A STEM-designated program is an academic program that falls under at least one of the approved categories from the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS). These categories are recognized by the government for their focus on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) topics.
The list of STEM topics is compiled based on the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) definition of a science, technology, engineering, and math field. This list is used to determine which programs qualify for STEM-designation and is updated periodically to add new fields.
How does a STEM-designated program benefit the United States?
With a decline in qualified STEM professionals and a number of positions going unfilled, these programs are crucial to producing professionals for fields that help the U.S.’s economic growth and overall competitiveness in the global market.
How does a STEM-designated program benefit a student?
The STEM-designation has been extremely beneficial to international students looking for work in the U.S. Traditionally, with an F-1 visa, you were eligible for up to 12 months of Optional Practical Training (OPT). OPT allows students to work towards getting practical training to complement their field of studies in the U.S. once they have completed their program. STEM students are allowed to apply to extend that period of time even longer (up to 24 months).
OPT is one of the best ways to earn a work visa or even possible U.S. citizenship. For the U.S., they attract and retain much-needed professionals in STEM-related industries.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has also classified STEM careers as having some of the greatest growth potential and the highest paying jobs for the 21st century. A STEM field education could be the most useful tool you have.
You can find the list of STEM fields that fall under the designation online. To learn more about our STEM-designated MBA-BA program, attend an info session.