94 STEM Degree Programs added to 17 month OPT Extension by DHS

New OPT STEM Degrees list 2012 by DHS

To attract and retain International students talent in America, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on May 11th, 2012  announced expanded list of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math )  designated degrees that qualify for 17 month OPT (Optional Practical Training) Extension.  In fact, changes to OPT rules in 2008 added 17 month OPT extension for STEM Degrees

Summary of DHS press release : STEM Degrees added in 2012

  • New 94 STEM designated degree programs are added to the existing list
  • Newly included degree programs are from fields like pharmaceutical sciences, econometrics, quantitative economics, and etc.
  • All 94 newly added STEM degree programs are eligible for 17 month OPT Extension
  • In order to qualify for 17 month OPT extension you need to meet the following criteria:
    • Degree from your Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctoral is listed in a STEM program
    • The employer you plan to work for is part of E-Verify Program
    • You have not utilized or used 17 month OPT extension
    • You are maintaining legal status in America

Complete List of Newly Added STEM Degree Programs 2012

S.No 2010 CIP* CodeDegree Program – CIP Code Title
11.0308Agroecology and Sustainable Agriculture.
21.0999Animal Sciences, Other.
31.1099Food Science and Technology, Other.
41.1199Plant Sciences, Other.
51.1299Soil Sciences, Other.
63.0101Natural Resources/Conservation, General.
73.0103Environmental Studies.
83.0199Natural Resources Conservation and Research, Other.
93.0205Water, Wetlands, and Marine Resources Management.
103.0508Urban Forestry.
113.0601Wildlife, Fish and Wildlands Science and Management.
124.0902Architectural and Building Sciences/Technology.
1311.0199Computer and Information Sciences, Other.
1411.0299Computer Programming, Other.
1511.0899Computer Software and Media Applications, Other.
1611.1099Computer/Information Technology Services Administration and Management, Other.
1713.0501Educational/Instructional Technology.
1813.0601Educational Evaluation and Research.
1914.0799Chemical Engineering, Other.
2014.0899Civil Engineering, Other.
2114.0999Computer Engineering, Other.
2214.1099Electrical, Electronics and Communications Engineering, Other.
2314.9999Engineering, Other.
2415.0399Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technologies/Technicians, Other.
2515.0499Electromechanical &Instrumentation & Maintenance Technologies/Technicians, Other.
2615.0599Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians, Other.
2715.0699Industrial Production Technologies/Technicians, Other.
2815.0799Quality Control and Safety Technologies/Technicians, Other.
2915.0899Mechanical Engineering Related Technologies/Technicians, Other.
3015.0999Mining and Petroleum Technologies/Technicians, Other.
3115.1199Engineering-Related Technologies, Other.
3215.1299Computer Engineering Technologies/Technicians, Other.
3315.1399Drafting/Design Engineering Technologies/Technicians, Other.
3415.1599Engineering-Related Fields, Other.
3515.9999Engineering Technologies and Engineering-Related Fields, Other.
3626.0299Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology, Other.
3726.0399Botany/Plant Biology, Other.
3826.0499Cell/Cellular Biology and Anatomical Sciences, Other.
3926.0599Microbiological Sciences and Immunology, Other.
4026.0799Zoology/Animal Biology, Other.
4126.0899Genetics, Other.
4226.0999Physiology, Pathology, and Related Sciences, Other.
4326.1099Pharmacology and Toxicology, Other.
4426.1199Biomathematics, Bioinformatics, and Computational Biology, Other.
4526.1399Ecology, Evolution, Systematics and Population Biology, Other.
4626.1599Neurobiology and Neurosciences, Other.
4726.9999Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Other.
4827.0199Mathematics, Other.
4927.0399Applied Mathematics, Other.
5027.0599Statistics, Other.
5127.9999Mathematics and Statistics, Other.
5228.0501Air Science/Airpower Studies.
5328.0502Air and Space Operational Art and Science.
5428.0505Naval Science and Operational Studies.
5529.0299Intelligence, Command Control and Information Operations, Other.
5629.0399Military Applied Sciences, Other.
5729.0499Military Systems and Maintenance Technology, Other.
5829.9999Military Technologies and Applied Sciences, Other.
5930.1701Behavioral Sciences.
6030.2701Human Biology.
6130.3001Computational Science.
6230.3101Human Computer Interaction.
6330.3301Sustainability Studies.
6440.0299Astronomy and Astrophysics, Other.
6540.0499Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology, Other.
6640.0599Chemistry, Other.
6740.0699Geological and Earth Sciences/Geosciences, Other.
6840.0899Physics, Other.
6940.1099Materials Sciences, Other.
7040.9999Physical Sciences, Other.
7141.0299Nuclear and Industrial Radiologic Technologies/Technicians, Other.
7241.0399Physical Science Technologies/Technicians, Other.
7341.9999Science Technologies/Technicians, Other.
7442.2799Research and Experimental Psychology, Other.
7543.0116Cyber/Computer Forensics and Counterterrorism.
7745.0603Econometrics and Quantitative Economics.
7849.0101Aeronautics/Aviation/Aerospace Science and Technology, General.
8051.1005Clinical Laboratory Science/Medical Technology/Technologist.
8151.2006Clinical and Industrial Drug Development.
8251.2007Pharmacoeconomics/Pharmaceutical Economics.
8351.2009Industrial and Physical Pharmacy and Cosmetic Sciences.
8451.2010Pharmaceutical Sciences.
8551.2202Environmental Health.
8651.2205Health/Medical Physics.
8751.2502Veterinary Anatomy
8851.2503Veterinary Physiology
8951.2504Veterinary Microbiology and Immunobiology
9051.2505Veterinary Pathology and Pathobiology
9151.2506Veterinary Toxicology and Pharmacology
9251.2510Veterinary Preventive Medicine Epidemiology and Public Health
9351.2511Veterinary Infectious Diseases
9452.1399Management Science and Quantitative Methods, Other

