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phd in usa

Updated at : July 13, 2024

PhD in USA 

It is the dream of every international student to study and settle in the United States of America which is one of the most developed nations in the world. The USA is the first destination of millions of international students when it comes to studying abroad. The PhD program is one such program that every student aspires to pursue in the USA. The country's top-ranked universities, cutting-edge research opportunities, and access to the leading experts make it one of the most popular destinations for pursuing a PhD.

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PhD in USA Program Overview

With high standards of academic excellence, the USA is one of the most favorable destinations for international students to pursue a PhD program. The universities offering PhD in the USA consistently rank as top worldwide universities which makes it one of the most suitable places to pursue a PhD degree. American universities dominate in academic excellence in research worldwide. Another factor that makes universities in the USA a favorable destination for international students is the high rate of employability of the students after completing their PhD degree. Students can significantly benefit from the intensive investment of the country towards research and development. Click Here | What Is a Doctoral Degree?


Due to the most favorable conditions for research and world-class universities to pursue a doctoral degree, international students from across the globe are attracted to the USA to pursue their PhD degrees. This makes it very competitive to get admission to one of the universities. The competitive and extensive admission process with a long wait for visa approval makes it very difficult for the students to fulfill their dream of pursuing their PhD in the USA. The high tuition fees and high cost of living in the USA make it even worse for students to manage their doctoral degrees.

All these conditions make admission to the highly renowned universities of the USA a herculean task. International students who want to save their time, energy, and resources from this thing can now enroll in an online PhD program at the most prestigious American universities without bothering to complete the long and troubling admission process.

An Online PhD with the name of Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) is now offered by some of the top USA universities in Online mode. The universities offering this course in the USA use their highly sophisticated Learning Management System (LMS) to impart the learning with the support of highly learned and experienced faculty. With this course being offered online mode, the students get the benefit of flexible learning and proper time management. Students get enough flexibility to pursue this course PhD for working professionals along with their current jobs and professional commitments. To pursue this program, students are not required to go through the tiring admission process. The admission can be completed just by visiting the official website of the university and the student can immediately start the course without waiting for any visa approval. 

The program is offered with a duration of only 3 years which is comparatively less than the regular PhD programs in the USA. Generally PhD program in the USA takes 4 years to 8 years to complete. With this course, students can complete a doctoral degree within 3 years from a renowned university in the USA and earn the title of “Dr”. 

Key Highlights of PhD in USA In India

  • Get a globally recognized online PhD from a reputable US university that is equivalent to a campus PhD. 
  • Get the opportunity to pursue a doctoral degree from world-class universities in the USA.
  • Get benefitted from the academic excellence and cutting-edge research facilities of renowned USA universities. 
  • Get the diverse research opportunities that are supported by advanced technologies, and experienced faculty.
  • Flexibility to fulfill professional commitments while pursuing a doctoral degree. 
  • Get opportunities for personal and professional development with enhanced professional skills and networking. 
  • Get a doctoral degree from eminent US universities within 3 years and add the “Dr” prefix to the name. 
  • Enroll in an online doctoral degree without long-awaited student visa approvals. 
  • No need for detailed research proposals and entrance exams to enroll in prestigious US universities with the help of an Online PhD/DBA program. 
  • Access the World-class research facilities and connect with highly experienced faculty with the well-developed Leaning Mangement System (LMS) of US universities while sitting at home.

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PhD in USA Course Subjects/Syllabus

The curriculum design of the online Doctoral/DBA program in US universities is more practical-oriented than academic. The program lasts for three years which in comparison is less than the on-campus doctoral degree. Here is the detailed overview of the syllabus of Online Doctoral/DBA degrees in US universities-

Business Management Track

  • Managerial Skills
  • Accounting for Financial Reporting
  • Managerial Economics
  • Cutting Edge Leadership
  • International Business Environment
  • Strategic Management: Integrating the Enterprise

Research Track

  • Introduction to Academic Research
  • Research Design
  • The Landscape of Literature Review
  • Designing a Quantitative Research Methodology
  • Business Statistics
  • Designing a Qualitative Research Methodology

Strategic Management: Integrating the Enterprise

Written Proposal Defense

Doctoral Residency

Reflection and Minutes of the Meeting with the Supervisor

Report Writing

Written Dissertation and Oral Defence

PhD in USA Eligibility & Duration

The Students who are interested in enrolling in PhD programs in US Universities must fulfill the following eligibility criteria- 

