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Culinary Schools in North Carolina with Program Overviews

There are more than 20 schools within North Carolina that have culinary degree programs. Read an overview of 10 of the largest schools' programs, requirements, and tuition info and find out which school is the right one for you.

Essential Information

In North Carolina, students who are interested in becoming chefs, bakers, or caterers can find culinary training options at more than 20 schools. Many technical and community colleges offer undergraduate certificates and associate's degree programs to interested students. Common areas of focus include baking and pastry arts and culinary arts. Profiled below are 10 of North Carolina's largest culinary colleges.


Alamance Community College

Alamance Community College, in the city of Graham, awards associate's degrees and certificates and enrolls more than 5,000 students a year. Culinary students can enroll in Alamance's culinary arts program, which offers a certificate and an associate's degree. The Culinary Specialist Certificate program requires 18 credit hours in classes like baking, culinary skills, and nutrition. The 72-credit Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts program can be completed in 6 semesters. The program includes courses like food science, garde manger, wine appreciation, and classical cuisine.

  • Programs Offered: Culinary Arts Certificate,
    Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): In-state: $2,160, out-of-state: $8,304*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; fringe rural

Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College

Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College in Asheville offers 2 Associate of Applied Science programs that might be of interest to culinary students. Students interested primarily in baking can explore the Associate of Applied Science in Baking and Pastry Arts program. The 75-credit-hour program includes courses in confection and chocolate artistry, European cakes and torts, and artisan and specialty bread. Meanwhile, the Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts degree program is designed for students who want to gain a larger range of culinary skills. Students in this 76-credit-hour program will take courses in menu design, food and beverage service, and global cuisines.

  • Programs Offered: Associate of Applied Science in Baking and Pastry Arts,
    Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): In-state: $1,939, out-of-state: $7,029*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; small city

Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute

Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute is found in Hudson. The 2-year school has a student population of close to 5,000 students, and it offers an associate's degree program for culinary students. The Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts program is designed to be completed in 2 years. Students begin with courses in sanitation and safety, nutrition, purchasing, and basic culinary skills. In later semesters, students will study baking, catering, pastry and confections, and advanced culinary skills. Graduates of the culinary program may be able to gain certification from the American Culinary Federation.

  • Program Offered: Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): In-state: $2,274, out-of-state: $8,418*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public, midsize suburb

Cape Fear Community College

Culinary students at Cape Fear Community College, in Wilmington, can enroll in the school's culinary technology program and earn either a Culinary Technology Certificate or an Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Technology. The 18-credit certificate program includes a co-op work experience and covers basic and advanced culinary skills. The associate's program requires students to complete 70 credits of coursework and also includes a work experience component. In addition to required courses like food science and food and beverage control, students will be able to complete elective courses covering pastries and confections and culinary competition fundamentals.

  • Programs Offered: Culinary Technology Certificate,
    Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Technology
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): In-state: $2,345, out-of-state: $8,489*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; small city

Central Piedmont Community College

Charlotte's Central Piedmont Community College awards certificates and associate's degrees in culinary arts through the Hospitality Education Division. The school's baking and pastry arts certificate program offers specializations in cake artistry and dessert artistry. Students in the associate's degree program in baking and pastry arts will focus on breads, desserts, and decorative work. Students who want a broader culinary education can enroll in the Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts program. This program trains students for career opportunities in catering or restaurant work.

  • Programs Offered: Certificate in Baking and Pastry Arts,
    Associate of Applied Science in Baking and Pastry Arts,
    Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): In-state: $2,481, out-of-state: $8,625*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; large city

Fayetteville Technical Community College

Fayetteville Technical Community College is located in the city of Fayetteville. The school enrolls more than 11,000 students every year, and it offers associate's degrees and certificates in culinary arts. The Culinary Arts Certificate program offers a specialization in baking, as well as specializations for students who wish to be demi-chefs or pantry chefs. The certificate programs can be completed in 2 semesters. Students will need to purchase chef's uniforms for the program. Fayetteville's Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts degree program can be finished in 5 semesters. Associate's students will study nutrition, customer service, culinary fundamentals, and garde manger.

  • Programs Offered: Culinary Arts Certificate,
    Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): In-state: $2,298, out-of-state: $8,442*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; midsize city

Guilford Technical Community College

At Guilford Technical Community College in Jamestown, students interested in culinary arts can earn a certificate, diploma, or degree in the field. Culinary arts students will have the chance to work in the GTCC culinary arts and hotel-restaurant management dining room, where they can gain real-world experience by serving members of the local community. This lab program allows students to experience restaurant positions, such as server, dining room manager, and chef. All students will study sanitation and safety, basic culinary skills, and nutrition.

