AACSB Outreach to U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services on CIP Code Update

Wednesday, September 22, 2021
AACSB reaches out for collaboration on addition of CIP code to STEM-OPT program to support international learners.

Ur M. Jaddou
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Tracy Renaud
Acting Deputy Director
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Dear Director Jaddou and Acting Deputy Director Renaud,

I write to you today as president and CEO of AACSB International and on behalf of the global business education community. AACSB is the world’s largest business education alliance, representing more than 1,600 business schools worldwide, including over 900 accredited schools.

I’ve recently learned that the U.S. Department of Education has made a welcome update to the Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code referencing business analytics (30.7102). The updated designation is an accurate description of business analytics programs offered within many business schools and is an essential field for the growth of global economies.

Many business schools have curriculum similar to that of programs currently covered under STEM-OPT but use the previous business analytics (business statistics) CIP code of 52.1302. Unfortunately, the current USCIS list of approved CIPs for the STEM-OPT program does not contain the new business analytics CIP code designation (30.7102). As a result, schools are forced to choose between using the new, more appropriate business analytics code or obtaining enhanced OPT conditions for foreign students under the older, inaccurate business analytics code. This creates a difficulty predicament for our schools and consequently, our valued international learners, as this exclusion limits business schools’ abilities to attract and retain highly qualified learners from outside the United States.

I am calling on the USCIS to expedite its collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education to add the new CIP code for Business Analytics degrees to the STEM-OPT program so that foreign students can continue to apply for the 24-month OPT, and in the process, help provide the U.S. with a much-needed talent pool.

AACSB is a strong advocate for student and faculty mobility across universities to ensure access to and development of the world’s top talent. Within business schools, international talent contributes to research, thought leadership, and knowledge-sharing that supports innovation, workforce development, and economic forecasting and growth. The presence of learners from all parts of the world is invaluable, as they enhance cultural awareness, broaden knowledge of global economies, and offer a deeper appreciation for diverse perspectives. Further, international students contribute significant revenue toward business school operations through tuition, housing, and living expenses during their studies.

Hands-on experience through the OPT enhances the employability of learners in a global market and provides them with the skills needed to successfully pursue their own enterprises—elevating capabilities in both the U.S and abroad. Programs like the OPT enable business education to positively impact society through building the next generation of great international leaders, while also contributing to the continual improvement of the world’s industries and societies.

I appreciate your attention to this matter and welcome the opportunity to discuss with you further.

Best regards,
Caryn L. Beck-Dudley
President and CEO
AACSB International

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