Culinary School: Top Rated Culinary Arts Programs - Atlanta, GA

Jun 15, 2021

School and Ranking Information

There are less than ten schools available to students seeking a culinary arts program in Atlanta, GA. Based on these institutions' proximity to downtown and the number of awards conferred, Atlanta Technical College, Gwinnett Technical College and Chattahoochee Technical College are the top three choices among culinary arts schools located within 50 miles of the city. All three of the schools offer programs accredited by the American Culinary Federation.

  • Winner: Atlanta Technical College is the only one of these schools situated in Atlanta. It also awarded the most culinary arts credentials in 2018-2019.
  • Runner-Up #1: Gwinnett Technical College also offers multiple levels of culinary arts programs and is located 25 miles northeast of downtown in Lawrenceville, GA. It offers students the chance to study abroad.
  • Runner-Up #2: Chattahoochee Technical College is situated about 16 miles from downtown Atlanta in Marietta, GA, and offers culinary arts degrees and diplomas, including an advanced baking option.

School Comparison Chart

Category Atlanta Technical College Gwinnett Technical College Chattahoochee Technical College
Location Atlanta, GA Lawrenceville, GA (25 miles from Atlanta) Marietta, GA (16.2 miles from Atlanta)
School Type 2-year, public 2-year, public 2-year, public
Tuition & Fees (2019-2020) $3,084 (in-state), $5,484 (out-of-state)* $3,236 (in-state), $5,636 (out-of-state)* $3,120 (in-state), $5,520 (out-of-state)*
Culinary Arts Program Levels Offered Certificates, diplomas and associate's degrees* Certificates, diplomas and associate's degrees* Diplomas and associate's degrees*
Culinary Arts Degrees and Certificates Awarded (All Levels) in 2018-2019 186* 36* 35*
Most Popular Culinary Arts Program (2018-2019) Food Preparation/Professional Cooking/Kitchen Assistant Certificate (177 awarded)* Food Preparation/Professional Cooking/Kitchen Assistant Certificate (11 awarded)* Food Preparation/Professional Cooking/Kitchen Assistant Certificate (23 awarded)*
Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) for 2016 Entering Class 39%* 37%* 22%*
Noteworthy Halle Exchange program offers students international experience Child care center located on campus Career services office provides employment assistance and bi-annual job fairs

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Winner: Atlanta Technical College

  • Culinary arts students can prepare meals in the Flavors Restaurant located on campus
  • Extracurricular opportunities available through the Culinary Arts Club
  • Career placement services available

Located within the city of Atlanta, Atlanta Technical College offers culinary arts diplomas and associate's degrees. Program requirements include around 50 credit hours of technical courses, including a practicum where students receive on-the-job training four days a week at a restaurant or catering company. Atlanta Technical College also offers short-term certificates for aspiring culinary nutrition assistants, managers and prep cooks. These awards require between 14 and 25 credit hours of coursework. The school boasts a job placement rate of 90% for its graduating students, according to information appearing on the school website in 2013.

Runner-Up #1: Gwinnett Technical College

  • Among the largest technical colleges in Georgia
  • Offers opportunities for travel through the Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Travel Club
  • An Achieving the Dream National Reform Network institution dedicated to improving student retention and graduation rates
  • The Office of Veterans Affairs offers referral and academic counseling services as well as a veterans' scholarship fund

Gwinnett Technical College, the country's first technical school to award more than 3,000 degrees and certificates over the course of an academic year, is situated on a large 9-building campus in Lawrenceville. Its culinary arts program is offered full-time during the day. Award options include a 12-credit prep cook certificate, where students learn the basics of cooking, food safety and sanitation.

There's also a 52-credit diploma program covering additional topics in culinary nutrition, baking, restaurant operations and contemporary cuisine. For students who'd like to take on additional general education courses and electives, there's a 65-credit culinary arts Associate of Applied Science degree as well. Students in both of these diploma and degree programs are required to sit for ServSafe Sanitation Certification as part of their course of study; the certificate program prepares graduates for certification but doesn't require it.

Runner-Up #2: Chattahoochee Technical College

  • White Hat Brigade is an on-campus culinary club that allows students to take part in competitions and interact with culinary professionals
  • Students can get experience working in the college's lab kitchens and café

Chattahoochee Technical College, located less than 20 miles from Atlanta in Marietta, GA, offers culinary arts diploma and associate's degree programs. Coursework introduces students to baking, menu planning, the proper use of kitchen equipment and food preparation. Students also undertake a 6-credit practicum where they get to experience the day-to-day operations of a restaurant, hotel kitchen or catering company. Students pursuing the associate's degree take additional general education courses and electives designed to build their managerial skills. Available areas of study include financial accounting, managerial communication and business ethics. Degree candidates can also opt to learn advanced baking techniques.

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