students can range from 28,000 USD to 40,000 USD.  If candidates are not able to attain a study abroad scholarship or a grant, they might require to prove their funds through either personal funding or external funding. Organizations such as UniCreds offer all rounded assistance to students wanting to study PhD in USA. 

Where Do I Apply for a PhD in USA? 

There are more than 150 American universities that rank globally for a PhD. 

The following are the top PhD universities in USA one can apply to gain an all rounded experience of a postdoctoral degree: 

Stanford University – Rank #1 

Stanford offers students full time PhD programs courses in the USA for International students with 5 years of funding to each student they enroll. If you know the importance of scholarships while studying abroad PhD in the USA , you might understand the perks of getting enrolled into a university like Stanford. 

The university admits only 25-35 students per year and offers them a full time study into the practical, theoretical and policy issues of their subject of study. 

However, candidates must pay an application fee of  $125 that is non refundable. 

Harvard University – Rank #2

Even though Harvard University Ranked #3 in 2020 for its PhD courses in the USA for International students, in order to cope with the coronavirus pandemic, Harvard will not be accepting applications for the year 2021. However, Applications for 2022 will open in the December of 2021 and will close in the Fall of 2022. 

University of California, Berkeley – Rank #3

UC offers more than 100 subjects for candidates to choose from to pursue their PhD in the USA for International students. Course durations may range from 9 months to 9 years. The university provides short courses as well as full length courses. 

The fees and funding for each course varies according to the length of the course and the subject chosen.

Liked what you read? Here are some more blogs that may interest you – 

  1. The Big Question: MBA in Foreign Vs. MBA in India 
  2. Top Reasons to Study in Cambridge 
  3. MS Abroad: A Complete Guide

Looking for Student Education Loans?

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