*CIP stands for Classification of Instructional Programs

You can also check :

36 comments… add one

  • karan thakur Aug 28, 2015 Reply

    hello everyone!
    I just wanted to ask whether you get jobs if you do MIS in USA from a average university because of low gre scores.
    Also, Is MS in CS include core programmimg and Managable to students who have done Information Technology as their bachelors.

    • Kumar Aug 29, 2015 Reply

      Karan, if you are not in top 10, it does not really matter. Getting job is a tricky thing and depends on many factors and your hardwork, cannot give a generic answer. I suggest you check the article MS in CS vs MS in MIS in USA

  • Jim Apr 18, 2015 Reply

    I have a roommate that is wanting to do an OPT STEM extension and he got a graduate degree in MIS from Northern Illinois University. Is there any way to get his extension so he can continue to work here in the US? The DHS has denied his app based on the MIS degree not qualifying as a STEM degree. I feel bad for him and would like to help.

  • anshul Apr 14, 2015 Reply

    i am a dentist & now i want to go to US to do either MASTERS IN PUBLIC HEALTH OR MASTERS IN HEALTHCARE ADMINISTRATION but i am not sure about the OPT WHETHER IT WOULD BE FOR 12 MONTHS OR 29 MONTHS?


  • anshul Apr 14, 2015 Reply

    i am a dentist & now i want to go to US to do either MASTERS IN PUBLIC HEALTH OR MASTERS IN HEALTHCARE ADMINISTRATION but i am not sure about the OPT

  • Riddhi Aug 21, 2014 Reply

    I have done Master of Physical therapy from India. Currently, I am on F2 visa in USA. I want to apply for the master degree program like Master of Athletic Training or Master of Science in Kinesiology. My concerns are can I get the OPT and H1b visa at the end of study. Please, guide me.

  • Anusree Mar 29, 2014 Reply

    Does a M.Arch from an American University qualify for STEM extension?
    Thank you in advance.

  • srikanth Jan 23, 2014 Reply

    need to know if masters in Clinical research a stem course??

