Cooking Classes in Minneapolis with School Overviews

Oct 02, 2018

The Minneapolis area has three schools that offer cooking programs within 15 miles of downtown. Learn about the programs, admission info and program requirements for two of these schools to make an informed education decision.

Minneapolis Cooking Schools

There are several cooking programs available in the Minneapolis area. This article highlights two schools, both of which can be found less than 20 minutes from downtown Minneapolis. Check out the table for information on tuition rates, graduation rates, enrollment numbers and more.

  • Hennepin Technical College, which is 13.6 miles from downtown Minneapolis in Brooklyn Park, MN, offers culinary assistant and culinary gourmet technician certificates, as well as an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Culinary Arts.
  • Saint Paul College, located 9.4 miles from Minneapolis' downtown area in Saint Paul, MN, offers a baking and decorating certificate, a short-order cooking certificate and an AAS in Culinary Arts.

Comparison of Schools

Provided below is a handy table that allows for easy comparison of school statistics.

Hennepin Technical College - Brooklyn Park Saint Paul College
School Type 2-year, public 2-year, public
Total Enrollment (2017) 5,078* 6,940*
Campus Setting Large suburb Large city
Tuition and Fees (2017-2018) $5,198* $5,560*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017) 75%* 87%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) N/A - Open admission N/A - Open admission
Retention Rate (2016-2017) 67%* 60%*
Graduation Rate (for those who began their studies in 2014) 30% (11% transfer-out rate)* 28% (17% transfer-out rate)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Hennepin Technical College - Brooklyn Park

Culinary students are required to purchase uniforms and several cooking tools in preparation for each program. The following programs also are offered at HTC's Eden Prairie campus, which is located about 18 miles from downtown Minneapolis.

Culinary Assistant Certificate

This program covers topics in basic food preparation, food service mathematics, hospitality industry basics, baking, pastries and basic garde manger. A food sanitation and safety course is also needed. To finish this program, students must earn 16 credit hours.

Culinary Gourmet Technician Certificate

To qualify for the Culinary Gourmet Technician Certificate program, students need to complete the Culinary Assistant Certificate program, the first semester of the culinary arts diploma program or the first semester of the culinary arts associate's degree program. Students only need to complete four courses to meet the 16-credit-hour requirement. Courses include advanced food preparation, baking and pastry, and garde manger. A dining room service course provides students with practical dining room experience.

Culinary Arts Diploma

This program's curriculum requires the same technical studies courses found in the culinary assistant and culinary gourmet technician certificate programs. In addition to the technical studies courses, six general education credit hours are required. Before graduation, students need to complete a total of 38 credit hours of coursework.

Associate in Applied Science in Culinary Arts

In addition to the courses required in the diploma program, this program requires courses in human relations management, catering, purchasing, cost control, culinary arts nutrition, beverage management and menu planning. Students also need to earn nine credit hours from general education coursework and six credit hours from general education electives. A minimum of 65 credit hours are needed for graduation.

Saint Paul College

Graduates of the diploma and associate's degree programs at Saint Paul College may qualify for the American Culinary Federation's Certified Culinarian designation and the Minnesota Food Manager Certification. In addition to tuition costs, students are responsible for purchasing their own culinary tools and uniforms.

Pastry and Baking Certificate

Courses in this certificate program cover proper sanitary practices, food service math, basic cooking and cake decorating techniques. The entire program includes eight courses.

Culinary Foundations Certificate

This program is tasked with showing students how to work in a fast-paced restaurant kitchen. Cooking classes cover basic techniques, meat preparation, food safety and nutrition theory. Students must also fulfill a general education requirement, for a total of 18 credit hours.

Culinary Arts Diploma

Courses in this program are designed to prepare students to work at a variety of food service establishments. In addition to cooking classes, students take courses in restaurant operations, catering, menu production, cost controls and a food service practicum. Students are also required to take classes in culinary theory and wine pairing. Following the recommended course sequence, this program can be completed in four semesters.

Associate in Applied Science in Culinary Arts

In addition to general education courses, students enrolled in this program need to complete the same cooking classes that are found in the culinary arts diploma program. Graduates may be eligible to transfer to related programs at 4-year institutions. Students are required to earn 68 credit hours to graduate.

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