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Best STEM-designated MBA Programs in the US

Written by Shreya Berry

Shreya has expertise in writing engaging content for the readers and has a deep interest in unique applications of technology in various domains. She has worked closely on projects with Neil Patel Digital, Hindustan Times, News 18 and Shiksha.

December 3, 2020

A number of business schools have introduced a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) aspect into their MBA curriculum over the last three years. The STEM MBA Programs in the US trend is primarily a reaction to a substantial decline in foreign applicants, as a result of the Trump administration’s stringent visa standards and anti-immigration rhetoric, which is also related to a substantial scarcity of STEM jobs, with 2 million jobs projected to go unfilled by 2025. STEM graduates are entitled to prolong their stay in the US for a total of three years, making them much more attractive to employers, relative to the one-year visa given to most foreign MBA students. Compared to that of conventional MBAs, STEM graduates may also demand higher incomes. Increasingly common are STEM MBA programs, providing both domestic and international students with a variety of benefits. 

Another great part about enrolling in STEM MBA Programs in the US is that it opens doors for extended work visas. International students can apply for a 24-month extension for optional practical training, or OPT, which is usually a one-year work visa. Additionally, after OPT, students have the option of applying for an H1-B temporary work visa that can extend their stay in the US for a maximum of 3 more years.

Advantages Of STEM MBA Programs in the US

In such a saturated and volatile economy, STEM MBA Programs in the US offers students an edge over others by allowing them to reach the perfect combination of business and technical skills. Here are some distinct advantages of pursuing STEM MBA Programs in the US –

Scope of Employment

Currently, there is a dearth of skilled STEM MBA professionals in the United States. Furthermore, due to the strict immigration policies of the US, business schools are experiencing a decrease in international applications to their STEM MBA Programs in the US. Therefore, STEM MBA Programs in the US allows students the chance to learn from the best of faculty and snap up these vacant positions meant for STEM MBA Program graduates.

Career Prospects

Cyber Security – With the world moving towards a more data-driven direction, the industry cannot live without high-class cybersecurity professionals. Therefore, STEM MBA Programs in the US empower professionals to become the best versions of themselves in this segment. 

Data-driven Tech – The growing popularity of data-driven technologies has sparked the need for efficient business leaders who are educated in the nitty-gritty of data science. 

Energy Resource – As conventional sources of energy are fast depleting, it is imperative we make use of natural resources to produce energy. Students enrolled in STEM MBA Programs in the US are equipped with knowledge and skills to assess market impacts of industry and find solutions to the ongoing energy crisis. 

With choices ranging from electives to dual degrees to fully incorporated STEM MBAs, here’s a list of the top STEM MBA Programs in the US and how much they cost:

Wisconsin School of Business

STEM-designated MBA and STEM-designated master’s programs

  • Duration: 2 years
  • Tuition fee: $85,408

Duke University: Fuqua

Management of Science and Technology Management (MSTeM) certificate

  • Duration: 22 months
  • Tuition fee: $140,000

University of Rochester: Simon

MBA with a STEM-designated option

  • Duration: 2 years
  • Tuition fee: $94,000

University of Notre Dame: Mendoza

  1. Master’s in Business Analytics 
  • Duration: 10 months
  • Tuition fee: $59,817
  1. MBA/MSBA Dual degree
  • Duration: 2 years
  • Tuition fee: $103,000

University of Georgia: Terry

MBA program

  • Duration: 1 year
  • Tuition fee: $34,378

Worcester Polytechnic Institute: Foisie

  1. MBA specializations
  • Duration: 2 years
  • Tuition fee: $75,168
  1. Masters
  • Duration: 1 year
  • Tuition fee: $56,376

University of Connecticut (UConn)

Three electives in the full-time MBA Program

  • Duration: 16 months
  • Tuition fee: $76,424 for non-resident and $32,600 for residents

USC Marshall School of Business

STEM-certified management science certificate

  • Duration: 1 year
  • Tuition fee: $64,350

UMass Dartmouth: Charlton

The MBA program with an emphasis on business analytics

  • Duration: 1 year
  • Tuition fee: $36,425

UC Berkeley: Haas

MBA programs (full-time, part-time, and executive programs)

  • Duration: 1 year
  • Tuition fee: $129,304

Northwestern University: Kellogg

Majors and pathways in the MBA program

  • Duration: 1 or 2 years
  • Tuition fee: $101,288 for one year and $73,404/year for two-year

University of Iowa: Tippie

STEM-related masters degree in Business Analytics and Finance

  • Duration: 16 months
  • Tuition fee: $50,580 for Business Analytics and $52,407.00 for Finance

MIT: Sloan

Master’s in Business Analytics

  • Duration: 12 months
  • Tuition fee: $87,740

Carnegie Mellon: Tepper


  • Duration: 2 year
  • Tuition fee: $136,000

How To Use Your STEM MBA Programs in the US Degree To Find Employment

Here’s how you can use all the learnings from your 3 year STEM MBA Programs in the US to find a job

1. Once selected for STEM MBA Programs in the US, you will receive the Form I-20 from your business school. This document is essentially your certificate of eligibility for a non-immigrant status in the US and doubles up as a bonafide paper document of your information. “Non-immigrant” is how the Department of Homeland Security refers to visitors with a specific goal of being in the US.

2. Once you’ve received your Form I-20, you should proceed to apply for an F-1 student visa online by filling out Form DS-160. Bear in mind that after this, you will be required to schedule an interview at a US Embassy or Consulate. Once you’ve followed the instructions and submitted all the relevant documents, you will receive your F-1 student visa. Generally, student visas in the US can be issued up to 120 days in advance of the start date for a course of study. Do note however that you will not be permitted to enter the United States on your student visa more than 30 days before the start date. In order to enter the United States more than 30 days prior to the start of your program, you will be required to apply for a regular visitor’s visa.

3. While studying for your STEM MBA Programs in the US, you can apply for Optional Training Period (OPT). OPT basically means you are entitled to work for 12 months after graduation. Your OPT must directly coincide with your major area of study. 

Important note – During the Optional Training Period, students cannot be unemployed for more than 90 days, failing which, they will be in violation of their F-1 status and will be expected to leave the US or change their visa status.

4. By virtue of being enrolled in STEM MBA Programs in the US, you can extend your OPT by an additional 24 months. To do so, you will have to submit the Form I-765 and this must be done up to 90 days before your current OPT authorization expires. Do note that the Form I-765 must also be submitted within 60 days of the date your designated school official (DSO) enters the recommendation for OPT into your Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) record. Students enrolled in STEM MBA Programs in the US can also apply for the H1-B temporary work visa through their employer, after their STEM OPT extension. An H1-B temporary work visa can extend your stay in the US for a maximum of 3 more years after your combined STEM OPT of 36 months. 

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