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The Ultimate Guide for STEM Courses in USA (2022)

Written by  Rachit Agrawal, MBA

Published on Thu, February 22, 2018 7:51 AM   Updated on Tue, March 22, 2022 10:15 AM   12 mins read
Source: BBHCSD Media

Basically, STEM Courses in the USA are the degree courses in the fields related to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths. It is predicted that the US would experience a shortage of workforce in advanced areas related to these designated fields.

STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, and it is a clustered education system in the United States that focuses on these subjects. STEM enables students to flourish in all four areas in an integrated way. The four disciplines are not taught separately; rather, STEM helps students combine all four of them to prepare them for real-world applications. Professionals that are related to STEM subjects are extremely essential in the United States. It aids in determining the country’s long-term future and other factors such as economic, scientific, and technological advancement.

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What are STEM courses in USA?

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. It is an education grouping that refers to studies in four disciplines. Encourages educating students in an applied and interdisciplinary approach. It also includes the subdisciplines within the four fields. In USA stem courses integrate all four subjects rather than teaching them separately so that students get ready for their applications in the real world. This degree offers a hands-on approach and prepares students for a world that needs more engineers, researchers, computer scientists and professionals from other STEM fields.

Benefits of STEM courses

Here are some of the major advantages of studying STEM courses in the United States of America:

  • STEM allows students to work with the latest and the most advanced technologies and encourages them to find creative and innovative solutions for real-world problems. 
  • STEM courses might help learners find new cures for mysterious and incurable diseases. 
  • Students get to learn from people who are really passionate about everything they do. 
  • STEM courses in the USA follow an interdisciplinary and hands-on approach which enables students to apply their learning and knowledge in the real-world immediately after they graduate. 
  • The course promotes development of communication skills, research, adaptability and taking the initiative. 
  • There are several job opportunities for candidates having a STEM degree offering high salaries as compared to other disciplines. 

STEM courses also offer other benefits which are country-specific. For instance, in the USA, international graduates can stay in the country for up to 1 year and work. This period is known as Optional Practical Training and the candidate has to get a job in the same field as they graduated. International graduates in STEM are allowed to extend this period by another 2 years.

There is more to this list. You can choose from over 300 programs. There are many courses offered in the areas related to Science and technology touch almost every aspect of our lives. It is important that you should choose the right specialization that you are interested in. STEM has an immense opportunity and can provide you with the best jobs.

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STEM programmes in USA 

There are over 300 courses offered to students all over the world that fall under the field of Science and Technology. However, students should choose the right specialization as per their preferences and calibre.

We have enlisted some of the prominent STEM courses offered by the top institutions in the USA: 

  • Biochemistry 
  • Civil Engineering 
  • Surveying Engineering 
  • Forest Engineering 
  • Geographic Information Science and Cartography
  • Mining and Mineral Engineering 
  • Computer Software Engineering 
  • Computer Science
  • Palaeontology
  • Mathematics 
  • Network and System Administration
  • Plant Sciences
  • Zoology
  • Physics
  • Petroleum Technology 
  • Nutritional Sciences
  • Meteorology 
  • Geology
  • Mechanical Engineering 
  • Chemical Engineering 
  • Agriculture Engineering 
  • Astronomy

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Eligibility for STEM courses 

The eligibility criteria for STEM courses in the USA is different for every university and course. Each applicant has to fulfil certain common requirements like USA student visa, English Language Proficiency proof and academic qualifications.

The eligibility criteria for STEM courses in the USA is:

  • Students must have a 3 – 4 year bachelor’s degree in the STEM field. 
  • The applicant must have an F-1 visa status.
  • Applicants need to submit all the necessary documents as stated by the university 
  • Applicants should check whether they are eligible for OPT or not beforehand. 
  • GMAT/GRE scores are required to be submitted by students along with English Language Proficiency scores of either IELTS, TOEFL or PTE.

Requirements for STEM courses in the USA 

Along with the application students are required to submit the following documents in order to enrol for a STEM course:

  • Official Academic Transcripts 
  • Scanned Passport Copy
  • Resume/CV
  • English Language Proficiency Test scores
  • Statement of Purpose 
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Two Reference Letters
  • Applicants at the postgraduate level also have to submit a translation of the degree certificate if the certificate is not in the English language.

How to apply to STEM programs in USA?

Candidates with a STEM degree and right now in the year OPT period:

Stage 1:

  1. Confirm whether your year OPT data is right
  2. Once you know that your current location and business data is right, you can continue to Step 2.
  3. If it is the case that chance that your current location and business data isn’t right, you must present a 12-Month OPT Report. (Do not ask for another I-20 in the year OPT report webform; simply present the data changes. You will ask for another I-20 in for a different two-year STEM OPT I-20 ask for webform beneath).
  4. ISS must assure the year OPT data in your SEVIS record is specific and refreshed before preparing your STEM OPT I-20 to ask.

Stage 2:

  1. Candidate needs to complete and present the STEM OPT Extension I-20 Request to ISS Finished I-765 Form
  2. It is alright to leave the E-Verify field empty in the I-765 Form in this circumstance. ISS keeps up a list of bosses who don’t share the E-Verify number with university experts on the grounds which the businesses will present the OPT expansion application for their workers. It may happen that on the off chance, your manager isn’t on the rundown, your ISS consultant may get in touch or contact you to request an affirmation letter from your boss that states their strategy.
  3. Pay the $200 Post-Completion Training charge after August 17, 2018. Make assured to spare a duplicate of your email receipt – you will be required to submit a duplicate with your STEM OPT Extension I-20 ask.
  4. Submit the STEM OPT Extension I-20 Request to online only.

