• Learn how to apply to CIA associate and bachelor's degree programs
  • Applying to CIA Degree Programs

    Step-By-Step Guide to Applying for CIA Associate and Bachelor’s Degree Programs

    1. Complete the application form.

    • To apply by mail:
      • Print out your CIA application (PDF).
      • Mail the completed form with essay and application fee (see below) to:
      • Admissions Department
        The Culinary Institute of America
        1946 Campus Drive
        Hyde Park, NY 12538-1499

    2. Answer the following short essay questions.

    Submit your written responses; each one must be a minimum of 100 words. Or, you may answer these questions in a short in-person or phone interview.

    • Food. We're passionate about it. Are you?
    • CIA students don't follow—they lead. Tell us how you're a leader.
    • Where do you picture yourself 5 years after CIA? Tell us about your career dreams.

    3. Pay your $50 application fee.

    • If applying online, you can pay by credit card. If applying by mail, include a check or money order payable to The Culinary Institute of America with your application.

    4. Ask for a recommendation.

    • One character recommendation is required. It should be from an employer, teacher, or professional colleague either within or outside the foodservice industry. In addition, the recommendation should address your commitment to the food world, problem-solving ability, and persistence in either work or academics. Recommendations can be submitted by: Or, you can provide CIA Admissions with your recommender’s contact information and we will contact them for a verbal recommendation.

    5. Request official transcripts.

    • Download the Transcript Request Form (PDF) and ask your high school* and/or any postsecondary schools (colleges) you’ve attended to provide your transcripts electronically via Parchment Exchange or mail your official transcripts (not student copies) directly to the CIA Admissions Office.
    • If you hold an equivalency diploma, the official test scores must be submitted. You must have met all the requirements for a high school diploma or an equivalency diploma to enroll at the CIA.

    *If you have matriculated in a college-level degree program and have completed the equivalent of 24 or more credits, you are not required to submit a high school transcript. Transcripts for high school students must be complete through the 11th grade and indicate what courses you'll take in the 12th grade or show your marks for the 12th grade.



    6. Submit your SAT or ACT scores.

    • If you have taken the SAT or ACT, we strongly recommend that you submit your scores. While not required for admission, they may help you qualify for a scholarship. Our school code is 3301 for the SAT and 2728 for the ACT.

    That’s it! You’re on your way to enrolling at the CIA. Once our admissions staff has reviewed your application and supporting materials, we’ll contact you if anything else is needed.

    Create Your Online Account and Apply Today