Apr 18, 2021

Top STEM Program for High School Student | Amerigo Education

The idea of majoring in STEM at university can be intimidating for high school students. Even among Americans, 52 out of 100 people surveyed said they avoided getting a degree in the field of STEM because the majors are too “difficult for them”. However, the salary range for STEM graduates was ranked among the highest in 2019.

Majoring in STEM in the U.S. has many unique advantages for international students. Because of the difficulty of the courses, only a small percentage of Americans are studying these subjects. This gives international students many more future employment opportunities. Additionally, international students will be more competitive to gain employment upon graduation, less likely to be replaced in the future job market, and most importantly, paid well in their career.

Another advantage for international students choosing to major STEM is that they can extend their legal working time after graduation. International students can apply for OPT (Optional Practical Training) to legally work in the United States 36 months after college graduation. For comparison, non-STEM major applicants can only apply for 12 months of OPT.

Ranked among top STEM programs in the U.S., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is the dream school for many. It has been ranked #1 in universities across the world for 8 years in a row by QS World Rankings, and is ranked #3 in US News of World Report in the United States!

Students interested in pursuing a STEM university degree in the U.S. should look no further than Mater Dei Catholic High School (MDCHS) of Amerigo San Diego's STEM program. Mater Dei has consistently sent student to MIT every year for the past decade, preparing students for success in university and beyond with its well-respected Academy of Science Program and STEM summer internships.

In the charming city of San Diego, Mater Dei Catholic High School (MDCHS) has been favored by local families for years. The school's Academy of Science program was founded in 2005 at a cost of US $50 million. In addition to traditional science classes, the Academy also provides students with a project-based curriculum for those who are interested in STEM fields.  

Recognized by top universities for its unique Academy of Science curriculum, MDCHS consistently enrolls many students each year at top universities, including MIT, Cal Tech, Brown University, and Yale University.  In 2019, Academy of Science student Ryan Gapski received offers from 18 universities, including Brown University, Yale University, UCLA, UCSD, University of Chicago, Columbia University, Cornell University, Duke University, Northwestern University, University of Notre Dame, University of Pennsylvania, Rice University, USC, Stanford University, Vanderbilt University, Williams College, and more. Also in 2019, Karlos Bautista received offers from 10 universities including Brown University, UCLA, UC Berkely, UCSD, UCSB, University of Virginia, College of William and Mary, and more.  

A unique approach to make STEM fun, practical and exciting

MDCHS teachers focus on developing students' interests and abilities in science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM).  To establish a positive learning environment,  the school offers a college preparatory curriculum, and provides a variety of extracurricular activities and internship opportunities.

MDCHS's Academy of Science is a 3-year program. At the end of 9th Grade, students will be recommended by their science or math teachers to join the Academy. In 10th grade, students will focus on the theoretical knowledge fundamentals; in 11th grade, students will take the advanced science courses or college level classes; in the summer after 11th grade, Academy of Science students will take advantage of various internship opportunities to get additional hands-on experience; and finally, in 12th grade, the students will complete academic posters to showcase their study. 


The model that Academy of Science uses is looked upon favorably by elite universities like MIT, Universities of California and Yale University. Teachers and counselors from the Academy of Science work closely with professors at partner universities to help students applying to top-ranking colleges secure hands-on experience and internships.

An extensive network with Top U.S. Universities and Research Institutions

STEM High School Student Program - Amerigo Education

In order to provide students with the best possible experience, MDCHS has partnered with top California Universities, including the University of California, San Diego (#37) to give students the opportunity to be mentored by professors and PhD candidates, and summer internships in laboratories and research centers at the university.

MDCHS also provides students a wide range of internship opportunities. With the support of the Academy of Science, 104 students took part in the internship program in the summer of 2018, while 140 students did summer internships in 2019. Here are the internship programs are available to students at MDCHS: .

University of Southern California

USC Energy Summer Camp, Energy & Engineering

University of California San Diego

UCSD Hospital, Health Sciences;
UCSD Oncofertility Academy, Cancer Research.

University of California San Diego Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

UCSD Pharmacy Camp, Botany & Pharmacy;  

UCSD School of Pharmacy, Nanotechnology;

UCSD School of Pharmacy, Biomedical Research

San Diego State University

SDSU, Geographic Information Systems;

Speech Tree, Speech Pathology

University of San Diego.

USD Environmental Science Camp;

USD, Organic Chemistry;

USD, Engineering;

USD, Immunology;

USD, Chemistry;

USD, Marine Science;

USD, Fluvial Geomorphology

Scripps Institution of Oceanography

UCSD Scripps Institute of Oceanography, Marine Biology

Last but not least, let's take a look at a wonderful video of the Academy of Science students visiting the Naval Station in Mission Bay, California. By participating in the Aviation Careers Education Camp, the students were able to meet pilots from Navy and commercial airlines, and to learn the mechanics of the MH-6o Seahawk helicopter.


Interested in pursing a top-tier STEM program in the U.S.? Schedule an appointment with our Amerigo Global Managers to start your application.