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Culinary Arts Degrees in Arizona with School Overviews

Arizona has 14 schools that offer culinary arts programs. Learn about certificate and degree programs, tuition info and program options for ten of the largest schools' programs to make an informed education decision.

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Essential Information

Students in Arizona interested in culinary arts education can choose to earn a certificate or associate's degree in the field. Associate's degrees usually take about two years to complete, while most certificates require a year or less to earn. Coursework focuses on the development of hands-on culinary skills and, as such, programs might include kitchen lab time, internships, field experiences and/or study abroad opportunities. Concentrations or specialties are offered by some schools.

Arizona is home to many public and private not-for-profit schools offering various culinary arts programs. The majority of these programs are offered by 2-year colleges that award certificates and/or associate's degrees. Below are brief overviews of what each school offers and a chart to compare school programs and tuition info.

Arizona Western College

Students can complete one of two culinary arts certificate programs at Arizona Western College in Yuma. One program is a general option, while the other has an entrepreneurship focus and requires business coursework. Culinary classes in both programs are the same and include sanitation, menu development, pastry arts and nutrition. Students in both programs complete a field experience, and those seeking additional practical experience can request volunteer placement.

Central Arizona College

Central Arizona College in Coolidge is an American Culinary Federation member. Students can choose from an associate's program and two levels of certificate programs in the culinary arts. The level I program requires 16 credits and the level II program requires 25 credits, while the associate's program requires 65 credits.

Students must complete the level I program in order to enroll in the level II certificate program. Courses in the level I program include cooking principles, food and beverage management, food safety, nutrition and pastry arts. The level II program includes advanced classes in pastry arts and cooking principles, as well as courses in sustainable food and catering. The associate's program includes coursework from both certificate programs and requires a concentration in nutrition and dietetics, culinary arts or business/hospitality. Culinary concentration coursework allows students to choose from electives like cake decorating, Asian food and a study abroad trip to Italy.

Classic Cooking Academy

Scottsdale is home to the Classic Cooking Academy, where students can earn a certificate in the culinary arts. Students in the program may learn to prepare various appetizers, sauces, meat, fish, poultry, soups, vegetables and desserts. The program is divided into 240 hours of lectures and demonstrations and 432 hours of practical training. Faculty members are trained in French, pastry, modern and Native American culinary techniques. Instructors who specialize in cooking and pastry also offer recreational programs in classic cooking and pastry arts, respectively.

Cochise College

Douglas' Cochise College offers three certificate programs and an associate's program in the culinary arts field. In the Chef Garde Manger Apprentice Certificate program, students can learn to purchase, prepare, present and store foods. The Chef Patissier - Baker's Apprentice Certificate program covers baking techniques and aims to teach students methods for preparing breads and desserts.

In addition to classes in advanced epicurean cooking methods, techniques from both certificate programs are covered in the Sous Chef Apprentice Certificate program. A field experience is also included. The associate's program is comprised of the same core curriculum as the Sous Chef Apprentice Certificate program, but students also complete 18-19 credits of general education courses.

East Valley Institute of Technology

At Mesa's East Valley Institute of Technology, high school level students can participate in the culinary arts and/or commercial baking and pastry arts. Each program takes 2-4 semesters to complete. In addition to required coursework, culinary arts students gain hands-on experience at the campus restaurant. Students in the baking program prepare various breads, desserts, pastries and other confections; they also work at the campus bakery. Students in both programs may be eligible for scholarships to continue their training at a formal college or university.

Estrella Mountain Community College

Individuals in Avondale can attend Estrella Mountain Community College to study the culinary arts. Many of the classes offer hands-on training in the on-campus restaurant. Students must purchase uniforms and knife sets before classes begin. Three certificate programs in baking and pastry, basic culinary studies and culinary studies are offered, in addition to a culinary studies associate's program. The basic program requires 16 credits from classes such as cooking principles, garde manger, catering, baking and sanitation.

The 30-credit culinary studies certificate program includes the same courses as the basic certificate program, as well as classes like American gastronomy, nutrition, food purchasing and epicurean foods. The certificate in baking and pastry may teach students baking methods for various breads, pastries, cakes and other desserts. The associate's program requires 36 credits of culinary courses and includes many of the same classes as the certificate programs. Associate's degree students also complete general education courses.

