Carnegie Mellon University

Enrollment Services

Information for Faculty & Staff

NAPP Definitions

The University Registrar’s Office, after reviewing various state and federal regulations and in consultation with various key institutional stakeholders, has developed the following set of definitions specific to the NAPP process.

The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) defines an Academic Program as an instructional program leading towards a bachelor's, master's, doctorate degree, resulting in units that can be applied to one of these degrees.
A code which is specifically used to identify or track a specific set of students in an academic program which may have a different entry semester (cohort), program location, and/or tuition structure from other students in the same academic program.
The Middle States Commission of Higher Education (MSCHE) defines Asynchronous Learning as “A type of distance learning in which there is no requirement for the instructor and the students to interact in ‘real time’. In the context of the NAPP process, asynchronous course delivery can also be defined as instruction using pre-recorded video or other media.
Enrollment Services defines this as a program in which a student could earn the credential by taking 50% or more of the work associated with the program in distance courses in which 50% or more of the instruction and interaction occurs via electronic communication, or equivalent mechanisms, with the faculty and students physically separated from each other.

University/Departmental Exchange: Reciprocal agreement in which CMU students study at a partner institution, either domestic or abroad, and the partner institution students study at CMU for a period of up to 1 year. Students are awarded transfer credit when an official transcript issued by the host institution is received. View more.

  1. University Exchanges: Open to students from all or multiple colleges. Exchange may be with a domestic or international institutions, there is a balance of students coming and going and do not involve the exchange of tuition payments. See website.
  2. Departmental Exchanges: Limited to students from a specific department. Departmental Exchange Programs function similarly to University Exchange Programs, except that the exchange is department-to-department instead of university wide. Many departments at Carnegie Mellon have exchange partners abroad. Some exchanges may not permit the use of federal aid for payment towards exchange. See website
  3. Sponsored Programs: Offer study abroad opportunities to students from a variety of economic backgrounds and are ideal for students with significant Carnegie Mellon funding. See website.
The Middle States Commission of Higher Education (MSCHE) defines a Certificate as “A formal award certifying the satisfactory completion of a postsecondary education program." In the context of the NAPP process Carnegie Mellon has defined For-Credit Certificates as a formal award by a department or college (but NOT the university) certifying the satisfactory completion of a postsecondary education program, as we do not centrally record completion of certificate programs in S3.
The Undergraduate Catalog defines major as “Field studied in greatest depth by fulfilling a department-determined set of course requirements. The primary major is the field in which the degree is granted.” In the context of the NAPP process, Major can also be understood as a specific area of study, concentration or track of a degree program.
Agreements used to define the roles, responsibilities, and requirements for academic and administrative departments who wish to partner with other institutions, domestic or international, to deliver academic programs to students. These partnerships enhance the academic community by providing a consistent experience for students that can also be customized to meet a department’s specific needs. View more information.
The Undergraduate Catalog defines non-degree as “A student who is not in a university degree program.” In the context of the NAPP process, non-degree students can also be defined as students who take courses for credit but those credits are not applied to any specific degree.
  1. Residential 100%: Students are on a CMU campus, taking courses in a classroom.
  2. Distance 50%: 50% or more of the program is offered via distance education. Students are not on campus or in a classroom.
  3. Distance 100%: 100% of the program is offered via distance education. Students are not on campus or in a classroom.
  • Bachelor
  • Doctorate
  • Master
  • Non-Degree
  • Postsecondary certificate
  • Postsecondary award, certificate or diploma 1 [less than 1 academic year]
  • Postsecondary award, certificate or diploma 2 [at least 1 but <2 academic year(s)]
  • Postsecondary award, certificate or diploma 3 [at least 2 but <4 academic year(s)]
Students participate in a program approved by the Office of International Education in which CMU students enroll at a foreign university for a period of up to 1 year. Students are awarded transfer credit when an official transcript issued by the host institution is received. View more information
The Middle States Commission of Higher Education (MSCHE) defines Synchronous Learning as “A learning environment in which the instructor and students interact in ‘real time’, whether in a classroom or via distance education through the internet or videoconferencing.”