  • HARSH PATEL Dec 9, 2013 Reply

    Hello Everyone,

    I come from a commerce background(non technical), Can i get admission in MS/MBA in MIS STEM Accredited Degree in USA ??

  • Ritika Singh Oct 26, 2013 Reply

    need to know if masters in Engineering management (MEM) a stem course??

    • pawan vatsya Jan 17, 2014 Reply

      hi ritika.. m also preparing 4 gre n going 2 do m.s in engineering mngmt…i m certain bout it being a stem course..but not certain bout its job prospect..add me on facebook by name pawan vatsya for further discussion bout the course n job prospect in u.s.a ..or search by email .. marinerpawan4u at yahoo(dot)com on fb.. bi

    • pawan vatsya Jan 17, 2014 Reply

      hi ritika.. m also preparing 4 gre n going 2 do m.s in engineering mngmt…i m certain bout it being a stem course..but not certain bout its job prospect..add me on facebook by name… pawan vatsya …for further discussion bout the course n job prospect in u.s.a ..

  • sai ram Sep 18, 2013 Reply

    I am planning to do ms in mis,
    1)Do it have STEM DEGREE?
    2)california state univ -los angeles doey have stem degree in ms in mis?
    3)university of houston clear lake have Stem Degree in ms in mis?

  • Chandana May 4, 2013 Reply

    I have a PhD in Agriculture majoring Agronomy. Do I have the privileges those STEM degrees get?

    • patty May 4, 2013 Reply

      It depends on your degree code. Check your I-20 (last page) or ask your international office.

      • Chandana May 4, 2013 Reply

        Thanks for the information. Very useful.

  • Catherine Apr 11, 2013 Reply

    Hi, quick question.
    I studied Interior Architecture for my Bachelor’s,
    Do you think it’s worth it for me to try to apply for the degree of Architectural and Building Sciences/Technology (#12) STEM OPT extension?

    I know it’s very different but do you think it’s worth a try

    • Bhavana Nov 9, 2013 Reply

      Hi Catherine,

      Were you able to figure out if interior architecture qualifies for OPT extension? I’m in the same boat.Let me know,


  • jay Jan 30, 2013 Reply

    I am selecting MBA IT management from Wester Governors University, UT.
    Is this graduate program comes under STEM designated program.


  • Mohammed Dec 1, 2012 Reply

    Hello… I am having a doubt and hopefully any one of you can clarify this for me…
    I am doing Masters in Business Administration with Major as Management Information Systems… Hence, I would like to know as my major is Information Systems would this degree be considered a part of STEM?

    Thanks and regards,

    • nikhil Feb 5, 2013 Reply

      Hi. I have the same situation as you. I am planning to take up MBA in MIS. Wanted to know if it qualifies for extension. Please kindly let me know. Thanks

  • JWYNN Jul 20, 2012 Reply

    Georgia College was recently had two new undergraduate majors added to the STEM extension list:

    Computer Science (CIP 110101)
    Management Information Systems (CIP 521399)

  • pharma student Jun 1, 2012 Reply


    Can anybody tell me that M.B.A. in phamaceutical managment students are allowed for OPT extension?

  • maryam May 31, 2012 Reply

    I graduated with Accounting degree in 2011 may and my opt is expiring this month.
    i found this job who is applying for my H1B visa this week after my LCA approval gets back from DOL.
    my question here is my bachelors in accounting counts in stem if not
    can i wait for my premium processing H1b results and then apply for cap-gap.
    to make sure it got approved and if God forbid it doesn’t get an approval can i go back to F1 status
    Is there a grace time period after OPT expiration to go back to f1 status instead of apply for cap-gap and losing a privilege of getting F1 status back completely
    in case of H1B rejection

    please advise

    • Saurabh May 31, 2012 Reply

      You will be eligible for cap-gap once your petition reaches USCIS and it has been filed w/ COS w/ start date of Oct 1. Even if your petition is under process and OPT expires, you can continue to stay and work. Just let your DSO know about this. However, if H-1 is filed after the OPT has expired (i.e. during the 60 day grace period), then you are authorized to stay but not work. Again, you need to inform your DSO accordingly.

