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PhD In Biotechnology In The USA: What Do You Need To Know?

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Biotechnology is a dynamic field which concerns the study and manufacturing of organic products, or those needed for the successful survival of life. The United States is one of the leading countries at the forefront of education, and studying such a deeply scientific subject in the US is a wise decision. If you’re looking to pursue a PhD in biotechnology in the USA, you have plenty of options to continue. Our guide compiles the top reasons to do so, the best colleges in the United States and other aspects you need to know before you make a decision. Continue reading to find out!

A PhD In Biotechnology

A PhD is naturally a research-based programme designed for students who wish to continue individual research and study of a particular topic to publish their findings. A PhD in biotech is a similar doctoral course where students study streams like biological chemistry, molecular biology, bioinformatics, and microbiology in depth. 

Furthermore, different analytical and biological techniques like cross-breeding, gene therapy, genetics, and embryology are studied and developed. Biotech has applications in many sectors, including research and development, pharmaceutical companies, government labs, agricultural companies and factories. All in all, it is an interesting sector to pursue.

Why Should You Do A Phd In Biotechnology In The USA?

As mentioned above, the US is one of the best countries to continue your higher education. Some of the top reasons why an international student should pursue a PhD in biotechnology in the USA are listed below.

  • Standard of education: American universities are renowned for their high standard of education and innovative academic programmes. As a PhD student, you will receive the best training in the field that will prepare you for a bright career.

  • Research: The universities in the United States have access to state-of-the-art facilities and resources that would elevate your research. You need these cutting-edge research opportunities to continue your work and innovate for a dynamic PhD.

  • Networking: Since PhD is a research-based programme, you need to have a strong network and connections within the community to facilitate and strengthen your research – something that the universities in the US can provide and support. You will have the opportunity to reach out to the top experts and researchers in related fields.

  • Future prospects: Acquiring a PhD in Biotechnology in the USA can significantly elevate your career prospects. A vast number of opportunities and job profiles are available for biotech majors in the US. A degree from any of the top colleges will also increase your chances at these jobs globally.

  • Funding: Research typically needs strong financial support, accessed through teaching assistantships, fellowships and scholarships. Often, these means aren’t enough to carry on your research or study. The US has many options and opportunities to acquire funding and carry out your research smoothly and affordably.

  • Exposure: American universities provide diverse international exposure to various communities and scientific societies due to their impressive networking. This environment will enrich your study and introduce you to more experiences and perspectives.

Top Colleges For A PhD In Biotechnology In The USA

One of the most pivotal aspects of exploring any course or programme is to check out the best colleges and universities that offer the course. Moreover, cross-checking their rankings, requirements, and eligibility is equally crucial. The table below summarises the top universities for a PhD in biotechnology in the USA, their global ranks, and other details. Students can refer to it to clearly understand their best options.

PhD in biotechnology in the USA

UniversityQS World University RankingAverage Cost Of TuitionDuration of PhDIELTS RequirementsAcceptance rate
Harvard University5USD 24,0004-5 years7.510.5%
Stanford University3USD 54,000Four years7.04.8%
John Hopkins University24USD 42,0004-5 years7.010%
University Of California, Berkeley27USD 564 per semesterFive years7.010%
The George Washington University362USD 15,885Five years6.081%
California Institute Of Technology, Pasadena6USD 60,657Five years7.08.8%
Columbia University, New York23USD 78,099Five years7.57%
Cornell University20USD 53,202Six years7.014.1%
University Of Wisconsin102USD 25,577Five years6.557.6%
Ohio State University151USD 29,022Five years7.049.4%
Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland41USD 60,360Five years7.035.4%

Eligibility & Required Documents

Checking your eligibility before you apply for a PhD in biotechnology in the USA is crucial to know your stance. Other than that, analysing the required documents allows you to be up-to-date and compile them properly. We have compiled a list of these and the eligibility below so students can get a clear idea.

