The Culinary Institute of America

  • Welcome Veterans

    Setting the Course for Advancement in Your Culinary Career

    For more than six decades, The Culinary Institute of America has been setting the standard for excellence in professional culinary education. Founded in 1946 in New Haven, CT by Frances Roth, a prominent attorney, and Katharine Angell, the wife of Yale President James Angell, the school has always had a strong partnership with the military. As the original culinary institute, the CIA served an unmet need for high quality, professional culinary education and grew rapidly. In 1972, with a student body of 1,000, the college moved to its expansive main campus in Hyde Park, NY, the former Jesuit novitiate St. Andrew-on-Hudson. Today, veterans from all branches of the military enhance our student body and bring much-valued diversity and life experience to campus.



    The foodservice and hospitality industry currently employs more than 12 million people and job opportunities in this industry continue to grow. A culinary career is an ideal option for transitioning military personnel and their families to consider for the next stage in their lives. And with a CIA degree, you can enter the foodservice industry with the credential that opens doors.

    Setting the Course for Your Career Advancement

    We understand that making a successful life change requires careful planning, and leaving the military and attending college can be challenging at first. The CIA is focused on the specific needs of the military, veterans, and their families. Our dedicated Veterans Admissions Officer and Financial Aid Counselor are here to help you with the enrollment process and complete the necessary paperwork to ensure that you receive the benefits you have earned.

    Easing the Enrollment Process

    Year-round entry dates. You can start a CIA education whenever you're ready to make your transition from the military. The college offers four enrollment seasons—winter, spring, summer/early fall, and late fall—with 16 total entry dates, providing a flexible enrollment schedule throughout the year so you can enter college when the time is right for you. Many career changers like you choose to enroll in the winter or spring.

    The experience requirement. Foodservice and hospitality is a rewarding and challenging profession, and we want to make sure you are confident in your career choice. The CIA requires that you have relevant foodservice experience before enrolling. This includes working in a kitchen using fresh whole food products and a varied menu. This experience requirement is designed to help you understand the realities of working in the foodservice industry. Please note that you do not need foodservice experience to apply for admission—the requirement must be met before entering the CIA. Wondering whether your foodservice experience qualifies? Contact Eric Jenkins at 845-451-1484 or Experience level will be evaluated on a case by case basis.

    For detailed information about military-related benefits, visit the veterans' education benefits online or call 1-888-442-4551. To learn more about our programs and the use of veterans' education benefits at the CIA, contact Eric Jenkins, veterans admissions counselor, at 845-451-1484 or

  • Derek Smith, CIA culinary arts alumni, is a U.S. Air Force veteran.

    Spotlight On: Derek SmithU.S. Air Force

    After serving seven proud years through 9-11 and Operation Enduring Freedom, I separated in 2005 and began to bounce miserably from one retail job to another working 13-hour days, six days a week. I felt trapped, stuck in a rut. After working all day, all I wanted to do was go home and jump in the kitchen. That was my relief. My therapy. So I would light up all four burners, have 3 pans in the oven, and go to work. When something was done cooking, I would put it in a storage container, wash out the pot and start round two. Next thing I knew, it was 5 hours later, I cooked everything in the house, and the refrigerator was full of Tupperware!