  • Strong Academic Qualifications - Students must have passed a bachelor’s degree with a high GPA, demonstrating a high academic record. Generally, students can directly get admission to PhD in the US with their master’s degree. In the USA, a master’s degree and a doctorate are combined into one. 
  • Transcript Evaluation- International students are required to provide a transcript evaluation from services like WES (World Education Services) to convert their marks into the US grading system.
  • English Language Proficiency Test- Students applying for PhD programs in the USA must clear English language proficiency tests such as TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System). The minimum marks in these tests may vary from university to university. 
  • Letter of recommendation-  It is imperative to obtain strong letters of recommendation from faculty members and professors who are acquainted with the academic work and research ability of the student.
  • Statement of Purpose (SOP)- Students need to produce a strong statement of purpose which is generally an essay that explains the research interests and career goals of the students. It also explains why the student is a good fit for the PhD program in the USA. 
  • Visa Requirements- Students must have a valid passport to apply for the F-1 Student Visa. Students are required to produce proof of financial resources and other resources as notified by the U.S. embassy and or consulate. 
  • Standardized Test Scores- Students may be required to produce GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) or GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) scores for admission in PhD program in the USA. These Tests are becoming less common these days. 

The eligibility criteria mentioned above are for the On-Campus PhD in the USA. The eligibility criteria may appear tough and burdensome to fulfill. Students who want to pursue a doctoral degree in the USA but are unable to fulfill above mentioned criteria can now pursue an Online PhD/DBA with only a few eligibility criteria. The eligibility criteria for Online PhD/DBA in the USA are mentioned below- 

  • A Bachelor’s degree from a government-approved university with relevant work experience of 3 to 5 years. 


  • Master’s degree or equivalent from a government-approved university.

Duration: An On-Campus PhD in the USA may require students to devote 4 years to 7 years which in general is a very long period. The On-Campus PhD in the USA has fixed schedules and students need to commit to their full focus. Students enrolling in Online PhD/DBA can easily complete their doctorate within 3 years. This program also supports flexible learning which means students are not bound to follow fixed schedules. Students pursuing this degree can easily balance their academic learning for a doctoral degree while managing their professional commitments. 

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Program Fees for PhD in USA

Starting at ₹ 6,776/month

Program Fee: ₹60,000 - ₹2,50,000

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The fee structure of the On-Campus PhD program in the USA is decided by the university only. There are mainly three types of universities in the USA that offer PhD programs. They are Ivy League Universities, Public Universities, and Private universities. The fee structure of all these universities is different. A Student enrolling in Ivy League University may have to pay tuition fees between $45,000 to $65,000 per year. A student getting selected for a Public University in the USA for a PhD program can be charged between $9,000 to $15,000 per year. The private universities in the USA are expensive for PhD degrees. The tuition fees for PhD program in a private University in the USA start from $14000 which can reach $45000 per academic year. The On-Campus PhD fees in the USA are very high and most students cannot afford it. The financial burden is more amplified by the high cost of living in the USA. 

On the other hand, students pursuing an Online PhD/DBA from the USA can significantly save a lot on tuition fees. An Online PhD/DBA program in the USA without immersion costs INR 7,00,000 and with immersion costs around 9,75,000. This fee structure is several times less than the on-campus PhD. As the online PhD/DBA program can be pursued remotely without relocating to the USA, students can save on additional expenses. 

PhD in USA Admission Procedure

The Admission process in on-campus PhD programs in the USA generally follows these steps- 

  • Select the PhD program- The admission process for PhD in the USA begins with the selection of the PhD program and University. Students should select the PhD program in their respective disciplines by choosing appropriate universities offering that PhD program.
  •  Prepare Compelling Application  Materials - Students applying for the PhD program in the USA must prepare compelling application material. The application should be able to highlight their academic excellence, research aptitude, and dedication towards the selected field in the best possible manner. The application materials that students are required to keep handy before applying for an On-Campus PhD in the USA are- 
  • Proof of Standardized tests such as GRE and GMAT (if required)
  • Proof of Language Proficiency Tests such as TOEFL and IELTS. 
  • Academic Transcripts 
  • Statement of Purpose (SOP)
  • Letter of Recommendation 
  • Resume/ CV 
  • Application Submission- After collecting all the application materials, students should visit the admission portal of the particular university to submit their application. Students need to be aware of the application deadlines as each University in the USA has its deadline. Students should meet the deadlines and pay the application fees after applying.
  • Application Review- After successful submission of the application and payment of application fees, the admission committee of the particular university reviews the application materials to determine the academic qualifications, research potential, and whether the student is fit for the particular PhD program. 
  • Interview- Once the application review is completed, the selected candidates are invited by the university for an interview. Most interviews are conducted online. 
  • Admission Offer- Candidates who qualify for the Interview round receive an admission offer from the university. Students need to accept the admission offer by paying the enrollment fees. 
  • Apply for a Student Visa- A On Campus PhD in the USA requires students to relocate to the US. After getting admission confirmation, students need to apply for F-1 or M-1  student visas in the US embassy or consulate. These are the most common student visas in the USA. 
  • Start the PhD program- Upon Successful visa approval, the student can relocate to the USA and start their PhD program. 

