Basic Eligibility to Pursue STEM Courses Abroad


Mrunmayai Bobade
Updated on Apr 26, 2023 10:07 PM IST

From visa benefits to job opportunities, studying STEM courses abroad brings various advantages for international students. This article covers the basic eligibility to pursue STEM courses abroad, separately for bachelors and masters in STEM abroad including country-wise eligibility to study STEM abroad.

Basic Eligibility to Pursue STEM Courses Abroad

Eligibility to pursue STEM courses abroad: You may have come across various news about new partnerships between governments and academic institutions to promote the involvement of more women in STEM fields. More than before, STEM is in the limelight and gaining popularity with each passing day. The abbreviation STEM has likely come up while discussing academic fields and vocations, and you have probably seen it as well. You might think of it as an ambiguous term that refers to a variety of distinct fields and educational backgrounds. Maybe you have heard that STEM students tend to graduate with exceptionally favourable results, but you are unsure of what this means or why.

The four core fields of STEM — Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics — are all incorporated into STEM courses. These are important technical domains that offer a wide range of career possibilities geared towards promoting innovation in every facet of the global economy.

For individuals who are passionate enough to pursue a career in STEM, the huge academic field of science offers enormous opportunities. There are numerous attractive prospects in the public and private sectors, ranging from medical science to information technology. An endless number of specialisations and sub-disciplines can be found within these branches of science. If you desire to pursue a career in these fields, this article provides thorough information about the basic eligibility to pursue STEM courses abroad that must be met by Indian students who want to enrol in these remunerative courses.

What is STEM?

STEM refers to disciplines and aspects in the realms of science, technology, engineering, and maths. The incorporation of various disciplines into a comprehensive curriculum with the goal of providing students with a multifaceted education that is expertise-based and business-focused has been one of the major breakthroughs in the past decade. The rapidity of technological growth and invention requires a holistic grasp of such disciplines while in the past they may have been taught independently of one another.  

It is essential to keep in mind that STEM is a catch-all phrase that refers to a variety of courses of study. The subjects covered here can range from computer science and architecture to chemistry and aerospace engineering. The focus on developing analytical, technical, and interpersonal abilities together with accuracy and attention to detail is what unites these disciplines.

The emphasis on practical learning and knowledge is one of the key elements of STEM courses and the related curriculum. This entails applying theory in a practical setting and testing it through experiments. From laboratory testing of engineering components to medical diagnostics, this can take many different forms. The goal is to make sure you are equipped with the necessary knowledge for similar situations or challenges you may face in a professional setting.

Additionally, an inexorable necessity for technical expertise and highly specialist abilities hold STEM graduates in excellent stead when it comes to employment. With the escalating advancements and discoveries across a range of industries, the need for such multifarious knowledge keeps expanding. In reality, a lot of STEM-related careers have recently undergone development and design.

Planning to Study STEM Courses Abroad?

Why Pursue STEM Courses Abroad?

There are various plus points of taking STEM courses for a better future. Having a determined STEM career can provide the person with job security, making a strong sense of being an integral part of the marketplace. Today's job scenario revolves around IT, computer science and engineering with strong job outlooks, STEM students can find exciting careers from the course.

Earning a competitive salary is yet another plus point of pursuing STEM courses abroad. After all, who hates getting a paycheck with whopping salary amount? Hence, many students believe that pursuing STEM courses abroad could turn out to be a huge investment future. Check Studying STEM Abroad: Expense Or Investment? for detailed information.

Along with the obvious, there are a number of multidisciplinary subjects that fall under the broad umbrella of STEM education. The sub-disciplines of each of the fields represented by the acronym are counted under the STEM category. 

Some of the STEM majors that are in high demand among international students are Physics, Astronomy, Chemical engineering, Aerospace engineering, Biology, Biochemistry,  Life sciences, Civil engineering, Chemistry, Mechanical engineering, Information Technology, Computer science, Mathematics, Electrical Engineering, Structural Engineering, Psychology, Material sciences, Natural sciences, Biological Sciences, and Software Engineering.

Basic Eligibility to Pursue STEM Courses Abroad

Just like other fields, STEM requires a basic level of understanding of its field from the applicants - be it national or international. They are required to meet the criteria of minimum educational qualification to be eligible to apply for a STEM programme.

