Best Universities in the USA to Pursue STEM Courses

By Neha Kumari Updated On - Jul 27, 2021 08:11 PM

The US is home to some of the best STEM universities and institutions. Before applying for admission to the STEM courses offered in the United States, here's what all you should know.

Indian students who dream of pursuing STEM courses abroad usually turn towards the USA due to the presence of some world-class STEM universities and institutions. For more than two centuries now, the US has been one of the most-revered destinations for Indian students to pursue their higher studies. A big chunk of the international students who land on the US soil take admission in the STEM courses where the ratio of Indian students is on the higher side. So why is it that the Indian students are so inclined towards obtaining a higher degree in STEM courses from the USA even during a period of restricted immigration and international student policies? Why do Indian students still prefer studying STEM courses in the USA when there are other reputed Canadian, Australian, British, German STEM courses offering institutions where international student policies are much more friendly? We will try to find out in a while. 

The country houses some of the most popular universities including the University of Dayton, University of South Florida, Pace University, Arizona State University, to name a few that offer a wide variety of STEM courses to international students.

In this article, we will also try to provide those students who wish to pursue their STEM courses studies from the USA in future with the list of some of the best American Universities where they can pursue their STEM studies. 

What is a STEM Degree?

Short for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, a STEM degree are college programs that span across a number of academic disciplines. Broadly, the term is used to describe areas directly related to hard sciences and have an interdisciplinary and hands-on exposure across various industries.

Advantages of Studying a STEM Course in the USA

There are many reasons why Indian students prefer to study STEM courses in the US to other countries like Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, etc. Listed below are some of the reasons:

Diversity - The United States has always been 'The Land of the Free' where people from different cultures have resided peacefully for more than a couple of centuries now. While in the US, the Indian students never feel like they are miles away from their homes due to a large population of Indians who either work or study there. Indians can find just about anything of their liking in the US like Indian food etc. which makes the country one of the hot destinations for STEM aspirants from India. 

Active Student Lifestyle - The students in American STEM universities or institutions do not witness a single moment of dullness and monotony as there are loads of extracurricular activities that are available for them. Students can get involved in a sporting activity, participate in debates, visit meetings & lectures, go for parties, concerts etc, volunteer for charity works and many more while pursuing their higher education. 

The Silicon Valley impact - One of the biggest reasons behind the obsession of the Indian students to study STEM courses from the United States is California - the Silicon Valley of USA. It is the country’s technology hub. STEM institutions in the country have uninterrupted access to the people and companies that are building the latest technology. The students benefit immensely from these companies by having access to their cutting-edge resources. 

Global Perspective - International students studying in the USA gain a life-changing experience which is incomparable to anything. The US culture induces open-mindedness in the students which becomes a valuable asset while finding a unique approach to solving a problem, both at the workplace and within the community. While studying in the US not only the International students come to know about the country, culture and world perspective, but also the local students. It becomes a personally beneficial experience for both the international and local students. 

Also Read: USA Universities With the Highest Acceptance Rates for Int'l Students

List of Best STEM Universities in the USA

In this section, we will try to pinpoint those STEM Universities in the US which are favoured mostly by international students:

California Institute of Technology (CalTech) - California Institute of Technology or CalTech is a self-financing institution which is renowned for its science and engineering research education. According to the latest QS World University Rankings, CalTech stands at the 4th position and follows a very rigorous selection process through which only a handful of highly gifted students succeed in making the cut. CalTech is situated in Pasadena, California and was founded in 1891. The total cost of study (including rent, personal expenses etc) at CalTech can be between USD 70K and USD 75K. Scholarship programmes and work-study programs are available at CalTech for the International students. 

Harvard University - Ranked 3rd in the QS World University Rankings, Harvard University was established in the year 1636 and is among the top STEM universities in the world in terms of its academic pedigree, reputation and influence. Harvard University is considered home to academic elites only. The Harvard alumni list comprises the names of some eminent US Presidents, billionaires, prestigious award recipients and Olympic medallists. The average cost of study at Harvard is between USD 74K and USD 79K. Financial aids are available for the meritorious students and the opportunity to work while studying is also there for the International students. 

Stanford University - Currently the world’s 2nd best STEM institution, Stanford University is located in the centre of the Silicon Valley - the home to several cutting-edge tech companies like Hewlett-Packard, Google, Yahoo etc. Stanford has not only produced billionaires who have founded high-tech companies but also 19 Nobel laureates thus putting it in the bracket of “Top 3 Global Universities”. Other than high-quality education, Stanford is known to provide various state-of-the-art recreational facilities and wellness programmes. On average, the students have to pay USD 75K to pursue their higher degree studies from Stanford University. Generous scholarship schemes are also available, which benefits all the highly deserving international students, along with some on and off-campus part-time work opportunities to relieve the international students of their financial burden. 

