What is a CIP Code?

The Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) is code system of instructional programs with the purpose to facilitate the organization, collection, and reporting of fields of study and program completions. Most of the CIP titles correspond to academic and occupational instructional programs offered for credit at the postsecondary level. These programs result in recognized completion points and awards, including degrees, certificates, and other formal awards.

The CIP also includes other types of instructional programs, such as residency programs in various dental, medical, podiatric, and veterinary specialties that may lead to advanced professional certification; personal improvement and leisure programs; and instructional programs that lead to diplomas and certificates at the secondary level only.

The CIP is the accepted federal government statistical standard on instructional program classifications and is used in a variety of education information surveys and databases.

How to Read a CIP Code

The CIP is subdivided in a hierarchical, three-level structure. The highest level is the 2-digit series, which is composed of 47 categories. This is followed by the 4-digit series, composed of 421 categories, and the final level 6-digit series which is composed of 1,847 classifications.







Civil Engineering



Transportation and Highway Engineering

CIP Broad Structure


Title Description

01 Agriculture, Agriculture Operations, and Related Sciences
03 Natural Resources and Conservation
04 Architecture and Related Services
05 Area, Ethnic, Cultural, Gender, and Group Studies
09 Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs
10 Communications Technologies/Technicians and Support Services
11 Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services
12 Personal and Culinary Services
13 Education
14 Engineering
15 Engineering Technologies and Engineering-Related Fields
16 Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics
19 Family and Consumer Sciences/Human Sciences
22 Legal Professions and Studies
23 English Language and Literature/Letters
24 Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities
25 Library Science
26 Biological and Biomedical Sciences
27 Mathematics and Statistics
28 Military Science, Leadership and Operational Art
29 Military Technologies and Applied Sciences
30 Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies
31 Parks, Recreation, Leisure, and Fitness Studies
32 Basic Skills and Developmental/Remedial Education
33 Citizenship Activities
34 Health-Related Knowledge and Skills
35 Interpersonal and Social Skills
36 Leisure and Recreational Activities
37 Personal Awareness and Self-Improvement
38 Philosophy and Religious Studies
39 Theology and Religious Vocations
40 Physical Sciences
41 Science Technologies/Technicians
42 Psychology
43 Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting and Related Protective Service
44 Public Administration and Social Service Professions
45 Social Sciences
46 Construction Trades
47 Mechanic and Repair Technologies/Technicians
48 Precision Production
49 Transportation and Materials Moving
50 Visual and Performing Arts
51 Health Professions and Related Programs
52 Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services
53 High School/Secondary Diplomas and Certificates
54 History
60 Residency Programs

Who uses CIP Codes?

  • The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) in the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) uses them to code degree programs
  • Department of Education offices, such as the Office for Civil Rights, the Office of Vocational and Adult Education, and the Office of Special Education
  • Serves as the standard on instructional programs for Federal agencies, including the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Commerce (Bureau of the Census), the Department of Labor (Bureau of Labor Statistics), and others
  • State agencies, national associations, academic institutions, and employment counseling services for collecting, reporting, and analyzing instructional program data
  • Postsecondary educational institutions use six-digit CIP codes when completing the IPEDS Completions Survey

Why are CIP Codes important?

  • Analyzing labor market supply-demand conditions and trends
  • Making education and training program funding decisions, including expansion or contraction of program offerings
  • Developing and maintaining education and training curriculum
  • Information and guidance to individuals in making decisions about careers and education or training choices or conducting a job search