All The Major STEM Programs At U.S. Business Schools

Alabama photo

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, told Poets&Quants in May 2020. “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.”

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.

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.

Brigham Young University Marriott School of Business

STEM Management Specialization in Full-Time MBA

BYU’s new specialization, Management Science and Quantitative Methods—STEM Management, became available to all MBA students, regardless of their chosen tracks of study, in fall 2021, with the goal that the specialization “will better prepare them for the workforce with specialized skills and a competitive advantage.” The STEM management specialization requires students to take 15 credits of specific electives, in addition to the 12 credits of STEM-related classes already present in the MBA core. “These electives were chosen based on the descriptions of Classification of Instructions Programs (CIPs) that the United States Department of Homeland Security identifies as STEM-designated courses. The approved topics include applications of statistics, modeling, forecasting, data analysis, and risk management to business problems. The students must take at least one coding or programming class, one analytics or statistics class, and nine additional credits from a selection of approved tech-related or quantitively rigorous classes.”

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 2019 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.”

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.” In 2020, Dean H. Rao Unnava compared his school’s MBA curriculum to Rochester Simon’s.

University of California-Irvine Paul Merage School of Business

Entire Full-Time MBA

Merage School of Business specifically redesigned its MBA curricula, course content, delivery modes, and co-curricular programs “to create unparalleled learning experiences with a single goal: preparing you to propel your career and lead your organization to success in our digitally driven world.” The Merage FTMBA degree became fully STEM-designated in 2020, “dedicated to deepening student’s knowledge and leadership of Management Science and Quantitative Methods. The new Analytics in Digital Leadership concentration “has been designed for MBA students interested in deepening their knowledge of specific coding languages and analytical tools such as Python, SQL and Tableau. It was built to be aligned with managerial functions in data analytics, data science, business intelligence and strategy.

University of California-Los Angeles Anderson School of Management

Full-Time, Fully-Employed, and Executive MBAs; Master of Financial Engineering and Master of Science in Data Analytics

In June 2020, UCLA Anderson announced that it had received STEM certification for its full-time, fully-employed, and executive MBA programs, making it among a small number of business schools to receive the designation across its MBA programs, regardless of specialization. Two other degree programs at UCLA Anderson, the Master of Financial Engineering and Master of Science in Data Analytics, already were STEM-certified.

UCLA Anderson Dean Antonio Bernardo said the new STEM certification reflects the increasingly quantitative focus of the school’s MBA curriculum, in response to technological advances, employer needs and student interests. “Our MBA programs have always had significant quantitative elements, but as technology has advanced and more MBA students turn to tech careers, the number of data and quantitative courses in the MBA curriculum at Anderson has grown significantly,” Bernardo said. “This change is a reflection of that.”

University of California-Riverside School of Business

Entire Full-Time MBA

UC-Riverside’s MBA is a 21-month program that offers seven concentrations to tailor the MBA program to students’ career aspirations. Within each concentration, they will work with expert, award-winning faculty as mentors to explore new applied research opportunities. “The program builds upon strong theoretical foundations and helps students develop the hard and soft skills that managers, leaders and visionaries need to excel in their careers.”

University of California-San Diego Rady School of Management

All MBA Programs

Rady’s STEM certification “reflects the existing quantitative nature of the school’s MBA curriculum,” says MBA executive director Silvia McCallister-Castillo. “The Rady MBA has always emphasized the importance of quant skills for managers. Increasingly, we see that recruiters are placing a great deal of effort in finding candidates who are data savvy, comfortable with technology and keen to use sophisticated analytical tools to inform decision-making.”

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.