Bachelors Degrees for Aspiring Chefs: Degree Program Options

Oct 11, 2019

A bachelor's degree program in culinary science begins in the kitchen, covering culinary arts and the science of food. Classes include essential skills in line cooking, presentation, and baking and pastry arts.

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Essential Information

Outside of the kitchen, students are taught marketing, merchandising, computer skills and basic interpersonal relationship skills, and are prepared for management roles in the hospitality industry. As students develop their own distinctive palate, they will acquire proficiency in both contemporary and classic culinary techniques. Practical experience via internships or externships is standard procedure. Graduates should have a broad understanding of merchandising, purchasing, budgeting and how to profitably operate a culinary business.


Bachelor's Degree in Culinary Science

The curriculum for this degree program is comprised of the practical application of culinary skills and the business side of running a culinary operation. Classes might include:

  • Purchasing and Cost Control
  • Management Principles and Culinary Leadership
  • Wines of the World
  • Regional American Cuisine
  • Catering and Menu Planning
  • Baking and Pastry Applications

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that more upscale establishments generally offer higher salaries for chefs. Consequently, there will be much more competition for these jobs. In May of 2018, the BLS reported the mean salary for chefs and head cooks to be $52,160, and jobs were expected to increase 11% from 2018-2028 (www.bls.gov).

Professional Certification and Continuing Education Information

The American Culinary Federation (ACF) offers 14 levels of certification through accredited schools. Certification is available as a cooking professional, a personal cooking professional, a baking and pastry professional, a culinary administrator or a culinary educator. Certification is awarded in 5-year increments, and the ACF offers continuing education for professionals who wish to recertify.

In bachelor degree programs for aspiring chefs, students learn both the business and culinary aspect of food preparation through coursework and hands-on experience. 14 levels of voluntary certification are also available from The American Culinary Federation (ACF) in this competitive field and could improve your employment prospects.

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