CIA Culinary Science Bachelor’s Degree

  • With a CIA Bachelor of Professional Studies (BPS) in Culinary Science degree, you’ll have the expertise to work in a food research and development environment and create the foods of the future. Whether in a research kitchen for an independent restaurant, or in the product development laboratory of a leading food company, your culinary and/or baking and pastry arts skills, coupled with a deep understanding of the chemistry, physics, and biology of foods will allow you to create food experiences that are creative, delicious, safe, and consistent. Study how food impacts the senses, learn to develop new food products, and apply the scientific method to answer your own questions about what is happening in the kitchen. The industry-experienced CIA faculty will ensure you receive a hands-on culinary learning experience in our kitchens (something you won’t get in a food science program), providing you with the foundation for a successful career


    • Develop an understanding of the scientific foundations of foods and beverages, and apply that knowledge in the design of innovative and creative sensory experiences.
    • Understand how culinary science enhances food quality in research and development kitchens, multi-unit operations, commissary food production, fine dining establishments, small and large-scale manufacturers, and more.
    • Continue to develop your culinary and baking and pastry skills by learning advanced techniques such as fermentation, sous-vide cooking, and the application of technical ingredients.
    • Learn to prepare high-quality products for small- and large-scale production systems using a scientific understanding of food safety, and HACCP management systems.
    • Cultivate a deeper knowledge of the functionality of ingredients, while learning more about their impact through the application of sensory evaluation techniques.
    • Study precision temperature cooking, culinary chemistry, dynamics of heat transfer and the physical properties of food, and the microbial ecology of food systems.
    • Execute an experimental study to answer your own culinary or baking and pastry question.
    • Interact with more than 130 companies that visit CIA’s campus four times a year to recruit students. Discuss career opportunities with these leaders, which include Dole Consumer Products Division, EFCO Products, Highland Baking Company, McCormick, and Nestle, among many others.
    • Gain valuable real-world experience during an off-campus internship semester. If you already have food industry experience, you may qualify for our Turbo Option and get your internship waived.

    Please note: This bachelor’s degree program is limited to 20 to 24 students per entry date.

    Ready to get started? Apply Today!

    The Science of Success

    The Bachelor of Professional Studies (BPS) in Culinary Science was developed with the growing demand for skilled innovators in the food industry in mind. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of culinary scientists is expected to grow as science and technology unlock new food production methods and techniques. After you graduate, pursue a career in fields that include:

    • Culinary education
    • Food compliance and safety
    • Production management
    • Quality assurance
    • Food manufacturing
    • Research and development

    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.


    Students taking the Bachelor of Professional Studies in Culinary Science program may choose one of two areas of focus: Culinary Arts or Baking and Pastry Arts.

    The 132-credit BPS in Culinary Science, Culinary Arts focus includes:

    • 54 credits in culinary arts requirements
    • 39 credits in liberal arts requirements
    • 6 credits in business management requirements
    • 33 credits in culinary science requirements

    The 132-credit BPS in Culinary Science, Baking and Pastry Arts focus includes:

    • 55.5 credits in baking and pastry arts requirements
    • 37.5 credits in liberal arts requirements
    • 6 credits in business management requirements
    • 33 credits in culinary science requirements

    You will take fascinating, in-depth courses in all areas of culinary science, from ingredient functionality to culinary R&D to flavor science and beyond. Combine them with liberal arts courses in social science, math, history and cultures, and more for the deep and well-rounded education today’s culinary science professional requires.

    The curriculum also features a semester-long internship experience along with the strong culinary arts or baking and pastry arts core you’ll get only at the CIA.

    As a bachelor’s student, you can also choose to study abroad through the Global Cuisines and Cultures elective course, which includes travel to culinary destinations such as China, France, Italy, Peru, and Spain.

    See catalog for curriculum details

    Requirements for Admission

    • 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.
    • Students interested the bachelor’s degree program in culinary science must complete an application for admission, available from the Center for Academic Advising on the student portal. Acceptances are based on all postsecondary school grades, CIA grades, an essay, as well as responses to five critical essay questions. All applications will be reviewed by the Culinary Science Admissions Committee.

    How to Apply

    Culinary Science 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.

  • Regular Guest Speakers—Culinary Science

    We are pleased to welcome a rotation of outstanding guest speakers from all segments of the food world. By coming to campus to share their knowledge, these industry leaders greatly enrich the learning experience for our culinary science students.

    Upcoming guest speakers include:

    Michele Reisner '76, speaker, from CIA’s Culinary Science Advisory Council.Michele Reisner ’76
    Executive VP at Target Research Group

    Sarah Stribling, speaker on food science.Sarah Stribling
    Unilever Food Solutions

    Matt Tom, culinary food science guest speaker.Matt Tom
    Independent Technical Consultant

  • Upcoming Open House Dates

    Admissions information and open house event for high school students wishing to apply to The Culinary Institute of America.
    Admissions information and open house event for adult & transfer students wishing to apply to The Culinary Institute of America.
    Admissions information and open house event for high school students wishing to apply to The Culinary Institute of America.
  • Cool Courses You’ll Take…

    Cool Courses in Culinary Science

    “Science it up” in the food lab in the CIA culinary science degree program, with courses that may surprise you.

    Check them out

  • Contact Us

    Admissions Office
    1946 Campus Drive
    Hyde Park, NY 12538-1499
    Phone: 1-800-CULINARY
    Alt. Phone: 845-452-9430
    Fax: 845-451-1068
  • Jennifer Stack, CIA Associate Professor—Liberal Arts

    Faculty Spotlight

    Jennifer Stack ’03
    Associate Professor—Culinary Science
    Jennifer has worked as Proprietor/Executive Chef, served as a past board member, and continues a private practice as a Nutrition Therapist.
    Evan Bollers , CIA Bachelor's in Culinary Science alumni, is R&D Chef at Custom Foods of America.

    Alumni Spotlight

    Evan Bollers ’14
    Research Development Project Manager, Custom Foods of America
    Ever wonder how new foods get developed and who’s behind these innovative formulations and recipes? Oftentimes, there’s a CIA graduate involved...
  • “Almost every profession has an outstanding training ground. The military has West Point, music has Juilliard, and the culinary arts has the Institute.”
    — Craig Claiborne, Celebrated Author and Food Critic, The New York Times