Hidden MBA Gems: How These B-Schools Have Embraced The STEM Surge

Before designating its full-time MBA as a STEM program last month, Ohio State Fisher College of Business offered two specialized master’s STEM degrees. OSU photo






Rice (Jones)

All Master’s Degrees, Including MBA and Master of Accounting


Notre Dame (Mendoza)

MBA/Master of Science in Business Analytics Dual Degree


Vanderbilt (Owen)

MBA Finance Concentration; MBA Operations & Analytics Concentration


Washington (Olin)

Entire Full-Time MBA


Brigham Young (Marriott)

MBA Management Specialization


Minnesota (Carlson)

Master of Science in Business Analytics, MS in Supply Chain Management 


Penn State (Smeal)

Master of Science in Real Estate Analysis and Development, Master of Corporate Finance


Rochester (Simon)

All Specializations in Full-Time MBA



Full-Time MBA Specialization in Operations & Technology Management or Supply Chain Management


Ohio State (Fisher)

Entire Full-Time MBA, Master of Accounting, Specialized Master in Finance


Georgia (Terry)

One-Year STEM MBA Option for University of Georgia Undergraduates Majoring in a STEM Discipline


Pittsburgh (Katz)

Master of Business Administration with Business Analytics


Southern Methodist (Cox)

Master of Science in Finance, Master of Science in Business Analytics


Florida (Hough)

Master of Science in Information Systems and Operations Management, Master of International Business, Master of Science in Real Estate

No. 26 Rice University Jones Graduate School of Business

All Master’s Degrees, Including MBA and Master of Accounting

Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business moved all its master’s degrees to STEM as a “direct response to the data-driven business environment, employer needs, and student interest. Our Rice MBA graduates are known in the marketplace for broad problem-solving skills, reflecting a curriculum grounded in quantitative and data-analytic methodologies across the disciplines.”

Rice Jones Dean On Going STEM: ‘Timing Was Almost Perfectly Wrong’

Rice University Jones Graduate School of Business Dean Peter Rodriguez with students in 2019. Rice Jones photo

No. 27 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.”

No. 28 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.

No. 29 Washington University at St. Louis Olin Business School

Entire Full-Time MBA

According to the Olin School, school leadership applied for the STEM designation “after an analysis of 152 existing courses showed that at least 70% of them rated highly as ‘data-driven’ entries into the curriculum. Curriculum leaders have designated 84 core and elective courses that would satisfy requirements toward a STEM-designated degree. Those include courses such as Quantitative Risk Management, Economics of the Organization and Pricing Strategies.” Students seeking a STEM MBA must get at least half of their required 67 credits from a group of 84 courses. The required classes in the full-time MBA program add up to 28.5 credits worth of STEM-designated coursework.

No. 33 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.

No. 34 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.”

No. 36 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.

No. 37 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.

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