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CSCA Admissions

Our admissions process is your opportunity to get to know the CSCA faculty, staff, facilities and culture, while we get to know you as an individual and prospective student. We want to make sure you are confident and excited about your decision to pursue your culinary education at CSCA, and are here to answer any questions you may have. You are encouraged to attend one of our monthly information sessions, or to schedule a private tour with one of our admissions representatives. We also strongly suggest observing one of our classes for a day to experience our school through the eyes of a student.

CERTIFICATE CULINARY PROGRAM

CULINARY TRACK

$16,640

Breakdown
Tuition: $14,925
Equipment: $1,280
Class Materials: $295
Textbooks: $95
Application Fee: $45*

Payment Options
1. Full payment at the commencement of classes,
2. Half payments at the commencement of classes & beginning of second semester
*Non-refundable fee

PROFESSIONAL CHEF'S PROGRAM

CULINARY TRACK

$32,015

Breakdown
Tuition: $29,995
Equipment: $1,280
Class Materials: $600
Textbooks: $95
Application Fee: $45*

Payment Options
1. Full payment at the commencement of classes,
2. Half payments at the commencement of classes & beginning of second semester
3. Quarterly payments due prior to the beginning of each quarter
*Non-refundable fee

CERTIFICATE PASTRY PROGRAM

PASTRY TRACK

$16,640

Breakdown
Tuition: $14,750
Equipment: $1,280
Class Materials: $295
Textbooks: $270
Application Fee: $45*

Payment Options
1. Full payment at the commencement of classes,
2. Half payments at the commencement of classes & beginning of second semester
*Non-refundable fee

PROFESSIONAL PASTRY PROGRAM

PASTRY TRACK

$32,015

Breakdown
Tuition: $29,820
Equipment: $1,280
Class Materials: $600
Textbooks: $270
Application Fee: $45*

Payment Options
1. Full payment at the commencement of classes,
2. Half payments at the commencement of classes & beginning of second semester
3. Quarterly payments due prior to the beginning of each quarter
*Non-refundable fee

Application Process

1. Eligibility & Requirements

  • Applicants must be at least 18 years old and have completed high school or the equivalent.
  • All applicants for whom English is a second language, must also demonstrate competency in English.
  • A completed online application
  • A non-refundable application fee of $45.00
  • A personal statement detailing your background, training, or experience in the culinary arts (if applicable), interests, goals, and reasons for applying
  • A resume
  • Official copies of your most recent educational transcripts: high school, high school equivalent (GED, HiSet, or TASC), or college
  • Two letters of reference from an employer, co-worker, or friend
  • A passport-sized photograph

2. Complete Your Paperwork Online

As soon as all completed online application has been received, you will be contacted to arrange your personal interview and pay your application fee online. You will have the option to submit additional materials online, have them mailed to CSCA, or bring them with you to your interview. All interviews are completed on campus, although phone interviews will be granted under special circumstances.

Following the individual interview, your application materials will be evaluated by our admissions team, and a decision will be made within two weeks. All decisions are made, and applicants are notified, on a rolling basis.

Please submit additional materials online or mail to:
Cambridge School of Culinary Arts

Attn: Admissions
2020 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02140

Academic Calendar

May Certificate Programs* (16 Weeks)
Orientation: May 10, 2024
Classes Start: May 13, 2024
Classes End: August 30, 2024
Graduation:  TBD

*Schedule subject to change

Orientation
Friday, May 10, 2024

Culinary Programs*
Labs I & II: Wednesday and Thursday 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Seminar: Wednesday Evenings 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm (1 per week)

Pastry Programs*
Labs I & II: Monday and Tuesday 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Seminar: Wednesday Evenings 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm (1 per week)

*Schedule subject to change.

Schedule Advantages
Flexible scheduling is a unique feature of the Culinary Certificate Program and Professional Chef’s Program and allows students to work while attending school. Many students set up residence in Cambridge and neighboring cities, while others take advantage of flexible scheduling to commute to and from their home base. Many students maintain employment during non-school hours, helping to offset the cost of education.

Students may elect from day and evening laboratory classes to formulate a schedule that best suits their needs. Morning classes begin at 8:30 am and evening classes begin at 4:30 pm. Each class is designed to last eight hours. Lab class times vary by semester. Seminars begin at 6:00 pm and may be delivered remotely or in-person, depending on content.

The professional program mandates two lab classes and one evening seminar per week. The school does not offer part-time status.

Additional Resources

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Attend an Information Session or Schedule a Tour

Learn the ins and outs of our Professional Programs. Join our admissions staff for an introduction to each program, an overview of the application process, and answers to your most pressing questions. Learn about labs, seminars, student events, and career placement support. Alumni and instructors will be available to talk about “a day in the life” of a CSCA student and help you envision your culinary future.

