How Much Does A PhD Cost (57+ Detailed Statistics Of 2024)

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Pursuing a Ph.D. is not only an investment in time and effort but also requires a significant financial commitment. 

The cost of a Ph.D. varies widely depending on the country, university, and field of study. 

On average, there are over 4.5 million Ph.D. holders in the USA.

In this article, we will explore the different costs associated with pursuing a Ph.D. and provide an overview of the financial considerations that prospective Ph.D. students should take into account when planning their academic journey. 

With that, let’s get into the details!

How Much Does A PhD Cost: General Statistics

Below, I have mentioned some of the important statistics regarding Ph.D. costs.

  1. The average cost of a Ph.D. is around $32,850 per year.
  2. The usual number of years for a Ph.D. degree is 5.8 years.
  3. Including the various grants and apprenticeships, a doctoral degree of over 4-8 years costs an average between $131,000 to $263,000.
  4. The average cost of doctorate programs in Public Universities is around $105,900.
  5. The Ph.D. program at private colleges costs around $146,300.
  6. Moreover, $58,656 is the average cost of a professional Ph.D. degree per year.
  7. The average cost of a Philosophy Ph.D. costs around $121,000.
  8. Ph.D. in Education costs over $98,850.
  9. The cost of a Doctorate in Psychology is around $115,500.
  10. There are more Ph.D. male graduates than females.

How Much Does A Ph.D. Cost: Average Cost Of PhD

The overall cost of a Ph.D. depends on various factors like the type of school and length of the program, specialization, and available amount of financial assistance.

How Much Does A Ph.D. Cost - Overview

The major factors on which Ph.D. cost is dependent are:

  • Type of PhD
  • Choice of School
  • Field of study
  • Location of school
  • The dollar amount of student loans.

Other than that, various outside factors can be added to the total cost of the Ph.D. programs. These specifically include living expenses, food, insurance, transportation, and book costs.

Hence, it is essential to consider all these aspects when planning to earn a Ph.D.

  1. According to the data from NCES, the average cost of a Ph.D. is $114,300.
  2. The doctorate degree costs you around $103,700.
  3. The cost of a Ph.D. from a public university is around $105,900.
  4. On average, it costs around $146,300 for a Ph.D. program from a private university.
  5. $126,800 is the average loan debt for a doctorate degree. 
  6. The recent data from NCES suggests that the average tuition cost for a Ph.D. program is around $16,530 per year.
  7. Plus, the non-tuition expenses like books, board, and supplies amount to $16,300.
  8. Totaling both costs, on average, a complete Ph.D. program costs $32,850 per year.
  9. As per the data from educationdata, the Ph.D. program for psychology costs $115,500 on average.
  10. The median cost of a Ph.D. program in Philosophy is $96,800.

Here is an overall overview of the average cost of Ph.D. programs as per the type of university.

Type Of UniversitiesAverage Tuition And Fees.
Total (All schools)$114,300
Public universities$105,900
Private Universities$146,300

Mostly, these programs also offer financial aid, a living stipend, and a tuition waiver in exchange for an assistantship. With such assistantship, students may do part-time work as a professor or do research.

  1. The graduate research assistantship amounts to around $1,833 per month.
  2. On average, the teaching assistantship is $2,400 per month.
  3. The average debt of doctoral recipients is around $26,137.
  4. In 2019, over 58% of doctoral students graduated with zero debt.

Cost Of Professional Ph.D. Degrees:

There are also many professional doctorate degrees like Juris Doctor, Doctor of Physical Therapy, and Doctor of Medicine. Such doctorate degrees are intended for practice and cost much higher.

Cost Of Professional Ph.D. Degrees
  1. According to the data from NCES, the median cost of a professional Ph.D. degree is around $58,656 per year.
  2. It costs $34,910 on average for the tuition and fees for a professional Ph.D. degree.
  3. Other than that, the non-tuition costs like textbooks and housing cost $23,746 annually on average.

How Much Does a Ph.D. Cost: University-wise

As I said earlier, the Ph.D. cost varies according to different factors. The type of university is one of them. The cost of Ph.D. programs is different for different colleges and universities.

  1.  The Annual cost of Ph.D. programs at Columbia University is around $52,000.
  2. Cornell University has Ph.D. programs that cost around $30,088.
  3. Ph.D. programs at Harvard University cost around $52,460 per year.
  4. It costs around $44,162 per year to pursue a Ph.D. program at the University of Pennsylvania.
  5. The Ph.D. program at Yale University costs $46,900 yearly.

Here are the detailed statistics for Ph.D. programs at top Lvy League colleges 2022-2023.


CollegeAnnual Tuition CostMinimum Stipend Offered
Columbia University$52,016$39,990
Cornell University$30,088$30,088
Harvard University$52,456
University of Pennsylvania$44,162$30,547
Yale University$46,900$38,300
  1. Similarly, the cost of Ph.D. programs at top public universities is lower than the Ivy colleges in the US.
  2. The Florida International University has an annual tuition cost of around $8,202 for resident students, while non-resident students pay around $18,030.
  3. The annual tuition cost of a doctoral degree at The Ohio State University is $11,798 for resident students.

