Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP)

Last Updated 04/06/2024

The U.S. Department of Education developed a classification of instructional programs (CIP) in 1980 which is typically updated every 10 years.  The CIP provides a taxonomic scheme (some 60 fields of study) that supports the tracking and reporting of fields of study and program completions activity across the U.S.  The majority of 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 instructional programs such as residency programs in various health professions that may lead to advanced professional certification; personal improvement and leisure programs; and programs taught in schools of continuing education and professional development (the majority of the latter group are non-credit). The CIP is the accepted federal government standard on instructional program classifications and is used in a variety of education information surveys and databases.

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