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

To attract and retain International students talent in America, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on May 11th, 2012  announced that it is expanding the list of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math ) designated degrees that qualify for 24 month OPT (Optional Practical Training) Extension. This article covers all details related to the same.

What is STEM Degree List ? 24 Months OPT Extension ?

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.

F1 students who have graduated with a degree that is part of the STEM Degree list are eligible to extend their OPT for an additional 24 months after their 12 month OPT duration is complete.

Eligibility for 24 month STEM OPT ?

For F1 students 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 . If the degree you graduated with does not have the relevant CIP code on the I-20, then you cannot avail the 24 month OPT. Also, you need to be in proper F1 status to avail the STEM OPT.

Complete List of STEM OPT Degrees by DHS

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

CIP Code Two-Digit Series2010 CIP CodeCIP Code Title
0101.0308Agroecology and Sustainable Agriculture
0101.0901Animal Sciences, General
0101.0902Agricultural Animal Breeding
0101.0903Animal Health
0101.0904Animal Nutrition
0101.0905Dairy Science
0101.0906Livestock Management
0101.0907Poultry Science
0101.0999Animal Sciences, Other
0101.1001Food Science
0101.1002Food Technology and Processing
0101.1099Food Science and Technology, Other
0101.1101Plant Sciences, General
0101.1102Agronomy and Crop Science
0101.1103Horticultural Science
0101.1104Agricultural and Horticultural Plant Breeding
0101.1105Plant Protection and Integrated Pest Management
0101.1106Range Science and Management
0101.1199Plant Sciences, Other
0101.1201Soil Science and Agronomy, General
0101.1202Soil Chemistry and Physics
0101.1203Soil Microbiology
0101.1299Soil Sciences, Other
0303.0101Natural Resources/Conservation, General
0303.0103Environmental Studies
0303.0104Environmental Science
0303.0199Natural Resources Conservation and Research, Other
0303.0205Water, Wetlands, and Marine Resources Management
0303.0502Forest Sciences and Biology
0303.0508Urban Forestry
0303.0509Wood Science and Wood Products/Pulp and Paper Technology
0303.0601Wildlife, Fish and Wildlands Science and Management
0404.0902Architectural and Building Sciences/Technology
0909.0702Digital Communication and Media/Multimedia
1010.0304Animation, Interactive Technology, Video Graphics and Special Effects
1111.0101Computer and Information Sciences, General
1111.0102Artificial Intelligence
1111.0103Information Technology
1111.0199Computer and Information Sciences, Other
1111.0201Computer Programming/Programmer, General
1111.0202Computer Programming, Specific Applications
1111.0203Computer Programming, Vendor/Product Certification
1111.0299Computer Programming, Other
1111.0901Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunications
1111.1001Network and System Administration/Administrator
1111.1002System, Networking, and LAN/WAN Management/Manager
1111.1003Computer and Information Systems Security/Information Assurance
1111.1004Web/Multimedia Management and Webmaster
1111.1005Information Technology Project Management
1111.1006Computer Support Specialist
1111.1099Computer/Information Technology Services Administration and Management, Other
1313.0501Educational/Instructional Technology
1313.0601Educational Evaluation and Research
1313.0603Educational Statistics and Research Methods
1515.0000Engineering Technology, General
1515.0101Architectural Engineering Technology/Technician
1515.0201Civil Engineering Technology/Technician
1515.0303Electrical, Electronic and Communications Engineering Technology/Technician
1515.0304Laser and Optical Technology/Technician
1515.0305Telecommunications Technology/Technician
1515.0306Integrated Circuit Design
1515.0399Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technologies/Technicians, Other
1515.0401Biomedical Technology/Technician
1515.0403Electromechanical Technology/Electromechanical Engineering Technology
1515.0404Instrumentation Technology/Technician
1515.0405Robotics Technology/Technician
1515.0406Automation Engineer Technology/Technician
1515.0499Electromechanical and Instrumentation and Maintenance Technologies/Technicians, Other
1515.0501Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Engineering Technology/Technician
1515.0503Energy Management and Systems Technology/Technician
1515.0505Solar Energy Technology/Technician
1515.0506Water Quality and Wastewater Treatment Management and Recycling Technology/Technician
1515.0507Environmental Engineering Technology/Environmental Technology
1515.0508Hazardous Materials Management and Waste Technology/Technician
1515.0599Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians, Other
1515.0607Plastics and Polymer Engineering Technology/Technician
1515.0611Metallurgical Technology/Technician
1515.0612Industrial Technology/Technician
1515.0613Manufacturing Engineering Technology/Technician
1515.0614Welding Engineering Technology/Technician
1515.0615Chemical Engineering Technology/Technician
1515.0616Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology
1515.0699Industrial Production Technologies/Technicians, Other
1515.0701Occupational Safety and Health Technology/Technician
1515.0702Quality Control Technology/Technician
1515.0703Industrial Safety Technology/Technician
1515.0704Hazardous Materials Information Systems Technology/Technician
1515.0799Quality Control and Safety Technologies/Technicians, Other
