College of Business

Chico State MBA Option in Enterprise Information Systems is Now a STEM Degree

EIS MBA students
Vikram Badrinarayana and Kunal Bhavsar, both EIS MBA students graduating spring 2019 are poised to use their three year OPT to secure a high quality, long term job in the United States.

California State University, Chico has a long history of leadership related to the field of management information systems. The CSU, Chico College of Business has deep connections with SAP and is one of the original hosting institutions for the SAP University Alliance. The college has also been a longtime leader in enterprise information systems curriculum and its courses are designed to meet the growing job demands for professional consultants, business process analysts, IT infrastructure specialists, and SAP functional analysts.

The MBA program has offered a specialized option in enterprise information systems (EIS) since fall 2016.

“The information systems electives provide a top notch ‘get your hands dirty’ approach which is extremely helpful,” said spring 2019 EIS MBA graduate Vikram Badrinarayanan.

“The EIS MBA option at CSU, Chico uses the number one global business software, SAP, to support and reinforce business process understanding. Students have complete access to the systems, and gain a deeper understanding with hands-on interaction. The industry partners covet this skill set, allowing graduates to accelerate their careers,” said professor Tom Wilder, one of the college’s EIS faculty.

A critical change to the EIS MBA is the recently announced news that the EIS MBA is now a STEM-designated degree. STEM, an abbreviation of the academic fields of science, technology, engineering and math, is an important distinction for several reasons. First, there are not nearly enough college students pursuing STEM degrees to match with the growing number of job opportunities in STEM-related fields. Secondly, and critically important for our international students pursuing the EIS MBA, the STEM designation allows for much greater flexibility in remaining in the United States for employment opportunities after graduation.

With non-STEM graduate degrees, international students are allowed a one year of Optional Practical Training (OPT) after graduation per their visa. This is a very short window to secure full-time employment and receive sponsorship to stay in the United States long term. A STEM degree provides students with a 2-year OPT extension, for a total of a 3-year OPT which is tremendously valuable. The college expects that the STEM designation will make the EIS MBA option even more desirable for international students.

Kunal Bhavasar, a current EIS MBA option student, agrees.

“Graduating with the EIS MBA that is now STEM is a huge relief for skilled students who want to succeed in their lives and work in United States,” Bhavasar said.

“Getting our EIS MBA degree recognized as a STEM degree is incredibly valuable for our international MBA students. These are bright students with bright futures, and the STEM degree will also help our MBA curriculum to be more attractive to international students searching for high quality MBA programs,” said Matt Meuter, director of graduate programs for the college.

“MBA programs are more vibrant and diverse when you can include a strong set of international students,” Meuter added. “We consistently have 20 to 30 percent of our program as international students and we hope this STEM designation will help us to continue that trend.”

CSU, Chico has a wide range of resources for international students, including staff that help international students apply to the program. If accepted, the International Office of Education(opens in new window) makes sure the applicant meets all the requirements for coming to the USA to study and to secure all necessary immigration and visa documentation.

To learn more about the MBA program, please visit Masters of Business Administration.

Matt Meuter
MBA Director, College of Business

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