STEM-Designated Program

STEM-Designated Programs and OPT Work Permit Extensions

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency publishes a list of STEM-designated programs which allows holders of certain Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) degrees to obtain an additional 24-month OPT work permit extension, in addition to the 12-month post-completion OPT work permit.  Essentially, a STEM degree allows for a total OPT time of 36 months, compared to 12 months for non-STEM degrees. Graduate certificate programs are not eligible for the OPT work permit extension.

Please see the STEM-list programs provided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for the most up-to-date information.  Corresponding UNC Charlotte STEM designated programs listed below, may qualify for the OPT extension.  

Applied Mathematics, PHD 27.0301
Biology, PHD 26.0101
Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, PHD 26.1103
Computing and Information Systems, PHD 11.0101
Educational Research, Measurement and Evaluation, PHD 13.0601
Electrical Engineering, PHD 14.1001
Infrastructure and Environmental Systems, PHD 30.3301
Mechanical Engineering, PHD 14.1901
Nanoscale Science, PHD 40.9999
Optical Science and Engineering, PHD 40.0807


Applied Energy and Electromechanical Systems, MS 14.9999
Applied Physics, MS 40.0801
Architecture, MS 04.0902
Bioinformatics, MS 26.1103
Biology, MS 26.0101
Chemistry, MS 40.0501
Civil Engineering, MSCE 14.0801
Computer Engineering, MS 14.0901
Computer Science, MS 11.0701
Construction and Facilities Management, MS 15.9999
Data Science and Business Analytics, MS 52.1399
Earth Sciences, MS 40.0601
Economics, MS 45.0603
Electrical Engineering, MSEE 14.1001
Engineering, General, MSE 14.0101
Engineering Management, MS 15.1501
Fire Protection and Safety Management, M 15.9999
Information Technology, MS 11.0103
Instructional Systems Technology, MED 13.0501
Mathematics, MS 27.0101
Mathematical Finance, MS 27.0305
Mechanical Engineering, MSME 14.1901
Optical Science and Engineering, MS 40.0807
Professional Science Masters in Health Informatics, MS 51.2706