The Foster School of Business Announces STEM-Designated Management Science Degree Option for Full-time MBA Candidates

University of Washington-Foster School of Business is pleased to announce the creation of the MBA Management Science Degree Option, a new credential available to Foster’s Full-time MBA students to choose beginning in Autumn quarter of 2020. “We are pleased to take another step in creating opportunities for Foster MBAs to elevate the impact of their ideas on the world,” commented Associate Dean Dan Turner. “The STEM-designated Management Science Degree Option will allow Foster MBAs to make more sustained impact in their organizations following graduation. Corporate partners will have access to students who not only share their values about fostering human progress but who also have the quantitative acumen needed to move ideas and organizations forward.”


Prithvi Shankar Ramesh, MBA Class of 2021

Students who complete 16 credits from a defined list of management science elective courses and meet the degree requirements of the Foster Full-time MBA Program earn both the MBA parent degree and the STEM-designated MBA Management Science Option. Importantly, Foster Full-time MBA students will be able to earn the 16 credits with careful elective course selection without having to lengthen their 2-year program or incurring additional tuition expense. Assistant Dean Wendy Guild commented, “Foster MBAs interested in furthering their expertise in quantitative approaches to management will be able to continue to tailor their programs of study with evidence-based tools. We are proud that Foster alumni, current students, faculty, and staff supported this initiative to focus student learning and growth.”

“Businesses are becoming more data-focused, making analytics essential in the MBA curriculum. The MBA (Management Science) degree enables the Foster School of Business to cater to the market need enabling graduate students to remain competitive in the MBA marketplace. The new degree option will allow Foster graduates to have a better opportunity for professional success and impact,” stated Prithvi Shankar Ramesh, MBA Class of 2021.

Sihang (Stella) Chen, Foster MBA Class of 2021

Sihang (Stella) Chen, Foster MBA Class of 2021

Importantly, completion of the MBA Management Science Option also permits Foster Full-time MBA students studying on F-1 visas to participate in both the initial 12-month period of post-degree Optional Practical Training (OPT) while also applying for the 24-month STEM OPT Extension. “With the STEM option, Foster international MBA students are given the opportunity to compete fairly with students of other majors on the same level when looking for jobs and will have the 2nd, even the 3rd chance to win the H1B lottery draw. It will also lead to a more diverse group of future Foster MBA students as the STEM option will attract more international talent,” commented Sihang (Stella) Chen, Foster MBA Class of 2021.

According to Foster Dean Frank Hodge, “Our community believes that the MBA Management Science Degree Option is an important step forward in empowering students to elevate their impact on the world. The Foster alumni, staff, faculty, and stakeholder communities remain committed to a balanced approach to accelerating student personal, professional, and leadership development, and we are thrilled to offer the option to students with an analytical and quantitatively-focused bent.”

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about the new MBA Management Science Degree Option.

What is this new degree option?
The MBA Management Science Degree Option will build on the required Foster core curriculum, offering students the opportunity to further develop quantitative and analytical skills and capabilities.

Which courses are included in the degree option?
To earn the MBA Management Science Degree Option, students must complete 16 credit hours of eligible courses in Accounting, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Marketing, Quantitative Analysis, and Operations Management.

Who can apply to the MBA Management Science Degree Option?
Students who have been admitted to the Foster School of Business Full-time MBA program and have successfully completed the majority of the “core” required courses can apply for this option.

When do I apply for the MBA Management Science Degree Option?
At the earliest, students in the Full-time MBA program can apply for admission to this option after completion of their first year in the program.

What is the name of the degree that I will earn?
The degree awarded will be a Master of Business Administration – Management Science. This will appear on the transcript for any student who applies for this option and satisfies the option requirements.

Who might be interested in this degree option?
This degree option is useful for students desiring a deep dive into analytics and/or our international students.

As an international student, does this degree option affect my ability to work in the U.S. after graduation?
The new degree option is STEM-designated according to criteria from the United States Department of Homeland Security. International students who want authorization to work in the U.S. may qualify for a STEM OPT extension of an additional 24 months to obtain an employer sponsored visa. For international students interested in working in the United States after graduation, the new degree option may also improve chances of receiving an H-1B work visa.

Where can I learn more about STEM designation and an OPT extension?
You can find additional information about the STEM designation and OPT extension, and U.S. Government policies here.

To learn more about the Foster difference, please visit the Foster Full-time MBA website or connect with a member of the Foster MBA community at [email protected].

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