The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will add 22 new qualifying fields of study to its STEM Designated Degree Program List, according to a notice scheduled to be published in the Federal Register this week.

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 (OPT), based on their science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) degree. Additions to the list make more students eligible for the STEM OPT extension.

The additions mark the first major substantive update to the list since the STEP OPT regulation took effect in 2016. The 22 fields that will be added are:

  • Bioenergy (Department of Education Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 03.0210)
  • Forestry, General (03.0501)
  • Forest Resources Production and Management (03.0510)
  • Human-Centered Technology Design (11.0105)
  • Cloud Computing (11.0902)
  • Anthrozoology (30.3401)
  • Climate Science (30.3501)
  • Earth Systems Science (30.3801)
  • Economics and Computer Science (30.3901)
  • Environmental Geosciences (30.4101)
  • Geobiology (30.4301)
  • Geography and Environmental Studies (30.4401)
  • Mathematical Economics (30.4901)
  • Mathematics and Atmospheric/Oceanic Science (30.5001)
  • Data Science, General (30.7001)
  • Data Analytics, General (30.7101)
  • Business Analytics (30.7102)
  • Data Visualization (30.7103)
  • Financial Analytics (30.7104)
  • Data Analytics, Other (30.7199)
  • Industrial and Organizational Psychology (42.2804)
  • Social Sciences, Research Methodology and Quantitative Methods (45.0102)

The update will take effect upon the notice’s publication in the Federal Register, which is scheduled for tomorrow, Jan. 21. More information about each field of study can be found in the prepublication version of the notice, available here.

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

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