FAQ: Full-time MBA STEM Designation

Q: What does the Full-time MBA program STEM designation mean?

A: The MBA’s Classification of Instructional Program (CIP code) is one that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has designated as eligible for DHS’s STEM designated degree program list. The list includes all STEM fields qualifying an F-1 student for a STEM OPT extension.

Q: Why is the STEM designation valuable, and to whom?

A: The Full-time MBA STEM designation is most beneficial for international students who want to remain in the United States to work after graduation. The designation allows those students to apply for an extension to their Optional Practical Training program. This could allow for up to 36 months of F-1 visa validity, as opposed to 12, if the graduate’s employment meets specific criteria. The blanket criterion is that the employment must be MBA-related; however, eligibility for each individual graduate is case-by-case.

Q: Does it matter which pathway I take?

A: The Full-time MBA is STEM-designated because the required courses are STEM courses. Those required courses are shared between both pathways, so both pathways are STEM-designated.

Q: How quickly can I apply for an OPT extension?

A: The Office of International Services can help you know when you’re able to apply.

Q: I’m pursuing a dual MPH/MBA degree. Does this STEM designation apply to me? 

A: Because Bloomberg School of Public Health has also attained a STEM designation very recently, the MPH/MBA is included in this designation. There are differing employment requirements for OPT extensions in the case of the MPH/MBA. Contact OIS at ois@jhu.edu for information.

Q: I’m pursuing a dual degree other than MPH/MBA aligned with the FT MBA program (MAIR/MBA, MD/MBA, JD/MBA, Engineering/MBA). Does this STEM designation apply to me?

A: If your F-1 at the time of your graduation is issued by the Carey Business School, you will apply for OPT under a Carey F-1 visa and will be eligible to pursue the STEM OPT extension process. If your F-1 record is owned by another JHU school or another university at the time of your graduation, you will apply for OPT under that visa and that other program must be STEM-designated on its own for you to be eligible to pursue the STEM OPT extension. Contact your academic advisor or OIS for more information about your particular academic plan and visa.

Q: I graduated from the Full-time MBA program between 2020 and 2022. Does this apply to my degree?

A: The STEM designation is effective for graduates in the class of 2023 forward. Legal restrictions prevent us from offering the degree designation or related services to cohorts before then.

Q: What are the specific requirements for an OPT extension?

A: Please review the extensive info on the OIS website regarding the STEM OPT extension process.  Your employment must align with what is considered an MBA-related job.

Q: I’m a current Full-time MBA student, but I’m not an international student. What advantage does the STEM designation offer me?

A: Many employers find STEM to be very valuable in advancing their organizations and may find you to be a more attractive job candidate than someone who did not study in a STEM-designated program. The STEM designation may also be helpful to you if you seek employment overseas or in international organizations, since STEM designations are prized in many international contexts.

Q: How long will the STEM designation be offered? 

A: We have no plans to make changes to the Full-time MBA curriculum that would decrease the percentage of STEM-designated courses, so the designation is effective for every current and future Full-time MBA class, beginning with the class of 2023.

Have another question?

Contact your recruiter or email us at carey.admissions@jhu.edu