CIP Codes

Classification of Instructional Program Codes

Procedures for Revising CIP Codes

Classification of Instructional Program (CIP) Codes

  1. The revision of a CIP code is necessary when either (a) the Department of Education provides a new CIP code option that provides a more accurate program description and better fit or (b) an academic program has evolved and its current CIP code assignment no longer accurately reflects the course of study.
  2. This page provides guidance for academic departments when the CIP code assigned to a major, supplemental major, or minor should be revised.

CIP code background:

In 1980, the United States Department of Education established an administrative system and organizational schema for categorizing and tracking the academic programs of study in American higher education. The “Classification of Instructional Programs” (CIP) system provides this taxonomic scheme.

The U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) issued the first CIP code schema in 1980; and revisions have been issued in 1985, 1990, 2000, 2010 and 2020. Details can be found at

Institutional reporting requirements to external agencies mandate the use of CIP codes to provide information about the programs of study being pursued by students at the University of Notre Dame. In the University’s academic records, all of the majors, supplemental majors, and minors in the curriculum correlate to a CIP code that best fits the program’s course of study. These CIP code correlations are maintained on the Office of the Registrar’s website and can be found on the online curriculum listing.

Administrative process for revising a CIP code:

  1. A department, with the approval of the department chair and the dean, initiates a CIP change request with the Office of the Registrar. The request should provide context and a rationale for the potential change.
  2. The University Registrar (or designee) reviews the request and makes a decision regarding the proposed change. In making a determination, the Registrar may consult with colleagues in admissions; student financial services; the Office of Strategic Planning and Institutional Research (OSPIR); International Student and Scholar Affairs (ISSA); the Graduate School; the Office of the Provost; and/or other campus partners as appropriate. If the requested CIP change affects the STEM classification of the program then approval is also required from either (a) the Associate Provost for Graduate Affairs or (b) the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education, as appropriate depending on the level of the program.
  3. The Registrar (or designee) communicates the decision to the requesting department.
  4. When the review process results in a change to the CIP code, the Office of the Registrar then proceeds with implementation of CIP code changes in the University’s academic records, both within the Registrar’s systems and with other offices on campus including admissions, student financial services, and OSPIR.

Please contact Christina Wojtysiak in the Office of the Registrar to make a request or learn more.