Worcester Polytechnic Institute to Launch STEM MBA

A growing number of business schools are offering STEM-designated master of business administration (MBA) programs that focus on data and other high-demand fields.
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Published on January 12, 2024
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  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Massachusetts will launch a STEM-designated master of business administration degree in fall 2024.
  • The full-time, in-person program will focus on analytics.
  • The program will meet federal STEM criteria from the Department of Homeland Security.
  • WPI will also soon roll out degrees in financial technology.

With tech skills increasingly in demand for employers, another business school is debuting a STEM-designated master of business administration (MBA) program in 2024.

MBA programs traditionally prepare students for management and leadership positions by covering a wide range of business skills. But a growing number of schools are incorporating science, technology, engineering, and math — STEM fields, like data analytics — into their curriculum.

The Business School at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) will launch a STEM-designated MBA with a focus on analytics this fall, according to a press release from the school.

The full-time, on-campus program will meet the Department of Homeland Security requirements to earn a federal STEM designation and will focus on "analytical and strategic" skills across a variety of business disciplines.

"The volume of digital data available for business decision-making has grown significantly over the past decade, and businesses are increasingly relying on data to make better decisions," WPI Business School Dean Debora Jackson said in the release.

"This has led to a surge in the demand for professionals proficient in analytics, making our program a valuable addition to our offerings. With our industry-savvy faculty and focus on STEM, we are positioned to prepare graduates to lead in strategic data-informed decision-making."

A federal STEM-designated MBA degree can also provide a pathway for international students to remain in the United States after graduation, according to the release, allowing eligible students to work in the U.S. via the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program.

"In an interconnected world, international and domestic students pursuing this program will contribute to a diverse and vibrant learning environment, fostering cross-cultural collaboration and understanding," Purvi Shah, an associate professor of marketing at WPI, said in the release.

"These students will not only elevate their skills but also become catalysts for international dialogue, bridge gaps between data insights, business strategy, and technology, and shape the future of responsible data-driven decision-making on a global scale."

WPI joins a growing number of schools in offering a STEM-designated MBA or business degree.

Binghamton University in New York in November announced a new MBA STEM designation. Emory University in Atlanta announced in August a STEM designation for its revamped bachelor of business administration program at its Goizueta Business School.

WPI has long embraced emerging technologies in its business education and last year announced new graduate and undergraduate degrees in financial technology (fintech). That rapidly growing field is projected to become a $1.5 trillion industry by 2030 and includes a variety of technologies that assist or automate finance for businesses and consumers alike.

Those new degrees will complement longstanding fintech work at the school, including a longstanding Wall Street/FinTech Project Center in New York City. Jackson underscored the school’s tech focus in a release at the time.

"As a technology-focused business school, we are uniquely positioned to offer this distinctive program,” Jackson said at the time.

"Recognized for the relevance of our curriculum, we have proudly applied our know-how to create robust degree programs in FinTech, leveraging the WPI hallmarks of theory and practice and emerging as a vanguard. It is an exciting time, and we look forward to welcoming students.”