As an international student, the pressure is more. So here, the applicants are required to have test scores for mandatory standardised exams like SAT exam or ACT exam. However, it varies from country to country as well as the degree the applicant is aspiring to pursue. However, if you think STEM courses are the best fit for you then, a ton of benefits of studying STEM courses abroad are waiting for you!

Eligibility to Pursue Bachelors in STEM Abroad

For bachelor's, the eligibility criteria are set differently by every university depending on the courses applied. Some of the significant requirements for a bachelor's degree in STEM like English proficiency score and academic qualification. Here are the subject-wise eligibility criteria to pursue a bachelor's in STEM abroad:

Science: A minimum of 10+2 in PCM or PCB is a must.

Technology: A minimum of 10+2 in PCM is required. Biology is a must for Biotechnology courses.

Engineering: A Minimum of 10+2 in PCM. Biology is a must in Bioengineering courses.

Mathematics: A minimum of 10+2 in PCM is required.

Minimum passing marks of the 12th standard may vary from university to university. The least expected score from institutes abroad is above 60%.

Other basic requirements for bachelor STEM courses include:

Standardised Exams: There are a few compulsory exams that are required to be cleared with a minimum score that is acceptable by universities abroad. Some of the standardised exams that can be taken to pursue STEM courses abroad are SAT and ACT. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has certainly altered the dynamics of international education resulting in the closure of testing centres. For detailed information, here is a list of universities waiving off GMAT/GRE in 2023.

English Language Proficiency: A good score in English proficiency exams like the IELTS exam or TOEFL exam is one of the mandatory requirements to study STEM abroad. These tests are a must requirement if you are a non-native speaker of English and intend to study in English-speaking nations like the United States or the United Kingdom.

Most STEM graduates wish to commence Small and Medium Businesses (SMEs) as their future objectives. Having a STEM degree from a renowned and recognised institution abroad may help the candidate carve a niche in the industry as an entrepreneur. Add to that, STEM pass-outs with creative business ideas find financers to invest in their budding start-ups. The practical exposure also allows its students to get a hang of industrial experience, helping an existing venture to new heights.

Eligibility to Pursue Masters in STEM Abroad

For this, the candidate must need to qualify with an acceptable standardised test score. In some countries, professional experience related to the field of study is also mandatory. A bachelor's degree in the same field is necessary to pursue a Master's. Here is a subject-wise eligibility requirement to pursue a Master's course in STEM:

Science: Minimum 10+2 with a three-year formal bachelor's education in Science Honours is a must.

Technology: Minimum 10+2 with a four-year formal bachelor's education in any Technological or related specialisation is required.

Engineering: Minimum 10+2 with a four-year formal bachelor's education in any Engineering or related specialisation is a must.

Mathematics: Minimum 10+2 with a three-year formal bachelor's education in Mathematics Honours are a must.

The minimum bachelor's score required to pursue Masters in STEM abroad is expected to be over 60%.

Other general eligibility requirements for a master's in STEM abroad include

Standardised Exams: Here are the standardised exams and language tests required for STEM abroad like the GRE exam or GMAT exam. It varies from university to university as some colleges or universities are strict about a GRE cut-off score while others may also accept the GMAT. However, some educational institutes do not require a GRE or GMAT exam score for international students, so still, it is recommended that candidates take GRE to secure a seat in an above-average college.

English Proficiency Tests: Exams like IELTS, TOEFL, and PTE exams are widely accepted by foreign universities for masters in STEM. Minimum score requirements can vary as per country and course requirements. However, here is a general idea of what score STEM applicants should target:

Practical Experience: Some countries like the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Sweden, Ireland, etc. seek and give preference to candidates with at least a minimum of two years of experience in the relevant field. There may be a few exceptions to this as some universities may overlook this criterion and admit candidates without any experience. However, to get admission to top universities, it is advisable to gain relevant professional experience in the targeted field. Countries that do not require any minimum professional experience from international students are the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Country-wise Eligibility to Study STEM Abroad

The STEM education curriculum has extended its branches to various countries like the USA, Canada and the UK. These are some of the top countries to study STEM educational pathways with options for technical, vocational, or academic tracks of study.

