• 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

    Most CIA associate and bachelor’s degree students have had some food experience prior to enrolling at the CIA. This includes culinary classes taken in high school or college, work in the food industry, or personal cooking or baking experience.

    To apply to the CIA, just follow these steps:

    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.

    Each response must be a minimum of 100 words.

    • At the CIA, we say that “food is life.” What does this mean to you?
    • Describe a situation in which you faced challenges that required you to be persistent. What was the result of that experience?
    • Tell us about your leadership experience in a classroom, work setting, or community. The CIA is training the next leaders of the food world—what qualities do you have that will make you a successful leader in this industry?

    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 with your application.

    4. Ask for a recommendation.

    • One letter of recommendation is required. It should be from an employer, teacher, or professional colleague either within or outside the foodservice industry. In addition, the letter should address your commitment to the food world, problem-solving ability, and persistence in either work or academics. Recommendations can be submitted by:

    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