Described below are several key concepts relevant to the IPEDS program. For additional terms, refer to the IPEDS Glossary at https://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/glossary.
Postsecondary education. A formal instructional program whose curriculum is designed primarily for students who are beyond the compulsory age for high school. This includes programs whose purpose is academic, vocational, or continuing professional education, and excludes avocational and adult basic education programs.
Postsecondary education institution. An institution which has as its sole purpose or one of its primary missions, the provision of postsecondary education.
Degree–granting institution. Any institution offering an associate's, bachelor's, master's, doctor's, or first professional degree. Institutions that grant only certificates or awards of any length (less than 2 years, or 2 years or more) are categorized as non-degree-granting institutions.
CIP code. A 6–digit code, in the form xx.xxxx, that identifies instructional program specialties within educational institutions. The codes are from the NCES publication Classification of Instructional Programs (https://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/cipcode/).
Unit lD. A unique identification number assigned to postsecondary
institutions surveyed through IPEDS. Also referred to as UNITID or IPEDS ID.