We also regular Open Houses that allow you to get to know our school in a casual, comfortable setting.

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Tuition and Fees

All students in the Certificate and Professional Programs may select the tuition payment plan that best serves their needs. Tuition can be paid in full, half, or on a quarterly basis. CSCA is not a Title IV school and not eligible for federally subsidized loans. Students should contact our admissions office for information about payment plans and assistance.

Veteran Applicants

Applicants who believe they may be eligible to receive VA educational benefits should complete the application process through the VA to determine eligibility by visiting www.ebenefits.va.gov or www.gibill.va.gov/. We ask eligible students to bring all documentation in accordance with eligibility to your admissions interview.

Any student who receives funding from a third party is responsible for any remaining balance not covered under eligibility through the third party.

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 Web site at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.

Nonimmigrant Applicants

CSCA is approved for attendance of nonimmigrant (M-1) students. Admissions requirements and procedures are the same as those for students who are citizens of the U.S., with the following exceptions:

1) Once accepted, students are eligible for admission into the U.S. only if a Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status for Vocational Students (I-20 M-N) is completed and properly endorsed by the official designated by CSCA. Accepted students should apply to the American consulate in their country for visas available to students.

2) Documentary evidence of the student’s financial ability as required is included.

Foreign applicants must be fluent in English. A standardized admissions test or TOEFL may be used at the discretion of the admissions office.

Please note: International students residing either outside or inside of the USA must submit a completed application for the Professional Chef’s Program, Professional Pastry Program, Culinary Certificate Program, or the Certificate Pastry Program at least 60 days before the class start dates for each term.

Frequently Asked Questions

I see that CSCA offers both Recreational classes and Professional programs. How do I know which path is best for me?

The recreational program offers individual classes and workshops designed to help participants learn new culinary skills and techniques that they can apply to their home cooking. The classes range from one day workshops to multi-week series classes and cover many different cuisines, techniques, and styles of cooking. Participants can sign up for any class they like without needing to fulfill any prerequisites or application process.

The professional training programs are more intensive and designed to prepare students to work as chefs in the culinary industry. Emphasis in the professional programs teaches students to go beyond following a recipe and really understanding the ingredients, techniques, and science of professional cooking. The professional programs are licensed through the Massachusetts Department of Public Licensure and upon successful completion, students receive either a Culinary/Pastry Certificate or Professional Chef’s/Pastry Chef’s Diploma. Students must also apply and be accepted into their respective programs prior to starting classes.

I have never worked in the culinary industry before, is culinary school still something I can do?

Culinary school is for everyone regardless of how much previous culinary experience they have. We are a school and will teach students everything they need to become successful professional chefs. Our curriculum covers basic techniques and principles to create a strong foundation, then continue building the student’s repertoire and expanding their understanding of food.

Who is the typical student pursuing a professional culinary education at CSCA?

There is no such thing as a “typical” student here at CSCA. Our student body consists of young people just starting their culinary careers, career changers eager to pursue something they are passionate about, and retirees who have always dreamed of going to culinary school. We have students who want to be James Beard winning chefs and students who just want to impress their friends with fancy dinner parties. Our students come from various backgrounds, have various expectations of their time in culinary school, and various goals of what they ultimately do with their culinary educations. What they all share, however, is a passion for food and a desire to immerse themselves in everything culinary. If you have a passion for food, cooking and baking, then YOU are our typical student.

What Type of Professional Culinary and Pastry Programs do you offer?

We offer four programs in culinary arts and pastry arts that allow you to choose the track best suited to your culinary goals and aspirations.

16 Week Culinary Certificate Program
37 Week Professional Chef’s Program
16 Week Certificate Pastry Program
37 Week Professional Pastry Program

What are the admissions requirements?

As a small school, we make it a priority to learn as much as possible about our students and understand what they hope to get out of their culinary school experience.

Before students apply to our programs, we want them to really understand the CSCA experience.  We encourage all prospective students to speak with our admissions department, attend an information session, and/or observe one of our current professional classes. Attending culinary school is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we want to make sure that CSCA is a good fit for you and your needs.

To be considered for acceptance into CSCA, all applicants must provide the following materials:

  • Online Application
  • Professional Resume
  • Education Transcripts
  • Personal Statement
  • 2 Reference Letters
  • Passport Size Photo
  • $45 Application Fee

After our Admissions Department receives your completed application, we will schedule a brief telephone interview before making our final admissions decision.

How large are the classes?

CSCA is proud to provide a low student to instructor ratio to optimize learning potential. Class size is limited to 12 students per instructor.

How many hours a week am I in class?

All programs meet for 19 hours per week: 8 hours per lab class and 3 hours per seminar. Many students continue to work full or part time while in school.