1515.0801Aeronautical/Aerospace Engineering Technology/Technician
1515.0803Automotive Engineering Technology/Technician
1515.0805Mechanical Engineering/Mechanical Technology/Technician
1515.0899Mechanical Engineering Related Technologies/Technicians, Other
1515.0901Mining Technology/Technician
1515.0903Petroleum Technology/Technician
1515.0999Mining and Petroleum Technologies/Technicians, Other
1515.1001Construction Engineering Technology/Technician
1515.1102Surveying Technology/Surveying
1515.1103Hydraulics and Fluid Power Technology/Technician
1515.1199Engineering-Related Technologies, Other
1515.1201Computer Engineering Technology/Technician
1515.1202Computer Technology/Computer Systems Technology
1515.1203Computer Hardware Technology/Technician
1515.1204Computer Software Technology/Technician
1515.1299Computer Engineering Technologies/Technicians, Other
1515.1301Drafting and Design Technology/Technician, General
1515.1302CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician
1515.1303Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD
1515.1304Civil Drafting and Civil Engineering CAD/CADD
1515.1305Electrical/Electronics Drafting and Electrical/Electronics CAD/CADD
1515.1306Mechanical Drafting and Mechanical Drafting CAD/CADD
1515.1399Drafting/Design Engineering Technologies/Technicians, Other
1515.1401Nuclear Engineering Technology/Technician
1515.1501Engineering/Industrial Management
1515.1502Engineering Design
1515.1503Packaging Science
1515.1599Engineering-Related Fields, Other
1515.9999Engineering Technologies and Engineering-Related Fields, Other
2626.XXXXBiological and Biomedical Sciences
2727.XXXXMathematics and Statistics
2828.0501Air Science/Airpower Studies
2828.0502Air and Space Operational Art and Science
2828.0505Naval Science and Operational Studies
2929.0201Intelligence, General
2929.0202Strategic Intelligence
2929.0203Signal/Geospatial Intelligence
2929.0204Command & Control (C3, C4I) Systems and Operations
2929.0205Information Operations/Joint Information Operations
2929.0206Information/Psychological Warfare and Military Media Relations
2929.0207Cyber/Electronic Operations and Warfare
2929.0299Intelligence, Command Control and Information Operations, Other
2929.0301Combat Systems Engineering
2929.0302Directed Energy Systems
2929.0303Engineering Acoustics
2929.0304Low-Observables and Stealth Technology
2929.0305Space Systems Operations
2929.0306Operational Oceanography
2929.0307Undersea Warfare
2929.0399Military Applied Sciences, Other
2929.0401Aerospace Ground Equipment Technology
2929.0402Air and Space Operations Technology
2929.0403Aircraft Armament Systems Technology
2929.0404Explosive Ordinance/Bomb Disposal
2929.0405Joint Command/Task Force (C3, C4I) Systems
2929.0406Military Information Systems Technology
2929.0407Missile and Space Systems Technology
2929.0408Munitions Systems/Ordinance Technology
2929.0409Radar Communications and Systems Technology
2929.0499Military Systems and Maintenance Technology, Other
2929.9999Military Technologies and Applied Sciences, Other
3030.0101Biological and Physical Sciences
3030.0601Systems Science and Theory
3030.0801Mathematics and Computer Science
3030.1701Behavioral Sciences
3030.1801Natural Sciences
3030.1901Nutrition Sciences
3030.2501Cognitive Science
3030.2701Human Biology
3030.3001Computational Science
3030.3101Human Computer Interaction
3030.3201Marine Sciences
3030.3301Sustainability Studies
4040.XXXXPhysical Sciences
4141.0000Science Technologies/Technicians, General
4141.0101Biology Technician/Biotechnology Laboratory Technician
4141.0204Industrial Radiologic Technology/Technician
4141.0205Nuclear/Nuclear Power Technology/Technician
4141.0299Nuclear and Industrial Radiologic Technologies/Technicians, Other
4141.0301Chemical Technology/Technician
4141.0303Chemical Process Technology
4141.0399Physical Science Technologies/Technicians, Other
4141.9999Science Technologies/Technicians, Other
4242.2701Cognitive Psychology and Psycholinguistics
4242.2702Comparative Psychology
4242.2703Developmental and Child Psychology
4242.2704Experimental Psychology
4242.2705Personality Psychology
4242.2706Physiological Psychology/Psychobiology
4242.2707Social Psychology
4242.2708Psychometrics and Quantitative Psychology
4242.2799Research and Experimental Psychology, Other
4343.0106Forensic Science and Technology
4343.0116Cyber/Computer Forensics and Counterterrorism
4545.0603Econometrics and Quantitative Economics
4545.0702Geographic Information Science and Cartography
4949.0101Aeronautics/Aviation/Aerospace Science and Technology, General
5151.1005Clinical Laboratory Science/Medical Technology/Technologist
5151.1401Medical Scientist
5151.2003Pharmaceutics and Drug Design
5151.2004Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry
5151.2005Natural Products Chemistry and Pharmacognosy
5151.2006Clinical and Industrial Drug Development
5151.2007Pharmacoeconomics/Pharmaceutical Economics
5151.2009Industrial and Physical Pharmacy and Cosmetic Sciences
5151.2010Pharmaceutical Sciences
5151.2202Environmental Health
5151.2205Health/Medical Physics
5151.2502Veterinary Anatomy
5151.2503Veterinary Physiology
5151.2504Veterinary Microbiology and Immunobiology
5151.2505Veterinary Pathology and Pathobiology
5151.2506Veterinary Toxicology and Pharmacology
5151.2510Veterinary Preventive Medicine, Epidemiology, and Public Health
5151.2511Veterinary Infectious Diseases
5151.2706Medical Informatics
5252.1301Management Science
5252.1302Business Statistics
5252.1304Actuarial Science
5252.1399Management Science and Quantitative Methods, Other

