If you’re passionate about food and like working with your hands—a degree in Culinary Arts is what you’re looking for.
In today’s food industry, demanding and discerning consumers are fueling the need for highly-trained, creative, and experienced chefs. Whether your career goals include owning your own business, working in a top restaurant, or just learning how to cook— a culinary arts program can help you live your dream.
What kind of Culinary Arts degree should you get?
If you want to do well in the culinary industry, you’ll need to find the right program. Success in the food-service industry requires knowledge of proper culinary techniques, the ability to select the right ingredients, and the intangible passion for cooking.
You’ll also need to decide between a campus-based or online program. While most Culinary Arts programs are delivered in face-to-face format for obvious reasons, there are schools that offer high-quality online degrees and certificates in a wide range of culinary areas.
Online courses offer theoretical knowledge, and you’ll gain real-world experience through externships and practical assignments. If you’re interested, check out our Best Online Colleges and Universities.
How much money do people make with a Culinary Arts degree?
Looking for a career in a growth industry? Then look no further. The food service industry is one of the fastest growing businesses in the nation.
In 2016, food and drink sales of the U.S. restaurant industry amounted to approximately 766 billion U.S. dollars. And demand for professional chefs is expected to grow 10% percent by the year 2023.
How much money you’ll make depends a lot on education and experience. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage for chefs working in the U.S. as of May 2011 was $46,600. The top 10 percent of earners made $74,060 or more, while the lowest 10 percent made $24,770 or less.
In short, now is a great time to be trained for an artistically and financially rewarding culinary arts career.
What can you do with a degree in Culinary Arts?
Even if your culinary arts aspirations are fueled by the Food Network, you know that not everyone with a culinary arts degree will become a celebrity chef. A culinary arts program will help you figure out what area of culinary work you prefer.
And once you decide what kind of environment you want to work in, there are a wide variety of options to choose from— from personal chef to head chef or sous chef. Here are some other options:
- Restaurant cook
- Executive chef
- Food and beverage manager
What are the requirements for a degree in Culinary Arts?
Requirements for admission to Culinary Arts programs vary widely. Schools on our list vary from community colleges to private Culinary Institutes. You’ll need to look closely at admissions pages on program websites to see what documents your favorite schools are requesting.
Some frequently requested admissions requirements include:
- High school transcript or high school equivalency certification
- Any other college or military transcripts
- Some schools will require you to write an essay about yourself and your career goals.
- If you are an international student, you may need to prove English Language Proficiency through a standardized test (like TOEFL).
- Some programs require that students have some experience working in a professional kitchen.
What are the best Culinary Arts degrees?
You’re about to make a significant financial commitment and you want to make sure you get into the best program. But what makes a great program? At College Choice, we look at three main variables: institutional reputation, tuition, and return on investment.
There are a lot of programs out there, and we at College Choice have slogged through data sources gleaning numbers on national rankings, peer assessments, and early career earnings. This ranking is the result of our labor, and the final College Choice Score represents academic excellence and the return on your tuition dollar.
So, without further ado—we present to you the definitive College Choice list of the Best Culinary Arts Degrees.
Culinary Institute LeNôtre
College Choice Score: 100
Average Net Price: $21,951
Founded by the legendary French chef, Alain LeNôtre, the Culinary Institute LeNôtre is a top culinary arts school in Houston, Texas which offers 2-year degree programs, certificates, and non-degree seeking options. With a commitment to turning beginners into professionals in a minimum amount of time, the school offers excellent programs as well as a close-knit community and flexible scheduling.
The Culinary Institute LeNôtre offers an Associate of Applied Science Degree in the Culinary Arts that will use make you proficient in both classic culinary techniques and the latest trends in global cuisine. The Institute’s curriculum covers a wide range of material, from in-depth, hands-on food preparation to skills in leadership and human resources management. Courses include:
- Menu Management
- Fundamentals of Cuisine
- Fundamentals of Baking & Pastry
The Culinary Institute LeNôtre’s AAS in Culinary Arts is a flexible program which students can complete full-time or part-time. Students also can use elective courses to complete a minor in several different areas. The institute itself occupies 38,000 square feet in two modern free-standing buildings complete with a student tasting auditorium, two student lounges, and ten kitchen and pastry labs.
The Culinary Institute of America
College Choice Score: 98.50
Average Net Price: $31,913
If you’ve dreamed of taking part in the New York food scene, this might be your chance. The Culinary Institute of America is a private college and a celebrated culinary school. With an emphasis in culinary, baking, and pastry arts education, the school’s primary campus is in Hyde Park, New York with branch campuses in California and Texas.
The Culinary Institute of America offers an adult degree completion Bachelor of Professional Studies in Culinary Arts program. Students receive an in-depth culinary arts education that builds on their previous studies. Beginning with foundational, hands-on culinary courses, students move on to an array of electives or a concentration that allows you to focus on your area of interest. Courses include:
- Baking and Pastry Skill Development
- Modern Banquet Cookery
- Garde Manger
CIA’s BPS in Culinary Arts is a hands-on completion program (you must have completed 30-60 credits of liberal arts and other courses) that is comprised of 60 credits of required and elective coursework. Students gain real-world experience through a 15-week paid externship at one of CIA’s industry partners. Students also have the option to travel abroad for a single course or an entire semester.
Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts
College Choice Score: 96.11
Average Net Price: $13,027
Named after the legendary French chef, Auguste Escoffier, the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts is an ACCET- and COE-accredited culinary school group with campuses in both Boulder, Colorado and Austin, Texas. The school offers accredited diploma and degree programs—both online and on-campus—in culinary and pastry arts.
Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts offers an Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts program that provides a strong foundation of foodservice, operations, and management skills that directly transfers to your first day of work in the culinary field. AESCA intentionally focuses on short, fast-paced, and hands-on programs dedicated to food, cooking, and palate development. The program includes:
- Hands-on practice in the test kitchen
- Foodservice, operations, and management skills
- A Farm to Table Experience
Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts’ AAS in Culinary Arts at the Austin, TX campus is 60 weeks and includes 6 weeks of Farm to Table Experience and 12 weeks of industry externship. Program Alumni pursue a variety of career paths from fine-dining restaurants to catering, country clubs or hotels around the country. Some students are pursuing careers as food journalists or personal chefs, while others have started their own businesses.
Paul Smith's College of Arts and Science
College Choice Score: 91.86
Average Net Price: $27,390
Located in New York State’s Adirondacks, Paul Smith’s College is a private college which offers two- and four-year degrees in a number of areas, including natural resources, recreation, hotel and restaurant management, and culinary arts. The school ranks among the top 25 regional colleges in the North according to U.S. News and World Report and as one of the best value schools in the region.
Paul Smith’s College offers a Bachelor of Professional Studies that turns students into multifaceted leaders ready to enter the food and beverage industry. Students learn from faculty who are all members of the American Culinary Federation. This is a broad-based program covering all aspects of the culinary world, from advanced technical and operational knowledge and skills to aesthetic appreciation, research and development, and management skills. Courses include:
- Professional Cooking Fundamentals
- Garde Manger & Charcuterie
- Commercial Cooking and Catering.
Paul Smith’s College is well-equipped with six professional-grade kitchens, two on-campus restaurants and student-run retail bakery outlet in which students learn hands-on lessons in the culinary arts. And all students complete 800 hours of work experience as part of the program. On graduation, you’ll be ready to enter the workforce as chefs de cuisine, sous chefs or private chefs, equipped with the knowledge and skills to rapidly advance in their careers.
Johnson & Wales University
College Choice Score: 90.27
Average Net Price: $28,227
Located in Providence, Rhode Island, Johnson & Wales University is a private, regionally accredited career-oriented university. With highly regarded programs in many areas, including Culinary Arts, the school ranks among the best regional universities in the North (#64 according to U.S. News and World Report).
Johnson & Wales University offers a Bachelor of Science in Culinary Arts program that will inculcate students with all the necessary skills to run a successful food operation. Through a combination of laboratory and academic classes, students learn craft skills and kitchen operations management, as well as leadership and communication skills. And credentialed faculty share their professional expertise within state-of-the-art culinary laboratories. Courses include:
- Chef-Driven Contemporary Casual Concepts
- Corporate Dining Concepts
- Chef-Driven Fine Dining Concepts
Johnson & Wales B.S. in Culinary Arts is a comprehensive degree program that builds on an arts and sciences core curriculum, covering both foundational kitchen skills as well as topics like sustainability, wine pairing, and more. And students put their theory to work in an internship as well as a culinary capstone project. All this takes place in an educational environment that promotes student learning and assists students in achieving their place within the culinary profession.
College Choice Score: 88.14
Average Net Price: $26,328
Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Keiser University is a private, regionally accredited university that provides primarily career-oriented undergraduate and graduate programs. The school ranks among the best regional schools in the South (U.S. News and World Report) and the Keiser University Center for Culinary Arts is accredited by the American Culinary Federation.
Keiser University offers an Associate of Science in Culinary Arts which equips students with a broad range of culinary theory and practical experience. This comprehensive program (which is available at the Melbourne, Sarasota, and Tallahassee campuses) provides hands-on education in a range of topics like dining room management, food service production, and sanitation. Students also develop professionalism and proficiency in meat cutting, nutrition, stocks and sauces, and baking and pastry. Courses include:
- Principles of Food
- International Cuisine
- Pastries and Desserts
Keiser’s A.S. in Culinary Arts prepares you with practical knowledge and skills—through both coursework and an externship—to pursue career opportunities in the culinary field. Graduates from Keiser’s program can pursue a variety of positions in culinary settings like restaurants, hotels, and clubs and resorts. If you’re more interested in baking, Keiser also offers an A.S. in Baking and Pastry Arts which focuses on pastry and bread baking techniques, production skills and critical-thinking skills.
New England Culinary Institute
College Choice Score: 83.72
Average Net Price: $19,424
Situated in the Vermont state capital (and frontier of the farm-to-table movement) of Montpelier, the New England Culinary Institute is an ACCSC-accredited and highly regarded private culinary college. The school prides itself on rigorous, standards-based curricula, small teacher-chef to student ratios, and a learn-by-doing approach to culinary education.
