Culinary Institute of America College Visit

The New York campus of the Culinary Institute of America is located in historic Hyde Park. This is an ideal location for culinary students and food lovers alike. The scenic 170-acre campus is just a 90-minute drive from New York City.

Approximately 3000 students live and learn on the New York campus. Other campuses include California, Texas, and Singapore.  


At the CIA, Food is Life. The school recognizes that the food industry is constantly evolving and changing and aims to have its graduates lead this growth. Students learn from chef instructors who help students find their place in the world of food.  

Three degree programs are available: 

Associate Degree (19 months)

  • Baking and Pastry Arts
  • Culinary Arts

Bachelor’s Degree

  • Applied Food Science
  • Culinary Science
  • Food Business Management
  • Hospitality Management 

Master’s Degree

  • Food Business
  • Wine Management

The common goal at the CIA is to create palates of the future. Experiential learning is heavily emphasized, and all academic courses reflect real-world work within the food industry. All subjects are examined through the lens of food. With 42 kitchens and bakeshops, and CIA campuses prepare food for over 300,000 people a year. 

The Innovation Kitchen is a restaurant concept where an idea is pitched to the faculty and then executed by students. Each semester, a new group of students open and manage a different concept in the Innovation Kitchen. We experienced a Spanish Tapas concept when we visited.

15-week externships (some paid) in the food industry are part of the degree program,

and opportunities for semesters in California, Texas, Singapore, and Italy are offered to all students. Two-week culinary immersion programs are available in cities around the world. 

Social Life

Outside the classroom, students can enjoy the over two dozen clubs on campus, take an easy trip to NYC, or enjoy time outdoors on the riverside campus. There are many culinary competitions where students can win scholarships from $3,000-$5,000. In sports, CIA students compete with other specialized colleges in the Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in cross country, soccer, volleyball, basketball, and tennis.

A student favorite is Bring your own bowl night. Residence halls host a night where students bring a bowl and get free food. 

Student Body

Creative, Inclusive, Passionate about food, Collaborative.

CIA students love working with and around food.  We got a taste of their passion when we dined at Bocuse, one of the four on campus restaurants.  All the restaurants are completely student run from the hosts to the waitstaff to the chefs. And our dinner was delicieux!  

Our tour guide knew she wanted to attend CIA at the beginning of high school.  She loved cooking and learning about food and the hospitality industry. She had an internship at McCormick spices as a recipe developer.  She was a senior and had already accepted a job working at Marriott resorts in their restaurant division. Her long-term goal was to become a recipe developer for a large company in the hospitality field.  She felt CIA prepared her well for this role. 

CIA students hail from every U.S. state and 49 countries. There is a balance of recent high school graduates and non-traditional students, with the average student age being 23. International students make up more than 15% of the CIA population, with the largest number currently coming from South Korea. 93% of the student body lives on campus. 

Surrounding Area

Nestled along the banks of the majestic Hudson River, the CIA takes full advantage of the bounty of its valley home. Food tourism is huge, with an abundance of farms, vineyards, and restaurants-many owned by alumni. The region is also rich in history, art, and outdoor adventure. 

Career Support

The CIA hosts three job fairs throughout the year for students to interview for externships and jobs. The school also offers free, lifelong career support from the Center for Career and Academic Advising. Students and Alumni also have access to Culinary Connect, an exclusive food and hospitality jobs database.

Admissions and Financial Aid

The Cia is looking for future students who want to be leaders in the food industry and students who have the passion to become these leaders. The admissions office is seeking students interested in entrepreneurship, food policy in government, and food sustainability along with more traditional culinary pursuits. Students with credits from other schools can have their general education classes approved for transfer. Most culinary arts classes are required to be completed at the CIA. Internships can be waived for students with industry experience. 

Applications can be made through the Common App or through the CIA online application. Each application must include the answers to three short essay questions as well as a letter of recommendation from an educator or culinary person. If an alumnus writes the letter, students receive a $1,000 scholarship automatically. 

The CIA is a test-optional school, but test scores can help garner scholarships. The average GPA is 3.0, and the admissions team looks most closely at math and English.  

The CIA has a 70% retention rate for associate degree students and a 90% rate for students pursuing a bachelor’s degree. 

90% of CIA students receive aid, and tuition is comparable to other respected private colleges. The CIA is committed to making education as affordable as possible, offering more than $28 million in student scholarships each year.

The average financial aid award was $21,159 for the 2017–18 school year, with the cost of attendance before aid being approximately $43,000 per year.

The CIA has an enrollment manager who helps with the on-boarding of all students and works to help identify scholarships, potential credit transfers, and waivers. 


CIA degree programs blend the best of immersive learning, teamwork, and food-focused academics. For students who are passionate about food and want to make a career out of this passion, the CIA is a perfect fit. 

The Culinary Institute of America

Address: 1946 Campus Dr, Hyde Park, NY 12538

Phone: (845) 452-9600

Culinary Institute Of America (CIA)

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