Apply for PhD without Masters or MS in USA

Can you do PhD without Masters in US ? Directly PhD after B.Tech or B.S in USA ?

In PhD in USA by Kumar83 Comments

I have seen many students asking questions in forums about questions like :

  • Can I do PhD without MS in USA ?
  • Do I need to have Masters for Ph.D admission ?
  • Can we apply for PhD right after or B.S ?
  • Will I get PhD admission with full funding without MS or Masters?
  • Do I need to take GRE and GMAT to apply for PhD program ?

I will try to address few questions related to PhD admissions in this article.

Directly Apply for PhD after B.Tech ? No MS or Masters for PhD Admission ?

Apply for PhD without Masters or MS in USAShort answer, for the most part, YES you can, but there are always few exceptions! There is lot of confusing among students that you need to have Masters or have done MS for applying to PhD. But, the reality is it is in fact a good idea to apply for PhD directly after or Bachelors degree.  I will explain the advantages. For now, you may check the below links of Universities for validation that you can apply for PhD without having Masters degree.

What do Schools look for PhD Admission directly after B.Tech or B.S ?

In fact, getting into PhD can be very competitive just with Bachelors degree. Because you have not taken any advanced level classes or have not done any significant thesis or journal publications, there are few things that schools really look for. Few of these are listed below :

  • Excellent GPA
  • Good recommendation letters
  • Very good GRE score. TOEFL is also required for international students.
  • For international students, having Electives in the related research area in the final year of Bachelors or in general having advanced coursework in the research area.
  • An outstanding Statement of Purpose (SOP) describing your research interests and future plans for research and professional goals.
  • Subjective GRE Test related to your area. This is mandatory for some schools, but most schools recommend it. Having a good subjective GRE Test score proves that you are technically competent for PhD if you have no research experience.
  • Research paper publications, Conference publications or any journal publications. If you have done any Technical projects with your professor or your final year project can also help.

Major in two research areas or extra course work related to Research area Advantages for PhD:

Some of you may be thinking about like, what a Major is ?  I did not know until I got to US. Anyways, a Major is your concentration or focus of education in your Bachelors.  One can have two major and it is called double major and if you have 3 majors then triple major…. You will need to take additional classes to get double or triple major.  Now that you know what a major is, one of the additional important thing for PhD admission is, if you have technical knowledge in the form of an additional major or if you have taken extra classes that can help you with research for a particular PhD degree, you will have preference for PhD admission.  Let me explain with an example. Let’s say you are applying for PhD in Economics. If you do not know, PhD in Economics has lot of Mathematics involved and they expect you to have significant coursework or knowledge with Advanced Mathematics. Imagine you have a Bachelors degree with Mathematics and Economics Majors, then you have higher chances of admission.   Because, you have Mathematics in addition to just having Economics that is helpful for PhD admission. The committee judges you based on your Economics and Mathematical capabilities.

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Comments ( 83 )

  1. Prisha

    Hi Kumar,

    I recently completed my MMath (3 yrs of bachelors + 1 yr of masters) degree in the UK. My overall result is 73% but I got lower than average mark on my master’s project. I really want to apply for a PhD specially in the US because I prefer the PhD course structure there. I have booked for my GRE and I am currently working on my personal statement. What are my chances of being accepted in a PhD programme in the US? And do they give more priority to home students? I am a UK citizen.

    1. administrator

      PhD admission depends on many factors and the school you plan to apply to. It is hard to answer such questions. All I can suggest is to have good scores and have a compelling SOP for getting admission. The admission team has to believe that you are passionate about PhD and you can continue with your capability, so your application has to reflect that. No, there is no priority as such…it goes by merit.

  2. Razia


    after doing my MS..i would like take up my how much GPA i need to maintain in my MS??and how much time it takes to complete PHD after doing MS???

  3. Manjuprasad

    Sir,I am 2011 passed out B.E graduate, i have registered to Ph.D. in VTU in 2012, ie. based on the Research Experience of 1 year(2011-2012). So i just wanted to know that whether I am eligible for Teaching for B.E/MCA.

  4. Bharat Ketkar

    1) in your opinion 2000 usd is sufficient for living there,if I’ll go along with my wife. – YES
    2) what is the average duration for phd completion in usa for indian student. – 5 to 7 YRS
    3) is part time job is permissible for spouse? – YES
    please reply as soon as possible.thank you

  5. arun pratap singh

    Arun,sir i have completed in digital communication with 85%.and have 7 research papers,with 3 year teaching experience as a assistant professor .currently preparing for gre.i have few queries:
    1) in your opinion 2000 usd is sufficient for living there,if I’ll go along with my wife.
    2) what is the average duration for phd completion in usa for indian student.
    3) is part time job is permissible for spouse?
    4) what is role of guide during phd course,are they helpful or sadistic ?
    please reply as soon as possible.thank you

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