Study Ph.D. in USA 2023 | Requirements, Cost, Scholarships & How to Apply

This is a detailed breakdown of everything you need to know to study PhD in USA. This guide gives you up-to-date information on the cost of studying Ph.D. in the USA, how to study Ph.D. in the USA without scholarships, the entry and visa requirements to study a Ph.D. in the USA, a list of Ph.D. programs for international students in 2023 academic session and every other question that plague your mind.

Read More: PTDF Overseas Scholarship for Masters and Ph.D. Studies

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Study PhD in USA - Tips for International Students on how to get in in 2020
Study Ph.D. in USA – Tips for International Students on how to get in 2023


Do you know that the USA is the most popular study-abroad destination for studies for international students? We have almost 1 million international students at its universities and colleges. What makes it so? Keep reading!!!

More than twice the size of the European Union, the United States has high mountains in the West and a vast central plain. The landscape varies across this enormous country–from the tropical beaches of Florida to the snowy peaks of the Rocky Mountains, from the rolling prairie lands and barren deserts in the west to the vast areas of dense wilderness in the north.

The beautiful geography, weather, and quality of education make the USA the most popular study-abroad destination for international students. These unique qualities enhance the appeal of studying Ph.D. in the USA (tens of thousands of international graduate students can’t be wrong).

It’s at PhD-level that the USA really shines through. America’s rigorous approach to graduate study delivers a standard of training and professional development that often surpasses the minimum requirement for more ‘traditional’ research-focused doctorates in other countries.

Ph.D. programs in the USA are more structured and feature comprehensive training alongside independent research. You will get to discover more as you read on.

Keep reading to discover how to study Ph.D. in the USA with scholarships!!!

Is a Ph.D. Study in the USA worth it?

Before sending your application for Ph.D. programs in the USA, you must consider whether it will be worth it. Not to worry, we have done our research and come up with some striking reasons, as stated by students who have gone through Ph.D. in the USA. Here are a few reasons to study Ph.D. in the USA;

  • Instead of being required to focus immediately on your dissertation proposal, you’ll have the time to first develop a more detailed understanding of your subject as the basis for your research.
  • The USA is home to World-leading universities and research centers as universities are at the top of university rankings. Amongst other things, this reflects the country’s substantial investment in research output and expertise.
  • International students are highly welcomed in the country. US universities are used to hosting vast numbers of overseas students from countries worldwide. Whatever and wherever you study, you’ll be welcomed as part of a diverse academic community.
  • The USA is more of a (post) graduate trendsetter than it’s sometimes given credit for being. America was the second country (after Germany) to adopt the modern Ph.D. degree. Its structured approach to doctoral training now influences Ph.D. study in the UK and Europe.
  • With 50 states, six time zones,, and thousands of higher education providers, it’s fair to say that student life in the USA has something to offer you, whatever you seek from Ph.D.D. study.
  • They teach all courses in English. You have to worry about your IELTS or TOEFL score.
  • Although US postgraduate studies take longer, the essence is to equip you better. This is why Ph.D. students from a US university are employed almost immediately (if you did well).
  • You can stay in the USA 6 months after your study. You can apply for a long-term stay with the US embassy.

With so much to offer international students in the world of education, it’s not an exaggeration to say that the US is your best bet for Ph.D. programs.

Keep reading to discover the cost of studying Ph.D. in the USA!!!

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The List of Top Best Ph.D. Universities in the USA for 2023

Based on the 2023 ranking of universities, here’s a list of the top 20 universities for your Ph.D. programs in the USA;

  1. California Institute of Technology
  2. Stanford University
  3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  4. Princeton University
  5. Harvard University,
  6. Yale University,
  7. The University of Chicago
  8. The University of Pennsylvania
  9. Johns Hopkins University
  10. University of California, Berkeley
  11. Columbia University
  12. University of California, Los Angeles
  13. Cornell University
  14. Duke University,
  15. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
  16. Northwestern University
  17. The University of Washington
  18. Carnegie Mellon University,
  19. New York University,
  20. University of California, San Diego

These institutions rank the best in the world. Securing a Ph.D. spot in any of these universities will be a plus to your degree. A certificate from there is not just a paper but “value.”

Keep reading to discover the requirements to study Ph.D. in the USA!!!

What are the Requirements Needed to Study Ph.D. in the USA?

Requirements to study Ph.D. in the USA vary from University to university. Also, based on your Ph.D. topic, they might need specific requirements. It’s advisable to visit the School’s website after you’ve made a choice.

Here are some basic requirements you’ll need for every application:

  • A scan of your diploma (high school or Bachelor’s degree)
  • A transcript/record of your previous courses
  • A scan of your passport
  • Your CV
  • Testing scores for English proficiency
  • Evidence of scholarship or funding
  • Letters of recommendation (between 2-3)
  • Portfolio and/or writing samples

These are the basic requirements to study Ph.D. in the USA. With these, you can send your application via the medium specified by your university of interest. Check out the school website for more details!!!

Do you know there are over 500 Ph.D. programs in the USA? Find out below!!!

Read Also: How to Study Abroad in USA– Scholarships, Cost & How to Apply

What is the Cost of Living in the USA for International Students?

As with the tuition fees for Ph.D. in the USA, living costs in the U.S. can vary dramatically based on your location, level of extravagance, and lifestyle. In a smaller city, you can get by with 800 USD per month. In a bigger city, you will need about 1,500 USD per month. But this largely depends on the accommodation and your spending habits.

