11 Best Universities for PhD program in the USA


This Article was Reviewed by The Chief Editor, Godfrey

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The doctorate program is getting popular among young people especially those who want to go into academia. There is an entire world of opportunity for individuals with a Ph.D. degree and it is theirs for the taking. This has made several Nigerians desire to further their education. Taking the degree in the US offers even greater opportunities both in the US and in Nigeria.

In the United States of America, some universities offer PhD degrees. This article explores the best universities for PhD program in the USA

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1) Stanford University

Best Universities for PhD program in the USA, Stamford University

Stanford University is one of the best Universities for PhD program in the USA. Its original name is Leland Stanford Junior University, is a private research university in Stanford, California. It was founded in the year 1885 by Leland and Jane Stanford in remembrance of their only child, Leland Stanford Jr., who had died the previous year at age 15.

The university stands as one of the highly ranked universities in the world by academic publications. They are also famous for their fundraising activities and was the first institution to raise over a billion dollars in one year.

Stanford University is made up of seven schools although located at the same address and they include Business, Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences, Education, Engineering, Humanities & Sciences, Law and Medicine. The PhD courses offered cuts across these departments.

For more information about PhD admissions and more visit here.

2) Harvard University

The best Universities for PhD program in the USA is Harvard

Harvard University is one of the best Universities for PhD program in the USA. It is a private Ivy League university. The University is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was established in the year 1636 and named for clergyman John Harvard, who was the first benefactor. Harvard University is the oldest higher institution in the United States and is among the most prestigious in the world.

Harvard University, has more individuals in the alumni, the faculty, and in research who have won Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals than any other university in the world. A lot of their alumni have also been members of the U.S. Congress, MacArthur Fellows, Rhodes Scholars and Marshall Scholars than any other university in the United States. Eight United States presidents and 188 living billionaires are all alumni of Harvard University. This is more than any other university in Nigeria. Fourteen Turing Award laureates have been Harvard affiliates. Previous Students and alumni of Harvard have also gone ahead to win 10 Academy Awards, about 48 Pulitzer Prizes, and 108 Olympic medals (46 gold), and they have gone ahead to be founders of many notable companies.

Their graduate courses cuts across Harvard Graduate school of Arts and Science, Harvard Graduate school of design, Harvard Graduate school of education and much more.

Visit here for more information on PhD courses in Harvard.

3) University of California Los Angeles

Best Universities for PhD program in the USA is UCLA

University of California Los Angeles is one of the best Universities for PhD program in the USA. It is the second oldest university after the University of California Berkeley. It was founded on May 23rd 1919.

University of California Los Angeles is a Public Ivy institute. It also ranks high among the best public universities in the United States by major college and university rankings. As of October 2020, the school had produced about 25 Nobel laureates, three Fields Medalists, five Turing Award winners, and two Chief Scientists of the U.S. Air Force. Those individuals have been affiliated with UCLA at either the faculty level, research, or alumni level. Among the faculty members at present, 55 of them have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, about 28 to the National Academy of Engineering, 39 to the Institute of Medicine, and 124 to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

University of California Los Angeles graduate courses cut across the following departments; Graduate School of Education & Information Studies (GSEIS), School of Law, Anderson School of Management, Luskin School of Public Affairs, David Geffen School of Medicine, School of Dentistry, Jonathan and Karin Fielding School of Public Health, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior and School of Nursing.

You can find out more about UCLA here.

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4) Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MIT is the Best Universities for PhD in the USA

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a private land-grant research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The institute was established in the year 1861 and they have been instrumental in the development of modern science, engineering, mathematics, and technology. Massachusetts Institute of Technology ranks among the most prestigious academic institutions in the world.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s graduate program is intertwined with the undergraduate program. Several courses are taken by qualified students at both levels. At the doctorate level,  MIT offers comprehensive programs with degrees in the humanities, social sciences, and STEM fields and also professional degrees.

The Institute offers graduate programs like Engineer’s Degrees, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), and Doctor of Science (ScD) and also interdisciplinary graduate programs like the MD-PhD (with Harvard Medical School) in addition to a joint program in oceanography with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

To gain admission for your PhD program, you would need to apply directly to the department or degree program.

Almost 90% of students pursuing their doctorate degrees at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are supported by fellowships, research assistantships or teaching assistantships.

You can visit here for more information.

5) California Institute of Technology


The California Institute of Technology abbreviated as “Caltech” is one of the best Universities for PhD program in the USA. It is located in Pasadena, California. Caltech is known for its strength in science and engineering and is primarily devoted to the instruction of pure and applied sciences alongside other small institutes in the United States.

