STEM Education and Careers

Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS) offers a variety of programs that provide a springboard to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) professions.

Degrees in STEM Subjects are in High Demand. 

STEM employment is rapidly growing in the United States and around the world. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 10 million people held STEM jobs in 2021, accounting for approximately 6 percent of the U.S. workforce. The government predicts that this will increase to nearly 11 million people by 2031. But organizations will need to find qualified candidates for the new positions. Graduates in STEM fields are in short supply—domestically and globally.

What is STEM?

STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. STEM degree programs provide fundamental training in these four areas, but they also give students the critical thinking and collaboration skills to succeed in a wide range of well-paying, rewarding jobs that benefit humanity.

Why should students consider a STEM career?

MCPHS faculty and staff take pride in preparing students for exciting opportunities that exist in the real world. The compensation for STEM roles—which support the innovation economy—continues to climb each year, driven in part by a shortage of skilled workers. The median annual wage of a STEM professional in the United States is $95,420 versus $40,120 for a non-STEM worker.1 MCPHS provides a range of degrees and training for students who are interested in science and technology careers that will allow them to do well while making a difference.

How does STEM designation of degree programs help international students?

Countries around the world need workers with training in STEM fields to support growth industries such as biopharmaceuticals and medtech. A degree from MCPHS can unlock exciting career opportunities across the globe. And students in the United States on F-1 visas who earn a degree with a STEM designation—as defined by criteria established by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security—may qualify for an extension of their post-completion optional practical training (OPT), giving them a chance to get more real-world experience in U.S. institutions and healthcare industries before returning home and bringing their experience with them.

What’s Optional Practical Training (OPT) and how does STEM designation impact it?

OPT is an employment benefit that permits F-1 students to work directly in their field of study and gain first-hand experience in the United States. It is often paid. Post-Completion OPT can be applied for and used after an F-1 student graduates and can be authorized for up to 12 months. F-1 students with STEM-designated degrees who meet specific criteria can apply for the 24-month STEM OPT extension during the last 90 days of the Post-Completion OPT period. Learn more about the STEM OPT extension from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security website.

1 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Employment in STEM occupations, 2021 and projected 2031

A Global University

15% of MCPHS Students Are International

Students come from more than 90 countries around the world, contributing to a vibrant, inclusive Community.

Faculty and Staff Prioritize Student Success

MCPHS has supports in place to help students thrive—including through the Center for International Studies.

22 STEM designated programs

MCPHS offers a range of programs that enable certain F-1 students to apply for an extension of their post-completion optional practical training (OPT).

Immigration & International Support Services

MCPHS provides advising and guidance to international students, including students with F-1 visas who wish to explore real-world training opportunities. Certain F-1 students may be able to apply for an extension of their post-completion optional practical training (OPT) after receiving a degree with a formal STEM designation.

STEM in the News