August 12

STEM Designated Degree Program List 2023


The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has recently expanded the opportunities for international students studying in the United States. The DHS has added eight new academic fields to the list of degrees eligible for the F1 STEM optional practical training (OPT) program.

Recently, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) increased the opportunities available to international students studying in the United States.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has added eight new disciplines of study to the list of degrees eligible for the F1 STEM optional practical training (OPT) programme.

This programme enables F1 students with STEM degrees to obtain employment authorization for up to 36 months following graduation.

The F1 STEM OPT programme currently incorporates the following STEM fields and STEM Classification of Instructional Programmes (CIP) codes:

  • Technician in Composite Materials Technology (CIP 15.0617)

  • Studies of Demography and Population (CIP 45.0501)

  • (CIP 42.2710) Developmental and Adolescent Psychology

  • Institutional Research (CIP 13.0608); 

  • Landscape Architecture (CIP 04.0601); 

  • Linguistics and Computer Science (CIP 30.4801); 

  • Geospatial Intelligence (CIP 43.0407).

  • Technician/Technician in Mechatronics, Robotics, and Automation Engineering (CIP 15.0407)

This F1 opt stem expansion offers international students pursuing careers in these disciplines exciting opportunities. Through participation in the STEM OPT programme, students can acquire valuable work experience in the United States, enhancing their skills and employability within their respective industries.

If you wish to view the most recent DHS STEM Designated Degree Programme List 2023, please visit the website

What is the STEM OPT Extension for the F1 visa?

STEM OPT Extension refers to an extension of the OPT work authorization for international students with a qualifying STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) degree studying in the United States. The qualifying degree must be on the list of STEM degrees recognised for OPT.

Under the STEM OPT Extension, eligible students can extend their post-graduation OPT work authorization period by an additional 24 months, allowing them to acquire field-specific work experience.

This new announcement represents an important milestone, as it is the first expansion of the degree list since the implementation of the public nomination process.

This development demonstrates the DHS's ongoing commitment to thoroughly consider and evaluate potential additions to the DHS stem list.


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