After two years of lobbying, Berkeley has officially designated economics as a STEM major.
The change is intended to appeal to international students who look for jobs in the United States after graduation. Under current law, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services permits international students to use their student F-1 visas to stay in the country and work for up to a year after they graduate. However, through Optional Practical Training, or OPT, international students can be granted an additional two years to work in the country if they graduate in a STEM major (science, technology, engineering, math).
This has already been implemented at other universities, including MIT and Cornell.