NECI offers a Bachelor of Arts in Culinary Arts that provides both advanced culinary techniques and preparation to successfully open or operate a business in the food industry. This comprehensive program not only provides intensive practical training and refinement of cooking skills but fundamental business and entrepreneurial skills. Students also explore theory of food in a global economy, including topics like:
- Food science
- Nutritional cooking
NECI’s B.A. in Culinary Arts includes two 1-year residency periods and two 12-week externship periods. You’ll experience classroom work and intensive hands-on learning in the kitchens and food services of NECI. Additional hands-on lab work takes place through intensive internal practicums, lab courses, and a final outside externship. If you’re not sure that you want to commit to an entire Bachelor’s program, take a look at NECI’s Associate’s degree.
Hudson County Community College
College Choice Score: 83.63
Average Net Price: $7,239
Located in Hudson County, New Jersey, Hudson County Community College is a regionally accredited, public community college. The school offers degrees and certifications in career-centered programs and is home to an acclaimed Culinary Arts Institute that is fully accredited by the American Culinary Federation Accrediting Commission.
The HCCC Culinary Arts Institute offers an Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts that provides comprehensive two-year training in the culinary arts. The curriculum covers all facets of the food service operations, preparing students for entry-level restaurant and food service positions as chefs, station chefs, sous-chefs, bakers, and restaurant managers. Courses include:
- Pantry and Breakfast Cookery
- Menu and Facilities Design
- Intermediate Garde Manger
At HCCC’s Culinary Arts Institute, every faculty member pays personal attention to every student’s hands-on learning experience. To ensure this kind of individual approach, kitchen labs are limited to just 16 students. The A.A.S. degree includes a 600-hour externship which trains students in the context of fine restaurants and hotels. HCCC’s Culinary Arts Institute, opened in 2005, is equipped with an elegant dining room, modern instructional kitchens, and classrooms.
College Choice Score: 83.01
Average Net Price: $28,252
Founded in 1934, Kendall College is a regionally accredited, for-profit college that is located in Chicago, Illinois. The school offers career-focused programs in a variety of areas and is home to a School of Culinary Arts that is both fully accredited and has been honored as an Exemplary Program by the American Culinary Federation.
Kendall College’s Culinary Arts School offers a Bachelor of Arts in Culinary Arts that provides students with advanced culinary and management skills. Students graduate with both in-depth knowledge of world cuisine and invaluable practical experience. Kendall’s curriculum gives a comprehensive education in the necessary skills to plan, build, promote, and run a flourishing culinary business—from kitchen skills to business savvy. Courses include:
- American Cuisine Project: A Global Chef’s Perspective
- Methods of Cooking
- Storeroom Operations and Purchasing
Kendall College’s B.A. in Culinary Arts is built on a strong general education foundation which also provides math, computer, language, and communication skills. And students take advantage of Chicago’s world-class food industry through internships at local, national, and international restaurants and establishments. Kendall’s campus features 12 professional-grade commercial kitchens, specialized chocolate/sugar and garde manger kitchens and an outdoor bread oven.
State University of New York - Delhi
College Choice Score: 82.83
Average Net Price: $13,983
Located in New York State’s Catskill Mountains, the State University of New York at Delhi (SUNY Delhi) is a regionally accredited technology-focused university. The school ranks among the top 20 regional universities in the North (U.S. News and World Report) and is home to a renowned, ACF-accredited Culinary Arts program.
SUNY Delhi offers an Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts program that will launch your culinary career. The program provides a strong theoretical foundation and hands-on experience in a range of skills that will set you up for success—from crucial kitchen skills and menu planning to the fundamentals of Hospitality Management. Courses include:
- Professional Baking
- Culinary Restaurant Operations
- Orientation to Hospitality
SUNY Delhi’s Culinary Arts program is comprised of 15 required courses taught in state-of-the-art facilities (which includes an ice-carving lab!). All courses are taught by professional chef-instructors who have industry experience and are passionate to share their skills. This is your chance to get on a winning team—in the last eight years, SUNY-Delhi students have won more than 500 individual and team medals.
College of Southern Nevada
College Choice Score: 82.04
Average Net Price: $7,362
Located in Clark County, Nevada, the College of Southern Nevada is a career-focused public college in the Nevada System of Higher Education. As the largest and most ethnically diverse college in the state, CSN makes it a priority to provide an affordable, collaborative, and welcoming environment. Their Culinary Arts programs are accredited by the ACF and ranked as “exemplary”.
The College of Southern Nevada offers an Associate of Applied Science Degree which equips students for a career in the field of culinary arts. As a student, you’ll receive hands-on practical training in on-campus restaurant and kitchens, foodservice management courses and related skill development courses. You’ll master the fundamentals of cooking with emphasis on hands-on preparation of various cuisines including basic cookery, aromatics, international and French cooking. Courses include:
- Basic Cookery
- Principles of Baking
- Garde Manger
CSN’s A.A.S in Culinary Arts Major is comprised of 45 credits of required coursework (on top of General Education requirements) which includes work experience in the field. As part of the program, students explore the overall workings of food preparation, structure of the hospitality industry, restaurant management, and restaurant job positions in the operation of a campus restaurant.
Metropolitan Community College - Nebraska
College Choice Score: 81.24
Average Net Price: $5,997
Located on several campuses throughout the Omaha-Council Bluffs metropolitan area, Metropolitan Community College-Nebraska is a public, career-focused college. As one of the fastest growing post-secondary institutions in Nebraska, the school offers more than 100 one- and two-year programs in a number of areas, including ACF-accredited Culinary Arts programs (which take place at the Fort Omaha campus).
