If you intend to study in the USA and eventually build a career in that country, you may want to check out the possibility of enrolling in a STEM  program.  CHECK the list below to find out if your current baccalaureate degree or master’s degree is a STEM course.

STEM is an acronym referring to degrees in fields related to science, technology, engineering, and math. Should the US government want to keep being the leader in innovation and technology, encouraging people to enroll in STEM education programs are a high-priority today.

Competing with its neighbor Canada and the rest of the world, the US government already had a program in place that allows certain international students and graduates to work off campus. The program is the Optional Practical Training or OPT.  This can be taken either pre-completion or before you graduate  (if you are deemed eligible) or more commonly, post-completion or after graduation.  Regardless if the OPT is taken pre- or post-completion though, the OPT period was a maximum of 12 months, at each educational level such as undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate.

Which brings us to the FINAL RULE that was published by the US Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2016.

Prior to March 1 this year, the US government already added a STEM extension of 17 months for international students.  If you took a post-completion OPT after graduating from a STEM program, you could stay on for a whopping 29 months post graduation.

The final rule however, allows you to stay on with a STEM extension of 24 months.  And if you take your Optional Practical Training post-completion,  you can then stay on for 36 months (three years) in the US.  And all it takes is for you to graduate from a STEM program.        

The United States developed into a global leader in science and technology with the genius and hard work of its scientists, engineers and innovators.  Today, American students enrolling in STEM fields has fallen below industry requirements.  The STEM Education Resource has already noted that while the first-time enrollments in master's and doctoral level programs increased compared to the years prior to 2014, international students accounted for most of the growth.

Don't be left behind!  With so many related fields and careers, having a STEM degree opens the door to so many opportunities to carve a fulfilling, stable and high-paying career in the USA. 

