Do you know most of the Ph.D. programs offered by the universities in the USA are fully funded? Most people are unaware of this and they rely just on the main scholarships like Fulbright, etc. These scholarships no doubt are good opportunities but they also are very competitive and there are some restrictions that you have to follow with them. For instance, you have to come back to your home country and live here for an equal amount of time that you spent in the USA. However, if you apply directly to the universities, there are no such restrictions. Moreover, it is easier to secure admission this way if you have a good academic and research record. Here is how you can secure your admission to world-class universities in the USA. 

Identify your research interests

First of all, you have to identify what research interests you have and what do you want to work on during your Ph.D. In Pakistan, students are not aware of the importance of research interests and experience in the relevant field. This is the most important thing when applying abroad for a Ph.D. It is better that you stick with the research ideas that you have already worked upon. This makes your profile stronger and it is easier to be accepted for the program. Try to get your research papers published before you start applying as this will also significantly enhance your chances of acceptance.   

Find the professors who have the same research interests

The next step is your main target. List down the universities offering relevant programs and find the professors who have the same research interests. This is where the process starts. Finding the professors who want to work on the research ideas that you have to propose is the main task. Then you have to email them. Compose a professional email telling them that you have the same research interests and are excited about the possibility of working with them.  

Show them your potential and ask if you should apply 

You have to show the professors your potential and wait for their response. How to do that? Your email is the first thing that you are sending them. Write it in an impressive yet professional way telling how passionate you are about the opportunity. Ask them at the end if they are taking any students or not in the following year. They will probably send you an email telling you, whether they are taking any students or not, that they want to know more about your research experiences and interest or tell you good luck to apply for the program. You are the luckiest if they say that they want to know the details of your work and experience. They might want to conduct an interview with you before you apply. 

After contact with the professor, if they tell you to apply for the program and that they will be happy to have you with them, this is the time you start putting all your efforts into the application. 

Start the application procedure

Even if you are told by the professor that they will be glad to take you, the application has an important influence. Write your personal statement and fill out the application with extreme care and vigilance. Your research proposal that you might need to attach with the application requires a lot of effort and time. Make sure you have made it under the supervision of some expert before you start your application. 

Additional tips for applying

If you are interested in a Ph.D. program, you need to show high academic records. So, make sure you secure an excellent CGPA, particularly in the subjects that you are choosing for your Ph.D. Secondly, your test scores also have to be excellent. People from all over the world will be applying for the program. So, do everything that you can to prove you are the best candidate for the program.

Author

Ayesha Areej is a staff writer at The Academia Magazine

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