In 2012, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released its most recent list of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)-designated degree program list.
F1 students in STEM-designated programs are eligible for a one-time 17-month STEM extension of optional practical training (OPT). The current regulatory requirements for a 17-month STEM extension, found in 8 C.F.R. 214.2(f)(10)(ii)(C), are as follows:
- The student has not previously received a 17-month STEM OPT extension;
- The degree that was the basis for the student's current period of OPT is a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree in one of the programs on the current STEM-Designated Degree Program List;
- The student's employer is registered in the E-Verify program;
- The employer agrees to report the termination or departure of a STEM OPT employee to the designated school official DSO at the student's school.
In order to apply for the 17-month STEM OPT extension, the student must first obtain a recommendation from his or her DSO (8 C.F.R. 214.2(f)(11)(i)). After obtaining a recommendation, the student must file a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, with fee, prior to the expiration date of his or her current employment authorization (8 C.F.R. 214.2(f)(11)(i)(C)).
The following is the chart listing all of the STEM-designated degree programs. The “CIP Code” stands for “Classification of Instructional Programs.”