2016 STEM Programs

IP Code 2 Digits 2010 CIP Code CIP Code Title
01 01.03.08 Agroecology and Sustainable Agriculture
01 01.0901 Animal Sciences, General
01 01.0902 Agricultural Animal Breeding
01 01.0903   Animal Health
01 01.0904 Animal Nutrition
01 01.0905 Dairy Science
01 01.0906   Livestock Management
01 01.0907 Poultry Science
01 01.0999 Animal Sciences, Other
01 01.1001   Food Science
01 01.1002 Food Technology and Processing
01 01.1099 Food Science and Technology, Other
01 01.1101 Plant Sciences, General
01 01.1102 Agronomy and Crop Science
01 01.1103 Horticultural Science
01 01.1104 Agricultural and Horticultural Plant Breeding
01 01.1105 Plant Protection and Integrated Pest Management
01 01.1106 Range Science and Management
01 01.1199 Plant Sciences, Other
01 01.1201 Soil Science and Agronomy, General
01 01.1202   Soil Chemistry and Physics
01 01.1203 Soil Microbiology
01 01.1299 Soil Sciences, Other
03 03.0101 Natural Resources/Conservation, General
03 03.0103 Environmental Studies
03 03.0104 Environmental Science
03 03.0199 Natural Resources Conservation and Research, Other
03 03.0205 Water, Wetlands, and Marine Resources Management
03 03.0502 Forest Sciences and Biology
03 03.0508 Urban Forestry
03 03.0509 Wood Science and Wood Products/Pulp and Paper Technology
03 03.0601 Wildlife, Fish and Wildlands Science and Management
04 04.0902 Architectural and Building Sciences/Technology
09 09.0702 Digital Communication and Media/Multimedia
10 10.0304 Animation, Interactive Technology, Video Graphics and Special Effects
11 11.0101 Computer and Information Sciences, General
11 11.0102 Artificial Intelligence
11 11.0103 Information Technology
11 11.0104 Informatics
11 11.0199 Computer and Information Sciences, Other
11 11.0201 Computer Programming/Programmer, General
11 11.0202 Computer Programming, Specific Applications
11 11.0203 Computer Programming, Vendor/Product Certification
11 11.0299 Computer Programming, Other
11 11.0301 Data Processing and Data Processing Technology/Technician
11 11.0401 Information Science/Studies
11 11.0501 Computer Systems Analysis/Analyst
11 11.0701 Computer Science
11 11.0801 Web Page, Digital/Multimedia and Information Resources Design
11 11.0802 Data Modeling/Warehousing and Database Administration
11 11.0803 Computer Graphics
11 11.0804 Modeling, Virtual Environments and Simulation
11 11.0899 Computer Software and Media Applications, Other
11 11.0901 Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunications
11 11.1001 Network and System Administration/Administrator
11 11.1002 System, Networking, and LAN/WAN Management/Manager
11 11.1003 Computer and Information Systems Security/Information Assurance
11 11.1004 Web/Multimedia Management and Webmaster
11 11.1005 Information Technology Project Management
11 11.1006 Computer Support Specialist
11 11.1099 Computer/Information Technology Services Administration and Management, Other
13 13.0501 Educational/Instructional Technology
13 13.0601 Educational Evaluation and Research
13 13/0603 Educational Statistics and Research Methods
14 14.XXXX Engineering
15 15.0000 Engineering Technology, General
15 15.0101 Architectural Engineering Technology/Technician
15 15.0201 Civil Engineering Technology/Technician
15 15.0303 Electrical, Electronic and Communications Engineering Technology/Technician
15 15.0304 Laser and Optical Technology/Technician
15 15.0305 Telecommunications Technology/Technician
15 15.0306 Integrated Circuit Design
15 15.0399 Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technologies/Technicians, Other
15 15.0401 Biomedical Technology/Technician
15 15.0403 Electromechanical Technology/Electromechanical Engineering Technology
15 15.0404 Instrumentation Technology/Technician
15 15.0405 Robotics Technology/Technician
15 15.0406 Automation Engineer Technology/Technician
15 15.0499 Electromechanical and Instrumentation and Maintenance Technologies/Technicians, Other
15 15.0501 Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Engineering Technology/Technician
15 15.0503 Energy Management and Systems Technology/Technician
15 15.0505 Solar Energy Technology/Technician
15 15.0506 Water Quality and Wastewater Treatment Management and Recycling Technology/Technician
15 15.0507 Environmental Engineering Technology/Environmental Technology
15 15.0508 Hazardous Materials Management and Waste Technology/Technician
15 15.0599 Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians, Other
15 15.0607 Plastics and Polymer Engineering Technology/Technician
15 15.0611 Metallurgical Technology/Technician
15 15.0612 Industrial Technology/Technician
15 15.0613 Manufacturing Engineering Technology/Technician
15 15.0614 Welding Engineering Technology/Technician
15 15.0615 Chemical Engineering Technology/Technician
15 15.0616 Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology
15 15.0699 Industrial Production Technologies/Technicians, Other
15 15.0701 Occupational Safety and Health Technology/Technician
15 15.0702 Quality Control Technology/Technician
15 15.0703 Industrial Safety Technology/Technician
15 15.0704 Hazardous Materials Information Systems Technology/Technician
15 15.0799 Quality Control and Safety Technologies/Technicians, Other
15 15.0801 Aeronautical/Aerospace Engineering Technology/Technician
15 15.0803 Automotive Engineering Technology/Technician
15 15.0805 Mechanical Engineering/Mechanical Technology/Technician
15 15.0899 Mechanical Engineering Related Technologies/Technicians, Other
