Founded more than 60 years ago, the Culinary Institute of America is one of the most respected culinary education colleges in the United States and beyond. Located near the shores of the Hudson River in Hyde Park, NY, the CIA is somewhat unique from other cooking colleges in that it is a not-for-profit institution which the college claims is an edge, as its focus remains education rather than shareholder profits. The college's reputation is bolstered by the celebrity chefs that it has graduated such as Todd English, Cat Cora, Anthony Bourdain and many others.
The CIA is accredited by both the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (regional accreditation) and the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT).
Points of Distinction
Areas of Study
Students intent on earning a degree can choose one of two tracks: Culinary Arts or Baking & Pastry Arts. For either choice, students may pursue a Bachelor's degree or an Associate degree.
The CIA's admission system is designed to ensure that entering students are prepared to take on the challenges of their education. For example, the college requires that students have at least six months experience working in food preparation where at least half of the food is prepared on-site. The school also requires recommendations and completion of an assessment test - although those who completed the SAT or ACT may be exempt if they received an acceptable score. Of course, all students must have a high school diploma or a GED.
A large portion of the students who attend The Culinary Institute receive some form of aid. In fact a recent survey reveals that more than nine out of ten full-time students get some form of assistance. The college's financial aid office helps students determine what each qualified student may be eligible to receive.
The CIA employs more than 125 instructors from more than a dozen different countries around the world. The college employs more chefs with American Culinary Federation certification than any other college globally. Among the faculty are Culinary Olympic Gold Medal winners, cookbook writers and others with impressive credentials. The student-faculty ratio at the school is about 18 to 1.
There are more than 2500 students at the CIA. Based on 2005 enrollment figures, men were in the majority in excess of a 3:2 margin.
The Culinary Institute has several student residence facilities on the Hyde Park campus which is an uncommon feature for culinary colleges. The college has a Student Recreation Center and there are several student clubs for those with special interests. The campus is located in a beautiful, upstate New York setting, but it's still within daytrip range of New York City. Amtrak service to New York is located in nearby Poughkeepsie.