A growing number of business schools in the United States are offering “STEM designated” MBA programs to give students the skills they need for an age of digitization and robotics. When schools prove that half their course material is based on the ‘STEM’ fields—science, technology, engineering and math—they earn the status.
And in the US, a STEM-designated MBA also opens doors for extended work visas. Overseas students can apply for a 24-month extension for optional practical training, or OPT, which is usually a one-year work visa.
That is important for US MBA programs because they have suffered a drop in applications, especially from overseas students, on the back of immigration concerns, among other factors.
And from the perspective of post-study careers, a STEM MBA is increasingly popular among employers. The skills that graduates acquire while studying these degrees—a mix of technology and management—can go along way in the current workplace.
The STEM MBA degrees have proven popular, helping to increase MBA applications at many schools and increase interest among corporate recruiters. According to data from Ranstad North America, the US had three million more STEM jobs than it had workers to fill these vacancies in 2016.
The Wisconsin School of Business became the first in the US to offer an MBA with STEM designation back in 2016. Students who opt for the track get an MBA focused in Operations and Technology Management. The track is backed by the Erdman Center for Operations and Technology Management, which brings together MBA and UW-Madison pharmacy students to create solutions to global tech challenges.View School Profile
In 2017, Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business launched an MBA certificate in management science and technology, which is STEM certified. About a quarter of the MBA class have enrolled on the optional course. Duke is one of the Ivy League of super elite US colleges. The business school is ranked 10th by US News.View School Profile
The University of Rochester’s Simon Business School in New York runs an entire MBA that is STEM designated. Since 1968, the school has always been a leader in “quant subjects” that rely heavily on math. Simon’s MBA is ranked by the Financial Times, The Economist, and US News.View School Profile
The University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business runs an MBA/Master of Science in Business Analytics dual degree, which is STEM certified. The two-year program prepares students for careers in an increasingly data-driven economy. The dual degree includes practical projects around the world, including trips to third-world countries to positively impact communities through agriculture, infrastructure development and micro-finance projects.View School Profile
The Terry College of Business, at the University of Georgia, offers an entire STEM MBA program. It can be taken over one year, significantly reducing the opportunity cost of not working, and students save on a year of tuition fees, too. The program is very affordable anyway, and the cost is halved for in-state residents.View School Profile
Foisie Business School, at Worcester Polytechnic Institute redesigned its MBA last year to focus on STEM subjects and earned the STEM designation. Students can concentrate on a myriad of subjects, such as information security management, process design, technology innovation, and sustainability. Foisie is AACSB accredited and was last year ranked among the top five business schools with the highest graduate starting salaries.View School Profile
USC Marshall School of Business recently introduced a STEM-certificated Management Science specialization for full-time MBA students. The new specialization will focus on data-driven decision making and analytics, skills which are in high demand among employers. In 2019, USC Marshall was ranked 17th nationally by US News. And Bloomberg Businessweek in 2018 rated the MBA was the 13th best in America.View School Profile
The Charlton College of Business has the “gold standard” of business school recognition: accreditation by AACSB International. The business school at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, has a STEM designation for its MBA specialization in business analytics. Virtually all companies across all industries are desperate for those with business analytics skills.View School Profile
The University of Connecticut, School of Business has STEM designation for a number of its MBA concentrations. The Business Analytics track, Digital Marketing Strategy, and Financial Management and Investments track are all STEM certified. Connecticut, an AACSB accredited institution, is ranked well by the FT, US News and Bloomberg Businessweek.View School Profile
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STEM MBAs Raise Overseas Demand at US business Schools
Aug 26, 2020
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MBA Programs for STEM Professionals: On the Rise
Apr 26, 2018
Not only do the courses address a skills gap but give graduates a 36-month US work visa