• CIA Culinary Science Bachelor’s Degree

  • A CIA Food Science Degree for R&D Careers

    The culinary arts and food science are coming together to help innovative chefs create more delicious, flavorful, and healthy foods. Today, our chefs are found not only in the kitchens of the most advanced restaurants, but in the research kitchens of leading foodservice companies. The CIA’s Bachelor of Professional Studies (BPS) in Culinary Science degree program will teach you the scientific foundations of food production and prepare you for these exciting research and development careers.

    Apply Now

    In the Culinary Science Bachelor's Degree Program, you’ll progress through eight semesters of hands-on and classroom work plus an additional off-campus externship semester—and you can complete your bachelor’s degree in just three years! During the program, you will:

    • Receive more than 1,300 hours of hands-on experience in the CIA’s professional kitchens and bakeshops.
    • Conduct side-by-side tests to compare traditional food production techniques and delivery systems with new methods using modern technology and equipment.
    • Learn how to prepare high-quality products for small and large-scale production systems using a scientific understanding of food safety and quality, developing critical-thinking skills and scientific literacy.
    • Participate in product development projects and culinary science labs to gain hands-on experience of fundamental scientific principles and foster problem-solving skills applicable to real-world food production challenges.
    • Use sensory evaluation techniques to guide the product development process from concept to delivery.
    • Explore career tracks in R&D, multi-unit operations, commissary food production, and fine dining that leverage culinary science to enhance food quality.

    The culinary science bachelor's degree program is limited to 20–24 students per entry date, so be sure to get on board quickly.


    Requirements for Admission

    • 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.
    • 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.



    Total Credits: 69 (CIA Associate Degree)


    Liberal Arts Requirements (30 Credits)

    Anthropology of Food or Psychology of Human Behavior or Social Psychology3 credits
    Calculus I or College Algebra3 credits
    Foreign Language6 credits
    History and Cultures of Asia or History and Cultures of Europe or History and Cultures of the Americas6 credits
    Introduction to Statistics3 credits
    Literature and Composition3 credits
    Principles of Macroeconomics or Principles of Microeconomics3 credits
    Science Fundamentals3 credits

    Culinary Science Requirements (33 Credits)

    Advanced Concepts in Precision Temperature Cooking3 credits
    Culinary Chemistry3 credits
    Culinary Research and Development3 credits
    Culinary Science: Principles and Applications3 credits
    Dynamics of Heat Transfer and Physical Properties of Food3 credits
    Flavor Science and Perception3 credits
    Ingredient Functionality: Texture Development, Stability, and Flavor Release3 credits
    Microbial Ecology of Food Systems3 credits
    Modern and Industrial Cooking Tools, Techniques, and Ingredients3 credits
    Research Methods: Scientific Evaluation of Traditional Cooking Techniques3 credits
    Senior Thesis: Culinary Science Research Projects3 credits
    Total Credits: 63 (Junior/Senior Years)


    Please note:
    • The foreign language requirement must be fulfilled by the end of the junior year.
    • Not all electives will be offered each semester. For the most current list of elective offerings, students should check CIA Main Menu (the student web portal).
    • The Global Cuisines and Cultures elective travel courses take place between bachelor’s semesters in late April/early May and late July/early August.
    • Course prerequisites and corequisites are listed in the course descriptions.


    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—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.


    Great Food Careers Start Here

    With a CIA bachelor’s 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.

  • Dr. Homer Emery, CIA Instructor, Culinary Science

    Spotlight On: Dr. Homer C. EmeryCulinary Science

    Texas Department of Health Professional Sanitarian Advisory Committee. Health Advisory Council, Automatic Merchandising Association. National Conference for Food Protection. National Sanitation Foundation Joint Committee on Food Equipment, 1989–90. Bexar County Local Emergency Planning Committee.
Close Menu