In the past few years, several top MBA programs have earned a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) designation. Because STEM fields are considered essential to U.S. economic competitiveness and growth, the government grants non-citizen graduates of programs with STEM designation a dispensation to work in the United States longer without needing a visa. International graduates of U.S. business schools currently may hold U.S. jobs for only 12 months before needing an H1-B visa — a visa that has become harder to get amid a heated and protracted political debate on immigration. To address a shortage of qualified workers in STEM fields that by some estimates will grow to more than a million jobs by 2024, the federal government in 2016 created the STEM Designated Degree Program, which makes it possible for international graduates to remain stateside for an additional 24 months after graduation and receive training through work experience.
STEM designation is important to international applicants who are subject to work permit requirement and would need an H1B to stay in the United States after their OPT (Optional Practical Training) expires. STEM allows applicants to get a 3-year OPT instead of the 1-Year which in turn allows a much longer time-frame to find a job and provide applicants with four opportunities to get an H1B instead of just two, so it doubles the chances and buys time.
The STEM MBA degrees have proven popular, helping to increase MBA applications at many schools and increase interest among corporate recruiters, 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 following schools offer MBA or masters programs with STEM designation or a concentration with STEM designation:
- Harvard Business School
- MIT Sloan
- NYU Stern
- Duke University Fuqua School of Business
- The University of Chicago Booth School of Business
- Haas School of Business – University of California, Berkeley
- The Tepper School of Business – Carnegie Mellon University.
- The Stephen M. Ross School of Business – University of Michigan
- The Kenan–Flagler Business School – University of North Carolina
- University of Southern California (USC) – Marshall School of Business
- University of Virginia Darden School of Business
- Iowa State University Ivy College of Business
- University of Connecticut School of Business
- University of Delaware Lerner College of Business and Economics
- Pace University Lubin School of Business
- Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management
- Case Western University Weatherhead School of Management
- University of North Texas Ryan College of Business
- Purdue University Krannert School of Management
- University of Rochester – Simon Graduate School of Business Administration
- University of Massachusetts (UMass) Dartmouth – Charlton College of Business
- University of Notre Dame – Mendoza College of Business
- University of Georgia (UGA) – Terry College of Business
- University of Wisconsin, Madison – Wisconsin School of Business
- Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) – Foisie Business School