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CIP Conversion 2020

Last updated 29-May-2020

General Information

Every ten years the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) at the Department of Education (ED) officially revises its list of programs of study for the classification of instructional programs (CIP), the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) and Department of State (DoS) must update the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) to reflect those changes.

In any CIP code conversion three significant changes occur:

Conversion Change

Actions Taken on Student Records

New CIP codes added.

  • SEVIS: No action.
  • Schools and sponsors: Decide if any of their programs of study fit into any of the new CIP codes.

Some CIP codes change either in their CIP code number or their description.

  • SEVIS: Convert these CIP codes automatically to their new values or new description.
  • Schools and programs: Review the new description change to ensure the new name properly describes their program.

Some CIP codes are retired from the list but have no clear match in the new list.

  • SEVIS: No action.
  • Schools and sponsors: Must update record to 2020 CIP code if making any change to program of study information.

 

Tentatively on August 28, 2020, SEVP and DoS will deploy a SEVIS release to replace the current 2010 CIP codes and program descriptions with the new 2020 CIP code versions. Schools and sponsors must wait for the SEVIS release to use the new 2020 CIP codes in SEVIS.

CIP codes appear in student SEVIS records in the following fields:

  • Major 1 (required, prints on Form I-20) F and M
  • Major 2 (optional, prints on Form I-20) F only
  • Minor (optional) F only

CIP codes appear in J exchange visitor SEVIS records in the following field:

  • Subject/Field (required, prints on Form DS-2019)

Not all CIP codes are affected by this change. SEVIS will automatically change a 2010 CIP code to its 2020 CIP code match for active and initial records, if either the CIP code number or the description has been updated. However, it will not change 2020 CIP codes for records in draft status or 2010 CIP codes that do not have a match in the 2020 list. You must change the CIP codes manually for those students. If there is an exact match between a CIP 2010 code and a CIP 2020 code, no changes will take place and officials do not need to take any actions.

This article explains how:

  • To prepare for the 2020 CIP code conversion release.
  • SEVIS will convert CIP codes in certain SEVIS student records.
  • To complete the conversion for certain records.

Additional Information AvailableFor more information on CIP codes and the 2020 conversion see:

 

F/M SEVIS Records

Batch Processing

The 2020 CIP conversion will affect both RTI and batch-processing schools similarly. Before the 2020 SEVIS CIP update, SEVIS will only accept batched CIP 2010 codes. After the 2020 SEVIS CIP update, SEVIS will only accept batched CIP 2020 codes. If a retired 2010 code is left in a batched SEVIS record after the 2020 conversion, SEVIS will return a schema validation error for that record.

Reprinting Forms I-20

SEVIS prints the Major 1 and 2 CIP codes on Forms I-20. Therefore, students with new codes in either of those fields eventually need new Forms I-20.

F/M SEVIS Status

Deadline for Printing Updated Forms I-20

Initial

  • Needed for entry into the United States
  • At initial registration

Active

Whichever is the earlier of:

  • As needed for normal updates to the record, such as travel and readmission to the United States
  • One year after the SEVIS conversion release

Preparing for Conversion

To prepare for the CIP code conversion:

  1. Review the NCES CIP 2010 and 2020 Crosswalk.
  2. Contact your school’s keyholder for your school’s CIP 2010 to CIP 2020 code conversion list. NCES works with a specific person at each school to collect CIP code data. This person is called the keyholder and often works in the registrar’s office or the office that handles institutional reporting. If you do not already know your school’s keyholder, now is the time to find that person. Your keyholder can tell you specifically which CIP codes that your school uses.
  3. Use the export function for the SEVIS Nonimmigrant Search, Student Lists, or the Student Report for School Officials of Active and Initial students to find students in Active and Initial SEVIS status whose programs of study are affected by the changes to the CIP code list. Use these lists to find students with 2010 CIP codes that do not have a 2020 match. This will tell you which, if any, F and M student records you will need to update manually after SEVIS is updated with the 2020 codes.

Note: There is no way to search for Minor codes using the Nonimmigrant Search function. However, Minor CIP codes and descriptions are listed in exported results of the Student Report for School Officials. To search for Minor fields:

  • Search for a target group
  • Export search results
  • Sort results by Minor column

Conversion’s Effect on F/M SEVIS Records

The SEVIS CIP 2020 conversion release will automatically update many records, but you may need to manually update a few, based on the criteria in the tables below. SEVIS will do the following to any Major 1, Major 2, and Minor fields with existing CIP code:

SEVIS Record Status

Program End Date

2010 CIP Has 2020 CIP Match

SEVIS Action

Initial

After SEVIS release

Yes

SEVIS changes 2010 CIP to 2020 CIP.

No

  • SEVIS retains 2010 CIP.
  • DSO must update to 2020 CIP.

On or before SEVIS release

NA

SEVIS retains 2010 CIP.

Active

After SEVIS release

Yes

SEVIS changes 2010 CIP to 2020 CIP.

No

  • SEVIS retains 2010 CIP.
  • DSO must update to 2020 CIP.

On or before SEVIS release

NA

SEVIS retains 2010 CIP.

Draft

Before, on, or after SEVIS release

NA

Will not allow DSO to submit record until a valid code from the 2020 CIP is selected.

Non-active Statuses:

  • Canceled
  • Terminated
  • Completed
  • Deactivated

NA

NA

SEVIS does not change the CIP code.

 

You must manually update all Initial and Active student records that SEVIS cannot convert.

 

Pay Attention to An Important PointSEVIS will record a CIP code conversion event in the student’s Event History titled “Updated to the 2020 CIP code.”

