Skip to main content

CIP Codes

Classification of Instructional Program (CIP) Codes

Codes developed by the U.S. Department of Education used for classifying academic programs for tracking, reporting, and program completion statistics. These codes provide colleges and universities a way to categorically define academic programs in a standardized format recognized by federal entities including, but not limited to, the National Center for Education Statistics, the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For these reasons, it is important to identity the appropriate CIP Code that will be used for your programs.

The CIP Code is a six-digit numeric code (##.####) that coordinates an academic program with the appropriate classification as defined by the U.S. Department of Education. The code is divided into three classifications. The first two digits of the code is the general area of the program (e.g. Education, Engineering, Psychology, etc.). The last four digits of the CIP Code align program content into a more specific taxonomy.

Utility of CIP Codes

Generally, CIP Codes are used for classifying and tracking academic programs at postsecondary institutions. These codes assist with reporting and assessing program enrollment and completion data as well as job-market statistics and trends.

Assignment of CIP Codes for Academic Programming

All degree programs and majors are assigned CIP Codes at West Virginia University. The CIP Code is attached to the degree program as well as any and all majors included in the degree program(s). Colleges and schools should use best judgement when determining CIP Code usage for their programs. When proposing new programs (degree programs or majors), colleges and schools should align those programs with the appropriate CIP Code. The CIP Code selected should accurately classify and represent the program’s content. For instances where specific or granular CIP Codes cannot be identified and capture the full breadth of the program, academic units should align that program with a CIP Code that is comparable to other like programs within their academic unit. Lastly, CIP Codes should be assigned, if possible, in a way that aligns the code with the academic unit offering the program. To find CIP Codes, please go to NCES CIP Codes.

Important Stakeholders

Various administrative units on campus rely on CIP Codes for state, regional, and federal reporting. The Office of the Registrar and Institutional Research report enrollment figures to various agencies. Included in these reports are CIP Codes which are assigned to individual major codes that define a student’s program of study. It is important to consider consultation with the both the Registrar’s Office and Institutional Research, as well as the Provost’s Office, when determining appropriate CIP Code usage.