In September, our graduate programs, both at the Master's and the Ph.D. levels, received the STEM certification in Econometrics and Quantitative Economics. This certification is particularly important for our graduate students who seek employment in industry and government, as it recognizes the skills our programs provide in the analysis of economic data and computational analysis of economic models.
STEM certification is good news for our international graduate students. It allows students who hold F-1 visas to apply for a 24-month Optional Practical Training (OPT) extension, for a total of a 36-month OPT, in an approved STEM field. According to the US Department of Homeland Security website, the goal of this program is to "promote the ability of international students to gain valuable and practical STEM experience that supplements the knowledge gained through their academic studies."
Helen Zhang, a current student in our Master of Science program, commented: "As an international graduate student holding F-1 VISA, I feel so excited. It's such a great opportunity for us to increase the chance of finding a job after graduation. Moreover, our program is definitely worth the recognition".
"This opportunity should enhance the students' ability to begin their careers in Quantitative Economics and Econometrics," says Michael Alexeev, Director of the Master of Science Program. "By doing so, the STEM certification also benefits our graduate programs by making them more competitive in attracting the best international students."
This certification applies not only to prospective graduate students, but also to those who are currently in our graduate programs. More information about the STEM certification can be found here: