Top Countries to Study a STEM Degree

By Subhashri Roy Updated On - Oct 08, 2020 09:17 PM

STEM graduates usually have high demand in various industries and therefore, they bag lucrative offers. Check out the countries offering top STEM degrees, why are these destinations good for you and which country will suit you the best.

When we talk about major broad fields of study, STEM subjects are the ones that rank at the top. Most of the preferred study abroad destinations are famous for their STEM degrees and availability of internship opportunities in the field. 

Students all around the world looking for the perfect university to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics degrees often tend to invest a lot of time in researching. With millions of search results at your fingertips, finding reliable information becomes a daunting experience. To tackle this problem by making this journey convenient and easy for you, we have come up with the top study abroad destinations for STEM courses. 

In this article, we will be discussing the countries offering top STEM degrees, why are these destinations good for you and which country will suit you the best.  

What are STEM Degrees?

Before you dive into the journey to find a perfect destination for the programme of your choice, it is important to understand what STEM degrees are. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. These degrees cover all the subdisciplines falling under these areas of study.

STEM graduates usually have high demand in various industries and bag a handsome salary to lead a lavish lifestyle. These degrees often offer a hands-on approach to education, are interdisciplinary and provide manpower to the world that needs more engineers, researchers, computer scientists and professionals in the relevant fields. 

Top Countries to Study STEM Degrees

Here are the countries that offer top STEM degrees: 

    1. The USA

With many of its universities taking over the world rankings for their excellence in STEM degrees, the USA is one of the top study abroad destinations. What is great about studying in the US is that after pursuing a STEM course, students can qualify for OPT (Optional Practical Training) which lets them gain work experience before applying for H1-B work visas or heading back to their countries. Graduates are, hence, eligible to stay in the US for an additional period of 24 months on an OPT STEM Extension. However, there are a few conditions applied to this extension, with having a STEM-related internship or job offer being one of them.

The universities in the US offer over 400 STEM degree courses. Some of the top courses offered are Engineering and Technology, Mathematics, Food Science, Food Technology, Animal Sciences, Soil Microbiology, Forest Sciences, Environmental Studies, Architecture, Artificial Intelligence, Information Technology and Bioengineering. 

Here are the top-ranking US universities offering STEM degrees:

Top US Universities for STEM Degrees

QS Ranking 2020

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

  • #1 for Computer Science & Information Systems, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology

  • #2 for Earth and Marine Sciences

Stanford University

  • #2 for Engineering and Technology and Computer Science & Information Systems

  • #3 for Mathematics

  • #4 for Life Sciences and Medicine

University of California Berkeley

  • #4 for Engineering and Technology and Computer Science & Information Systems

  • #6 for Earth and Marine Sciences

Harvard University

  • #1 for Life Sciences and Medicine

  • #2 for Mathematics

  • #3 for Earth and Marine Sciences

Carnegie Mellon University

  • #3 for Computer Science & Information Systems

California Institute of Technology

  • #4 in Global Rankings

  • #6 for Natural Science

  • #7 for Engineering

  • #8 for Earth and Marine Science

  1. The UK

After the USA, the UK witnesses the highest number of international students applying to STEM degrees. The country has long been a preferred destination for foreign students because of its excellent career prospects and high-quality education. After Brexit, the changes in immigration policies are expected to make it fairer and easier for Indian students to study in the UK. 

As per a report published by Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE), the solid research base of the UK in STEM fields is the reason behind 15% of the most significant academic papers in the world. Some of the top STEM degree courses offered in the UK include Computer Science, Mathematics, Aerospace Engineering, Biology, Civil Engineering, Astronomy, Civil Engineering and Biochemistry.

