• CIA Advanced Career Experience (ACE)
    Associate Degree

    To succeed in today’s thriving and rapidly expanding food industry, you need the “complete package”—proven knowledge, skills, experience, and the right culinary education credential.

    If you have at least 2½ years of post-high school, full-time back-of-the-house restaurant or foodservice experience, you may qualify for enrollment in our Advanced Career Experience (ACE) associate degree program. Through the ACE program, you can complete the requirements to earn our highly respected Associate in Occupational Studies (AOS) in Culinary Arts degree in just 15 months—six months quicker than our standard associate degree program.

    In the ACE degree program for culinary arts students at our New York campus, you will:

    • Begin your studies at the CIA with knowledge-equivalency credits that exempt you from the associate degree program’s externship requirement.
    • Immerse yourself in the same innovative course of studies on campus as non-ACE students.
    • Complete your associate degree with both back-of-the-house and front-of-the-house experience in our award-winning, on-campus restaurants.

    There are several entry dates to choose during the December through June enrollment season, and valuable scholarships and grants are available.

    Ready to get started? Apply today >

    Requirements

    You must be an experienced professional, with 2.5 or more years of post-high school, full-time back-of-the-house foodservice experience in establishments that work with fresh, whole-food products and a varied menu. See if you qualify >

    Curriculum

    FRESHMAN YEAR, FIRST SEMESTER

    CourseCredits
    Culinary Math
    1.5 credits
    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
    *Students must receive a passing grade for both Baking and Pastry Techniques 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
    Non-Commercial Foodservice and High-Volume Production
    3 credits
    Culinary Practical Examination I
    Non-Credit
    College Writing Plus
    3 credits
    Total Credits: 16.5

    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 the Mediterranean
    3 credits
    Cuisines and Cultures of Asia
    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

    EXTERNSHIP

    Total Credits: 3 transfer credits

    TOTAL CREDITS FOR ASSOCIATE DEGREE: 69

    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 worlds 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.

  • Shirley Cheng, CIA Professor—Culinary Arts

    Spotlight On: Shirley Shuliang ChengCulinary Arts

    Shirley Cheng has been creating excellence in the kitchens of the CIA for 18 years. While much has changed in her nearly two decades at the college, many of the most important ingredients have stayed the same. "We continue to provide high-quality education," she says. "The reputation remains and the great chefs are still here. If anything, the school is operating on an even higher level. I'm happy to see how students love Asian cuisine. It's a different culture for them, and they get excited. I never get tired of teaching it."