Metropolitan Community College’s Institute for the Culinary Arts offers an ACF-accredited Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts that provides a comprehensive two-year training in the culinary arts. This degree option prepares students for a career as a chef, sous chef, or culinarian. Students gain hands-on experience in a state-of-the-art facility. Courses include:
- Baking Basics
- Introduction to Professional Cooking
- Cost Management
MCC’s AAS in Culinary Arts combines 27 credits of General Education courses with 38 credits of CA major requirements. Students will gain essential communication and numeracy skills and will gain work experience during their internship. There are also electives that equip students with further kitchen and management skills. And students who choose to further their education can transfer MCC credits to the University of Nebraska, Bellevue University, and other four-year institutions.
College Choice Score: 80.62
Average Net Price: $12,032
Based in New York City and with several branch campuses in the area, Monroe College is a small, regionally accredited for-profit college and graduate school. The school is home to the ACF-accredited Culinary Institute of New York. Operating out of Monroe’s New Rochelle campus, the Institute features state-of-the-art instructional facilities designed to simulate the kitchens of restaurants, hotels and large production operations.
Monroe College’s Culinary Institute of New York offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Culinary Arts. The program prepares students for a variety of careers in the culinary industry—equipping them with a broad range of culinary theory and practical experience. Students receive personalized instruction from Monroe’s faculty of ACF-certified chefs who are also experienced industry professionals. Courses include:
- Techniques of Nutritional Cooking
- Restaurant Operations
- Bakery Fundamentals for Culinary Students
Monroe’s 60-credit AAS in Culinary Arts program has produced award-winning culinary teams, students, faculty, and staff. The school is home to a critically acclaimed student-run restaurant, The Dining Lab, deemed “the little kitchen that could” by The New York Times. Monroe’s culinary competition team has also gained renown—having won over 600 ACF medals as well as being named New York State Champions for two years running.
College Choice Score: 80.53
Average Net Price: $23,262
Based in Louisville, Kentucky, Sullivan University is a regionally-accredited, for-profit college that offers career-focused higher education on its three campuses and online. Kentucky’s largest private university, Sullivan houses the National Center for Hospitality Studies and offers degrees at both the undergraduate and graduate level.
Sullivan University offers an Associate of Science in Culinary Arts that will provide foundational knowledge, skills and experiential learning to students entering into the culinary industry. Students receive instruction in both practical and theoretical industry standards—perfecting cooking techniques as well as honing skills like written and oral communication. The program is available at both the Louisville and Lexington campuses. Courses include:
- International Cuisine
- Basic Culinary Theory
- Garde Manger Theory
Sullivan University’s AAS in Culinary Arts is a 94-credit program that students can complete in 18 months of full-time study (or 33 months part-time). Students gain significant industry experience through extensive practicums and externships at Louisville and Lexington’s best restaurants. And the ACF accredits Sullivan’s Culinary Arts program and has designated it as “exemplary.”
The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College
College Choice Score: 80.18
Average Net Price: $30,836
Located in the University City section of Philadelphia, the Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College is a private college that offers career training in fine dining and the hospitality industry.
Walnut Hill is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges and is dedicated to providing a distinctive educational experience for students.
The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College offers both an Associate of Science and a Bachelor of Science in their Culinary Arts program. Students in both programs will receive a comprehensive overview of creative cooking at the professional level. The Bachelor’s program offers further kitchen training as well as business development courses which will prepare you for a successful career in different sectors of the culinary hospitality industry. Program features include:
- The Chef’s Palate
- Freestyle Cooking
- Applied Marketing
As part of the Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College’s AAS and BS programs, students go on tuition-paid travel adventures around the world. AAS students take a hospitality tour of France, while Bachelor’s students go on an eight-day gastronomic tour of England. By studying the industry both locally and globally, students from Walnut Hill College can expand their knowledge and thrive wherever their careers take them.
St. Louis Community College
College Choice Score: 78.41
Average Net Price: $7,329
Founded in 1964, St. Louis Community College is a public college which offers two-year, career-focused programs at the Certificate and Associate’s level. Among the school’s programs are Business (which includes Culinary Arts), and Health Services, The school has four campuses throughout the city, and is supported by the Junior College District of St. Louis City- St. Louis County.
St. Louis Community College’s Forest Park campus offers an Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts which covers food preparation, production, table service and culinary management. The program delivers a comprehensive education in the business, academic and technical aspects of the industry, with a wide range of courses that meet the requirements of the hotels, restaurants, and clubs in this field. Courses include:
- Nutrition for the Culinarian
- Food Preparation Theory and Practical
- Garde Manger
St. Louis Community College’s AAS in Culinary Arts is a 64-credit program which equips students with both practical and theoretical knowledge of the food industry. Students cover both American and Global cuisine and are given hands-on practice in food preparation, from basic to advanced. On graduation, you’ll be prepared to assume managerial and leadership positions in the industry.
