How to Get into Culinary School in NY, CA or Online

Frequently asked questions about our culinary career programs.

With campuses in New York City and Los Angeles, the Institute of Culinary Education offers Culinary Arts training in person and online.

Below, we answer frequently asked questions about our career programs. The Admissions Department at ICE is ready to answer any questions that prospective students may have about culinary school.

When Do New Culinary Classes Start?

New classes at ICE start each month throughout the calendar year, and we offer convenient morning, afternoon, evening, and weekend classes to accommodate our studentsschedules.

What Are the Prerequisites for Culinary Arts Training?

Applications are evaluated on various factors, such as the demonstration of motivation and the likelihood of academic success.

Entrance requirements include:

  • Education: To qualify for acceptance to ICE, you must be a high school graduate or have a GED and possess the corresponding documentation.
  • Online readiness: Students enrolling in online programs must complete an online readiness assessment to ensure they are prepared for distance education.
  • Residency: Prospective students must be able to demonstrate that they are currently or will be in the United States legally.
  • Age: Students enrolling for Intensive Sommelier Training at our NY campus must be at least 21 years of age to enroll. Students enrolling for Sommelier Training at our LA campus must be at least 18 years of age.

Note: ICE reserves the right to deny or revoke admission or to deny re-admission or re-enrollment to anyone who does not meet these or any other factors used to evaluate applicants.

Read More: Should I Go to Culinary School? >

Is Financial Aid Available?

Financial aid is available to those who qualify. While each student is different, most ICE students do receive some form of assistance to finance their education, such as:

  • Grants and loans: ICE students can apply for financial assistance from both federal and private sources. Students wishing to apply for federal funding, such as the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) or Pell Grant, should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • Scholarships: Students can apply for funding through ICE’s scholarship programs, as well as scholarships offered by our food industry partners.
  • Tuition discounts: Many military veterans and active-duty personnel can qualify for educational benefits through the Post 9/11 GI Bill®* or other Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) programs. Tuition discounts also may be available to out-of-area students or students who pursue a double diploma.
  • Tax benefits: Certain students may qualify for federal tax benefits, such as the American Opportunity Tax Credit or the Lifetime Learning Credit.

How Long Will It Take to Complete a Culinary Arts Program?

Each of our career programs is different:

Depending on the program, students may attend classes two, three or five days per week. Program duration varies according to the schedule option a student selects. For example, a student who attends the Culinary Arts program five days per week, four hours per day, could complete the program in 26 weeks.

Career programs include an externship component, except for Restaurant & Culinary Management. All aspects of the program (in-class and externship) must be completed within 150% time of the program's length. For example, a program that is 48 weeks in length must be completed within 72 weeks (48 x 150%).

Do I Have to Live in NY or LA to Attend the Institute of Culinary Education?

Some students choose to relocate to NY or LA to attend culinary school. ICE works with third-party partners to coordinate a range of housing options, including dorms, apartments and homestays. Students have the option to apply for both furnished and unfurnished housing. Please review our student housing disclaimer for additional information.

If youre unable to access an ICE campus in person, relocate or schedule consistent classes, you can still pursue your dream and earn a diploma through our online culinary school. We offer a fully online Culinary Arts & Food Operations diploma program with a well-rounded curriculum taught by experienced Chef-Instructors.

The online Culinary Arts & Food Operations diploma program is available to students in multiple states. Check and see if the program is available in your state.

Read More: Can Instructors Teach 5-Star Restaurant Skills Online? Absolutely! >

Request Information About the Institute of Culinary Education

For more than 40 years, the ICE has been helping students find their culinary voice. With an outstanding roster of Chef-Instructors, a global curriculum, over 17,900 alumni, and a strong track record of job placements, youll find a welcoming and supportive environment at ICE.

To take the next step, apply online or request info today.

*GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at

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