Cost of PhD in USA

6 minute read
cost of phd in usa

PhD is an abbreviation for doctor of philosophy. It is a postgraduate academic degree that is recognised throughout the world that calls for students to finish a thesis or dissertation based on in-depth and unique research in their area of study.


In most nations, a PhD degree is a minimum requirement for employment as an expert in one’s chosen profession or as a university professor in that field.

The United States of America is not only the most popular study destination in the world, but it also provides international students with a distinctive educational experience. Graduate programmes in the United States are generally more structured than those in other nations because of the major and minor degrees that enable in-depth training and independent study.

Must Read: Study in USA Guide for Indian Students

How Long does it Take to Get a PhD in the United States?

PhD studies in the United States are divided into three stages, the first of which is coursework that takes 1-3 years to complete, followed by a preliminary, comprehensive, or series of cumulative examinations.

The first phase of the examination focuses on the breadth of knowledge rather than depth. 2 to 8 years are normally required for the writing of a substantial and original addition to human knowledge in the form of a written dissertation.

Depending on the topic of study, a PhD programme requires 4 to 8 years of study after a bachelor’s degree, with students who already have a master’s degree taking a year or two less.

Eligibility Requirements

To pursue a Doctorate in the United States, international students must submit university-specific documentation. The following are some of the general eligibility requirements:

  • Application fee: Each university has its own online application and application price.
  • Academic transcripts: Students must submit transcripts from high school. Graduate transcripts in relevant subjects are required by the majority of universities.
  • GMAT or GRE Scores: Most courses, such as Business, Engineering, and Biotechnology, require GMAT or GRE scores.
  • Resume
  • LOR: Most courses require two or three professional recommendation letters.
  • Test results for English proficiency.
  • A motivational letter
  • PhD admission examination for research proposals
  • Interview: The personal interview is your finest opportunity to demonstrate your dedication, passion, and determination to pursue the PhD programme.

Must Read: Study in USA Without IELTS

PhD in USA: Specializations

PhD programmes in the United States are available to Indian students in a range of subjects. Whether a student is seeking a Doctorate in science, business, or the humanities, the United States has it all. Nonetheless, some of the most popular PhD programmes in the United States are divided into two categories: STEM Courses and Non-STEM Courses

STEM Courses

STEM courses are highly valued in the United States. The majority of overseas students intend to study STEM courses in the United States because the country grants a 24-month visa extension. Some of the most popular STEM courses include:

Non-STEM Courses

Non-STEM courses are equally well-liked by international students. Non-stem courses are taken by 22% of Indian students. As a result, some of the most popular non-stem programmes are listed below.

Must Read: Scholarships to Study in USA for Indian Students

Top Universities in the USA for PhD 

Below is the latest list of some of the top colleges in the USA that provide PhD programmes.

QS World University Rank (2024)UniversityProgramApplication Deadlines
1Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)PhD in Aeronautics and Astronautics | PhD in Architecture | Chemical Engineering PhDDecember 2024 |13 November 2024
4Harvard UniversityApplied Mathematics | Applied Physics | Computer Science15 December 2024
5Stanford UniversityLearning Sciences | Developmental and Psychological Sciences | Data Science1 December 2024
10University of California, BerkeleyApplied Science & Technology | Architecture | Business Administration4 December 2024 | 1 December 2024
11University of ChicagoEconomics | Accounting | Finance15 December 2024
12University of PennsylvaniaAccounting | Bioengineering | Learning Sciences and Technologies15 December 2024
13Cornell UniversityApplied Mathematics | Computer Science | Electrical and Computer Engineering15 December 2024
15California Institute of TechnologyApplied Physics | Space Engineering15 December 2024    
16Yale UniversityApplied Mathematics | Applied Physics | Architecture15 December 2024
17Princeton UniversityComputer Science | Environmental Studies | Mathematics15 December 2024
23Columbia UniversityChemical Physics | Architecture | Economics14 December 2024
28John Hopkins UniversityApplied Mathematics and Statistics | Computer Science15 December 2024
33University of MichiganComputer and Information Sciences | Industrial and Systems Engineering | Mechanical Sciences and Engineering 1 December 2024 | 15 December 2024    
38New York UniversityData Science | Physics5 December 2024 | 30 December 2024
47Northwestern UniversityFinance | Economics | Clinical Psychology | Health Sciences 15 December 2024
57Duke UniversityBiological and Biomedical Sciences | Humanities | Physical Sciences and Engineering | Social SciencesDecember 2024
285University of ArizonaAerospace Engineering | Applied Mathematics | Audiology1 January 2024