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Founded in the year 1861, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is currently the top STEM university in the entire world. It is the only institute in the world that allows the students to work with the faculty during the undergrad years as well. The MIT alumni have created roughly around 30,000 active companies generating around 1.9 trillion USD in annual revenue and have created roughly 4.6 million jobs. It is said that a nation comprising of MIT graduates can become the 10th largest economy of the world. The total expenses for an international student at MIT can be around USD 74K. Part-time work opportunities for the students and scholarship schemes are also available for the students. 

University of California, Berkeley - The University of California, Berkeley is a public institution that was founded in the year 1868. The campus of the University of California, Berkeley is situated on 1,232 acres of land which is home to around 40,000 students from all across the globe. Several alumni of the University of California, Berkeley have made it to the history books putting the institute in the list of top US universities for international students. The cost of study at the University of California, Berkeley is also quite less compared to other top STEM universities in the US. The students are to only pay around USD 32K and with the help of the part-time work opportunities available for the students and generous financial assistance schemes, life is much easier at the University of California, Berkeley. 

Need Information About USA Universities Offering STEM Courses?

Popular US Universities Offering STEM Courses

Here are most popular US universities offering STEM courses to foreign students. Click on their lists of courses offered to check out the STEM courses they offer along with their tuition fees:

Name of the University Courses on Offer Tuition Fee Range (in INR)
University of Dayton List of Courses Offered 9-31L
University of South Florida List of Courses Offered 8-21L
University of South Carolina List of Courses Offered 20-26L
University of Idaho List of Courses Offered 14-29L
Pace University List of Courses Offered 13-32L
Arizona State University List of Courses Offered 15-41L
Hofstra University List of Courses Offered 16-40L
University of Illinois, Chicago List of Courses Offered 21-26L
New Jersey Institute of Technology List of Courses Offered 19-22L
Cleveland State University List of Courses Offered 10-15L
American University List of Courses Offered 21-38L
California State University, East Bay List of Courses Offered 10-14L
University of Massachusetts List of Courses Offered 18-27L
George Mason University List of Courses Offered 18-49L
DePaul University List of Courses Offered 13-35L

Eligibility Criteria to Apply for STEM Courses in the USA

Before applying for admission into the STEM courses offered in the United States, it is imperative that the aspirants should know about the eligibility criteria to apply for STEM courses study in the USA mentioned below -

For Bachelors in STEM:

  • Must have completed twelve years of elementary and secondary education (10+2) from a recognized board of education.

  • Must meet the academic requirements of the specific program, as mentioned by the intended university.

  • Must have qualified the required standardised tests such as the ACT/SAT with the minimum score specified by the university.

  • Must have qualified English proficiency tests such as the IELTS, PTE Academic or TOEFL with the minimum score. 

For Masters in STEM:

  • Must hold a Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field.

  • Must meet the minimum undergraduate grade-point average (GPA) on a 4.0 scale.

  • Must have qualified the required standardised tests such as the GRE/GMAT with the minimum score specified by the university.

  • Must have qualified English proficiency tests such as the IELTS, PTE Academic or TOEFL with the minimum score. 

  • Many universities require applicants to have work experience in a related field. 

Application Process & Documents Required to Pursue STEM Courses in the US

How to apply to STEM Courses in the US? Here is the detailed application process along with the documents required to complete the same:

  • Find out the intakes offered by the university and make note of their deadlines. 

  • Take the required admission and English proficiency tests.

  • Visit the university website to apply directly or apply through our exclusive Dream School Application program to get a Confirmed Admission Offer, visa guidance, pre-departure & post-landing counselling, among other things.

  • Submit the following documents: 

    • Academic transcripts

    • Letter(s) of recommendation.

    • Score reports of ACT/SAT/GMAT/GRE/IELTS/TOEFL/PTE Academic, as applicable to you.

    • An updated resume (if required).

    • Statement of Purpose (if required)

  • Pay the application fee.

