Top School in Pittsburgh for Becoming a Pastry Chef

Few schools in the Pittsburgh, PA, area have top-ranking programs for pastry chefs. Read on to find out what out what one of these top schools has to offer in pastry arts, as well as tuition and degree information.

School and Ranking Info

There are only two schools within 25 miles of Pittsburgh, PA, that offer formal training programs for aspiring pastry chefs: one private, for-profit institute and one public community college. Based upon the number of program options, industry accreditation and opportunities for hands-on experience, the following school is considered a top school for pastry arts training in the Pittsburgh area.

  • Winner: Westmoreland County Community College (WCCC) is the only public school in the area to offer pastry arts programs. It offers certificate, associate's degree and diploma programs in baking and pastry through its Workforce Development Division of Technologies.

School Info Chart

Category Westmoreland County Community College
Location Youngwood, PA
School Type 2-year, public
Tuition & Fees (2013-2014) Undergraduate: $3,420 (in-district);
$6,390 (in-state);
$9,180 (out-of-state)*
Baking and Pastry Awards Offered Certificate, diploma and associate's degree
Baking and Pastry Credentials Awarded (all levels) in 2013 16*
Most Popular Baking and Pastry Program in 2013 Associate's (13)*
Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) for 2010 entering class 12%*
Noteworthy Culinary arts programs are accredited by the American Culinary Federation (ACF)

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

Westmoreland County Community College

  • Apprenticeship and non-apprenticeship program options are available; students enrolled in the non-apprenticeship programs can participate in hospitality internships
  • Apprenticeships at culinary institutions, restaurants and retail bakeries require 4,000 hours of full-time work
  • Graduates of the degree program are eligible for ACF certification
  • Graduates may qualify for positions as bakers, cake decorators, pastry chefs and production supervisors

Westmoreland County Community College is a rural community college in Youngwood, PA, located 25 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. The school enrolls over 6,100 students annually and has a student-faculty ratio of 17:1. Undergraduates pursuing a certificate, diploma or degree in baking and pastry must purchase a cutlery set, decorative tips, textbooks and uniforms.

Entry-level career programs include a 16-credit Certificate in Baking and Pastry. The Diploma in Baking and Pastry program has a 42-credit non-apprenticeship option and a 45-credit apprenticeship option. Courses cover decorating techniques, healthy cooking trends, food purchasing and menu management. The Associate in Applied Science in Baking and Pastry has 60-credit non-apprenticeship and 63-credit apprenticeship options. Pastry students learn to prepare and decorate breads, pies, doughnuts, cookies and other dessert items.

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