Baking and Pastry Schools in the U.S.

Baking and pastry schools prepare students to craft baked goods like breads and desserts. Schools across the United States offer degrees for students looking to become a baking or pastry chef.

Pastry and baking programs are most often available as certificates and associate's degrees. However, some schools offer an associate's degree in baking and pastry with the option of continuing on to a bachelor's degree program in culinary arts or hospitality upon graduation.

10 Schools with Baking and Pastry Programs

These schools offer baking and pastry programs at the certificate, diploma and associate's degree levels:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Undergraduate Tuition 2015-2016*
Houston Community College System Houston, TX 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $3,360 in-state, $3,756 out-of-state
Valencia Community College Orlando, FL 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $2,474 in-state, $9,383 out-of-state
Pima Community College Tucson, AZ 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $1,974 in-state, $8,610 out-of-state
Oakland Community College Bloomfield Hills, MI 2-year, Public Certificate $5,235 in-state, $7,305 out-of-state
Central New Mexico Community College Albuquerque, NM 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $1,448 in-state, $6,704 out-of-state
Columbus State Community College Columbus, OH 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $3,808 in-state, $8,430 out-of-state
Johnson County Community College Overland Park, KS 2-year, Public Certificate $3,180 in-state, $6,420 out-of-state
Milwaukee Area Technical College Milwaukee, WI 2-year, Public Diploma, Associate's $4,360 in-state, $6,286 out-of-state
Central Piedmont Community College Charlotte, NC 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $2,664 in-state, $8,808 out-of-state
Henry Ford Community College Dearborn, MI 2-year, Public Certificate $4,382 in-state, $5,990 out-of-state

Sources: *National Center for Educational Statistics

School Selection Criteria

Some considerations to keep in mind when choosing a school in this field are as follows:

  • Students should find a program accredited by a professional commission or federation, like the American Culinary Federation.
  • The school should have state-of-the-art kitchen equipment and regular kitchen classes; kitchen-based coursework should include instruction in knife skills, plating, food safety, timing and working in teams with other chefs.
  • The school's faculty should feature a mix of both trained instructors and current and former executive bakery and pastry chefs.
  • Students should look for programs where internships are readily available.

Associate's Degree Programs

Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degrees may be offered specifically in baking and pastry arts, or the subject may be available as a concentration within a broader AAS program in food service management or culinary arts. These programs include both classroom and lab-based coursework that help students learn essential baking techniques and hone their artistic skills in pastry-making. A real-world internship in a bakery, restaurant or hotel setting may also be required. In addition, students generally take courses in bakery sanitation, nutrition and basic business topics, and they must fulfill general education requirements. Most programs take two years to complete.

Certificate and Diploma Programs

General baking certificate and diploma programs provide coursework similar to that included within associate's degree programs, but with few or no general education requirements. Therefore, they usually take one year or less to complete, but they may still require students to participate in an internship. At some schools, students can enroll in a specialized certificate program in a particular aspect of baking and pastry making, such as cake artistry, dessert artistry or chocolate and sugar artistry. Sometimes, the credits from these programs can be applied toward an associate's degree in the field.

Degrees for baking and pastry arts are typically available at the undergraduate level. Students should look for accredited programs with a faculty that includes experienced chefs, and internship opportunities in food service establishments are important as well.

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