Apply PhD USA Process

How to Apply for PhD in USA after Masters

Check these 25+ helpful steps on How to Apply for PhD in the USA after Masters. If you follow these steps in a weeks time, you will get admission in the best university of USA after your masters.

  • Decide to which university you will apply.
  • Check for the PhD notification when to apply.
  • Start applying for PhD in USA before 6 months.
  • Be ready for Skype interview or face to face after successful application.
  • Get ready with research proposal with a good area of interest.
  • Select a supervisor from a list available.
  • Try to convince your supervisor to take you.
  • Fill out the PhD application form.
  • Pay all the tuition fee to reserve your PhD seat.

While applying to USA universities, Choose your area of interest

First, of everything, you must look into what interests you to do research. Only then, you can apply for PhD in the USA. How to know your area of interest is very easy. Just remember while studying your graduation, you must have liked one chapter from a subject that interested you.

Your teacher must have appreciated you for answering or solving some questions. You like that topic a lot. Now just sit and ponder over that topic. Take time to reflect and ponder over and over. Do not be hasty in choosing your area of interest.  Usually, some PhD candidates take up to 3 years just for choosing a topic.

But it can also happen in one day. Just follow what I have just said in the above lines. There is surely one top-notch moment in your life. Just grab interest towards that. Ask some questions about that topic. Under some exceptions, if at all you did not really show interest for any topics in the past, its ok, you can now do it.

Do it for your sake. Read books and chapters in which you are interested, this may take some more time. Start now if you are really curious about applying for PhD in the USA after your masters.

GRE or Toefl are mandatory to apply for PhD in USA.

Do you know that in order to study PhD in the USA, You must prove your language level? Yes, you should take a test on GRE or TOEFL. This will enable you to apply for PhD in the USA.  You have to secure a competent score. The score to outrank others is around 155-160 for GRE.  The score for TOEFL must be 78 as a minimum.

Get as much score as you can. The scores will not put in US universities. It depends on how your colleague aspirants. That is why you need to clear one of these tests competitively. If somebody gets a better and big score, they will get admission

PhD needs research students. PhD course does not demand poorly qualified students. Always prefer taking some coaching on TOEFL/GRE.  Choose online or offline. Coaching gives you a better understanding of the skills that you have to possess.

Get such skills only through any coaching institute nearby.  Some do think that they can clear these exams without coaching. But you can’t get top rank. So it is always advisable to prepare thoroughly GRE and TOEFL.

Practice a lot every day. If you do not do regular practice, you will fail. Once you fail in it, you are not eligible to apply any such prestigious universities of USA.

Select the University to apply for PhD in USA at your comfort.

This is the key point if you want to apply for a PhD in the USA.  University rankings are not the same. Harvard University is different in all respects.  So choose wisely the university that best suits you. It again depends on your percentage of marks. It depends on the quality of your research and knowledge.

If you are an average student, try to choose average ranking USA University. You cannot apply to Harvard. You will regret not getting admission. There are many universities who can offer you admission. There are some universities who will reject you deliberately.

This speaks how qualified are you. Take some time to search for the universities in the USA.  Read some stuff on their website how Ph.D. life would be. If possible try to scan all the information on the website that is related to Ph.D. Once you land in the wrong university, you cannot come out. You must have already paid the tuition fee in huge amount.

This is where you will feel sad in your life. You will suffer for the rest of the 3 years. Sometimes you must remain there for longer than usual years to complete your PhD. So first choose now itself the best university not according to the rankings but how good and best to you personally.

Apply by dropping an email if you are staying far.

To drop an email to the admission department is the first and small step. By doing this, you will start to process your admission into PhD. You need to catch the right email.  You will get it from the website itself the email id of the admission department.

Sometimes you will end up in taking wrong email id. Then you will not get any response. You wait and wait and give up applying to the university. If you are not getting a reply to your email query, try to mail different person. Learn how to write a courteous email.  Your email writing must consist of useful and respectful phrases.

Try to write an impressive email structure. Usually, in the USA they reply you in one or two days easily. Never send an email during Christmas holidays or Easter holidays or on summer vacation.  You will get an only automatic reply to your email.

If in the admission department there are two or three people, then send a copy to them too.  In this way, either of them will respond. They may also discuss your situation.  They may recommend your email to move towards further processing.  Email speaks many things.

Applying for PhD in USA means searching for a better supervisor who can accept you.

Of all the admission process, this is the foundation. If the supervisor agrees to take you, no one from the university could stop. Your whole result depends on your supervisor. Now, who is your supervisor? How to know him? How to contact him?

