At first, it was about politics. (As always, it’s about cost, too.) Now, for some schools, it may be about helping students and alumni in an emergency.
For more than three years, business schools big and small in the United States have embraced STEM as a way to mitigate the losses of Indian, Chinese, and other indispensable international student populations in response to attrition caused by heated immigration rhetoric, higher tuition and cost of living, and other negative factors. Designating all or part of their MBAs and specialized master’s degrees as Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math programs allows B-schools to lure international students with the promise of legal standing to remain in the U.S. three times longer, making it an easy and popular move — if not nearly enough to offset the larger antipodal forces driving down both application volume and international enrollment.
Now another, even larger force has emerged. The coronavirus pandemic now wreaking havoc on admissions season — and commencement ceremonies, job prospects, freedom of movement, and so much more — has upended the graduate business education universe. The keenly felt chaos is ubiquitous — but with interesting side effects. While painfully disruptive on so many levels, the pandemic is also likely to become another big driver of the STEM movement in U.S. B-schools.
Recently two more programs joined the movement: Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business announced STEM designation for its full-time MBA last month, and on Thursday (April 16) its affiliated school, the Thunderbird School of Global Management, confirmed that a STEM designation is in the works there as well. But while ASU Carey’s move was in the offing for more than a year, Thunderbird is joining the crowded market of B-school STEM offerings amid the full throes of COVID-19. Dean Sanjeev Khagram tells Poets&Quants that his school is actively seeking the designation for its one-year Master of Global Management and, thereafter, select executive programs. Khagram says he expects the designation to be in place for the Thunderbird MGM within the year.
PIONEERS READ THE LAY OF THE LAND
International graduates of U.S. business schools currently may hold U.S. jobs for only 12 months before needing an H1-B visa. But there’s a workaround. In 2016, the federal government 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. That means students with STEM-designated master’s degrees can work in the U.S. for up to three years after graduation without a H1-B visa. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for STEM jobs will grow by 13% by 2027, with higher wages than non-STEM jobs: The national average for STEM salaries is $87,570, while non-STEM jobs earn roughly half as much, with an annual average of $45,700; and of course MBAs from top schools make a great deal more.
Reading the lay of the land, schools quickly began designing and offering STEM programs to take advantage of the new rules and attract new interest from foreign applicants. The University of Wisconsin-Madison was the first top-50 school, receiving STEM designation from the Department of Homeland Security for its concentration in Operations & Technology Management in 2016. The next year, Duke University added a STEM Management Science and Technology Management track to the Fuqua School of Business MBA program. And in 2018, the University of Rochester became the first school to have its entire MBA program designated as STEM. That December, Poets&Quants named the Rochester Simon MBA our Program of the Year.
Simon had tested the waters before plunging in with its MBA. The school gained STEM designation for its MS in Marketing Analytics and MS in Business Analytics in September 2016. Simon added STEM designation to its MS in Finance in December 2016 and to its MS in Accountancy in July 2018. Applications surged by 41.4% for all four programs, to 4,104 in 2017-2018 from 2,903 in 2013-2014. However, apps there and everywhere in graduate business education soon began their ongoing nosedive — fueling the STEM movement even more.
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IT’S ALL IN THE DATA
The chart above shows new STEM designations in 2019-2020. The past year going back to mid-2019 saw a veritable “STEM-pede,” with 19 major schools declaring STEM designation to some degree. The cause is plain to see in recent application data for the most common program represented, the MBA.
Of the 14 schools above for which we have sufficient MBA application data to make a three-year comparison (those in the top 25 of our 2019 ranking) the total number of applications dropped from 53,251 in 2016-2017 to 45,737 in 2018-2019, an overall decline of 7,514 apps or 14.1%. The biggest losses came at Indiana Kelley (-40.6%), UNC Kenan-Flagler (-38.5%), and CMU Tepper (-28.7%); the smallest were at Columbia (-2.2%), USC Marshall (-5%), and Chicago Booth (-5.2%). Throw Stanford Graduate School of Business into the mix — as P&Q reported in February, Stanford is working on STEM certification of some kind, though nothing has been officially announced — and, because GSB had a loss of only 10.2% over the last three cycles, the numbers improve slightly: a drop from 61,424 to 53,079 among 15 schools, equaling a decline of 8,345 or 13.6%. The average decline also improves with 15 schools instead of 14, to 17% from 17.5%.