Eligibility to Study STEM in the USA

The United States can be regarded as one of the top study abroad destinations for students aspiring to pursue STEM courses. To study STEM education in the USA, candidates must meet some of the following requirements set by the universities in the country.

  • For undergraduate courses, the candidate must have completed twelve years of elementary and secondary education (10+2) from a recognised board of education.

  • They must have qualified for the required standardised tests like the ACT or SAT with the minimum score set by the particular university.

  • Candidates should have qualified English proficiency tests like IELTS, PTE Academic or TOEFL with the minimum score.

While for postgraduate courses, the candidate must hold a bachelor's degree in a relevant field and a minimum undergraduate Grade Point Average (GPA) on a 4.0 scale. They also must have qualified for the required standardised tests like GRE or GMAT, including English proficiency tests such as the IELTS, PTE Academic or TOEFL. Several universities require applicants to have work experience in a related field, so candidates should keep this in mind as well.

Eligibility to Study STEM in the UK

The United Kingdom has some of the top universities that provide STEM courses to international students. STEM in UK is highly competitive and therefore it is important to know the eligibility criteria before applying for the course.

One of the main requirements to get admission to a STEM course is that the candidate must have studied physics, chemistry, mathematics, and biology subjects in high school. If the candidate is applying for a postgraduate course, then they should have a bachelor's in any of the subjects from STEM. Further, applicants must have relevant work experience, a Statement of Purpose, and a Letter of Recommendation from their respective professors. However, candidates must note that the eligibility criteria for STEM courses differ from university to university.

Eligibility to Study STEM in Canada

Canada is another best option to study STEM courses after USA and UK. There are various STEM courses that Canadian universities offer to both domestic and international students. However, to get admission to a Canadian university to study the desired STEM courses, the candidate should meet all the eligibility criteria.

To pursue a bachelor's in STEM, candidates must have a 12th-grade education in Science, clubbed with standardised exams like SAT and English proficiency tests such as IELTS, TOEFL and PTE Academic. Similarly, to pursue a master's in STEM in Canada, the candidates must have a bachelor's in any of the subjects from STEM along with standardised tests like the GRE and GMAT.

Studying STEM in Canada allows students to work on their imagination and creativity which contribute to new ideas and inventions. In the world of artificial intelligence and digital learning, these skills are essential for a student for a better professional life. If students work together on the same project, different skilled minds come together which helps them to find the solution to different problems, document data, give presentations, write theoretical papers, etc.

While pursuing STEM, one thing is for sure the students will get adequate risk-taking innovation. Canada also provides scholarships to international students. During the entire course period, students are encouraged to bring their new ideas and do experiments for better practical skills.

List of Popular STEM Courses to Study Abroad

Any STEM-related course is an appropriate programme for you if you are seeking a demanding and satisfying educational experience. STEM courses abroad provide students with exceptional opportunities to make a difference because of their cutting-edge technologies and emphasis on developing creative solutions to real-world challenges. The following is a discussion of the top five popular STEM courses to study abroad:

Computer Science

STEM courses in computer science have been developed specifically to provide students with directives for the most recent techniques and methodologies in computer engineering. You will train as a student for a wide range of professional options in the technology field, including software developer, network administrator, and cyber security analyst.

Information Technology

Most of the world's economy nowadays is fueled by information technology, as each sector of business needs IT specialists to handle some of the most specialised work within their respective fields. One of the highest-paying professions in IT, where annual compensation for experts is estimated at USD 105,000. Job profiles like software architect, software developer, network engineer, and IT manager are the best career options.

Management Science

One of the most popular STEM courses in management science focuses on developing and managing intricate networks. The main emphasis is on analytical methods, designs, and tools for commercial enterprises. You will mostly study quantitative tools and qualitative methodologies for analysing logistical and strategic concerns as an international student.

Computer Engineering

Computer science, another well-known STEM major with a median salary of USD 112,000 annually, includes computer engineering as a subfield. A computer engineering bachelor's degree has paved the way for a variety of employment options in the electronics, communications, automotive, aerospace, robotics, and healthcare industries.

