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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 36 credits toward your degree for prior course work, certain examinations, 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 and comparable to either a specific CIA course or comparable disciplinary categories at the college. 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 (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 documented life achievements that provide evidence of learning outcomes equivalent to those required in a given course. You may transfer up to 12 credits through life achievement, and credits will only be awarded for liberal arts, business management, and select culinary science courses.
    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).

    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.

    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.

    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.

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