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STEM Extension


Students in a select list of degree programs can apply for the 24-month STEM extension of post-completion OPT (for a total eligibility of up to 36 months). This extension is only available to eligible F-1 students. A student can only use this extension once per degree level. Please contact either the Office of Student Services (undergraduate students) or International Graduate Services (graduate students) for more information.



  • You must be a recipient of a degree in a STEM designated degree program.
  • You must be currently authorized for OPT.
  • You must complete an I-983 form.
  • You cannot have exceeded 90 days of unemployment.
  • You must be employed or have an offer of employment in the STEM field of study from an employer who participates in the federal E-Verify program. 
  • For additional information regarding the STEM Extension visit the STEM OPT HUB hosted by Study in the States (


STEM Applications (Please allow at least 10 business days for processing):

  • Initial STEM Application
    Complete this application if you are requesting the STEM extension for the first time. Do not submit this application if you are already on STEM OPT and are needing to change STEM employers. Students currently on OPT can submit the initial STEM application as early as 90 days prior to the OPT end date on their EAD. Students cannot request STEM after their OPT authorization has ended.  
  • Change of Employer STEM Application
    Complete this application if you have already been authorized for STEM OPT and need to change your STEM employer. You will also need to submit the STEM End of Employment Reporting Application for your previous employment. Failure to submit both applications when changing STEM employers will result in your application being denied. Changes in STEM employment must be reported within 10 days.
  • STEM End of Employment Reporting Application
    Complete this application when employment with a STEM employer has ended. Students must submit the entire I-983 (pages 1-5) for their previous employment. Please be sure to complete the Final Evaluation section on page 5 of the I-983 or your application cannot be processed.


DHS requires students on STEM OPT to report STEM participation to a DSO at UC every 6, 12, 18 and 24-moths from the STEM authorization date as listed on the EAD card. Failure to report in a timely manner will result in the DSO not being able to verify employment on your SEVIS record.

Please be sure you are completing the correct employment reporting application before submitting. Do not submit a reporting application if you are only on initial OPT. Reporting applications can take up to 10 business days to be processed.