PhD in USA

PhD in USA

With its unparalleled focus on research, innovation, and development, the USA offers innumerable career opportunities to individuals in not only STEM courses, but also in Social Sciences, Humanities, and Languages. Further, with outstanding faculty, internationally recognised curriculum, as well as bright career prospects both in enterprises and research organisations, a wide range of academic institutions of USA have etched their names in the list of top universities in the world. These institutes are not only revered for their undergraduate and MS programmes, but are also known for their comprehensive Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programmes. So, in this blog, we will shed light on the details pertaining to pursuing a PhD in USA and its related components.

The USA is home to several prestigious universities that offer a high standard of education in the field of research and development, thus motivating candidates to pursue a PhD in USA. Tabulated below are some of the most popular PhD options in Arts stream as well as STEM courses

Field of ConcentrationCourses
Health / EducationPhD Physical Therapy
PhD in Cell, Molecular and Developmental Biology
PhD in Education in Health Professions
PhD in Community Health Sciences – Medical Education
PhD in Medical Science – Critical Care Medicine
PhD in Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation
Doctor of Medicine
Engineering / SciencePhD in Bioengineering
PhD in Environmental Science & Engineering
PhD Astrophysics
PhD in Materials Science & Mechanical Engineering
Microsystems Engineering PhD
Doctorate in Electrical & Computer Engineering
LawDoctor of Philosophy – Law
PhD Law and Criminology
Law PhD / MPhil / MJur
Doctor of Philosophy Integrated (Law)
Social Sciences and HumanitiesPhD in Theory and Research – Journalism, Media, and Culture
PhD in Journalism and Mass Communication

Application Requirements to Pursue PhD in USA

Materials to be submitted at the time of application include scores of exams like GRE or GMAT along with English-language proficiency scores of IELTS or TOEFL. The other application requirement for doing a PhD in USA have been given a rundown below:

  • Application Form
  • Fee Receipt
  • 2-3 Letters of Recommendation (LORs)
  • Statement of Purpose (SOP)
  • Updated Resume/CV
  • Transcripts of all the degrees completed
  • Proof of Scholarship Funding
  • Passport Copy

Though GRE and Language proficiency scores are common requisites for pursuing PhD in USA, some institutions may also require GMAT for Doctor of Business Administration (DBA), MCAT for MD, and DAT for Doctorate in Dental Surgery. Furthermore, you may also have to provide scores of the GRE subject test in some of the universities. For instance, to pursue PhD in Applied Mathematics at UC Berkeley, you will have to submit both, GRE General and GRE Subject Test scores.

Eligibility Criteria

If you are aspiring to pursue a PhD in USA, you need to fulfill the eligibility criteria set by your chosen university. Following are some of the essential prerequisites you need to keep in mind while applying: 

  • Work experience of 1-2 years is also demanded by some institutions, however, this is not an essential requirement.
  • A personal interview may also part of the application process. This is typically conducted by the supervising board for the programme. 
  • Once you have supplied these documents, the doctoral committee you are applying will confirm your eligibility to pursue a PhD in the USA

List of PhD Scholarships 2021

A wide range of scholarships/financial aids are provided to PhD aspirants, which are either funded by the universities in the USA or are offered by national and international organisations. There are some scholarships for Indian students exclusively, while the others are open for all the international applicants. Enlisted are some of the popular scholarships for pursuing a PhD in USA: 

  • Desk and Derrick Educational Trust Scholarship  
  • Fulbright Nehru Doctoral Research Fellowships
  • WACCI, University of Ghana PhD Training Scholarship
  • MDS-PAS Visiting Trainee Grant scholarship
  • LRF Postdoctoral Fellowship for International Students
  • International Students Fully Funded Knight Hennessy Scholars Program at Stanford University
  • Everglades Foundation Scholarship and Fellowship Program
  • Temple University Postdoctoral Position
  • Rose Marie Pangborn Science Scholarship at Purdue University
  • IWPR Postdoctoral Fellowship in Economics 
  • CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service Programme for International Students
  • Negotiating Agreement in Congress Research Grants at SSRC
  • Fulbright US Student Program at Texas Tech University
  • Auburn University Fully-funded PhD Positions for International Students
  • East Tennessee State University Undergraduate, Masters and PhD Academic Merit Scholarship 
  • Fulbright Nehru Doctoral Research Fellowships for Indian Scholars
  • Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowships for International Scholars 
  • Harvard South Asia Institute Raghunathan Family PhD Fellowship for International Students
  • Howard Mayer Brown Fellowship for Graduate Students

The USA is home to some of the top institutions in the world which offer quality education through comprehensive degree programs, provide a platform to conduct exhaustive research, state of the art infrastructure, and top-notch faculty. Furthermore, the emphasis these academic institutions have laid on developing scientific temperament has made USA an excellent study abroad destination to pursue research-based courses. Listed below are some of the top universities [domain wise] to pursue a PhD in USA. 

EducationHarvard University
Stanford University
University of California, Berkeley
University of Columbia
University of Wisconsin
LawHarvard University
Yale University
Stanford University
University of California, Berkeley
Columbia University
EngineeringMassachusetts Institute of Technology
Stanford University
University of California – Berkeley
Harvard University
Georgia Institute of Technology
Natural ScienceMassachusetts Institute of Technology
California Institute of Technology
Harvard University
Princeton University
University of Chicago


Is research statement required to pursue PhD in USA?

For PhD programmes in USA, research statement is not a necessary document. You can decide your PhD thesis subject in the initial years. However, for doing a PhD in UK or Europe, you need to have a thorough knowledge of the field you want to study doctorate in.

Is GRE compulsory to study PhD in USA?

To pursue PhD in USA, you need to have a minimum of a bachelors degree. Hence, in most of the cases, you have to submit GRE scores.

What are the deadlines to apply for a PhD in USA?

Usually, the deadlines for applying for a PhD in USA is between December and February. However, this can vary from one university to another.

What is the duration of a PhD in USA?

In USA, completing a PhD can take anywhere between 5-6 years.

Thus, developing a flourishing career in Research needs hard work, dedication, and the right direction. If you are planning to pursue a PhD in USA but are not sure how to go about it, then Leverage Edu can guide you through the process. Right from application to the arrangement of funding, the counsellors will provide assistance at every step so that you can take a step towards building a rewarding career!

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