Students interested in an On-Campus PhD in the USA have to go through a rigorous and challenging admission process. Most of the students fail to complete all the procedures and secure admission in On-Campus PhD programs in the USA. Students who choose to pursue Online PhD/ DBA in the USA are saved from this herculean process. The admission process for Online PhD/DBA is very easy and students can secure their admission without much effort.

The admission process for Online PhD/DBA is mentioned below- 

  • Step 1- Choose the university you are willing to enroll.
  • Step 2- Go to the official website of that particular university.
  • Step 3- Click on the admission section of the University.
  • Step 4- Fill in the admission details required by the university.
  • Step 5- Review your admission application by clicking on the review button.
  • Step 6- Click on the submit button after reviewing your application and wait for the response from the admission committee of the university. 
  • Step 7- If mandatory send a cover letter, statement of purpose (SOP), recommendation letters (LORs), and resume to the University. 
  • Step 8- After properly reviewing your admission application, the university admission committee will offer admission.
  • Step 9- Accept the admission offer and pay the first installment of the Online PhD/DBA.
  • Step 10- Once the fee payment is successful, your admission will be verified.
  • Step 11- The University will also provide your unique student ID and enrollment number a couple of days after the completion of the admission process.
  • Step 12- Start the online doctoral degree.
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Growth of Online Education in India

  • Online education in India is set to grow at a CAGR of 19.9% by 2030.
  • Skill development and employment are the major driving forces for this growth.
  • Higher education is gaining popularity in this online medium.
  • Financially affordability is a significant contributor to this boom.
  • The increased adoption of technologies, i.e., the Internet and smartphones, has increased accessibility significantly.
  • The advantage of flexibility in terms of time and location is the key highlight.
Growth of Online Education in India

Education Loan/EMI Facilities for PhD in USA

Apart from being economical from the On-Campus PhD, Online PhD/DBA also offers numerous EMI options to make the fee payment easier. With the EMI facility in fee payment, students can pay the fees in very easy installments. As this online doctoral program offers flexibility to manage professional journeys and academic learning, the students can easily pay the installments from their monthly salary. 

There is no EMI facility in On-Campus PhD programs in the USA and the fees are so immense that most of the students cannot even think of paying it. However, the US government offers scholarships to students but a small chunk of students who are doing exceptionally well can only avail of it. 

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Is PhD in USA Worth it?

Yes, pursuing PhD from the USA is completely worth it.  The USA is known for its world-class universities that offer doctorate programs. It is home to some of the world’s leading universities that are known for their strong research programs and academic excellence. These universities are highly ranked in the world. However, some people may not consider ranking as a true perimeter to judge any university but it depicts the academic excellence of the university. These universities offer students extensive research facilities and resources and equip them with in-depth research aptitude. Students have access to cutting-edge edge technologies, laboratories, and highly experienced faculty for their research. 

The universities in the USA offer collaborative environments to the student which is highly beneficial in building professional relationships. Universities offer opportunities to collaborate with leading experts and scholars in various fields through conferences, seminars, and networking events. 

Previously to avail of these benefits of pursuing PhD, students had to face numerous challenges. The eligibility criteria and admission process in an On-Campus university are very complex. This complexity was supplemented by the super expensive tuition fees and high cost of living. With the introduction of Online PhD/DBA, admission to a renowned US university has become very easy. The eligibility criteria for Online PhD/DBA are minimal and the admission process is also very simple. The program allows students to continue their professional journey along with their doctorates. This greatly helps in financing their doctoral degree and lowers their financial burden. The online PhD/DBA is many times pocket friendly than the on-campus PhD in the USA. 

