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  • Transfer Credit Policies

    For CIA Degree Programs Only

    Incoming students to The Culinary Institute of America have a greater opportunity for transfer credit than ever before. You could receive up to 60 credits toward your CIA degree program for prior course work, certain examinations, military experience, and/or life achievement.

    The CIA’s policy may allow you to complete your bachelor’s degree in fewer semesters. Due to the unique nature of the curriculum, only select course work will be considered for transfer credit approval. The CIA does not accept transfer credits for culinary arts, baking and pastry arts, or hospitality and service management (restaurant) courses.

    Approval Criteria

    Criteria for eligible transfer credits is as follows:

    1. The course is from an accredited college or university as relevant to a particular major. You must have completed the course with a grade of “C” or better.
    2. You took the College Board AP exam and received a score of “4” or higher within the past five years (the CIA will accept scores of “3” for AP Calculus and AP Statistics), and/or you took selected CLEP or DSST exams with qualifying scores as determined by the grading authority. Check out the list of AP exams (PDF) and CLEP exams (PDF) the CIA accepts for transfer.
    3. You have experiences outside traditional college courses that meet the learning objectives of those courses through life achievement credit.
    4. You took International Baccalaureate (IB) courses with qualifying scores as determined by the grading authority.
    5. You successfully completed the CIA Culinary Math Challenge Exam.
    6. You completed military courses evaluated by the American Council on Education (ACE). You may also receive college credit through the Life Achievement Portfolio.
    7. You may be eligible to receive externship credit based on work experience.

    How to Be Considered for Transfer Credit

    To be evaluated for college course, AP, or life achievement credit transfer at the CIA, just follow the college’s application procedure for admission:

    • Complete your application for admission. Be sure to indicate on your application if you wish to be considered for Bachelor’s Fast Track.
    • Include official copies of all your high school and/or college transcripts if they were not previously sent.
    • Submit your completed application for admission and supporting documentation to:
      Admissions Department
      The Culinary Institute of America
      1946 Campus Drive
      Hyde Park, NY 12538-1499

    Once you have been accepted to the CIA and have official transcripts on file from previous institutions, you will automatically be reviewed for transfer credits. Within three weeks of your acceptance, the college will send you an e-mail with the results of your transfer credit evaluation. You can also review our current database to see what courses are approved for transfer.

    A student can be awarded transfer credit for the externship based on previous work experience. Eligible students need to have at least 2.5 years of post-high school foodservice experience with progressive levels of responsibility in the professional kitchen. To be considered for this credit, students must submit the standard admissions materials as well as their résumé and an additional professional letter of recommendation. Students will be required to submit an online application and attach items electronically, and a personal interview may be scheduled to discuss and verify their experience. Students must submit their application any time before the end of the first semester, and will be notified of the application decision within two weeks. Space may be limited for this opportunity.

    Please note:

    • Credits accepted for transfer may count toward the completion of degree requirements but are not calculated in a student’s grade point average at the college.
    • Full-time students may not receive transfer credits for all courses requested if the number of credits transferred reduces the amount for a semester below the 12 credits required for full-time study. Tuition charges are assessed based on full-time study, with each semester ranging between 12–18 credits.
    • Students who receive transfer credit and wish to supplement their semester courses may take an Independent Study course or elective with the permission of the appropriate academic dean.
    • The transferability of credits you earn at the CIA is at the complete discretion of an institution to which you seek to transfer.

    Articulation Agreements

    The CIA has articulation agreements in place with other educational organizations, including high schools and National Student Organizations (NSOs). The college also has articulation agreements with Orange County Community College and Rockland Community College, both in New York State. View a list of these organizations (PDF). For further information, please contact Rachel Birchwood, senior director of admissions and enrollment, at r_birchw@culinary.edu.


    For more information, contact the Center for Career and Academic Advising at transfercredits@culinary.edu. To review the full policy, please refer to the CIA Academic Catalog at catalog.ciachef.edu.

  • Did you know? 92% of CIA students receive scholarships and financial aid.
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