An MBA from the US and subsequent employment in the country can be a tremendous opportunity for your career, as an international student. In recent years, many top business schools have invited international student applications by introducing STEM MBAs or specialization tracks that allow students to work in the US for up to three years and earn in American dollars. So what is STEM? How can you use a STEM MBA degree to work in the US, and which top-ranked business schools offer such STEM-certified programs? How much do they cost? This article will cover everything you need to know about top STEM MBA programs in the US.
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What Is STEM? Which Fields Are Included In STEM?
Management education in the US is a highly expensive monetary investment, with costs of a 2-year MBA touching prices of real estate you can purchase in metropolitan Indian cities. It is also difficult to recover the costs of an MBA from the US given that most business schools can help you stay in the US for a maximum of 12 months, allowing you to work and recover costs in USD instead of INR for that period. But that may not be enough. This is where the concept of a STEM MBA steps in.
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, and is a degree designation authorized by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) of the US Government that allows international students to stay and work in the United States for up to three years post-graduation. Fields that are considered STEM by the US Government include Management Science, Business Statistics, Quantitative Methods, Mathematics and Computer Science, etc.
A STEM MBA degree from an American business school is more than just an opportunity to extend your stay in North America and earn in USD; it is also an opportunity for you to up skill not just in the field of management but upcoming and highly in-demand skills that can get you a top job anywhere in the world. Additionally, it is an opportunity for you to experience the social and professional culture of a developed economy.
How Can I Use My STEM MBA Degree To Find Employment In The US For Three Years?
Here's how you can find employment for up to three years post graduation in the US if you pursue a STEM-certified MBA or STEM-certified specialization track:
1. After applying to a STEM MBA program and being selected, your business school will send you the Form I-20, which is essentially a certificate of eligibility for a non-immigrant status in the US, and is a paper record of your information. "Non-immigrant" is how the DHS refers to visitors with a specific goal of being in the US.
2. After you have received Form I-20, you can now apply for an F-1 student visa online by filling out Form DS-160. This will be followed by a scheduled interview at a US Embassy or Consulate. If all goes well, you will be issued an F-1 student visa. Student visas can be issued up to 120 days in advance of the start date for a course of study. However, you will not be allowed to enter the United States on your student visa more than 30 days before the start date. If you wish to enter the US more than 30 days prior to the start of your program, you'll need to apply for a regular visitor's visa.
3. During your MBA, you can apply for Optional Training Period (OPT) which allows you to work for 12 months of practical training after you graduate. The OPT must be directly related to the your major area of study. Please note that during your OPT, you cannot be unemployed for more than 90 days, failing which you will be in violation of your F-1 status and will be expected to leave the US or change your visa status.
4. If your MBA is STEM-certified, you can now opt to extend your OPT by an additional 24-months. You will be required to submit Form I-765 for application of employment authorization, and this must be done up to 90 days before your current OPT authorization expires, and within 60 days of the date your designated school official (DSO) enters the recommendation for OPT into your Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) record.
Please note that during your extended OPT, you cannot be unemployed for more than 60 days, or for a total of 150 days from the beginning of your OPT period. Additionally, your employer must meet all STEM OPT Employer Responsibility requirements listed by the DHS.
After your STEM OPT extension, you can also apply for the H1-B temporary work visa through your employer, and this will extend your stay in the US for a maximum of 3 additional years after your combined STEM OPT of 36 months.
Top B-Schools Offering Full-Time Two Year STEM MBA
The following are the top business schools which offer either an entire MBA program that is STEM designated or STEM designated concentration tracks and specializations in the field of management sciences such as business analytics, quantitative methods, business modeling, etc.
Next, take a look at the details of these top STEM MBA programs, including average GMAT/GRE scores, current batch profile, and important employment statistics.
The table above will be updated as and when more top business schools announce STEM-designated MBA programs or specializations in the coming years. It it is recommended that you do not rely entirely on this table and conduct your own research to find out which STEM MBA programs may be suitable for you.
Other Interesting STEM MBA Programs You May Want To Consider
- Cornell University: Johnson | One-Year Tech MBA
- New York University: Stern | One-Year Tech MBA
- University of Chicago: Booth | MBA/MPCS Dual Degree
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