Colleges with a Pastry Arts Major: How to Choose

Dec 04, 2019

Pastry arts is a specialization within the culinary arts industry. Bachelor's degree programs in pastry arts teach the skills used to create baked goods, pastries and specialty desserts. These programs often incorporate courses in business and bakery management. Although certificate and associate's degree programs are more common, a few culinary schools in the U.S. offer bachelor's degree programs in pastry and baking arts.

Pastry arts degree programs teach skills in baking design, creation and presentation, along with business and hospitality functions. Bachelor's degree programs are uncommon, but a few may be found at culinary institutes, as well as 4-year colleges and universities, through their culinary arts departments.

Pastry Arts Schools

These schools are among the few in the U.S. that offer pastry arts degrees at the bachelor's level.

College/University Location Institution Type Tuition and Fees 2018-2019*
New England Culinary Institute Montpelier, VT 4-year, Private for-profit $22,200
Johnson and Wales University Providence, RI 4-year, Private not-for-profit $32,441
Paul Smiths College of Arts and Science Paul Smiths, NY 4-year, Private not-for-profit $28,452
The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College Philadelphia, PA 4-year, Private for-profit $23,550

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

College Selection Criteria

Students should keep these considerations in mind when choosing a school:

  • Decide whether you want a program that provides a broad range of experiences, including working with different types of pastry goods and desserts, or a program concentrating on fundamental skills and production.
  • Students seeking a career in baking and pastry arts may want to consider schools with modern kitchen facilities and equipment, offering practical opportunities in on-campus restaurants and bakeries.
  • Although schools typically are accredited by a regional accrediting agency, attending a school accredited by the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation Accrediting Commission is required to be eligible to earn the Certified Pastry Culinarian (CPC) credential.
  • Some bachelor's degree programs allow students to study abroad to learn international pastry techniques.

Bachelor of Science in Baking and Pastry Arts

A baking and pastry arts major is sometimes offered as a bachelor's degree completion program to those who have already earned an associate's degree in the field. Additionally, schools also offer the degree as a Bachelor of Professional Studies. The first two years of courses in a 4-year program cover the fundamentals of baking, in addition to general education coursework. Management classes and supervised labs, along with an internship, are part of the curriculum. Junior and senior years typically include coursework in specific pastry-making techniques.

Bachelor of Science in Baking and Pastry Arts and Food Service Management

Combination degree programs, such as a Bachelor of Science in Baking and Pastry Arts and Food Service Management, include a variety of classes in baking techniques. Students also learn business-side skills. Such programs may include opportunities to study abroad or complete a pastry arts internship.

Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts in Culinary Arts with a Baking and Pastry Track

In this type of program, students take general culinary arts courses to learn how to create and prepare all types of foods. Students may specialize in pastry arts or may use elective credits to take additional pastry courses.

Students who are interested in a pastry arts program should look for an accredited school that offers practical work experience and modern facilities. Students who seek a bachelor's degree program may be interested in a school that offers international study opportunities.

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