Admissions FAQ

Launch Your Culinary Career Today 

We make the admissions process at CSCA as clear and personalized as possible. 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 have.

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The CSCA admissions process is your opportunity to get to know our faculty, staff, facilities and culture, while we get to know you as an individual and prospective student. We want to hear your story. Give us a call today and let’s start cooking!

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Admissions FAQ

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!