Paul Bocuse

The Culinary Institute of America salutes the life and legacy of the most important chef in history—Paul Bocuse. We are deeply saddened by his passing, but have been greatly enriched by his friendship and will continue to be inspired by his example. He was the greatest ever. Au revior M. Paul. Merci Bocuse!


    CIA Culinary Arts Associate Degree

  • Regardless of your experience level, at the CIA you can prepare for a rewarding culinary career through the CIA Associate in Occupational Studies (AOS) in Culinary Arts degree program. Start with the fundamentals as you immerse yourself in culinary techniques as well as global cuisines. You’ll build a foundation of key skills utilized by every chef and then move to advanced coursework. The CIA’s industry-experienced faculty will ensure you receive a hands-on learning experience that provides you with the foundation for a successful career. After you’ve earned your degree in less than two years, you’ll be able to demonstrate expertise in preparing a wide variety of meals as well as be qualified to maintain state-of-the-art kitchen equipment and manage staff. A CIA associate degree is the perfect way to seamlessly enter our bachelor’s-level programs. Or hit the ground running by pursuing a CIA bachelor’s degree in your first year!


    • Understand the fundamentals of baking, nutrition, menu development, food safety, cost control, and wine.
    • Learn how to successful restaurateurs and chefs manage their businesses, high-end catering, food trucks, and other food-related operations.
    • Gain real-world experience through a semester-long paid internship at one of CIA’s 2,000+ food industry partners.
    • Develop your business skills with courses in management, communication, and finance.
    • Experience firsthand how successful restaurants are operated in our award-winning, student-staffed dining establishment, Gatehouse Restaurant. All CIA restaurants are public-facing, fully operational retail dining establishments that serve more than 333,000 customers annually.

    Ready to get started? Apply today!

    Plate Expectations

    The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that employment opportunities for chefs will grow nine percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the national average for other careers. You’ll find plenty of employment opportunities at restaurants, hotels, casinos, and other upscale dining establishments. Career options include:

    • Executive chef
    • Food and beverage management
    • Food writing
    • Media and public relations
    • Research and education
    • Hotel management
    • Restaurant ownership

    With so many possibilities, our Career Services staff is ready to help you every step of the way. There’s no network like the CIA network, which includes some of the world’s most renowned culinary, beverage, and hospitality experts.

    The list of celebrated CIA alumni is as diverse as it is extensive. They’ve found success doing what they love. Now it’s your turn.

    Freshman Year—First Semester

    Culinary Fundamentals*
    6 credits
    Mathematical Foundations
    1.5 credits
    Externship Prep Seminar I
    Food Safety*
    1.5 credits
    Professionalism and Life Skills
    1.5 credits
    1.5 credits
    Introduction to the Hospitality Industry
    1.5 credits
    College Writing
    3 credits
    Total Credits: 16.5 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

    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
    Externship Prep Seminar II
    Principles of Menus and Managing Profitability in Foodservice Operations
    3 credits
    Introduction to Gastronomy
    1.5 credits
    Introduction to Food Systems
    3 credits
    Total Credits: 18


    Externship (Culinary Arts)
    3 credits
    Total Credits: 3

    Sophomore Year—First Semester

    Baking and Pastry Skill Development
    3 credits
    Garde Manger
    3 credits
    Cuisines and Cultures of the Americas
    3 credits
    Cuisines and Cultures of the Mediterranean
    3 credits
    Cuisines and Cultures of Asia
    3 credits
    Total Credits: 15

    Sophomore Year—Second Semester

    Introduction to Hospitality and Customer Service
    1.5 credits
    Wine Studies
    3 credits
    Culinary Practical Examination II
    Contemporary Restaurant Cooking
    3 credits
    Contemporary Hospitality and Service Management
    3 credits
    Formal Restaurant Cooking
    3 credits
    Formal Hospitality and Service Management
    3 credits
    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 Gatehouse 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.


    • A high school diploma or GED credential.
    • 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.

    How to Apply

    Culinary School 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 92% 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.

  • Michael Elegbede, CIA culinary arts alumni and owner, executive chef of ÌTÀN in Lagos, Nigeria.

    Alumni Spotlight

    Michael Elegbedé '13
    Owner, Executive Chef, ÌTÀN
    Michael Elegbedé ’13, executive chef and owner of ÌTÀN in Lagos, grew up in and around kitchens in his native country of Nigeria.
    Thomas Wong ’86, CIA Professor and Team Leader—Culinary Arts, California campus.

    Faculty Spotlight

    Thomas Wong ’86
    Professor and Team Leader—Culinary Arts

    AOS, CIA. Certificate, Kapiolani Commmunity College, Honolulu, HI.

  • Visiting chef demos, major conferences, and special events on campus let you rub elbows with stars of the food world.