Cost of Living in the USA 

Students should be aware of the estimated costs of living to survive in addition to the PhD tuition fees.

As a general rule, everyday costs incorporate convenience costs, utilities, transportation, and food costs. The average costs for each category are listed in the table below, although the cost of living varies depending on where a student chooses to live:

Commodities Average Cost 
Utility costs 50 to 100 USD / month (INR 4105-8210)
Transportation costs 45 to 100 USD/ month (INR 3694- 8210)
Food expenses 450 to 600 USD/ month (INR 36,947 – 49263)
Accommodation costsOn-campus accommodation – 450 USD/month (INR 36,947)
Off-campus accommodation – 600 USD (INR 49,263) to 3,000 USD/month (INR 2,46,316)

Employment Opportunities and Scholarships 

Many universities provide assistantships to their PhD students in terms of work and career possibilities. This type of work opportunity involves receiving a fee waiver or a stipend in exchange for completing a list of duties. The following are just a few of the assistantships:

  • Teaching Assistantship for Graduates
  • Assistant Administrative
  • Fellowships
  • Assistantship in research

In addition, the National Science Foundation administers a fellowship programme for graduate research. This federal award programme is only available to talented STEM graduates in the United States and offers them several incentives, including a $34,000 (INR 27.91 Lakh) annual stipend and a $12,000 (INR 9.85 Lakh) per year tuition price grant.

Must Read: Scholarships to Study in USA for Indian Students

How to Choose the Right University?

The Doctorate degree is awarded by 282 universities in the United States. Some significant variables to consider when selecting the ideal location for your studies include:

  • Program availability
  • University ranking
  • Faculty and staff reputation
  • Research facilities
  • Scholarships and funding options offered by the university
  • Graduate employability rate
  • Tuition fees
  • Location

Work Along with PhD in the USA

The F-1 student visa allows you to work on campus up to 20 hours per week during the academic year and full-time during the holidays. Furthermore, as a PhD student, your Curricular Practical Training (CPT) comprises work assignments and opportunities that are required as part of your PhD programme.

Yet, if you are an extremely hard worker, you can study for a minimum Doctorate while working full-time in an unrelated career. But there’s a big if there. The risk of working full-time is that you won’t make much progress unless you put in a lot of effort. As a result, unless you have extremely modest ambitions for what you want to achieve with your degree, working full-time while studying for a Doctorate is often discouraged.

Must Read: Study in USA for Indian Students After 12th


What is the average cost of a PhD from the USA?

Obtaining a PhD generally costs more at some universities than others. The status of the student, including whether they are an in-state or out-of-state student, also influences this. For in-state students, the annual cost is roughly $12,410. Out-of-state or international students will pay more than $12,410 in tuition.

What are the work opportunities during the PhD?

For a student obtaining a PhD, there are numerous employment prospects. He can apply for assistantship programmes run by the same university, instruct graduate students, and receive payment in return. In addition, individuals can sign up for a variety of administrative or research-based jobs.

What is the average cost of expenditure that one incurs when pursuing a PhD in the USA?

Each person’s average cost of expenditure is unique. However, the estimate is within the range of $93,226 or more per year (including tuition, living expenses, food, etc.).

If you want to get into a high university, you’ll need more than just good grades; you’ll also need flawless application because the competition is fierce. You may enlist the assistance of Leverage Edu specialists to assist you with the application process so you can realize your study abroad goals. Call us immediately at 1800 57 2000 for a free 30-minute consultation.

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *