Why Study at the CIA?

  • Nine Reasons the CIA is Your Only Choice and the Best Decision You’ll Ever Make

    For starters, there are a lot more than nine reasons to choose The Culinary Institute of America. But we know you’re busy, so we’ll leave the others for another time—like when you come visit us on campus.


    1. Food is our purpose

    We believe in the power of food to change lives and, yes, the world. Our singular focus on food and your success in the food industry is what makes us—and you—great. Because we’re not distracted by a host of unrelated degrees and majors, we can pour all of our energy, passion, and industry smarts into making the best food education even better. And that’s exactly what we do.


    2. Learning from the crème de la crème

    We’re committed to giving you the best start possible in food, and that means hiring only the most talented and credentialed instructors, deans, and leadership team. At the CIA, you learn from education professionals at the top of their game: people who have excelled in the food world, who’ve earned academic accolades, who are true believers in our mission. A perfect example is the guy right at the top: President Dr. Tim Ryan, CMC, a graduate of the CIA, the Ivy League, and the world’s kitchens.

  • Why study at the CIA - best teachers

  • 3. The CIA mystique

    There’s just this certain something about the CIA. From the moment you first step on campus, you get the sense that you’re about to become part of something truly exceptional. There’s a distinct pride in the way that CIA students carry themselves, mindful of the long tradition—since 1946—of professional excellence for which they are now the torchbearers.

  • Why study at the CIA - College mystique

  • 4. Internships that fuel connections—and careers

    In all of our undergraduate degree programs, CIA students take an internship (most paid) out in the real world. And that’s in addition to working in our own public restaurants. At one of 2,000+ CIA-approved internship sites, you’ll spend a semester learning the ropes and exploring your interests. You’ll connect and network with people in all segments of the industry. And when you’re done, you may even have a post-graduation job offer. Happens all the time.

  • Why study at the CIA - best internship

  • 5. Culinary and cultural immersion at home and abroad

    Italy, Napa Valley, Singapore, France, China, Peru…at the CIA, the world and its flavors, cultures, and ingredients are yours to explore—up close and hands-on. Choose a 15-week concentration semester or a two-week travel intensive (or both!) and, thanks to the CIA’s unrivaled connections around the globe, you’ll see, smell, taste, and experience things no one else does.

  • Why study at the CIA - best travel and culture experiences for college students

  • 6. The best college Career Fair in the world of food

    Three times a year, every year, more than 140+ of the very best food, beverage, and hospitality companies come to campus for CIA Career Fair—and they’re looking to hire. Because of our industry reputation (and that CIA mystique), the employers and the jobs come to you, not the other way around.

  • Why study at the CIA - Huge Career Fairs

  • 7. The food world’s largest and most powerful alumni network

    Yep, we’ve got that too. The CIA’s influential graduates (there are more than 50,000 of them, BTW) will help you land that all-important first job, start your own business, advance in your career, and take on the food world. No matter what your professional goals, CIA alumni have got your back.


    8. The “go-to” for the food industry

    When businesses like Hershey’s, Omni Hotels and Resorts, and Google want to develop new products or transform their foodservice operations, they turn to the CIA. Why does that matter to you? Because everything we create and learn feeds your curriculum (see #1). As a thought leader and partner with powerhouses like MIT, UC Davis, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the CIA is bringing meaningful change to the world—and preparing you to join the next generation of leaders.

  • Why study at the CIA - Food industry and conference leaders

  • 9. You deserve the best

    A career in food is your biggest and most important financial asset. So why would you cut corners on the education that will prepare you for that career? Your quality of life, earning potential, and future wealth and opportunity all flow from that one important investment you make now.


    Apply for Admission to the CIA