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STEM Education & Careers in the US



Jayantanuj Das

Graduate Admissions Counselor


Cole Cossier

Assistant Director, International Recruitment

The United States is the hub of higher education abroad, as it is home to the majority of the world's most prestigious international universities. It has maintained its popularity among international students.  The country's best universities continue to provide the best study abroad programs, generous scholarship schemes, and outstanding curricula in all disciplines.

upGrad Abroad hosted a live webinar for students interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education to learn more about speakers and address their questions. Coel Closser, Assistant Director of International Recruitment, Clark University (US), Jayantanuj Das, Jerry Coel, and Ankur Dhawan, President, upGrad Abroad.

Since 1990, employment in STEM fields has increased by 79%. Pursuing a master's degree in the US, which ranks 30th out of 64 countries in math and 11th in science, can only add to this vast reach.

Clark University, an institution in the United States, was founded in 1887 and is home to a varied community of students. Students can now pursue M.S. in Project Management, MS in Data Analytics, and M.S. in Information Technology. Students can study online at IIIT Bangalore for the first year in these courses. In the second year, they will get an opportunity to learn on campus at Clark University, the U.S. These programs will provide a chance to master programming tools and language, work on projects and case studies, and job opportunities within six months of course completion, and more.

English requirements for selection into Clark University are listed here: 

IELTS: 6.5 


Duolingo: 110

So, you will need an English test to be eligible for any program.

Other prerequisites include a 3.0 US GPA equivalent, backlogs not more than four, and two letters of recommendation. At the same time, there is an exemption from GMAT/GRE.

Below are the questions that have been asked during the webinar on which our experts cleared the doubts and answered with insightful information-

1- I'm a mechanical engineer, I have completed my Bachelor's this year, and I'm looking forward to studying for a master's in the U.S.; the problem is that I have a one-year gap year during my studies. Will that pose any problem?

Having a gap year during studies is perfectly all right. Most American students opt for a gap year after school to find out and evaluate what they want to do. Sometimes the cause of a gap year can be several backlogs that impact your academic credential. Still, if the reason for a gap year is related to a medical condition, they need to highlight that in their statement of purpose. 


2- I have a Bachelor's degree in computer science with five backlogs. I completed my graduation in 2008. Could there be an exception to accepting my profile with five backlogs as I have ten years of work experience?

I will recommend you to send us your document; then only we will be able to review the application; if your application and profile fulfill the criteria, there can be an exceptional approval by the admission committee.

3- What are the scholarship options if you're coming through the upGrad program?

We have considered learners to have a maximum scholarship within a school of professional studies if they're coming to us through the upGrad program. Our school of professional studies is quite famous not just for the STEM array of courses. It is also priced pretty well for the South Asia market.

The actual course fee costs USD 30,000 for the entire program, but if somebody joins through the upGrad partnership, the tuition fee costs USD 17,000-18,000 for the entire course, which is a substantial saving. The learner can get a flat 30% scholarship if they complete the program within the stipulated time, like entry requirements set by IIIT Bangalore and Clark University, which entitles him to get this maximum scholarship. For the financial specific points and other questions on finances, you can reach out to the upGrad team.

4- What type of Master's programs are offered in the U.S.? How are they different from each other? And how does it impact the Optional Practical Training (OPT)?

An MS degree ranges between three to four semesters, and a learner will complete ten units or ten credits depending on the university they're joining. If the program is under STEM guidance, this student is eligible for three years of Optional Practical Training after their Master's program. With upGrad, an applicant is entitled to avail the entire STEM OPT after completing the program. The minimum requirement to be eligible for OPT is completing two semesters onshore. This program allows any learner who opts for this partnership to finish the final two semesters on campus with Clark University, enabling them to be eligible for OPT. Typically, we have credits in the U.S., so it's usually around 30 to 36 credits depending on the program, which generally would take students a year and a half. Four courses per semester or more. With upGrad, we provide you with a credit facility which means you can finish two semesters and still have your OPT options afterward.

5- Can we expand our course curriculum by taking electives or curriculum for one and a half years? Does it impact their education in the U.S. or not?

It should not be a problem for someone to take elective courses. If somebody wants to take more electives or elongate the program to three semesters, they can do eight credits or the remaining eight credits for three semesters. If someone wants to opt for 30 credits, they are supposed to be taking only 24 credits; then, they can take 6 more credits and do it in one and a half years. To meet the U.S. government's visa requirements, you must keep this in mind. To be considered a full-time student, taking at least three courses per semester is mandatory.

6- One of my students has finished B.Com. and cleared the foundation level of Charted Accountant and has three years of articleship and two more years of experience. Can she apply?

You will have to send the documents, and unless we look at the whole profile, we will not be able to comment right now. We will be looking forward to having a work experience information.


7- I have completed my 12th this year and want to study in the U.S., but there may be a gap of one year between my school and my Bachelor's.

You can start studying with Chandigarh University and Northern Arizona University curriculum. We are adding a few more university partners for our Bachelor's programs; you can look at our website and find options or be in the U.S. by completing two years of graduation in India and two years in the U.S. So, there will not be any gap year. Still, apart from that, a gap year between the 12th class and Bachelor's is entirely acceptable in the U.S.

Key Questions Answered

Q. Can a gap year impact your admission?

It depends. You need to cite the reasons behind your gap year. Generally, it is acceptable to have a gap year in between studies.

Q. Is it okay to have backlogs?

You can have backlogs, but you must clear them before securing admission.

Q. Is one eligible to have Optional Practical Training (OPT) after studying in India when enrolled upGrad Study Abroad program for the U.S.?

Yes, you are eligible to have OPT as they are a part of the curriculum and mandatory to complete after you go to the U.S. in your second year of Study.

Q. Is one eligible to receive a scholarship when enrolled in Study Abroad by upGrad?

Yes, you get a maximum of 30% scholarship already with the course when you get on board with our program.

Q. Does it have Post Study Work Visa eligibility?

Yes, this program is designed to ensure the Post Study Work Visa eligibility.

Connect with Study Abroad expert for further Guidance


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