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F-1 STEM Optional Practical Training

F-1 students approved for standard post-completion OPT based on a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree in a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) field may be eligible to apply for a 24-month extension of post-completion OPT for a total authorization of 36 months. More information about the STEM OPT extension, including the Department of Homeland Security list of eligible CIP codes, can be found online at Study in the State STEM OPT Hub.

For information about eligibility and application procedures for UIC alumni, please email the STEM OPT Team at We recommend that you begin the STEM extension application process around four months prior to the expiration of your current 12-month post-completion OPT EAD. USCIS will not accept STEM OPT extension applications after the expiration date on your current EAD.

Mandatory STEM OPT Workshop Heading link

Beginning Jan. 1, 2023, all individuals interested in applying for STEM OPT will be required to attend a virtual STEM OPT Workshop hosted by OIS prior to submitting a STEM Extension request to OIS or an application to USCIS. Eligible alumni are strongly encouraged to plan their application timeline in advance and register for the earliest possible workshop. Upcoming workshop dates are below.

Please note that this workshop is intended for UIC alumni currently on an approved period of 12-month post-completion OPT with the eligibility and intention to apply for the STEM extension.

Jul 12 2024

STEM OPT Workshop

Friday, 3:00 pm–5:00 pm
Virtual Event - Zoom (registration required)
Aug 20 2024

STEM OPT Workshop

Tuesday, 10:00 am–12:00 pm
Virtual Event - Zoom (registration required)