Just open the university website and try to find out the staff area. Here you will find who is what designation. Check the faculty with the area of expertise in your subject.  You can get their contact numbers or email. Well, again this is the time to contact those people.

You may get one of them to act as your supervisor. Usually, the supervisor will not respond properly at the first point of contact. But try to send repeated emails regularly. What it means by “regular” is to contact once in a month.

One day you will get a positive response from your supervisor. Try to convince your supervisor about your much interest in research. As a matter of fact, your supervisor may be testing you sometimes.

He may check your patience for a while before leaving you a positive response. So try not to hesitate to find a supervisor from the official website of the university. You can also contact secondary supervisor if the first one not agreeing.

Send Your Statement of Purpose as a part of your application.

The next step is to start preparing your statement of purpose.  What do you mean by a statement of Purpose? The purpose of why do you want to do research in a particular area. You must give a clear detailed view about your purpose of the study. It must be rational.

Sometimes PhD applicants struggle with writing their essays and dissertations. The following service can be a great solution for them.

It should give logical and creative thought when supervisor reads your statement of purpose.  It has to kindle a light of strong thought and introspection. The statement could be unique and never copy or plagiarize. During Ph.D., it is very sensitive.

So learn from the time your statement of Purpose takes hold of you. Your supervisor may ask you to rewrite the statement of purpose. So be ready to edit and resubmit the same. After all, you cannot win the impression of the supervisor without the statement of purpose.

Try to write your statement neatly and use some references and good strong points. Connect everything in your statement to your research topic. Do not change the direction of writing and never miss the logical ideas and propositions.

Once your document is good, automatically it will be recognized by others in the university. Now there are high chances to get admission in the USA.

Regularly Check emails before deadline happens after sending your PhD application.

Most of the PhD candidate aspirants show interest in the beginning. In the long run, they don’t even show enthusiasm for getting admission into USA University. This clearly indicates that you will never get admission. So do not lose enthusiasm in checking email regularly on daily basis.

Sometimes a very important email from the university may land in the spam folder. So add your university mail to your contact list. Check your email often. Make sure your reply to your emails too. If you don’t reply, you will lose again the context and importance of the received email.

Do not get into parties and friends and forget to see your inbox.  Wherever you are, you must check mail once every 5 hours. This is important when you communicate solely through the internet. Also be aware of fake offers from nonexisting universities.

If someone asks you to pay money to get admission into the university, do not listen to them.  Cheaters do this as a technique to grab money from aspirants.  The email may look as if it is from the University itself. As long as you don’t pay money for services, you are safe with your emails. Do not stay till the last hour of the deadline. Finish your application and send fast.

Fill the application form available

This is the toughest part to do. Usually, USA University PhD applications are quite long and you will never feel easy to fill. You will sometimes give up in the middle. You may stop filling it. In the application, there are many areas that you cannot understand properly.

Read  How to do PhD in Harvard University

Try to take suggestion and advice from those people around you. Fill all the columns without missing. Do fill even the less important one. Else your application will be rejected or you need to fill again and again. So while filling keep all the marks lists with you.

Most of the time, you need to enter your percentage of marks. Better keep your educational documents ready with you. The best way to fill the application is to first scan all your educational documents and store in your computer.

It is a suggestion to keep passport size photos too and your digital signature. Write your address and contact number correctly. Unless you give your phone number correctly, they will not call you.  So it is always wise to have some essential documents before filling the application.

Store all of them in your laptop. If you follow this process, you can easily fill the application in a shorter time.

Telephonic Interview will be conducted after accepting to do PhD in USA.

This is the first time they are listening to your voice. You must talk good and sound well.  To get admission into USA Universities, you must be able to show your confidence levels. When your telephonic interview happens, the concerned officials will check at many qualities. Psychologically, physically and mentally, you must talk strongly. It is the time to impress them in a better way.

If they give you any hints to speak on some issue in research, be able to speak. Do not get tensed while speaking. Speak confidently as if you know so many things about your research.  It is all about how well you present yourself with them. If at those five minutes of time, you are unable to do well, then it is a waste of an opportunity. So do well during your telephonic interview about your PhD.

Be audible and loud. Some PhD candidates are not so much audible. They are very doubtful about themselves and they play with words. This type of doing or action over telephonic round is quite a cheap technique. You will be the loser and never will you get admission into the University aiming at. Be loud and clear. Loudness means not harsh. Be respectful with right intonation.

