Why STEM? (click the picture above to hear why!; click here for more fun compelling video links)

Having a desire to understand how things work, how they’re put together, or the desire to solve problems are just of few characteristics that can be the roots found in strong potential STEM students. Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics are fields that equip to engage problems and develop solutions. Whether it’s a desire to work for Eli Lilly, Roche, GM, Chrysler, or Red Gold all of these companies and more are consistently in need of STEM trained employees. Here are a few reasons education in STEM could be attractive:

  • Indiana has an exciting future in the Life Science Industry (Indiana Life Science Facts)
  • By 2022 the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates STEM occupations will over 9 million (1 million higher that 2012).
  • Currently it is estimated that as many as 3 million STEM jobs go unfilled each year largely because there are not enough qualified applicants.
  • Nearly half of bachelor’s degree STEM graduates make more that Ph.D. graduates in other fields

…BUT there are more reasons than a nice paycheck to go into STEM careers. STEM education equips people with the opportunity to give to others through innovation making the world better for you, your families, your friends, and everyone. These innovations could be treatments to debilitating disorders like cancer or Alzheimer’s Disease, making agricultural improvements that reduce hunger, or developing cleaner energy. The possibilities are exciting and mostly limited by you!


Over the past 5 years, IWU has made significant advances in equipping itself to be a leader in STEM undergraduate education. IWU maintains a faculty:student ratio of ~15:1, which enables outstanding mentorship of undergraduates by faculty in the traditional classroom as well as non-traditional learning settings like undergraduate research, student societies, and seminars. This exceptional program support has been coupled by recent initiatives at IWU to infuse significant infrastructure, new programs, and resources to catalyze STEM education at IWU, making IWU fertile ground for cultivating a future STEM workforce. The initiatives include:

  1. IWU inaugurated in Spring 2014 a new $45M Science-Nursing Building, the centerpiece of a $110M health sciences initiative. The 200,000 ft2 science building has increased dedicated research laboratory space by over 5,000 ft2 and provides unique learning spaces for STEM majors. A $1.4 million gift also enabled purchase of major equipment intended to enhance STEM undergraduate learning and research. (see our equipment & facilities)
  2. A $4.5M endowment funding faculty-mentored undergraduate research opportunities in the Physical and Natural Sciences. As a result, IWU allocates over $100,000 for the Annual Hodson Summer Science Research Institute.
  3. A Celebration of Scholarship Day is held annually where 50 Natural Science students present research by posters and oral talks, and compete for poster awards.
  4. A Science Colloquium Series was founded and supported using Eli Lilly Endowment Funds along with an endowment. The series brings distinguished researchers from Biology, Chemistry, and Physics to speak at the IWU campus.
  5. IWU has two active NSF RUI grants in Biology and Physics totaling $400,000.
  6. IWU is known regionally for its quality undergraduate programs in the sciences and premed programs. IWU STEM graduates have found jobs immediately in the private sector as manufacturing chemists, cell culture biologists, lab assistants, and as science teachers. Within the last two years, its STEM graduates have been admitted to top Ph.D. programs including:
  • Biomedical Engineering (Johns Hopkins U)
  • Biochemistry, Biophysics and Structural Biology (Yale University)
  • Neurobiology (Northwestern University)
  • Cancer Cell Biology (University of Cincinnati)
  • Chemistry (University of Cincinnati)
  • Entomology (Purdue University)
  • Interdisciplinary Sciences (Purdue University).