What are the minimum GRE, TOEFL and GPA requirements for admission?
Plan A (Internship & Thesis): The minimum TOEFL is 100. There are no minimum GRE requirements, but we generally do not accept students who have scores below 152 (Verbal), 152 (Quantitative), and 3.5 (Writing) unless the student has excellent strengths in other areas. There are no minimum GPA requirements, as these greatly vary across the world.
If you have a TOEFL of less than 100, please ask about the option to enroll as a “Plan B” MS candidate.
Do you accept students for matriculation in the Spring Semester?
Yes, however students may have a difficult time finding a summer internship, particularly international students.
Does the program accept students with no work experience?
Yes. however we prefer some experience in research or industry.
I have just completed my bachelors. Can I apply for this program?
I have a PhD. Will I fit in?
Approximately 10% of all STEP students have earned their PhDs. STEP students range in age from early-twenties through mid-fifties, and have a bachelor’s, master’s, or PhD.
Are there any other requirements for admission?
One of the criteria for admission is writing and communication. This includes the essay on your application as well as all correspondences, discussions, and interviews.
I attended a three-year undergraduate program in India (15 years of formal education vs the general requirement of 16 years). I would like to know if I would be eligible for admission to a STEP program?
This depends upon the school that you attended, your work experience in research or industry, and your abilities to communicate effectively.
Tuition and Financial Aid
How much does the program cost?
STEP tuition is approximately $53,220 for the 30 credit-hour program. This is based on the 2016-2017 tuition rates of $1,774 per credit hour. Updates can be found here.
Are there scholarships and other financial aid available?
Biology: One-third to one-half tuition teaching assistantships are available.
Physics: Full and half tuition assistantships are available.
Will I receive a return on my tuition investment?
STEP students are extremely marketable. According to a 2008 report by the National Academies entitled Science Professionals: Master’s Education for a Competitive World,the median salaries of professional science master’s degree recipients tend to exceed those of Ph.D. recipients in the first one to five years after the degree is conferred. Furthermore, STEP alumni usually go to work for small rapidly-growing companies, which generally results in a higher value experience than working in a more traditional position with a large firm. Several STEP graduates are now serial entrepreneurs.
Careers and Internships
What are the career possibilities for a STEP graduate?
STEP prepares students to work in the arena of start-ups, small companies, and technology commercialization. STEP graduates currently hold positions that include CEO, CTO, Program Manager, Analyst, Project Manager, Sales Associate, Business Development Associate, Chief Scientist/Engineer, Chief Technologist, Crew Trainer, Director of Professional Services, Integrated Services Engineer, Project Coordinator, and Executive Director with companies ranging from startups to Fortune 100, including Phycal, Arteriocyte, QED, Microsoft, Genentech, Medtronic, Intwine Connect, and FirstEnergy. Approximately 5% of STEP students successfully start their own companies.
Is a student free to choose an industry and/or company for internship or is he/she appointed to one?
We encourage students to follow their passion and find a position that best fits their path, as long as it is relevant to the general course of study. Students are required to set up their own internship interviews.
Do you have a web site with specific information for international students?
See the CWRU International Office web site.
How is the STEP different from an MBA?
1) STEP focuses on the start-up space, which includes study of science, business and innovation, while the MBA focuses on management. 2) STEP requires approximately half of the number of credit hours that are required for an MBA. 3) STEP requires a thesis that is based on a real-world project where the student works as an intern or employee with an outside company, or the student starts her/his own company. The MBA usually does not have such an intensive real-world component built into the curriculum.
What type of business training will the program give me?
The program delivers practical business instruction that is necessary for recognizing opportunities and launching new products and services. Please see the course descriptions for more specific information.
Can I enroll in an MBA or PhD program after STEP?
STEP students have enrolled in MBA and PhD programs after earning their STEP degree. Respective application procedures apply for the chosen field of study. Some credits may transfer.
Can I finish STEP in less than 2 years?
Yes. More advanced students are able to finish in 3 semesters.
Do I need a laptop?
Yes. We require students to own a laptop computer. Updated software such as anti-virus software, Office and Adobe Acrobat Professional for PC and Mac is available for free to students.
What are the living expenses?
Living expenses are listed as $13,000 per year by the International Student Services office (as required by the US government for visa issues). Expenses are greater if you purchase or rent a car. Our students typically find internship employment that pays substantially more than this, and in close proximity to campus.
I am an international student. Can I have a job in addition to a teaching assistantship?
Yes, but with a caveat: International students may work no more than 20 hours per week during the academic year and 40 hours per week as prescribed by visa law. This is ALL JOBS ADDED TOGETHER. Many of our students receive partial tuition by working 6 hours per week as a TA. This leaves 14 hours per week open to work as an intern.
Are there other rules for international students?
If you are an international student you MUST read the International Student Services office web site carefully, including the visa rules.