FAQ

Does L'Academie only teach French cooking?

While the school was founded on the principles of classic French cuisine, we are a modern cooking school with an appreciation for culinary traditions from around the world. Our curriculum is based on three essential elements: techniques, timing and developing a sense of taste. With a solid skill-based foundation, you will be well prepared to work in any kitchen in the world, no matter the cuisine.

Will I be a Chef when I graduate?

Your professional education is a powerful step on the path to becoming a chef or pastry chef. To succeed in the culinary and pastry arts, like any craft, requires a skill set that is acquired through study, practice, repetition, and most importantly apprenticeship. You will graduate ready to perform in a professional kitchen, but your career trajectory determines how quickly you might become a chef.

How does L'Academie’s approach to teaching compare to other culinary schools?

L’Academie offers small class sizes and intense hands-on training each day. Students spend most of their time refining their practical skills in the kitchens at our 14,000 square foot facility where we have four professional kitchens and two demonstration classrooms. Our Culinary program is organized in an integrated menu format, wherein students prepare a three or four-course meal every single day. Likewise for the Pastry Arts Program, lessons start with the basics, but within six months, students are preparing a Grand Buffet of 1,500 mini French pastries! Our programs ensure you will quickly and comprehensively acquire the skills and knowledge you’ll need to succeed in a top kitchen.

Do your programs include internships?

We offer the longest consecutive apprenticeship of any Culinary or Pastry arts program in North America. We believe that the personal instruction received while in school, combined with the practical experience in the kitchen working alongside industry professionals, is the key to starting your career on the right path. For the second half of both programs, L’Academie sends our students to work full time in a top fine dining establishment (restaurant, hotel, catering company, bakery, etc.) Unlike some culinary schools, L’Academie does not have an in-house restaurant where students work rotations. Instead, we send our students outside of school to work alongside industry professionals in top kitchens. Students work directly under a fine dining chef or pastry chef to reinforce and refine the techniques and skills learned during their first six months of the program. Students are paid by their apprenticeship employers at the current market rate in conformity with Department of Labor regulations.

Can I train during the evening so I don’t have to quit my day job?

We offer the Culinary Arts Program during the day for those ready to make the leap into intense culinary training. We also offer the program at night and on the weekends for those who work during the day but are committed to ultimately making a career change and entering full-time employment in the food service industry within six months. Evening session classes are held four evenings a week, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6pm – 10pm and a couple of Saturdays for nine months. Students then transition into a full-time, paid apprenticeship at a fine dining establishment. We do not offer an evening session for our pastry program at this time.

Does L'Academie require students to have professional culinary experience before applying?

No. More than 50% of students do not have prior work experience in the food service industry. Our programs start with the fundamentals of the Culinary and Pastry Arts, and build upon these skills and techniques in a quick and comprehensive fashion, preparing you for full-time employment in less than a year from starting.

Is L'Academie accredited?

Yes. L’Academie de Cuisine is approved by the Maryland Higher Education Commission as an independent post-secondary educational facility offering several professional curricula. L’Academie is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET). ACCET is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency.

Does L'Academie accept Veterans benefits?

Veterans and others eligible under Title 38 of the United States Code may apply for educational benefits for the Culinary Arts and Pastry Arts programs.

Does L'Academie accept international students?

We cannot accept international students. At this time, L’Academie’s professional programs do not conform to the duration of practical training set forth in Title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations Part 214.2 (m) (14iii). L’Academie does not accept or sponsor international students of any category including M-1 or F-1 students. To be eligible for admission, applicants must be legally allowed to work within the United States outside of the parameters of a student visa. Such applicants much show a valid Employment Authorization Document (EAD) issued by USCIS (United States Citizenship & Immigration Services) that is valid through the duration of the program. Apprentices must be paid according to Department of Labor regulations and must regularly submit paystubs to show their progress over the six month apprenticeship period. Students who do not meet our work eligibility requirements for the professional programs may consider our Extended Courses in cooking and baking or any of our 1,500 recreational cooking classes offered at our Bethesda, MD location.

Do you offer Financial Aid?

Yes.  L’Academie offers Title IV funding to students who qualify.  In addition to this financial aid there are a number of grants and scholarships that students and applicants may be eligible to receive. For more information on financial aid, please email finance@lacademie.com.

Can I apply for a loan to cover living expenses?

Yes. Private loans are available at any bank or through other private sources. Private loans are granted based on credit scores. Private loans may be used to cover tuition costs or living expenses. Student loans may NOT be used to cover living expenses.

If I don’t want to take out any loans, can I pay my tuition in installments?

Yes, L’Academie offers a 12 – 15 month payment plan depending upon the session in which you enroll (daytime or evening). This payment plan is interest free, there is no service charge, and each payment is due at the 1st of the month.

What is a Parent PLUS loan?

A PLUS loan is a loan available for the parents of a dependent student only. This loan may be applied for at www.studentloans.gov. While student loans are in the name of the student, a PLUS loan is in the name of the parent, making the parent responsible for paying it back. The PLUS loan is granted based on the parent’s credit score. This loan can cover tuition as well as living expenses.

Am I a dependent or independent student?

Dependent Students are under the age of 24, unmarried, do not have children and are not veterans. Independent students must be 24 or older, and/or married, have children or another dependent and can be a veteran. For more information, contact enrollment@lacademie.com

What credits can I transfer to L'Academie from another culinary or pastry program?

Due to the unique nature of L’Academie’s Professional Programs, only a Food Safety Certification will be considered for transfer of credit. We will honor certain certifications provided they are current through the duration of the program. Students who present valid certificates will receive transfer and tuition credits.

 

How do I schedule a tour?

Touring the school and having a personal interview with an Admissions Officer is an important part of your decision to attend L’Academie. Our prospective students are welcome to visit while classes are in session, sit in on instructor demonstrations and taste what our chefs and students prepare. This experience will give you the opportunity to see our facility and our chefs and students in action. Tours are scheduled during the week and select evenings and Saturdays and typically take one hour. Our Admissions Office is staffed entirely by graduates, so you can be sure you’ll speak with someone who knows the exciting challenges of L’Academie’s programs and the food-service industry. Tours are arranged by appointment only, so we encourage you to call as soon as you are ready to visit. Please contact the Admissions Department at admissions@lacademie.com to speak to an Admissions Officer and schedule a tour.

How does the application process work?

To be eligible for admission to our professional programs, applicants must be 18 years or older when they enroll in classes and have graduated from an accredited high school or received a GED equivalent. Students must also be a US citizen, permanent resident, or be eligible to work in the U.S.

To be considered for admission, applicants must provide the following:

  • Completed application and $50 application fee
  • Personal statement (no fewer than 500 words)
  • Resume
  • One letter of recommendation (professional or educational)
  • High School transcript/diploma or college transcript or GED certificate
  • Proof of U.S. Citizenship, Permanent Residency (U.S. Passport or birth certificate)*
  • Proof of Tetanus vaccination within 9 years of the first day of your program

In addition to these documents individuals must also schedule a personal interview with an Admissions Representative.

Does L'Academie provide student housing?

We do not offer student housing at this time; however, we are located within one mile of Shady Grove Metro station and surrounded by apartment communities. We have spacious FREE parking on our suburban campus and many students carpool or bike from the Metro. Please ask your Admissions Representative for more details.

When should I apply?

While applications are accepted on a rolling basis up to two weeks before your preferred start, space is limited and we recommend you start the process no later than 60 days before your desired start date. This allows for adequate time to submit all of the necessary admissions paperwork, secure financing and allows us to order your uniforms and supplies.