find your perfect postgrad program
Search our Database of 30,000 Courses
PhD in USA
The USA is a hugely popular postgraduate study destination for international students and this is due to
both the high standard of academic study and the breadth of subjects that are available. By undertaking a PhD you will find yourself becoming an expert, possibly an international expert, in your chosen field. Attending Grad School for a PhD in the USA is not the same as undertaking a PhD in Europe, and it will be a different experience. But studying abroad will improve your global cultural understanding as well as your network of contacts for your future career.
There is a multitude of reasons why the United States is a great choice for your PhD studies, these include:
A US PhD usually takes longer to complete than one in the UK, so you'll have more time to adapt to your course. Extra time can be the difference between surviving and really thriving
US universities continuously top the charts of universities worldwide rankings, so what better place to do your PhD studies? Although rankings shouldn’t be the main deciding factor when it comes to making your PhD choice, they're a great indicator of educational expertise.
The United States is a popular choice for international students from all over the world – making it an inspirational and cosmopolitan choice for your PhD studies.
Land of opportunity
Encompassing six time zones and 4000+ universities, the US is guarantee to have the right choice for your PhD studies, whatever you’re looking for.
So let’s take a look at some of the key factors when it comes to studying a PhD in the USA.Find your PERFECT POSTGRAD PROGRAM
Method of study
Compared to the UK and Europe, studying a PhD in the USA has a number of key differences. Students in the USA are usually in direct contact with their professor, compared with in the UK where students might find that their PhD program is headed by a professor who gives them a little less flexibility to change their research and study areas. There is a cultural difference between PhD students in the USA and those the UK and Europe as well. PhD students in the USA are usually expected to undertake a great deal of teaching and marking, compared with PhD students in Europe who are not usually expected to do so much. This can mean that undertaking a PhD in the USA will usually result in less free time outside of the university, and your work/life
balance can be tipped towards working.
Application for PhD In USA
In the UK and Europe students decide their PhD thesis subject area before they apply. However, in the USA potential PhD students will spend up to a year or two deciding on their specific research subject while undertaking classes at a graduate level. It is normal to apply for up to six institutions for a PhD in the USA, and students apply to each institution separately as there is no central organisation. Students in the UK and Europe are expected to apply with an understanding of the subject already, usually in the form of a masters degree, and be ready to start studying at the PhD level right away. In the USA it is expected that students do not have an in-depth understanding of their subject so usually only have an undergraduate degree when they apply.
Admissions for PhD In USA
Deadlines for applications to PhD programs in the USA tend to be between December and February, and institutions should let you know about your application by April. Most US institutions recommend that you apply as far in advance as you possibly can to give them, and you, plenty of time to make arrangements. Institutions in the USA require international students to have a TOEFL score of around 90, but this does figure does vary between institutions.
Funding your PhD in USA
Making your PhD application in plenty of time allows you more time to apply for and arrange your PhD funding. The cost of PhDs in the USA can 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. Deadlines for application for funding can be as early as December before starting your studies in the Autumn/Fall. Some PhD students will receive a stipend from their institution with an assistantship position, but this varies between institutions and between departments within institutions. Other students can find funding from both their own and the American government, and there are plenty of American government schemes like The Fulbright Program that offer funding.
Apply for one of our x15 bursaries worth £500
We've launched our new Postgrad Solutions Study Bursaries. Full time, part time, online and blended-learning students eligible. January start dates 2022 & 2023 students welcome. We fund postgrad courses in any subject taught anywhere worldwide.
How long does it take to study a PhD in USA?
In the USA a PhD can take as long as eight to 10 years, but for most students studying full time, it usually takes five to six years. Students who already have a masters degree in an appropriate subject might find that they are able to complete their PhD in four or five years, rather than in five or six years.
American university rankings
Here's a table showing how the best US universities feature in worldwide rankings*.
Our PhD bursary winner & funding opportunity
Mohammad Abdollahi is a 35-year-old Iranian student studying a PhD in Operational Research at the University of Essex. He was delighted when he found out he’d been awarded a Postgrad Solutions Study Bursary worth £500. As an international student coming to the UK with his wife and two children, it has proved to be an invaluable funding resource as he explains. “It was good news and exciting – I was overwhelmed with joy!” We have x15 Postgrad Solutions Bursaries for 2022 – and this time you could be the lucky recipient of £500.