At the beginning of March, the Office of Academic Affairs reviewed New York Tech’s 90-plus degree programs in all six of its schools and colleges to determine if there were programs that were not STEM-designated but should be, based on the most recent list issued by the Department of Homeland Security. STEM designation is a critical factor for international students looking to qualify for extended work experience in the United States after graduation, known as Optional Practical Training or OPT.
F-1 students who complete a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree in select government-designated science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) fields may apply for the STEM extension if they have a job or job offer from an E-Verify employer and meet all the required criteria. This extension is 24 months for students graduating from undergraduate and graduate programs.
“Many programs—even those that are not typically considered STEM—qualify for this designation,” notes Michaela Rome, New York Tech interim associate provost. “We want to make sure that all of our current and prospective international students are aware of our STEM-designated programs and their post-graduation opportunities here in the U.S.”
Over the course of just a month, program faculty, chairs, deans, and academic affairs staff looked at New York Tech’s program CIP codes (Classification of Instructional Programs) to determine if a different CIP code—particularly one with a STEM designation—would be more appropriate. After a careful review and approval process, 16 programs and certificates were added to a list that now includes 35 STEM-designated programs, not including concentrations, at New York Tech. Several new programs are also under review by the Department of Homeland Security for visa eligibility and, once approved, will also be STEM-designated
“This is a great opportunity and will benefit a large number of our international students,” says Christopher Olagunju, assistant director for enrollment. “During these times of high level of stress, due to the pandemic and the volatility in the job market, especially in these fields, having this additional time is a welcome relief to our students.”
New York Tech’s current STEM-eligible programs include:
STEM-OPT Eligible Undergraduate Degrees
- Architectural Technology, B.S.
- Architecture, B.Arch.
- Behavioral Sciences-Sociology/Social Work, B.S.
- Biology, B.S.
- Biotechnology, B.S.
- Chemistry, B.S.
- Computer Science, B.S.
- Digital Arts, B.F.A.
- Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology, B.S.
- Electrical and Computer Engineering, B.S.
- Engineering Management, B.S.
- Graphic Design, B.F.A.
- Health and Wellness, B.S.
- Health Sciences, B.S.
- Information Technology, B.S.
- Interior Design, B.F.A.
- Life Sciences-Biomedical Engineering, B.S.
- Mechanical Engineering, B.S.
- Psychology, B.S.
STEM-OPT Eligible Graduate Degrees
- Architecture, M.Arch.
- Architecture, Urban and Regional Design, M.S.
- Bioengineering, M.S.
- Biomedical Sciences, M.S.
- Clinical Nutrition, M.S.
- Computer Science, M.S.
- Cybersecurity, M.S.
- Data Science, M.S.
- Digital Art and Design, M.F.A.
- Electrical and Computer Engineering, M.S.
- Energy Management, M.S.
- Master of Business Administration, M.B.A.
- Mechanical Engineering, M.S.
- Osteopathic Medicine, D.O./Academic Medicine, M.S.
- UX/UI Design and Development, M.A.