With its unrivaled emphasis on research, innovation, and development, the United States provides individuals with numerous job prospects not only in STEM disciplines, but also in Social Sciences, Humanities, and Languages. Furthermore, a wide range of academic institutions in the United States have etched their names on the list of top universities in the globe, thanks to outstanding teachers, an internationally known curriculum, and bright career possibilities in both enterprises and research organizations. These institutes are renowned not only for their undergraduate and master’s programs, but also for their thorough Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programs. As a result, in this blog, we will throw light on the specifics of getting a PhD in the United States and its associated components.
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PhD in USA Overview
With so much to offer, it’s no surprise that the appeal of US institutions is so strong: it easily outweighs any barriers that overseas students encounter. Have a look at PhD in USA:
Total Universities in the USA: 4500+ Universities
Nobel Prizes: 383
Oldest University: Harvard University (1636)
International Students: 997,000+
Academic Year: August to May
Why Pursue PhD in the USA?
With about 1 million foreign students enrolled in its universities and colleges, the United States remains a popular study abroad destination. Here are a few compelling reasons to begin your PhD studies in the United States right now:
- Accessibility: While a graduate program in the United States takes longer than a PhD in the United Kingdom, this may assist you get started as a PhD student. Instead of having to focus on your dissertation proposal straight away, you’ll have more time to have a deeper understanding of your subject to utilize as the foundation for your research.
While rankings aren’t everything, US colleges continue to dominate the top of global league tables. This reflects, among other things, the country’s significant investment in research output and skills.
- International Community: American universities are used to receiving significant numbers of international students from all over the world. Whatever and wherever you study, you will be welcomed as a member of a diverse academic community.
Innovation – The United States is a (post)graduate trendsetter to a greater extent than is commonly acknowledged. America was the second country after Germany to adopt the modern PhD degree, and its organized approach to doctoral training is increasingly influencing PhD courses in the United Kingdom and Europe.
- Opportunities: With 50 states, six time zones, and hundreds of higher education institutions, it’s safe to say that student life in the United States has something to offer you, no matter what you want to get out of your PhD.
Major Cities In The USA
You’ll discover a big, diversified community of individuals living near the university of your dreams in every major city in the United States. Take a look at some of the major cities you may consider:
Study in Chicago
Study in New York City
Study in Los Angeles
Study in Boston
Study in San Francisco
Study in Atlanta
Study in Seattle
Study in Tampa
Study in Miami
Study in Charlotte
Study in Minneapolis
PhD Course Duration in the USA
In the United States, a PhD program normally lasts 4 to 6 years. Some students, on the other hand, finish their degrees in an average of 8 years. There are two types of course work years: one to four years of course work and two to four years of dissertation study. In the United States, the academic year is divided into two semesters: August to December and January to May.
The PhD in the United States is distinct from those in other nations in that it is more than just a research degree. The course incorporates a one-of-a-kind creative current approach provided by the educational authority of the United States. The program requires students to present significant theses, therefore it is not solely a research degree. Regular classes, student evaluations, and the development of a thorough curriculum are all essential in the initial years of a PhD program in the United States. During the first two years of study, the thesis and dissertation are not necessary. After clearing the first round of evaluation and examinations, students must confirm their final dissertation subjects for the research area.
List of Popular PhD Programs In the USA
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 the USA. Tabulated below are some of the most popular PhD options in the Arts stream as well as STEM courses:
Field of Concentration: Courses
Health / Education:
PhD 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 / Science:
PhD in Bioengineering
PhD in Environmental Science & Engineering
PhD in Materials Science & Mechanical Engineering
Microsystems Engineering PhD
Doctorate in Electrical & Computer Engineering
Doctor of Philosophy – Law
PhD Law and Criminology
Law PhD / MPhil / MJur
Doctor of Philosophy Integrated (Law)
Social Sciences and Humanities:
PhD in Theory and Research – Journalism, Media, and Culture
PhD in Journalism and Mass Communication
PhD In USA: How To Choose A University?
In the United States, there are a total of 282 universities that offer the PhD degree program. The requirements for applying to a PhD program in the United States vary depending on the university chosen by the students. In the United States, the primary requirements for a PhD program are as follows:
- Valid GRE Score – The candidate must have passed the GRE Test, which is an English language competence test. Candidates with higher scores will have a better chance of being accepted into a PhD program.
- English Proficiency Tests – To fulfill the language competency criteria, students seeking admission to PhD programs in the United States must submit a high TOEFL, IELTS, or Cambridge exam score.
- Statement Of Purpose – Candidates must submit an SOP (Statement of Purpose) to the universities from which they wish to pursue a PhD program. The SOP shows your compatibility with the program and teachers.
- Financial Aid – Students must ensure that they have adequate finances to cover the costs of pursuing a PhD at the university they have chosen. Students who do not have enough money to pay for university tuition in the United States might apply for admission to colleges that provide scholarships. Some universities in the United States waive tuition fees and provide annual stipends to students in need of financial assistance.
- Letter Of Recommendation – Candidates will be required to submit a recommendation letter to the university from where they wish to pursue a PhD program. The goal of the PhD and an essay on that topic must be included in the recommendation letter.
Application Requirements to Pursue PhD in the 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 the USA have been given a rundown below:
2-3 Letters of Recommendation (LORs)
Statement of Purpose (SOP)
Transcripts of all the degrees completed
Proof of Scholarship Funding
Although GRE and language proficiency scores are commonly required for PhD programs in the United States, some universities may also demand the GMAT for Doctor of Business Administration (DBA), MCAT for MD, and DAT for Doctorate in Dental Surgery. In addition, certain universities may require you to produce GRE subject exam scores. For example, if you want to pursue a PhD in Applied Mathematics at UC Berkeley, you must submit GRE General and GRE Subject Test scores.
If you are aspiring to pursue a PhD in the 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 be part of the application process. This is typically conducted by the supervising board for the program.
- Once you have supplied these documents, the doctoral committee you are applying to will confirm your eligibility to pursue a PhD in the USA
List of PhD Scholarships 2022
PhD candidates can apply for a variety of scholarships/financial help, which are either financed by universities in the United States or offered by national and international organizations. Some scholarships are only available to Indian students, while others are available to all worldwide applicants. Some of the most popular PhD scholarships in the United States are listed below:
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 United States is home to some of the world’s finest universities, which provide outstanding education through comprehensive degree programs, a platform for extensive research, cutting-edge infrastructure, and world-class faculty. Furthermore, the focus placed by major academic institutions on fostering scientific temperament has made the United States an outstanding study abroad location for those interested in pursuing research-based courses. The following are some of the best universities in the United States for pursuing a PhD.
University of California, Berkeley
University of Columbia
University of Wisconsin
University of California, Berkeley
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
University of California – Berkeley
Georgia Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
California Institute of Technology
University of Chicago