Despite their embrace of STEM (but certainly not because of it), many of these programs are bracing for an application hit again this cycle, the most disrupted since the Great Recession a dozen years ago — though some hope for a jump in apps given gatekeepers’ relaxed requirements at some schools. In the midst of a suddenly tight job market, recently graduated international MBAs are pushing for retroactive STEM classification at several leading schools, including Harvard and Northwestern Kellogg, in the hope that having a STEM degree might qualify them for employment deemed essential — which is to say, less likely to be laid off. Meanwhile, criticism of B-schools’ “STEM-pede” continues to mount.
AT THUNDERBIRD, A TWO-PRONGED STRATEGY
In the past 18 months, Thunderbird Dean Sanjeev Khagram has overseen a $100 million facelift that includes the groundbreaking on a new state-of-the-art facility. The school, once left for dead, is on the rebound, with its new building slated to open in fall 2021. Now Thunderbird is expanding multiple programs and partnering with schools and companies worldwide, and within the year the school’s flagship Master of Global Management degree will have STEM designation to boast about.
Sanjeev Khagram. Thunderbird photo
All signs point toward a renaissance in the desert. Will COVID-19 derail or accelerate Thunderbird’s comeback?
“Obviously we’re all pivoting, but we’re quite confident in the kind of digitally enhanced delivery that we’re doing,” Khagram says. “Our faculty and students have really adapted, because of ASU’s digital innovation capacities for Thunderbird. As part of ASU, we’ve been able to transition to what we call ‘digital enhanced,’ digital face-to-face learning, rather than online learning. And that’s gone really well with our current programs.
“We are very strong believers that the world will open up again. Getting STEM is critical, because there’s lots of students from around the world who of course want to stay here and get work experience. But we’ve been very active with our regional centers of excellence around the world in Tokyo, in Nairobi, in Seoul, and soon we’re going to launch in Mexico City, in Sao Paulo, to create opportunities — job opportunities, internship and employment opportunities — for our students, to either go back to their home region or city or go to a different home city or region. Or for our American students to get out into the world. That’s really what makes Thunderbird unique.
“We have a two-pronged strategy for STEM that we’re going to keep advancing, so that we can support those who really do want to stay here, but also working with our alumni and our centers around the world to generate more employment opportunities — so that a student from India doesn’t have to just stay because they think that the United States is the only place. They can actually go to another part of the world.
“We are still continuing to believe that our global strategy has to complement the domestic STEM strategy to create job opportunities for our students.”
See the next pages for a complete list of STEM programs at U.S. business schools, along with course descriptions and links.
AND SEE OUR COVERAGE OF THE TOP SCHOOLS’ MOVE TO STEM:
NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY KELLOGG SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT
MIT SLOAN SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT
STANFORD GRADUATE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
COLUMBIA BUSINESS SCHOOL
UC-BERKELEY HAAS SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
DARTMOUTH TUCK SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN ROSS SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
YALE SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT
NYU STERN SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
CARNEGIE MELLON TEPPER SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
USC MARSHALL SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
UNC KENAN-FLAGLER BUSINESS SCHOOL
INDIANA UNIVERSITY KELLEY SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
UC-DAVIS GRADUATE SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT
JOHNS HOPKINS CAREY BUSINESS SCHOOL
Is your school’s STEM graduate program not included in the pages below? Let us know! Email Marc Ethier at [email protected] and we will add you to the story.

USC Marshall offers a STEM-designated specialization in Management Science in its MBA. USC photo
University of Southern California Marshall School of Business
MBA Specialization in Management Science; IBEAR MBA Program
Starting last fall, USC Marshall offered a new specialization “designed to combine data-driven decision-making and analytics with the overall MBA program learning objectives of developing a global and entrepreneurial mindset, building a deep understanding of business fundamentals, and leading high-performing teams,” Suh-Pyng Ku, vice dean for graduate programs, told Poets&Quants in May 2019. “The specialization in STEM-certified Management Science will require the students to enroll in STEM-qualified courses for about half of their electives program.” The new specialization requires 63 units including MBA core, management science electives, and general business electives and promises students will walk away with “the ability to demonstrate expertise in subjects such as statistics, data analytics, operations and supply chain optimization, finance, forecasting, and digital marketing and modeling to prospective employers increasingly valuing such skills.”
Effective June 2020, the IBEAR MBA program will offer a STEM track as part of its curriculum. Students who opt for this track as part of their IBEAR MBA curriculum will be pursuing the International Management Science (STEM) MBA Program.