List of STEM Courses in the USA

There are more than 300 Science, Engineering, Technology and Math (STEM) courses which are offered in the United States from which only the best STEM courses could make it to the list provided below -

Name of STEM Course Average Salary Projected Job Growth Rate (10 years)
Civil Engineering USD 87,060/- per annum 6%
Biochemistry USD 1,05,940/- per annum 4.90%
Forest Engineering USD 1,46,219/- per annum 5.50%
Surveying Engineering USD 66,440/- per annum 1.90%
Geographic Information Science & Cartography USD 65,470/- per annum 15.50%
Statistics USD 1,14,000/- per annum 22.50%
Mining and Mineral Engineering USD 98,420/- per annum 5.50%
Computer Software Engineering USD 1,11,620/- per annum 0.80%
Palaeontology USD 1,05,830/- per annum 13.90%
Computer Science USD 1,11,780/- per annum 10.80%
Mathematics USD 1,04,870/- per annum 5.60%
Network and System Administration USD 87,070/- per annum 0.80%
Zoology USD 67,760/- per annum 2.30%
Plant Sciences USD 70,630/- per annum 4.70%
Physics USD 1,22,220/- per annum 9%
Petroleum Technology USD 1,37,720/- per annum 3%
Ocean Engineering USD 98,970/- per annum 6.40%
Nutritional Sciences USD 61,270/- per annum 11%
Nuclear Physics USD 79.970/- per annum 6.70%
Meteorology USD 95,380/- per annum 8%
Mechanical Engineering USD 93,540/- per annum 1.30%
Geology USD 92,040/- per annum 6%
Forensic Science & Technology USD 62,490/- per annum 1.70%
Chemical Engineering USD 1,14,470/- per annum 2.90%
Astronomy USD 1,11,090/- per annum 11.40%
Agriculture Engineering USD 79,090/- per annum 7.80%

Top STEM Majors for International Students in the US

As per the International Student Data from the 2020 Open Doors Report, five STEM majors have been identified to be popular among international students in the US.

Engineering: With a total of 220,542 international STEM enrolments during 2019-20, Engineering happens to be the most popular STEM major in the United States. However, Engineering is a broad field and students are required to choose a sub-major such as Construction Trades, Engineering Technologies/technicians, Mechanic and Repair Technologies/Technicians, Military Technologies, Precision Production, Transportation and Materials Moving and more. 

Computer & Information Sciences: CS is the second most popular STEM major in the US with 157,566 international STEM applicants in 2019-20. The popularity of CS corresponds with the ever-growing popularity of Information Technology (IT).

Other Top STEM Majors: The list ranks Mathematics and Statistics; Biological & Biomedical Sciences and Physical Sciences third, fourth and fifth respectively. Although Mathematics & Statistics ranks a distant third, it saw 47,641 enrolments in 2019-20 and 46,807 in 2018-19. 

Top STEM Fields Among Int'l Students in the US

Also Read: USA or Canada? Which is Better for Pursuing MS?

STEM Scholarships in the US for International Students

Here are some of the popular US international scholarships offered to students applying for STEM programs:

Name of the Scholarship

Offered by

Benefits/Value

Eligibility

GeneTex Scholarship

Genetex

$2,000

  • Good academic standing

  • Enrolled in a STEM major

RevPart 2021 STEM Scholarship

RevPart

$250-$1000

Enrolled in a STEM major at an accredited college

AfterCollege STEM Inclusion Scholarship

AfterCollege, Inc.

$500

  • Enrolled in a STEM field

  • Must be from an underrepresented group

  • MInimum 3.0 GA

Buildium’s Build U. Scholarship

Buildium LLC

$2500 awarded each semester

  • Enrolled in a STEM field at undergraduate or graduate level

  • Must be at least 18

MyBioSource Scholarship Program

MyBioSource Inc.

$1,000

Enrolled in a STEM field at an accredited university for the Fall semester

Note: This is not an exhaustive list. You can also find STEM scholarships offered by universities, external organizations or even the US or Indian governments.

How Can a STEM Degree from the USA Benefit Indian Students?

Indian students can benefit immensely from obtaining STEM degrees from the US. Here's how:

  • If the students are on an F-1 visa, they can opt to stay in the United States for a period of 24 months under the OPT (Optional Practical Training) programme

  • STEM degrees from the US open up better career opportunities in both India and America along with various other countries where the US STEM degrees are highly valued

  • STEM degree holders in the US are more likely to earn a higher salary compared to non-STEM degree holders.

  • Those who obtain their STEM degrees from the USA are trained to think creatively which might lead them to the establishment of their successful start-ups 

With countries across the world working hard to find STEM workforce, pursuing a STEM degree from the US offers a range of skills that are becoming increasingly important for employers in a variety of sectors, not to mention the highest employment rates and salaries that come from STEM disciplines such as engineering and technology and computing and IT.

Wish to Get Admission in Top USA Universities?

Also Read:

Top Universities in USA for MS in Business Analytics Tips for Indian Students to Deal With Competition for Graduate Programs in the US
Timeline for September 2022 Intake to Study in USA Timeline for Spring (Jan) 2022 Intake to Study in USA

Hope this article helps you find the ideal STEM course for you. You can write to us at abroad@collegedekho.com in case you still have doubts or seek admission to foreign universities offering STEM courses.  

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