The minimum TOEFL is 100. There are no minimum GPA requirements, as these greatly vary across the world. Although the the GRE is not required, we strongly recommend international students to take the general GRE.

If you have a TOEFL of less than 100, please ask about the option to enroll as a “Plan B” MS candidate.

Yes, however students may have a difficult time finding a summer internship.

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. 

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.

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

STEP tuition is approximately $66,000 for the 30 credit-hour program. This is based on the 2022-2023 tuition rates. See this site for updates.

Biology: One-third to one-half tuition teaching assistantships are available.
Physics: See the PEP home page.

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

STEP prepares students to work in 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.

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. Although faculty and mentors will assist students in finding internships, an internship will not be provided (this is an entrepreneurship program!).


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.

The program delivers practical business instruction that is necessary for recognizing opportunities in technology commercialization and launching new products and services. Please see the curriculum page for more specific information.

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.

Yes. More advanced students are able to finish in 3 semesters.

Living expenses in the Greater Cleveland Area are approximately $13,000 per year. 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.

Yes, however international students may work no more than 20 total hours per week during the academic year and 40 total hours per week as prescribed by visa law. This total 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.