Northwestern Michigan College
College Choice Score: 77.70
Average Net Price: $8,374
Located in Traverse City, Michigan, Northwestern Michigan College is a community college which offers programs at the undergraduate level. The school’s Great Lakes Campus on Grand Traverse Bay houses the Great Lakes Culinary Institute which is accredited (and has been awarded Exemplary Program designation) by the American Culinary Federation.
Northwestern Michigan College’s Great Lakes Culinary Institute offers an Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts which provides hands-on training to provide a competitive edge for graduates. The program provides a rigorous and concentrated study of essential skills to prepare students for entry-level chef and kitchen management positions. Courses include:
- Introduction to Baking
- Nutrition for Culinary Arts
- World Cuisine
Northwestern Michigan College’s AAS in Culinary Arts is a 66-67 credit program that gives a strong foundation in science and techniques associated with the selection, preparation, and serving of foods to large and small groups. Students get hands-on training in the school’s four culinary labs including a bakery, introductory and food skills kitchen, an advanced cooking kitchen, a garde manger kitchen, a beverage management outlet, and Lobdell’s—a 90-seat training restaurant.
College Choice Score: 77.52
Average Net Price: $14,336
Located in Alfred, New York, Alfred State College is one of eight regionally accredited Colleges of Technology within the State University of New York (SUNY) system. Alfred State offers bachelor’s degrees and associate’s degrees in a number of areas, including the Culinary Arts—and the school ranks among the top 15 regional colleges in the North according to U.S. News and World Report.
Alfred State offers an Associate of Science in Culinary Arts program which trains students for supervisory and culinary positions that require special skills and knowledge of food and business. The program provides foundational and advanced culinary principles in a liberal arts setting—this means that students develop written and oral skills, confidence, and critical thinking while learning the techniques of menu planning, preparation, and supervision. Courses include:
- Kitchen Fundamentals
- Cooking Techniques and Preps
- Menu Planning
Alfred State’s A.S. in Culinary Arts is a 72-credit program comprised of culinary and hospitality courses, including a culinary capstone project. For students who are interested in a Bachelor’s program, the Associate’s degree flows seamlessly into the school’s BBA degree program. And if you’re more interested in baking, Alfred State also offers an Associate of Arts in Culinary Arts with an emphasis in Baking, Production, and Management.
Henry Ford College
College Choice Score: 76.19
Average Net Price: $3,246
Located in Dearborn, Michigan, Henry Ford College is a regionally accredited public college that offers programs in a wide range of liberal arts, science, culinary arts and health science areas. The school takes a collaborative, student-centered, community-focused approach to education and strives to make high-quality, career-focused education accessible for all students.
Henry Ford College offers both an Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Culinary Arts. Both programs are accredited (deemed “exemplary”) by the ACF and provide the necessary skills for cooking the food and beverages that customers demand. Graduates will be prepared to take on roles as cooks, sous chefs, or executive chefs through the combination of business and practical food-preparation training they receive. Courses include:
- International Cooking
- Introduction to Baking and Cooking
- Hospitality Supervision and Leadership
Henry Ford College’s Culinary Arts programs build character, leadership, and technical skills that are necessary for success in the global industry of hospitality and tourism. As part of the program, students receive both theoretical knowledge and practical training through extensive co-ops as well as credentials from the National Restaurant Association (Serv-Safe Food Safety, Serv-Safe Alcohol) and the American Culinary Federation (Culinary Arts AAS, Certified Culinarian).
The Art Institute of Washington
College Choice Score: 74.51
Average Net Price: $22,481
The Art Institute of Washington, founded in 2000, is located in the Rosslyn section of Arlington, Virginia, directly across the Potomac River from Washington, DC. The school is a private, nonprofit institution that provides undergraduate programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary arts. Home to a renowned Culinary School, students at The Art Institute of Washington find a mix of the contemporary and traditional in an environment that offers experiences found nowhere else.
The Art Institute of Washington offers an Associate of Arts in Culinary Arts that will prepare you for the fast-paced world of global cuisine. Students begin with fundamentals like knife skills and develop essential kitchen techniques—then quickly move on to learning a range of cuisines. Students are encouraged to take risks and to work effectively in teams in a supportive, real-world environment. Courses include:
- Introduction to Baking and Pastry Techniques
- Fundamentals of Classical TEchniques
- Garde Manger
The Art Institute of Washington’s AA in Culinary Arts is comprised of 22 courses which range from General Education requirements like Public Speaking and Nutrition to the 16 courses in Culinary techniques and cuisines. The Art Institute strives to create an environment that prepares students for the stressors they will encounter in a real kitchen—that means an environment that is both tough and supportive.
Oakland Community College
College Choice Score: 72.48
Average Net Price: $2,999
With five campuses throughout Oakland County, Michigan, Oakland Community College is the largest community college in Michigan (and one of the largest in the U.S.). The school is committed to making higher education programs both accessible and affordable for all students. OCC offers over 100 programs in high demand fields such as IT, Healthcare and Culinary Arts.
OCC’s Culinary Studies Institute offers an Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts program. The curriculum is designed to prepare students for an eventual career as an Executive Chef and includes both cooking and baking courses as well as skills like menu development and guest services. Students learn from experienced industry professionals who are committed to sharing their skills and knowledge with students.
