Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) is a broad study field with a math core. Explore education options with a list of STEM degrees, majors and subjects.
Based on enrolment data, 28% of Australian university students, or 436,000 people, are studying for a STEM degree. The largest fields are Natural and Physical Sciences (8.6% of students), Engineering (7.8%) and Information Technology (7.5%).
If you're studying science, technology, engineering or math at university, you can be sure you're enrolled in STEM. Other obvious STEM degrees are data science, geology, robotics, and software engineering. But fields such as accounting and nursing are less clear and usually excluded.
Are you curious about what STEM degrees are available? To help, we've compiled a list of STEM degrees, majors, and subjects that you can study at university or college. Let's explore the different education options for a STEM career.
Science is the largest and most diverse STEM field. The "S" in STEM covers dozens of disciplines, from agricultural science to zoology. Online science courses are available except where lab work or field work are essential for learning.
If you're starting university and want to study science, enrolling in a Bachelor of Science is normally the way to go. You can start with a cross-disciplinary program that allows for numerous possible majors. Just be sure to do the introductory subjects (e.g. "Chemistry 101") for the major(s) you're interested in.
Animal Science and Management
Astronomy and Astrophysics
Cell and Developmental Biology
Climate and Weather
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Human Structure and Function
Indigenous Science and Knowledges
Infection and Immunity
Quantitative Environmental Modelling
Sources: Bachelor of Science programs at ANU and the University of Melbourne.
Technology is important across many disciplines. With respect to STEM and university degrees, "technology" essentially refers to information technology, computer science and data science.
Most technology students are enrolled in a Bachelor of Information Technology, Master of Information Technology, or similar program. Core subjects may include programming, systems analysis, database management, networking and communications, security, and technology support. At both undergraduate and masters levels, you can specialise by selecting subjects from a study stream.
Advanced Intelligent Systems
Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics
Business Information Systems
Enterprise Systems Development
Geographic Information Systems
Quantum Information Science
Security and Cloud Computing
Software Systems Development
Web and Mobile Computing
Sources: World Wide Learn, UTS computing science program, BIT programs at ANU and RMIT.
To be an engineer, a Bachelor of Engineering degree is the standard qualification. Engineering consists of four broad disciplines: chemical, civil, electrical and mechanical engineering. Finer, more specific majors are also possible within each engineering branch.
Generally speaking, engineering is a hands-on STEM discipline. For this reason, a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) degree requires campus attendance and work placements. 100% online study is, however, supported for some para-professional and postgraduate programs.
Coastal and Ocean Engineering
Electronics and Telecommunications
Hydraulics (Water) Engineering
Mechanical and Manufacturing
Minerals and Metallurgical
Petroleum and Petrochemical
Source: Engineers Australia.
Mathematics is a building-block subject at university level, especially for STEM majors. Many students do loads of math without actually majoring in the discipline. Mathematics and statistics subjects feature in programs for business, education, engineering, information technology, science and social science.
Even within a "non-math" subject, mathematical concepts and methods may feature prominently (e.g. in a social research or marketing unit). If you want to major in mathematics, generally you do this as part of a science degree. However, mathematics specialisations also appear in other STEM categories.
Mathematics and Statistics
Sources: Course finder at the University of Melbourne and the science program at ANU.
No, accounting is not typically considered a STEM degree. Accounting is a business field that focuses on financial reporting, taxation, and auditing. While accounting does require knowledge of mathematics, it's not typically classified as STEM.
Some sources may classify accounting as a STEM degree due to the use of quantitative methods and data analysis. However, such applications of math and statistics are generally not of a scientific kind. Accounting does not appear in the relevant category – Business, Management, Marketing and Related Support Services (52) – of the DHS STEM Designated Degree Program List.
Nursing is not typically considered a STEM major, although it does involve some elements of STEM fields such as biology, anatomy, and physiology.
In the United States, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) do not include nursing in their official STEM fields list. The DHS STEM Designated Degree Program List, which determines eligibility for certain visas and work opportunities for international students, includes only specific health-related degrees such as medical sciences, pharmacology, and public health.
That being said, nursing is a valuable and important field. Being a nurse requires a strong scientific foundation and analytical skills. Nurses apply scientific principles to patient care and use technology to improve health outcomes.
Yes, psychology is a STEM field. It involves the scientific study of the human mind and behaviour. In this discipline, research methods and scientific principles are applied to understand and explain psychological phenomena.
Many universities and colleges categorise psychology as a STEM field, and it is often included in the list of STEM majors.
Further reading: Is Psychology a STEM Major? Science vs Social Science
Psychology fields listed in the DHS STEM Designated Degree Program List (Jan. 21, 2022 update) are: cognitive psychology and psycholinguistics, comparative, developmental and child psychology, experimental, personality, behavioral neuroscience, social, psychometrics and quantitative psychology, psychopharmacology, research and experimental, other, industrial and organizational.
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