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What is STEM: All about the STEM Degree, Subjects, Eligibility, Requirements

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Yocket Editorial Team
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If you read newspapers, you might be reading about STEM or governments and research universities collaborating to encourage more women in STEM and so on. Is STEM something secret like the Illuminati that needs more people? Or is it Hogwarts’s rival who is inviting fellow students to join the magical school?

So what is STEM? Although you might know STEM, you should also know it by its full name: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. In the Indian education system, if you choose the Science stream regardless of biology or mathematics, you are going for a career in STEM. So keep reading, as we will tell you everything about STEM including STEM courses, STEM degree, STEM eligibility and alot more! 

  Table of Contents 

  1. What is STEM? 
  2. What is STEM Courses? 
  3. Women in STEM 
  4. Eligibility and Requirements to Study STEM Courses 
  5. Top Countries and Colleges to Study STEM Courses 
  6. Frequently Asked Questions about STEM 

What is STEM?

So answering the highly anticipated question-”What is STEM education?”

The term “STEM” was coined by Judith Ramaley, when she was an assistant director at the National Science Fund. The term was coined while designing education policies to improve competitiveness in science and technology development. Today, the top universities in the United States like MIT and Carnegie Mellon University use STEM as a definition for their pedagogy to produce and train some of the best physicists, engineers and mathematicians of the world.

Did you know the US is the most preferred destination among our Yocketers? Book a 15-minutes FREE call with our Yocket Counsellors to know how to start your application process for studying in the US! 

What is STEM Courses?

The STEM courses comprises of primarily either of these four STEM subjects: 

  • Science: This is composed of natural sciences like biology and chemistry and formal sciences like mathematics and statistics.
  • Technology: This defines the technical systems of our era like radar, Wi-Fi etc.
  • Engineering: Although regarded as one of the biggest hobbies in India, engineering is one of the most dynamic and important parts of STEM research and studies.
  • Mathematics: mathematics as a subject goes hand in hand with all other above-mentioned subjects, and plays a key role in all of the STEM courses. 

Some popular STEM courses have been listed below: 

  • Aerospace engineering
  • Astronomy 
  • Biochemistry 
  • Biology 
  • Chemical engineering
  • Civil engineering
  • Electrical engineering 
  • Physics 
  • Statistics 
  • Mathematics 

Recommended: Top Study Abroad Course Guides 

STEM does not include social sciences subjects like Psychology and History which are rather clubbed in Humanities and Arts or business programs.

Women in STEM 

Due to a prevalent gender gap and a reduced proportion of women in STEM degree, young girls are nowadays encouraged to take admissions into STEM programs. A STEM program encourages women to pursue their careers in STEM fields, thereby increasing the proportion of women in the same. To facilitate an increase of girls and women in STEM degree, various organisations, NGOs, and governments are coming up with schemes like Engineer Girl, Girls Who Code, etc. 

It has been observed that out of 12% women graduating in STEM, only 2% actually start working in the STEM field. 

Suggested: British Council Scholarships for Women in STEM! 

Eligibility and Requirements to Study STEM Courses 

Let us now move on to discover the STEM eligibility and STEM requirements for international students willing to study abroad. The basic requirements to study a STEM program are: 

  1. English language proficiency scores 
  2. Aptitude test scores 
  3. Minimum academic requirements 
  4. Work experience 

Let us talk about each STEM requirement in detail below: 

English Language Proficiency Scores 

To be eligible for a STEM degree, English language proficiency is the most basic requirement. The minimum score requirement for IELTS and TOEFL is 6.0 and 80 respectively. 

Aptitude Test Scores 

Another basic requirement for getting admitted into an STEM program is the SAT, ACT scores when pursuing UG programs, and GRE, GMAT when pursuing PG programs. 

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Minimum Academic Requirements 

The minimum academic requirements to pursue a STEM degree are as follows: 

  • Science: 10+2 along with 3 years bachelors course in Science (for PG STEM courses)
  • Technology: 10+2 along with 4 years technology related bachelors course 
  • Engineering: 10+2 along with 4 years bachelors course in various engineering specialisations 
  • Mathematics: 10+2 along with 3 years mathematics related bachelors course

Work Experience 

Work experience is an important STEM eligibility requirement for courses pertaining to masters in the STEM field. A minimum work experience required usually spans to 1-2 years according to various programs.

Suggested: Data Reveals STEM Courses Popular among Foreign Scholars in the US! 

Top Countries and Colleges to Study STEM Courses 

Moving on, let us now make you acquainted with some of the top countries to study a STEM program for international students: 

  1. US 
  2. UK 
  3. Canada 
  4. Australia 
  5. Switzerland 
  6. Germany 
  7. Ireland 
  8. Spain 

Suggested: List of Popular STEM Courses in the UK! 

Some of the most famous universities offering the best STEM degree programs in the world are: 

An STEM education will open gateways for you if you’re someone interested in subjects like science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Moreover, STEM graduates are offered some of the highest paying jobs in the world, with a great ROI. You can even connect with our Yocket Counsellors to know more about STEM related courses, and top universities in the world to pursue a career in STEM! 

Frequently Asked Questions about STEM 

Ques. What is the full form of STEM? 

Ans. Full form of STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. 

Ques. What is a STEM degree? 

Ans. A STEM degree is any degree in the field of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. 

Ques. What is STEM education? 

Ans. STEM education is nothing but education in the field of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. 

Ques. What is a popular STEM courses list? 

Ans. The popular STEM courses list is as follows: 

  • Chemical engineering
  • Aerospace engineering 
  • Information science 
  • Computer science 
  • Biotechnology 
  • Civil engineering
  • Physics 
  • Biochemistry 

Ques. Why is STEM being promoted so much?

Ans. The reason is quite simple: unlike law school programs or business school programs, you can start working in STEM research immediately after your undergraduate school also. Governments and private companies are investing money worth private jets in STEM research like cancer research, nuclear energy and aerospace industry. So, having a STEM job is a short-cut to being a Crazy-Rich Asian!

Ques. Can I go to a business school and still get a STEM job? So why should I go for a STEM education?

Ans. In 1965, Dr. Richard Feynman won the Nobel Prize in Physics for his work in quantum electrodynamics. Much to everyone’s surprise, he didn't want it. He stated the reason as, “I have already got the prize: the prize is the pleasure of finding things out, the kick in the discovery, the observation that other people use it. Those are the real things.”

Getting a STEM education is exciting and meaningful for a fact that someday, you might be making something that would benefit mankind. Yes, it is tough but meaningful.

Ques. Does the US allow international students to be funded as STEM students?

Ans. Yes! In fact, most of the funding in research and education in the US are devoted to STEM research. This covers all forms: undergraduate, graduate and doctoral. The US government and several private entities fund millions of dollars to international students to study and perform STEM research.

Read: The UConn STEM Scholarship