Aerospace Engineering

Courses in aeronautical engineering are rocketing to the top of the STEM course abroad preferences list for international students as a result of the rapid development of green and fuel-efficient technology. One of the industries with the fastest growth rates worldwide is aerospace, which offers students a highly lucrative STEM degree. You can work for companies that develop and manufacture aircraft, spacecraft, and missiles.

If you are interested in fields like science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, meeting the basic eligibility to pursue STEM courses abroad will open doors for you. STEM-skilled graduates are still in great demand across many industries, and there is an acute lack of graduates. The transferability of skill sets and their practical use is one of the main factors influencing STEM graduates' employment. Additionally, STEM graduates have access to some of the best-paid jobs worldwide with excellent returns on investment. 

Did you meet the eligibility to study STEM abroad? Or, need expert help in choosing a specialised STEM course abroad? If yes, then reach out to us at to resolve your queries!

Confused Which Specialised STEM Course Abroad is Ideal for You?


What STEM scholarships in UK are available to international students?

There are mainly four STEM scholarships in UK available to international students. These are Commonwealth Scholarship, Erasmus Mundus Joint Master’s Degree Scholarship, GREAT Scholarship, and British Council Scholarship for Women in STEM. To know the detailed eligibility criteria for these scholarships, check out STEM Scholarships in the UK for International Students.

What are the popular STEM courses in UK?

The popular STEM courses in UK include Biochemistry, Surveying Engineering, Civil Engineering, Forest Engineering, Statistics, Computer Software Engineering, Paleontology, Zoology, Computer Science, Plant Sciences, Physics, Ocean Engineering, Nuclear Physics, Meteorology, Geology, Astronomy, Agricultural Engineering, etc. To get detailed information on this, read this article on Popular STEM Courses in UK

What are the best universities in USA to study STEM courses?

The USA is home to some of the best universities to study STEM courses that consistently rank higher in QS World Rankings every year. These include Stanford University, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University, Princeton University, Johns Hopkins University (Hopkins), The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), etc. 

What STEM scholarships in USA are available to international students?

There are mainly five scholarships in USA available to international students. These include RevPart 2021 STEM Scholarship, Buildium’s Build U. Scholarship, GeneTex Scholarship, AfterCollege STEM Inclusion Scholarship, and MyBioSource Scholarship Program. To avail of the eligibility criteria, check our article on STEM Scholarships in US for International Students.

What are the benefits of studying STEM courses in USA?

There are many benefits of studying STEM courses in USA, one of which is gaining a global perspective on the technological world. The US culture encourages students to be open-minded, which they later use to their advantage when trying to solve problems in the industry, business and the community. 

What are the eligibility criteria to pursue STEM courses in USA?

The eligibility criteria to pursue STEM courses in USA for bachelors is 10+2 years of secondary education, standardised test scores, and English proficiency test scores. On the other hand, the eligibility criteria to pursue STEM courses in USA for masters is a minimum GPA of 3.0, a bachelors degree in a relevant field, a standardised test score, and English proficiency test scores. 

What are the eligibility criteria to pursue STEM courses in UK?

The eligibility criteria to pursue STEM courses in UK for bachelors are SAT scores, LOR, SOP, English proficiency test scores, and a diploma in a relevant field. On the other hand, the eligibility criteria to pursue STEM courses in UK for masters is a work experience certificate, bachelors degree from a recognised university, a standardised test score, and English proficiency test scores. 

What are the eligibility criteria to pursue STEM courses in Canada?

The eligibility criteria to pursue STEM courses in Canada for bachelors is 10+2 in PCM (Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics) or PCB (Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics/Biology). On the other hand, the eligibility criteria to pursue STEM courses in Canada for masters is a GPA of 3+, English proficiency test scores, SOP, LOR, etc. 

What are the benefits of studying STEM in Canada?

There are a ton of benefits to studying STEM in Canada as Canadian universities are famous for their teaching methodology. These include practical training, student clubs, freelance projects, internships, research opportunities, and a higher employability index. 

What are the best universities in Canada to study STEM courses?

There are numerous best universities in Canada to study STEM courses. These include the University of Saskatchewan, University of Calgary, University of British Columbia, University of Guelph, University of Toronto, University of Montreal, McMaster University, University of Victoria, University of Ontario Institute Technology, etc. For detailed information, check out the Best Universities in Canada for STEM Courses.

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