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Scope of studying PhD abroad

A PhD abroad is worth every effort and time

Undertaking research studies abroad is a dream academic plan for a number of international students. PhD or Doctor of Philosophy is the highest academic degree awarded to a student pursuing an advanced study in any particular field. While there are a number of Indian universities that offer a PhD program, pursuing PhD abroad has its fair share of advantages which entice international students. Completing a successful overseas PhD requires much more than just time and money. It takes an immense amount of patience and perseverance.

Why study PhD abroad?

Pursuing your research studies abroad benefit you in more ways than one. Here are the top perks of the same:

  • A global network: Doing your PhD outside your home country allows you to meet scholars from across the world and learn from their unique perspectives
  • Career advancement: It opens up opportunities for you to gain global skills and the land the most coveted jobs anywhere in the world
  • Globally recognised degree: A PhD from top universities abroad adds weight to your CV and is highly respected by employers across the world
  • World-class faculty: Top ranking universities abroad have exceptionally skilled and experienced professors

Types of PhD programs

If you enjoy research, then applying for a Post-Doctoral Fellowship a year in advance would be a good move. If teaching interests you, then talking with the Adviser or Department Head is advisable and would help you to progress in academics. Venturing into industries is also a great option for research scientists as there are a number of opportunities available.

Eligibility criteria


While the specific requirements may vary from one university to another, here is what you will typically need: 

  • Masters degree earned from a recognised university
  • Satisfactory GRE scores (you can speak with your IDP counsellor to know how much you will need to score to get into your preferred university)
  • Overall score of 6.5 or above on IELTS English proficiency test

You should also keep your letters of recommendation, transcripts, and Statement of Purpose ready for a timely application.

Read more: How to write an SOP | LOR – everything you need to know 

Study cost

Studying in a foreign country can seem expensive. To manage your finances efficiently, it is always a good idea to have a rough idea of how much money you will need.

Read more: Cost of studying abroad

Course duration

Depending upon the field of study, thesis completion and individual progress, PhD completion may take somewhere between 3 to 10 years. The coursework while pursuing international PhD will comprise of lectures, countless presentations, and extensive research.

Intake season

There are usually two intakes round the year that most foreign universities and colleges offer – one during the month of January which is the Spring intake and the other during the month of September which is the Fall intake. Some universities may also offer an intake in the month of April which is the Summer intake. Choose your intake based on factors like availability of your preferred program, your chosen institution, academic records, entrance test scores, job opportunities etc. You can always ask your IDP counsellor for guidance on the intake that is right for you.

How to choose a university?

Choosing the right university is critical for any student aiming to study abroad. Before taking a decision, the key factors that should be considered are course structure, course fee, accommodation cost, university ranking, teaching standards, research activities, career prospects, and whether the degree is recognised or not.

Read more: How to choose where to study abroad

What scholarship options are available for Indian students?

Students can fund their PhD abroad by availing one of the several scholarships that are available:

Sl NO Country Name Scholarship names

The UK

  • Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship
  • Charles Wallace India Trust Scholarships

The US, the UK and Europe

  • Inlaks-Shivdasani Scholarship
  • Erasmus Mundus Scholarships for international Students

The US

  • Fulbright-Nehru Fellowship


  • Australian Government Research and Training Program
  • Endeavour Leadership Program


  • Government of Ireland Scholarships
  • NUI Galway Hardiman Scholarships


  • Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship
  • IDRC Research Awards
  • Trudeau Doctoral Scholarships

New Zealand

  • Commonwealth Scholarships for students studying in New Zealand

Career scope

A PhD abroad opens a new world of career opportunities to you. While in academics, you could continue with your post-doctoral project as researchers or teachers, industrial jobs are an option for science and engineering doctorates. PhD students can also work as consultants, biochemists, medical scientists, etc.

Benefits of pursuing PhD abroad

Exposure to new research methods 

Fluency in a new language

Enhances your resume

Boosts your professional growth

Enables personal grooming and development 

Work visa after course completion

There are a number of visa options that may be of help to you in case you are planning to stay and work in your chosen country:






J1 Visa and H1B visa



Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme



Post-Study Work Stream Visa



Temporary Resident Visa



Third Level Graduate Scheme


New Zealand

Post Study Work Visa


Earning a PhD abroad is quite an achievement in itself as it takes immense patience and determination. Completing your PhD research demands commitment so make sure you are certain about the subject area and topic you choose. If you feel stuck anywhere, just connect with our international education specialists and we will be happy to guide you.

PhD in Australia | PhD in the USA | PhD in the UK | PhD in New Zealand

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Updated on February 2, 2022

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Timeline for 2022 intakes

Plan ahead to be study ready. We have mapped an indicative timeline for you to get started and live your study abroad dreams.


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