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.  

Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, Ph.D. 26.1103
Biology, Ph.D. 26.0101
Computing and Information Systems, Ph.D. 11.0101

Data Science, Ph.D.

-new program pending approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

-anticipating approval in early 2025 for fall 2025 admission

Educational Research, Measurement and Evaluation, Ph.D. 13.0601
Electrical Engineering, Ph.D. 14.1001
Infrastructure and Environmental Systems, Ph.D. 30.3301
Mathematics (Applied), Ph.D. 27.0301
Mechanical Engineering, Ph.D. 14.1901
Nanoscale Science, Ph.D. 40.9999
Optical Science and Engineering, Ph.D. 40.0807


Applied Energy and Electromechanical Systems, M.S. 14.9999
Architecture, M.Arch. 04.0902
Architecture, M.S. 04.0902
Bioinformatics, M.S. 26.1103
Biology, M.S. 26.0101
Chemistry, M.S. 40.0501
Civil Engineering, MSCE 14.0801
Computer Engineering, M.S. 14.0901
Computer Science, M.S. 11.0701
Construction and Facilities Management, M.S. 15.9999
Cybersecurity, M.S. 11.1003
Data Science and Business Analytics, M.S. 52.1399
Earth Sciences, M.S. 40.0601
Economics, M.S. 45.0603
Electrical Engineering, MSEE 14.1001
Engineering Management, M.S. 15.1501
Fire Protection and Safety Management, M.S. 15.9999
Health Informatics and Analytics, M.S. 51.2706
Information Technology, M.S. 11.0103
Learning, Design, and Technology, MED 13.0501
Mathematical Finance, M.S. 27.0305
Mathematics, M.S. 27.0101
Mechanical Engineering, MSME 14.1901
Optical Science and Engineering, M.S. 40.0807
Physics (Applied), M.S. 40.0801
Psychology, Industrial/Organizational, MA 42.2804