New OPT STEM Degrees list 2012 by DHS

Complete STEM Degree Programs list for 24 Month OPT Extension by DHS

In CPT| OPT| On-Campus by Kumar47 Comments

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 24 month OPT (Optional Practical Training) Extension.

Background : The STEM Designated Degree Program list is a complete list of fields of study that DHS considers to be science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) fields of study for purposes of the 24-month STEM optional practical training extension.

For anyone to be eligible for 24 month OPT extension, they need to have their degree program’s CIP code match with one of the below in the list. You can check more details at What is CIP Code ? How to Check CIP Code for your Degree  

Below is the complete list of STEM Designated Degrees eligible for 24 month OPT. 

CIP Code Two-Digit Series 2010 CIP


CIP Code Title
01 01.0308 Agroecology and Sustainable Agriculture
01 01.0901 Animal Sciences, General
01 01.0902 Agricultural Animal Breeding
01 01.0903 Animal Health
01 01.0904 Animal Nutrition
01 01.0905 Dairy Science
01 01.0906 Livestock Management
01 01.0907 Poultry Science
01 01.0999 Animal Sciences, Other
01 01.1001 Food Science
01 01.1002 Food Technology and Processing
01 01.1099 Food Science and Technology, Other
01 01.1101 Plant Sciences, General
01 01.1102 Agronomy and Crop Science
01 01.1103 Horticultural Science
01 01.1104 Agricultural and Horticultural Plant Breeding
01 01.1105 Plant Protection and Integrated Pest Management
01 01.1106 Range Science and Management
01 01.1199 Plant Sciences, Other
01 01.1201 Soil Science and Agronomy, General
01 01.1202 Soil Chemistry and Physics
01 01.1203 Soil Microbiology
01 01.1299 Soil Sciences, Other
03 03.0101 Natural Resources/Conservation, General
03 03.0103 Environmental Studies
03 03.0104 Environmental Science
03 03.0199 Natural Resources Conservation and Research, Other
03 03.0205 Water, Wetlands, and Marine Resources Management
03 03.0502 Forest Sciences and Biology
03 03.0508 Urban Forestry
03 03.0509 Wood Science and Wood Products/Pulp and Paper Technology
03 03.0601 Wildlife, Fish and Wildlands Science and Management
04 04.0902 Architectural and Building Sciences/Technology
09 09.0702 Digital Communication and Media/Multimedia
10 10.0304 Animation, Interactive Technology, Video Graphics and Special Effects
11 11.0101 Computer and Information Sciences, General
11 11.0102 Artificial Intelligence
11 11.0103 Information Technology
11 11.0104 Informatics
11 11.0199 Computer and Information Sciences, Other
11 11.0201 Computer Programming/Programmer, General
11 11.0202 Computer Programming, Specific Applications
11 11.0203 Computer Programming, Vendor/Product Certification
11 11.0299 Computer Programming, Other
11 11.0901 Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunications
11 11.1001 Network and System Administration/Administrator
11 11.1002 System, Networking, and LAN/WAN Management/Manager
11 11.1003 Computer and Information Systems Security/Information Assurance
11 11.1004 Web/Multimedia Management and Webmaster
11 11.1005 Information Technology Project Management
11 11.1006 Computer Support Specialist
11 11.1099 Computer/Information Technology Services Administration and Management, Other
13 13.0501 Educational/Instructional Technology
13 13.0601 Educational Evaluation and Research
13 13.0603 Educational Statistics and Research Methods
14 14.XXXX Engineering
15 15.0000 Engineering Technology, General
15 15.0101 Architectural Engineering Technology/Technician
15 15.0201 Civil Engineering Technology/Technician
15 15.0303 Electrical, Electronic and Communications Engineering Technology/Technician
15 15.0304 Laser and Optical Technology/Technician
15 15.0305 Telecommunications Technology/Technician
15 15.0306 Integrated Circuit Design
15 15.0399 Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technologies/Technicians, Other
15 15.0401 Biomedical Technology/Technician
15 15.0403 Electromechanical Technology/Electromechanical Engineering Technology
15 15.0404 Instrumentation Technology/Technician
15 15.0405 Robotics Technology/Technician
15 15.0406 Automation Engineer Technology/Technician
15 15.0499 Electromechanical and Instrumentation and Maintenance Technologies/Technicians, Other
15 15.0501 Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Engineering Technology/Technician
15 15.0503 Energy Management and Systems Technology/Technician
15 15.0505 Solar Energy Technology/Technician
15 15.0506 Water Quality and Wastewater Treatment Management and Recycling Technology/Technician
15 15.0507 Environmental Engineering Technology/Environmental Technology
15 15.0508 Hazardous Materials Management and Waste Technology/Technician
15 15.0599 Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians, Other
15 15.0607 Plastics and Polymer Engineering Technology/Technician
15 15.0611 Metallurgical Technology/Technician
15 15.0612 Industrial Technology/Technician
15 15.0613 Manufacturing Engineering Technology/Technician
15 15.0614 Welding Engineering Technology/Technician
15 15.0615 Chemical Engineering Technology/Technician
15 15.0616 Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology
15 15.0699 Industrial Production Technologies/Technicians, Other
15 15.0701 Occupational Safety and Health Technology/Technician
15 15.0702 Quality Control Technology/Technician
15 15.0703 Industrial Safety Technology/Technician
15 15.0704 Hazardous Materials Information Systems Technology/Technician
15 15.0799 Quality Control and Safety Technologies/Technicians, Other
15 15.0801 Aeronautical/Aerospace Engineering Technology/Technician
15 15.0803 Automotive Engineering Technology/Technician
15 15.0805 Mechanical Engineering/Mechanical Technology/Technician
