Best Universities in the USA for PhD- Fees, Eligibility & Scope

This article will provide you with detailed information about Best Universities in the USA for PhD. - Fees, Eligibility & Scope

A Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree from the USA is considered the highest awarded degree in many US universities and institutes for most fields of studies, it’s a dream course for many international students.

Ph.D. in the USA is currently pursued by around 20% of Indians studying in the country. Popular Ph.D. courses in the USA include Ph.D. in Business Analytics, Ph.D. in Management, Ph.D. in Computer Science.

What distinguishes Ph.D. from the USA from other countries is that you don’t need a master’s degree to enroll in a Ph.D. program.

Students can also indulge in part-time jobs in the USA and research work that will offer them stipends of 15,000 USD to 30,000 USD (12-30 lakhs). A Ph.D. in the USA with a stipend is a great opportunity to cover tuition fees and most of the living expenses.

To know more about universities in the USA for Ph.D. and much more keep on reading this article!

Top 16 Universities in the USA for Ph.D. with QS Ranking

Some of the top universities offering Ph.D. in the USA with rankings are:

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology #1
  • Stanford University #3
  • Harvard University #5
  • California Institute of Technology #6
  • University of Pennsylvania #13
  • Yale University #14
  • Columbia University #19
  • Princeton University #20
  • University of Michigan #23
  • John Hopkins University #25
  • Northwestern University #30
  • the University of California, Berkeley #32
  • The University of California, Los Angeles #40
  • New York University #42
  • Duke University #52
  • The University of Arizona #268

Universities in the USA for Ph.D. : Application Process

  • Make a list of your research interests
  • Look for programs that meet your requirements
  • Look for ways to finance the studies
  • Obtain the necessary degrees
  • Take the GRE
  • Take the TOEFL or IELTS (Minimum Requirement, TOEFL – 600, and IELTS – 7.0 to 7.5)
  • Acquire letters of recommendation
  • Prepare a Statement of Purpose
  • Fulfill online application components
  • Submit your application components (statement of purpose, official transcripts, writing samples, or other required materials)
  • Get accepted into a SEVP-approved Ph.D. program.
  • Submit the $200 SEVIS I-901 charge.
  • Submit your application through the internet.
  • Make an appointment for a visa interview.
  • Receive your visa

Universities in the USA for Ph.D. : Eligibility Criteria

Some of the general eligibility requirements are as follow

Completed application: Every university has its own online application and requires application fees.

Academic transcripts: Students must submit high school transcripts. Most universities require graduate transcripts in relevant fields.

GMAT or GRE Scores: Most courses like Business, Engineering, Biotechnology, etc. require GMAT and GRE scores.


LOR: Most of the courses require 2-3 professional recommendation letters.

English proficiency test scores

A letter of motivation

Research proposal

Important Note: The personal interview session is your best opportunity to display your commitment, enthusiasm, and endeavor toward pursuing the Ph.D. program.

Ph.D. in the USA: Cost

There are many scholarships dedicated for Ph.D. programs at the universities of the USA. But generally speaking, the cost of PhDs in the USA varies between $28,000 to $55,000 (25- 45 lakhs INR) annually depending on the program, specialization, and the university.

Ph.D. in the USA: Duration

A Ph.D. program in the United States typically is of 4-6 years. Some students, on the other hand, take an average of eight years to finish their degree. The years of coursework are split into two categories: 1-4 years of coursework and 2-4 years of dissertation study.

How to choose the right university in the USA?

There are 282 universities in the United States that award the Ph.D. degree. To select the perfect place for your study, you need to consider some crucial factors, such as

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

Ph.D. in the USA: Scholarship offered

Pursuing courses in the USA can be a little expensive but with the help of scholarships for Ph.D. in the USA, students can get fee waivers. Scholarships in the USA are either offered by the university or private organizations.

Some of the popular scholarships offered are

  • Fullbright Scholarship -Academic excellence, competitive GRE score, 3LOR - full tuition fees, travel, and living allowances.

  • Ambedkar Overseas Vidya Nidhi Scholarships- Parental income less than 5 lakhs per annum, 60% marks in degree, age of the candidate below 35 years - Up to 20 lakh INR

  • Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation Scholarship - First class UG degree - Up to 100,000 USD.

  • The Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowships In the US -A UG degree, minimum 5 years of experience outside the USA - Full tuition and fees, pre-academic English training, maintenance allowance, and almost every related expenses

  • Aga Khan Foundation International Scholarship- Excellent academic record and financial need Varies

  • Campbell Fellowships for Transformative Research - International female Ph.D. scholars - 4,500 USD (3-4 lakhs INR)

  • National Overseas Scholarship- Minimum 55% or equivalent in master’s, total family income less than 6 lakhs INR/yr- Tuition fees, medical expenses, airfare, and almost all related living expenses

  • AAUW International Fellowships - International student- Doctoral degree: 20,000 USD, Postdoctoral degree: 30,000 USD

  • Richard A. Freund International Scholarship - Minimum GPA of 3.25 (~87-88%) in UG and PG, member of ASQ- One-time 5,000 USD

  • Josephine de Karman Fellowship -Academic excellence - 25,000 USD per year for tuition and fees

Ph.D. in the USA: Work while studying

International students pursuing a Ph.D. in the USA need to go through work placements and opportunities as a compulsory part of the curricular practical training (CPT). You can work 20 hours a week during the sessions and full-time during vacations with a visa to study in the USA. Working full-time is possible in some cases, however, it is unrecommended for the sake of the progress in your Ph.D. program.

Important note: The F-1 student visa permits you to work on-campus for up to 20 hours a week during term-time and full-time during the holidays

Ph.D. in the USA: Job Prospects

The USA offers a wide job market to Ph.D. students. After Ph.D. in the USA, students either pursue careers in higher education including administration and leadership positions, or use their research and teaching knowledge in various professions.

In the United States, a Ph.D. does not have a required minimum wage or national compensation scale. Ph.D. students may earn anywhere from $15,000 to $30,000 per year (INR 11.25L to 22.5L) depending on their school, area of study, and location.


The United States isn’t simply the most popular and most prominent location for PhD study abroad. It’s also a one-of-a-kind piece.

The main reason why the PhD in the USA is such a magnificent attraction for applicants all-round the world is the amount and the variety of courses it offers to all the applicants.

So, In this article, we have tried to cover everything related to PhD in the USA. We hope you like this article.

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