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. 

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 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. 

How Long Does It Take To Study A PhD In USA?

In the USA a PhD can take as long as eight to ten 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.


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