15 15.0899 Mechanical Engineering Related Technologies/Technicians, Other
15 15.0901 Mining Technology/Technician
15 15.0903 Petroleum Technology/Technician
15 15.0999 Mining and Petroleum Technologies/Technicians, Other
15 15.1001 Construction Engineering Technology/Technician
15 15.1102 Surveying Technology/Surveying
15 15.1103 Hydraulics and Fluid Power Technology/Technician
15 15.1199 Engineering-Related Technologies, Other
15 15.1201 Computer Engineering Technology/Technician
15 15.1202 Computer Technology/Computer Systems Technology
15 15.1203 Computer Hardware Technology/Technician
15 15.1204 Computer Software Technology/Technician
15 15.1299 Computer Engineering Technologies/Technicians, Other
15 15.1301 Drafting and Design Technology/Technician, General
15 15.1302 CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician
15 15.1303 Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD
15 15.1304 Civil Drafting and Civil Engineering CAD/CADD
15 15.1305 Electrical/Electronics Drafting and Electrical/Electronics CAD/CADD
15 15.1306 Mechanical Drafting and Mechanical Drafting CAD/CADD
15 15.1399 Drafting/Design Engineering Technologies/Technicians, Other
15 15.1401 Nuclear Engineering Technology/Technician
15 15.1501 Engineering/Industrial Management
15 15.1502 Engineering Design
15 15.1503 Packaging Science
15 15.1599 Engineering-Related Fields, Other
15 15.1601 Nanotechnology
15 15.9999 Engineering Technologies and Engineering-Related Fields, Other
26 26.XXXX Biological and Biomedical Sciences
27 27.XXXX Mathematics and Statistics
28 28.0501 Air Science/Airpower Studies
28 28.0502 Air and Space Operational Art and Science
28 28.0505 Naval Science and Operational Studies
29 29.0201 Intelligence, General
29 29.0202 Strategic Intelligence
29 29.0203 Signal/Geospatial Intelligence
29 29.0204 Command & Control (C3, C4I) Systems and Operations
29 29.0205 Information Operations/Joint Information Operations
29 29.0206 Information/Psychological Warfare and Military Media Relations
29 29.0207 Cyber/Electronic Operations and Warfare
29 29.0299 Intelligence, Command Control and Information Operations, Other
29 29.0301 Combat Systems Engineering
29 29.0302 Directed Energy Systems
29 29.0303 Engineering Acoustics
29 29.0304 Low-Observables and Stealth Technology
29 29.0305 Space Systems Operations
29 29.0306 Operational Oceanography
29 29.0307 Undersea Warfare
29 29.0399 Military Applied Sciences, Other
29 29.0401 Aerospace Ground Equipment Technology
29 29.0402 Air and Space Operations Technology
29 29.0403 Aircraft Armament Systems Technology
29 29.0404 Explosive Ordinance/Bomb Disposal
29 29.0405 Joint Command/Task Force (C3, C4I) Systems
29 29.0406 Military Information Systems Technology
29 29.0407 Missile and Space Systems Technology
29 29.0408 Munitions Systems/Ordinance Technology
29 29.0409 Radar Communications and Systems Technology
29 29.0499 Military Systems and Maintenance Technology, Other
29 29.9999 Military Technologies and Applied Sciences, Other
30 30.0101 Biological and Physical Sciences
30 30.0601 Systems Science and Theory
30 30.0801 Mathematics and Computer Science
30 30.1001 Biopsychology
30 30.1701 Behavioral Sciences
30 30.1801 Natural Sciences
30 30.1901 Nutrition Sciences
30 30.2501 Cognitive Science
30 30.2701 Human Biology
30 30.3001 Computational Science
30 30.3101 Human Computer Interaction
30 30.3201 Marine Sciences
30 30.3301 Sustainability Studies
40 40.XXXX Physical Sciences
41 41.0000 Science Technologies/Technicians, General
41 41.0101 Biology Technician/Biotechnology Laboratory Technician
41 41.0204 Industrial Radiologic Technology/Technician
41 41.0205 Nuclear/Nuclear Power Technology/Technician
41 41.0299 Nuclear and Industrial Radiologic Technologies/Technicians, Other
41 41.0301 Chemical Technology/Technician
41 41.0303 Chemical Process Technology
41 41.0399 Physical Science Technologies/Technicians, Other
41 41.9999 Science Technologies/Technicians, Other
42 42.2701 Cognitive Psychology and Psycholinguistics
42 42.2702 Comparative Psychology
42 42.2703 Developmental and Child Psychology
42 42.2704 Experimental Psychology
42 42.2705 Personality Psychology
42 42.2706 Physiological Psychology/Psychobiology
42 42.2707 Social Psychology
42 42.2708 Psychometrics and Quantitative Psychology
42 42.2709 Psychopharmacology
42 42.2799 Research and Experimental Psychology, Other
43 43.0106 Forensic Science and Technology
43 43.0116 Cyber/Computer Forensics and Counterterrorism
45 45.0301 Archeology
45 45.0603 Econometrics and Quantitative Economics
45 45.0702 Geographic Information Science and Cartography
49 49.0101 Aeronautics/Aviation/Aerospace Science and Technology, General
51 51.1002 Cytotechnology/Cytotechnologist
51 51.1005 Clinical Laboratory Science/Medical Technology/Technologist
51 51.1401 Medical Scientist
51 51.2003 Pharmaceutics and Drug Design
51 51.2004 Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry
51 51.2005 Natural Products Chemistry and Pharmacognosy
51 51.2006 Clinical and Industrial Drug Development
51 51.2007 Pharmacoeconomics/Pharmaceutical Economics
51 51.2009 Industrial and Physical Pharmacy and Cosmetic Sciences
51 51.2010 Pharmaceutical Sciences
51 51.2202 Environmental Health
51 51.2205 Health/Medical Physics
51 51.2502 Veterinary Anatomy
51 51.2503 Veterinary Physiology
51 51.2504 Veterinary Microbiology and Immunobiology
51 51.2505 Veterinary Pathology and Pathobiology
51 51.2506 Veterinary Toxicology and Pharmacology
51 51.2510 Veterinary Preventive Medicine, Epidemiology, and Public Health
51 51.2511 Veterinary Infectious Diseases
51 51.2706 Medical Informatics
52 52.1301 Management Science
52 52.1302 Business Statistics
52 52.1304 Actuarial Science
52 52.1399 Management Science and Quantitative Methods, Other

