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Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP)

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Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP)

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Schools throughout the United States and its territories offer thousands of similar programs of study, but each have their unique program names and descriptions. The U.S. Department of Education (ED), which collects and reports data about these programs of study, developed the classification of instructional programs (CIP) to:

  • Map those programs to a shared understanding of what a given program of study includes.
  • Collect data from schools on programs of study offered.
  • Create reports on educational trends for use by government and the public.

The CIP’s comprehensive list of programs are broken into related categories. Each program has a name and an individual code.

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a unit in the ED, manages both the CIP and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), the database that collects and tracks data on postsecondary programs of study. Every ten years, NCES updates the CIP to add, remove, and revise programs that reflect changing fields of study. NCES last updated the CIP in 2010.

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For more information on CIP codes see:

•           SEVIS Help Hub Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) section

•           NCES CIP Code Conversion, 2010-2020 – STEM-Eligible CIP Code Comparison

•           NCES IPEDS CIP Code Search

•           NCES Blog: Classification of Instructional Programs and the 2020 Update

•           NCES IPEDS CIP Crosswalk Search between CIP 2010 and CIP 2020

Using IPEDS, every postsecondary school that receives federal student financial aid funds must use CIP codes to report their program data to the government. NCES works with the keyholder, who is the person at each school that collects program of study data. The keyholder often works in the registrar’s office or the office that handles institutional reporting. The keyholder:

  • Matches the school’s programs of study with the appropriate CIP code.
  • Completes an annual IPEDS report on behalf of the school.
  • Nominates new programs of study to NCES to add to the CIP:
    • School submits program of study nomination, if it believes none of the existing CIPs apply to a program of study they offer.
    • NCES reviews the nomination, supporting comments, and decides if the program is either:
      • A variant of an existing CIP classification.
      • A new program and may create a new CIP code for the next update.

The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) uses the NCES’ CIP code list for tracking programs of study for student records. When creating a student record in SEVIS, designated school officials (DSOs) select from the CIP codes to choose the nonimmigrant students’ major and minor fields of study.

CIP Codes

The Major 1 and Major 2 fields will appear on the students’ Forms I-20. (M-1 students will have a blank Major 2 field.)

Major Field

Since the school’s keyholder has already mapped the school’s programs of study to the appropriate CIP code, the DSO should also rely on the keyholder’s CIP code list. Once the CIP codes are selected and updated for the student, the Student Information page displays the CIP codes and program names in the Program section.

Program
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For detailed instructions on selecting student CIP codes see:

•           Create Initial COE (Form I-20)

•           Program Information under Update Student Records

SEVIS uses the following CIP codes to reflect programs of study for K-12 schools:

CIP Code

Name

90.0101

Primary School (SEVP created this code specifically for grades K-8.)

53.0101

Regular/General High School/Secondary Diploma Program

53.0102

College/University Preparatory and Advanced High School/Secondary Diploma Program

53.0103

Vocational High School and Secondary Business/Vocational-Industrial/Occupational Diploma Program

53.0104

Honors/Regents High School/Secondary Diploma Program

53.0199

High School/Secondary Diploma Programs, Other

53.0201

High School Equivalence Certificate Program

53.0202

High School Certificate of Competence Program

53.0203

Certificate of IEP Completion Program

53.0299

High School/Secondary Certificate Programs, Other


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