STEM OPT-Eligiblity

Am I eligible?

You must:

  • Currently be on Post-Completion OPT
  • Hold a degree listed on the official STEM Designated Degree Program List  (Not sure? Contact your IO advisor)
  • Have a paid job or job offer from an employer enrolled in E-Verify
  • Work 20+ hours/week in a position directly related to your field of study.  You may work for multiple employers, but each job must be 20+ hours/week, paid, and at an E-Verify employer.
  • Apply before your current Post-Completion period of OPT expires.

Your employer must:

My department changed CIP codes. Can I apply for STEM?

There is an administrative process that departments must go through to change the CIP code. Once the CIP code change has been approved, the registrar updates the CIP code based on the parameters of the approval. After the registrar updates the CIP code, the IO will update the CIP codes in SEVIS. You may request a new I-20 with the updated CIP code. Please email your IO advisor to request an I-20.

**Please note that your CIP code can only be updated if you are active in SEVIS in the program with the updated CIP code. For example, if you were in Economics and are currently on OPT in Economics, we can update your CIP code.

If you have completed your program and/or completed your OPT for the new STEM eligible degree, we will not be able to change your CIP code in SEVIS. Contact your IO advisor for guidance. **

Once the CIP code has been updated, you may meet the CIP code requirements for STEM eligibility.

Can I apply for STEM OPT more than once?

Potentially.  You are eligible for STEM OPT after the completion of a STEM-eligible degree and period of Post-Completion OPT.  If you complete another STEM-eligible degree at a higher academic level, you may apply again. 

Can I apply based on a previous STEM-eligible degree?

Potentially.  If you earned a previous STEM-eligible degree in the U.S. within the last ten years, and your current degree is not STEM-eligible, you may be able to apply for the STEM OPT extension.  Please contact your IO advisor for more information. 

STEM OPT Extension Application Process