• Plated Dish at the CIA
  • Preparing for Your CIA Education

    CIA Student Standards of Professionalism

    Now that you’ve been admitted to the CIA, you’re about to embark on a robust academic and professional journey. Once you graduate, you’ll be ready to start your career with the knowledge and experience that today’s top employers are seeking.

    As an admitted student, you’re required to adhere to standards of professionalism prior to and during your time at the CIA:

    • Accepted students must submit all requested documents to the Admissions office prior to beginning classes. This documentation may include official copies of high school or college transcripts, as well as other items. Students who are still enrolled in high school must continue to maintain steady academic progress and a course load that culminates in graduating from high school prior to enrolling at The Culinary Institute of America. Students must submit a final transcript to CIA upon high school completion.
    • Students must adhere to the Professionalism standards of The Culinary Institute of America’s Professionalism, Uniform, and Hygiene Policy. (see below)
    • Admitted students must notify the Admissions office of any changes to the information provided on the admissions application, including but not limited to status of academic sanctions and discipline, and criminal charges.

    You’re Now a Professional

    The CIA is committed to enhancing the professionalism of the foodservice and hospitality industry. As such, all of our students, faculty, staff, and alumni share pride in their work, workplace, and appearance. Remember that it takes only a few moments to dress and behave like a professional—yet this positive impression makes a lasting impact on colleagues, employers, and customers. Regardless of whether you are studying at the CIA, the following standards of professionalism are expected of anyone who wishes to be regarded as a professional in the food world.


    • refrain from abusive and foul language;
    • speak and act without prejudice to race, color, creed, religion, age, gender, disability, ethnicity, veteran status, marital status, or sexual orientation;
    • demonstrate and adhere to ethical business practices, with due respect for customers and colleagues;
    • promote understanding and respect for those alcoholic beverages used in the hospitality industry;
    • refrain from the abuse of drugs and alcohol;
    • treat all equipment and property with respect as if it’s personal property;
    • are polite and courteous to all visitors, peers, and colleagues;
    • work with a positive attitude;
    • dedicate themselves to learning;
    • stay open-minded to the opinions of others;
    • share knowledge with others;
    • act reliably and dependably; and
    • act with honesty and integrity in their interactions with all people.

    Dress for Success

    When not wearing your chef’s uniform, you must wear business-professional attire while in all academic buildings (this includes orientation). Learn the dos and don’ts of The Culinary Institute of America dress code:


    Your Chef’s Uniform

    Your chef’s uniforms are included in your tuition and fees costs, but remember that you must supply your own pair of kitchen-appropriate shoes. They must be black, slip-resistant, have an enclosed heel, and be sturdy. Learn more about how to respect your uniform:


    For more information about the CIA dress code, check out the college’s Professionalism, Uniform, and Hygiene Policy in the CIA Academic Catalog

    Suggested Reading

    To give you a head start at the CIA, below is a list of selected reading material. Please note this is not required reading but you may find some of these materials useful. Feel free to contact our Craig Claiborne Bookstore for assistance or call 1-800-677-6266 or 845-452-7648.

    • Daniel Boulud, Letters to a Young Chef (Art of Mentoring). Perseus, 2006.
    • Nicholas Clayton, A Butler's Guide to Table Manners. Trafalgar Square, 2007.
    • Noel Cullen, The World of Culinary Supervision, Training, and Management. Pearson, 2004.
    • Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page, Becoming a Chef. Wiley, 1995.
    • Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page, Culinary Artistry. Wiley, 1996.
    • Auguste Escoffier, Le Guide Culinaire. Wiley, 1979.
    • MFK Fisher, The Art of Eating, 50th Anniversary Edition. Wiley, 2004.
    • Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst, The New Food Lover's Companion, 4th Edition. Barron's, 2007.
    • Danny Meyer, Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business. Harper, 2008.
    • Michael Pollan, The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. Penguin, 2007.
    • Eric Ripert, On the Line. Artisan, 2008.
    • Michael Ruhlman, The Making of a Chef. Henry Holt, 1997.
    • Jim Sullivan, Mind Your Own Business. Indian Creek, 2002.
    • Kevin Zraly, Windows on the World Complete Wine Course. Sterling, 2009.