Aspiring pastry chefs can pursue a certificate or an associate's degree in baking and pastry arts through community or technical colleges. Some schools also offer bachelor's degree programs that combine baking and pastry arts with management or leadership. Here we'll review some top schools that offer these kinds of programs.
The best baking/pastry arts programs are ones that offer multiple program levels and provide students with work opportunities. The three schools discussed here meet those criteria. The Culinary Institute of America, Johnson & Wales University, and Central New Mexico Community College offer baking and pastry arts programs that lead to either a certificate, an associate's degree, or a bachelor's degree.
Culinary Institute of America
The Culinary Institute of America has three campus locations in New York, California, and Texas, and its faculty is comprised of more than 150 professional chefs. The institute offers certificate, associate's degree, and bachelor's degree programs in culinary arts, baking and pastry arts, and wine and beverages. Aspiring pastry chefs can pursue an associate's degree in baking and pastry arts or a bachelor's degree in baking and pastry arts management. Both programs provide real-world experience through internships, externships, and opportunities to work within the institute's pastry restaurants.
Johnson & Wales University
Originally founded as a business school in 1914, Johnson & Wales University expanded through the years to offer undergraduate and graduate degrees in areas that include technology, education, and culinary arts. The school has four campuses in Rhode Island, Florida, Colorado, and North Carolina. As of 2017, Johnson & Wales tied for 67th among the best universities in the north, according to U.S. News & World Report's rankings for 2017.
Within the College of Culinary Arts, students can pursue an associate's or bachelor's degree in baking and pastry arts. Students entering the associate's program receive their own pastry tool kits. During both the associate's and bachelor's programs, students are required to complete an internship either locally or abroad.
CNM - Albuquerque, New Mexico
Central New Mexico Community College offers an associate's program in culinary arts with a concentration in advanced baking and pastry arts as well as a certificate in baking. This program prepares students for work in the food service or hospitality industry with business-related coursework also included. The school's program is accredited by the American Culinary Federation, and graduates of the associate program are eligible for the Certified Culinarian credential upon completion.
More Top Baking and Pastry Schools
Here are a few other good colleges for baking and pastry arts:
|College of DuPage||Glen Ellyn, IL||Offers an associate's degree and certificate program in baking and pastry arts|
|Columbus State Community College||Columbus, OH||Has a baking and pastry arts track that's part of the larger restaurant and foodservice management program|
|El Paso Community College||El Paso, TX||Students learn about the business aspect of baking while also gaining culinary skills.|
|Houston Community College||Houston, TX||Students taking baking and pastry courses have the opportunity to work with commercial equipment.|
|Oakland Community College||Bloomfield Hills, MI||Offers courses in wedding cake design, plated desserts, retail baking, and artisan breads|
|Suffolk County Community College||Selden, NY||Baking and pastry students can participate in a 200-hour internship program.|
|Valencia Community College||Orlando, FL||Has chefs that hail from Walt Disney World and Universal Studios|
We've just learned about some of the top baking and pastry schools in the country. Some tell-tale signs of the best schools in the field include offering multiple program options, top-notch faculty with considerable culinary experience, and kitchen-based training opportunities.