Top 5 US Universities for Undergraduate STEM Courses

    Updated on: 01 Jul 2022

    There are 4,42,746 international students in America at the undergraduate level, with the majority enrolled in a STEM field.  In this post, we find out why a large number of students prefer a bachelor’s degree in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics. Then, we look into the top universities in the USA for STEM courses.

    Why Study Undergraduate Courses in the U.S?

    There are two reasons why you should pick America for your bachelor’s in science.

    • U.S is home to the best universities in the world as is evident by the QS global rankings.
    • Because American colleges are better funded and supported, they offer high-quality research opportunities which are crucial in the field and for those aiming to study further. 


    Why Pick a STEM Bachelor’s Course in the US?

    • A STEM program provides better job opportunities. Currently, STEM-related careers are growing at 17%, while non-STEM jobs are at 9.8% in the US.
    • STEM field employments have higher salaries when compared to others.
    • The last benefit that encourages students to enroll in a STEM major in America is an extension of Optional Practical Training.

    What are the Popular STEM Degrees to Study in the U.S.?

    Based on the number of international students enrolling, the most popular courses in STEM in descending order are:

    • Engineering: 19.6% (or 215,290) of international students in the U.S. opted for this degree and the specialized courses within it.
    • Computer Science: 144,574 international students opted CS as their major.
    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences:  41,589 international students picked the subject as a major.
    • Mathematics & Statistics: It accounted for 41,429 international students in 2018.
    • Physical Sciences: 34,484 international students selected it.

    What are the General Requirements for Applying to a U.S. College?

    Every university in America has its own system for selecting students. We recommend reading through the requirements of each college before applying. That said, some basic criteria are common to all:

    • High School certificates
    • A transcript of your marks
    • Portfolio as asked by MIT and/or essay samples as asked by Caltech
    • Letters of recommendation from teachers (2 to 3)
    • Evidence of funding
    • Standardized Test Scores:
      • English-language tests: Most colleges accept TOEFL or IELTS 
      • SAT or ACT to measure aptitude and critical thinking

    To apply for MIT, Caltech, Harvard, and Stanford, students can either use the Common Application or the Coalition Application. On the other hand, UC Berkeley accepts only its own application form.

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    What are the Top Universities in the US for Bachelors of Science?

    1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    • QS Global Rank: 1
    • Top QS Subject Rank: Engineering and Technology -1, Maths -1

    MIT consistently ranks number one on the top US universities list. It is one of the colleges in America that allows students to work alongside faculty even at the undergraduate level.

    Specific Requirements for Application

    • MIT doesn’t accept IELTS and needs a minimum composite score of 90 in TOEFL iBT.
    • SAT Score: 1500-1570.
    • In addition to the SAT, tests in two SAT subjects (Mathematics and Science).

    Barring the score, the key components MIT looks for in a student can be found here.

    What you Need:

    • Application Cost: $75
    • Annual Tuition Fee: $53,450
    • Annual Living Expenses: $10,430

    The breakdown is given below:



       Student Life Fee  



       Books & Supplies  

       Personal Expenses  










    What you Get:

    • Financial Aid: MIT gives students a need-based financial aid, which includes scholarships, work-study, and loans. The most common assistance granted is the MIT scholarship which amounts to $51,500 per student per year. As an international student, you can work up to 20 hours per week at a minimum wage of $12.
    • Salary: The average income of a B.S student is: $108,867 

    2. Stanford University

    • QS Global Rank: 2
    • Top QS Subject Rank: Computer Science - 2, Engineering – 2

    Besides being part of the top-tier universities in the United States, the location of the school gives an advantage to students who wish to enter the Tech World. Moreover, it has the oldest computer science program in the world.

    Specific Requirements for Application

    • SAT Score: 1420- 1570. 
    • Three Stanford Questions besides the essay required with the application.
    • If English was not the primary language of instruction in secondary school, then a TOEFL or IELTS score is needed.

    The breakdown is given below:



       Room & Board  

       Student Fees Allowance  

       Books & Supplies Allowance  

       Personal Expenses Allowance  











    What you Need:

    • Application Cost: $90
    • Annual Tuition Fee: $52,857
    • Annual Living Expenses: $22,000
    • One-Time New Student Orientation Fee: $525
    • One-time Document Fee: $250

    What you Get:

    • Financial Aid: Like most other colleges, Stanford offers a need-based aid. Besides scholarships, students also have the chance to work part-time on or off-campus to offset some of the financial burdens. The typical amount of awards and grants a student obtains is $55,569.
    • Salary: The average income of a B.S student is $107,930.

