The Carroll School of Management at Boston College is launching a new STEM program tailored to full-time MBA students—emphasizing high-level quantitative skills much in demand by top employers.

MBA students in the lobby of Fulton

The STEM-designated MBA Track is expected to bolster the marketability of the BC MBA degree for all participating students. It also provides particular advantages to international students who wish to begin careers in the United States. These students may qualify for a 24-month extension of one-year work visas after completing the track, under rules established by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

“Employers are looking more and more for these skills, not just in certain areas like IT but across functions and industries,” said Marilyn Eckelman, the Carroll School’s associate dean for graduate programs. “This new program tells the employer world that we meet the requirements for these highly analytical and quantitative roles.”

The MBA curriculum at Boston College has been moving in a more quantitative direction over the past five years. The linchpin of this innovation has been a sequence of three data analytics courses taken by first-year MBA students.  The new track within the full-time program will build on these core requirements, while adding STEM-certified electives in such areas as business analytics, finance, and marketing.

First-year (full-time) MBA students will be able to opt into the track this fall and begin taking STEM-qualified electives in the spring semester; the program will kick into high gear in the fall of 2023. At the same time, the Carroll School will maintain the traditional MBA programs, which have increasingly emphasized quantitative approaches to management.

STEM-designated courses will be available to all MBA students, full-time and part-time, regardless of whether they're enrolled in the STEM program. The courses delve deeply into topics like machine learning, coding, and data visualization.

This will be the second STEM track offered in graduate programs at the Carroll School. Four years ago, the school launched a STEM-designated track in the Master of Finance program, partly in response to the evolving demands of the finance industry. Like the new track within the full-time MBA program, this one also allows international students on F-1 visas to stay in the United States for up to three years (24 months longer than they would otherwise). That is, if they land a job with a qualified employer that petitions for the extension, in keeping with Homeland Security rules.

Such initiatives in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) have grown in popularity at business schools, particularly in graduate programs.

“Supply and demand for STEM-certified graduate business programs are expanding rapidly in the United States,” said a report issued in August by the Graduate Management Admission Council, which administers the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). “In today’s competitive international talent landscape, it’s critical that US business school leaders understand these trends as a part of their efforts to maintain the relevance and attractiveness of their programs—not only to international candidates themselves, but also to the employers that may want to hire these candidates.”

For more information about the STEM-designated MBA Track, go to the Carroll School’s website.

William Bole is the Director of Content Development at the Carroll School of Management