Babson College F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business
Quantitative Finance Concentration in the Full-Time MBA; Business Analytics & Machine Learning Concentration in the Full-Time MBA; Master of Science in Finance; Master of Science in Business Analytics
“Rigorous, quantitative STEM training (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and Babson’s unique entrepreneurial mindset are a powerful combination, giving graduates of our STEM Masters programs a competitive edge in the market.” The Quantitative Finance major includes such executives as Financial Trading Strategies, Risk Management, and Financial Macroeconomic Data Analysis; the BAML major includes
Machine Learning Methods for Business, Marketing Analytics, and Programming for Business Analytics. The two specialized master’s degrees can be completed in nine to 16 months.
University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business 
Full-Time MBA Specialization in Operations & Technology Management or Supply Chain Management
Wisconsin’s STEM OTM specialization was the pioneer. Launched in 2016, it promised applicants they would acquire “leadership abilities, cross-functional business knowledge, and problem-solving skills needed to drive change and create value for organizations.” The specialization, supported by the Erdman Center for Operations and Technology Management, is for those with a background in engineering, science, or other areas of technology and operations who are interested in seeking advanced positions while priming themselves for future senior leadership roles. Those in it will “Gain broad and deep business and entrepreneurial skills from a flexible curriculum applicable to designing, managing, and improving processes and systems.” The supply chain management specialization is ranked 10th by Gartner among graduate supply chain degree programs in North America. Students undergo training in everything from data analytics and demand to the marketing, promotion, and sourcing of goods. Delivered through the Grainger Center for Supply Chain Management, the specialization “includes extensive experiences solving real-world issues under the direction of an engaged advisory board and alumni network.”
Duke Fuqua offers a “second major” in its MBA program that is STEM-approved. Duke photo
Duke University Fuqua School of Business 
Second Major in Management Science and Technology Management (MSTeM)
This program offers to “deepen your expertise in the tools, frameworks, and models that address managerial problems.” The MSTeM is not a concentration but a second major which “prepares students to both lead and direct analysis, and to get deeply involved with and understand the tools and models that should be utilized to inform and improve decisions.” Duke says the program prepares students for management and leadership roles in health, consulting, tech, and several other fields. 
University of North Texas Ryan College of Business
MBA with Business Analytics Concentration
Launched in fall 2019, the MBA with a Business Analytics concentration is designed to provide an extensive base of knowledge of managerial responsibilities. It has an 18-hour core, with 12 hours of required courses and six hours of electives. The program “is designed for students who desire a more general management background than an MS in Business Analytics, which has more of a specialization and focus in the field.” Career opportunities after completion of the MBA program through the Department of Information Technology and decision sciences are “abundant.” An MBA with a concentration in Business Analytics supports growth and development from two perspectives, the school says: “One, if you have an established career path, the concentration provides you the opportunity to gain the broader, more general perspective necessary for promotion to leading managerial positions. Two, if you are preparing for the business world, the combination of an undergraduate degree with an MBA concentration in Business Analytics provides an excellent foundation for additional career opportunities.”
The University of Georgia Terry College of Business offers a one-year STEM MBA for university undergrads majoring in a STEM discipline. Georgia Terry photo
University of Georgia Terry College of Business
One-Year STEM MBA Option for University of Georgia Undergraduates Majoring in a STEM Discipline 
The Georgia STEM MBA is a one-year degree option for current University of Georgia undergraduates majoring in an eligible science, technology, engineering, or math discipline. There are around 45 University of Georgia majors eligible for the degree option each year. The specialized program is designed for “high-achieving undergraduate students who want a broad base of foundational business courses and the business skills needed for professional advancement and career success.” The curriculum is comprised of eight core courses, an experiential learning course, a business intelligence course, and an additional elective of students’ choosing; additionally, the Communications and Career Effectiveness course offers instruction in effective leadership and communication. This accelerated program is 36 credit hours and can be completed in two semesters; interested applicants can apply during their final year of undergrad study.
University of Connecticut School of Business
MBA with Concentration in Business Analytics, Digital Marketing Strategy, or Financial Management and Investments
The MBA program at the University of Connecticut School of Business offers three concentrations that have STEM CIP, or Classification of Instructional Programs, code designations: Business Analytics, Digital Marketing Strategy, and Financial Management and Investments. Each track is 12 credits. 
The Charlton College of Business has a new STEM-approved biz analytics specialization. Charlton photo
University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth Charlton College of Business
MBA with Specialization in Business Analytics
The Charlton MBA “provides advanced study in management for those with business or non-business bachelor degrees.” It requires 30 credit hours and can be completed part- or full-time, on-campus or online. The Charlton MBA is “responsive to the changing demands of the global, technology-driven economy. Taught by leading business scholars and seasoned industry professionals, this advanced degree also offers you the option to concentrate in specific areas.” The school offers 10 concentrations; only business analytics is STEM-approved. 

