Top MBA Programs Get STEM-Certified to Attract Int’l Students

By - Dec 3, 06:00 AM Comments [0]

Here’s a question for all MBA applicants: what do you do if the product you are selling suddenly becomes significantly less appealing to your international markets? Evolving conditions have made your customers doubt your product is worth as much as you are charging, and fewer potential customers are taking the risk on your product. The answer that the top MBA programs identified: Reduce the risk and make the product more cost-effective!

I am speaking, of course, of the increasing number of American MBA programs that have earned STEM certification. As work visas to stay in the U.S. after business school and earn the salaries that international students need to pay off their student loans became harder to come by, international applications decreased. In fact, 48% of U.S. MBA programs reported a decline in international applications for their 2019 entering classes; 23% of U.S. MBA programs reported a significant decline (a 21% or more drop in international applications)!

To alleviate the uncertainty in the visa process, the American MBA programs have found a strategic differentiator: STEM certification. Graduates of certified science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) degree programs qualify for STEM OPT (Optional Practical Training), a 24-month extension of a student’s F-1 visa to apply the skills they learned in their STEM degree studies in full-time employment in the U.S.

While some MBA programs – such as Chicago Booth, Wharton, Virginia Darden – now offer specific concentrations that qualify international students for STEM OPT, others – such as Berkeley Haas, Carnegie Mellon Tepper, and Rochester Simon – qualify MBA graduates of all majors in their MBA programs for this extension.

Name of MBA ProgramMajors that are STEM designated
Berkeley HaasAll Majors
Carnegie MellonAll Majors
Chicago Booth1) Business Analytics
2) Analytic Finance
Cornell JohnsonTech MBA
Duke FuquaSecond Major in Management Science and Technology Management (MSTeM)
New York UniversityTech MBA
Northwestern KelloggManagement Science
MMM Program for Dual Engineering/MBA Degrees
Notre Dame MendozaMBA/Master of Science in Business Analytics Dual Degree
Pace UniversityMBA in Information Systems
Rochester SimonAll Specializations
University of Connecticut1) Business Analytics
2) Digital Marketing Strategy
3) Financial Analysis and Investments
University of Delaware LernerMajor in Business Analytics
University of Georgia TerryOnly open to U. of Georgia undergraduates; includes 45 majors
University of North Texas RyanMBA in Business Analytics
University of Wisconsin-Madison1) Specialization in Operations and Technology Management
2) Supply Chain Management
USC MarshallSpecialization in Management Science
Vanderbilt OwenFinance Concentration
Virginia DardenSpecialization in Management Science
Wharton1) Business Analytics (CIP Code 52.1301)
2) Actuarial Science (CIP Code 52.1304) [But this major is being discontinued after the class of 2020)
3) Business Economics & Public Policy (CIP Code (CIP Code 45.0603)
4) Operations, Information & Decisions (CIP Code 52.1399)

We’re going to do our best to keep this table current. However, please do not rely on this table; confirm the STEM designation yourself to make sure that the MBA programs you apply to really have that designation. And if you find out a school has attained STEM certification and is not on the list, please let us know by emailing

If you would like to learn how to get into top MBA programs that offer STEM OPT eligibility and are a good fit for you, register for a free consultation with me

At Accepted, we’ve helped hundreds of applicants get accepted to top MBA programs and look forward to helping you too!

by Jennifer Bloom, accepted admissions consultant

By Jennifer Bloom, admissions consultant at Accepted for 20 years and Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW). She is an expert at guiding you to produce application materials that truly differentiate you from the rest of the driven applicant pool. If you would like help with your application, Jennifer can suggest a number of options that work with any budget. Want Jennifer to help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch!

Related Resources:

• Navigate the MBA Maze, a free guide
• Highlights of Bloomberg Businessweek’s 2019 MBA Rankings
• International Application Volume Drops At U.S. Grad Schools

This article originally appeared on

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