Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) Code

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Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) Codes provide a taxonomic scheme that supports the accurate tracking, assessment, and reporting of fields of study and program completions activity.

Where Term Appears
CSUMB Data Warehouse Dashboards:
Filter / Group Breakdown Location:
Data Custodian
Office of the Registrar
Data Source
Source System:CMS - SA
Source Table Name:PS_OBI_MAJOR
Source Field Name:CIP_CODE
Census Process:Yes
Logical Transformation / Calculation
OBIEE Folder and Column
Folder Heading:"CSU Major Concentration"
Column Heading:"Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) Code"

These consist of six numeric characters in the format ##.####, where the first two numerical characters represent the overarching disciplinary area and the four numerical characters in the suffix represent individual sub-program areas within the overarching area.


For more information, see a list of all CIP codes see IPEDS Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP).

See Also

Definition Source

"CIP codes provide a taxonomic scheme that support the accurate tracking, assessment, and reporting of fields of study and program completions activity."[1]

"A code required for reporting of majors and degrees by the National Center for Education Statistics in the Integrated Postsecondary Data System (IPEDS). If the campus does not enter a CIP code, a code will be entered on the ERS record during file processing at the Chancellor’s Office."[2]

"The CIP taxonomy is organized on three levels: 1) the two-digit series, 2) the four-digit series, and 3) the six-digit series. The two-digit series represent the most general groupings of related programs. The four-digit series represent intermediate groupings of programs that have comparable content and objectives. The six-digit series, also referred to as six-digit CIP Codes, represent specific instructional programs and are used by Title IV institutions when filling out the IPEDS Completions Survey. There are 48 two-digit series. The standard format for the two-digit series consists of a two-digit number followed by a period (##.). Codes and program titles at this level appear in bold type and in capital letters. Program descriptions at the two-digit series level begin with the standard phrase "Instructional programs’’ followed by a general description of the content areas and topics associated with the instructional programs within that series. The numbering sequence for the four-digit series consists of a two-digit series code followed by a period and a second set of two digits. The standard format for four-digit CIP codes is ##.##. Codes and program titles at the four-digit level appear in bold type. Within a four-digit series, undifferentiated instructional programs with a general focus appear at the beginning of the series, while an ‘‘other’’ program entry appears as the final category within a series. The rest of the programs are listed in numerical order. This convention of including an ‘‘other’’ program code was established to provide a category for reporting on programs that fall within a four digit series but do not have a separate program code listed. Program descriptions are not provided at the four digit summary level; instead, the user is informed of the range of code numbers where the instructional content for the series is contained. Six-digit codes are the most detailed program classifications within the CIP. They are the basic unit of analysis used by NCES and institutions in tracking and reporting program completions and fields of study data. There is at least one six-digit code within every four-digit series. The numbering sequence is similar to the four-digit series sequence, with four more digits added after the two-digit series number; the standard format for the six-digit codes is ##.####. Each six-digit program appears with a description that generally identifies the objectives and content of the instructional programs. Program descriptions for academic or general programs typically begin with the phrase “A program that focuses on ...” Program descriptions for programs that are designed to prepare individuals for specific occupations begin with the phrase “A program that prepares individuals for...” The program description also indicates the instructional content of the program. Courses included in the instructional content of the program are intended as a general guide to the content areas addressed by the instructional program. Programs offered at different levels may include more or fewer courses than those listed."[3]


  1. Oracle. PeopleSoft Campus Solutions 9.2: Student Records. Retrieved from:
  2. CSU. Enrollment Reporting System Data Dictionary. Retrieved from: (Requires login).
  3. National Center for Education Statistics. Introduction to the Classification of Instructional Programs: 2020 Edition (CIP-2020). Retrieved from: