Become a Chef through the New England Culinary Institute

Vermont has produced some notable culinary leaders. Ben and Jerry are even on a first-name basis. But the state has more to offer in terms of cuisine than ice cream and maple syrup. There is a strong tradition of local food and experiments with new cuisine. The New England Culinary Institute offers a program that combines tradition with innovation, and it is ideally located in the capital of Vermont. Find out more about what the program has to offer:

Educational Focus

Culinary arts training at the New England Culinary Institute combines traditional European apprenticeship with a modern American approach to food preparation and business. As such, students work in real-world settings that include restaurants, bakeries and a resort hotel. Class sizes are kept small – the teacher to student ratio is 10:1 – and are taught by professional chefs.

A number of degrees are offered, and each requires a specified residency at the campus in addition to a specified length of time for and number of paid internships. Associate’s degrees are available for Culinary Arts, Baking and Pastry Arts, and Hospitality and Restaurant Management. The Culinary Arts program requires three six-month on-campus residencies, and the Baking and Pastry Arts program is estimated to take 24 months to finish. Both require two paid internships. The Hospitality and Restaurant Management program will take an estimated 15 months and includes a paid six-month internship. Bachelor’s degrees are available for Culinary Arts and Hospitality and Restaurant Management. The Culinary Arts program requires three six-month on-campus residencies and three paid internships. The Hospitality and Restaurant Management program can be finished in 15 months if students have already completed an associate’s degree or 60 credit hours at another school.

Certificate options are available for Professional Cooking, Baking, and Pastry. Each of the three programs requires only 15 weeks of residency and a 15-week paid internship. Finally, online options are available to complete a bachelor’s degree in Hospitality and Restaurant Management. Students must have already completed an associate’s degree and either be employed in the foodservice industry or have completed two years prior supervisory experience in the industry. Once admitted, the program takes about 72 weeks to complete.

Students can choose a specialty to enhance their degree. Options include sustainability (learning about sourcing local foods and being environmentally conscious) and wine and beverage. Culinary arts and baking options can also be combined, or paired with management, to prepare students for a specific career focus, such as managing a bakery or becoming a chef with additional skills as a baker.

Montpelier, Vermont Skyline.

Preparation and Support

There are a number of training opportunities throughout the program, in addition to the required internships. The school owns for-profit restaurants, retail operations, and non-commercial operations. For example, bakery students can take advantage of working in La Brioche Bakery and Café. Students have completed internships in test kitchens, five-star restaurants and resorts, hospitals, museums, and Ivy League universities. Training also includes a relationship with local agriculture to teach students about the origins of their food.

Career services are available in the form of job placement and counseling. Alumni can even announce job vacancies for currently-enrolled students.

Admissions and Aid

Admissions requirements at New England Culinary include a high-school diploma and academic entrance testing. A personal interview is also required, which can be done over the phone. Transcripts and an essay will complete your application. Students should expect to hear back from an admissions representative within two weeks. There are up to four enrollment periods per year, depending on the program you choose.

International students must also submit copies of their TOEFL scores if they did not attend an English-speaking school. Once accepted, international students must show sufficient financial support for staying in the country in order to get a visa.

Tuition varies by program – and by year, depending on where students are in the required residency portion of their respective programs. Tuition will be less for a non-resident term, and even less for the terms in which students are working internships and are taking few to no classes. Expect the final year of a bachelor’s degree program to cost as much as half or less what the first year cost. Total on-campus tuition is as follows for each of the programs (including resident and non-resident terms, fees, required board, tool kits and deposits, but not including books):

  • Culinary Arts (Bachelor’s degree): $103,653
  • Culinary Arts (Associate’s degree): $68,252
  • Hospitality and Restaurant Management (Bachelor’s degree): $35,076
  • Hospitality and Restaurant Management (online Bachelor’s degree): $11,970
  • Hospitality and Restaurant Management (Associate’s degree): $49,627
  • Baking and Pastry Arts (Associate’s degree): $68,327
  • Professional Pastry (Certificate): $11,360
  • Professional Cooking (Certificate): $11,360
  • Professional Baking (Certificate): $11,360

Financial aid is available, and the school offers several scholarships:

  • The Academic Excellence Scholarship gives $6,000 ($3,000 for two years) to 10 students with high academic achievement.
  • The Culinary Excellence Scholarship gives $5,000 ($2,500 for two years) to 20 students who participated in a high-school culinary program.
  • The New Endeavors Scholarship gives $5,000 ($2,500 for two years) to 10 students who are interested in pursuing a career change after five years of full-time work.
  • The Life-Long Learner Scholarship grants $5,000 ($2,500 for two years) to 10 students who already have a Bachelor’s degree.
  • The Industry Professional Scholarship gives $5,000 ($2,500 for two years) to 20 accepted students who have full-time culinary experience.
  • The Early Commitment Scholarship gives $1,000 to students who apply and are accepted by specified dates, as well as submitting the enrollment deposit.

Scholarships are also available for Vermont students. The institute also awards need-based grants on a first-come, first-served basis. Students should fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be considered. The form is also used to apply for federal grants and loans.

School Information:

New England Culinary Institute
56 College Street
Montpelier, VT 05602
877- 223-6324

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5 Responses to “Become a Chef through the New England Culinary Institute”

  1. Linda Fotheringill Says:


    Do you offer any short courses for non-professionals? I have cooked all my like, but would like some classic training. However, I would only want to start with short courses. I look forward to your response.


  2. Fatima Musa Says:

    I have a bachelors degree in biochemistry from a
    Nigerian University.I have strong passion for culinary studies and would want to upgrade my degree and also learn the skills of culinary art.

  3. Alice Zaharian Says:

    Hi I am a 44 yr old woman who is looking for a career change. I have been a hairstylist for over 20 years and looking for a change. I also have an Associate degree in Applied Science in which my major was travel and tourism. I have been working in the food service industry for the past 6 years. I have worked in catering as a server and also worked on a cruise ship as a junior waiter. I have worked at the Grand Canyon North Rim Lodge as a cookout helper in which i prepared the food for the dinner show as well as served and cleaned up after the show was over. In 2010 I worked in Canyon Village in Yellowstone National Park as a kitchen support staff in which I was responsible for preparing the salads and also serving ice cream at the General Store. In 2011 I worked at Bryce Canyon Lodge in Utah as a pantry cook in which i prepared various salads and sandwiches for the restaurant and also set up the breakfast and lunch buffet. It is now 2012 and I am working for a well know chef by the name of Gary Pankow at Cafe Diablo in Torrey, Utah. I work in the pantry and am responsible for preparing the salads in the lunch menu as well as for dinner. Plating the desserts and making them look attractive. His restaurant is in the 1000 places to see before you die book. I am willing and am ready to make my move and find my way into the culinary world and feel I am interested in cooking and being a food stylist as well as a fruit and vegetable carver. I am more of a creative person, but am willing to learn all the essentials of the culinary industry. I am interested to see and know if I would qualify for a scholarship to go to culinary school and am interested in finding out more about what would my next step be in the process of going back to school. I can be reached at my cell 435-491-0179. Thankyou and hope to hear from you soon. Have a great day.

  4. Hannah Horton Says:

    Hi, I am a 15 year old sophomore and I would like to know about prices of book and other supplies need for this school. I am doing a project on different culinary school prices and I am interested in an Associates Degree in Baking and Pastry Arts, alongside I will be taking business classes online. I would one day like to open my own bakery.

  5. augustus toussaint Says:

    hi i will like to get some infor regards to your school about baking and pastry arts,professional baking as #688/8003.

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