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 Series
CIP Code Title
Agroecology and Sustainable Agriculture
Animal Sciences, General
Agricultural Animal Breeding
Animal Sciences, Other
Food Technology and Processing
Food Science and Technology, Other
Plant Sciences, General
Agronomy and Crop Science
Agricultural and Horticultural Plant Breeding
Plant Protection and Integrated Pest Management
Range Science and Management
Plant Sciences, Other
Soil Science and Agronomy, General
Soil Chemistry and Physics
Soil Sciences, Other
Natural Resources/Conservation, General
Natural Resources Conservation and Research, Other
Water, Wetlands, and Marine Resources Management
Forest Sciences and Biology
Wood Science and Wood Products/Pulp and Paper Technology
Wildlife, Fish and Wildlands Science and Management
Architectural and Building Sciences/Technology
Digital Communication and Media/Multimedia
Animation, Interactive Technology, Video Graphics and Special Effects