PhD Scholarships in the USA for International Students 2024

PhD Scholarships in the USA for International Students

Are you looking for the PhD Scholarships in the USA for International Students then you are at the right article. If you aspire to pursue a Ph.D. degree in the USA, don’t miss the chance to get a Ph.D. scholarship to make your higher education abroad affordable!

To make a PhD degree accessible to foreign students many universities offer PhD scholarships in the USA for international students.

Today, the USA has become a great destination to study abroad due to its advanced education system and better economy. Every year a large number of students from other countries travel to the US to pursue their ambition of higher education in the top institutions there.

To ease the education journey of foreign students, US universities/colleges offer various types of financial aid, such as scholarships, and grants. PhD scholarships are a great opportunity for international students to reduce PhD study expenses in the USA.

Explore the 10 best PhD Scholarships in the USA for International Students, ensuring your improved education experience in the USA. If you are looking for scholarships in Canada you can also check out our article on Best Canada Scholarships For International Students.

What is a PhD?

A PhD, or Doctor of Philosophy, is an advanced academic degree that represents the highest level of achievement in a variety of fields. Unlike a bachelor’s or master’s degree, a Ph.D. emphasizes original research and the contribution of new knowledge in a chosen field of study.

The journey to a Ph.D. typically involves a rigorous curriculum, comprehensive examinations to assess broad knowledge, and the completion of a significant, independent research project known as a dissertation. 

PhD students must work closely with advisors and experts in their field, delving deeply into specific topics to make unique contributions to existing scholarship. A dissertation is a comprehensive document that outlines the research question, methodology, findings, and conclusions.  

Successfully defending a dissertation before a panel of experts is the final step in earning a Ph.D. degree. This degree not only symbolizes expertise but also demonstrates the ability to conduct significant research and advance the understanding of a particular subject area.

Who Can Do a PhD? 

If you are interested in pursuing a Ph.D., you must have a master’s degree in a relevant field that demonstrates your academic qualifications. Certain doctoral programs may admit outstanding candidates holding only a bachelor’s degree. PhD students should have a passion for research, the ability to formulate and tackle complex problems, and a keen interest in contributing original knowledge to their chosen field. 

Strong analytical and critical thinking skills, as well as effective communication, are important for success in the Ph.D. program for any student. Additionally, prospective Ph.D. students are often required to demonstrate a clear research proposal in line with the focus of the department.  

Admission criteria for PhD programs vary between universities. That’s why before making any decision, you should review the specific admission requirements outlined by the university offering the PhD program. In the USA, many universities offer scholarships and fellowships to qualified students. You can take advantage of these scholarship opportunities to reduce your PhD study expenses.

What are the Benefits of Studying PhD in the USA?

There are several benefits of studying PhD in the USA. The premier institutions there provide foreign students access to everything from financial aid to top-tier research programs. Let’s explore the benefits of deciding to pursue a PhD in the USA:

  • Global recognition: A PhD degree from an accredited US institution enhances your credibility as an international scholar in any field you choose.
  • Highest degree standards: Many top US universities offer Ph.D. degree programs as the highest degree, symbolizing a rigorous and comprehensive academic achievement.
  • Diverse academic offerings: The US institutions offer a wide range of disciplines, providing diverse educational opportunities for a PhD student.
  • Cultural Understanding: Pursuing a PhD in the US exposes you to a global cultural perspective. This promotes your broader worldview.
  • Networking Opportunities: Graduate college in the US facilitates the building of a strong professional network, and this is beneficial for future career opportunities for students.
  • Career advancement: A Ph.D. is often a prerequisite or requirement for high-level positions in management, government, and academia. Hence, studying PhD in the USA opens doors to various prestigious job roles.
  • Specialization Recognition: Earning a Ph.D. degree establishes you as an expert in your field. PhD is required for various roles, such as university professors, researchers, and scientists.
  • Comprehensive education: The academic rigor of Ph.D. programs in the USA ensures a thorough and comprehensive education, efficiently preparing students for success in their careers.

List of the 7 Best PhD Scholarships in the USA for International Students

1. Fulbright Scholarships for PhD

Fulbright Scholarships for PhD
Fulbright Scholarships for PhD

Graduate students and young professionals from around the world can achieve their academic goals by participating in the Fulbright Foreign Student Program, which allows them to study and conduct research at various US universities. Renowned for its prestige, the program provides students with grants that cover tuition and fees, as well as living stipends and round-trip transportation for 9-month programs. 

Health insurance is also provided within this period. However, expenses such as books, supply fees, and dependent care are not included in this PhD scholarship in the USA for international students. The Fulbright Program serves as an important vehicle for international cooperation and educational promotion.

2. Robert Gordon Menzies Scholarship

The Robert Gordon Menzies Scholarship offers an annual $60,000 award for Australian college students pursuing a doctoral degree (Ph.D., EdD, or ScD) at Harvard University.

To qualify for this PhD scholarship in the USA for international students, applicants must demonstrate leadership qualities, showcase outstanding academic achievements, demonstrate financial need, and express a commitment to returning to Australia post-graduation. 

This prestigious scholarship not only recognizes academic excellence but also values the development of leadership skills. Successful candidates will join the distinguished legacy of Robert Menzies, contributing to the scholarship’s aim of fostering future leaders with a strong academic foundation.

The financial support provided aligns with Menzies’ dedication to education, enabling promising individuals to pursue advanced studies at one of the world’s renowned institutions. 