Rochester Simon’s STEM MBA is the 2018 Poets&Quants Program of the Year. Rochester Simon photo
University of Rochester Simon Business School 
All Specializations in Full-Time MBA
Rochester Simon tweaked every part of its curriculum to become the first MBA program to be fully STEM-designated no matter what specialization a student chooses. MBAs at Simon can specialize in everything from brand management and strategy to asset management and venture capital and still get the precious STEM designation that especially appeals to international students.
Harvard Business School
Master of Science in Engineering Sciences and Master of Business Administration (MS/MBA) & MS/MBA Biotechnology: Life Sciences Program
HBS has two STEM degrees, both joint degree programs with other schools at Harvard. The first, launched in 2018, is the Master of Science in Engineering Sciences and Master of Business Administration (MS/MBA), operated jointly with the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. It is a two-year, full-time program that spans four semesters, augmented by additional summer and January term coursework. In the first year, students take a System Engineering course that “emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach to analyzing complex systems,” as well as the HBS MBA Required Curriculum which “conveys concepts and builds skills across disciplines relevant to general management, including marketing, organizational behavior and finance.” In the second year, students take electives at each school.
About the second degree, announced in June 2019, HBS says, “The world needs more leaders working at the intersection of science and society.” The MS/MBA Biotechnology: Life Sciences Program is a collaboration of HBS and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in the Harvard Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, and it aims rot equip students with “approaches to the science and medical aspects of entrepreneurial activities and will empower them to build organizations with the potential to transform human health.” The curriculum focuses on “an understanding of effective, sustainable structures for discovery and development, the ethical implications of new therapeutics, and equitable access to the fruits of therapeutic discovery.”
MIT Sloan School of Management
Entire Full-Time MBA Program; Sloan Fellows MBA; Sloan Executive MBA; Leaders for Global Operations Dual-Degree Program
STEM makes sense at few schools more than MIT, where fully a third — 33% — of current Class of 2021 MBA students carry undergraduate engineering degrees, and another 11% have math and science bachelor’s degrees. Nearly 20% have work backgrounds in tech, with another 10% coming from either the energy or industrial sectors. In the LGO program, MIT students can earn an MBA and a master’s degree in engineering in two years. They develop management expertise and technical abilities as joint students in the MIT School of Engineering and the MIT Sloan School of Management. The school partners with elite companies to provide research fellowships and place graduates in high-tech roles. Students finish with a master’s degree in engineering and an MBA.
Delaware Lerner offers a STEM-designated dual degree that gets grads an average starting salary of more than $80,000. Lerner photo
University of Delaware Lerner College of Business and Economics
MBA/MS Dual-Degree Program
The Lerner College MBA/MS dual-degree program promises that students will “master the tools you’ll need to use data to leverage assets, optimize outcomes and predict future results.” Located in central Delaware within a few hours of Washington D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, the growing tech scene of Wilmington, and the financial centers of New York City, the Lerner program boasts accomplished faculty and a diverse cohort. The school’s state-of-the-art facilities, such as the JPMorgan Chase Innovation Center and the Lerner College Trading Center, “are designed to foster collaboration among students, faculty and industry.” The average salary for graduates is north of $80K, and 96% of all students rated their overall educational experience within the Lerner graduate and MBA programs as excellent or good. 
Pace University Lubin School of Business
MBA in Information Systems
With a Lubin MBA in Information Systems, students can “take charge of technology transformations and gain a strategic advantage through a thorough grounding in critical business factors, specialized database and IT network knowledge, faculty who are experienced and well-connected in the field, and internships in leading organizations headquartered nearby.” The degree, which costs about $140K, gives grads the skills to lead an organization through strategic decisions about information systems, telecommunications, database administration, Internet technologies, systems analysis and design, and how they support the needs of the business.
