The Culinary Institute of America

  • Associate Degree: Culinary Arts

    Prepare for success in the professional kitchen with the CIA's Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Culinary Arts degree program. If you love to cook, this real degree program will give you every opportunity to satisfy that passion. In just 21 months, you will gain the fundamental knowledge and skills that prepare you to be an accomplished professional in the culinary arts.

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    In the associate in culinary arts degree program in Texas, you will:

    • Develop a command of both classic and contemporary culinary methods and techniques in the CIA’s unique series of hands-on classes—starting the very first week.
    • Prepare and understand the many global cuisines that drive today’s industry.
    • Expand your horizons in basic baking, nutrition, menu development, food safety, writing, communication, and cost control.
    • Put your new skills into action in an 15-week externship at one of more than 1,200 U.S. and international employers.
    • Take courses in management, communication, and finance.

    You’ll complete your learning in the CIA San Antonio’s award-winning, student-staffed restaurant—Nao. There you’ll complete your associate degree with both back-of-the-house and front-of-the-house experience under the guidance of our expert faculty, for the ultimate in hands-on CIA learning.

    Prerequisites

    • A high school diploma or GED credential. We do not have a minimum GPA requirement.
    • Recommendation—You'll need one from a foodservice employer or a culinary educator describing your foodservice experience.
    • 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.

    Curriculum

    FRESHMAN YEAR, FIRST SEMESTER

    CourseCredits
    Culinary Fundamentals*
    6 credits
    Externship Prep Seminar I
    Non-Credit
    Externship Prep Seminar II
    Non-Credit
    Professionalism and Life Skills
    1.5 credits
    Gastronomy
    3 credits
    Introduction to Food Science*
    3 credits
    Mathematics
    1.5 credits
    Product Knowledge
    1.5 credits
    Total Credits: 16.5
    * Students must receive a passing grade for both Culinary Fundamentals and the NRA ServSafe® examination (part of the Introduction to Food Science course) and meet GPA requirements in order to progress to the second semester of the freshman year.

    FRESHMAN YEAR, SECOND SEMESTER

    CourseCredits
    Introduction to Management
    1.5 credits
    College Writing
    3 credits
    Meat Identification, Fabrication, and Utilization
    1.5 credits
    Seafood Identification and Fabrication
    1.5 credits
    Modern Banquet Cookery
    3 credits
    Introduction to À la Carte Cooking
    3 credits
    High-Volume Production Cookery
    3 credits
    Culinary Practical Examination I
    Non-Credit
    Externship Prep Seminar III
    Non-Credit
    Total Credits: 16.5

    EXTERNSHIP

    CourseCredits
    Externship (Culinary Arts)
    3 credits
    Total Credits: 3

    SOPHOMORE YEAR, FIRST SEMESTER

    CourseCredits
    Baking and Pastry Skill Development
    3 credits
    Garde Manger
    3 credits
    Cuisines of the Americas
    2 credits
    Cuisines of the Mediterranean
    2 credits
    Cuisines of Asia
    2 credits
    World Cultures and Cuisines
    3 credits
    Controlling Costs and Purchasing Food
    1.5 credits
    Culinary Practical Examination II
    Non-Credit
    Costing Examination
    Non-Credit
    Total Credits: 16.5

    SOPHOMORE YEAR, SECOND SEMESTER

    CourseCredits
    Introduction to Catering: Hospitality and Service Management
    1.5 credits
    Introduction to Wine Studies
    1.5 credits
    Contemporary Hospitality and Service Management
    3 credits
    Formal Restaurant Cooking
    3 credits
    Contemporary Restaurant Cooking
    3 credits
    Formal Hospitality and Service Management
    3 credits
    Menu Development
    1.5 credits
    Total Credits: 16.5

    Total Credits for AAS Degree: 69

     

    Costs

    The CIA is very committed to making your CIA education as affordable as possible. Our costs are comparable to similar colleges, and here's even better news—approximately 90% of our students receive some form of financial aid.

    Don't let applying for financial assistance keep you from going to the world's premier culinary college. No matter what your individual circumstances are, we will work with you to help make attending the CIA an affordable investment in your future in the world of food.

    Careers

    Great Food Careers Start Here

    With a CIA degree, you don’t just have a foot in the door—you have thousands of feet in the door. Our alumni are an accomplished, supportive network throughout the industry, whatever your career goals. You can:

    And with so many possibilities out there, our Career Services staff is ready to help you every step of the way, not only for that ideal first job, but for a lifetime of great opportunities. There’s no network like the CIA network!

    The list of celebrated CIA alumni is as diverse as it is extensive. They’ve found success doing what they love. They fully embraced the idea that Food is Life®.

    Now it’s your turn.

  • Jonathan Pidgeon and Megan Mulhern Pidgeon, CIA culinary arts and baking and pastry arts alumni, are chef/owners of Glazed Donuts in Key West, FL.

    Spotlight On: Jonathan Pidgeon and Megan Mulhern PidgeonBachelor's Degree in Culinary Arts Management and Bachelor's Degree in Baking & Pastry Arts

    “In terms of owning our business, the bachelor’s degree was invaluable. We do everything from accounting to employee training to payroll. We can react to changes in the industry accordingly and, as a result, we’re growing our business faster.”