AACSB Outreach to U.S. Department of Education on CIP Code Update

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

Miguel Cardona
Secretary of Education
U.S. Department of Education

Michelle Asha Cooper
Acting Assistant Secretary
Office of Postsecondary Education
U.S. Department of Education

Dear Secretary Cardona and Assistant Secretary Cooper,

I write to you today as president and CEO of AACSB International and on behalf of the global business education community. AACSB represents more than 1,600 business schools worldwide, including 630 in the United States.

We’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 exclusion limits business schools’ abilities to attract and retain highly qualified learners from outside the United States.

I am asking for your leadership in collaborating with the USCIS 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 strongly advocates for student and faculty mobility across universities to ensure access to and development of the world’s top talent. Within business schools, this talent contributes to research and thought leadership that support innovation, workforce development, and economic forecasting and growth. The presence of learners from all parts of the world enhances cultural awareness and appreciation for diverse perspectives. Further, international students contribute significant revenue toward business school operations through tuition, housing, and living expenses during their studies.

Inclusion of business analytics within the STEM-OPT program will further our mutual goals to link high-quality education to a strong global economy. Hands-on experience through the OPT enhances the employability of learners in a global market but also 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 while building the next generation of great leaders.

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

Best regards,

Caryn L. Beck-Dudley
President and CEO
AACSB International

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