Certificate Verification& Xerox Copies

After the telephonic round, admission cell may ask you to send certificates. Remember there are many candidates who got rejected for showing up duplicate experience certificates. They manipulated educational certificates. While verifying your certificates, if they find something wrong, then they will ask you for some more details. They may sometimes stop all the communication too.

Try to send the certificates that are relevant and appropriate to the PhD research. If you would have done other qualification, do not send those certificates.  You must have done masters in the subject. You cannot send another masters degree. Now a day’s some candidates have a dual qualification.  Some others think that they can get admission even with the qualification that is unrelated to PhD.

Yet some other Universities come directly to your country. Their representatives want to check your original certificates in details. During such times, you must clearly carry some set of Xerox copies. They may ask you to bring some 7 sets of copies. If you forget them, it will be a problem. Don’t run at the last moment for the Xerox set. Do it now and keep in your file. It is not a waste of time.

Have Your Valid Passport

Are you an international student applying for a University in the USA? Then you will have to possess a Valid Passport. Check the date of expiry on your passport.  You may be doing PhD for yet 4 more years in the USA.  Check the expiry date and renew it at the passport office. Do this as soon as possible. If you do not have a passport, you cannot enter the USA or any other country by any means of knowledge.

Do you think of renewing in the USA after going there? This is surely a wrong and bad idea. Who will bear the costs over there in dollars? Better you renew it in your country of origin. Don’t depend on the USA embassy for this. Renewing takes a lot amount of time. Unless somebody helps, it may happen fast. You cannot bear expenses for a consultancy in the USA and get your passport renewed. So do right.

Visa is the very crucial part to enter the USA.  You can get Visa with only Valid Passport. Your visa gets rejected if your passport does not stand in compliance with the rules. So check now. Take out your passport while reading this.( if you are at home) Visa getting is a problem in most countries. This becomes harder when your passport is expired. Never create fake passport ( though it is unusual)

Ask clearly about Scholarships

USA Universities do offer more scholarships. Find out clearly. Each university has its own set of rules. Here we cannot discuss the common rule of scholarships. Every university differs in giving scholarships to PhD students. Many PhD students do not take much care about scholarships beforehand. You will at the end land with troubles if scholarships are not there or else if not eligible.

When is the best way to ask about the scholarships? The best time is during your telephonic rounds. Your official asks you whether you have any doubts or not. He may ask and wait for some questions from your side. Take that opportunity and ask if any scholarships available at their universities for PhD students and especially for you. Sometimes scholarships vary according to the person applied.

Scholarships also depend on the country of origin. Some universities offer scholarships only if you are from developing countries. Check this properly. If you are from a European country then scholarship may vary for you. So always be intuitive to check for the right offer available when you join there. Hope no one wants to drain money. Even the richest guy prefers to have a scholarship.

What is your bank balance

Universities prefer that you have some balance in your bank to survive in the USA. If you do not have a minimum balance, you are not eligible to join any USA University.  There are some consultancies in your country that can help regarding this. This is the common thing that is happening around the world to get admission into Ph.D. in the USA after master.  So never worry about bank balance to show to the embassy.

It is quite common for admission to show bank balance from consultancy. Though it is not acceptable as a legal thing it is not something unusual. So do not worry much. If you are caught there will not be any penalty or criminal action. Just the university will ask you to resubmit the bank balance document for further verification.

You can also opt for an education loan. This is another way to get your bank balance deposited in your bank account. There is a long process involved to get your education loan. But if you show some assets and documents in your name or in your family name, you will easily secure your educational load to do Ph.D. studies at the university that you wish to study. So approach any nearby bank and talk to them about your Ph.D. loan details.

Carry Cash at least 14000 US Dollars in Hand

When you would like to study abroad in USA country, It is always wise to keep aside some amount. There is no other way to spend that amount unless in urgent cases. So it is up to you to gather some money for your Ph.D. studies. They are very much useful at your later studies in the USA. You may be wondering now why this much money has been recommended from our point of view.

The reason to carry 14000 US Dollars in hand is that you face a lot of things in the USA. From the time you land in the USA to do your Ph.D. and till you finish your PhD, there are many unknown and sudden expense that you must bear. This is a future thought. So if you are a little bit wise, just carry some amount of money and do not spend that money at all. Keep it somewhere safe to use further.

Just to caution you, you must not borrow money from your friends when you will be in the USA. Make this determination before doing Ph.D. after masters. So as you do your Ph.D. there are many temptations to borrow money. But unfortunately, you can’t pay them back. Then the situation becomes worse and your friend wants to file a case against you. You will not get any help in the USA.

