List of PhD Programs Offered in the U.S.A.

Oct 20, 2021

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is the highest academic degree graduate students can earn in most fields of study and often leads to teaching or research positions. Prospective doctoral candidates can discover the available lists of PhD programs in the USA and the requirements and courses involved.

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List of PhD Programs in the USA

If you are looking for PhD programs in the USA, you can find lists of schools from professional organizations and from U.S. News & World Report. It can also be helpful to get more information about the general requirements for this degree.

Organizations for professionals in a specific field sometimes list and rank PhD programs in their discipline in order to help prospective students choose the best program. For instance, a student who wishes to find a PhD in the USA related to social psychology may consult the list maintained at the Social Psychology Network, which also provides the psychology PhD rankings from the National Research Council.

Grad School Rankings

U.S. News & World Report ranks graduate schools based on peer reputation surveys and several data-based criteria, including graduation rates. The publication's rankings of best graduate schools are divided by subject, which allows students to find highly ranked PhD programs in their fields.

The report's graduate school rankings include all graduate-level programs, but the graduate schools in the rankings all offer at least one doctoral program. According to U.S. News & World Report's most recent rankings, here the top three graduate schools in a variety of subject areas.


PhD programs in education are often intended for administrators and other educational leaders. Here are the top schools in the field as of 2019.

  1. Harvard University
  2. University of Pennsylvania
  3. Stanford University


PhD degree programs in engineering can prepare graduates for academic or industry jobs. These are the top three schools for engineering in general for 2019. Specialty rankings are also available for a wide variety of engineering disciplines, including aerospace, civil, materials, and petroleum engineering.

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  2. Stanford University
  3. University of California - Berkeley


For experienced lawyers who are interested in research, it is possible to pursue a PhD in Law degree. These are the top-ranked law schools in the country as of 2019.

  1. Yale University
  2. Stanford University
  3. Harvard University


U.S. News & World Report ranks schools in the field of healthcare separately from medical schools offering professional doctoral degrees. These are the best schools for healthcare management for 2019, a field in which it is possible to earn a PhD

  1. University of Alabama - Birmingham
  2. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
  3. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor


U.S. News & World Report ranks graduate-level science programs separately for fields like biological sciences, physics, mathematics, and earth sciences. These are the best schools for chemistry, which were most recently ranked in 2018.

  1. California Institute of Technology
  2. Harvard University
  3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Social Sciences and Humanities

PhD programs are available in many sub-fields of the social sciences and humanities, including English, history, psychology, and economics. These are the top-ranked schools for political science for 2017.

  1. Harvard University (tied for first)
  2. Stanford University (tied for first)
  3. Princeton University

PhDPhD Requirements in the USA

As demonstrated by the previous lists, it is possible to earn a PhD in many different fields. The entry requirements often start with advanced courses in the student's particular field of interest and, in some programs, students are required to pass a comprehensive test and/or a qualifying examination in order to advance to PhD candidacy status. Undergraduate teaching requirements may also be included in the curriculum.

The later years of PhD programs are usually dedicated to intensive research in a specific topic that the student is passionate about. PhD students typically conduct their research under the guidance of a faculty member with expertise in the subject. Before they can graduate, PhD students must write and defend a dissertation based on their research results.

For students who want to pursue a PhD courses in the USA, there are many schools in the country to choose from, including those that have been ranked by professional organizations and by U.S. News & World Report.

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