15 15.0901 Mining Technology/Technician
15 15.0903 Petroleum Technology/Technician
15 15.0999 Mining and Petroleum Technologies/Technicians, Other
15 15.1001 Construction Engineering Technology/Technician
15 15.1102 Surveying Technology/Surveying
15 15.1103 Hydraulics and Fluid Power Technology/Technician
15 15.1199 Engineering-Related Technologies, Other
15 15.1203 Computer Hardware Technology/Technician
15 15.1201 Computer Engineering Technology/Technician
15 15.1202 Computer Technology/Computer Systems Technology
15 15.1204 Computer Software Technology/Technician
15 15.1299 Computer Engineering Technologies/Technicians, Other
15 15.1301 Drafting and Design Technology/Technician, General
15 15.1302 CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician
15 15.1303 Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD
15 15.1304 Civil Drafting and Civil Engineering CAD/CADD
15 15.1305 Electrical/Electronics Drafting and Electrical/Electronics CAD/CADD
15 15.1306 Mechanical Drafting and Mechanical Drafting CAD/CADD
15 15.1399 Drafting/Design Engineering Technologies/Technicians, Other
15 15.1401 Nuclear Engineering Technology/Technician
15 15.1501 Engineering/Industrial Management
15 15.1502 Engineering Design
15 15.1503 Packaging Science
15 15.1599 Engineering-Related Fields, Other
15 15.1601 Nanotechnology
15 15.9999 Engineering Technologies and Engineering-Related Fields, Other
26 26.XXXX Biological and Biomedical Sciences
27 27.XXXX Mathematics and Statistics
28 28.0501 Air Science/Airpower Studies
28 28.0502 Air and Space Operational Art and Science
28 28.0505 Naval Science and Operational Studies
29 29.0201 Intelligence, General
29 29.0202 Strategic Intelligence
29 29.0303 Engineering Acoustics
29 29.0304 Low-Observables and Stealth Technology
29 29.0305 Space Systems Operations
29 29.0306 Operational Oceanography
29 29.0307 Undersea Warfare
29 29.0399 Military Applied Sciences, Other
29 29.0401 Aerospace Ground Equipment Technology
29 29.0402 Air and Space Operations Technology
29 29.0403 Aircraft Armament Systems Technology
29 29.0404 Explosive Ordinance/Bomb Disposal
29 29.0405 Joint Command/Task Force (C3, C4I) Systems
29 29.0406 Military Information Systems Technology
29 29.0407 Missile and Space Systems Technology
29 29.0408 Munitions Systems/Ordinance Technology
29 29.0409 Radar Communications and Systems Technology
29 29.0499 Military Systems and Maintenance Technology, Other
29 29.9999 Military Technologies and Applied Sciences, Other
30 30.0101 Biological and Physical Sciences
30 30.0601 Systems Science and Theory
30 30.0801 Mathematics and Computer Science
30 30.1001 Biopsychology
30 30.1701 Behavioral Sciences
30 30.1801 Natural Sciences
30 30.1901 Nutrition Sciences
30 30.2501 Cognitive Science
30 30.2701 Human Biology
30 30.3001 Computational Science
30 30.3101 Human Computer Interaction
30 30.3201 Marine Sciences
30 30.3301 Sustainability Studies
40 40.XXXX Physical Sciences
41 41.0000 Science Technologies/Technicians, General
41 41.0101 Biology Technician/Biotechnology Laboratory Technician
41 41.0204 Industrial Radiologic Technology/Technician
41 41.0205 Nuclear/Nuclear Power Technology/Technician
41 41.0299 Nuclear and Industrial Radiologic Technologies/Technicians, Other
41 41.0301 Chemical Technology/Technician
41 41.0303 Chemical Process Technology
41 41.0399 Physical Science Technologies/Technicians, Other
41 41.9999 Science Technologies/Technicians, Other
42 42.2701 Cognitive Psychology and Psycholinguistics
42 42.2702 Comparative Psychology
42 42.2703 Developmental and Child Psychology
42 42.2704 Experimental Psychology
42 42.2705 Personality Psychology
42 42.2706 Physiological Psychology/Psychobiology
42 42.2707 Social Psychology
42 42.2708 Psychometrics and Quantitative Psychology
42 42.2709 Psychopharmacology
42 42.2799 Research and Experimental Psychology, Other
43 43.0106 Forensic Science and Technology
43 43.0116 Cyber/Computer Forensics and Counterterrorism
45 45.0301 Archeology
45 45.0603 Econometrics and Quantitative Economics
45 45.0702 Geographic Information Science and Cartography
49 49.0101 Aeronautics/Aviation/Aerospace Science and Technology, General
51 51.1002 Cytotechnology/Cytotechnologist
51 51.1005 Clinical Laboratory Science/Medical Technology/Technologist
51 51.1401 Medical Scientist
51 51.2003 Pharmaceutics and Drug Design
51 51.2004 Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry
51 51.2005 Natural Products Chemistry and Pharmacognosy
51 51.2006 Clinical and Industrial Drug Development
51 51.2007 Pharmacoeconomics/Pharmaceutical Economics
51 51.2009 Industrial and Physical Pharmacy and Cosmetic Sciences
51 51.2010 Pharmaceutical Sciences
51 51.2202 Environmental Health
51 51.2205 Health/Medical Physics
51 51.2502 Veterinary Anatomy
51 51.2503 Veterinary Physiology
51 51.2504 Veterinary Microbiology and Immunobiology
51 51.2505 Veterinary Pathology and Pathobiology
51 51.2506 Veterinary Toxicology and Pharmacology
51 51.2510 Veterinary Preventive Medicine, Epidemiology, and Public Health
51 51.2511 Veterinary Infectious Diseases
51 51.2706 Medical Informatics
52 52.1301 Management Science
52 52.1302 Business Statistics
52 52.1304 Actuarial Science
52 52.1399 Management Science and Quantitative Methods, Other

Source: https://www.ice.gov/

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About the Author

Jennifer Aranda

Jennifer Aranda

Jennifer S. Aranda is the COO of IVC Immigrant Visa Center, Inc.


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