Top Degree Programs for the Culinary Arts - Denver, CO

Students interested in studying culinary arts in Denver, CO, have only a few schools to choose from. Read about the top local schools' degree programs, tuition and ranking info to find the right one for you.

School and Ranking Information

Prospective students seeking a degree in culinary arts have five schools to choose from within a 50-mile radius of the Denver area. The following three top institutions develop students' culinary skills through internship opportunities and access to modern kitchen and dining facilities.

  • Winner: Emily Griffith Technical College offers small class sizes, the highest graduation rate, and various career resources.
  • Runner Up #1: Johnson & Wales University - Denver was awarded a second place ranking for its variety in degree programs and concentrated areas of study.
  • Runner Up #2: Red Rocks Community College earned a third place ranking for its apprenticeship offering.

School Comparison Table

Category Emily Griffith Technical College Johnson & Wales University - Denver Red Rocks Community College
Location Denver, CO Denver, CO Lakewood, CO (10.2 miles from downtown Denver)
School Type Less than 2-year, public 4-year, private not-for-profit 2-year, public
Tuition & Fees (2012-2013) $7,240 (estimated program cost)** $26,412 (undergraduate)* $2,962 (undergraduate, in-state)*
$11,263 (undergraduate, out-of-state)*
Culinary Arts Award Levels Offered Certificate Associate's and bachelor's degrees Certificate, associate's degree
Culinary Arts Degrees and Certificates Awarded (All Levels) in 2011-2012 98* 228* 8*
Most Popular Culinary Arts Program in 2011-2012 1-2 Year Certificate in Restaurant, Culinary, and Catering Management/Manager (47 awarded)* Associate's in Culinary Arts (165 awarded)* 1-2 Year Certificate in Culinary Arts (5 awarded)*
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal program time) 88% (2008-2009 entering class)* 54% (2005 entering class)* 23% (2008 entering class)*
Noteworthy Students receive hands-on training in a real restaurant The university has been recognized by the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for their commitment to community service programs The college was ranked among institutions featured on the 2013 Affordable Colleges Online List***

Sources: *NCES College Navigator, ** Emily Griffith Technical College, ***Red Rocks Community College

Winner: Emily Griffith Technical College

  • The college has a student-faculty ratio of 13:1, according to the NCES
  • According to the school, the program features a 100% job placement
  • Offers the highest graduation rate of the three schools at 88%, according to the NCES

At Emily Griffith Technical College, students have the opportunity to pursue a Certificate in Culinary Arts. Offering flexibility and hands-on training within a local campus restaurant, this program is designed to prepare students for careers such as chefs, bakers, cake decorators, and caterers. Along with an internship in the food service industry, students are required to complete coursework in food safety and sanitation, line prep and cookery, baking, dining room management, and menu planning. They have access to free workshops, resume writing assistance, career fairs, and career counseling through the career services department.

Runner-Up #1: Johnson & Wales University - Denver

  • School features a culinary exchange program that allows second-year students to study in Ireland and France
  • Students have the opportunity to display their skills in regional, national, and international culinary competitions
  • The university provides culinary arts students with access to numerous facilities, including nine kitchen labs, two teaching dining rooms, and a beverage lab

Students at Johnson & Wales University may opt to pursue an Associate in Science in Culinary Arts program. In addition to hands-on training with an internship experience, the program offers opportunities for an international exchange program and teaching assistant positions. Additional coursework includes dining room essentials, new world cuisine, nutrition and sensory analysis, international cuisine, and food service production fundamentals.

A Bachelor of Science in Culinary Nutrition program is also available to students. The Accreditation Council for Education and Nutrition accredits this degree program, which provides students with the opportunity to pursue a concentration in culinary food science or clinical/dietetics. As part of their degree requirements, students must complete a culinary nutrition internship or study abroad program, as well as a career capstone course.

Prospective students may also consider a Bachelor of Science in Culinary Arts and Food Service Management program. Designed as a collaboration between the Hospitality College and the College of Culinary Arts, this degree program advances students' leadership and management skills in addition to offering practical experience in the culinary arts. Internship opportunities and study abroad programs are available to individuals within the program.

Runner-Up #2: Red Rocks Community College

  • The college's free career resource, Choices CIC Advancer, provides students with career assessments as well as resume development assistance and interview practice
  • Walk-in tutoring and private tutoring sessions are offered to students within a variety of subject areas
  • The college offers a variety of classroom formats, including traditional, online, self-paced, and weekend courses

Red Rocks Community College offers an Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts. In addition to three culinary arts internships, this degree program features coursework in subject areas such as stocks and sauces, baking, vegetable preparation, breakfast cookery, and individual fancy dessert production. Additional coursework in nutrition for the hospitality professional and supervision in the hospitality industry are also required.

In collaboration with the associate degree, students may participate in the Rocky Mountain Chef's of Colorado Apprenticeship Program. This program is offered to students with at least six months work or training experience within the food service industry and combines field experience with classroom instruction. The 3-year program features a full-time apprenticeship with a sponsoring house and chef. Students may also pursue a Culinary Arts Certificate.

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