Topics Map > Majors and Degrees
Topics Map > Certificates
Change CIP Code
The federal Classification of Instructional Program (CIP) code taxonomy supports the tracking and reporting of program-level enrollments and program completion activity at U.S. colleges and universities. Each academic program at U.S. colleges and universities is assigned a CIP code that describes the program curriculum and, in some cases, its associated degree. This taxonomy enables a more “apples to apples” comparison of programs across institutions than would be evident from relying on the institutional name of the program alone.
CIP Code Structure
A CIP code is a six-digit code, made up of three groupings of two digits. The first two digits define the most general grouping of related programs (call the CIP area). For example, all CIP codes that start with 26 are in the broad area called “Biological and Biomedical Sciences”. The second two digits represent sub-areas within the two-digit sequence. For example, under the CIP code 26 are 26.01 (Biology), 26.02 (Biochemistry), and 26.03 (Botany). The full six-digit code represents a specific academic program. For example, 26.0205 is the CIP code for Molecular Biochemistry.
Initial Assignment of CIP Codes
The appropriate CIP code is assigned to an academic program when it is created, based on the curriculum as approved by UW-Madison governance (degree/major and certificate) and the Board of Regents (degree/major only). For new academic programs, the appropriate CIP code is determined by the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs in consultation with the academic program faculty. The CIP code is recorded as an attribute of an academic program (degree/major or certificate) in the student information system and in UW System records. Sub-plans (named options) are not assigned CIP codes. Changes to CIP codes must be approved through UW-Madison governance and by UW System Administration.
Proposals for Changes to CIP Code Assignments
Prepare a short proposal that includes the following:
- The current CIP code and its official description,
- The proposed CIP code and its official description,
- The rationale/justification for how the proposed CIP code is a better description for the degree/major than the current assignment,
- Information demonstrating that the CIP code change will not have adverse impacts on students, and
- Memos of support or concurrence from closely related programs, if relevant.
Dean’s offices should submit the proposal to Jocelyn Milner (email@example.com), Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, who will arrange for UAPC and UW System consideration for approval. If curricular changes are necessary before the change in CIP code can be considered, proceed with the curricular changes first, and then submit a proposal for a CIP code change.