Catering Schools and Colleges in the U.S.

Those who wish to enter into the field of catering can choose to complete either a diploma or associate's degree program. Programs at the associate's degree level are often bundled with hospitality or hotel management programs. Students take courses on meal planning and preparation, banquet operations, culinary arts and computer applications.

Catering requires creativity, culinary skill, and business and accounting skills in order to be successful. Individuals interested in attending a catering school or program can choose to attend a vocational or community college, or to attend a specialty hospitality college.

10 Schools for Catering

These schools offer catering programs that provide students with working experience and training.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition and Fees 2015-2016*
Academy of Careers and Technology Beckley, WV <2-year, Public Certificate $4,500
Athens Technical College Athens, GA 2-year, Public Certificate $2,684 in-state, $4,820 out-of-state
Baker College of Muskegon Muskegon, MI 4-year, Private not-for-profit Associate's $8,640 in-district
Clover Park Technical College Lakewood, WA 4-year, Public Associate's $5,382 in-state, $12,855 out-of-state
Eastern Maine Community College Bangor, ME 2-year, Public Certificate $3,810 in-state, $6,510 out-of-state
Emily Griffith Technical College Denver, CO <2-year, Public Certificate $8,197
Reading Area Community College Reading, PA 2-year, Public Associate's $5,130 in-district, $8,850 in-state, $12,510 out-of-state
Southern University at Shreveport Shreveport, LA 2-year, Public Certificate $3,987
Toledo Restaurant Training Center Toledo, OH <2-year, Private not-for-profit Diploma $5,750
Western Technical College La Crosse, WI 2-year, Public Certificate $2,200

Source: *NCES College Navigator

School or College Selection Criteria

Students may want to take the following into account when choosing a catering college:

  • Students may want to consider whether they want to pursue a certificate program that will prepare them for the basics of a catering career, or an associate degree, which couples those same basics with the accounting and business practices necessary to the trade.
  • Many programs (typically at the associate degree level), offer internships that can be an excellent source of hands-on training and experience.
  • Schools located in popular tourist destinations may offer more internship opportunities, as they are typically located near attractions and hotels with a constant need for catering.
  • Some programs may require students to have a health certificate or food worker card.

Students who are looking for a catering program should consider schools that offer internships for experience. Program options can range from diplomas to associate's degrees.

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