3 New B-Schools Go Full Steam Ahead with STEM MBAs

A growing number of top business schools have embraced the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) designation. Courses of study under the STEM umbrella allow students to take their analytical skills to a deeper level. While the STEM MBA offers essential benefits for all students, international students should note one perk in particular.

Namely, F-1 visa students graduating from STEM-designated programs may apply for a 24-month extension to their post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT), providing up to 36 months of temporary employment in the United States.

So, who’s joined the STEM train this month? Let’s take a look.

Kellogg School of Management


Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management has launched a STEM pathway, the school announced late last week.

The newest addition to the Kellogg MBA curriculum will explore a variety of topics. In particular, how to use big data efficiently to understand capital markets. Plus, how to apply analytical techniques to solve business problems.

According to the major’s webpage description, Kellogg’s new Management Science major focuses on “the application of analytical techniques, tools, and models across the school’s academic disciplines.”

Tepper School of Business


Earlier this month, the Tepper School of Business announced that its MBA program had become a STEM-designated program. Tepper has made several changes over the past two years to strengthen students’ foundational experience in management science.

This includes new course offerings that intersect with business and technology. In addition, Tepper offers interdisciplinary experiential learning opportunities. And finally, it has adopted more sophisticated analytical tools for use throughout the program.

“We have always placed strong emphasis on quantitative expertise as a crucial management skill,” says Kate Barraclough, head of the MBA Program. “These are the skills that are in high demand from employers. Across every industry, employers are looking for MBA graduates who are analytical thinkers and data-driven decision makers.”

UC Berkeley Haas School of Business


Berkeley Haas is among the first business schools to receive STEM designation in all three of its MBA programs. The STEM OPT extension is retroactive to December 2018.

“We anticipate that this will lead to expanded opportunities for our international graduates who pursue jobs incorporating business analytics, modeling, forecasting, and other skills developed through our program,” said Peter Johnson, assistant dean of the full-time MBA program and admissions.

The MBA programs received the STEM designation after a campus review of how the programs are categorized by the National Center for Education Statistics under a Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code.

The new code defines the Berkeley Haas MBA as “a general program that focuses on the application of statistical modeling, data warehousing, data mining, programming, forecasting, and operations research techniques to the analysis of problems of business organization and performance.”

After the review, the Haas MBA degree programs were changed from “Business Administration and Management, General,” to “Management Science,” which is considered a STEM program.

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