STEM OPT Increase
The MSFRM Program is STEM Designated. OPT for STEM designated programs was recently increased to include an additional 24 months! See the full text here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/03/09/fact-sheet-white-house-announces-doubling-techhire-communities-and-new
Specifically, the above ruling lengthens STEM OPT from 17 months to 24 months, allows for two lifetime STEM OPT extensions instead of one. Students will be able to stay in the United States for an additional 24 months post-graduation to participate in on-the-job training within the STEM field. Taken in addition to the 12 months that all programs provide FRM Students will enjoy 36 months (3 years) of OPT. This long period is very attractive to potential company employers, and makes it more likely that they will hire international students.
The State of Connecticut’s Office of Higher Education granted STEM designation for UConn’s MS degree in Financial Risk Management (MSFRM). Under the new STEM classification, MSFRM international students can now qualify for a 24-month OPT (Optional Practical Training) Extension making it a full 36 months of OPT.
MSFRM joins MS in Business Analytics & Project Management as the only two programs in the School of Business to receive STEM designation.
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields are essential to U.S. economic competitiveness and growth. Over the last several decades the country has experienced a significant shortage of qualified workers for employment in STEM fields. Increasingly, businesses have to hire international workers to meet their needs. Therefore, STEM designated educational programs make it possible for international graduates to remain stateside longer to not only establish their careers but also to help meet the demand for STEM-educated professionals.
UConn’s STEM designated programs, and their related initiatives, also play an important role in Next Generation CT, state legislation passed into law and signed by the governor, that will invest over $1.5 billion dollars in UConn over the next 10 years.
“Recruiting the best and brightest international students to our program and then enabling them to successfully begin their professional careers is an important part of our educational mission,” said Professor Chinmoy Ghosh, head of the Finance Department and director of the MSFRM program. “Furthermore, providing a sufficient and qualified pipeline of talent for the nation’s economy is core to our service mission as a public institution.”
Under the traditional OPT program, international students who graduate from colleges and universities in the U.S. are able to remain in the country and receive training through work experience for up to 12 months. Students who graduate from a designated STEM degree program can remain for an additional 24 months on an OPT STEM Extension.
“Undeniably, international students bring valuable contributions to our programs and classrooms,” adds Jud Saviskas, executive director of the School of Business in Stamford. “STEM designation now allows these highly skilled foreign graduates to extend their post-graduate training, establish their careers, and enhance the U.S. economy.”