STEM Path: At the Intersection of Technology and Business

Students getting hands on experience
For students at the Culverhouse College of Business at The University of Alabama, there’s no shortage of degree options for those interested in both technical and business fields. One of the most popular options at Culverhouse is the STEM Path to the MBA.

How it Works

The STEM Path to the MBA is a five-year program designed for entering University of Alabama first-year students majoring in a STEM area such as science, technology, engineering, or mathematics.

Students participating in the program take business honors courses with the STEM undergraduate degree and begin the MBA in the summer semester after the completion of their junior year of their undergraduate major. Students will complete another summer semester of MBA courses after finishing their STEM undergraduate degree. Summertime is also the time for internships.

They will then enter a full year of MBA program study to complete their MBA degree. At that point, students will graduate with their STEM-focused degree and their Manderson MBA, among the best public programs in the country. Graduates of the program are ideal candidates for jobs requiring program and people management skills and technical capabilities.

Some STEM Path to the MBA students also get involved in hands-on programs with direct ties to industry or government.

Opportunities with NASA

One such program, the NASA Technology Transfer University program, or NASA T2U, allows freshman and sophomore students to use NASA intellectual property to solve existing challenges.

During this innovation project, which takes place over seven weeks, students build market assessments and business plans by working with a high-tech patent portfolio. In addition, students receive access to the NASA scientists and innovators, giving them a unique look into the details of the technology.

Students gain the ability to start with technical details of a patent and finish by communicating a viable business proposal, which is part of what makes the UA program attractive to both students and employers, said Harold Wright, a clinical instructor in the STEM Path to the MBA Program who mentors students in the NASA T2U experience.

Advantages of the STEM Path

“They take this incredibly complex information and turn it into solutions for real-world problems,” Wright said. “These students are in demand because of learning that ability to make the complex simple, and that is useful for whatever they might do after graduation.”

One of the most significant advantages of working with the NASA patents is the experience of being part of a team, said André Farnet, who is studying mechanical engineering and on the STEM Path to MBA.

“Communication is a big thing because you have to be able to talk with the other people you are working with who cover different areas of the project,” said Farnet, who is from New Orleans, Louisiana. “It all comes together at the end, and then you learn how to communicate to others your ideas.”

Learn more about the Culverhouse STEM Path to the MBA and its twin program, the CREATE Path to the MBA for students interested in earning an MBA while also majoring in select creative/liberal arts programs, at

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