Classification of Instructional Program (CIP) codes were devised by The National Center for Education Statistics in 1980 to “provide a taxonomic scheme that will support the accurate tracking, assessment, and reporting of fields of study and program completions activity." The National Center for Education Statistics, part of the Department of Education, periodically reviews and revises CIP codes. CIP codes are also used by the Department of Homeland Security’s Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) database for tracking enrollments of international students studying in the United States, and stipulating how long international students may remain in the United States after graduation for Optional Practical Training (OPT).  

New York University Stakeholders

At NYU, Institutional Research and Academic Program Review and Assessment maintain databases of NYU programs and CIP Codes for accreditation and reporting purposes.  The Office of the Registrar maintains programs’ CIP code status in the Student Information System. The Office of Global Services works with students seeking Optional Practical Training.  Deans, Department Chairs, and Program Directors consider CIP codes in the realm of program enrollment and curriculum strategies.

CIP Code Change Framework

An objective framework to review and evaluate requests for CIP code changes ensures a credible equitable outcome.  The process to update a CIP code intersects with NYU’s curriculum development and change process, and it is important that those requesting a change are aware of the external and internal context and relevant timelines.

In all cases, new or revised program effective dates must be timed to the publication of marketing materials, admissions cycles, bulletin deadlines, scheduling deadlines, and student registration dates.  It is important for those seeking a change in CIP code for their program to know if other programs at NYU share the same CIP code and consult with them during the process.

Elements in a Written Request for Change in CIP Code

Departments interested in requesting a CIP code change for a bachelor, master, or doctoral program will need to submit a formal written proposal to the University Registrar requesting approval from the NYU CIP Code Review Committee. In addition to the proposal elements detailed below, the Department should demonstrate support for the change from relevant Deans, Department Chairs, and Academic Program Directors. The proposal must contain at a minimum the following elements:

  • A completed CIP Code Committee Request Form
  • Evidence that the new code and title are consistent with the existing program curriculum, title, and outcomes.
  • A curriculum grid demonstrating that a reasonable majority of the required courses have titles, descriptions, assessments, and learning outcomes consistent with the proposed CIP code;
  • Evidence of sufficient department faculty to offer the courses on the rotation designated in the curriculum document;
  • Evidence that a plan exists to offer current courses to current students without interruption if there is a new curriculum implemented in line with the updated CIP code

Additional Guidance for NYU Schools and Departments

  • CIP codes and descriptions are published on the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) website.
  • According to federal guidelines, the CIP code is a program-level designation, so a change to a STEM CIP code must apply to all concentrations associated with a program.  Departments requesting a change to a CIP code for a single concentration will be encouraged to register the concentration as a unique degree program with New York State Education Department.
  • For the purposes of Optional Practical Training (OPT), programs’ CIP codes are designated as Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields or non-STEM fields. Graduates of non-STEM programs may remain in the United States for a maximum of 12 months of OPT. From April, 2008 to May 9, 2016, STEM field graduates were eligible to apply for a 17-month STEM OPT extension. Effective May 10, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security increased the STEM OPT extension to 24 months.
  • List of NYU Programs with CIP codes designated as STEM by U.S. Department of Homeland Security.