Over the past couple hundred years, the world has seen a profound shift to an industrial, then a digital age that has cemented the place of science and technology in our daily lives.

As the industrialization and digitization of the world intensify, the market for STEM professionals is growing at a frantic pace. As a result, STEM jobs are increasing at nearly 2 million times faster than that for non-STEM jobs in the last decade.

Consequently, our educational institutions have reflected this shift, with many universities nows focusing their efforts on enhancing their pursuits in the STEM fields. In fact, for most university rankings, STEM focus is often a significant factor, as colleges with curricula that emphasize STEM typically rank near the top of these lists.

The government, too, has not held back in pursuing this trend, with both President Trump and President Obama making it one of the priority goals of their regime to increase the participation of women in STEM fields and the total number of STEM graduates.

Now one of the best times to get into STEM fields as the employment prospects and salary structure for more disciplines is solid. For aspiring STEM students, we give you the top 20 STEM colleges you should consider this year.

#20: Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

Princeton University

Whether you want to become an engineer or use your brain to help shape our world with applied mathematics, Princeton University is one of the best schools you could pick in the country.

This Ivy League school is a private research university with a strong focus on STEM fields, especially mathematics and engineering. However, the institution is quite competitive and has an acceptance rate of only 6.4%.

#19: The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA,) Los Angeles, California


If you want to venture into STEM, California is a great place to be, and the University of California, Los Angeles, is one of the best STEM locations, especially if you are an aspiring Mathematics major.

UCLA offers four mathematics majors that mostly focus on practical aspects of the discipline like business mathematics, computation, and applied mathematics.

The school has a decent acceptance rate of 18%.

#18: John Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland

John Hopkins University

John Hopkins University is the country’s first research university, and consequently, a pioneer in STEM education in the US. The University has active departments in most STEM disciplines, but it is most known for its medical school.

If you are looking to get the best medical education you can get in the country, this is it. And with an acceptance rate of 13%, students in the top percentile have a decent chance of getting admitted.

#17: United States Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, New York

The military sector offers some of the best STEM schools in the country, and the United States Merchant Marine Academy is one of the top colleges on offer. Here, students get top-notch instruction in marine engineering, marine logistics and systems, and maritime security, as well as STEM fields like Mathematics, Naval Science, and medicine. Students also get the best schooling in leadership and discipline.

While the school has a limited number of disciplines on offer, it is one of the most rigorous STEM programs you will find anywhere.

#16: University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

University of Chicago

UChicago offers one of the best mathematics programs in the country, and if you are a math genius or an aspiring applied mathematician, you will fit right at home here. The school is also a pioneer in the development of mathematics curricula for colleges and is the creator of the UCSMP and Everyday Mathematics curricula.

The school offers several programs to foster STEM education, including a Research Experiences for Undergraduates program and a Directed Reading Program that pairs undergraduates with graduate students and faculty members for independent study schemes.

More: Best Undergraduate Finance Programs

#15: Colorado School of Mines, Golden City, Colorado

The Colorado School of Mines is an engineering powerhouse. While the college is famous for its mechanical, petroleum, and chemical engineering departments, the school is also instructing in almost every STEM discipline under the sun covering everything from metallurgical, to geophysical and nuclear science.

The school also has one of the most definite focus on research with over $65 million in research awards in the year 2018 alone.

#14: United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland

The United States Naval Academy is one of the Military’s STEM powerhouses with more than 20 STEM majors on offer and a dedication to providing undergraduates with a rigorous science and technology background.

The school trains servicemen and women in disciplines like information technology, mechanical engineering, mathematics, naval engineering, and marine engineering. Here, you also get solid instruction in discipline and leadership skills.

#13: Rice University, Houston, Texas

Rice University is a substantial all-round college for rigorous academic education, and its STEM departments are no exception. The University has three schools dedicated to stem that provide in-depth curricula in all aspects of STEM, including new fields like nanotechnology and computational mathematics.

Furthermore, the school is active in research, with up to 62 percent of its undergraduates participating in some form of independent research.

Rice University has an acceptance rate of 15.3%.

#12: Michigan Technological University, Houghton, Michigan

One of the best schools for practical engineering is the Michigan Technological University in Houghton. If you are handy and love to test your hand at different types of technology, you will fit right in here.

At Michigan Tech, students work on everything from robots to prosthetics and nanosatellites. Throughout your program here, you get access to at least 20 research centers available on campus, as well as the latest in technological research equipment.

