• CIA Culinary Arts
    Associate Degree

    If you have a passion for cooking and dream of building a career in food, our Associate in Occupational Studies (AOS) in Culinary Arts degree program will help get you there. In just 21 months, you’ll gain the knowledge and skills you need to succeed in the thriving food industry.

    In CIA's culinary arts associate degree program in California, you will:

    • Immerse yourself in both classic and contemporary culinary techniques in our unique series of hands-on classes—starting the very first week.
    • Explore and prepare many global cuisines, including those of Asia, the Mediterranean, and the Americas.
    • Learn the basics of baking, nutrition, menu development, food safety, writing, communication, and cost control.
    • Gain real-world experience and put your new knowledge into action with a 15-week externship at one of more than 2,000 food industry sites.
    • Develop your business skills with courses in management, communication, and finance.

    You’ll complete your degree in our student-staffed restaurant—the Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant—learning firsthand how to operate a successful restaurant from both the front and back of the house.

    Ready to get started? Apply today >

    Requirements

    • A high school diploma or GED credential. We do not have a minimum GPA requirement.
    • Recommendation—One character letter of recommendation is required. It should be from an employer, teacher, or professional colleague either within or outside the foodservice industry. The letter should address your commitment to the food world, problem-solving ability, and persistence in either work or academics.

    Curriculum

    FRESHMAN YEAR (First Semester)

    CourseCredits
    Culinary Math
    1.5 credits
    Externship Prep Seminar I
    Non-Credit
    Externship Prep Seminar II
    Non-Credit
    Food Safety*
    1.5 credits
    Professionalism and Life Skills
    1.5 credits
    Introduction to Gastronomy
    1.5 credits
    Nutrition
    1.5 credits
    Product Knowledge
    1.5 credits
    Culinary Fundamentals*
    6 credits
    Total Credits: 15 Credits
    * Students must receive a passing grade for both Culinary Fundamentals and the NRA ServSafe® examination (part of the Food Safety 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
    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
    College Writing
    3 credits
    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 and Cultures of the Americas
    3 credits
    Controlling Costs and Purchasing Food
    1.5 credits
    Cuisines and Cultures of Asia
    3 credits
    Cuisines and Cultures of the Mediterranean
    3 credits
    Menu Development
    1.5 credits
    Total Credits: 18

    SOPHOMORE YEAR (Second Semester)

    CourseCredits
    Introduction to Hospitality and Customer Service
    1.5 credits
    Wine Studies
    3 credits
    Culinary Practical Examination II
    Non-Credit
    Contemporary Restaurant Cooking
    3 credits
    Contemporary Hospitality and Service Management
    3 credits
    Formal Restaurant Cooking
    3 credits
    Formal Hospitality and Service Management
    3 credits
    Costing Examination
    Non-Credit
    Total Credits: 16.5

    TOTAL CREDITS FOR ASSOCIATE DEGREE: 69

    As a culinary arts degree program student, you'll complete your sophomore year by learning in our on-campus Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant, serving and preparing cuisine for customers in a dynamic real-world environment. And be sure to explore the option of transferring your associate degree credits to the bachelor's degree program at the CIA's Hyde Park campus—you get into so many more dimensions of the industry in the junior and senior years.

    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.

  • Rebecca Peizer, CIA Chef-Instructor—Culinary Arts

    Spotlight On: Rebecca Peizer ’00Culinary Arts

    Awards:
    First Place,Taste of Elegance National Pork Board Culinary Competition, Las Vegas, 2008. First Place, Italian Culinary Institute for Foreigners "Sintonie" Culinary Competition, NYC, 2008. Employee of the Quarter, Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, Las Vegas, 2007. Top 10 Sous Chefs in America, Bertolli Company and Food & Wine, 2002.