The Culinary Studies Institute’s AAS in Culinary Arts is a comprehensive 76-credit program which is comprised of 64 credits of required coursework in the Culinary Arts major, with 12 credits of General Education requirements. All students complete a working internship and have opportunities to participate in culinary competitions. The program is accredited by the ACF and leads to industry certification (as a certified culinarian).
Anne Arundel Community College
College Choice Score: 71.68
Average Net Price: $13,963
Located in the Annapolis suburb of Arnold, Maryland, Anne Arundel Community College is a public, two-year college with a national reputation for high-quality undergraduate programs in a variety of areas. The school is home to the Hotel, Culinary Arts, and Tourism Institute which provides courses and programs to meet the needs of a dynamic and expanding hospitality industry.
AAC’s Hotel, Culinary Arts, and Tourism Institute offers a unique Associate of Applied Science program in Hotel/Restaurant Management with a concentration in Culinary Arts. The program is designed to equip students with skills necessary for entry-level positions in the hospitality / culinary industry. Students learn (from ACF-accredited faculty) a wide range of skills in both hospitality management and cooking techniques and cuisines. Courses include:
- Certification in Sanitation
- World Culture and Cuisine
- Introduction to Baking and Pastry
AAC’s Hotel, Culinary Arts, and Tourism Institute AAS program includes both 19 credits in Hospitality Management area and 18 credits in the Culinary Arts concentration. And to gain real-world experience, students have the opportunity to intern or study abroad. If you’re looking for a broad-based program that will prepare you for multiple career opportunities in the hospitality industry, this program might be a great choice.
Platt College - Tulsa
College Choice Score: 71.59
Average Net Price: $24,305
With campuses throughout Oklahoma, Platt College is a career-oriented college that offers undergraduate programs in a number of areas. The school is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), and the school’s Culinary Arts program is accredited by the ACF.
Platt’s Tulsa campus offers an ACF-accredited Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts program designed for individuals who enjoy working with their hands and using their creativity to create culinary works of art. Students learn from professional chefs, acquiring various techniques and skills required to work in kitchens—such as food preparation, planning menus, ordering inventory, and more. Platt offers:
- Fully equipped, commercial-style kitchens
- An approved practical test site for ACF certifications
Students in Platt’s AAS in Culinary Arts program work in commercial-style kitchens, learning a variety of cooking styles and techniques, blending the new with the traditional. As a student, you’ll learn through traditional lectures and practice skills through hands-on kitchen work. Students also gain experience through externships in local area restaurants and through working in Platt’s dining establishments: The Union, Chefs Di Domani, and Foundations.
College Choice Score: 70.97
Average Net Price: $15,607
Located in St. Louis, Missouri, Hickey College is a small, for-profit college that offers career-oriented programs at the undergraduate level. Most of the school’s programs take less than two years to complete, resulting in relatively high graduation rates. The school’s Culinary Arts programs are provided through the ACF-accredited Culinary Institute of St. Louis at Hickey College.
The Culinary Institute of St. Louis offers a Culinary Arts Specialized Associate Degree Program that equips students with a broad range of skills. From essential food preparation, cookery, and presentation skills to basic operational, cost, and business skills—graduates are ready to become skilled members of the foodservice industry. Courses include:
- Commercial Kitchen Skills and Procedures
- Meat and Poultry Arts
- Breaks, Cakes, and Pastry Arts
Hickey College’s Associate’s degree in Culinary Arts is an intensive 61-credit program that students complete in 18 months. Students receive extensive practical experience, including 3 hours each day of hands-on kitchen instruction from chef instructors. Additionally, all students take part in a culinary externship which ensures they are job-ready on graduation. Career services are also available to help students get started on their culinary career path.
Louisiana Culinary Institute
College Choice Score: 70.44
Average Net Price: $21,454
Located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the Louisiana Culinary Institute is a for-profit, two-year college that offers Associate’s Degrees in Culinary Arts and Hospitality and Culinary Management. The Institute is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP), the American Culinary Federation, and the National Restaurant Association.
The Louisiana Culinary Institute offers an Associate of Science in Culinary Arts – Advanced Culinary Arts that equips students with essential skills to run a successful food operation. Students take part in both laboratory and academic classes to learn craft skills and kitchen operations management, as well as leadership and communication skills. And experienced faculty share their professional expertise within state-of-the-art culinary laboratories. Courses include:
- Professional Cooking
- Restaurant Production and Service
- Introduction to Baking and Pastry
The Louisiana Culinary Institute’s AOS in Culinary Arts is comprised of 35 courses that students complete in four semesters of intensive study. The school’s programs take place in an extensive, 40,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility that includes spacious classrooms, modern demonstration labs, and a full-service restaurant kitchen. And, upon enrollment, every student is assigned a Chef Mentor that both serves as an initial point of contact and remains in contact with the student for the duration of the program.
College Choice Score: 68.76
Average Net Price: $24,821
Headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia, Stratford University is a private, public-benefit institution that holds national accreditation. With a focus on undergraduate degrees in high-demand fields like Culinary Arts, the school specializes in nontraditional education—through online, on-site, and blended classes. A majority of Stratford students work full-time while studying.