Overall, pursuing PhD from the USA offers an excellent choice for pursuing a PhD due to its world-renowned institutions, extensive research opportunities, and high-quality learning environments. Students should weigh all the factors before deciding between pursuing an On-Campus PhD or an Online PhD/DBA.  

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Job Opportunity after PhD in USA

The universities in the USA are world-famous for their progressive approach to teaching and equipping students with the competencies that are highly demanded in the industry. Students completing their doctoral degree from the USA are prepared for a rewarding career in various dimensions of the current fast-paced industry. A doctoral degree from the USA on the resume of the students is greatly admired by employers across the world. 

Here are some of the top and most popular job profiles that students can pursue after completing their doctorate in the USA- 

Job Profile

Average Salary 


INR 8.25 LPA


INR 10.40 LPA

Senior Writer

INR 5.98 LPA

Product Manager

INR 18.00 LPA 

Top Universities for PhD in the USA 

Here is the list of top universities that offer On- Campus PhD programs-

  • Harvard University 
  • Columbia University 
  • Yale University 
  • Princeton University 
  • University of Minnesota 
  • University of Michigan 

Here is the list of most popular universities that offer Online PhD/DBA- 

  • Golden Gate University 
  • Rushford Business School
  • Swiss School of Business and Mangement 

Top Recruiters for PhD in USA

Upon completion of a PhD program in the USA, students are hired by some of the top recruiters in the industry. With an international doctorate, students become a popular choice for top recruiters in a wide range of sectors. Here are some of the top recruiters that consider PhD students in the USA for hiring and placement.

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Let's clear up some doubts about PhD in USA

Students who wish to pursue an On-Campus PhD in the USA have to fulfill a long list of eligibility criteria. A student with a bachelor's degree with strong academic record is eligible for an On-Campus PhD in the USA. US universities demand transcript evaluation from services like WES (World Education Services) which converts the marks of students according to the grading system of the USA. Students may also be required to appear for standardized tests such as GRE and GATE. Qualifying the English Proficiency Tests such as TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is a must for students who wish to apply for an On-Campus PhD in the USA. The minimum marks in these tests may depend on the university and the field of research. The letter of recommendation, statement of Purpose, and visa requirements also constitute a major part of the eligibility for PhD in the USA. 

Students applying for the Online PhD/DBA are not required to fulfill this long list of eligibility criteria. A student with a bachelor's degree with relevant work experience of 3 to 5 years is eligible for an Online PhD/DBA in the USA. There is no requirement for a visa, language proficiency tests, transcript evaluation, or standardized tests to enroll in an Online PhD/DBA in the USA.

An On-Campus PhD in USA may last from 4 years to 7 years. This is a very long duration to complete a doctorate. Students can pursue an Online PhD/DBA from a prestigious university in only 3 years. The Online PhD/DBA is equivalent to the On-Campus PhD.

The Universities offering PhD in the USA are categorized into three types. The fee structure of PhD depends on these categories of the universities in the USA. The categories are Ivy League Universities, Public Universities, and Private universities. A PhD from an Ivy League university can cost between $45,000 to $65000 per year, a Public University in the USA can cost between $9,000 to $15000 per year, a Private University in the USA can cost between $14,000 to $45000 per year for PhD program. This fee structure is very high and is more intensified by the high cost of living in the USA. 

Students can choose a cost-effective yet great option to pursue their doctorate in the USA by opting Online PhD/DBA program. The free structure of this program is very pocket-friendly and many times less than the On-campus PhD. The fees for Online PhD/DBA are INR 7,00,000 (without immersion) and INR 9,75,000 (with Immersion). The EMI options offered in this program make it more affordable. Also, students are excluded from the high cost of living in the USA if they choose to pursue an Online DBA/PhD.

To pursue an On-Campus PhD in the USA, students are required to apply for an F-1 or M-1  student visa in the US Embassy or Consulate. The visa process is very long and takes too much time to approve. Students can now pursue PhD in the USA without any requirement for Visa approvals. They can enroll in Online PhD/DBA at some of the top US universities.

This depends on the type of PhD you are enrolling in the USA. If you are enrolling in an On-Campus PhD in the USA, you have no option but to leave your job and join the university. On the other hand, if you are enrolling in an Online PhD/DBA you can continue with your job. The program offers significant flexibility to manage academic learning and professional commitments. Continuing your job while pursuing an Online PhD/DBA will also help you finance your doctoral degree.

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