May 27, 2018  
2016–2017 Student Handbook—Texas campus 
2016–2017 Student Handbook—Texas campus [ARCHIVED]

Campus Life

For the duration of your studies, The Culinary Institute of America is the focal point of your life. That’s why we offer you services and activities designed to make your stay with us as productive and enjoyable as possible. This section describes campus life and the various services available to you.

Mission Statement

The Culinary Institute of America is a private, not-for-profit college dedicated to providing the world’s best professional culinary education.

Excellence, leadership, professionalism, ethics, and respect for diversity are the core values that guide our efforts.

We teach our students the general knowledge and specific skills necessary to live successful lives and to grow into positions of influence and leadership in their chosen profession.


In the mid-1940s, faced with a shortage of back-of-the-house (kitchen) professionals, members of the New Haven Restaurant Association in Connecticut had the idea of creating a school to train World War II veterans in the culinary arts. In 1945, they approached attorney Frances Roth with their idea and asked her to be the school’s administrative director. Mrs. Roth had never worked in a restaurant, but she became determined to establish a school that would become “the culinary center of the nation.” With financial, social, and political support from Katharine Angell—who was married to Yale University President Emeritus James Rowland Angell and who would later become chair of the board of the cooking school—Mrs. Roth set about achieving her vision.

On May 22, 1946, the New Haven Restaurant Institute opened its doors in downtown New Haven, CT as the first and only school of its kind in the United States. The Institute enrolled 16 students in its first class and employed a faculty consisting of a chef, a baker, and a dietitian. As the foodservice industry grew, so did enrollment, necessitating a move in 1947 to larger quarters: a 40-room mansion adjacent to Yale University. The school’s name was changed to the Restaurant Institute of Connecticut and, in 1951, it became known as The Culinary Institute of America, reflecting its national scope and the diversity of its students. The college expanded its educational program to two years and introduced continuing education courses for industry professionals.

By the time of Mrs. Roth’s retirement in 1965, the CIA had increased its enrollment to 400 students and operated a $2 million facility. Double-class sessions were initiated in 1969 to accommodate a backlog of applications, and an auxiliary campus was leased, but with more than 1,000 students and facilities strained to the maximum, the CIA’s administrators launched a nationwide search for a new home. They found it in St. Andrew-on-Hudson, a former Jesuit novitiate in Hyde Park, NY. The new campus opened two years later, with its main building renamed Roth Hall. In 1971, the Board of Regents of the State of New York granted the CIA a charter to confer the Associate in Occupational Studies (AOS) degree in culinary arts, making it the first culinary college to be so authorized. Other CIA associate and bachelor’s degree programs followed over the years, cementing the school’s status as the world’s premier culinary college.

In 1995, the college expanded its global reach by opening its first branch campus, The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone. The CIA’s growth continued in 2008, when The Culinary Institute of America, San Antonio opened its doors. In 2010, in partnership with the Singapore Institute of Technology, the CIA opened its first international location, on the Temasek Polytechnic campus in Singapore.

In 2015, the CIA launched The Food Business School (FBS), its center for executive education. That same year, the college expanded its California campus operations to include Copia, the former center for food, wine, and the arts in downtown Napa. The CIA at Copia will offer food and wine education programs, as well as industry leadership conferences and initiatives.

From its humble beginnings in a single building in New Haven, CT, today the CIA continues to influence the future of food through its commitment to advancing knowledge, leading our industry, and making a difference in the lives of people all over the world.

The Culinary Institute of America Alma Mater

You’ve prepared us to practice the discipline
Of Careme and Escoffier
Armed with practical lessons, we’ll enrich our profession
As we each find our own way

Forming bonds with our colleagues at CIA
San Antonio riverside
We’ll remember with pleasure all the friendships we treasure
As we honor you with pride

Culinary Institute of America
Venture forth but still be true to the school we love
Culinary Institute of America
Venture forth but still be true to the school we love

Taking pride in traditions of excellence
Shine a torch to lead the way
From the best education to the newest innovation
We’ll remember CIA

Breaking bread signals friendship around the world
Sharing wine mends a fray
You shape public perception give support and direction
And so in our hearts we say

Culinary Institute of America
Venture forth but still be true to the school we love
Culinary Institute of America
Venture forth but still be true to the school we love

Words by Heidi Joyce and Carol Lally Metz
Music by Randall Fleischer and Heidi Joyce

College Colors

The CIA uses green and gold for the official school colors as they are often found to be food colors. The wheat stalk in the logo is a symbol of strength, quality, and heritage.

Student Services Center

Student Services Mission

Student Services is dedicated to encouraging your individual growth and development both in and out of the classroom. We strive to provide a holistic educational experience so you can become more self-actualized, leading to balance, ethical conduct, and responsible citizenry. Five cornerstones direct our philosophy: foster student wellness, health, and safety; cultivate an empowered, diverse, engaged campus community; advance co-curricular student learning; support student retention and success; and create an outstanding student experience.

Wellness Philosophy

Student Services, located in the Student Services Center, endorses an important wellness philosophy to CIA students. This wellness model is used on many college campuses and is the framework for a healthy lifestyle that includes physical, intellectual, emotional, social, occupational, and spiritual well-being and balance. We hope you will learn the framework of such a lifestyle and begin your wellness journey while at the CIA. We also hope these concepts will stay with you throughout your life.

