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STEM Courses in USA – Complete Guide

Updated on 07 May, 2024

Anupriya Mukherjee

Anupriya Mukherjee

Sr. Content Writer

STEM courses are the foundation for innovation. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, aka STEM graduates and researchers propel science and technology forward. Given its huge scope, STEM courses are in high demand and are eyed by many aspirants. 

In today’s digital age, where information travels at the speed of thought, STEM programs have become the gateways to the world’s transformative journey. The US, being the launchpad for STEM aspirants, stands as the ultimate destination for STEM education. STEM courses in the USA are highly coveted and competitive. They are offered by top universities across the USA, with all of them leading to fulfilling careers. 

What are STEM Courses

STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. S in STEM stands for Science, entailing biology, chemistry, physics, environmental science, and other related subjects. T for Technology in STEM, which covers areas such as computer science, software development, information technology, and cybersecurity. It enables students to gain proficiency in coding, software engineering, and digital technologies. E in STEM represents Engineering and involves designing, developing, and constructing systems, structures, and devices. STEM engineering courses offer specializations in fields like civil engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and aerospace engineering. M in STEM is for Mathematics, which provides the essential framework for understanding and solving complex problems.

The sheer demand for STEM courses can be explained by the fact that professions linked to the same are amongst the most rewarding and financially fulfilling careers globally. The USA has always been a global leader in these fields, and these technical courses are being integrated into the curriculum by universities to maintain the country’s dominant position as the technological leader. Moreover. the STEM workforce provides the foundation for building the next innovations in tech, engineering, and other fields. 

Why Study STEM Courses in USA

There are many benefits of pursuing STEM courses in the USA. Some of them are listed below:

● Silicon Valley

The USA has Silicon Valley in California, the world’s biggest technology and IT hub. It is the biggest technological platform, foundation, and center of the entire country, offering access to large-scale infrastructure, advanced resources, and a skilled workforce. It is one of the biggest reasons to draw more international students towards STEM courses in the USA, especially due to its technological boom. 

● Home to World's Top Universities

The country is renowned for being home to some of the world’s top universities. These institutions perform impeccably in terms of subject and world rankings. Among these, Stanford University, Harvard University, California Institute of Technology, and many more, occupy one of the top 10 positions in all categories of QS rankings.

●  Vibrant Student Life 

A vibrant student lifestyle is also a huge draw for international students pursuing STEM courses at US institutions. Monotony never creeps into the academic process since campuses offer a variety of extracurricular pursuits, societies, clubs, and other activities. Students can also participate in community and charitable initiatives, sporting activities, and more. 

Diverse Cultures and Ethnicities 

Diverse cultures come together under a single roof at most leading universities in the USA. The country is known for housing people from almost all parts of the world with diverse traditions, festivals, cuisines, and more. Indians also live, work, and study in the USA in huge numbers, making it comfortable and smoother for Indian aspirants to pursue STEM courses here. 

● Global Perspective

Studying a STEM course in the USA opens many possibilities, chief amongst which are global insights and perspectives. Students get a lifetime chance to interact with people from other cultures, understand various global markets, solve problems, and ask questions with an open-minded approach. 

List of STEM Courses in the USA

There are over 300 courses available in this category for students in the USA. However, selecting proper specialization is essential. Here is a STEM course list in the USA for aspirants: 

● Aeronautical or Aerospace

● Animal Science

● Agricultural Engineering

● Architectural Engineering

● Behavioral Sciences

● Astronomy

● Biochemistry 

● Biology

● Botany 

● Biomedical Technology

● Chemical Engineering

● Chemistry

● Computer Programming 

● Civil Engineering

● Zoology 

● Environmental Studies

● Computer and Information Science

● Forensic Chemistry 

● Food Science 

● Forensic Science and Technology

● Genetics 

● Geology 

● Human Biology 

● Horticulture Science

● Mechanical Engineering 

● Mathematics 

● Mining Technology

● Meteorology 

● Molecular Biology 

● Nutritional Science

● Military Applied Science 

● Petroleum Technology

● Nuclear Physics

● Physics 

● Pharmacology 

● Statistics 

● Plant Science

STEM Courses for Commerce Students

STEM courses are hugely popular among commerce students in the USA. They are great options for boosting career prospects and overall employability throughout the USA and many other global countries. 

Some of the top STEM courses for commerce students include 

  • Full-time MBA programs
  • Business Analytics
  • MS in global supply chain management
  •  MS in marketing
  • MBA in operations and technology management
  •  MS in economics, & many others 

Top Universities for STEM Courses in USA

There is a growing demand for STEM courses and related fields of work due to several reasons. The USA aims to develop a more technologically, scientifically, and economically advanced workforce in several of these related fields. Universities in America encourage more international students to apply for positions related to these core domains of Mathematics, Technology, Science, and Engineering. Several institutions offer STEM courses for aspirants in the country. You can take your pick from hundreds of options here. 