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Comments ( 47 )

  1. Dilema

    Do Certifications for Java, SQL, and other languages fall under STEM? I am not asking in terms of OPT. I am asking this as I have these certifications and am currently on H4 EAD but want to change to H1B.
    I have an MBA degree in Marketing and Management but started coding and I do have these Certifications. Do you think these will suffice the need for for H1B? The work experience as a coder is almost 4 years now.

  2. Rinny


    I am doing Masters in Public Health and my major is Environmental health science. MPH does not come under STEM but my major comes under STEM list, so would i be able to get STEM extension

  3. Sailee

    My degree MPH has a non-STEM CIP code, but my major is Epidemiology which is a STEM field. Can I get OPT extension on that basis?

    1. administrator

      In general, you should have your degree CIP code in it. Your Graduate school can clarify, if your degree falls under STEM or not.

    1. administrator

      There are so many variations and it always depends on the school. Check with the graduate school on the code, where you are applying to get it confirmed.

  4. karan thakur

    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.

  5. Jim

    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.

  6. anshul

    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?


  7. anshul

    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

  8. Riddhi

    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.


    Hello Everyone,

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

    1. pawan vatsya

      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

    2. pawan vatsya

      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 ..

  10. sai ram

    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?

  11. Catherine

    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

    1. Bhavana

      Hi Catherine,

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


  12. jay

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


  13. Mohammed

    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,

    1. nikhil

      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

  14. JWYNN

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

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

      1. administrator

        You need to check the CIP code for correct information. Speak to your graduate school and get the info.

  15. maryam

    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

    1. administrator

      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.

  16. Saurabh

    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?

      1. Anonymous

        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.

        1. administrator

          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

        2. Mike

          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!!!)

  17. Abhi

    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.

    1. administrator

      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

  18. Physiotherpist in USA

    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.

  19. Swetha

    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?

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