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Peak of The STEM

Last updated on March 31, 2021

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Just one thing comes to mind – Thank you, Trump! Due to his anti-immigrant rhetoric, international students benefitted as business schools got their MBA programs STEM certified. Can you believe all of the top 25 MBA programs offer STEM certified MBA? The total number now is at a whopping 54 and this does not include the dual degree options. There’s an MBA program for every student now if you have a high GMAT score or not.

I debated even making this list (scroll down) now since the STEM race has maxed out. Let’s hope that the new Biden administration brings in positive change to the whole H-1B & Green Card situation and alleviate the pains of the highly skilled workforce.

If you’d like to discuss your profile and get a FREE consultation, please fill in this form and I’ll get in touch with you. Check out our tool MBA Matrix, where you can search and compare more than 300 MBA programs. You can say nice things to me on What’s App!

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So much for Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric, nothing major has happened – policy-wise! The max that has happened is increased scrutinising of H1B visa applications. The H1B visa applications are getting rejected for very basic mistakes. Ultimately, all this has led to US employers staying away from hiring International Students.

Is that the only thing that has happened though?

No! Perception of international students has changed towards US Business Schools. As is evident according to the recent article by Poets & Quants, the applications to American Business Schools have dropped up to 40% over the past 3 years and this trend is expected to continue in the years to come. IBIS World estimates that the higher education market in the USA stands at a whopping $487 billion. And I bet a major chunk of that pie comes from international students. Although the elite schools aren’t bleeding as much right now to lower their standards and realistically they will always have plenty of competitive candidates to choose from. But what would the remaining business schools do in such a situation?

Well, they will adapt! And they’ve adopted a STEM strategy!

Many business schools are getting their MBA’s certified by USCIS (DHS) as STEM. Mostly concentrations such as Data Analytics and Information Systems are getting STEM certified. If you do not know what STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) is or OPT (Optional Practical Training) extension is – just google and read up on it. Basically, the STEM-OPT extension offers an international applicant to live and work in the US of A for up to 3 years after graduation. There is minimal resistance by employers because they don’t have to file for your H1B right away as you have the authorisation to work in the USA. Now, going by the ROI and payback period research done by QS Top MBA, it takes on an average 55 months to recoup your investment done on an MBA. Even if you calculate the worst scenario – which is an unsuccessful H1B application, you can recoup a lot of your investment by working in the US of A for at least 36 months on an OPT.

If I were a betting man, I’d choose an MBA with a STEM track to improve my chances of a career in the USA. If your target school is not in the list below don’t fret! Business schools that currently do not offer a STEM concentration are focusing, for now, on promoting dual degree options such as MBA with MSBA (Masters of Science in Business Analytics) or MBA with MSIS (Masters of Science in Information Systems). Dual Degrees also aren’t a bad option if you don’t mind spending a little bit more and studying a little bit more.

Don’t worry since I’ve made you read so much, it won’t go unrewarded. Here’s a list of Business Schools I’ve populated that offer STEM certified MBA concentrations:

MBA with STEM certified concentrations

#Business SchoolU.S. News RankAverage GMAT
1Stanford GSB1734
3Chicago Booth3731
4Northwestern Kellogg3732
5MIT Sloan5727
7Berkeley Haas7725
9Yale SOM9730
10NYU Stern10721
11Virginia Darden11718
12Michigan Ross12719
13Duke Fuqua 12705
14Dartmouth Tuck12723
15Cornell Johnson15696
16UCLA Anderson16717
17USC Marshall17708
18Texas McCombs18704
19CMU Tepper19687
20UNC Kenan-Flagler20697
21Washington Foster20695
22Emory Goizueta22684
23Indiana Kelley23677
24Vanderbilt Owen23680
25Georgetown McDonough25694
26Rice Jones25710
27BYU Marriott30675
28Notre Dame Mendoza30665
29Washington Olin30695
30Rochester Simon35666
31ASU WP Carey35680
32Wisconsin Madison37670
33Ohio Fisher37679
34Pittsburgh Katz39633
35UC Davis48669
36Iowa Ivy College53610
37SUNJ Rutgers56664
38UCI Paul Merage67670
39Babson Olin72630
40University of Connecticut 74615
41Tulane Freeman74630
42Purdue Krannert80634
43Fordham Gabelli80657
44UC San Diego Rady87662
45Case Western Weatherhead88637
46Delaware Lerner99-131582
47Pace Lubin99-131499
48Willamette Atkinson99-131514
49Lehigh UniversityUnranked610
50Brandeis IBSUnranked604
51UNT Ryan CollegeUnranked545
52UMass CharltonUnranked510
53University of New HavenUnranked459
54ASU Thunderbird (MGM)Unranked601
55Worcester FoisieUnranked500
If I have missed any school please mention in the comment section below and I'll add them as well.


  1. Jorge
    Jorge September 17, 2019

    USC Marshall

    • Deep Agrawal
      Deep Agrawal September 18, 2019

      Hi Jorge,
      Thank you for your comment. I did check USC Marshall. It offers certificate in Business Analytics that is STEM certified, however, if you read its FAQs this certificate does not offer OPT extension. Check here If I have missed something please send the link along with your next comment. Cheers!

  2. Dhoomil
    Dhoomil November 21, 2019

    USC Marshall has specialization called Management Science which is STEM certified.

    • Deep Agrawal
      Deep Agrawal December 20, 2019

      Hi Dhoomil,
      Thank you for your comment. I will add it to the list above. As you may notice from previous comments USC Marshall wasn’t offering STEM certified concentration up until September so it is a newly approved program. Thank you once again!

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