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The 10 Best Colleges for STEM Majors | Pro Club Bd

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University graduates with degrees in STEM subjects are among the most sought-after candidates on the job market.

That’s no surprise, as the courses in science, technology, engineering, and math help prepare students for many of the country’s most in-demand jobs, including nurses, statisticians, and computer security specialists.

It pays to be in demand—according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for STEM careers in 2021 was $100,900. That’s more than 70% more than the annual average of $58,260 for non-STEM jobs.

However, if you’re considering studying a STEM subject just for the money, remember: there are many differences in typical pay depending on where you fall under the big STEM umbrella. Degrees in subjects like computer engineering and data science often result in six-figure salaries, while those in biology and life sciences tend to be on the lower end of the spectrum, especially if you’re fresh out of school.

To help prospective students sort through science and technology colleges, we’ve narrowed our latest college rankings — which focus on affordability and salary outcomes — to highlight campuses with strong STEM programs. (We looked at colleges that made both our main ranking and schools on our separate select colleges list). Colleges were ranked by the number and proportion of recent alumni who earned STEM degrees and the average salaries of recent STEM graduates.

Like our overall rankings, the top STEM schools list includes large and small, public and private, elite and more accessible to an average student. Read on to see the top 10, then check out our full ranking of the 50 best colleges for STEM students here.

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Massachusetts Institute Technology University campus

  • Location: Cambridge, Mass
  • Estimated price with average grant: $21,100
  • Graduation rate: 94%
  • Median earnings for recent STEM graduates: $88,000

As one of the world’s most respected STEM schools, MIT offers students access to some of the best scientific minds in the world, with 11 Nobel Laureates currently on the School of Science faculty. Engineering degrees – particularly mechanical engineering – are the most common, but math and computer science are also popular majors. Students who opt for a non-MINT degree should also plan time in the laboratory: all Bachelor students must complete two semesters of analysis, two semesters of physics and one semester each of chemistry and biology.

2.Georgia Institute of Technology

Georgia Institute of Technology sign on campus

Courtesy Georgia Institute of Technology

  • Location: Atlanta
  • Estimated price with average grant: $18,400
  • Graduation rate: 88%
  • Median earnings for recent STEM graduates: $66,200

Georgia Tech’s engineering and computer schools are among the largest in the country. In computer science, students follow what is known as the “Threads” curriculum, a customizable degree that combines foundational computer science courses with real-world paths that they choose. Learning experiences outside of the classroom are a priority at both colleges: for example, one-third of engineering students pursue research opportunities while at Georgia Tech, and 56% study abroad. The school’s Atlanta location also gives students access to internships and work opportunities with major companies.

3. California Institute of Technology

Student in a laboratory at the California Institute of Technology

  • Location: Pasadena, California
  • Estimated price with average grant: $28,100
  • Graduation rate: 92%
  • Median earnings for recent STEM graduates: $122,000

With nearly 1,000 undergraduate students, Caltech students can expect plenty of close interaction with some of the college’s 300 or so professors. With challenging coursework comes great research opportunities: internships at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, located near Caltech’s Pasadena campus, are a prime example. There are also summer research grants for undergraduates, which the college describes as one of the “crown jewels” of a Caltech degree. Overall, 90% of the students participate in research.

4. Harvey Mudd College

Two students in a robotics class at Harvey Mudd College

Courtesy of Harvey Mudd College

  • Location: Claremont, California
  • Estimated price with average grant: $39,300
  • Graduation rate: 92%
  • Median earnings for recent STEM graduates: $120,800

Although Harved Mudd is classified as a liberal arts college, all 10 of the college’s majors fall within the STEM areas. (Students also have the option of founding their own majors.) However, the liberal arts background is an integral part of the Harvey Mudd experience. All students take a healthy dose of social sciences and humanities courses as part of their general education because, as the college says, “technology divorced from humanity is worse than no technology at all.”