Listed below are the some high-ranking UK universities for STEM degrees:

Top UK Universities for STEM Degrees

QS Ranking 2020

University of Cambridge

  • #3 for Engineering and Technology and Life Sciences and Medicine

  • #4 for Mathematics and Earth and Marine Sciences

University of Oxford

  • #3 for Life Sciences and Medicine

  • #5 for Mathematics, Earth and Marine Sciences and Computer Science & Information Systems

Imperial College London

  • #7 for Engineering and Technology

  • #9 for Natural Sciences

  • #11 for Mathematics

UCL

  • #39 for Engineering and Technology

  • #5 for Anatomy and Physiology

  • #12 for Biological Sciences

The University of Manchester

  • #27 for Engineering and Technology

  • #41 for Life Sciences and Medicine

3. Canada

Being a country that offers easier ways to find post-study work opportunities and routes to secure PR (permanent residency), it is not a surprise that Canada has now become one of the top destinations for STEM degrees in the world. 

The popularity of Canadian universities has come from its high-quality education being offered at much lower tuition fees compared to US and UK universities. The country also offers a work permit for up to three years to students who have completed their graduation. 

Some of the most preferred STEM courses in Canada are Computer Networking and Technical Support, Information Systems Testing, Health Systems Management, Wireless Information Networking and Computer Science Technology.

Check out these top universities in Canada offering STEM degrees:

Top Universities in Canada for STEM Courses

QS Ranking 2020

University of Toronto

  • #15 for Mathematics

  • #18 for Natural Science

  • #22 for Engineering and Technology

University of British Columbia

  • #23 for Mathematics

  • #25 for Natural Science

  • #32 for Engineering and Technology

University of Waterloo

  • #41 for Mathematics

  • #41 for Engineering and Technology

  • #86 for Natural Science

McGill University

  • #51 for Mathematics

  • #47 for Engineering and Technology

  • 47 for Natural Science

Université de Montréal

  • #109 for Engineering and Technology

  • #144 for Natural Science

University of Alberta

  • #11 for Engineering - Mineral and Mining

  • #41 for Earth and Marine Sciences

  • #116 for Natural Science

  1. Australia

With universities including Australian National University (ANU) ranking as high as #9 in the world for Earth and Marine Sciences, Australia offers the best opportunities to pursue some of the major STEM fields.

Australia’s STEM degrees are coupled with a world-class education. Not just Biological Sciences but Australian institutions are also known for their courses in Aeronautical Engineering, Civil and Structural Engineering, Computer Science and Information Systems, Electronic Engineering, Chemical Engineering, and many more.  

Here are some of the universities that you can refer to for the STEM course of your choice. 

Top Universities in Australia for STEM Courses

QS Ranking 2020

Australian National University (ANU)

  • #9 for Earth and Marine Sciences

  • #37 for Natural Sciences

  • #39 for Mathematics

  • #71 for Engineering and Technology

University of Melbourne

  • #15 for Engineering Civil and Structural

  • #22 for Life Sciences and Medicine

The University of Sydney

  • #14 for Civil and Structural Engineering 

  • #18 for Architecture

  • #24 for Pharmacy and Pharmacology

University of New South Wales (UNSW)

  • #4 for Mineral and Mining Engineering

  • #11 for Civil and Structural Engineering

  • #31 for Earth and Marine Sciences

  • #35 for Electrical and Electronic Engineering

  1. Germany

The cultural entrepreneurship in German universities brings technology and business into a classroom. Not only are the universities in Germany very affordable but also offer a quality of education that has been exceeding every benchmark for over six centuries. 

With one of the oldest universities in the world, the public universities in Germany have graduated students who later became Nobel Laureates. The universities here have very high research output which makes it an ideal destination for your post-study internships or research. 

A large number of international students prefer Germany over other countries for MS courses in STEM fields. Some STEM majors offered in Germany are Electrical Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Engineering - Automotive.

Here’s a list of high ranking German universities to pursue STEM degree courses:

Top German Universities for STEM Courses

QS Ranking 2020

Technical University of Munich

  • #17 for Physics and Astronomy

  • #20 for Engineering

  • #28 for Natural Sciences

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU Munich)

  • #22 for Physics and Astronomy

  • #36 for Natural Sciences

  • #51 for Earth and Marine Sciences

Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg

  • #28 for Physics and Astronomy

  • #55 for Natural Sciences

  • #101 for Mathematics

  1. Switzerland

With innovative education and cutting edge research, the universities in Switzerland have a lot to offer. One is assured to receive high-class professionalism while pursuing degree courses as the country invests a lot in its education. With some universities having over 35 per cent of the total students as international ones, education in the country is very easily accessible to overseas students. 