What is Vanderbilt best known for? If you answered “finance,” you’re right. Vanderbilt photo
Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management 
MBA Finance Concentration; MBA Operations & Analytics Concentration
Vanderbilt is recognized worldwide for its finance faculty, who have received many awards for their research and teaching and also serve on prestigious editorial boards. The school’s finance courses provide students with a grasp of the fundamental techniques required for the practice of financial management. Relying upon extensive experience in the classroom, Vanderbilt continually updates the finance curriculum to incorporate the latest developments and important innovations in the markets, as well as academic research. For the Finance concentration, students must take eight credit hours of electives and can choose from such offerings as Risk Management, Derivatives Markets, and Financial Data Analysis; the Operations & Analytics concentration is open to MBA students beginning in the fall of 2020.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute Foisie Business School
Full-Time MBA
The MBA program for STEM professionals is “student-centered, inquiry-driven, and problem-oriented from start to finish and offers the flexibility to complete the degree requirements around your other obligations,” according to the Foisie School, which has around 14 MBA students. Total tuition cost: just over $75,000. The program boasts online learning and “robust” face-to-face interaction, with a format that emulates the real world as students work with faculty, form multidisciplinary teams, and “coordinate action across geographic distances, time zones, cultural perspectives, and languages.”
University of Pittsburgh Katz Graduate School of Business
Master of Business Administration with Business Analytics
This program requires students to complete the existing graduation requirements for both the MBA degree and the University of Pittsburgh Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics. Students immerse themselves in cutting-edge quantitative methods and analytical tools, statistics, data mining, and data-driven decision-making.

The Mendoza College MBA/MSBA dual degree allows students to blend a values-based business education at Notre Dame with a love of data. Notre Dame photo
University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business
MBA/Master of Science in Business Analytics Dual Degree
The first year in the Notre Dame Mendoza dual-degree program focuses primarily on MBA core courses, including an introduction to business analytics in the spring, to provide a foundation for students’ internship experience. In the second year, they complete MSBA and MBA required courses such as Data Storytelling, Machine Learning and Spreadsheet Decision Modeling, and select from a wide range of elective offerings to suit their career objectives. Each of four semesters consists of two seven-week modules, separated by a one-week inter-term intensively focused on developing and applying analytics skills. In four semesters, with 68 credits, students earn two degrees “and discover everything you’ve ever wanted to know about business and analytics.”
Iowa State University Ivy College of Business
MBA in Business Analytics, Information Systems, or Finance
The Ivy College offers a STEM MBA in Business Analytics, Information Systems, and Finance. The school’s full-time MBA is built around 10 core courses (30 credits) and six electives (18 credits), with core courses offered on the school’s Ames, Iowa campus in the Gerdin Business Building, home of the Ivy College of Business. Electives are offered in Ames, Des Moines, and online. Students may customize their MBA experience with optional specializations and international study tours, and they have access to “comprehensive and personalized academic and career services” and “faculty engaged in leading-edge research” who are “committed to teaching excellence.” Ivy has been especially successful of late in appealing to women graduate hopefuls.
Purdue University Krannert School of Management
MBA in Business Analytics and Information Management, Finance, Global Supply Chain Management, or Marketing
Purdue’s Krannert School launch a STEM-designated MBA degree option last fall, with four options for specializations: business analytics and information management, finance, global supply chain management, or marketing. The 60-credit-hour, four-semester STEM-designated MBA is based on statistics, computer applications, and data analysis, along with core business classes. “We believe this new degree option will be a perfect fit at Purdue, which is renowned for its excellence in STEM-related fields,” Greg Beaver, executive director of Krannert’s MBA, Master of Science and doctorate programs, said in 2019. “The four concentration areas give students the chance to personalize their degree by taking courses that are aligned with their career aspirations. They also will be able to gain valuable practical experience through collaborative opportunities with the Purdue Foundry, Discovery Park, and other campus incubators and innovation centers.”
Virginia Darden announced their new STEM-approved Management Science specialization in April 2019. Darden photo
University of Virginia Darden School of Business
MBA Specialization in Management Science 
The Virginia Darden management science specialization “will build on the required Darden core curriculum, offering students the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of quantitative and analytical skills and capabilities.” Students must complete 12 credit hours of selected courses with a quantitative and analytical focus. Courses are available in a range of academic areas, including Accounting, Economics, Finance, Quantitative Analysis, and Technology and Operations. Forty elective courses currently taught at the school will satisfy the requirement.
University of Alabama Manderson Graduate School of Business
The STEM Path to the MBA
Launched in Fall 2011, the STEM Path to the MBA allows high-achieving undergraduate students majoring in STEM disciplines to complete coursework to earn an MBA from the Manderson School in only one calendar year beyond the completion of an undergraduate degree. When the program launched — five years ahead of Wisconsin — Alabama Manderson was ranked 78th by U.S. News. “We began graduating students in 2016 (we’re a five-year program) and this year we moved up to 41st in the U.S. News rankings,” Robert Morgan, program director, tells Poets&Quants. “We recruit incoming freshmen who hold at least a 28 ACT (our average is 32.1) and 3.5 high school GPA (our average is 4.17), who are intending to major in a STEM discipline. STEM for us includes engineering, computer science, math, life sciences, physical sciences, and all of the healthcare professions. Students, beginning in the fall of their freshman year, take a 1.5-credit-hour STEM Business Honors course each semester that they are undergrads, where we introduce them to the various business disciplines and do lots of small group innovation projects and presentations. They typically formally apply to the MBA in the fall of their junior year, take their first MBA courses during the summer between their junior and senior years, and then do the bulk of their MBA studies during the 12 months after graduating undergrad.”
