FAQs- Current students

Please note that effective May 11, 2023, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) ended its Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) guidance, consistent with the end of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, following the end of the COVID-19 National Emergency on April 10, 2023. Regulations have reverted back to pre-COVID, requiring the following:

  • Enrollment in all in-person or hybrid courses with the exception of one online course per semester.
  • Being physically present in the U.S. by the start of the academic semester to maintain valid F-1 status.
  • Maintaining status in your final semester by enrolling in at least one in-person or hybrid course.
  • Ensuring you are not out of the U.S. for longer than 5 months, unless a leave of absence has been requested.



Employment (CPT, OPT, STEM OPT)


Major vs. CIP code

  • Why does my I-20 reflect a different major than my admission letter?

    The Classification of Instructional Program (CIP) code is defined by the U.S. Department of Education. The CIP code system standardizes information from all institutions regarding majors by matchinging with a standard name. However, universities can use their own "preferred titles" for their programs of study, which could differ from the title associated with the CIP code.

    The critical information is that the CIP code and major on your I-20 reflect the Department of Education's standard name for that CIP code, and NOT necessarily the same title of the major at your institution. For example, the Master of Science in Software Engineering, the CIP code is 14.0903. The standard title for that CIP code by the Department of Education is "Computer Software Engineering". However, the major is titled "Software Engineering" here at SJSU. In other words, the CIP code standard title is what is printed on your I-20.

  • Why does my I-20 NOT show the CIP code of my concentration?
    The CIP codes are given by the departments. For the majority of concentrations at SJSU, the departments use the CIP code of the majors. The Admission’s Office and our office uses the CIP code field when issuing I-20s. The I-20 is only for immigration purposes and does not affect you academically. In other words, your graduation progress, transcript, and diploma will reflect your major in addition to your concentration.
  • Where can I check if the major I intend to apply is eligible for STEM OPT?
    You can find all our STEM eligible majors here. The school catalog has the CIP codes for all majors and concentrations at SJSU. Please note that, for the majority of the concentrations, SJSU issues I-20s with the CIP code of majors. For example, the concentration of Management Information Systems concentration under Business Admission major. SJSU issues the I-20 with CIP code of the major - 52.0201 instead of the concentration - 11.0103. Therefore, Management Information Systems is not a STEM major at SJSU.

Contact Us

San José State University

One Washington Square
Student Union - CPGE
San Jose, CA 95192-0135

Office Hours

Monday-Friday 9am – 4:30pm

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