The Department of Homeland Security will add eight new qualifying fields of study to its STEM Designated Degree Program List, according to a notice scheduled to be published in the Federal Register tomorrow.

The government uses the STEM Designated Degree Program List to determine F-1 students’ eligibility for the 24-month extension of their post-completion Optional Practical Training, based on their science, technology, engineering or mathematics degree. Additions to the list make more students eligible for the STEM OPT extension.

The additions mark the second substantive update to the list since the STEM OPT regulation took effect in 2016, with 22 fields added in January 2022. The eight fields that will be added are:

  • Composite Materials Technology/Technician (CIP code: 15.0617).
  • Demography and Population Studies (45.0501).
  • Developmental and Adolescent Psychology (42.2710).
  • Geospatial Intelligence (43.0407).
  • Institutional Research (13.0608).
  • Landscape Architecture (04.0601).
  • Linguistics and Computer Science (30.4801).
  • Mechatronics, Robotics and Automation Engineering Technology/Technician (15.0407).

Additional Information: The update will take effect upon the notice’s publication in the Federal Register, which is scheduled for tomorrow, July 12. More information about each field of study is available in the prepublication version of the notice.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice Group. For additional information, please contact

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