Case Western University Weatherhead School of Management
MBA STEM Track
One of the newest STEM MBA options is Case Western’s offering, announced in September 2019. It promises graduates they will “benefit from Weatherhead’s comprehensive MBA approach while developing specific knowledge essential for a career in leadership.” The STEM MBA was designed with “a strong management core and STEM MBA electives offered in Corporate Finance, Business Analytics and Operations. Courses include Quantitative Risk Modeling, Advanced Marketing Analytics, Six Sigma and Quality Management Predictive Modeling and Artificial Intelligence.” Case Western’s STEM MBA is just the latest STEM business program offered at the Cleveland, Ohio school; earlier this year it added a STEM track in Accounting to go with already established tracks in Business Analytics, Finance, and Operations Research & Supply Chain degree programs.
Alan B. Miller Hall at the William & Mary Mason School of Business. W&M photo
College of William & Mary Raymond A. Mason School of Business
MBA/MSBA Dual Degree
This course of study allows students to merge the business acumen and leadership from the MBA curriculum with the highly technical skills from the MSBA to solve complex problems in today’s workplace. Candidates must apply to the MBA and MSBA programs separately to pursue the dual degree.
University of Tennessee-Knoxville Haslam College of Business
MS-Business Analytics (MSBA); Dual MBA/MSBA; Dual MBA/MS Engineering
The curriculum at the MS in Business Analytics at the Haslam College “emphasizes small cohorts, career coaching, and team building to reflect real-world business dynamics,” according to the school. Students learn to use advanced analytical techniques, develop skills in R, SQL, and Python, and maximize learning through professional case studies and presentations. The 62-credit MBA/MSBA “brings the full power of mathematical, statistical, and computer-based models to the world of business, developing graduates who can successfully bridge the sizable gap that currently exists between the practical aspects of business and the analytical capabilities enabled by information systems,” the school says. “The analytic skills taught encompass four overlapping areas: business intelligence, data mining, process optimization and applied statistics.” In the 60-credit, MBA/MS Engineering, grads learn “to take a leading management role in companies that must react quickly to a dynamic market where forces of competition require rapid changes via short cycles in design, manufacturing and product development.”
UC-Berkeley Haas announced STEM designation for all three of its MBA programs in November 2019. UC-Berkeley Haas photo
University of California-Berkeley Haas School of Business
Entire Full-Time MBA; Evening & Weekend MBA; Executive MBA
In November the Haas School became one of the first elite B-schools to establish STEM designation in all of its MBA programs — full-time, Evening & Weekend, and executive. ““I think a lot of us feel that it was a good step and appropriate to what we’re doing,” says Peter Johnson, assistant dean of the full-time MBA program and admissions. “And of course students will be happy, because it creates the opportunity for them to apply for the extension, assuming of course that they are taking post-MBA roles that are relevant to that classification.”
Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management
Management Science Major in Full-Time MBA
Kellogg’s new Management Science major focuses on “the application of analytical techniques, tools, and models across the school’s academic disciplines,” according to the major’s webpage. The newest addition to the Kellogg MBA curriculum will explore a variety of topics, including how to use big data efficiently to understand capital markets and how to apply analytical techniques to solve business problems. “Students,” the webpage reads, “will deepen expertise across disciplines by learning techniques that can be applied to the analysis of problems of business organization and performance.”
University of Michigan Ross School of Business
Business Analytics Track in Full-Time MBA
Michigan Ross’ new STEM track “represents a significant move within the Full-Time MBA curriculum … allowing students interested in pursuing quantitative management and business analytics roles across many industries to participate in a formal program. ‘Business analytics has become essential in helping organizations make strategic business decisions, and we are excited to announce this new pathway for our Full-Time MBA students who are interested in pursuing STEM-related careers in business,’ says Scott DeRue, dean of Michigan Ross.”
