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PhD Scholarships in the USA


For Indian students, pursuing a PhD in the USA with a scholarship is a transformative opportunity. The United States, with its 4,500+ universities known for academic prowess, offers a wide array of PhD courses. This educational journey, typically spanning four to six years, often raises financial concerns. With the average annual cost of studying at US public and private universities falling between $28,000 and $55,000 (₹20,96,000 to ₹41,16,000) and monthly living expenses ranging from $800 to $1000 (₹59,840 to ₹74,800), securing a scholarship for PhD in the USA becomes essential for many.

This guide will help you know these scholarships for PhD in the USA, making the daunting financial aspect more manageable. 

Types of PhD Scholarships in the USA for Indian Students

When exploring scholarships in the USA for PhD studies, Indian students encounter a range of options, each tailored to different academic and financial needs.

  1. Merit-Based Scholarships: These PhD Scholarships in the USA reward outstanding academic achievements. For instance, the Stanford University Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program, offering funding up to ₹70 lakhs, is ideal for those who have excelled academically and shown leadership potential. This scholarship epitomises the PhD with scholarship in the USA pathway.
  2. Need-Based Scholarships: Tailored for students facing financial challenges, these scholarships are crucial. The University of Chicago, for example, offers need-based aid up to ₹37 lakhs, making it a significant scholarship for PhD in the USA for students in need.
  3. Field-Specific Scholarships: For students targeting specific academic fields, these scholarships, like the Microsoft Research PhD Fellowship, are perfect. Providing about ₹15 lakhs annually, this fellowship is a prime example of PhD in USA Scholarships focused on STEM fields.
  4. Country-Specific Scholarships: Aimed at students from specific nations, these scholarships foster international academic exchange. The Fulbright-Nehru Doctoral Research Fellowships are a notable scholarship for PhD in the USA for international students, particularly Indians, offering comprehensive support including tuition and living expenses.
  5. Government-Funded Scholarships: Scholarships like the Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation, funded by governmental bodies, offer up to ₹75 lakhs over two years. They represent the University in the USA for PhD with a scholarship initiative, encouraging Indian students to pursue academic excellence abroad.

Top 5 Scholarships for PhD in USA for Indian Students 2024

  1. AAUW International Fellowship: This fellowship, offered by the American Association of University Women, caters to women who are non-US citizens or non-immigrants. It provides a significant stipend of $30,000 (₹22,44,000), focusing on those with English proficiency and a plan to return to their home country post-study. This fellowship is a critical Scholarship for PhD in the USA for international students.
  2. Texas A&M University's Hertz Fellowship: A part of the Hertz Foundation's initiative, this fellowship offers substantial support up to $250k (₹1,87,00,000) for STEM doctoral students. It's a prime example of a University in the USA for PhD with a scholarship, encouraging innovative research.
  3. University of Iowa's PhD Programs: These programs are illustrative of the PhD scholarship in the USA, providing 100% tuition coverage and a grant of $18,800 (₹14,06,640) for about 9 months, including opportunities for summer fellowships and teaching positions.
  4. Fulbright Nehru Doctoral Research Scholarship: This renowned scholarship, managed by the US Department, covers all expenses for Indian postgraduates, including tuition, living expenses, and travel. It's a flagship program among scholarships in the USA for PhD studies.
  5. Franklin Mosher Baldwin Memorial Fellowship: Sponsored by the Leakey Foundation, this fellowship focuses on human evolution and primatology, offering $15,000 (₹11,22,000) annually. It's a unique option within the realm of PhD in USA Scholarships for specific fields of study.

These top scholarships provide unparalleled opportunities for Indian students to pursue their PhD in the USA for Indian students with scholarship, covering a diverse range of fields and research interests. Understanding the specifics of these scholarships is key to effectively utilising these opportunities.

Book a session with our expert counsellors at AECC to streamline your scholarship application process.

University-Specific PhD Scholarships in the USA for Indian Students

For Indian students aiming to pursue a PhD in the USA, university-specific scholarships offer tailored financial aid opportunities.

University Name

Scholarship Type


Eligibility Requirements

Field of Study

Harvard University

Boustany MBA Harvard Scholarship

$95,000 (2 years)

Indian nationality, academic excellence

Business, Management

Stanford University

Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program

Full Tuition

High academic standing, leadership potential

All Fields

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tata Fellowship


Indian citizens, academic merit

STEM Fields

University of Chicago

Booth School of Business Scholarships

Partial to Full

Merit-based, varies per candidate

Business, Economics

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley Fellowship

Up to $25,000

Academic excellence, research potential

Various Fields

Yale University

Yale University Scholarships

Up to $50,000

Outstanding academic record, leadership skills

All Fields

Princeton University

Princeton Fellowship

Full Tuition

Academic merit, research capabilities

Various Fields

Columbia University

Columbia Business School Fellowships


Academic achievement, professional promise

Business, Management

University of Pennsylvania

Penn-Wharton Fellowship

Partial to Full

Leadership qualities, academic excellence

Business, Management

Cornell University

Cornell Graduate Fellowships

Up to $38,000

Academic excellence, research interest

Various Fields

 These scholarships, specific to universities, provide a range of financial support and are often competitive, requiring early preparation and adherence to eligibility criteria.

How to Apply for PhD Scholarships in the USA for Indian Students

Securing a scholarship for PhD in the USA requires a well-planned approach. Here's a guide to enhance your chances:

  1. Eligibility Check: First, verify your eligibility for various scholarships in the USA for a PhD. Each scholarship has its own criteria, including nationality, academic qualifications, and field of study.
  2. Academic Requirements: For a successful application to a PhD in USA Scholarships, maintain a strong GPA, preferably above 3.0, and ensure your academic transcripts reflect your potential.
  3. Standardised Test Scores: High scores in tests like GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, or IELTS are crucial for scholarships for PhD in the USA, as they often form a part of the eligibility criteria.
  4. Compelling Documentation: Your Statement of Purpose (SOP) and Letters of Recommendation (LORs) should articulate why you're an ideal candidate for a PhD with a scholarship in the USA.
  5. Application Submission: Strict adherence to application deadlines is paramount when applying for a PhD scholarship in the USA.
  6. Additional Documentation: Depending on the scholarship, additional documents like a research proposal or CV might be required.

By meticulously following these steps, Indian students can significantly increase their chances of securing a PhD in the USA for Indian students with scholarships, turning their academic aspirations into reality.

The journey to securing a PhD scholarship in the USA is challenging yet rewarding. For Indian students, understanding the application process and meeting the specific requirements are crucial steps towards success. Utilising resources like aecc for guidance can significantly enhance your application, helping you bypass the complexities of securing a scholarship for PhD in the USA. Contact us now!


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