3. Yale University Scholarships

Yale University ensures strong financial support for international PhD students, guaranteed full funding for at least five years. This package includes a twelve-month stipend aimed at covering your essential living expenses.

The annual stipend offered by this university typically ranges from $30,000 to $34,000, which is augmented by additional support through TA or RA appointments. This provides an additional $20,000 to $25,000 per year.

The reputable university’s commitment extends beyond the academic year, with some programs offering summer funding opportunities. This financial aid of this university not only promotes a conducive learning environment but also provides valuable learning experiences for the students.

Furthermore, fully funded fellowships cover the entire tuition cost, relieving students of the financial burden. They are enabled to focus on academic activities, attend conferences, and engage in diverse extracurricular activities.

4. Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship

The Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship recognizes outstanding female students who demonstrate academic excellence, dedicated leadership in computer science, and a commitment to increasing the presence of women in the field.

Designed to support women beginning careers in computer science or related technical fields, the scholarship provides a substantial award of $10,000 for the upcoming academic year, including applicable summer terms.

Winners for this scholarship are selected based on their strong academic foundation and demonstrated leadership abilities. This Ph.D. scholarship in the USA for international students not only acknowledges academic skills but also highlights individuals who have actively contributed to the advancement of gender diversity in the ever-evolving landscape of computer science. It catalyzes to empower women in tech fields, foster an environment where talent and dedication thrive, and ultimately shape the future of the industry.

5. AAUW International Fellowships

AAUW International Fellowships
AAUW International Fellowships

The AAUW International Fellowship boasts a rich heritage, empowering women pursuing graduate study in the United States. These highly prestigious and highly competitive PhD scholarships in the USA for international students provide recipients with a unique and invaluable experience. The program is distinguished by its unwavering dedication to supporting women and promoting global understanding.

Each fellowship, valued at $20,000, serves as a significant stipend, providing financial support for scholarship winners. Proficiency in English is a prerequisite for applicants, ensuring effective communication throughout their academic journey. Additionally, the fellowship covers full tuition and fees at many prestigious universities across the USA, increasing access to quality education for interested scholars. 

AAUW International Fellowships not only contribute to the academic advancement of women but also play a vital role in nurturing a diverse and global community of scholars.

6. NCITD International Trade Scholarships

NCITD International Trade Scholarships
NCITD International Trade Scholarships

NCITD offers $1,000 scholarships to international master’s or PhD students in subjects, such as international business, international affairs, political science, economics, or international trade. To be eligible for this scholarship in the USA for international students, applicants must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 and submit two letters of recommendation. Additionally, a personal narrative of 2,500 words outlining their future contribution to international business is required. 

Applicants will be evaluated based on academic performance, career objectives, and potential impact on the field. The purpose of this scholarship is to support individuals dedicated to advancing international business through academic excellence and a commitment to driving positive change in the global area.

7. HHMI International Student Research Fellowships

HHMI International Student Research Fellowships
HHMI International Student Research Fellowships

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) provides substantial support to international PhD students through $43,000 International Student Research Fellowships. Designed for those enrolled at accredited US institutions, these fellowships target students entering any year of PhD studies. Eligible subjects include chemistry, biology, physics, biomedical engineering, plant biology, and computer science.

Applicants from these fields can avail this fellowship opportunity to pursue their research activities. These fellowships not only provide financial aid to deserving students but also serve as recognition of academic excellence. This underlines the institute’s commitment to fostering international talent and facilitating impactful contributions across scientific fields. The criteria cater specifically to international students, emphasizing a commitment to fostering diversity and collaboration within the scientific community.


1. Is doing a PhD from the USA fully funded?

Not all Ph.D. programs in the USA are fully funded, but many universities offer financial aid to deserving students through grants, scholarships, and fellowships. Students often receive tuition exemptions and stipends for living expenses at US institutions.

However, funding availability varies, and it is important for applicants to research specific programs and inquire about financial aid during the application process to make an informed decision about pursuing a PhD in the USA.

2. Do international students pay for PhD in the USA?

Yes, international students usually pay for PhD programs in the USA. Tuition fees vary across US universities, and additional costs, such as living expenses are usually the responsibility of the student.

However, some universities offer partially or fully funded scholarships, grants, and fellowships to international doctoral students for PhD programs.

3. Can I study PhD in the USA for free?

Yes, many universities in the USA offer opportunities to eligible students to obtain a PhD for free. Fully funded doctoral programs pay students’ tuition and related costs.

If you want to make your Ph.D. study in the USA affordable, you need to explore scholarships, research assistantships, and fellowships offered by the top US universities.

4. Who is eligible for PhD admission in the USA?

Ph.D. admission into US universities usually requires a master’s degree with strong grades and research experience. Some universities may consider applicants with a bachelor’s degree and excellent academic records.

5. Which university in the USA offers PhD without master’s?

Stanford University’s School of Engineering offers direct PhD programs, without the need for a master’s degree for outstanding students in fields, such as computer science, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering.

This unique opportunity allows high-achieving students to pursue a Ph.D. at Stanford University without the traditional prerequisite of a master’s qualification.


PhD scholarships in the USA for international students are a great opportunity for foreign students to study Ph.D. at top US universities. By covering the expenses of PhD programs, these scholarships make higher education in the USA accessible to students. Additionally, these scholarships foster a diverse and vibrant research community. 

As global collaboration becomes increasingly important in the academic landscape today, these scholarship opportunities empower scholars to contribute cutting-edge research and bridge international perspectives.

US institutions are committed to supporting international students through their financial aid options to enhance the country’s reputation as a center of academic excellence and innovation in the world.

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