Student Affairs Staff

The student services manager, student relations coordinator, and director of education are available as resources for issues, concerns, or problems that may arise as you progress through your college experience. The staff is prepared to assist in solving problems directly or in making appropriate referrals. Issues affecting the quality of student life, discipline, personal safety, alcohol/drug awareness, and student interactions are examples of reasons to visit Student Affairs. We are committed to helping you be successful, so feel free to come in and see us if you have any issue you wish to discuss. You also have access to the staff at the main campus to help with issues you encounter. Contact Student Affairs at 845-451-1324 for assistance.

Group Leaders

Group leaders are among the most important pieces of the educational system at the CIA. Elected during freshman year and then once again after externship, group leaders act as “coaches of their teams.” They are the liaisons between their group mates and the faculty. They meet often with instructors, hold group meetings, administer surveys and evaluations, relay mail messages, and represent the group on campus.

The benefits of leading a group are substantial. There is the value of the leadership experience, the chance to master managerial skills, and a feeling of personal satisfaction and pride from successfully steering your group through the curriculum. This position will also help strengthen your relationship with the faculty and staff. In addition, the leadership and managerial skills you will gain are exactly what prospective employers are looking for.

Students should expect their group leader to be a motivator, facilitator, organizer, troubleshooter, and, most of all, a good communicator.


All students participate in a four-day orientation after their arrival. The first two days encompass individual sessions geared to help you understand the policies and procedures of the CIA as well as all the educational resources to help you become a successful student. The second two days are spent becoming familiar with your culinary kitchen or baking and pastry bakeshop and the beginnings of your curriculum.

In addition, all new students are required to complete two online programs within the first two weeks of their arrival on campus. These programs concentrate on two topics: alcohol abuse education and prevention, as well as sexual assault education and prevention. Students are informed of this requirement on the first day of the orientation program. The goal is 100% compliance with this requirement and a passing grade of 70%.

Faculty Office Hours

All faculty members hold regularly scheduled office hours to provide you with the opportunity outside of class to discuss any concerns. These office hours are for all CIA students, not just for students in an instructor’s class. Many instructors use office hours to talk to students about performance in class, learning strategies, externship possibilities, or career opportunities.

International Students

The director of education is available Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–4 p.m. to handle any questions or problems related to student visas. After you have registered for classes, you must bring your passport, I-94 card (the white card stapled to your passport), and I-20 form to the Student Affairs Office to be registered in the SEVIS system as an enrolled full-time student. As an F-1 student, you are required to have medical insurance while in the U.S. (You may also wish to secure dental coverage.) We strongly recommend that you obtain a medical insurance plan before you leave home that will cover your health costs in this country. But if you do need coverage, speak to the manager of admissions and international student services at the Hyde Park, NY campus (845-451-1527), who can provide advice on optional medical plans. If you’re an international student taking a vacation period or other leave from the United States, you’ll need to obtain the signature of the designated school official on page 2 of the existing Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20) prior to leaving in order to re-enter the U.S. Advise the Student Affairs Office at least one week prior to your departure from the United States so the office can provide this signature.

International students are responsible for themselves and their families with regard to immigration and visa laws. CIA staff will provide assistance and advisement where possible, but ultimately, you are responsible for knowing and complying with the laws of the U.S., your home country, and the countries to which you travel while you are a CIA student.

International students who hold an F-1 student visa and are enrolled in the associate degree programs may:

  • Work on campus for a maximum of 20 hours per week in a non-Work-Study approved position, subject to job availability.
  • Complete the required externship in the U.S. with authorization by the designated school official. Employment authorization is job-specific. You must bring your extern agreement and the I-20 form to the Admissions Office.
  • Accept part-time employment off campus after nine months of full-time study with authorization from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) via the application process. The time worked will be deducted from post-completion employment.
  • Accept full-time employment after completion of studies with authorization from the DHS via the application process for up to 12 months. The employment authorization takes 90 days to process.

You must have a Social Security card to work in the U.S. in all of the above situations. The Social Security card is for authorized employment only. You can pick up the necessary paperwork and submit it in person to the Social Security Office located at: Room 701, 7th Floor, 727 E. César E. Chávez  Blvd., San Antonio, TX 78206.

This process takes approximately 10–20 days, with approval from the school official and an offer of employment.

Veteran Students

Just as when the CIA was founded to support returning World War II veterans, so are current veteran students an important part of the college community today. If you are a veteran, please use the resources available to you—as student support offices stand ready to assist you, from orientation to graduation. Consider becoming a part of the veterans student organization on campus. This can help you meet fellow veterans and get involved in social activities and community events.

If you are seeking information about local Veterans Affairs (VA) services for health care, visit

The Veterans Services Committee is a college-wide group that meets to monitor the experience of student veterans on campus, and initiates new processes to improve their experience at the CIA. You can contact us at and a member of the committee will reach out to you to follow up and/or invite you to meet to discuss your situation.

Student Clubs

We encourage you to take advantage of on-campus student clubs to pursue your personal interests, meet other students, and hone your professional skills. Signups and information about the changing slate of clubs are posted in the computer lab, and a calendar of campus events is available on CIA Main Menu, the student web portal. Only current CIA students, faculty, and staff are permitted to take part in student clubs. In addition, all active clubs must keep minutes and have a faculty or staff advisor. For more information about current clubs, or to learn more about starting a new club, contact the student relations coordinator, director of education, or CIA Main Menu.