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CSSC Courses/Course Codes

The Classification of Secondary School Courses (CSSC), based on the 2000 HSTS, provides a general inventory of courses taught nationwide at the secondary school level (grades 9 through 12). The basic unit of instruction in the CSSC is the individual COURSE. Vocational, academic, and general courses are offered for credit and included in this listing.

The (CSSC) was designed to describe course offerings in secondary education and to provide a coherent means for classifying these courses. It was developed in response to a need for a classification system that addressed course-level data and focused on secondary school curricula. This provides school administrators, state and local education planners, and research scientists a resource to convert course offerings, information from transcripts, master teaching schedules, and other sources into formats appropriate for analysis and practical application. NCES uses the CSSC to classify courses transcribed from the high school transcript.

A six-digit numerical code is used to identify each course within a program area:

  • the first two digits identify the main program area;
  • the second set of two digits represents a sub-category of courses within the main program area.
  • the remaining two digits are associated with the specific courses within each of the main and sub-categories.

For example, the 6-digit code (270404), which represents Algebra in a Mathematics program, can be viewed as follows:

27____ defines the main program of Mathematics.
2704__ defines the main program of Mathematics and the sub-grouping of courses related to Pure Mathematics.
270404 defines the main program as Mathematics, the sub-grouping of courses in Pure Mathematics, with a specific course in Algebra 1.