Economics CIP Code Update and FAQs

Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) Code Change for Berkeley Economics to STEM Designation

As of 6/2019

The Department of Economics at Berkeley change of CIP code qualifies the Economics undergraduate and graduate degree programs as a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) related discipline. This reclassification supports the intrinsically quantitative nature of these Economics degree programs and is now recognized with the STEM classification.

As of Spring 2019, this request is now approved and will be in effect, retroactively, for all students enrolled in the program as of Fall 2017 and all terms forward.



1. What is a CIP Code?

The National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) defines CIP as a taxonomic scheme that supports the accurate tracking and reporting of fields of study and program completions activity.


2. What does retroactive CIP code mean?

With a retroactive effective date of August 2017, the CIP code change applies only to students who graduated from the Economics undergraduate and graduate degree programs starting Fall 2017 and going forward.


3. What was requested?

A retroactive change to the CIP code from the current designation of 45.0601 Economics to 45.0603 Econometrics and Quantitative Economics (STEM).

Prior code: 45.0601 Economics — A general program that focuses on the systematic study of the production, conservation and allocation of resources in conditions of scarcity, together with the organizational frameworks related to these processes. Includes instruction in economic theory, micro- and macroeconomics, comparative economic systems, money and banking systems, international economics, quantitative analytical methods, and applications to specific industries and public policy issues.

New code: 45.0603 Econometrics and Quantitative Economics — A program that focuses on the systematic study of mathematical and statistical analysis of economic phenomena and problems. Includes instruction in economic statistics, optimization theory, cost/benefit analysis, price theory, economic modeling, and economic forecasting and evaluation.


4. Why request the change?

The curriculum for both of our undergraduate and graduate programs reflect a long-established focus on quantitative and technical training, which has prompted a change with the current CIP code. Due to the changing nature of economics generally, and reflecting the econometrics requirements of both our undergraduate and graduate degrees, the designation of 43.0603 is more appropriate to the Berkeley economics degree.

The tools and skills students acquire in our econometrics and quantitative economics based curriculum provides graduates with a robust understanding of economics, which leads to academic and non-academic options that transect a variety of career paths. This request applies to both our undergraduate (BA) and graduate (MA/PhD) degree programs and will be effective for the fall 2017 term and all terms.


5. What are the practical effects of this change for domestic students? For international students?

The reclassification of Economics as a STEM major may enhance research and funding opportunities, job market placement and diversity and growth in the field that can be associated with other STEM majors. For international students, the STEM classification increases accessibility to US job opportunities by allowing eligible F-1 visa students to possibly extend their F-1 post-completion Optional Practical Training employment authorization for an additional 24 months. This was not an available option with our current general economics CIP code. Read more information on the CIP Code change for international students from the Berkeley International Office below.

Important message from the Berkeley International Office (BIO), as of 6/2019:

Due to the very high number of international students in Economics majors, Berkeley International Office (BIO) will be prioritizing communications and new I-20 document production for impacted international students. BIO communications and I-20 updates are prioritized in the following time-sensitive order for these groups. BIO requests that students DO NOT contact BIO regarding their updated DS-2019/I-20 until they receive and read BIO's direct email communication instructions. See below for groupings.

Group 1*. F-1 Post-completion students whose OPT STEM application deadline is within the next 60 days.

Group 2*. F-1 May 2019 graduates who have not yet applied for their post-completion OPT

Group 3**. F-1 May 2019 graduates who have already applied for their post-completion OPT

Group 4**. All other F-1/J-1 currently enrolled and/or post-completion students

*Groups 1 and 2 are BIO's first priority, and received communication and instructions from BIO on June 10th and 11th.

**Groups 3-4 will receive communications from BIO and instructions before or by August 1st.


6. As a F-1 status international student, how will this impact my post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT)?

Eligible students may apply for a 24 Month STEM Extension up to 90 days prior to the expiration of their approved post-completion OPT Employment Authorization Document. Our CIP code approval qualifies our degree programs as a STEM related field of study for the Optional Practical Training (OPT) extension for employment of 24 months.

Please use this opportunity to review the Optional Practical Training and STEM OPT Extension materials on the Berkeley International Office website. Once you have done so, if you have further specific questions you can follow up with a BIO advisor 3-4 months prior to your graduation and/or 3-4 months prior to your OPT expiration date. 


7. Is the Department of Economics now offering a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Economics instead of a Bachelor of Arts (BA)? Is the BS now an option?

The CIP code reclassification does not change the degree to a BS, and there are no plans to move in this direction.


8. Will this change the name of the major or graduate degree?

No; the name of the major and graduate degree will remain "Economics."


9. What are the implications for internships?

Currently, there are no implications for this reclassification affecting any student's accessibility to internships. Undergraduate and graduate students can still pursue internship opportunities as previous done.


10. Does the CIP code or STEM designation show up on my transcript?

No; currently, neither the CIP code nor STEM designation do not and will not appear on the transcript.