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Best Colleges For STEM Courses in the United States of America 

The United States of America has a rising demand for STEM-related fields because of multiple reasons. The country’s goal is to develop a scientific and technologically advanced workforce coming from these areas. 

Many prestigious universities in the USA are encouraging students to take STEM courses so that they can take up positions in the designated domains in the future. Here is a list of some of the top universities that you should consider if you are planning to pursue a STEM degree:

New York University 

The Tandon School of Engineering of New York University is considered the best institution for exploring IT courses and Science courses. It has given the world some of the finest pioneers in innovation and technological invention. 

Columbia University 

Columbia University is a great university for pursuing a STEM degree and is also of the 8 ivy league universities. It’s School of Engineering and Applied Science offers several courses across a wide range of disciplines. 

University of Southern California 

The Viterbi School of Engineering of the University of Southern California is considered a fine global college for Computer Science and Engineering. The school offer various programs across a wide range of disciplines like Engineering, Mathematics, Science, Technology and Information Technology. 

Massachusetts Institute of Technology 

MIT falls under the category of top universities in the world. The courses offered in Engineering, Computer Science, Mathematics and Information Technology are world-renowned. MIT is a leading university in terms of scientific research and technological advancements.

California Institute of Technology 

Caltech is a very competitive university when it comes to STEM courses. Some of the most renowned STEM personalities have been a part of this university. The university offers a huge collection of STEM courses with specializations in multiple disciplines. 

STEM Courses in the USA without GRE

GRE test scores are one of the entry requirements for students planning to study in the United States of America. Many universities require students to submit GRE scores, however, a few admit students without GRE.

We have enlisted some of the most popular universities that allow students to apply for STEM courses without GRE:

  • California State University Sacramento 
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
  • Stevens Institute of Technology 
  • University of Dayton 
  • University of Pittsburgh 
  • New Mexico State University 
  • University of Northern Virginia 

1 year STEM Courses in the USA 

The United States of America has some of the top universities for STEM courses. Prestigious universities like Harvard University, MIT, Columbia, Stanford University are quite popular for one-year STEM courses with specializations in various areas such as Astronomy, Architectural Engineering, Biochemistry, Behavioral Science, Biomedical Technology, Botany, Computer Science, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Chemistry and so on. 

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Online STEM Courses in the USA 

The worldwide lockdown induced many top universities to introduce online courses and distance learning courses in various fields. Some of the most renowned universities in the USA like John Hopkins University, Harvard University, Boston University and University of Florida offer STEM courses online at the postgraduate level for international students. Students who wish to garner quality education from around the world can enrol for these courses. 

Advantages of STEM programs in the USA for the students

These are the advantages of STEM programs in the USA for students:

1. STEM Extension for F1 students in the USA

STEM students who are on an F1 visa can opt to work in the U.S. If a student opts to work in the U.S. under the 12 month OPT could extend it by 24 months. For this students should be employed by those employers who participate in E-Verify.

2. Better job opportunities

Students pursuing courses related to STEM will get better job opportunities in the U.S. The number of STEM-related occupations is expected to grow at a higher rate in the United States. Not only that they have better job opportunities they also have an opportunity to earn higher.

3. Higher remuneration

STEM students have better job opportunities. A student who holds a degree in the STEM field generally earns a higher salary than those who’ve graduated in non-STEM related fields.

4. Launch your startup

It is seen that graduates of STEM programs have been successful in establishing their own start-ups. For being successful you have to be creative and innovative.

Students from a STEM field are trained to think of creative ways to develop your own software or your new app or create a gadget.


What STEM jobs are in high demand?

Ans: A STEM degree gives students a chance to work in many fields. Some of the trending careers that one can consider include:
Software Developer
Software Developer
Nurse Practitioner
Data Scientist
Biomedical Engineer

How much does a STEM job pay?

Ans: A candidate with a STEM degree can find a lucrative and rewarding career. A high percentage of STEM qualified professionals usually sit in the top income bracket of around $140000 per year. As demand for engineering and IT areas rises, the average income is also bound to rise in the near future. 

What is the best course in STEM?

Ans: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics are vital components in today’s global society. Without STEM, there would be few advancements or discoveries to save lives, increase productivity and improve the overall economy. Out of all the STEM majors evaluated, Petroleum Engineering is on the top spot. Petroleum Engineering programs teach students how to solve important problems leading to energy security. The course teaches students how to analyze potential oil and gas reservoirs, design surface collection and treatment facilities and also oversee drilling activities. A major in Petroleum Engineering gives students an opportunity to travel and address various political, economical and technological problems.

Is a STEM degree good?

Ans: Graduating with a STEM degree in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics is quite good for students. Studies are showing better job prospects and higher pay. STEM graduates also lead the economy towards long-term growth. They are taught how to address the problems of today and face the challenges of tomorrow. 

What can you do with a degree in STEM?

Ans: There are several STEM disciplines as well as professional fields recruiting students with strong scientific and mathematical skills. Most of the STEM fields offer opportunities for specialization especially for students enrolled in graduate programs. Each specialization offers areas of expertise that can help students determine their career paths. 

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About the Author & Expert


Rachit Agrawal

Author • MBA • 20 Years

Rachit believes in the power of education and has studied from the top institutes of IIIT Allahabad, IIM Calcutta, and Francois Rabelias in France. He has worked as Software Developer with Microsoft and Adobe. Post his MBA, he worked with the world's # 1 consulting firm, The Boston Consulting Group across multiple geographies US, South-East Asia and Europe.

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