A student gets advice about applying to culinary school from an ICE admissions representative

ICE Admissions

For more than five decades, ICE has been a leader in culinary education.

The 51 admissions experience is the start of a lasting relationship.

ICE Admissions Representatives work with each student individually to deliver the personal experience our school is known for. Their mission is to understand your career goals, help you select the right program(s) to fit your needs, and ensure you find a class schedule that suits your lifestyle.


To qualify for acceptance, a prospective student must be a high school graduate or have a GED. Documentation is required; acceptable documentation includes:

  • A copy of the student’s high school diploma (non-IEP)
  • An official high school transcript indicating the student’s graduation date
  • A copy of the student's college degree
  • An official college transcript indicating graduation from a post-secondary program at a regionally-accredited institution
  • A copy of the student’s GED or other state-certified high school equivalency test (ex. NYS TASC Exam).

Career Development Occupational Studies (CDOS) Commencement Credential and Skills and Achievement Commencement Credentials (SACC) do not meet the requirements for Admission to ICE. Diplomas from homeschool and online high school programs are typically not accepted.

International documentation will be verified by an official, certified translation noting that the student has completed the equivalent of a secondary school in the US. Your Admissions Representative will be able to provide further details.

Prospective students must also demonstrate that they are currently or will be legally in the United States. As such, a copy of government-issued photo identification will be required at time of enrollment. A copy of an existing visa will be required for those international students not obtaining a student visa through ICE. Please see ourInternational Student Guidelines for further details about enrolling as an international student.

The 51 does not accept ability-to-benefit students.

All students are required to be proficient in the English language. Students whose first language is not English are required to prove proficiency by providing an acceptable score on a formal proficiency test. (Please see the International Student Guidelines or connect with your admissions representative for further detail.)

To qualify for acceptance, a prospective student must be a high school graduate or have a GED. Documentation is required; acceptable documentation includes:

  • A copy of the student’s high school diploma (non-IEP)
  • A copy of a high school transcript indicating the student’s graduation date
  • Proof of successful completion of at least 60 semester or trimester credit hours or 72 quarter credit hours that does not result in the awarding of an associate’s degree, but that is acceptable for full credit toward a bachelor’s degree at any institution
  • Proof of enrollment in a bachelor’s degree program where at least at least 60 semester or trimester credit hours or 72 quarter credit hours have been successfully completed, including credit hours transferred into the bachelor’s degree program
  • A copy of a college diploma
  • A copy of a college transcript indicating graduation from a post-secondary program (associate degree or higher) at a nationally or regionally accredited institution
  • A copy of the student’s GED or other state-certified high school equivalency test acceptable to the state of California
  • International documentation must be accompanied by an official, certified translation noting that the student has completed the equivalent of a secondary school in the US.

Prospective students must also be able to demonstrate that they are currently or will be in the United States legally. As such, a copy of government-issued photo identification will be required at time of enrollment. A copy of an existing visa will be required for those international students not obtaining a student visa through the 51. See International Student Guidelines for additional requirements to obtain an ICE-sponsored M-1 visa or F-1 student visa, depending on program.

The 51 does not accept ability-to-benefit students.

All students are required to be proficient in the English language. Students whose first language is not English are required to prove proficiency by providing an acceptable score on a formal proficiency test. (Please see the International Student Guidelines or connect with your Admissions Representative for further detail.)

Associate degree students will be required to take the Wonderlic SLQ test, and a Distance-Learning Readiness Assessment.

ICE admissions is required to receive state-level approval to enroll students in our online programs. We are currently approved to accept students from a select group of states. That list is growing quickly so ask your Admissions Representatives for the current list of approved states.

To qualify for acceptance, a prospective student must be a high school graduate or have a GED. Documentation will be required; acceptable documentation includes:

  • A copy of the student’s high school diploma (non-IEP),
  • A copy of a high school transcript indicating the student’s graduation date
  • Proof of successful completion of at least 60 semester or trimester credit hours or 72 quarter credit hours that does not result in the awarding of an associatedegree, but that is acceptable for full credit toward a bachelor’s degree at any institution;
  • Proof of enrollment in a bachelor’s degree program where at least 60 semester or trimester credit hours or 72 quarter credit hours have been successfully completed, including credit hours transferred into the bachelor’s degree program
  • A copy of a college diploma; or a copy of a college transcript indicating graduation from a post-secondary program (associate degree or higher) at a nationally- or regionally-accredited institution; or a copy of the student’s GED or other state-certified high school equivalency test acceptable to the state of California.

