On March 23, the Sawyer Business School’s Master of Science in Finance program achieved STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) designation. STEM designation is a classification determined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for academic programs in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.

This designation is particularly significant for international students. Generally, college students from abroad are eligible to work in the United States for up to a year following graduation, a practice known as optional practical training, or OPT. Students graduating from a STEM program are permitted by DHS to remain working in the United States for up to an additional 24 months.

The new designation is the result of continuing enhancements being made by Suffolk to its graduate programs in finance. Curriculum changes within the past two years have added optional concentrations in the areas of corporate finance, investments, and risk management. These recent concentrations are all anchored in highly quantitative course offerings.

Increasing opportunities for employment in the United States is just one of the ways Suffolk’s MSF program sets up its international graduates for success. Now in its 25th year, the program partners with the CFA Institute and Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP) to ensure that graduates are fully prepared to pass the CFA Level 1 and Financial Risk Manager Exams. Globally focused curricula include annual trips to study London’s financial markets, and market leaders and innovators regularly lead on-campus symposia covering subjects like wealth and risk management. And the University’s location right beside Boston’s Financial District gives Suffolk students unique access to professional connections and opportunities.

The STEM designation takes effect immediately, meaning that both current and future international students in Suffolk’s MSF program can take advantage of this extended OPT opportunity. MSF-related programs that also are included in the new designation are:

Master of Science in Financial Services and Banking
Master of Science in Accounting/Master of Science in Finance (dual degree)
Master of Business Administration/Master of Science in Finance (dual degree)
• Master Science in Finance/Juris Doctor (dual degree)
Accelerated MSF for Attorneys