Top Schools for Culinary Arts and Culinary Services

Find information about culinary arts and services programs, through which aspiring chefs can learn how to create menus, prepare a variety of dishes and manage restaurants. Find out about the certificate and degree programs offered at two leading schools, and get an overview of what's available at other colleges and technical centers around the country.

Programs in culinary arts/services are available at a number of colleges. Let's take a look at some of the best programs from the schools listed below.

School Overview

The three schools profiled below include an internationally-renowned culinary institute and two schools notable for their variety of program options within the culinary field. Levels of study include certificate and undergraduate degree programs, which can include training in baking and pastry arts, hospitality or international cooking.

Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY

School Highlight: This institute offers locations in New York, California, Texas and Singapore.

The Culinary Institute of America (CIA), one of the premier schools for culinary arts and services in the nation, offers certificate, associate's and bachelor's degree programs in baking, culinary and pastry arts. As culinary arts majors, students become familiar with kitchen skills and procedures while learning how to prepare dishes native to other countries. Aspiring restaurant mangers receive training in business practices; additional programs are available for food enthusiast programs. Notable school features include the Augie awards for industry leaders.

Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA

School Highlight: This school proffers a large variety of options for culinary arts studies, with both culinary arts major and minors.

Culinary arts majors receive training in cooking and restaurant management while pursuing a minor in marketing, business administration or entrepreneurship. Students also take classes in business, hospitality and liberal arts. A minor in culinary arts is also available. Studying abroad is another option, in addition to a dual-degree. This program has a variety of degree options, which separates it from other culinary programs.

American River College in Sacramento, CA

School Highlight: Certificates and associate's degree programs offered.

Coursework in the culinary arts/hospitality management program embraces both cooking and business skills. The associate's degree incorporates both classroom and restaurant training, and prepares students for careers in restaurants, bakeries, hotels, grocery stores and more. Various certificates are also offered in such areas as baking, hospitality management and restaurant management, which is uncommon to most programs of this kind.

Top Culinary Arts and Services Programs

The following schools all provide top culinary arts programs:

  • Culinary arts certificates are available from Autry Technology Center in Enid, OK.
  • Cape Girardeau Career and Technology Center in Cape Girardeau, MO, offers a certificate program.
  • City College of San Francisco in San Francisco, CA, offers associate's degrees in culinary arts.
  • Certificates and associate's degree are available from Contra Costa College in San Pablo, CA.
  • D G Erwin Technical Center in Tampa, FL, offers a 1-2 year certificate.
  • Grossmont College in El Cajon, CA, offers a certificate and associate's degree.

The Culinary Institute of America, Drexel University and American River College are all home to top culinary programs. Certificates and associate degrees are the most common programs within this field, though select schools may offer culinary arts bachelor's degrees.

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