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    CIA Culinary Arts Associate Degree

  • No matter your experience level, at the CIA you can prepare for a rewarding culinary career through our Associate in Culinary Arts degree program. You’ll start with the fundamentals, immersing yourself in classic and contemporary culinary techniques as well as global cuisines. This will help you build the core skills utilized by every chef before taking on more advanced coursework.

    The expert, industry-proven faculty will ensure you receive the best hands-on learning experience that gives you 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, maintaining state-of-the-art kitchen equipment, and managing 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!

    Highlights:

    • Advance your culinary techniques, product knowledge, and food handling and organization skills.
    • Understand the basics of baking, nutrition, menu development, food safety, cost control, and wine.
    • Learn how 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 the 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 establishments right on campus. All CIA restaurants are real-world, live-action classrooms that serve thousands of customers annually.
    • Have access to—and network with—top food industry employers who connect with the CIA throughout the year to recruit students.

    Ready to get started? Apply Today!

    An Industry Brimming with Opportunity

    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.

    Get CIA's Top Culinary Careers Whitepaper

    Curriculum

    New York and California Campuses

    The 69-credit Associate in Occupational Studies (AOS) in Culinary Arts degree program includes:

    • 54 credits in culinary arts requirements
    • 9 credits in liberal arts requirements
    • 6 credits in business management requirements

    You will get a hands-on experiential foundation in the culinary arts, including classic and contemporary cooking techniques, flavor and menu development, nutrition, wines, production cooking, and world cuisines.

    As part of your degree program, you’ll get real-world experience during a semester-long internship at one of more than 2,000 CIA-approved businesses, as well as in the kitchens and dining rooms of the CIA’s award-winning public restaurants.

    Texas Campus

    The 69-credit Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Culinary Arts degree program includes:

    • 48 credits in culinary arts requirements
    • 15 credits in liberal arts requirements
    • 6 credits in business management requirements

    You will get a hands-on experiential foundation in the culinary arts, including classic and contemporary cooking techniques, flavor and menu development, food systems, wines, production cooking, and world cuisines.

    As part of your degree program, you’ll get real-world experience during a semester-long internship at one of more than 2,000 CIA-approved businesses, as well as in the CIA’s award-winning public restaurants.

    See catalog for curriculum details

    Requirements

    • 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—more than 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.

  • Take CIA's Chef Quiz Now
     
  • Justin Ward, CIA Lecturing Instructor—Culinary Arts

    Faculty Spotlight

    Justin Ward ’88
    Assistant Professor—Culinary Arts
    Education:
    BS, The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of Atlanta. AOS, CIA.
    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.
  • An exclusive network of more than 50,000 alumni is ready to support your food business career.
    Learn More