Reimagining Business Education: GWSB Announces STEM-Designated MBA Programs

May 12, 2020

image - banner graphic for STEM-designated MBA programs

Starting in the Fall 2020 semester, the George Washington University School of Business (GWSB) will offer full-time MBA students the option of a STEM designation for their Global MBA and Accelerated MBA programs.

While all students will have a STEM-enhanced core education, students can also voluntarily enroll in this new track, which will include STEM-focused courses within their electives and selectives. Students will have the opportunity to begin a STEM path within their MBA starting in the fall 2020 semester and take STEM-focused courses as part of their core electives and selectives. For these students, at least 50 percent of the curriculum is in a STEM-designated class.

GWSB developed the STEM-designated track based on feedback from students and employers that desire job education outcomes that result in advanced knowledge of business management through technology. As management roles have evolved, students are much more interested in the intersection of technical and quantitative fields and their application to the traditional business discipline. An additional benefit of the new MBA curriculum option is that international students with the STEM designation will qualify for extended Optional Practical Training (OPT) following graduation from their program.


"Even before COVID-19, the future of work was in STEM. Now more than ever, STEM-specific jobs are in demand by employers. A STEM major is an important signal to employers that our students are ready to add immediate value to organizations in today's economy and society."

Dr. Liesl Riddle

Associate Dean of Graduate Programs
The GW School of Business


STEM-designated MBA Tracks for Global MBA and Accelerated MBA

In the fall of 2020, students enrolled in both programs will have the option of meeting with their academic advisors to consider and plan a STEM-designated course path. Enrollment in the STEM-designated MBA is voluntary for students. The academic path for students who choose to pursue the STEM-designated MBA track is as follows:

Core STEM enhancement (all MBA students)

Project-based Class

  • Tech for Business in D.C.

Project-based Applications

  • Accounting for Internal Decision Making
  • Finance
  • Decision Making & Data Analysis
  • Operations Management

Technology and Analytics Selectives (select three; 1 credit each)

  • Working with Databases Using SQL
  • Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
  • Healthcare Analytics and Applications
  • Digital Transformation

Voluntary Enrollment in STEM MBA track for GMBA and AMBA students

These students will choose from a required predetermined list of STEM electives that are held across departments. The application of STEM education is included in these courses through various aspects of business education focused in each elective.

STEM Electives

  • Global MBA: 15 credits from the STEM electives
  • Accelerated MBA: 12 credits from the STEM electives
  • ACCY 6106 Financial Statement Analysis    
  • ACCY 6202 Advanced Strategic Cost Management    
  • DNSC 6203 Statistics for Analytics I    
  • DNSC 6206 Stochastic Foundation: Probability Models
  • DNSC 6209 Forecasting for Analytics    
  • DNSC 6251 Optimization Models for Decision Making    
  • DNSC 6252 Risk Analysis for Decision Making    
  • DNSC 6254 Risk Management    
  • DNSC 6257 Cost Estimation and Control    
  • DNSC 6262 Directed Computational Project Management
  • DNSC 6280 Supply Chain Analytics    
  • FINA 6221 Financial Decision Making    
  • FINA 6223 Investment Analysis and Portfolio Management    
  • FINA 6239 Applied Portfolio Management    
  • IBUS 6301 International Business Finance    
  • ISTM 6200 Programming in Python & R    
  • ISTM 6209 Web and Social Analytics    
  • ISTM 6214 Foundations of AI    
  • MGT 6290 HR Analytics    
  • MKTG 6243 Marketing Research    
  • TSTD 6221 Hospitality Market Analysis

A full list of STEM electives will be available in the University Bulletin.

Additional STEM Options

In addition to the STEM MBA, current and incoming MBA students have the opportunity to apply for a dual or joint STEM-designated program. Dual and joint degree programs allow students to share credits between two programs, resulting in the awarding of two degrees which can save time and money for students interested in earning two credentials. The STEM-designated programs are:

Dual Degree

  • MBA/MS in Business Analytics
  • MBA/MS in Information Systems Technology

Joint Degree

  • MBA/MS in Applied Finance
  • MBA/MS in Finance

Next Steps

Current and incoming Global MBA and Accelerated MBA students interested in these new options should talk with their academic advisors starting in fall 2020 about planning their courses for the STEM-designated track as well as dual and joint degrees.