Mohave Community College

In Kingman, Mohave Community College offers a certificate and an associate's degree in culinary and hospitality management. A certificate in baking and pastry is available as well. The culinary and hospitality management certificate and associate's programs both cover wholesome cooking, baking, food safety, American gastronomy and food purchasing. The associate's program also requires students to take 15 credits of general education classes. The baking and pastry certificate program includes 30 credits of classes, such as artisan bread-making, basic and advanced pastry arts and healthy cooking methods.

Phoenix College

Students in Phoenix can earn any of three certificates or an associate's degree in culinary studies at Phoenix College. Certificate programs are available in commercial baking, culinary studies and commercial food preparation, and the associate's program is offered in culinary studies. The baking program teaches students to work with chocolate, to create showpieces and to prepare various desserts and wedding cakes.

Basic cooking techniques are taught in the commercial food preparation certificate program. The culinary studies certificate and associate's programs also teach commercial food preparation techniques and include courses like food purchasing, sanitation, menu development and nutrition. Several practicums are also included in both programs, and culinary students work in a teaching restaurant to gain experience.

Pima Community College

Tucson's Pima Community College has an Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts program and a Culinary Arts Certificate program at its Desert Vista Campus. Some of the core classes in both programs are nutrition, food safety and garde manger. The associate's program also includes general education classes and nine credits of electives; students can learn about sauces, cake decorating and chocolate techniques, among other topics.

Scottsdale Community College

The American Culinary Federation accredits the culinary arts programs at Scottsdale Community College in Scottsdale. Students can view demonstrations in a technologically advanced classroom and train in a teaching kitchen. Additionally, students gain hands-on experience at a restaurant and dining facility.

Almost 25 faculty members teach classes in the culinary arts program. Students can choose between culinary fundamentals, culinary arts and advanced professional culinary arts certificate and associate's programs. Classes may cover regional cuisine, seafood preparation, cake decorating, pastry arts, garde manger and professional cooking techniques.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type and Setting Culinary Arts Certificate and Degree Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)
Arizona Western College 2-year, public; fringe town Culinary Arts Certificate,
Culinary Arts Certificate with a Focus in Entrepreneurship
$2,540 in-state, $9,530 out-of-state*
Central Arizona College 2-year, public; rural Culinary Arts Certificate I,
Culinary Arts Certificate II,
Associate in Applied Science in Culinary Arts
$2,460 in-state, $10,740 out-of-state*
Classic Cooking Academy 2-year, public; rural Pastry Session,
Classic Cooking Certificate
$1,050 (pastry session)
$2,150 (certificate)**
Cochise College 2-year, public; rural Chef Garde Manger Apprentice Certificate,
Chef Patissier - Baker's Apprentice Certificate,
Sous Chef Apprentice Certificate,
Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts
$1,848 in-state, $6,000 out-of-state*
East Valley Institute of Technology Less than 2-year, public; large city Culinary Arts Program,
Commercial Baking and Pastry Arts Program
$156 per class***
Estrella Mountain Community College 2-year, public; midsize suburb Basic Culinary Studies Certificate of Completion,
Culinary Studies Certificate of Completion,
Baking and Pastry Certificate of Completion,
Associate in Applied Science in Culinary Studies
$2,046 in-state, $7,830 out-of-state*
Mohave Community College 2-year, public; rural Baking and Pastry Certificate,
Culinary and Hospitality Management Certificate,
Associate of Applied Science in Culinary and Hospitality Management
$2,112 in-state, $6,972 out-of-state*
Phoenix College 2-year, public; large city Certificate of Completion in Commercial Baking,
Certificate of Completion in Commercial Food Preparation,
Certificate of Completion in Culinary Studies,
Associate in Applied Science in Culinary Studies
$2,046 in-state, $7,830 out-of-state*
Pima Community College 2-year, public; large city Culinary Arts Certificate,
Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts
$1,974 in-state, $8,610 out-of-state*
Scottsdale Community College 2-year, public; rural Certificate of Completion in Culinary Fundamentals,
Certificate of Completion in Culinary Arts,
Associate in Applied Science in Culinary Fundamentals,
Associate in Applied Science in Culinary Arts,
Associate in Applied Science in Advanced Professional Culinary Arts
$2,046 in-state, $7,830 out-of-state*

Sources: *NCES College Navigator, **Classic Cooking Academy, ***East Valley Institute of Technology.

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