Students can find a wide variety of both undergraduate and graduate options in food service management. These programs are usually provided through the business, culinary or hospitality departments of many community colleges and universities.
Food Service Management Schools
These schools offer food service management programs at varying levels, and in traditional or online settings.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition and Fees 2015-2016*|
|Penn Foster Career School||Online||2-year, Private||Diploma||$799|
|Art Institutes||Online||4-year, Private||Certificate, Bachelor's||$19,630 (Certificate), $22,400 (Bachelor's)|
|The Culinary Institutes of America||Hyde Park, NY||4-year, Private||Bachelor's||$29,250|
|New England Culinary Institute||Montpelier, Vermont||4-year, Private||Associate's, Bachelor's||$20,150 (Associate's), $16,375 (Bachelor's)|
|Johnson and Wales University||Multiple Locations||4-year, Private||Bachelor's||$29,576|
|Ashford University||San Diego, CA||4-year, Private||Bachelor's||$10,720|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics and school websites
College Selection Criteria
Some things to consider for choosing schools could be:
- Aspiring food service managers may look for programs that provide professional development and resume-building opportunities, such as restaurant simulation, project-based learning and supplementary credentials relating to the culinary world.
- Schools that offer certification preparation and the option to take licensing exams given by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation are useful to students earning their degree.
- Prospective students can find programs with helpful courses that incorporate food preparation and courses in food safety standards into the curriculum.
- Some courses may be available online.
Associate Degree Programs
Programs that offer courses in catering, wine and buffet cooking, in addition to traditional dining room management, can prepare students to work in a variety of food related industries. Internships and work experience may be required for graduation and can, in some cases, be transferred to a 4-year bachelor's degree program.
Bachelor's Degree Programs
Programs are available as a Bachelor of Science in Food Service Management program or as a concentration in a business degree program. Online courses may be available; however, students are required to be present for kitchen training and internships. Graduates with a bachelor's degree may find opportunities for jobs in upscale restaurants or corporate management positions.
Master's Degree Programs
Master's degree programs in food service management focus on hospitality management; however, students may have an opportunity to specialize their studies through electives in food science and human nutrition. Applicants to these programs may be required to have work experience at the supervisory level within the food industry. In some cases, programs do not offer a thesis option, requiring students to pass final examinations before graduating.
Doctorate Degree Programs
Those interested in teaching at the college level may pursue a Doctor of Philosophy in Food Service Management or Hospitality Management. Many doctoral candidates can also find schools that have food service research facilities.
Food service management degree programs are offered at associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree levels. Prospective students should look for programs that provide opportunities for professional development and prepare students for certification.