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Entering a Culinary Degree Program: What You Need to Know

by Olivia DeWolfe
CulinaryEd Columnist
February 22, 2011

Culinary school admissions requirementsGetting into culinary school requires time, organization, and follow-through. Each school varies when it comes to their requirements for a traditional or online culinary degree program. Here's an outline of what you may need to do, have, and remember.

Filling Out Culinary Degree Program Applications


Some culinary schools have rolling admissions while others have deadlines. Apply early, even if there aren't any due dates, to get complete consideration. Be thorough, since late or incomplete applications may not be considered. It's especially important to meet financial aid deadlines. Schools encourage all students to fill out a free application federal student aid (FAFSA) form.

The application traditionally requires a non-refundable application fee. In addition to your contact information, education, and work experience, you may be asked to write an essay about your career goals. You may also need one or two letters of recommendation from teachers or employers that can attest to your interest and experience in the culinary arts.

Culinary Schools Use Requirements to Size You Up


Some culinary schools require an interview with an admissions representative. You may also need at least six months of work experience in a professional kitchen preparing mainly fresh food (volunteering may be an option). Admissions representatives may used assessment tests to determine your readiness for culinary school. The results can help them place you in the right initial classes.

Most schools require proof of your high school graduation, but don't send original documents. Use a transcript request form, or a secondary school report form if you are coming directly from high school (transfer students must submit both high school and college transcripts). SAT scores are not required but they may help you skip certain introductory classes. For students with English as a second language, you may be required to prove your proficiency in English through an assessment such as TOEFL.

Just like using cold butter when making a pie crust, adhering to the requirements of your culinary school's application process can get you the results you want--entrance to the culinary degree program of your choice.

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