Top School in Houston for Becoming a Pastry Chef

School and Ranking Info

Among the five schools in the Houston, TX, area that offer programs for bakers and pastry chefs are three community colleges and two for-profit institutes. The largest of the community colleges was chosen as the top school for pastry chefs based upon its proximity to the city, variety of baking and culinary programs and opportunities for some real-life, industry experience.

  • Winner: Houston Community College is a multi-site school with 18 campus locations and a corporate training college; continuing and distance education programs are available online. At the Central Campus in Houston, aspiring professionals will find three certificate programs and an associate degree program in baking and pastry arts.

School Info Chart

Category Houston Community College
Location Houston, TX (Central Campus)
School Type 2-year; public
Tuition and Fees (2013-2014) Undergraduate:
$1,630 (in-district);
$3,754 (out-of-state)*
Baking and Pastry Arts Awards Offered Certificate and associate
Baking and Pastry Arts Awards Conferred (all levels) in 2012-2013 33*
Most Popular Accounting and Business Administration Program in 2012-2013 Associate (23 awarded)*
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) for 2010 Entering Class 11%*
Noteworthy Placed 9th on Community College Week's survey of the top associate degree producing schools for 2014

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Houston Community College (HCC)

  • Baking and pastry program emphasizes the use of industry-grade equipment
  • Certificate and associate degree programs include a baking and pastry internship
  • Students in the baking and pastry certificate or degree program can learn how to make wedding cakes

Houston Community College enrolls nearly 58,000 students a year in its academic and occupational training programs, including those offered at the Lifestyle Arts and Design Careers Division. Located at the college's Central Campus, the division offers baking and pastry programs leading to a Baker Certificate Level I award, a Pastry Cook Level I certificate, a Baking and Pastry certificate and an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Baking and Pastry.

The 17-credit Baker Certificate program can be completed in one semester and includes courses in sanitation and safety, baking basics and laminated dough. Students also learn how to make breads, cookies, pies and rolls. A 17-credit Pastry Cook Level I Certificate program features many of the same courses as the Baker Certificate program, with a cake decorating class replacing the class on laminated dough.

All of these courses can be found in the 41-credit Baking and Pastry Arts Certificate program, which takes three semesters to finish and covers additional topics in food service, advanced pastries, cake decorating and plated desserts. Degree-seeking students in the 62-credit AAS in Baking and Pastry Arts program complete the requirements for the certificate, as well as a general education core and classes in conversational Spanish and purchasing.

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