  • Programs Offered: Culinary Arts Certificate,
    Culinary Arts Diploma,
    Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): In-state: $2,382, out-of-state: $8,526*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; fringe rural

Sandhills Community College

Sandhills Community College is located in the city of Pinehurst. Students can earn certificates and associate's degrees in culinary arts and in baking and pastry arts through the school's hospitality and culinary technology program. Culinary arts students will study nutrition, food service, global cuisines, and wine appreciation. Baking and pastry students will focus on cakes and torts, breads, confections, and desserts. Students will have the opportunity to gain real-world experience by working in the Russell Dining Room, where hospitality and culinary technology students will cook for and serve customers from the community.

  • Programs Offered: Certificate in Baking and Pastry Arts,
    Certificate in Culinary Arts,
    Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts,
    Associate of Applied Science in Baking and Pastry Arts
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): In-state: $2,322, out-of-state: $8,466*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; distant town

Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College is located in the city of Henderson. The college has a student enrollment of more than 4,300. Vance-Granville students who are interested in studying culinary arts can enroll in certificate programs with specialties in basic baking, garde manger, or restaurant hospitality. The certificate programs focus on sanitation and safety, food production, and food and beverage service, in addition to the various specialties. Students can also choose to enroll in the college's Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts degree program. This 76-credit program can be completed in 2 years. Students in the associate's program will study subjects like baking, classical cuisine, menu design, and hospitality.

  • Programs Offered: Basic Baking Certificate,
    Garde Manger Certificate,
    Restaurant Hospitality Certificate,
    Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): In-state: $1,766, out-of-state: $6,374*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; distant rural

Wake Technical Community College

Wake Technical Community College, located in Raleigh, offers associate's degrees, diplomas and certificate programs in culinary technology and baking and pastry arts. The Culinary Technology Certificate program trains participants in safe and sanitary food handling, cooking, baking and food presentation. In the Baking and Pastry Arts Certificate program, students learn about baking bread, preparing pastries, and properly presenting desserts. The Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Technology program offers such varied courses as classical cuisine, human resource management, and menu design. The Associate of Applied Science in Baking and Pastry Arts degree program focuses on course topics like petit fours and pastries, dessert and bread production, and pastry and baking marketing.

  • Programs Offered: Baking and Pastry Arts Certificate,
    Culinary Technology Certificate,
    Baking and Pastry Arts Diploma,
    Culinary Technology Diploma,
    Associate of Applied Science in Baking and Pastry Arts,
    Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Technology
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): In-state: $2,380, out-of-state: $8,524*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; fringe rural

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Culinary Degree Programs and Certificates Offered Tuition & Fees (2012-2013)
Alamance Community College 2-year, public; fringe rural Culinary Arts Certificate,
Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts
In-state: $2,160, out-of-state: $8,304*
Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College 2-year, public; small city Associate of Applied Science in Baking and Pastry Arts,
Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts
In-state: $1,939, out-of-state: $7,029*
Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute 2-year, public, midsize suburb Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts In-state: $2,274, out-of-state: $8,418*
Cape Fear Community College 2-year, public; small city Culinary Technology Certificate,
Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Technology
In-state: $2,345, out-of-state: $8,489*
Central Piedmont Community College 2-year, public; large city Certificate in Baking and Pastry Arts,
Associate of Applied Science in Baking and Pastry Arts,
Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts
In-state: $2,481, out-of-state: $8,625*
Fayetteville Technical Community College 2-year, public; midsize city Culinary Arts Certificate,
Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts
In-state: $2,298, out-of-state: $8,442*
Guilford Technical Community College 2-year, public; fringe rural Culinary Arts Certificate,
Culinary Arts Diploma,
Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts
In-state: $2,382, out-of-state: $8,526*
Sandhills Community College 2-year, public; distant town Certificate in Baking and Pastry Arts,
Certificate in Culinary Arts,
Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts,
Associate of Applied Science in Baking and Pastry Arts
In-state: $2,322, out-of-state: $8,466*
Vance-Granville Community College 2-year, public; distant rural Basic Baking Certificate,
Garde Manger Certificate,
Restaurant Hospitality Certificate,
Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts
In-state: $1,766, out-of-state: $6,374*
Wake Technical Community College 2-year, public; fringe rural Baking and Pastry Arts Certificate,
Culinary Technology Certificate,
Baking and Pastry Arts Diploma,
Culinary Technology Diploma,
Associate of Applied Science in Baking and Pastry Arts,
Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Technology
In-state: $2,380, out-of-state: $8,524*

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics.

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