Bachelor of Culinary Arts: Degree Overview

Individuals can obtain a Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Professional Studies in Culinary Arts. These programs entail hands-on experience, co-op programs and externships in culinary settings.

Essential Information

Some bachelor's degree programs in culinary arts offer concentration areas such as baking or pastry arts. Students who acquire a bachelor's degree in culinary arts are prepared for careers in the foodservice industry or in food research. Prerequisites for these programs may include a high school diploma or GED as well as test scores from the SAT or ACT.

Bachelor's Degree in Culinary Arts

The curriculum in a culinary arts program is focused on a variety of aspects in the industry, such as managerial skills, restaurant operations, food safety and sanitation, nutrition, kitchen techniques, international cuisine and customer service philosophies. Students develop their palates and gain skills in communication and management through course topics such as:

  • Hospitality law
  • Customer service
  • Food safety
  • Food traditions
  • Plate presentation
  • Food preparation

Career Outlook and Salary Info

Individuals who obtain a bachelor's degree in culinary arts are prepared for careers in restaurants and culinary services. Graduates from these programs may choose to find jobs as sous chefs, assistant pastry chefs, food service directors, food stylists or personal chefs. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), chefs and head cooks earned an average income of $45,920 in May 2015, whereas food service managers earned an average annual salary of $53,640 that same year. The number of chef and head cook occupations is projected to grow by 9% from 2014-2024, while little to no career growth is expected for food service managers during the same period, based on data from the BLS.

Continuing Education and Certification

Students who opt to continue their education can find master's degree programs in food service and culinary arts. These degrees might lead to higher-level positions in the culinary field. Professionals who have worked in the field for at least five years can pursue certification as a Certified Culinary Professional through the International Association of Culinary Professionals ( This voluntary credential, which requires completion of an exam, can be used to demonstrate culinary arts skills and knowledge.

Culinary arts bachelor's programs can help students acquire hands-on experience in cooking in preparation for culinary careers. Graduates of these programs can also pursue master's degrees in the field in order to pursue higher-level positions, and they may have the experience and education to pursue voluntary certification.

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