Johns Hopkins’ STEM designation for its MS in Marketing was announced in September 2019. Three other graduate degrees at the Carey School are also STEM. JHU photo
Johns Hopkins Carey Business School
Master of Science in Marketing
The JHU MS in Marketing “develops skills and data use for a deeper understanding of the market, the profile of the market on a granular level, and develop targeted customer experience strategies based on real-time customer feedback.” It “prepares students to meet the demand for capable and confident marketing professionals who understand the digital economy, global, and start-up environments,” and includes a STEM-designated concentration in Marketing Analytics.
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Kenan-Flagler Business School
Business Analytics & Management Science Concentration in Full-Time MBA
for students interested in developing the analytics skills to make informed, data-driven strategic business decisions. Coursework provides a broad and in-depth view of statistical modeling, data management and data visualization. These highly marketable skills will prepare you for a variety of leadership roles across industries, including energy, retailing, consumer packaged goods, fintech, biotechnology and healthcare.
Yale SOM
Yale School of Management
Management Science Concentration in MBA, Master of Advanced Management; Entire Master of Asset Management
“We are delighted to have created this optional concentration in Management Science for our MBA and MAM students,” says Anjani Jain, deputy dean for academic programs and professor in the practice of management. “Yale SOM offers a large selection of leading-edge courses covering all aspects of data analytics, mathematical modeling, and optimization. The concentration signals the student’s depth of knowledge in this domain of great importance to leaders of organizations.”
Wake Forest University School of Business
Master of Science in Business Analytics; Master of Science in Accountancy
Wake Forest’s MSBA program aims to develop leaders “who can leverage analytics skills with business acumen and add immediate value to any organization across a wide range of industries.” On-campus or online, students “are given the technical skills, business acumen, and experiential learning” to drive analytics into action. The newly STEM-designated MSA program is a two-semester, 30-credit program that begins each summer and offers structured CPA Exam prep at the conclusion of the spring semester, with graduation in May.
Wake Forest also offers an optional third semester that includes the opportunity to pursue a paid internship. The nine-week paid position “is for those who enter the program without previous internship experience, or those who want to gain additional experience with a company prior to accepting a full-time offer.”

Dartmouth Tuck’s STEM announcement came in January. Tuck photo
Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business
Management Science & Quantitative Analysis Track in Full-Time MBA
On January 17, Tuck faculty approved an option for MBA students to earn formal recognition for significant learning in management science and quantitative analysis. “The growing interest in analytics tools and careers among current and prospective students was noted by the Tuck faculty during the recent core curriculum review process, resulting in an expanded focus on analytical skills in the refined core curriculum,” says Joseph Hall, senior associate dean for teaching and learning. The new option will designate a portfolio of courses across the Tuck curriculum from which interested students can select to deepen their knowledge in analytics.”
University of California-Davis Graduate School of Management
Entire Full-Time MBA
UC-Davis’ STEM designation reflects “the quality of the nationally ranked program and a rigorous curriculum emphasizing quantitative analysis and data-driven decision making. Innovative application of data in business decision making has become a highly valued skill demanded by employers — especially here in Northern California and Silicon Valley,” the school says. “There is strong demand for UC-Davis MBA graduates in STEM-related roles.” Dean H. Rao Unnava compares his school’s MBA curriculum to Rochester Simon’s.
Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business
Entire Full-Time MBA
The Tepper School boasts of a number of recent changes “to strengthen students’ foundational experience in management science, including new course offerings that intersect with business and technology; interdisciplinary experiential learning opportunities; and the adoption of more sophisticated analytical tools used throughout the program.” As outgoing Dean Robert Dammon says, “Technological innovation and the ubiquity of data are rapidly changing business and society. At the Tepper School, we are educating future business leaders to utilize technology, data, and analytics to make better business decisions and solve complex problems that impact our world.”
Arizona State’s W.P. Carey School of Business announced in March that its MBA would be classified as a STEM program. ASU photo
Arizona State University W.P. Carey School of Business
Entire Full-Time MBA
The STEM designation announced by the Carey School shows its “continual focus on the growing worldwide demand for well-rounded, analytical thinkers in the workforce,” Dean Amy Hillman says. “As companies and our business partners rely more on analytics, we evolved our programs to stay future-oriented, making sure our students graduate with the technical skills employers need.” The designation applies to all five Carey MBA platforms: Full-time, Professional Flex, Executive, Online, and the new Fast-track MBA.
