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Top Universities in USA for PhD (2022)

Written by  Vishesh Chogtu

Published on Tue, May 31, 2022 10:22 AM   Updated on Tue, April 11, 2023 8:57 AM   4 mins read

The United States has a well-deserved reputation as one of the best places in the world for ambitious PhD researchers, with its universities dominating various global league tables. Because of the vast scale of the American university system, there are numerous research opportunities to be had.

However, for a prospective PhD student seeking for the right institution and research programme, the American higher education system can be intimidating. Checking out the various university league tables is one approach to limit down your possibilities. 

Read along to know more about PhD in the USA!

Top-ranked American colleges for PhD 

The United States’ universities consistently dominate the top rankings, establishing themselves as the world’s most prestigious and recognised law schools, medical schools, and business schools. Johns Hopkins University, Columbia University, and UCLA are just a few of the top 50 universities in the world. There are numerous institutions in the United States where you can pursue a Ph.D. at a top-ranked and internationally recognised institution.

Check the list of top 30 universities in USA for PhD

UniversitiesTimes Higher Education Ranking (2022)Shanghai Jiao Tong University Ranking (2021)TopUniversities Ranking (2022)U.S. News & World Report Ranking (2021)
California Institute of Technology – Caltech2967
Harvard University2151
Stanford University4233
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)5412
Princeton University762011
University of California, Berkeley85324
Yale University9111411
University of Chicago10101015
Columbia University118196
Johns Hopkins University13162510
University of Pennsylvania13151314
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)20144013
Cornell University22122122
Duke University236015223
Northwestern University24343024
University of Michigan24262317
New York University26274229
Carnegie Mellon University28975394
University of Washington2919858
University of California, San Diego34184821
Georgia Institute of Technology451018866
University of Texas at Austin47416738
University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign48558260
Washington University in St. Louis512310733
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill522910036
University of Wisconsin Madison58317541
Boston University629511257
University of Southern California636111270
Brown University6410160101
University of California, Davis6710013866

PhD requirements in the United States

PhD admission requirements in the United States differ depending on the university and topic of study. However, most colleges in the United States require the following from international students seeking a PhD degree:

  • Transcripts for your university degree or courses
  • Completed application form
  • Resume
  • Statement of Purpose
  • GMAT or GRE scores
  • Recommendation letters
  • English language test, such as IELTS or TOEFL
  • Application fee

Is the US the best country to pursue PhD?

Despite the fact that the above chart lacks any research-specific measures, the number of American colleges among the top 100 in the world demonstrates the country’s international dominance.

In the league tables, both private and public colleges in the United States perform well, demonstrating the sector’s strength in depth as well as the significance placed by American institutions on funding world-class research – one of the major measures in the rankings.


Is PhD in US free?

Ans: PhDs in the United States can cost anywhere from $28,000 to $40,000 per year, however many students are able to secure funding for part or all of their studies. Before beginning your studies in the Autumn/Fall, you can apply for funding as early as December.

✅ Is PhD tough in USA?

Ans: A PhD can be tremendously stressful due to impending deadlines, large-scale projects, and a significant level of personal involvement.

✅ Do PhD students get green card in USA?

Ans: Yes, in general! For their Green card/permanent residency application, postdoctoral researchers and PhD holders (as well as some exceptional PhD students) can employ one of two routes.

✅ Is GRE required for PhD in USA?

Ans: In the vast majority of circumstances, you will be eligible to pursue a PhD without taking the GRE. However, if you want to pursue a PhD in Business or Management at several anglophone universities, especially in North America and Australia, you’ll almost certainly be required to submit a GRE or GMAT score.

About the Author & Expert


Vishesh Chogtu

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