Below are some examples of public universities and the cost of Ph.D. programs.

Top Public UniversitiesAnnual Tuition CostMinimum Stipend Offered
Florida International UniversityResident: $8,202Nonresident: $18,030$19,194 (depends on the field)
Texas A&M UniversityResident: $8,800Nonresident: $18,332$16,000 (depends on the field)
The Ohio State UniversityResident: $11,798Nonresident: $37,758$21,280
University of Central FloridaResident: $6,653.70Nonresident: $21,492.90$18,000
University of Texas, AustinResident: $8,684-$10,848Nonresident: $17,312-$19,786$18,306- $52,993

Moreover, it is also important to note that the cost of different programs in the same universities may vary. 

For instance, the Ph.D. program at Cornell Univerisity for Humanities and social sciences costs $30,099 per year. While in the business department of Ph.D. at Cornell University offers a program at $41,560.

How Much Does A Ph.D. Cost: Degree Wise

It usually takes around 4 to 8 years to complete a doctorate degree. 

Degree Wise Cost
  1. The cost of Philosophy from the traditional 8-year Ph.D. program at the University of Florida costs around $258,800.
  2. According to recent data, the average cost of the Ph.D. program of Philosophy at New York University is around $557,300.

Below I have mentioned the average cost of a doctorate degree in philosophy over the years.

YearThe Average Cost Of A Doctorate Of Philosophy
  1. The average cost of a Ph.D. in Education is $98,850.

Here is year-wise data on the cost of a Ph.D. in Education.

YearCost Of Doctorate Of Education
  1. On average, the Doctorate of Psychology costs around $115,500.
  2. The Ph.D. degree in Psychology takes around 5 to 7 years to complete.

Here is a change in the average cost of a Doctorate degree in Psychology over the years.

YearThe Average Cost Of A Ph.D. In Psychology

How Much Does A Ph.D. Cost: By Race

When talking about the Ph.D. cost by race, Black Americans and Asians tend to have the largest amount of average debt and grant aid.

Most of the grant aid comes from the institutions. This financial aid barely accounts for 20% of each race.

  1. According to education data, on average Asian doctoral students borrow $16,838 annually for their Ph.D. programs.
  2. Hispanic students borrow around $20,246 per year.
  3. The median loan borrowed by black students for a doctoral degree is $17,479.
  4. White students who are pursuing a Doctoral degree borrow $18,087 annually.

Following is a detailed overview of average doctorate debt by Race.


RaceAverage Doctorate Debt
White $90,900
Black or African American$136,500
Combined Average$116,200
  1. For students who belong to two or more races, the median loan borrowed by them is $20,960 per year.
  2. More than 86.6% of the black students who are pursuing a Ph.D. borrowed money for their education.
  3. 55.7% of the white students with a doctoral degree borrowed loans to fund their education.
  4. Black students who received financial aid are 25% for their Ph.D. program.
  5. Over 56% of Asian students received financial aid for their doctoral program.

How Much Does A Ph.D. Cost: By Gender

Many men and women try to counterbalance the cost of their doctorate degrees with various traineeships and assistantships. 

  1. It is seen that there are more male graduates with Ph.D. degrees.
  2. On average, women carry more debt than men.
  3. There are over 38.7% of the men seeking financial support working in research as traineeship or assistantship.
  4. 27.1% of the women find financial support by working in traineeship and assistantship.
  5. There are over 16,780 male students surveyed with no student loan debt.
  6. 12,681 female students surveyed with no student loan debt.

Ph.D. Student Loan Debt

The loan debt for Ph.D. students varies according to the field of specialization. 

  1. According to the data from NCES, Math and Computer science doctoral students graduate with $10,686 loan debt on average.
  2. The students who are pursuing the Ph.D. program in education had $47,672 loan debt on average. 

Let’s have a look at the percentage of doctoral recipients who graduated without student loan debt by field of study.

Field Of StudyPercentage Of Students Who Graduated Without Loan DebtAverage Amount Of Debt
Average of all fields57.9%$26,137
Psychology and social sciences 45.8%$43,439
Humanities and arts47.4%$33,729
Physical sciences and earth sciences65.2%$14,911
Engineering 71.2%$12,081
Mathematics and computer sciences75.4%$10,686

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Conclusion: How Much Does A PhD Cost (2024)

Pursuing a Ph.D. is a significant investment both in terms of time and money. 

The cost of a Ph.D. can vary widely depending on the country, university, and field of study. It is important for prospective Ph.D. students to carefully consider the financial implications of pursuing this degree and to plan accordingly. 

By understanding the costs involved and planning accordingly, you can make informed decisions about pursuing a Ph.D. and take important steps toward achieving your academic and career goals.

So, what are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comment section below.

Alvin Parker

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