Will STEM Degrees Save The MBA?

With 70% of full-time MBA programs in the U.S. seeing a decline in applications, some business schools are piloting a potential solution geared toward one important demographic: international students.

There’s been an estimated 10% drop in international enrollment in the nation’s graduate schools of business between 2017 and 2018, according to the Graduate Management Admissions Council, totaling an estimated 8,000 students from overseas.

To gain an edge in applications and enrollments from full-time students who require F-1 visas, several key MBA programs, including Duke University (No. 14 on the Forbes Best Business Schools) and the University of Rochester (No. 37) and have begun applying STEM designations to their graduate degrees.

Most international graduates are entitled to work in the U.S. for only one year after graduation before their visa expires. However, with a degree classified as STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), international students who are hired by graduation can stay an additional two years through the Optional Practical Training program.

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