I have a Master's in a non-STEM degree, but a Bachelor's in a STEM degree. I have already used my Master's F-1 OPT (12 months) and it will expire in June. I am wondering if I can still apply for the F-1 OPT STEM extension using my Bachelor's degree instead?

  • Might be worth adding a country to the question - I guess the USA, but can't be sure?
    – Gagravarr
    Mar 10, 2015 at 8:27
  • 2
    No, once you start a new education program, the OPT for the previous degree is ended. (see multiple college websites that discuss OPT)
    – mkennedy
    Sep 22, 2015 at 23:23

1 Answer 1


The rules for STEM OPT changed in May 2016, a year after you posted this question. Under the new rules, yes, if you are currently on OPT, you can apply for an OPT STEM extension on the basis of an earlier STEM degree, if it meets certain criteria. (In particular, you must have completed it in the US within the last 10 years.) Here is more information from Homeland Security about OPT STEM extensions.

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