Apply for a Visa as a part of application process.

The biggest part during the Ph.D. application process after your masters is Visa approval. Your Visa needs to be approved. This is not as easy as you imagine. Because there are many instances that embassy disapproved Visa. And there are many examples people celebrated grandly for having secured their Visa. For, after all, this is a huge requirement to enter the USA after masters to do PhD.

Never apply independently and individually your Visa application. Make use of consultancy and through them, you try to contact your embassy. It may take up to 1 year to get your visa approved. Sometimes you get early depending upon many other things like your certificates and marks scored. And there are many unknown checks about your background before they approve your visa to you.

The problem with Visa is that many apply it in haste. The certificates may be missing or some documents are missing. So consultancy must be very much careful in drafting visa for approval. Usually, never approach new consultancies. Go for well known and authentic consultancies. They know it better how to do. There are situations that a Visa has been rejected just because of the negligence of the Consultancy.

Take Care of Your Belongings

There are many people who lost their passport and got into trouble. So buy some good backpack to safeguard your belonging like Passport Visa and other documents. Once you lose them, then no one can save you from trouble. So make a point to have some security with your belongings. This will give you a good journey throughout your flight.  Keep safe your money too from all kinds of theft.

Duration of your PhD

The Duration of your Ph.D. in the USA is probably 4 years to 6 years. No one can tell about the duration of your PhD. It all depends on your work. If you do work perfectly without laziness, then you can win PhD in lesser time than usual. Otherwise, it may take some 10 years too. Most of them quit too. So do day by day research by knowing how exactly you have to do research before reaching the deadline.

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Be ready to do your PhD for any number of years. It gives you the highest level of education and respect from society. So there is nothing wrong with doing your PhD for some number of years. Sacrifice your enjoyment for 3 to 4 years and that is it. The whole life becomes yours. Duration is not an issue if you have a genuine interest to complete your PhD in the USA after masters.

Book a Flight

This is what everyone knows. But never book cheaper flights for the sake of saving money. This is because you need to transit from one destination to another. If there is any stop, don’t prefer. Take a flight directly to your destination even if the fare in high. You will be safe in that way. I knew some students who missed transit flight just because they went sightseeing shops within the airport and forgot time.

Jump Start Your PhD

Never be lazy at the beginning of your PhD. Work hard and jump-start efficiently. There may be culture shock when you enter the USA. But that must not block your PhD studies. The starting year of your PhD is the crucial stage of your studies. You will fully realize this when you are in the second year. Once you are on the road of success, no one will stop. But to be on that road is very difficult.

Another thing is to never postpone applying to PhD. Do it today and now. Apply fast. If you do not jump start now, you will never do it. The application process is just the beginning. There is a lot more than you need to go ahead. So the more you delay in applying your Ph.D., the good you chances to go down. Be enthusiastic. Be clever. However, this is how our PhD is going to be. You cannot escape.

Choose Your Location in USA( Weather)

If climate is not suitable for your body, you will fall sick in the USA. Check your health for Asthma and allergy conditions. In the USA it is very cool in some parts. In such cases choose Arizona which is good for a hot climate. If your health conditions are not proper, you do not need to go anywhere. You have to match up your skills and health to the location where you are going to. This is the best thing you can do before leaping into this stage.

The location also demands whether you opt for a city area or the remotest area. Some universities in the USA are in very remote areas. If you are a person who cannot adjust for such remote atmosphere, then you have to check out with another university.  See how much is the exact distance from your university to the apartment that you rent for. If it is too far and requires a lot of journeys, you skip.

Check your location for criminal backgrounds.  Your place may have some records of crime. Neverland there. Instead, choose some other safe location within the USA.  See how far the supermarket from our apartment room is. If it’s too far, do not go there. There are so many other things that you have to investigate before leaping into the USA. You must be safe at the end and complete your Ph.D. good.

Cost of Living (Expenses)

When you want to go to the USA, Check for the locations that are cheaper. You cannot go to the costlier place. So always ask your friends about the living expenses in the USA. If the expense is cheaper than other cities, you can opt from the universities over there. This is somehow you need to do. This will save a huge amount of money. This will give you the best option to complete your Ph.D. in the USA successfully

Along with your Ph.D. studies, you need also some entertainment. Otherwise, you will end up in madness. So for this reason, you need to go to the theatre and watch the movies that you like. Only then you can go further to study well. You will more fruit if your mind is relaxed. Your mind gets many ideas when you deal with relaxation techniques. So keep some money for entertainment.

