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On July 12, 2023, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) added eight new qualifying fields of study to the STEM Designated Degree Program List. F-1 nonimmigrant students who complete certain programs of study in the fields of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) are eligible to apply for a twenty-four-month extension of their post-completion optional practical training (OPT).

Quick Hits

  • DHS recently added eight new qualifying fields of study to the STEM list.
  • More F-1 nonimmigrant students will now be eligible for the twenty-four-month extension of their post-completion OPT.
  • In the Federal Register, DHS has also provided instructions for nominating fields of study to be added or removed from the current STEM list.

DHS last published an update to the STEM list in the Federal Register on January 21, 2022. In this publication, DHS included an overview of the process for interested parties to nominate additional fields of study to be included or removed from the STEM list.

DHS received nominations for an additional 120 fields to be included on the STEM list and selected the following eight new qualifying fields of study and Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) codes:

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

Descriptions of the newly added fields of study may be found in the Update to the Department of Homeland Security STEM Designated Degree Program List published in the Federal Register.

Eligible F-1 nonimmigrant students who have completed degree programs listed on the updated STEM list may apply for the STEM OPT extension by submitting a Form I-983 (Training Plan for STEM OPT Students) and a Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization).

DHS also confirmed that existing fields of study had not been removed and the agency had not received any nominations to remove fields of study on the current STEM list.

DHS will continue to receive nominations for amendments to the STEM list. Nominations may be submitted by email to with the subject line, “Attention: STEM CIP Code Nomination.” Individuals may resubmit nominations with additional evidence and reasoning if their original requests were not included in this addition to the STEM list.

Ogletree Deakins’ Immigration Practice Group will continue to monitor developments and will provide updates on the Immigration blog as additional information becomes available.

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