ICE does not accept ability-to-benefit students.

All students are required to be proficient in the English language. Students whose first language is not English are required to prove proficiency by providing an acceptable score on a formal proficiency test. (Please see the International Student Guidelines or connect with your Admissions Representative for further detail.)

Students enrolling in online programs are required to complete a Distance-Learning Readiness Assessment. In addition, the student must be located in one of the states where ICE is authorized to enroll students.

All graduates of ICE diploma programs in Culinary Arts, Pastry & Baking Arts or Plant-Based Culinary Arts who combined their arts program with a diploma in Restaurant & Culinary Management have the opportunity to apply that education toward an Associate Degree at ICE’s Los Angeles campus. Please connect with the ICE admissions team at our LA campus to learn more.

How To Apply Your Education to another College or University

Upon completion of your ICE diploma, you may be able to receive transfer credits at a college or university. ICE is proud to have been evaluated by the National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS), an organization chartered by the New York State Board of Regents to make college credit recommendations. As such, graduates of ICE’s Culinary Arts program can transfer their ICE credits and receive up to 19 college credits, graduates of ICE’s Plant-Based Culinary Arts program can transfer their ICE credits and receive up to 15 college credits, graduates of ICE’s Pastry & Baking Arts program can transfer their ICE credits and receive up to 18 college credits, graduates of ICE’s Hospitality & Hotel Management program in New York can transfer their ICE credits and receive up to 24 credits and graduates of ICE’s Restaurant & Culinary Management program can transfer their ICE credits and receive up to 14 college credits.

51 NCCRS

makes credit recommendations to 1,500 colleges and universities to use as a guide in granting college credit for courses taken at non-degree granting institutions. The privilege of evaluation does not mean that ICE can itself award college credit, only a college or university can do that. In addition, the actual amount of credit that an ICE graduate will receive will be determined by each individual college or university. Please contact the ICE Registrar for more information.

How To Transfer College Credits To ICE

Students who wish to have credit earned at another institution considered for transfer to ICE must submit to the Registrar: (1) an application; (2) an official transcript from the granting institution indicating the number of credit or clock hours awarded, the final grade and a course syllabus describing the topics of instruction; and (3) any additional supporting documentation that may be requested by ICE in connection with the evaluation. For students intending to finance their education with VA education benefits, an evaluation of prior college credit is mandatory. Such students must submit the following: (1) a transfer credit application; (2) an official transcript from the granting institution indicating the number of credit or clock hours awarded, the final grade and a course syllabus describing the topics of instruction; and (3) any additional supporting documentation that may be requested in connection with the evaluation.

As a threshold matter, credit earned for courses completed at another institution must satisfy the following, minimum requirements to be eligible for transfer:

  1. The credit must have been granted by a postsecondary institution that, at the time the credit was granted, was accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  2. The student must have earned a minimum grade of 3.0, or the equivalent letter grade, on a scale of 0.0 – 4.0.

ICE will consider the following factors when determining whether credit earned for courses completed at another institution will be accepted for transfer:

  1. Equivalence of course content
  2. Rigor and level of instruction
  3. Course length in hours
  4. Age of course credits
  5. Comparability of expected skills and competencies

The application for transfer credit will be evaluated by the Vice President of Education and the decision is final. Credits for internships of any kind are not transferable. In addition, the total course credit accepted on transfer cannot exceed 25% of the individual’s program.

ICE will award transfer credit only for courses that are determined to be equivalent in rigor and content to courses in the programs offered by ICE. Prospective and current students should note that ICE considers its curriculum to be unique among culinary arts institutions, with the result that this standard can be difficult to satisfy.

ICE Admissions is proud to welcome a wide variety of students to our school. Below are some links with more information that may apply to you:

Career Changers

Recent College Students

High School Students

Military & Veterans

International Students

Encourage Your Students' Culinary Career Goals

When it comes to providing education and career guidance, there's no more valuable resource than highly informed school counselors and educators. The ICE Admissions team is committed to helping you better understand the wide range of career options in the food industry and how a foundation in culinary education can make your students' culinary school dreams a reality.