      I don’t know if you can move to another school during that 60 day grace period.

  • Saurabh May 28, 2012 Reply

    I graduated May 2011 with a degree that wasnt in STEM at that time. However it has now been included in STEM as per this notice. I am still in my OPT (expires this month)
    Can I apply for STEM extension?

    • Saurabh May 28, 2012 Reply

      You should be eligible now. You can check w/ your DSO as well.

      • Anonymous Jun 14, 2012 Reply

        Hi Saurabh,

        1. My Degree is in Economics with a code of 45. 0601.
        The STEM degree is Econometrics and Quantati…46. 0603. What can I do to get this changed?
        (Note: my university does not have 45.0603) What are my options?

        2. I cannot apply for H1 anymore, my OPT expires on Jan 31st 2013. What are the options to stay in the country?

        Thank you for your feedback! a lot of appreciation your way.

        • Saurabh Jun 15, 2012 Reply

          1. You will have to talk to your DSO or attorney about this
          2. You can enroll in another school/course and continue to stay on F-1

        • Mike Nov 29, 2012 Reply

          would you, please, share your results on 1. with me by email? I’m in exact same situation 45.0601 to 45.0603 (one digit off!! argh!!!)

  • Abhi May 21, 2012 Reply

    Hi Kumar,

    I have double major in International business and Business economics with a minor in Information system.

    1. Am i allowed for STEM extension as i see on #77 on the list for newly added STEM degrees, Quantitative economics is added.

    2. Does having a minor in IS qualify me for STEM

    If no to both ot the above questions:
    My opt expires 5th Sept and i am yet to apply for h1b do you suggest me to apply for premium petition or regular depending on the rate the quota is being filled.

    Secondly, what is the process for applying for cap-gap (i think i will need this since opt expires in Sept and h1b starts Oct 1st)?

    Lastly, i read a lot of times you saying h1b with COS what does “COS” stand for and what does it mean?

    Thanks a lot i had a lot of general questions which were answered by reading others questions. The above are more specific to my situation thus asking.

    Thanks for your help.

    • Saurabh May 22, 2012 Reply

      I am not sure about the STEM thing, and you should check w/ your DSO. However, if the list includes your QE degree, then you should be fine.

      Answers to your remaining questions:
      – You can apply now in regular processing. If the petition doesn’t get approved by (let’s say) Sep end, then you can upgrade it to PP so that you get the decision before Oct
      – As long as petition has been filed w/ COS w/ start date of Oct 1, you are eligible for cap-gap. Once the petition gets filed, let your school DSO know and they would update the status in SEVIS record
      – COS stands for change of status. Your current visa status is F-1 and it needs to change to H-1 for you to start working on H-1. So when the H-1 petition is filed, employer will have to file it w/ COS. Once approved, your status will change to H-1 from COS approval date which is typically Oct 1

  • Physiotherpist in USA May 15, 2012 Reply

    I am an IT engineer and will be traveling to USA on the H1B visa in later this year.. My wife is a physiotherapist and I wish that she can either study or work there while I am working in USA (Massachutes, Boston). Please suggest how can my wife apply for study or work permit when I get my H1b stamped in October.

    Please guide.

  • Swetha May 15, 2012 Reply

    If my Bachelors is from STEM field in India and Masters Degree from USA but not included in STEM branches, then am i eligible for STEM OPT extension?

    • Kumar May 17, 2012 Reply

      No you will not be. Your degree from US have to part the STEM designated degree

  • Only comments please. Ask your questions in Q & A Section.
  • DO NOT Share your email/Phone Number for H1B Sponsors here!
  • We do NOT sponsor H1Bs or provide guidance for the H1B Sponsors.
  • Beware of people reaching out to you ONLINE for H1Bs. Avoid Fraud!
  • Do NOT post external links/email-IDs, unless US Univ/Govt, News.
  • By posting comments, you are agreeing to our Terms and conditions, they can be removed or reported, if violation of community guidelines or law

Leave a Comment