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Cooking Classes in Houston with School Information

The Houston area has three colleges within 35 miles of the city center that offer cooking programs. Learn about the programs, admission info and program requirements for these schools to make an informed education decision.

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Houston Schools with Cooking Programs

Students in the Houston area can find culinary arts programs at the certificate and associate's degree levels. These programs feature classes that teach students to cook, bake and keep a kitchen clean. This article examines three schools that are within 45 minutes of downtown Houston. It also includes a table that cites important facts about each school, such as costs and size, in an easy-to-use format.

  • Only two miles from the city center, Houston Community College offers certificate and associate's degree programs in culinary arts and pastry arts.
  • San Jacinto Community College, 23 miles from downtown Houston, features several certificate and associate's degree programs that provide cooking training.
  • Alvin Community College has two certificate programs and one associate's degree program in culinary arts. This school is approximately 34 miles from downtown Houston.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Baking and Pastry Arts
  • Bartending
  • Catering and Restaurant Management
  • Chef Training
  • Food Preparation
  • Food Server and Dining Room Mgmt
  • Institutional Food Worker
  • Meat Cutting

Comparison of Schools

Many factors should be considered by students who are looking for a culinary arts school. The following table offers a quick way to compare important aspects of these three schools.

Houston Community College San Jacinto Community College Alvin Community College
School Type 2-year; public 2-year; public 2-year; public
Total Enrollment (2014) 58,276* 27,911* 4,837*
Campus Setting Large city Large suburb Large suburb
Tuition & Fees (2015-2016) $1,632 in-district; $3,360 in-state; $3,756 out-of-state* $1,408 in-district; $2,416 in-state; $3,688 out-of-state* $1,514 in-district; $2,594 in-state; $3,794 out-of-state*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2013-2014) 70%* 57%* 43%*
Acceptance Rate (2015-2016) N/A - Open admissions N/A - Open admissions N/A - Open admissions
Retention Rate (2013-2014) 56% full-time; 42% part-time* 66% full-time; 52% part-time* 59% full-time; 43% part-time*
Graduation Rate (students who began in Fall 2011) 12% (22% transfer-out rate)* 15% (22% transfer-out rate)* 16% (32% transfer-out rate)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

Houston Community College

The Central College campus at Houston Community College has a Lifestyle Arts and Design Department that offers programs in fashion, design, hospitality, travel and tourism, and hotel and restaurant management. Students who are interested in learning to cook and bake can pursue a certificate or associate's degree in culinary arts or baking and pastry arts.

Culinary Arts Certificate

The culinary arts certificate program is 42 credits and provides students with the cooking training and skills necessary to obtain employment in the field. Students can complete the program in three semesters and take courses in food preparation, food service operations, sanitation, beverage control, international cuisine and American cuisine. A practicum is also part of the program.

Baking and Pastry Arts Certificate

The baking and pastry arts certificate is a 3-semester program and consists of 42 credits. In addition to sanitation and food service operations coursework, courses include baking, cake decorating and food and beverage control. The curriculum also includes a practicum.

Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts

Students enrolled in the culinary arts associate's degree program must complete 60 credits. The program takes two years to complete and includes five semesters of coursework. The curriculum includes three food preparation classes, and the program covers additional topics in a la carte cooking, American and international cuisine, and desserts. General education courses and a practicum round out the curriculum.

Associate of Applied Science in Baking and Pastry Arts

The baking and pastry arts associate's degree program teaches students to make breads, rolls, pies, cookies, dough, donuts and cakes. The 60-credit program also covers topics in sanitation, hospitality operations, chocolates, food service operations and conversational Spanish. Students must also complete a practicum.

San Jacinto College

San Jacinto College offers several certificate and degree programs that prepare students for careers in the culinary arts. In addition to culinary programs, the community college provides educational and training opportunities in restaurant management and dietetics.

Pastry Chef Certificate

The pastry chef certificate is a 3-semester program that combines coursework with field training in a professional kitchen. Students take courses in cake decorating, baking and chocolates.

Healthy Cuisine Certificate

The healthy cuisine certificate program offers students a chance to complete courses in a flexible format that allows them to continue working while pursuing their education. Topics covered include food preparation, sanitation, hospitality, baking, food and beverage control, and healthy pastries.

Culinary Arts Chef Training Certificate

Students can earn the culinary arts chef training certificate in three semesters. The program consists of foundational baking and food preparation coursework and includes a practicum requirement.

Culinary Arts Certificate

In addition to three semesters of coursework, the culinary arts certificate program requires that students complete a practicum during the summer following the second semester. Coursework covers topics in food preparation, hospitality, sanitation, baking, food service management, international cuisine and pastry, and a la carte cooking.

Associate of Applied Science in Pastry Chef

The pastry chef associate's degree program educates and trains students through lectures, field trips and labs. Courses teach students about hospitality, baking, cake decorating and chocolates. A practicum and general education requirements are also part of the program.

Associate of Applied Science in Chef Training

Students in the chef training associate's degree program are educated by state-recognized professors and chefs. The curriculum combines general education requirements with cooking classes. Students learn about food preparation, sanitation, baking, food service equipment and management.

Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts

The associate's degree in culinary arts provides students with the opportunity to network and obtain employment upon graduation. In addition to cooking coursework and general education requirements, the program offers several field trips, including ones to Italy, New Orleans and Disney World.

Alvin Community College

While students at Alvin Community College can pursue certificates and associate's degrees on-campus, the community college also offers online and hybrid programs that can be completed at home. In addition to the associate's degree program in culinary arts, the schools features certificate programs in culinary arts and culinary management.

Culinary Arts - Culinary Management Certificate

The culinary management certificate is 23 credits and combines coursework with a practicum in the field. Students take classes in sanitation, human resources, food and beverage control, and business computer applications. Courses also cover topics in nutrition and food production.

Culinary Arts Certificate

Students in the culinary arts certificate program are required to complete 38 credits. The coursework combines cooking classes with a practicum. The curriculum ensures that students have an understanding of baking, food preparation, healthy cuisine, regional cuisine and nutrition.

Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts

The Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts is a 5-semester program that requires students to complete 60 credits. Courses teach students about food preparation and planning, baking, sanitation, international and American cuisine, nutrition and hospitality. The program includes two practicum requirements.

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