The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is amending its STEM Designated Degree Program List by adding 22 qualifying fields of study, including bioenergy, cloud computing, geography and environmental studies, and data science. (See the full list here.)
By expanding the list, international graduates in these 22 fields will now be eligible to participate in the STEM OPT program.
The program allows F-1 nonimmigrant students who have completed 12 months of optional practical training (OPT) and received a degree in an approved STEM field of study a 24-month extension of OPT.
This means international students in STEM fields are able to stay in the United States and work for up to three years after they graduate. By comparison, non-STEM graduates are typically allowed to stay and work here for one year.