There will be also some accidents. You may fall down. You hurt your hand. You want money all of a sudden to spend.  This is why you must be well aware of your cost of living. Analyze every step properly.  Be rational beforehand itself. Then when you reach out there in the USA you have no worry if all of a sudden any hurt strikes you. Always calculate your cost of expenses and carry money always.

Improve Your Typing Skills

Typing skills are quite important for a Ph.D. student. It is just because most of the times you will be spending with lots of research work. Any work that you want to be unique must be typed and save on your laptop. Naturally, it is quite difficult if you are not up to the mark in your typing skills. Before embarking on to Ph.D. in the USA after masters, take some 3 month time to hang on with typing skills.

Typing needs a lot of practice. So you have to type according to the rules.  We see many people learning to type on a laptop with one hand. This is highly dangerous. Never learn typing skills as you wish and want. There are some rulebooks. Go to any institute and learn systematically. This will build your speed in the future. During research, speed typing is all that bring more information.

Practice makes super talented. Many skips before they really learn typing skills. Typing needs a lot of handful practice. I knew some who come coaching say for some 5 days. Then they give up. It happens every time and with many. I knew some who do practice ever on a flat bench with a finger on it in the absence of typewriter or laptop. Of course, nowadays you have a laptop and it is easier to practice.

Be Ready with Research Proposal

Officially you need to submit your research proposal when you enter into PhD course.  Suddenly you cannot prepare it. So get well prepared beforehand and make sure you are ready with Research Proposal. As the days go by, you will feel easy to do your PhD. Understand your research proposal or plan. A research proposal is nothing but a simple plan of your future Ph.D. research. So be ready with it.

While preparing a research proposal, plan properly. Include every step. There are many formats available in Google Images. Check those image formats. Do your research proposal according to the plan and order of research proposal for your Ph.D. Take USA system of format. The USA follows the different methodology for a research proposal. So follow the Universities rules and regulations regarding PhD.

You can take help from online services. There are many out there to help you out. If you have enough money to spend, It becomes very easy to have that service to your benefit. There are some services who can deliver you very fast. You can just contact them on their website.  Tell them clearly which University are you into Ph.D. This will give them a clear view of how to do a format.

Be in Regular Contact with your Supervisor

Why I tell more than hundred times is your supervisor is everything to you. If your supervisor does not like you then you will be in a difficult state to complete your Ph.D. So keep up a good relationship with your supervisor. This relationship can only happen if you regularly visit your supervisor. Go and talk to him or her as many numbers of times as possible. This will help you a lot. Never feel shame.

Sometimes your supervisor may get angry. But try to adjust with them in all respects. I can give one real example of a PhD student. Her supervisor gave strict suggestion about her work. She was afraid of that supervisor and tried to change him as a guide. Somehow her request got granted. But it is not so with many universities. They may terminate you if you are not up to the mark.

There is no wrong to be humble and good. The more you are humble, you can become more attractive. Try and see. If you are a person who always gets hurt for no reason, then you will not in a position to do your Ph.D. So make sure you move with of fear and humility with your supervisor. Your 3 years of life will be highly peaceful. You can relate with your supervisor and the result is a success.

Be Psychologically Strong with your application and doing PhD in USA

Applying for a PhD in the USA needs a lot of guts and courage. You need to go far from friends. You need to stay away with your family and stay there and study your PhD years and years. Do you think it is easy? No. It is not. It requires a lot of psychological strength. This strength is the backbone to your Ph.D. So if you have any type of phobia ruling your senses by being far from someone. Think Thrice.

There are some Ph.D. students who went abroad for Ph.D. studies. But they gave up very soon. Some quit Ph.D. too. They give many other reasons for quitting in such a way. But the main reason that they are not interested in doing so. So here in your country, you may feel excited. Moving to the USA means you will get a lot of name and fame. OK, but it is not so in reality. You have to struggle for Ph.D.

You need to undergo all kinds of suffering and persevere a lot. Nothing is so easy to accomplish. Practice doing some heavy psychological exercises. I suggest you go to some farther places. Within your country, go away from your home and stay for 6 months and see how you feel. Then come back safely. This is how you can know what your personality is like exactly. Try now and see.

Hello, My name is Syam, Asst. Professor of English and Mentor for Ph.D. students worldwide. I have worked years to give you these amazing tips to complete your Ph.D. successfully. Having put a lot of efforts means to make your Ph.D. journey easier. Thank you for visiting my Ph.D. blog.