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International applications to U.S. MBA programs declined 10% from 2017-18 according to the Graduate Management Admission Council, a big part of why overall applications have declined the past few years. Fewer international students are applying because the recent visa restrictions have limited those students to working only one year in the U.S. after graduation. One solution some schools are implementing is to provide more coursework in STEM-related subjects so the programs can be designated STEM, which allows a visa extension of two additional years.
These new programs offer students a mix of business and technical education, with more of an emphasis on data analytics and technology. Here are some top schools offering students a STEM designation:
Duke University Fuqua School of Business MBA students can take a second major in Management Science and Technology Management (MSTeM). This certification offers all the benefits of a STEM certified Master’s program. In the class of 2018, 80% of international students pursued this certification.
University of Rochester Simon Business School Simon was the first school in the country to offer MBA students a STEM designation regardless of specialization. Dharan Chandrahasan, 2018 Simon MBA graduate, said, “The STEM designation was very valuable because of the strong analytical requirement in almost every role in the industry post-MBA. This improves the employability and openness of the companies in hiring candidates. Given that many of my courses had a strong analytical and mathematical bent, I found myself much better prepared for my post-MBA work.”
Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business Mendoza’s MBA/Master of Science in Business Analytics Dual Degree is STEM designated and part of the traditional MBA two-year cohort.
NYU Stern Stern’s Andre Koo Tech MBA is STEM designated, one-year full-time program with students entering in May. The program includes a business core, technology core, experiential learning, and elective courses.
USC Marshall Marshall has a STEM-certified Management Science available for full-time MBA students. The new specialization is effective as of the fall 2019 semester for members of the MBA Class of 2021, with availability for the Class of 2020.
University of Wisconsin Wisconsin has two STEM-designated specializations within the traditional MBA program: the operations and technology management and the supply chain management specializations.
UVA Darden Darden offers a concentration in management science that is STEM certified as part of the full-time two-year MBA. The offering rolled out in Spring 2019 and 90% of the class of 2019 earned the specialization. Students may also opt for an MBA dual degree with a Master’s in Data Science, which is also STEM-designated.
Harvard Business School HBS offers two STEM designated degrees, both joint degree programs with other schools at Harvard: the MBA/MS in Engineering Sciences and the new MBA/MS in Biotechnology: Life Sciences.
Vanderbilt The finance concentration within Vanderbilt’s MBA program is designated a STEM degree as of Fall 2019.
As more employers seek graduates with strong data analytics experience, more schools will begin to offer the STEM designation, either as a joint degree with an MBA, a certificate or major within an MBA program, or a separate Master’s degree. According to GMAC, schools that have offered STEM designations have seen an 8% increase in international applications from 2017 to 2018 so look for other schools to join this list in the near future.