    3. Harvard University

    • QS Global Rank: 3
    • Top QS Subject Rank: Biological Science -1, Mathematics - 2

    Harvard provides a degree in almost every possible field of science. One of the renowned Ivy League schools in the U.S, Harvard is the alma mater of John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama. 

    Specific Requirements for application

    • SAT Score: 1570
    • TOEFL is not mandatory but providing the score will help them gauge your capabilities in English.
    • The application asks extensive questions about extracurricular, and personal interests through their “Harvard Questions.”

    The breakdown is given below:






       Subtotal - Billed Costs  

       Estimated Personal Expenses  

       Estimated Travel Costs  

      Total Billed & Unbilled Costs 









    $73,800 - $78,200

    What you Need:

    • Application Cost: $75
    • Annual Tuition: $47,730
    • Annual Miscellaneous Fees: $4,195
    • Annual Living Expenses: $26,275
    • Annual health insurance: $3,700

    What you Get:

    • Financial Aid: Harvard offers the same scholarships and aid to domestic and international students. It uses a need-blind system to award grants. On average, a student can get up to $53,700 as financial relief from different categories of funds, such as the Harvard Endowment Fund.
    • Salary: The average income of a B.S student is $98,524.

    4. California Institute of Technology

    • QS Global Rank: 5
    • Top QS Subject Rank: Natural sciences - 8, Chemical Engineering – 7

    The small class sizes and rigorous curriculum make Caltech one of the best universities in the US. Over 35% of graduates opt to study further after completing their BS degree.

    Specific Requirements for Application

    • SAT Score: 1520-1570
    • SAT Subject Test in Mathematics Level 2 and a science subject test
    • They do not accept IELTS score.

    What you Need:

    • Application Cost: $75
    • Annual Tuition Fee: $52,506
    • Annual Living Expenses: $22,257
    • Annual Health Insurance: $2,726
    • One-time Orientation Fee: $500

    The breakdown is given below:






       Books & Supplies (est.)  

       Personal Expenses (est.)  

       Total Estimated Costs of Attendance  









    What you Get:

    • Financial Aid: For international students, Caltech provides need-sensitive aid. The amount awarded varies from student to student, and there is no customary total. A student who doesn’t receive a scholarship in the first year “is not eligible for aid for any other academic period during their undergraduate course.” Under their work-study program, a student can earn up to $2500 per year.
    • Salary: The average income of a B.S student is $105,500. 

    5. University of California, Berkeley

    • QS Global Rank: 28
    • Top QS Subject Rank: Engineering - 3, Computer Science – 4

    While the worldwide rank in engineering and computer science of Berkeley is nothing to sneeze at, it has also broken records in the field of Chemistry. Their chem-lab has to its name the highest number of chemical elements discovered in the world (16, to be exact).

    Specific Requirements for Application

    • When it comes to scores, UC Berkeley is very specific:
    • For both class X and XII, the average marks should be above 70 and no mark below 60
    • TOEFL iBT score has to be above 80 
    • They accept IELTS with a score band of 6.5 or above
    • SAT with Essay is required with score: 1420-1480
    • It recommends two SAT Subject Tests, Math Level 2, and a science test. 

    What you Need:

    • Application Cost: $80 
    • Annual Tuition: $44,008 (includes the $29,754 Non-resident Supplemental Tuition)
    • Annual Living Expenses: $22,010
    • Annual Health Insurance: $3,286

      Academic Year 2019-20  

       Campus Residence Hall  

      Campus Apartment  

      Off Campus Apartment  

    Tuition & Fees




    Room & Board




    Total Direct Costs




    Housing & Utilities








    Books & Supplies












    Total Cost of Attendence




    What you Get:

    • Financial Aid: UC Berkeley proffers three types of financial aid: grants, scholarships, and work-study. The BIO Need-Based Financial Aid Awards for international students are awarded after the completion of two semesters. Therefore, Berkeley advises finding other means of funding the first-year tuition such as merit-based scholarships and loans. 
    • Salary: The average income of a B.S student is $90,181.


    Find STEM Course for US Apply Here

    US is a Safe Bet for Bachelors in STEM Subjects

    Which university you go to for undergraduate education matters. For the STEM field, the best universities are in America. This is why 76% of international students in the USA major in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics. 
    Besides the competitive advantage of harbouring the most reputable schools, America has a high demand for qualified graduates in the field with over 8.5 million jobs available.
    To sum it up, a top college in the US is more likely to land you a high-paying job or a leading university for Masters. 

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