5. Stanford University

Students walk on the Stanford University campus on a sunny day

  • Location: Stanford, California
  • Estimated price with average grant: $21,100
  • Graduation rate: 94%
  • Median earnings for recent STEM graduates: $81,650

Whatever your STEM taste, Stanford has connections for you. For example, science and health students can intern at several university-affiliated research institutes, including the Canary Center, which focuses on early detection of cancer. Students interested in the technology industry, whether working for a large corporation or starting a startup, have Silicon Valley in their backyard. And no matter what you study, you’ll encounter an impressive lineup of innovative and important thinkers: Stanford’s faculty includes 20 Nobel Prize winners, more than 20 MacArthur Fellows and three Pulitzer Prize winners.

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6. University of California, Berkeley

Computer science course at the University of California Berkeley

Adam Lau/Berkeley Engineering

  • Location: Berkeley, California
  • Estimated price with average grant: $20,400
  • Graduation rate: 92%
  • Median earnings for recent STEM graduates: $62,700

As a large public university, Cal offers more than 100 degrees in everything from anthropology to urban studies. But about half of recent graduates have earned a degree in a STEM field. Programs like computer science and electrical engineering have long been popular majors at Cal, while data science — now the third most popular bachelor’s degree — has grown rapidly in recent years. The biggest employers of recent Cal grads in these three areas are the who’s who of the tech world: Amazon, Apple, Google, and Microsoft.

7. University of California, San Diego

Academic and Research Department at the University of California San Diego

Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego

  • Location: San Diego, California
  • Estimated price with average grant: $16,100
  • Graduation rate: 86%
  • Median earnings for recent STEM graduates: $54,400

UC San Diego is a relatively young university, but already a world-renowned research institution. This goes hand in hand with the history of the university: its first enrolled students were doctoral students in physics, chemistry and earth sciences. Sixty years later, science and innovation are still part of everyday life at UCSD. A small example? Self-driving vehicles designed by robotic programmers on campus deliver mail on campus.

8. Texas A&M University

Students work on their computers on the Texas A&M University campus

Courtesy of Texas A&M University

  • Location: College Station, Texas
  • Estimated price with average grant: $21,000
  • Graduation rate: 82%
  • Median earnings for recent STEM graduates: $54,500

Texas A&M is one of the largest universities in the country, and as size grows, so does size: There are more than 50 STEM-related majors for students to choose from, as well as hundreds of student organizations, including 90 engineering groups and over 60 agriculture and Live science groups. They bring together students interested in everything from bugs to rockets (officially: entomology and aerospace engineering).

9. University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign

A student walks through the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign campus

Courtesy of the University of Illinois

  • Location: Champaign, Illinois
  • Estimated price with average grant: $14,300
  • Graduation rate: 84%
  • Median earnings for recent STEM graduates: $60,500

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is constantly expanding its reputation as an outstanding research institution. About 60% of the University of Illinois’ recent graduates have degrees in science, technology, engineering, or math, and the university’s faculty experts have recently made headlines for studying everything from corals to irritable bowel syndrome. UIUC also has a year-long project called the I STEM Education Initiative that aims to promote and improve STEM education. Two of its main goals are to increase graduation rates and achieve more diversity in STEM subjects.

10. University of Michigan

2022 General Admission to the University of Michigan Ann Arbor

E. Bronson/Michigan Photography

  • Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Estimated price with average grant: $18,800
  • Graduation rate: 92%
  • Median earnings for recent STEM graduates: $56,500

The University of Michigan spends more on research than any other public university, a distinction it has claimed for several consecutive years. To find a small STEM niche in the middle of the big campus, students can join residential communities like the Women in Science and Engineering program or the Health Sciences Scholars program. Interested in computer science? You can study in one of the oldest computer programs in the country while competing on one of 14 robotics design teams. And students across campus can enroll in popular STEM courses offered by the university’s College of Literature, Science and Art, including Alien Skies: A Tour Through the Universe, Biostatistics, and Intro to Cryptology. .

Sources: US Department of Education, Money/Witlytic calculations and Peterson’s. Current salary figures are averaged from program-level alumni earnings within three years of graduation.

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