Cornell University Johnson Graduate School of Management
Johnson Cornell Tech MBA
The 2017 Poets&Quants Program of the Year prepares students for career success in the digital economy. An MBA “designed to transform tech-focused individuals into business leaders and entrepreneurs, this one-year program is where networks, industry, and experiential learning combine.” According to the school, in the program “MBAs work with engineering, law, and computer science students to produce visionary ideas grounded in significant needs. This MBA program is all about real-world experience in ideation and creation.”
The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania
Majors in Full-Time MBA: Actuarial Science; Business Analytics; Business Economics & Public Policy; Business, Energy, Environment & Sustainability; Operations, Information & Decisions; Statistics
The Wharton School offers five STEM majors in its full-time MBA. Among them: Business Analytics, which “gives students state-of-the-art tools and techniques for solving business problems with real-world data; Business Economics & Public Policy, which “brings theoretical tools and practical experience to bear on the relationship among business, government, and society”; and Statistics, which “teaches students to develop a systematic and effective approach to data, draw inferences and conclusions, and communicate results.” Courses in the latter major include “a rigorous training in the fundamentals of statistical theory to applications of popular methodologies, such as regression analysis and forecasting.”
Indiana Kelley’s move to make five disciplines within its MBA STEM was announced in early March. Kelley photo
Indiana University Kelley School of Business
Five Majors in Full-Time MBA: Accounting, Business Analytics, Finance, Marketing, and Supply Chain & Operations
Indiana Kelley reported 36% internationals in the fall 2019 intake, a rebound to 2016 levels. But the school isn’t resting there: Among the measures it took this year to address the new reality of general declining interest in full-time MBA programs, Kelley will offer STEM-designated MBA degrees in five disciplines: Accounting, Business Analytics, Finance, Marketing, and Supply Chain & Operations. The change will cover all Kelley MBA students graduating with those majors in 2020 or later. “STEM helps with international students finding jobs in the U.S., helps bring them to Kelley, helps Kelley attract corporate partners who haven’t worked with us before,” says Ash Soni, executive associate dean for academic programs. “It’s a no-brainer.”
New York University Stern School of Business
Entire Full-Time MBA; 1-Year Andre Koo Technology & Entrepreneurship MBA
“This has clearly become an important issue for international students as they are looking at MBA programs and potential higher-education opportunities,” says JP Eggers, NYU Stern’s vice dean for MBA programs and academic director of the Andre Koo Technology and Entrepreneurship MBA, which like the full-time MBA is STEM-designated. “Three or four years ago, nobody was talking about this and now everyone is talking about it. We’ve certainly had a number of students who’ve asked about the designation; many have mentioned that they were specifically happy when the Tech MBA was designated as a STEM program. There’s no good way to run a case control analysis where we could tell what would have happened in terms of interest or applications or whatever if it hadn’t been designated.
“So it’s hard to tell, but to me that is a secondary part of this. It’s really around doing the most we can for our students.”
Syracuse University Whitman School of Management
MS in Business Analytics; MS in Finance; MS in Marketing; MS in Supply Chain Management
Students in the MS in Business Analytics program at the Whitman School complete 36 credit hours of courses “that develop an interdisciplinary understanding of the applications of analytics to the fields of accounting, finance, marketing and supply chain management by using techniques for data collection, data visualization, statistical and pattern analysis and data mining.” Benefits of the Finance program include “access to current market data, live news feeds, software for analysis and other resources used by professionals in the field” and “preparation for Bloomberg certification and professional exams, such as CFA, FRM, and CAIA designations.”
Chicago Booth’s MBA is entirely STEM-designated. Chicago Booth photo
University of Chicago Booth School of Business
Entire Full-Time MBA
Chicago Booth’s MBA places an emphasis on “analyzing problems, generating key insights, and implementing creative solutions,” making it ideal for STEM designation. “We stress the importance of asking questions and examining ideas. You’ll gain a superior ability and confidence to handle situations where there are no predetermined answers.”Foundation courses focus on developing analytical tools and knowledge that supports the rest of the curriculum. Functions, Management, and Business Environment courses cover “basic business functions (finance, marketing, and operations); management (decisions, people, and strategy); as well as the business environment in which firms operate.” There are 13 available concentrations, including Analytic Finance and Business Analytics.
Columbia Business School
Entire Full-Time MBA
Reflecting the integration of technology and data analytics into the school’s curriculum, Columbia Business School’s MBA and Executive MBA (EMBA) programs were officially designated STEM programs retroactive to the school’s May 2019 graduates. Calling the STEM designation a vital enhancement to the MBA and EMBA programs, Dean Costis Maglaras emphasized the school’s commitment to providing all graduates with the knowledge and skills they will need to thrive in rapidly evolving, data-driven industries.
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