  • High school diploma or equivalent 
  • Undergraduate degree in biotech or relevant subjects
  • Graduate degree in biotech or relevant subjects
  • Academic transcripts of each subject
  • GPA qualifications
  • CV/Resume
  • Statement of purpose
  • Approved thesis
  • Scores of English Language Proficiency Tests
    – TOEFL – 85
    – IELTS – 7.0
  • Scores of entrance exams
    – GRE – 140
    – SAT or ACT scores may be required
  • References or letters of recommendation (may not be mandatory)
  • Student visa
  • Financial documents
  • Official documents of health insurance
  • A valid passport and photo ID

Career Scope

Although a PhD is a straining and lengthy process that takes a lot of effort, you will have a vast number of opportunities for career growth once you acquire it. Especially if you’re getting a PhD in biotechnology in the USA, you will have options to elevate your research due to the networks and connections you will form, the ample funding and the current job market since it is a constantly evolving field. As aforementioned, you can work in pharmaceutical companies, biotech organisations, research institutes or academics. A plethora of opportunities to contribute your research to innovative theories and ideas will be available. 

Some of the most popular job profiles for Biotech PhD candidates and their average annual salaries are classified below.

PhD in biotechnology in the USA

Job ProfileAverage Annual Salary
BiostatisticianUSD 91,000
BiotechnologistsUSD 89,000
Bioinformatics ScientistUSD 1,24,000
Bioinformatics TechnicianUSD 77,000

Cost Of Living

The cost of living in any place is crucial because a PhD programme takes a long duration, and you will mostly rely on funding, fellowships or assistantships for your expenses. And not just tuition fees but other factors like accommodation, transportation and food contribute to the overall cost of living. Hence, comprehending the living expenses in the States is also essential.

ExpenditureEstimated cost per month
Off-Campus AccommodationUSD 525
On-Campus AccommodationUSD 871
FoodUSD 572
TransportationUSD 70
UtilitiesUSD 180
EntertainmentUSD 48
GroceriesUSD 52
ClothesUSD 102
Total Cost Of Living With Off-Campus AccommodationUSD 1,504
Total Cost Of Living With On-Campus AccommodationUSD 1,850
Annual Cost Of LivingUSD 18,048


PhD in biotechnology in the USA

Several people choose to work alongside their PhD course to manage their expenses. However, maximum times it isn’t enough to cover the tuition fees and take care of the cost of living. Universities and colleges provide scholarships and grants based on academic excellence and financial need to aid students in their finances. Students can also opt for fully funded PhD programmes in the USA to save money. Otherwise, a few of the best scholarships and grants for Indian students are listed here.

Scholarships Amount offered
Robert S. McNamara Fellowship ProgrammeUSD 25,000
JNTata Endowment ScholarshipINR 2,00,000
InLaks FoundationUp to USD 1,00,000
AAUW International FellowshipVaries depending on academic excellence and financial need


Q1. What is the average salary of biotech PhD graduates in the US?

Ans: The average salary of biotech graduates in the US is USD 82,000 per year.

Q2. Which university is best for PhD in biotechnology in the USA?

Ans: Harvard University, Stanford University, University of California and Massachusetts Institute of Technology are some of the best colleges for pursuing a PhD in biotech in the US.

Q3. Can I work during my PhD in the USA?

Ans: Students can work while getting their PhD. It is the most preferable option since it provides extra income to manage expenses. The most common job people opt for is teaching.

Q4. How long is the F1 visa valid for PhD students?

Ans: The F1 visa is valid for the length of your admission offer. 

Q5. How much does a PhD cost in the USA for Indian students?

Ans: The average cost of a PhD programme in the US costs around USD 28,531 to USD 57,590. The average cost for Indian students ranges between INR 15 to 16 lakhs.

Thank you for reading our guide to pursuing PhD in biotechnology in the USA! Let us know your thoughts or queries in the comments section below.

If you found this blog helpful, check out some others on our website – 

  1. Saint Louis University Admission Guide
  2. Wrexham Glyndwr University Acceptance Rate 2023-24
  3. Aberystwyth University Acceptance Rate: A Detailed Guide 

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PhD In Biotechnology In The USA: What Do You Need To Know?

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