PHD Scholarships in USA for International Students

Doctoral scholarships for international students in the United States are highly sought after, given the esteemed higher education institutions and diverse academic opportunities the country offers. Pursuing a PhD here not only cultivates expertise but also holds the potential to establish one as a recognized authority in their field on a global scale. Compared to Europe, studying for a doctorate in the United States provides a distinctive academic and personal growth experience, enriching cultural awareness and expanding professional networks.


When applying for PhD programs in the United States, prospective students often spend one to two years exploring research topics before enrolling, unlike in the UK and Europe where candidates typically decide on their thesis field beforehand. Additionally, applicants typically apply to multiple institutions separately, as there is no centralized application system. Unlike their European counterparts, US PhD applicants are not expected to have a deep understanding of their subject and often hold only an undergraduate degree at the time of application.

To Gain Admission To a Doctoral Program in the United States, Applicants Must Meet Specific Requirements.

Typically, application deadlines for these programs fall between December and February, with institutions notifying applicants of their status by April. It’s advisable to apply well in advance to allow ample time for both institutions and applicants to make necessary arrangements.

International students aiming for admission to US institutions are generally required to achieve a TOEFL score of around 90. However, this score requirement tends to be consistent across institutions.

The Cost of Pursuing a PhD in the United States

When considering pursuing a PhD in the United States, taking your time during the application process can open up more opportunities for securing funding. The cost of a PhD program in the US typically ranges from $28,000 to $40,000 per year, but many students find funding options that cover a significant portion, if not all, of their educational expenses. Funding application deadlines often start as early as December, preceding the fall semester’s start. While some PhD students may receive stipends through assistant positions, availability varies among universities and departments. Others secure financial support from their home governments or US government programs like the Fulbright program.

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Duration of PhD Studies in the United States

In the US, PhD programs can last eight to ten years, but most full-time students complete them in five to six years. Those with a master’s degree in a related field may finish in four to five years.

Why Choose to Pursue a PhD in the United States?

Choosing to pursue a PhD in the US offers unique advantages, with thousands of universities offering doctoral degrees annually, attracting graduate students from around the world. Factors such as program duration, funding structures, and requirements vary significantly for PhD students in different regions. The US stands out for its 282 universities conferring PhD degrees, each with distinct admission criteria and academic offerings. Prospective candidates can choose universities based on their research interests, academic background, and program compatibility, aided by resources like the NRC’s ranking system.

Requirements for pursuing a PhD in the United States

  1. Statement of Purpose: Prospective students must submit a well-crafted Statement of Purpose (SOP) to their desired universities. This document should effectively articulate the applicant’s alignment with the program and faculty members.
  2. High GRE Score: Attaining a competitive score on the GRE General Test, and potentially the GRE Subject Test and English proficiency exams, is crucial. A strong performance on these tests increases the likelihood of admission.
  3. Letters of Recommendation: Applicants are required to provide letters of recommendation that highlight their academic aspirations and goals for pursuing a PhD.
  4. Language Proficiency: Proficiency in English is essential, demonstrated through high scores on exams such as IELTS, TOEFL, or Cambridge.
  5. Financial Assistance: Many US universities offer tuition waivers and stipends to PhD students. Alternatively, students can explore research assistantship opportunities to support their academic endeavors. Thus, it is important for applicants to carefully consider these options before rejecting university offers due to financial constraints.
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Requirements for obtaining a doctorate in the United States of America include:

  1. Statement of Intent: Applicants must submit a Statement of Purpose (SOP) to their chosen universities, detailing the alignment between themselves, the program, and the professors.
  2. High GRE Score: Achieving a competitive score on the GRE General Test, English proficiency test, and GRE Subject Test (if required by programs) enhances chances of acceptance.
  3. Letters of Recommendation: Submission of recommendation letters, incorporating the purpose of pursuing a PhD and an associated essay, is mandatory.
  4. Language Proficiency: Demonstrating proficiency in English through high scores on exams like IELTS, TOEFL, or Cambridge is essential.
  5. Financial Assistance: Many US universities offer tuition waivers and an annual stipend to students. If direct funding or scholarships are unavailable, students can explore opportunities for research assistantships. Hence, applicants should consider these options before rejecting university offers due to a lack of scholarships.

List of PhD Doctoral Scholarships for International Students in the United States:

1. AAUW International Scholarships
– Deadline: December 1
– The American Association of Universities (AAUW) awards international scholarships worth $20,000 each to graduate students from over 140 countries pursuing a master’s, Professional Degree, or doctorate in the United States. Eligible women must have earned at least a bachelor’s degree, not hold U.S. citizenship, study or conduct research full-time, demonstrate proficiency in English, exhibit outstanding academic achievement, and intend to return to their home country after graduation.


2. Aga Khan Foundation International Scholarships
– Deadline: March 31
– The Aga Khan Foundation offers doctoral scholarships to international students from select countries studying in the United States or Canada. Eligible candidates must be 30 years of age or younger, demonstrate financial need, be accepted into a reputable curriculum, and consistently maintain excellent academic results.

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3. American-Scandinavian Foundation Scholarships
– Deadline: February 15
– The American Scandinavian Foundation provides one-year scholarships of up to $23,000 to Scandinavian citizens pursuing master’s or doctoral programs in the United States. Applicants must legally reside in Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, or Iceland and demonstrate proficiency in English.


4. Campbell Fellowships for Transformational Research
– Deadline: November 7
– The Campbell Fellowship awards $4,500 per month through the School of Advanced Research (SAR) to international doctoral students studying the conditions of women in developing countries. Applicants must be enrolled in a graduate school in the United States and proficient in English.


5. East-West Centre Graduate Scholarship
– Deadline: November 1
– The East-West Centre offers a postgraduate scholarship covering 24 months of full tuition for students from Asia Pacific studying for a master’s or PhD at the University of Hawaii.


6. Franklin Mosher Baldwin Memorial Scholarship
– Deadline: February 15
– The Franklin Mosher Baldwin Memorial Fellowship awards $15,000 per year to international students from developing countries pursuing master’s or doctoral programs in the United States in disciplines related to human origins and evolution.


7. Fulbright Program for International Students
– Deadline: October 15
– The Fulbright International Student Program offers up to 1,800 doctoral scholarships each year to international students wishing to study in the United States. Applicants must demonstrate academic merit and return to their home country for at least two years after funding.


8. HHMI International Student Research Fellowships
– Deadline: February 11
– The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) offers Research Fellowships worth $43,000 to non-U.S. pre-doctoral students studying at accredited U.S. institutions.


9. IBM PhD Fellowship Awards
– Deadline: October 27
– The IBM PhD Fellowship Awards attract outstanding PhD students worldwide interested in computer science, engineering, cybersecurity, and other fields for study, internships, or research in the United States.


10. Josephine De Kerman Scholarship Fund
– Deadline: January 31
– The Josephine De Kerman Fellowship Fund provides $22,000 annually to eight international graduate students pursuing a PhD at accredited universities in the United States, with a focus on humanities disciplines.



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