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  1. I am very happy to have completed this course. I got a lot of new knowledge on the topic of STEM. The organization of the course is very well structured and prepared. Watching a video is a pleasure. Thanks a lot for the opportunity to get better.

  2. English for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics is a great online course I have studied. It’s amazing to learn more about the use of English language, the proper way of delivering one’s speech or article. This course encourages learners to deeply understand the importance of science which is focused on renewable resources that could help eliminate the harmful gases causing our planet’s temperature high. I am looking forward to accessing some free online courses for personal development and insight. Thank you.

    • Komal,
      It varies by the school. You can check the list above ( link in article), if you find anything. You need the CIP code of the program for the same. So ask for CIP code, where you plan to apply and then cross verify the same.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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?

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

    • 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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?


  9. 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

  10. 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.

    • Hi Srikanth,

      Wanted to know whether MS in Clinical Research is a STEM course or not?

      If possible can you please suggest good universities for it.


      • You should ask the school or check the CIP code of the degree in school website and then check in the list of STEM degrees list.

  11. Hello Everyone,

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

    • 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

    • 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 ..

  12. 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?

  13. 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

    • Hi Catherine,

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


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


  15. 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,

    • 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

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

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

  17. Hi
    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

    • Maryam,
      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.

  18. 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?

      • 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.

        • Anonymous,
          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

        • Hey,
          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!!!)

  19. 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.

    • Abhi,
      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

  20. Hi,
    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.

  21. 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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