How Can I Get Full Scholarship to Study at a Top US University for my PhD?
The good news is that almost all top US universities offer PhD scholarships to attract good students. These scholarship can cover all your tuition expenses (basically you earn a PhD with no tuition) and some top US universities even pay a small amount to cover your living expenses, like accommodation and books. It is very rare that universities will admit students without any kind of scholarship for a PhD program.
So what should you do to get a PhD scholarship at a top US university?
- Your academic profile and GRE scores or GMAT scores must be good. So work hard and study hard for these tests. Your GRE scores and GMAT scores will decide the kind of university you get admitted to. So if it is very important.
- The percentage of marks in your Master's program must also be good. If you are below average, then your test scores must be very strong to prove to the university that you are a good student with the necessary skills.
- Make sure that your TOEFL or IELTS score is also above average. This does not apply to students from English speaking countries.
- Write a strong, clear and compelling essay explaining why you think you are a good fit with the university that you are applying to. Don't just praise the university or say flattering things. Instead really understand what the university has to offer and make a compelling argument about it.
- Write clearly about the focus of your research. Be specific, to the extent possible, about what you plan to study and research. Tie this with the research profiles of faculty at the university.
- You must get a strong letter of recommendation from faculty and researchers in the field who know your work.
- Apply early. Some universities will give out scholarships as they receive the applications. If you apply late, all the money may be gone!
Because good scholarships are available, top US universities receive a large number of applications from PhD students. The competition is still. So you must stand out from the crowd. Hence, your grades and test scores must be good and your application must be thoughtful, well-written, and nearly perfect! An important point to note: even though you may get funding, in order to get a visa, financial documents must show that you have funds to support your education. We like to add that each and every one of the students that we have counseled for PhD has received full scholarship!