#11: Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla, Missouri

Another engineering powerhouse, Missouri University of Science and Technology, is famous around the country, especially in the midwest, for its engineering and computing curricula. Here, the school is a pioneer in both graduate and undergraduate research, thanks to its state-of-the-art facilities and a culture of rigorous academics.

Some of the University’s most prominent research areas include advanced manufacturing, computational modeling of biological complexity, materials for improving work in extreme environments, and advanced work in producing sustainable infrastructure.

#10: University of Texas, Austin, Texas

University of Texas

One of the favorite locations for aspiring students looking to get into STEM is the University of Texas at Austin. The University is known for its strong focus on highly technical fields like artificial intelligence, data mining, information technology, and cybersecurity.

If you are ready to toss your hat in the ring, UT is a good a place to get started as the University posts some of the highest acceptance rates on this list at 37.5%. The University of Texas also offers several aid programs for STEM majors like their Scholarship for Service program.

#9: Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia

For intending computer science majors, Georgia Institute of Technology offers one of the most comprehensive platforms in the country. Here, you will find more than 20 different computer science specializations spread out across three schools.

Furthermore, Georgia Tech also provides a robust undergraduate research program in its UROC program, and you get to compete for cash prizes with your research at their annual symposium. The school has an acceptance rate of 23%.

#8: Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey

Stevens Institute of Technology offers the best in engineering research facilities with the Maritime Security Center and the Systems Engineering Research Center, two top national research centers, as well as a host of other research labs around the college campus.

While the institute’s strongest suit is engineering, the school also offers robust majors in several modern STEM fields like cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, data science, information technology, and information systems.

Furthermore, the Stevens Institute of Technology also has an unmatched retention rate of 94% of its alumni, making it one of the best schools in the country for career placement.

#7: Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Terre Haute, Indiana

If you are in the midwest, one of your best options for superior STEM education is the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Indiana. This small, private college, is a 100% STEM institute that has one of the best engineering schools in the country.

The school also has departments for almost all the STEM disciplines and top-notch facilities and rigorous academics to match. Rose-Hulman consistently ranks as one of the best STEM schools in the country, and the college’s alumni boast an impressive 98% job placement rate.

#6: Harvey Mudd College, Claremont, California

With schools like Stanford and the University of California, the state of California has a significant dominance when it comes to tech education. However, these are not your only options. The smaller Harvey Mudd College in Claremont is renowned for its engineering colleges that are arguably on a par with the other STEM giants in the state.

The close-knit college provides significantly more hands-on experiences for students, and a chance to form closer relationships with colleagues and professors.

#5: Stanford University, Stanford, California

Stanford University

If you are looking to get into the tech startup game, Stanford is something of a good luck charm. Google, Netflix, and Snapchat, three of the world’s largest tech companies were all founded at Stanford University. That fact alone is a testament to the tech-focused environment at the college.

Since it is located in the middle of the buzz of Silicon Valley, joining Stanford is a no brainer for the aspiring tech entrepreneur as the school gives you access to all of the latest and greatest in the tech world. However, if you are looking to go here, prepare for some hot competition as the school only admits 4.7% of applicants.

#4: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts

No discussion about STEM education in the US can be complete without the mention of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. MIT is arguably the country’s premier tech school with a stream of prominent alumni and an insanely rigorous curricula that will hold its own against any tech school.

MIT offers an Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program to all students, and more than 90% of the institute’s undergraduates complete the program at least once before graduation.

#3: University of California, Berkeley, California

University of California, Berkeley

California is one of the biggest tech hubs in the country, and as a result, it has some of the most prominent STEM colleges you can attend anywhere. The University of California at Berkeley is one such titan. The school is renowned for its engineering program, which consistently ranks as one of the best in the world and its unique system of pairing technology and business in single majors.

As a public school, the University of California, Berkeley offers a cheaper and less competitive alternative to Stanford.

#2: Harvard University: Cambridge, Massachusetts

The Harvard Memorial Hall, at Harvard University

Harvard is one of the best at everything, and STEM is no exception. The University is home to active departments in almost every STEM discipline featuring some of the most renowned professors in the world and an abnormally high percentage of Nobel Laureates.

However, its prominent name, rich history, and state-of-the-art facilities ensure that Harvard is one of the hardest schools to get into, admitting only 5.2% of applicants.

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#1: California Institute of Technology (Caltech,) Pasadena, California

California Institute of Technology

This college features prominently in the hit TV show Big Bang Theory with a cast of brainy professors in a case of art mimicking life. Caltech is one of the prime locations for STEM Ph.D. programs in the country and also an industry leader in the lab as well.

The University is also one of the best schools for space and astrophysics as the fact that it houses NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is a strong vote of confidence.

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