What is a CIP code?
The Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) is a taxonomy of academic programs developed by the US Department of Education. Colleges and universities across the country assign CIP codes to their academic programs. CIP codes are also often assigned to courses, certificates, and degrees.
The CIP was originally developed by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) of the U. S. Department of Education in 1980, and was revised in 1985, 1990, 2000, 2010, and 2020.
How is a CIP code used?
- To classify academic programs for federal surveys and reporting of institutional data to the Integrated PostSecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).
- By state agencies, national associations, and employment services for collecting, reporting, and analyzing instructional program data.
- To identify STEM(M) fields.
- The Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) has adopted the CIP (known as "subject field" or “subject code”) for determining course subsidy and State Share of Instruction (SSI).
What does a CIP code look like?
The CIP code is a six-digit number (xx.xxxx) that identifies instructional programs on three levels:
- First 2-digits indicate a broad subject area (e.g., 51 "Health Professions and Related Programs").
- First 4-digits are an intermediate aggregation within the broad 2-digit subject. (e.g., 51.38 "Registered Nursing, Nursing Administration, Nursing Research and Clinical Nursing"). There are 31 4-digit fields within the "Health Professions and Related Programs" area alone.
- The full 6-digits, of which the final two numbers indicate the specific subject matter of the individual program (e.g., 51.3801 " Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse"). There are 24 6-digit fields within the 51.38 area.
CIP Code Assignment
CIP codes are assigned to academic programs by academic units based on the curriculum. Assistance is provided by the Associate Dean and Institutional Research.
An academic program can be named anything, but it will link to a CIP code for approval, reporting, funding, etc. by UC, ODHE, and IPEDS.
CIP code changes must be made using the Academic Program Change Form, which requires review and approval by the Dean, Provost Office, and Registrar.
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