As of October 2020, the California Institute of Technology had produced about 76 Nobel laureates which  40 alumni and faculty members. In addition to the Nobel prizes, 4 Fields Medalists and 6 Turing Award winners have also been affiliated with Caltech. In a study conducted in 2015, it was revealed that Caltech was the number one school as regards graduands going on to earn a PhD.

The University offers doctoral programs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields. To apply for a PhD, you will be required to take GRE.

The research facilities at Caltech are available for PhD students. They also have opportunities for students to work in facilities of other universities, research centres as well as private industries.

About 99% of students doing their doctorate degrees are supported financially in the form of fellowships, research assistantships, teaching assistantships or a combination of fellowship and assistantship support.

Find out more here.

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6) Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) is located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and  was founded in 1900 by Andrew Carnegie.


Some of the honours alumni and faculty members of the school has recorded includes 20 Nobel Prize laureates, 13 Turing Award winners, 23 Members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 22 Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 79 Members of the National Academies, 124 Emmy Award winners, 47 Tony Award laureates, and 10 Academy Award winners.

Their post-graduate programs, cuts across several colleges and schools which include, the College of Engineering, College of Fine Arts, Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Mellon College of Science, Tepper School of Business, H. John Heinz III College of Information Systems and Public Policy, and the School of Computer Science.

Visit here for more information.

7) Purdue University

Purdue University is one of the best Universities for PhD program in the USA. It is a public research university located in West Lafayette, Indiana, USA. The university was founded in 1869.

Purdue University

Purdue University is classified among R1: Doctoral Universities signifying a very high research activity. The university has birthed staff, students and associates who have won about 13 Nobel prize, 1 Turing Award, 2 World Food Prizes, 2 Pulitzer Prize awards and 23 Olympic medal winners. More awards accorded to the students include 3 National Medal of Technology and Innovation recipients, 2 National Medal of Science recipients and 3 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients. 7 past students are members of Congress, 3 are U.S. governors, and 2 are heads of state. Members of their alumni include about 25 astronauts, 6 current Fortune 500 CEOs, 2 Rhodes Scholars, 4 Truman Scholars and 3 Gates Scholars and a lot more.

Learn more about Purdue University by visiting here.

8) Princeton University

Princeton University is a private Ivy League research university located in Princeton, New Jersey and founded in the year 1746.

Princeton University USA

A total of 69 Nobel laureates, 15 Fields Medalists and 14 Turing Award laureates have been associated with Princeton University as of October 2020. Princeton has also been associated with 21 National Medal of Science winners, 5 Abel Prize winners, 5 National Humanities Medal recipients, 215 Rhodes Scholars, 139 Gates Cambridge Scholars and 137 Marshall Scholars. Also, about two United States Presidents, twelve United States Supreme Court Justices and several living billionaires and foreign heads of state are all counted among Princeton’s alumni body.

The University offers PhD degrees in social sciences, engineering, natural sciences, and humanities. Other departments include the Department of Psychology, Department of History, and Department of Economics. The university does not have a medical school, law school, business school, or school of education.

Visit here for more information

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9) Yale University

Yale University one of the best UNI in USA

Yale University is one of the best Universities for PhD program in the USA. It is located at New Haven, Connecticut, USA and was founded in 1701.

The University has a high research activity for doctoral degrees.

It offers doctoral degrees in Business, Engineering, Law, Medicine: Primary Care, Medicine: Research, Nursing: Doctorate and much more.

You can find out more about the University here.

10) New York University

New York University abbreviated as NYU, is a private research university located in New York City, United States of America.

New York University

The University has about 15 graduate schools which include includes School of Law, Grossman School of Medicine, Tandon School of Engineering, College of Dentistry, Graduate School of Arts and Science, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, Stern School of Business, School of Professional Studies, Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, Rory Meyers College of Nursing, Silver School of Social Work, Tisch School of the Arts, Gallatin School of Individualized Study, Center for Urban Science and Progress and College of Global Public Health. Doctorate degrees can be gotten in any of the schools.

More information can be gotten here.

11) Johns Hopkins University

 Johns Hopkins University is located in Baltimore, Maryland, USA and was founded in the year 1876.

Johns Hopkins University

They have campuses in different areas of Baltimore and some of their PhD courses across their different faculties like the faculty of education, faculty of medical sciences and much more.

You can find out more about them here.


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About the Chief Editor

Godfrey Ogbo, the Chief Editor and CEO of AtlanticRide, merges his environmental management expertise with extensive business experience, including in real estate. With a master's degree and a knack for engaging writing, he adeptly covers complex growth and business topics. His analytical approach and business insights enrich the blog, making it a go-to source for readers seeking thoughtful and informed content.

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