MSAE Receives STEM Classification


Averi Haugesag

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

College of Business & Public Administration


The North Dakota University System now classifies the University of North Dakota’s Master’s in Applied Economics (MSAE) program as a STEM program. STEM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering and mathematics, all areas in high demand. Cullen Goenner, Graduate Director of Applied Economics at the UND College of Business and Public Administration says things with the program will remain the same despite the change in classification. Goenner says when the MSAE program was created many years ago, it did not qualify to be a part of the STEM program. However, in 2012, the Department of Homeland Security, “made a change to make economics-- a very specific part of economics—a part of the STEM designation list,” says Goenner.

Michelle Garske, Executive Director of Graduate Programs and Accreditation at the UND CoBPA says this is exciting for students graduating from the MSAE program because they may qualify for loan forgiveness from the state via federal government programs. After graduation, the student may receive enough financial aid to pay off a portion or all of his or her student loans. In addition, Goenner says being a part of the STEM program will benefit foreign students who are trying to get a job in the United States. “If you’re a STEM designation, it’s easier to get designation to stay in the country,” says Goenner.

While Goenner says the program itself will not be experiencing any changes, he says he is happy with the classification change. “I think it’s a recognition of the importance of our discipline, economics, and the importance of the quantitative nature of that.”