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How to Apply for Scholarships for PhD in USA

21st, August 2012
phd scholarship

Many students from around the world apply to PhD programs in the USA. In particular, almost all students seek to earn a PhD in the US with scholarships. It is well known that more than any other degree, students in PhD programs receive the most number of scholarships. PhD scholarships are often large amounts, especially for PhD programs in the US, although PhD programs in other countries are also well-funded. Universities in USA for PhD are significantly fewer, when compared to US universities for Bachelors or Masters. Top universities in US for PhD are highly competitive. The best students from around the world apply to gain admission into the PhD programs at top universities in the US. Hence, if you want to get a scholarship (also known as an assistantship) here are the five things you should know:

1. What are the scholarship requirements of US universities for Phd?
2. What are the forms that I should complete besides my application?
3. What is the deadline for applying for scholarships?
4. What is the research emphasis of the Department?
5. How can I make my PhD application to top universities in the US look great?

Let us address each one of these carefully:

What are the requirements of the US university that I am applying to for my Phd? PhD admission in USA is time-consuming and labor intensive. This means that you have to be prepared to spend many hours to understand the requirements and protocols of each university. This is why many PhD students seek the advice of experienced overseas consultants who can help PhD students through this complicated and time-consuming process. US universities offering PhD programs may have their own requirements about how to apply for a scholarship. They may have different forms (other than the application form) and these forms may have to be submitted to different individuals or committees. So read carefully about the scholarships for PhD available to international students.

What are the forms that I should complete besides my application? As stated earlier, the forms for scholarship application may be different. Earning a PhD in USA with scholarship is a great honor and privilege. Hence, you must submit a high quality application. If you wait till the last minute, and do your application in a hurry, you will not be able to do a good job. So either be prepared to spend a good amount of time learning about the forms or find a good overseas consultant who can guide you.
What is the deadline for applying for scholarships? This is tricky. Some universities will provide detailed information under “how to apply for PhD scholarships” on their website. At other universities, this information can be difficult to find. The list of universities in the US that offer PhD programs in your discipline can vary from 50 to 200. Once you have narrowed your selection of universities, carefully review the websites of each university to find out about the scholarship deadline for PhD programs. Follow this deadline carefully. USA PhD programs have strict deadlines. If you miss the deadline, you will not be able to apply. If the deadline for a US university in their PhD program is earlier than the date that you will receive your GRE or GMAT or other test scores, we recommend that you submit your application. The university will wait till they receive your test scores before making a decision.

What is the research emphasis of the Department? This is one of the most important considerations before a US university with a PhD program will award a scholarship or assistantship. You must learn everything you can about the research programs and emphasis of the US university where you are applying for your PhD program. PhD scholarships in USA are tied to research agendas. In other words, every university that offers a PhD in a certain discipline. Best universities in USA have strong research agenda. In other words, they are renowned for a few key sub-areas within a certain discipline. For example, within computer science, a university may focus on information security and large databases. Within PhD in management, a university may focus on strategic management and entrepreneurship. Hence, your essay must focus on these research agendas. If not, the chance of you gaining admission and getting a good scholarship may be affected.

How can I make my PhD application to top universities in the US look great? How can I apply to a PhD program in the US is a question many international students ask. Our answer is focus on delivering a high-quality application package. PhD admission in USA is highly competitive. Hence, you should not give any opportunities to the Admission Committee to reject your application. Your academic marks, particularly in the subjects in which you wish to earn a PhD, should be good. Your test scores in GRE or GMAT should show that you are a good student who has the capacity to go through a PhD program at top universities in the US. Your essay should be well-written and it should be thoughtful. It should not be copied. It should not be irrelevant or vague about your research agenda.

PhD admission in USA is well-known for being competitive and time consuming. Take into account the above five points if you want to gain PhD admission to a US universities with scholarships.



Dr. Uma G. Gupta brings more than two decades of distinguished experience in higher education as President of the State University of New York at Alfred, New York and Senior Advisor to the SUNY Chancellor for Women in Science, Engineering, Technology, and Mathematics (STEM), Dean of the College of Technology at the University of Houston, Texas, and Endowed Chair of Information Technology at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. She earned her MBA and PhD from the University of Central Florida and is a sought after consultant and speaker. She has authored two text books and more than sixty refereed publications. She is the CEO of and the executive director of STEM-SMART, a non-profit company to help students pursue careers in Science and Technology. She was awarded the top 10 most influential women in technology in Houston, Texas and was nominated for the same award in Rochester, New York.

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