Washington, DC, Cooking Schools
The DC area itself doesn't have any schools that offer cooking classes; however, students can receive culinary training at three community colleges located in the neighboring state of Maryland. Program summaries and a comparison table with key school information can be found below, as well as a paragraph about other school options in Virginia.
- Anne Arundel Community College is located a little over 38 miles from downtown Washington, DC. The college offers a number of certificate programs, as well as a 2-year degree and non-credit courses, in the culinary arts.
- Similar courses and levels of study can be found at Prince George's Community College, located about 16 miles from downtown Washington, DC.
- Howard Community College, located just over 36 miles from downtown Washington, DC, offers certificates and an associate's degree in culinary management.
Comparison of Schools
The following table includes important information about program costs, the likelihood of receiving some form of financial assistance and graduation rates. Note that all three schools have open admissions policies and that more than 55% of first-time, full-time students return after one year of study.
|Anne Arundel Community College||Prince George's Community College||Howard Community College|
|School Type||2-year, public||2-year, public||2-year, public|
|Total Enrollment (2017*)||13,354||12,113||9,476|
|Campus Setting||Large suburb||Large suburb||Small city|
|Tuition & Fees (2017-2018)*||$4,646 in-district; $7,706 in-state; $12,566 out-of-state||$3,770 in-district; $6,050 in-state; $8,498 out-of-state||$3,888 in-district; $5,880 in-state; $6,960 out-of-state|
|% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Aid (2016-2017)*||39%||75%||57%|
|Acceptance Rate||Open admissions||Open admissions||Open admissions|
|Retention Rate (2017)*||72% for full-time students; 53% for part-time students||56% for full-time students; 44% for part-time students||69% for full-time students; 48% for part-time students|
|Graduation Rate (students who began fall 2014)*||20% (27% transfer-out rate)||9% (20% transfer-out rate)||19% (19% transfer-out rate)|
Sources: *NCES College Navigator.
Anne Arundel Community College
Culinary and hospitality programs at Anne Arundel Community College have been termed 'statewide programs' by the Maryland Higher Education Commission. For statewide programs, Maryland students pay in-county tuition. To be eligible for reduced tuition, a student must enroll in the program by the first day of class and notify the cashier prior to paying tuition.
Non-Credit Culinary Courses
The college's Hotel, Culinary Arts and Tourism Institute offers non-credit cooking courses. Students can take classes in areas such as food demonstrations, lifestyle and entertaining, food and society, hands-on cooking and tasting.
Baking and Pastry Arts Certificate
This certificate program trains students to work as bakers or pastry cooks at bakeshops, bakeries or restaurants. Classes in this 25-credit program include introductory cooking, pastry making and baking, as well as topics in bread, cake and pastry production and nutritional cooking. Students also learn how to make European pastries and chocolate. Credits earned through this program can be applied towards the associate's degree in hotel/restaurant management with a concentration in culinary arts.
Culinary Arts Certificate
This 25-hour certificate program prepares students for entry-level culinary jobs; graduates may become banquet or lead cooks. Courses include American and international regional cooking, sanitation and cooking techniques. Students also take classes in pastry making and baking, nutritional cooking, food science and garde-manger.
Event Planning and Catering Certificate
Graduates who complete this 25-credit certificate program may work as assistant managers for small caterers or as banquet assistants or event planners. Courses include topics in sanitation and cost control; students also receive an introduction to the hospitality industry. Aspiring chefs also have the chance to study world cuisine and culture, while receiving basic training in baking, cooking and pastry production.
Restaurant Cooking Skills Certificate
Students in this 16-credit program take two courses in cooking techniques, along with classes in garde-manger, pastry and baking, entry-level cooking and sanitation. After graduation, individuals can look for positions as banquet, prep or line cooks.
Associate of Applied Science in Hotel/Restaurant Management, Culinary Arts Option
Students in this program are prepared for work as bakers, cooks, pastry cooks or managers in training. The curriculum includes general education, culinary and elective courses. Core courses cover baking and pastry techniques, introductory and nutritional cooking, food science and cost control. Students also study the relationship between cuisine and world culture and learn about beverage and food operations management. Additional requirements include an internship.
Prince George's Community College
The Social Sciences and Business Division's Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts Department offers the culinary programs at Prince George's Community College. Programs are taught by full-time instructors and working professionals who train students to become culinary arts and hospitality management professionals.
Culinary Arts Certificate
Students take courses in international cuisine, advanced pastry and baking, catering, garde-manger and food production. Additionally, they complete hospitality courses, such as food service operations and the use of technology in the hospitality industry. A certification course in sanitation and training is also required.
Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts
This program requires courses in both general education and the basic culinary arts. Some of the major courses include cost control, beverage and food purchasing, accounting and food service operations. Students also learn about the hospitality industry and technology while becoming certified in sanitation and receiving management training. They also participate in an internship.
Howard Community College
Howard Community College opened in 1970. The school's Business and Computer Systems Division offers culinary and cooking classes through the Center for Hospitality and Culinary Studies.
Baking and Pastries Culinary Management Certificate
Students in this program can hone their skills in management, service, cost control, purchasing and food handling. Courses cover topics in culinary supervision, pastries and baking, showpieces, nutrition and cake decorating.
Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Management
The Associate of Applied Science program allows for concentrations in professional baking and pastry making or professional cooking. In addition to concentration courses, students take general education classes. Qualified graduates may find work as an entry-level culinary managers or supervisors.
Other School Options
Students may also enroll in a culinary arts certificate program at Northern Virginia Community College, located in Annandale, VA, about 16.8 mi. (24 min.) from downtown DC.