The Culinary Institute of America

  • Admissions Requirements

    Here's What You Need to Attend the CIA

    The Culinary Institute of America is looking for candidates who can demonstrate academic competence and who have some professional food preparation experience. The college has a selective admissions process that evaluates each candidate individually. The basic requirements are as follows:

    • A high school diploma or GED credential. We do not have a minimum GPA requirement.
    • Recommendations—you'll need one or more, depending on which program you're applying for.
    • Assessment tests—if you are accepted and enroll at the CIA, you may be required to take placement tests to determine your first classes, so you can begin your studies confident that your education will meet your needs.
    • Foodservice experience—The CIA requires that you gain relevant experience in one of two ways before enrolling: by working in a non-fast food establishment with a professional kitchen for six months or by completing culinary classes at either the high school or college level. Please note that you do not need this experience to apply for admission—the requirement must be met before you enter the CIA. Learn more >

    Check out our step-by-step application instructions to see what you'll need to apply for each of our programs. If you have questions, just e-mail or call our Admissions Office and we'll get you an answer ASAP—admissions@culinary.edu or 1-800-CULINARY.