Here is a breakdown of prices you’ll find in the U.S.:

  • 3-course meal for 2 at a mid-range restaurant: 55 USD
  • Milk: 0.85 USD
  • Loaf of bread: 2.73 USD
  • Monthly transportation pass (bus, metro): 72 USD
  • Taxi: 1.68 USD per km
  • Rent (private single or shared apartment): 1,000–2,100 USD per month
  • Utilities: 200–250 USD per month
  • Cappuccino: 4.25 USD
  • Beer: 5 USD

Consider the cost to study Ph.D. in the USA to see if you have enough financial capacity or seek to study Ph.D. in the USA with scholarships!!!

What is the Average Cost of studying Ph.D. in the USA?

Unlike many other study-abroad destinations, the USA does not offer Ph.D. programs for free (there are exceptions). The cost to study Ph.D. in the USA varies from University to university, depending on the university’s location.

After research, we learned that the cost to study Ph.D. in the USA could vary between $28,000 to $40,000 per year, but many students find that they can get funding for much or all of their studies. Do you consider studying Ph.D. in the USA with scholarships or seeking other funding options?

Check out how to study Ph.D. in the USA with scholarships below!!!

Are there Scholarships Available for International Ph.D. Students in the USA?

Yes, there are many scholarships for international students in the USA. Because of the cost of studying Ph.D. in the USA, provisions have been made by some institutions and The US government to aid students in studying Ph.D. in the USA with scholarships.

You can study Ph.D. in the USA with scholarships if you get any of the below;

  • IBM Fellowship Awards Program for Ph.D. Students
  • Microsoft Research Dissertation Grant for Doctoral Students
  • Microsoft Ph.D. Fellowship in Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, and Mathematics
  • Microsoft Research Scholarship for Scholars in Europe and Africa Middle East (EMEA)
  • Facebook Emerging Scholar Programme
  • Facebook International Fellowship for Doctoral Students
  • Facebook AI Research (FAIR) Residency Program
  • Columbia University International Postdoctoral Humanities Fellowship
  • The University of Michigan African Presidential Scholars Program (UMAPS)
  • PEO International Peace Scholarships for Women to Study in USA and Canada
  • Amelia Earhart Fellowship for Women in Aerospace/Mechanical Engineering
  • AAUW International Fellowship for Women, Masters & Doctoral program in USA
  • Ezera Research Fellowship for African Students at the University of California, Berkeley
  • AfyaBora Fellowship in Global Health Leadership for African Medical Practitioners
  • George Washington University Global Leaders Fellowship for International Students
  • Fox International Fellowships at Yale University–Graduate Student Exchange Program
  • Short-Term Visiting Scholars Program at Michigan State University
  • Fulbright Foreign Scholarships
  • Smithsonian Institution Fellowship Program for International Researchers
  • Yale University Beinecke Library Visiting Graduate Student Fellowships
  • Symantec Graduate Fellowship Program

You can study Ph.D. in the USA with scholarships as stated above. This will aid your finances massively. Check out the requirements to apply and secure yourself a scholarship.

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Available Ph.D. Programs in the USA in 2023.

There are over 500 Ph.D. programs in the USA. Finding your best suit is of utmost importance. Here is a list of Ph.D. programs in the USA;

These and many more you would find in the USA. You will find the best Ph.D. programs in the USA, so keep searching for more!!!

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Frequently Asked Questions About Ph.D. Study in USA

When is the Deadline for Ph.D Application in the USA?

Deadlines for applications to Ph.D. programs in the USA are between December and February, and institutions should let you know about your application by April.

What are the Language Requirements for a Ph.D. application in the USA?

You should take proficiency tests on either TOEFL, IELTS, or GRE, depending on your school of choice Institutions in the USA require international students to have a TOEFL score of around 90, but this figure varies between institutions.

How Long Does It Take To Study A Ph.D. In the USA?

In the USA, a Ph.D. can take eight to 10 years, but it usually takes five to six years for most students to study full-time. Students with a master’s degree in an appropriate subject might find they can complete their Ph.D. in four or five years rather than in five or six years.

A Ph.D. in the USA is usually 4-6 years (full-time). Students spend 1-4 years on the coursework stage of their program and 2-4 years working on their dissertations.

Does the USA offer Assistantships to Ph.D. students?

And awarding direct funding, it’s common for US universities to offer assistantship positions to their graduate students. These are effective employment with the university: you will fulfill a selection of responsibilities for a stipend or a fee waiver.

Common types of assistantships include:
Graduate teaching assistantships
Research assistantships
Administrative assistantships

What’s the Application fee for Ph.D. programs in the USA?

You must pay a fee for each graduate school application you make. This reflects the cost of processing and reviewing your materials. Typical application fees for Ph.D. study in the USA are between $50 and $100.

Do I need an interview?

Some very competitive programs may use a Ph.D. interview to help distinguish between candidates. Other programs may offer interviews as an optional part of the process for prospective students who want to discuss their application in person. If your school requires an interview, they will notify you.


Applying for Ph.D. in the USA is very competitive. You need to be on your toes to secure a spot and study Ph.D. in the USA with scholarships. Gather the proper requirements to study Ph.D. in the USA, consider the cost to study Ph.D. in the USA, and then check out if the Ph.D. programs in the USA suit your fancy.

We hope you found this article helpful and enlightening.

Good luck!!!

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