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PhD in USA

Course Overview

Considered the highest awarded degree in several US Universities for most fields of studies, it’s a dream course of many students. Ph.D. in USA is a series of three phases, wherein, 1st phase course work that requires 1-3 years for completion followed by a preliminary, a comprehensive examination, or a series of cumulative examinations. In the first phase, examination focus is upon the breadth of knowledge instead of depth. For the composition of a substantial and original contribution to human knowledge in the form of a written dissertation, another two to eight years are usually required.

Depending on the field of study, it takes four to eight years of study after the Bachelor's Degree to complete Ph.D. Program; and it takes a year or two less to complete Ph.D. who already have a master’s degree.

Choosing the Right University

There are 282 universities in the United States that award the Ph. D degree. The criteria of admission and the rigor of the academic programs vary in different universities. Based on the past research experience, interest in Ph. D and undergraduate coursework, candidates can get hold of the list of universities that offer those programs. NRC rankings will help candidates in making a better selection. 

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Requirements for Ph.D. in USA:

  • Statement of Purpose: Candidate would need to send a SOP (Statement of Purpose) to the respective universities that he wants to apply in. In the SOP, candidate has to indicate a fit between you and the program and the professors
  • High GRE score: Take GRE General Test, an English Language Proficiency Test , and the GRE Subject Test as needed by the programs that you want to apply for. The higher the score, the better would be the chances of selection.
  • Recommendation letter: Candidates have to send recommendation letters (including purpose of PhD and an essay based on that) to the institute they want to apply in.
  • Language Competency: For language competency, students need to have high IELTS/TOEFL/Cambridge score.
  • Financial aids: Ph.D. students at U.S. universities get tuition waiver as well as annual stipend. In case the university does not offer direct funding or a scholarship to a candidate, then he has an option of earning through research assistantships while there in the US. So, before turning down the offer from universities due to non-awarding of scholarships, candidates should consider this option too.

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.

How IDP can help you?

Counselors at IDP will assist the candidates enrolling for Post graduation in USA with:


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    Top Universities in USA for PhD

Study abroad intakes

American universities offer three major terms for students – Fall, Spring and Summer. Know all about it.

Student visa requirements for the US

The Government of the US provides an opportunity for all Sri Lankan students to study in the country but as a prerequisite, you’ll have to obtain a student visa first. The visa you need will depend on your age, the type of study you want to pursue, and how long you want to stay in the US.

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