Stratford University’s School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts offers an Associate of Applied Science in Advanced Culinary Arts that prepares students for the evolving demands of culinary professions. Stratford’s highly experienced faculty members encourage collaboration and the sharing of knowledge in small classes. Courses cover a wide range of kitchen skills and business knowledge, including:
- Culinary Theory and Sanitation
- Kitchen Fundamentals
- Garde Manger
Stratford’s AAS in Advanced Culinary Arts is a 90-credit, 20-course program that is designed to accommodate working students’ busy schedules. Classes are delivered in accelerated format during days, evenings, and weekends. And classroom instruction is blended with online instruction to reduce time in the classroom. Students can complete the degree in 18 months, with 5-10 weeks per class.
Kirkwood Community College
College Choice Score: 67.96
Average Net Price: $9,929
With a main campus in Cedar Rapids and several branch campuses throughout Iowa, Kirkwood Community College is a regionally accredited two-year community college. The school offers over 120 programs—including Hospitality and Culinary Arts—at the associate’s and bachelor’s level, both on-campus and online.
Kirkwood Community College offers an Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts which teaches practical skills in a real-world setting. Students receive a blend of theoretical knowledge in topics like Personnel Management and Human Relations with extensive hands-on training in food preparation, and customer service. And Kirkwood’s Class Act Restaurant provides students the opportunity to assist in planning, preparing, and servicing catered events on campus. Courses include:
- Food Fundamentals
- Workplace Communication
- Garde Manger
- Bakery Basics
Kirkwood Community College’s AAS in Culinary Arts is comprised of 70 credit hours of coursework and a Culinary Capstone project. This program is fully accredited and deemed “exemplary” by the ACF. And Kirkwood Culinary Arts students also earn endorsements like the National Career Readiness Certificate and the National Restaurant Association’s Food Protection Manager Certificate.
Delgado Community College
College Choice Score: 67.70
Average Net Price: $7,990
With campuses throughout the New Orleans metropolitan area, Delgado Community College is one of nine community colleges in the Louisiana Community and Technical College System. The regionally accredited school offers high-quality face-to-face and online academic and career-oriented programs—like Culinary Arts—through the Associate’s level.
Delgado Community College offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Culinary Arts. The program provides in-depth theoretical instruction as well as practical work experience in the field of food service, culinary arts, and pastry arts. Taught by credentialed faculty, students begin with a common core of required courses, then choose between two areas of concentration depending on their career goals:
- Professional Culinarian
- Baking and Pastry Arts
Delgado Community College’s ACF-accredited AAS in Culinary Arts is comprised of 66 credits of coursework and an internship or capstone project. As a student, you’ll learn from credentialed faculty with extensive industry experience. And upon successful completion, students have earned a number of industry-based certifications from the National Restaurant Association and from the American Culinary Federation.
Pioneer Pacific College
College Choice Score: 66.81
Average Net Price: $21,323
Headquartered in Wilsonville, Oregon and with campuses throughout the Northern part of the state, Pioneer Pacific College is a for-profit college that offers career-oriented programs at the undergraduate level. The school is home to the Oregon Culinary Institute where students can earn a degree in Baking & Pastry or Culinary Arts.
Pioneer Pacific College’s Oregon Culinary Institute (OCI) offers an Associate of Science in Culinary Arts – Hospitality Management program. The program provides an efficient and well-rounded curriculum, aimed at preparing students for what they will encounter as food-service professionals. Students learn the fundamentals of culinary management—from food preparation to business savvy. Courses include:
- Introduction to Professional Cuisine
- Cooking Methods & Flavor Essentials
- Restaurant Practical
OCI’s AOS in Culinary Arts – Hospitality Management is comprised of 24 courses which includes an externship and a Restaurant Management Capstone project. As a student, you’ll spend a lot of time in the kitchen developing essential skills and proper techniques in food preparation. And if you don’t want to commit to the degree program, OCI also offers a Culinary Arts Diploma—a short, intensive program designed to get students into the workforce quickly.
YTI Career Institute - York
College Choice Score: 61.77
Average Net Price: $13,186
A private, for-profit college with campuses throughout south-central Pennsylvania and northern Maryland, YTI Career Institute offers career-focused programs in a number of areas—from healthcare and business to computers and culinary arts. YTI-Lancaster is home to the ACF-accredited Pennsylvania School of Culinary Arts.
The Pennsylvania School of Culinary Arts at YTI-Lancaster offers an Associate in Specialized Business – Culinary Arts / Restaurant Management program. This broad-based program hones culinary skills as well as professional development and restaurant management skills, readying students for a range of positions in the culinary industry. Students learn from talented, dedicated instructors who are eager to share their knowledge. Some topics covered include:
- Cuisines from around the world
- Multiple cooking methods
- Effective communication and interpersonal skills
The Pennsylvania School of Culinary Arts’ ASB in Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management is a 90-credit program that has earned “exemplary” status from the ACF. Students receive both a theoretical grounding in necessary industry knowledge and hands-on experience in both the school’s kitchens and through a three-month externship. The program takes 21 months to complete.
Los Angeles Trade Technical College
College Choice Score: 60.97
Average Net Price: $7,330
The oldest of the nine public two-year colleges in the Los Angeles Community College District, Los Angeles Trade Technical College (LATTC) offers programs that advance student careers. The regionally accredited college offers both academic and vocational programs—like Fashion Design, Construction Technology, and an ACF-accredited Culinary Arts program.
