New CIP code for Medical Humanities Degree- and Certificate-Granting Programs

News from Sarah Berry (SUNY Oswego):

Terrific news— We have a brand new CIP code for Medical Humanities degree- and certificate-granting programs: IPEDS, the U.S. database of educational statistics (enrollment, graduation rates, and other student data) used by all non-profit higher ed institutions, is going to add this designation:

51.3204 Medical Humanities

This designation is within the “51” series, Health Professions and Related Programs. Final approval is planned for this July, and the code will be available for submission of your program data next year. Read more here.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the survey last year that got this new code on the books!

There’s one more step, for which I’m asking for baccalaureate, master, doctoral, and certificate programs to contribute info—if you’re interested, please read on.

While this new designation “Medical Humanities” is not meant to be, according to the IPEDS database, prescriptive or exhaustive (i.e., institutions can decide how they want to submit their program data to IPEDS, and choose their own CIP codes from the list), we recognize that our field is developing in scope to include Health Humanities. I have carefully argued for a double designation during the fall, during a response period, and IPEDS came back with the Medical Humanities single designation.

There is an open comment period until February 25th, and I am working on making a case to include Health Humanities in this designation. I’m compiling a list of programs with the title Health Humanities and its cognates– most crucially with “Health” in the title somewhere (such as Health and the Human Condition, for ex.). I’d like to hear (off-list) from colleagues in graduate degree-granting programs about your program title. To compile the baccalaureate program list, I’m using the 2017 Baccalaureate Health Humanities Report. If your program is already in our report, I’ve got it down; but if you have a new bachelor’s degree or certificate with Health in the title, or a change in title to include “Health,” please email me. IPEDS wants to see at least 10 programs with the title “Health Humanities” to consider adding it. All replies can be sent to

To all colleagues: I am proposing that IPEDS change “Medical Humanities” to “Medical and Health Humanities;” please let me know if you have a strong feeling about the wording (I.e., is “Medical Humanities and Health Humanities” clearer, for those who submit program data?)

In addition, if your program is titled Health Humanities, how likely are you to use the new Medical Humanities code, as opposed to whatever code your institution has been using for your graduates?

Many thanks!

Sarah Berry, PhD

English and Creative Writing, SUNY Oswego

Oswego, NY 13126