Certificate Programs

Admissions Process

The college has a selective admissions process whereby each candidate is evaluated individually. The basic requirements are as follows:

Program-specific requirements

ACAP—Offered at the California campus, the Accelerated Culinary Arts Certificate Program is open only to students who will have completed a bachelor's degree in hospitality management, restaurant management, food science, nutrition, or closely related field by June 1 of the year of their program date. We may consider other majors in the fields of marketing and public relations. Please submit a personal statement along with your application that speaks to your interest in this field and how your previous education prepares you for success.

Applicants must complete a college-level course in food safety, sanitation, and basic food costing or have equivalent work experience prior to beginning the ACAP.

Application Procedure

The steps to apply for admission are:

  1. Complete the application
  2. Submit a Statement of Purpose Each certificate-seeking applicant is expected to complete a Statement of Purpose. This statement should be 300–500 words concerning your purpose for undertaking or continuing your study of culinary arts, your reasons for wanting to study at The Culinary Institute of America, and your professional plans and career goals. You also may explain any special circumstances applicable to your background and elaborate on relevant academic and/or professional achievements.
  3. Pay the nonrefundable application fee Submit payment of $50 to The Culinary Institute of America.
  4. Provide a copy of your résumé or CV.
  5. Request a recommendation The letter of recommendation should be from a senior administrator or faculty member associated with the program from which the applicant has graduated or will graduate. Applicants who have been out of school for more than five years should substitute a letter of recommendation from their current employer.
  6. Request official transcripts Applicants should ask all secondary and postsecondary schools they've attended to send the student's official transcripts (not a student copy) directly to CIA Admissions. Academic transcripts are required for all colleges the applicant has attended. Transcripts can be received in paper version or electronically directly from the school.
  7. Submit the required application materials to CIA Admissions Materials can be submitted through the student's online application or sent in the mail to: Admissions, The Culinary Institute of America, 1946 Campus Drive, Hyde Park, NY 12538-1499.

All Applicants—Points to Remember:

  • Our Admissions Committee reviews all applications, which are valid for 18 months. Please note that the CIA does not return any materials sent as part of the admission review process. Do not submit original diplomas and certificates, as they will not be returned.
  • The applicant's prior educational record will be evaluated according to the difficulty of the program undertaken, class rank, and grade point average. Applicants who have coursework in subjects related to the program for which they are applying are expected to have strong marks in these areas.
  • The application is seen as a direct reflection of a student and the student's interest, motivation, confidence, and academic ability. The CIA will note the student's initiative in expressing and documenting these areas in the application materials.
  • All prospective students must demonstrate their proficiency in the English language at a level adequate for success at the CIA. If a student's primary spoken language is other than English, the submission of English language proficiency scores is required as part of the student's application. Please see International Students for details.