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STEM Designated Public Health Programs

What is STEM?

STEM stand for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.

What Does a STEM Designated Program Mean?

STEM designated programs at Drexel University’s Dornsife School of Public Health teach the skills necessary to investigate, analyze, and report on complex and pressing population health issues.

Is Public Health STEM?

Several of the core science disciplines taught at the Dornsife School of Public Health are considered STEM.

These STEM health programs include:

  • Biostatistics
  • Epidemiology
  • Infectious Disease
  • Environmental and Occupational Health

Are There STEM Careers in Public Health?

STEM careers that can originate with a Master of Public Health or Master of Science degree include:

  • Epidemiologist
  • Data scientist
  • Biostatistician
  • Clinical researcher
  • Environmental scientist
  • Infection preventionist

Choosing a STEM career in a public health field provides opportunities to investigate important health issues and even design solutions to tough challenges.

“I chose public health because it provided me the opportunity to make an impact at a population level. At its core public health allows you to use your skill set to advocate for others and affect change in something bigger than yourself.”

- Dornsife alum Velton W. Showell IV, MPH in Epidemiology and minor in Infection Prevention and Control ’18

What Degrees Quality for STEM OPT?

Full-time students with an F-1 Visa (Academic Student) may wish to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) to gain valuable employment experience. F-1 students are allowed a total of 12 months of Optional Practical Training (OPT) for each degree level.

F-1 students who receive a STEM degree may be eligible for an additional 24-month OPT Extension.

If you have any questions about eligibility, please contact Drexel’s Office of International Students and Scholars Services at for assistance with OPT.

STEM designated programs

Nine Public Health Degrees That Are STEM Eligible

The nine STEM designated degree programs offered at the Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health are:


Environmental and Occupational Health

Infectious Disease


STEM designation is conferred by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). For a complete list of the fields of study that DHS considers to be science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) for the purposes of the 24-month STEM optional practical training extension view the DHS STEM Designated Degree Program List.

If you have any questions about our STEM-approved programs, please contact Drexel’s Office of International Students and Scholars Services at

STEM Designated Programs FAQs

How do students apply for a STEM program?

MPH and MS degree applicants should start by reviewing Drexel Dornsife’s master’s program application requirements for their chosen program.

What are the benefits of a STEM designated degree?

The benefits of a STEM degree will vary based on personal goals and aspirations, but a STEM degree may potentially offer diverse opportunities, higher earning potential, innovation, and contributions to society, among other benefits.

What is OPT?

OPT stands for Optional Practical Training, which is a program in the United States that allows international students with an F-1 visa to work in their field of study for a specific period after completing their academic program. It is designed to provide hands-on practical work experience related to the student's major field of study.

How do students apply for the OPT?

Current F-1 Drexel students should review steps outlined on the STEM OPT Extension application process.

To learn more about a specific Drexel Dornsife public health program, reach out to our admissions team or take the next step:

Request Information

Apply Today

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