OPT Extension Eligible STEM Designated Programs
What is a STEM Designated Degree Program?
STEM designated degree programs are academic programs that fall under one or more of the approved categories from the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for their focus on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
CPT is off-campus work (whether it is paid or unpaid), such as internship or co-op, for F-1 international students to receive further training. RIT students begin their academic program before participating in CPT. CPT is usually completed prior to graduation.
Optional Practical Training (OPT)
OPT is a 12-month work authorization available to F-1 international students who have been full-time students for at least two consecutive semesters and plan to seek employment in the United States in their fields of study. OPT is usually completed after graduation.
STEM OPT Extension
F-1 international students who completed a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree in STEM designated programs and are currently working with post-completion OPT may apply for the STEM extension of 24 months of additional employment, for a total of 36 months.
RIT has among the most international students per capita on CPT and OPT/STEM authorizations in the United States; currently over 500 students.
international students on F-1 and J-1 visas are currently completing 1-3 additional years of post-graduation training at companies in the U.S.
students gained practical employment experience in the past year
Last year, co-op students earned more than $65 million through employment.
co-op employers across the U.S. and overseas.
total jobs posted through RIT Career Services last year
total interviews held on campus last year
Definitions of Key Terms
science, technology, engineering, and math
Optional Practical Training is a 12-month work authorization available to F-1 international students who have been full-time students for at least two consecutive semesters and plan to seek employment in the United States in their fields of study. OPT is usually completed after graduation. Learn more about OPT
- STEM Extension
- F-1 students on post-completion OPT who have completed a STEM-designated degree can apply for a 24-month extension of OPT work permission. This means up to 36 months of work experience in the US after graduation. Learn more about STEM OPT Extension
Curricular Practical Training is off campus work (whether it is paid or unpaid), such as internship or co-op, for F-1 international students to get practical experience as part of their degree. Learn more about CPT
The U.S. H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows U.S. companies to employ graduate level workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields such as in IT, finance, accounting, architecture, engineering, mathematics, science, medicine, etc.
Short for cooperative education. It is a model in American education where students work for a semester instead of taking classes. During that time, students are paid by the company or organization they are working for and do not pay tuition. Learn more about co-op
The information contained on this page is for general information purposes only. Due to frequent government updates, RIT may make additions, deletions, or modifications to the contents on this page at any time without prior notice. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) ultimately provides the decision on OPT applications.