Can I attend school Part time?

There is no part time option. All our programs are full time and require students to be in class for 19 hours per week. Each week, students have two (8-hour) lab classes and one (3-hour) seminar.  We do offer evening classes for individuals who have other professional, family, or personal commitments that prevent them from being able to taking classes during the day.

What is the class schedule?

Lab class times vary by semester and are listed on our Academics Page. Students must elect a lab schedule from the available options each semester and an evening lecture schedule from either Tuesday or Wednesday nights.

Please Note: All day (AM) lab classes are 8:30am-4:30pm and all evening (PM) lab classes are 4:30pm-12:30am.

All seminars are held in the evening (PM) 6:00pm-9:00pm.

What degree will I receive?

With successful completion of the Culinary Certificate Program, students earn a Certificate of Completion.
With successful completion of the Certificate Pastry Program, students earn a Certificate of Completion.
With successful completion of the Professional Chef’s Program, students earn a Culinary Arts Diploma.
With successful completion of the Professional Pastry Program, students earn a Pastry Arts Diploma.

What sets the CSCA experience apart from other culinary schools?

By enrolling at CSCA you are not just joining a school, you are joining a family. As a CSCA student, your education and experiences will take you far beyond just learning the basics. We strive to create a life-changing experience and expect your confidence to soar as we illuminate your culinary path and ultimately showcase what makes you, you.

From day one, expect to be immersed in hands-on lessons in one of our commercial kitchens. Expect also to gain insight from visiting industry leaders, restaurateurs, and cookbook authors. You’ll learn to easily navigate the rush of a commercial kitchen. You’ll be encouraged to problem solve. To taste and identify a properly seasoned dish as you advance your palate. You’ll discover the ‘what,’ ‘how to,’ and ‘why’ for every recipe and, at times, will find yourself inspired or challenged to see beyond a recipe’s confines. And because of the school’s prime Cambridge location, you’ll have the opportunity to explore exciting culinary trends while participating in events taking place in the bustling greater Boston area.

Do you offer Financial Aid?

There are no loans, scholarships, or financial aid offered through CSCA.  Because we are not a Title IV school, we are not eligible for federally subsidized student loans such as FAFSA, Stafford Loans, or Pell Grants.  Students will often get loans through banks or credit unions, these will be personal loans rather than traditional student loans, and therefore have different interest rates and repayment schedules. We do offer payment plan options.

Is the tuition due in full before I start school?

The cost of Equipment and tuition due at the time school starts will be based upon the terms of your enrollment agreement.  CSCA permits tuition to be paid in full, half, or on a quarterly basis.

Am I required to live on campus?

CSCA does not provide student housing. There are plentiful apartments and housing options available in the Cambridge / Boston area.

If I already have a degreee from another school, can I transfer credits to this program?

CSCA does not offer Bachelor’s or Associate’s degrees, and any previous academic or culinary training cannot be applied towards our professional programs. Our professional training programs are based on clock hours rather than credit hours and students must complete the programs in their entirety. Upon successful completion, graduates receive either a Culinary/Pastry Certificate or Professional Chef’s/Pastry Chef’s Diploma.

Do you accept international Students?

CSCA is approved for attendance of nonimmigrant (M-1) students through United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to accept international students into our professional training programs. International students must be accepted into their respective programs and confirm their enrollment before starting the immigration process. International students are encouraged to submit their completed application at least 3 months prior to their intended program start date to ensure adequate time to go through both the admissions process and immigration process.

Will I receive job placement assistance during or after school?

CSCA shares job opportunities with students and alumni any time upon request. Students may set up appointments to discuss job aspirations, resume building, stage opportunities, and more with our Manager of Admissions and Student Life.

What type of career options are available to someone with a professional culinary education?

At CSCA, we strive to introduce students to the variety of career options available to individuals with a professional culinary education. Our graduates are well prepared to embark on countless different career paths that are aligned with their unique interests, goals, and stages of life. We have graduates working as restaurant chefs, caterers, personal chefs, bakers, cake decorators, restaurateurs, cookbook authors, TV personalities, recipe developers, chef instructors, social media influencers, and many other unique career possibilities. Our Career Services Department works with each student to help them figure out where they want their culinary careers to take them.

How can I learn more about CSCA?

Our Admissions Department is here to guide you through your entire culinary journey and help you decide if CSCA is the right place for you to pursue your culinary education.  We are always available to answer your questions, talk about the programs, and discuss your personal culinary goals.  We recommend all prospective students attend one of our Information Sessions to learn more about programs or observe one of current professional classes to experience the student experience first-hand.

Wherever you are in your culinary school research, CSCA wants to hear from you. We can be reached by phone at (617) 354-2020 ext 120 or by email at .

We look forward to hearing from you soon!