Classification of Instructional Program Codes

Classification of Instructional Program Codes (CIP Codes)

This page provides guidance for academic departments when the CIP code assigned to a major, supplemental major, or minor should be revised. 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.


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 https://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/cipcode/.

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 at https://registrar.nd.edu/pdf/Curricula.pdf.


Administrative process for changing a CIP code:

When an academic department requests a CIP code revision, five offices are consulted for administrative guidance, and there are up to four approvals required.

CIP code revision consultation offices

  1. Office of the Registrar
  2. Admissions
  3. Office of Strategic Planning and Institutional Research (OSPIR)
  4. Student Financial Services
  5. International Student and Scholar Affairs (ISSA)

CIP code change authorization

  1. Department or program faculty initiates CIP change request
  2. Department Chair approval is required.
  3. Dean approval is required.
  4. ** If the proposed CIP change affects the STEM classification of the program then approval is also required from either (a) the Associate Provost and Dean of the Graduate School or (b) the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Affairs depending on the level of the program.

** Note: The fourth level of approval is only required if the proposed CIP change affects the STEM classification of the program.

After formal approval, the Office of the Registrar can proceed with implementation of CIP code changes in the University’s academic records. CIP code changes should not be made that affect currently enrolled students, and admissions offices may have to change application systems to correspond with new CIP code determinations.

Please contact Chris Temple in the Office of the Registrar at ctemple@nd.edu if you have any questions about the CIP code change process.