Here is a look at some of the top names on the list: 

University QS WUR 2024Top STEM Programs Annual Tuition Fee (in USD)
Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyPhysics, Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Aeronautics & Astronautics, Biological Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Material Science and Engineering, and Nuclear Science and Engineering$82,730
Harvard University4Biological Sciences, Computer Science, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Astrophysics, Bioengineering, Biomedical Engineering, and Physical Biology$54,269 to $61,768 
Stanford University Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, and Biological Sciences $56,169
University of California Berkeley10Applied Mathematics, Biomolecular Engineering, Biotechnology, Materials Science, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Biological Sciences, Computer Science, Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics$41,592-$46,168 
University of Chicago 11Behavioral Sciences, Biological Sciences, Computer Sciences, Engineering, Physical Sciences, $20,000-$25,000/per quarter
University of Pennsylvania12Biology, Earth & Environmental Sciences, Cognitive Sciences, Neuroscience, Computational Biology, Biophysics, Biochemistry, Astrophysics$67,070
Cornell University 13Behavioral neurosciences, Data science, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Applied Statistics, Engineering, Geology, Physics, Kinesiology, Computer Science $10,400-$14,750/semester

*Source: Official website

One-Year STEM Courses in US

Several leading universities offer one-year STEM courses in the country. These names include Harvard University, Stanford University, MIT, Caltech, and others. They offer one-year STEM specializations in diverse fields such as Astronomy, Architectural Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Computer Science, Botany, Behavioral Sciences, Biomedical Technology, Biochemistry, Civil Engineering, and Chemistry, to name a few. 

STEM Courses in USA – Eligibility 

The eligibility criteria vary across institutions for STEM courses in the USA. Several requirements have to be met in this regard. Here’s taking a closer look at the same: 

● Entry to bachelor’s level STEM programs requires completion of high school education with Chemistry, Physics, Biology, and Mathematics. For master’s level STEM, a  three or four-year bachelor’s degree in a STEM field is necessary. The minimum requirement for admission to STEM-approved universities in the USA is a GPA of 3.0 on 4.0. 

● Aspirants should have obtained F-1 USA student visa status. 

● They should be eligible for STEM OPT.

  • GRE or GMAT scores are a must, along with scores of English language proficiency tests like TOEFL or IELTS. Exams, such as SAT, ACT, or PTE, are also applicable in this regard.

STEM Courses in USA – Documents Needed

Here are the documents that are required for applying to STEM courses in the USA: 

● Passport scanned copy

● SOP (Statement of Purpose)

● Official transcripts and mark sheets of school and college

● Two reference letters

● Scores in English language proficiency tests

● Resume or CV

● LOR (Letter of Recommendation)

● Translation of degree certificate in case it is in any other language (not in English)

Pursuing STEM Courses in USA Without GRE

GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) is one of the key requirements in the USA for getting entry into STEM courses. While most universities require GRE test scores, many often admit applicants without the same. Here is a list that will come in useful for this category: 

● MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

● California State University Sacramento

● University of Dayton

● University of Northern Virginia

● University of Pittsburgh

● New Mexico State University

● Stevens Institute of Technology

Admission Process for STEM Courses in US

Here’s an overview of the admission process that you must follow to get admission for a STEM course in a US institution:

  1. Research the university and program, its deadlines, and eligibility criteria.
  2. Prepare the required documents and fill out the application form before the university deadline.
  3. Prepare a financial document to provide proof of financial support to cover your tuition fee and living expenses in the US.
  4. Keep a check on the application status to get clarity on the admission decision of the university. This might take some time.
  5. After getting accepted, you'll receive a confirmation mail and an I-20 or DS-2019 form from your university.
  6. You can further apply for an F-1 student visa.
  7. Make the timely payment of tuition and other fees to secure your seat in the university.

Job Prospects in US After STEM Course 

STEM courses offer a flourishing career for international students as there is a burgeoning demand for skilled professionals. So, you can expect to be hired with a lucrative package with an average annual salary of USD 100,900. We have enlisted some of the top positions and their expected packages, for which STEM graduates are hired.

Job Title

Average Annual Salary*

Mechanical Engineer 

USD 90,875 

Aeronautical Engineer 

USD 101,672

Statistician 

USD 95,912

Architect 

USD 101,606 

Chemical Engineer

USD 94,707

Civil Engineer

USD 88,934

Computer Scientist

USD 108,450

*Source: Indeed

FAQs:

What are STEM courses in the USA?

STEM equates to science, engineering, technology, and mathematics while indicating subjects coming under these fields of study or disciplines. Some of the courses that fall in this category, for instance, include the likes of biology, biochemistry, civil engineering, chemical engineering, computer science, aerospace engineering, chemistry, astronomy, and others.


 

 

 

What is the best STEM course?

It is hard to pinpoint the best STEM course accurately. However, as per reports, some of the top choices include computer engineering, petroleum engineering, nuclear engineering, aerospace engineering, mathematics and statistics, actuarial sciences, software development, chemical engineering, astronomy, computer science, biology, and more.


 

 

 

Where does the USA rank in STEM education?

Despite the USA possessing one of the best education systems worldwide, surveys have analyzed that students can still improve science and math scores compared to international students or those from other countries. As per the 2018 report, the USA ranked 24th and 38th in science and mathematics, respectively. Several countries have witnessed fluctuating fortunes with regard to STEM education rankings over the years. The USA ranked 8th and 11th in reading and science respectively while the mathematics score stood at 30th in the world as per the figures released by the National Center for Education Statistics. However, all said and done, the USA is still the top global study destination for STEM courses at all levels. It is still unparalleled in terms of overall academic excellence.


 

 

Anupriya Mukherjee

Sr. Content Writer

Anupriya Mukherjee is a passion-driven professional working as a Content Marketer and earlier worked as a Digital Marketeer. With around 6 years of work experience, she has experience creating high-quality, engaging content for websites, blogs, news articles, video scripts, brochures, and ebooks.

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