Renowned for its scientific innovation, over 2 per cent of the scientific papers worldwide are published by Swiss researchers, which is a really high number given the population of the country.

Swiss universities are also ranked high in the world rankings for STEM subjects. Have a look:

Top Universities in Switzerland for STEM Degrees

QS Ranking 2020

ETH Zurich – Swiss Institute of Technology 

  • #1 for Earth and Marine Sciences

  • #4 for Engineering and Technology

  • #7 for Biological Sciences

  • #8 for Mathematics

Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne Lausanne, Switzerland (EPFL)  

  • #7 for Material Sciences

  • #11 for Engineering and Technology

  • #11 for Natural Sciences

  • #24 for Mathematics

University of Zurich

  • #11 for Anatomy and Physiology

  • #101 for Mathematics

  1. Ireland

Famous for its Science and Engineering courses, Ireland houses some of the top universities in Europe offering engineering and medicine programmes. The higher education in the country is connected to the industries which makes it easier for international students to carry out their research work and grab internship or job opportunities after completing their programmes. 

Ireland is fastly emerging as an IT (Information Technology) hub. With the headquarters of the world’s leading companies like Amazon, Google, IBM, Apple, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, HP, etc located in Ireland, it is becoming an attractive destination for students around the globe.

When it comes to studying in a foreign country, students are often nervous about the language barrier. There is no such problem in Ireland as a maximum percentage of the population speak English in the country.  

Have a look at some high ranking universities in Ireland for STEM degrees 

Top Universities in Ireland for STEM Degrees

QS Ranking 2020

Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin

  • #45 for Pharmacy and Pharmacology

  • #51 for Biological Sciences

  • #111 for Engineering and Technology

University College Dublin

  • #51 for Anatomy and Physiology

  • #32 for Veterinary Science

  • #101 for Engineering - Chemical

National University of Ireland Galway

  • #101 for Pharmacy and Pharmacology

  • #201 for Biological Sciences 

  1. Spain

From the Bay of Biscay in the north to the Mediterranean in the south, from the Pyrenees in the east to Portugal in the west, Spain is not only one of the top popular tourist places in the world but also a preferred study abroad destination for students. Among a total of 76 universities, 45 of them are funded and run by the state. A large number of these universities i.e., 25, are featured in the QS World University Rankings as well. 

If you are worried about learning to be proficient in Spanish to study here, then don’t, as many of these universities offer courses in the English language as well. However, you will have to learn elementary school level of Spanish to make things go smoothly. 

Here are some top-ranking Spanish universities offering STEM degrees:

Top Universities in Spain for STEM Degrees

QS Ranking 2020

Universidad Autonoma de Madrid

  • #76 for Natural Sciences

  • #101 for Mathematics

Universitat de Barcelona

  • #80 for Natural Sciences

  • #145 for Engineering and Technology

Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya · BarcelonaTech (UPC)

  • #76 for Engineering and Technology

Universidad Politécnica de Madrid

  • #90 for Engineering and Technology

Complutense University of Madrid

  • #101 - 150 for Mathematics

Other than these eight countries, there are other destinations that are famous for their internship opportunities and research work in the STEM fields. Some of these destinations are Costa Rica for Tropical Biology and Conservation, Japan for Science Lab Research, Scotland for Science and Engineering, Hong Kong for Undergraduate Research, Barbados for Field and Lab Research, Sweden for STEM classes and clubs, etc. 

Hope the information makes the beginning of this journey easier for you. 

Let us know about your plans to apply for STEM degrees at foreign universities at abroad@collegedekho.com. You can also call us at 785 9990 990 to get immediate assistance in your admission to your university of choice.

Written by Diksha Nautiyal

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