MBA Program Introduces New STEM Management Specialization

PROVO, Utah – Dec 21, 2020 – Beginning in the Fall 2021 semester, the BYU Marriott School of Business MBA program will offer a new specialization: Management Science and Quantitative Methods—STEM Management. This new STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and management specialization will be available to all MBA students, regardless of their chosen tracks of study, with the goal that the specialization will better prepare them for the workforce with specialized skills and a competitive advantage.

The STEM management specialization will require students to take 15 credits of specific electives, in addition to the 12 credits of STEM-related classes already present in the MBA core. These electives were chosen based on the descriptions of Classification of Instructions Programs (CIPs) that the United States Department of Homeland Security identifies as STEM-designated courses. The approved topics include applications of statistics, modeling, forecasting, data analysis, and risk management to business problems. The students must take at least one coding or programming class, one analytics or statistics class, and nine additional credits from a selection of approved tech-related or quantitively rigorous classes.

“The specialization will better prepare our MBA students to enter the workforce,” says Grant McQueen, BYU Marriott professor of finance and former BYU Marriott MBA program director, who originally advocated for the STEM management specialization. “Over the last decade, both our students and the companies that hire them have become more technology focused; consequently, we’ve gradually tilted our curriculum towards the tech industry and quantitative skills. Offering the STEM management specialization is just the next step.”

In addition to improving student placement and creating a more competitive program, the STEM management specialization will also benefit international students, notes Daniel Snow, current MBA director. The specialization allows international students on F-1 visas to obtain three years of optional practical training in the United States instead of just one, making the students more attractive candidates to employers.

“We love our international MBA students—they bring a wealth of unique ideas and insights into the classroom,” says Snow. “The new STEM specialization will increase our number of international students, enhance the quality of education, and expand the pool of companies hiring our students.”

McQueen expresses gratitude for the willingness of departments both inside and outside BYU Marriott to make room for these future MBA students. “I’m impressed by the cooperation of various departments on campus,” he says. “Thanks to supportive and generous chairs, MBA students pursuing the specialization have the option of taking, for example, classes in statistics, economics, and information systems.”

The BYU Marriott School of Business prepares men and women of faith, character, and professional ability for positions of leadership throughout the world. Named for benefactors J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott, the school is located at Brigham Young University, the largest privately owned, church-sponsored university in the United States. BYU Marriott has four graduate and ten undergraduate programs with an enrollment of approximately 3,300 students.

The atrium in the Tanner Building at BYU.
In Fall 2021, the BYU Marriott MBA program will offer a new STEM track.

Media Contact: Chad Little: (801) 422-1512
Writer: Sarah Calvert