Admissions FAQs

Here are some of the questions NECI applicants often ask:

Do I really need to go to culinary school? Can't I learn on the job?

A culinary degree will jump-start your career. Two to four years of solid educational experience can cover what it might take years of work experience to learn. In school you will study under many chefs and gain the benefit of their experience, knowledge, and connections. Many successful chefs did not get a formal culinary degree, but the world of food service is becoming more competitive and professional. Today many executive-level positions in the industry require a degree. In the management field a degree is nearly always a requirement.

What should I look for in a culinary school?

Look at student-to-teacher ratio and class size. Cooking is a learned, physical skill and you need the opportunity to practice and be coached by an instructor who knows your strengths and weaknesses. Talk to faculty, current students and alumni, not just the admissions staff. Does the faculty stay in touch with students? Do they have a range of experience and expertise? How would current students and alumni rate their experience? Find out how much time will be spent in a classroom vs. production classes. Ask about the quality of the externship sites and what you will be expected to learn on externship. If you are interested in an externship with a particular restaurant, you may want to call the chef and ask what he or she thinks of the various culinary schools. Be wary of any school that pressures you to take out a certain kind of loan or to work with a specific lender. The school should take the time to work out an individualized financial plan that works best for you.

Can I afford to take this step?

A culinary education is expensive. However, no student should hesitate to apply because of financial concerns. We will work with you to develop an individualized financial aid plan. Your education is an investment. We know you will graduate from New England Culinary Institute with the skills to be successful and to continue to grow your earning power.

I love cooking, but do I really want to be a chef?

The field of food service is growing rapidly. Food communications, teaching, sales, and research and development are all new career paths for culinarians. Attending NECI is a good way to get a feel for whether the kitchen is the right place for you, since you will get the real-world experience while you are in school. Completing the program through the Bachelor of Arts in Hospitality and Restaurant Management can open additional options for you. NECI graduates have gone on to become food writers, consultants, test kitchen managers, research chefs, entrepreneurs, and sales executives.