LATTC offers an Associate of Arts in Culinary Arts that prepares students to be successful in one of the fastest growing industries in the country. This 87-year old program offers both lecture-demonstrations and hands-on kitchen laboratory experiences to provide the essential blend of theoretical and practical knowledge that employers demand. Courses include:
- Culinary Preparation
- Culinary Nutrition
- Introduction to Restaurant Management
LATTC’s ACF-accredited AA in Culinary Arts program is a four-semester program, with start-dates at the beginning of each semester (four times per year). Throughout the program, students learn in and operate from the college’s commercial kitchens, restaurant, cafeteria, and catering areas. And as a student, you’ll meet local Culinary Arts professionals as they take part in advisory boards, evaluating student work, and discussing career options.
Harrison College - Morrisville
College Choice Score: 60.44
Average Net Price: $21,913
Based in Indianapolis, Indiana and with campuses throughout Indiana, Ohio, and North Carolina, Harrison College is a private, for-profit college that offers career-focused programs at the undergraduate level. Harrison College houses The Chef’s Academy—its culinary division—which provides programs in Culinary Arts and Pastry Arts.
The Chef’s Academy at Harrison College offers an Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts degree. The program equips students with essential skills in purchasing, nutrition, and food safety as well as a strong foundation of fundamental cooking techniques. Graduates of the program are well prepared for entry-level careers in the food industry with key industry knowledge and experience. Topics covered include:
- Food and beverage management
- Food production
- Customer Service
The Chef’s Academy’s AAS in Culinary Arts is a 90-credit program. Students receive plenty of hands-on experience through kitchen courses that meet 40 times in a ten week period. Academy instructors are experienced food service professionals and local executive chefs dedicated to providing students with the necessary tools for success. And the Chef’s Academy is endorsed and accredited by the American Culinary Federation.
Nicholls State University
College Choice Score: 57.70
Average Net Price: $10,169
Located in the town of Thibodaux, Louisiana, Nicholls State University is a public, regional university that is part of the University of Louisiana system. The school ranks among the top 50 public schools in the South (US News and World Report) and is home to the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute which offers undergraduate programs in Culinary Arts.
Nicholls State University’s offers a Bachelor of Science in Culinary Arts that provides students with a challenging culinary curriculum. Students take part in academic study as well as extensive work in kitchen-laboratories and field internship experiences. The program offers students both a broad base in essential culinary arts knowledge and the chance to specialize in one of several concentrations, including:
- Culinary Operations Concentration
- Patisserie Concentration
- Professional Concentration
- Entrepreneurial Business Concentration
Nicholl’s State’s B.S. in Culinary Arts is a four-year program that is designed as a two-plus-two. Freshman and sophomore students gain foundational knowledge and skills, while junior and senior students specialize in their chosen area of concentration. However, if you like the sound of the Nicholls State curriculum, but don’t want to commit to the Bachelor’s degree program, the school also offers an Associate’s degree in Culinary Arts.
Pittsburgh Technical College
College Choice Score: 56.73
Average Net Price: $21,294
Located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the Pittsburgh Technical Institute is a non-profit, regionally accredited two-year college that offers undergraduate degree and diploma programs. The school houses the American Academy of Culinary Arts which provides the school’s ACF-accredited Culinary Arts programs.
PTI’s American Academy of Culinary Arts offers an ACF-accredited Associate of Science in Culinary Arts. The program provides a comprehensive program of culinary fundamentals blended with key topics in hospitality management and general education. Students are challenged to learn and master a wide range of professional culinary techniques from knife skills and the fine art of sauce-making to how to match wines to complement certain foods. Courses include:
- Fundamental Concepts of Cooking
- Culinary Elements of Wine and Spirits
- Baking and Pastry Fundamentals
AACA’s AS in Culinary Arts is comprised of 26 courses, fifteen of which are in the Culinary Arts concentration. At AACA, students also receive additional hands-on experience in the school’s new, industry-standard campus facilities and during an in-field internship, a cooperative effort between the Academy and the local professional community. And upon graduation, students are prepared to sit for certification exams in a number of key areas, including sanitation and food safety.
Pulaski Technical College
College Choice Score: 55.84
Average Net Price: $9,028
Located in North Little Rock, Arkansas, Pulaski Technical College (or UA-PTC) is a regionally accredited technical college that is part of the University of Arkansas system—mainly serving the Central Arkansas region. The school offers programs in a variety of areas, from Sciences and Math to Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management.
UA-PTC offers an Associate of Arts in Culinary Arts that provides an intensive, comprehensive course of study in the culinary arts. With courses that integrate modern and classical culinary techniques, students are well prepared for professional careers in the food-service industry. Students master the preparation of breads, pastries, appetizers, soups, and sauces—just to name a few. They will also become familiar with key components of professional kitchen management, with skills like sanitation, hygiene, and safety. Courses include:
- Applied Foodservice Sanitation
- Food Production
- Banquets and Catering
UA-PTC’s 66-credit AA in Culinary Arts degree is the first program in the state accredited by the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation. Graduates will earn the Certified Culinarian—the first level of certification from the American Culinary Federation. And if you’re looking for a short, intensive program that will get you working quickly, UA-PTC also offers a Culinary Arts Technical Certificate.