Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



Benjamin Lockwood


This thesis explores the behavior of international undergraduate students in response to school policy changes about majors. STEM courses have a work authorization extension two years longer than non-STEM courses, that make it easier for international students to apply for workers’ visas and qualify to stay in the US post-graduation. Recently, some school departments reclassified Economics as a STEM major. My research aims to provide insight into how these policy changes within Universities affect the choices that international students make about choosing Economics as a major. From the results, it is not yet clear what impact these changes have on students’ behavior and for the time observed, there does not seem to be any significant impact. Despite this, the research suggests factors such as allowing for a longer period of time and focusing on enrolled students as the choice demographic to sharpen the observations and observe more conclusive results.


Policy change, STEM, Economics, International Students

Included in

Economics Commons



Date Posted: 15 June 2021


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