ICE Admissions has a School Counselor Coordinator who connects with a network of professionals across the country. This dedicated individual works with our Admissions Representatives to answer your questions about our school, the ICE admissions process, and the culinary industry at large to help your students make an informed decision about their future.

You’ve Come to the Right Place

ICE has launched more than 17,900 careers in the food and hospitality industry. We couple individualized training with ongoing career placement services, including arranging hands-on externships at top food establishments and providing professional support to our graduates long after they leave our teaching kitchens. In short, our mission is to help each student find their culinary voice.

A Schedule and Curriculum for Every Student

ICE offers comprehensive diploma programs in the Culinary Arts, Culinary Arts & Food Operations, Pastry & Baking Arts, Plant-Based Culinary Arts, Restaurant & Culinary Management and Hospitality & Hotel Management. We also offer students more extensive education options, including three Associate Degree programs at our Los Angeles campus. Convenient morning, afternoon, evening and weekend classes start each month throughout the calendar year. Students who are unable to attend classes in person, can take complete control of their weekly schedule with an online training option, which starts regularly throughout the year.

Our spacious, well-equipped professional facilities in New York and Los Angeles feature small, hands-on classes with attentive, distinguished instructors, while our online program brings those instructors into the students’ home kitchen, with recorded lessons, lectures and real-time feedback.

Good food starts with quality ingredients. While shopping lists for our online students are carefully cultivated to ensure maximum accessibility, our on-campus students enjoy access to the highest quality ingredients, sourced from the same purveyors that cater to New York and Los Angeles’ finest restaurants.

If You Can Make It Here, You Can Make It Anywhere

ICE alumni have won some of the highest awards the food world has to offer, and gained national and international recognition over the past five decades. After graduation, our students utilize the broad, established relationships ICE has built throughout the industry to access exciting job opportunities. We hear it time and time again from the industry's top employers: you do not need a four-year degree to begin a successful career in the food or hospitality world, you just need a strong foundation, and the passion and commitment to be your best professional self.

Join the Network

To request information packets to share with your students and colleagues, you can email our ICE Admissions School Counselor Coordinators in New York (schoolcounselors@ice.edu) or Los Angeles (LAadmissions@ice.edu). Our Los Angeles coordinator can also provide additional information on our online culinary programs. Our Coordinators will also be happy to set up a personal or group tour of the school for you and your students, or provide detailed answers to any further questions you or your students may have.

Students Say They Just "Felt Right" at ICE

Seeing is believing. A personal tour of ICE makes it all real and ignites the creative senses. Most importantly, you’ll see the school in action—your ICE Admissions Representative can arrange for you to meet with faculty, career counselors or even audit an actual class to experience life as a student firsthand.

The best way to learn about being an ICE student is to visit in person - to get a taste of what’s happening every day at ICE. In the meantime, check out a video tour of our and campuses to get a sense of what our culinary campuses are like.

An ICE Chef Instructor demonstrates omelette technique in class to culinary school students

Financial Aid Is Just a Call, Click or Visit Away

Your education is an investment in yourself and your future. Our Financial Aid advisors provide personalized counseling to help make your culinary school dreams a reality. To set up a meeting or a call with a personal financial aid advisor, simply ask your ICE Admissions Representative to make an appointment for you. Financial aid is available to all students who qualify.

A pastry arts student takes notes during class in culinary school at the 51

Apply for ICE Admission Online 24/7

Simply complete our online application and you’ll be one step closer to following your dreams of a career in the culinary arts!

Culinary Careers, Ad Hoc at Home and more books in the library at the 51

Hungry for More Info?

The ICE admissions team can answer your individual questions, set up a one-on-one meeting virtually or in-person and reserve you a seat for our next open house. (By the way, we wrote the book on culinary careers, and have a limited number of free copies for prospective students. Be sure to ask your ICE Admissions Representative for details.) To start the conversation, call (888) 354-CHEF to learn more about programs at our New York campus or (888) 718-CHEF to learn more about programs at our Los Angeles campus, and our 100% online program*.

*note: externship must be completed in a professional kitchen

Maxime Billet, author of "Modernist Cuisine", shares his experience as a student at the 51

"My experience at ICE was shaped by the tremendous quality of the ICE instructors and the wisdom, experience and passion they bestowed on their students."

Maxime Bilet, Head Chef/Inventor The Cooking Lab; Co-author of "Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking"
Culinary Arts