 

If a SEVIS record status is changed from an inactive status to Active or Initial after the SEVIS CIP 2020 conversion release, the above table explains what will happen to the record’s CIP codes. SEVIS record status can change for several reasons:

  • Reinstatement
  • Correction Request
  • Datafix

Note: This article will be updated closer to the release to include information about how the conversion affects reinstatement and post-completion or the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) optional practical training.

STEM Designated Degree Programs

The 2020 CIP code list affects the STEM-eligible CIP code list. No STEM-eligible CIP codes were removed.

NEW STEM-Eligible CIP Codes

NCES added 496 new CIP codes in the NCES 2020 CIP. Seventeen of these automatically qualify for the DHS STEM Designated Degree Program list, because they fall under the four primary fields (engineering (14), biological and biomedical sciences (26), mathematics and statistics (27) and physical sciences (40)). These STEM CIP codes are:

Code

Title

14.0103

Applied Engineering

14.0202

Astronautical Engineering

14.0299

Aerospace, Aeronautical, and Astronautical/Space Engineering, Other

14.4700

Electrical and Computer Engineering

14.4701

Electrical and Computer Engineering

14.4800

Energy Systems Engineering

14.4801

Energy Systems Engineering, General

14.4802

Power Plant Engineering

14.4899

Energy Systems Engineering, Other

26.0509

Infectious Disease and Global Health

26.0913

Biomechanics

26.1311

Epidemiology and Biostatistics

27.0600

Applied Statistics

27.0601

Applied Statistics, General

40.0512

Cheminformatics/Chemistry Informatics

40.1100

Physics and Astronomy

40.1101

Physics and Astronomy

 

Changes STEM-Eligible CIP Codes

With the implementation of the 2020 CIP codes, there were 11 STEM CIP code changes to the 2016 DHS STEM Designated Degree Program list. These STEM CIP codes are:

2010 Code

2010 Title

What

Changed

2020 Code

2020 Title

15.0503

Energy Management and Systems Technology/ Technician

Code and Title

15.1701

Energy Systems Technology/Technician

15.0505

Solar Energy Technology/Technician

Code

15.1703

Solar Energy Technology/Technician

43.0106

Forensic Science and Technology

Code

43.0406

Forensic Science and Technology

43.0116

Cyber/Computer Forensics and Counterterrorism

Code

43.0403

Cyber/Computer Forensics and Counterterrorism

51.2502

Veterinary Anatomy

Code

1.8105

Veterinary Anatomy

51.2503

Veterinary Physiology

Code

1.8109

Veterinary Physiology

51.2504

Veterinary Microbiology and Immunobiology

Code

1.8107

Veterinary Microbiology and Immunobiology

51.2505

Veterinary Pathology and Pathobiology

Code

1.8108

Veterinary Pathology and Pathobiology

51.2506

Veterinary Toxicology and Pharmacology

Code

1.8111

Veterinary Toxicology and Pharmacology

51.2510

Veterinary Preventive Medicine, Epidemiology, and Public Health

Code

1.8110

Veterinary Preventive Medicine, Epidemiology, and Public Health

51.2511

Veterinary Infectious Diseases

Code

1.8106

Veterinary Infectious Diseases

 

J SEVIS Records

Batch Processing

The 2020 CIP conversion will affect both RTI and batch-processing sponsors similarly. Before the 2020 SEVIS CIP update, SEVIS will only accept batched CIP 2010 codes. After the 2020 SEVIS CIP update, SEVIS will only accept batched CIP 2020 codes. If a retired 2010 code is left in a batched SEVIS record after the 2020 conversion, SEVIS will return a schema validation error for that record.

 

Reprinting Forms DS-2019

SEVIS prints the Subject/Field code and description on Forms DS-2019. Therefore, exchange visitors with new codes eventually need new Forms DS-2019.

 

J SEVIS Status

Deadline for Printing Updated Forms DS-2019

Initial

  • Needed for entry into the United States
  • Validation

Active

Whichever is the earlier of:

  • As needed for normal updates to the record, such as travel and readmission to the United States
  • One year after the SEVIS conversion release

 

Preparing for Conversion

To prepare for the CIP code conversion:

  1. Review the NCES CIP 2010 and 2020 Crosswalk.
  2. Export the Active Status Exchange Visitor and Dependents list to find exchange visitors in Active status whose Subject/Field codes are affected by the changes to the CIP code list, especially those with CIP 2010 codes with no 2020 match. This will tell you which, if any, exchange visitor records you will need to update manually after SEVIS is updated with the 2020 codes.

Conversion’s Effect on J SEVIS Records

The SEVIS CIP 2020 conversion release will automatically update many records, but you may need to manually update a few, based on the criteria in the tables below. This SEVIS release will do the following to the Subject/Field codes and descriptions that have a 2010 CIP code/description that are updated to a 2020 CIP code/description.

 

SEVIS Record Status

2010 CIP Has Changed in 2020 CIP

SEVIS Action

Initial

Yes

SEVIS changes 2010 CIP to 2020 CIP.

Active

Yes

SEVIS changes 2010 CIP to 2020 CIP.

Draft

N/A

Will not allow RO/ARO to submit record until a valid code from the 2020 CIP is selected.

 

Important PointSEVIS will record a CIP code conversion event in the exchange visitor’s event history titled “CIP Code Conversion 2020.”

 

If a SEVIS record status is changed to Active or Initial after the SEVIS CIP 2020 conversion release, the above table explains what will happen to the record’s CIP codes. SEVIS record status can change for several reasons:

  • Correct Minor or Technical Infraction submitted
  • Reinstatement request approved
  • Extension Beyond Maximum Duration of Participation request approved
  • Change of Category request approved
  • Correct SEVIS Status submitted
  • Reinstatement – Update SEVIS Status request approved
  • Datafix

Icon Guide

See the SEVIS Help Icons on the SEVIS Help Hub for a quick-reference of the icons used in this user guide.