For many of our readers, and especially foreign students on F-1 status knowing and understanding if their degree is a STEM Designated Degree Program is critical to plan for their immigration future.
This designation can determine whether or not an F-1 student can benefit from the new 24-month STEM optional practical training (OPT) extension rule. If so, the student can remain in the U.S. training and be gaining work experience for a much longer time and have a greater chance at applying for a potential H-1B petition, sometimes two to three times, under the lottery.
The latest approved STEM designated program list, which includes all fields of study that DHS considers to be science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) fields for purposes of the 24-month STEM OPT extension can be found at https://www.ice.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Document/2016/stem-list.pdf
This new list became effective May 10th, 2016.