Culinary Arts Degree Program in Charlotte with Course Summaries

Research culinary arts programs in Charlotte, which currently has two schools offering programs. Read an overview of degree programs, admission info and program requirements for these Charlotte schools, both in the downtown area, and decide which program is right for you.

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Charlotte Culinary Arts Schools

There are just two schools in Charlotte, NC, that offer degree programs in culinary arts. One is right downtown and the other has a campus just five minutes from the city center. This article gives an overview of both of these schools and what culinary arts programs they offer. It also contains a table of important information about these schools, such as school type, enrollment and tuition.

  • Johnson & Wales University (JWU) is a private, not-for-profit university with campuses in four cities, including downtown Charlotte. JWU has associate and bachelor's degree programs, as well as online learning options.
  • Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC) provides career training and associate degree programs at six campuses in Mecklenburg County, including one just about a mile from downtown Charlotte. Programs feature classroom, workplace and distance learning options.

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

The following table offers a side-by-side comparison of important facts about these two schools. This format makes it simple for prospective students to look them over and make decisions about their education.

Johnson & Wales University Central Piedmont Community College
School Type 4-year; private not-for-profit 2-year; public
Total Enrollment (2014) 2,255* 19,957*
Campus Setting Large city Large city
Tuition & Fees (2015-2016) $29,576* $2,664 in-state; $8,808 out-of-state*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Aid (2013-2014) 100%* 72%*
Acceptance Rate (2013-2014) 69%* N/A - open admission policy
Retention Rate (20103-2014) 74% for full-time students* 55% for full-time students, 42% for part-time students*
Graduation Rate (2014) 60%* 11% (31% transfer-out rate)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Johnson & Wales University

The Charlotte campus' College of Culinary Arts offers a variety of culinary arts-related associate's and bachelor's degree programs. Associate's degree programs tend to focus heavily on culinary arts, while bachelor's degree programs feature business management and culinary arts topics. Culinary arts involves long periods of standing, lifting heavy objects and working with commercial equipment, sharp implements, hot surfaces and substances; therefore, students are required to meet minimum physical and technical standards before being admitted to the program.

Associate in Applied Science in Culinary Arts

Culinary arts courses cover stocks, sauces and soups, European cuisine, introduction to baking and pastry, New World cuisine, meat cutting, garde manger, classical French cuisine, advanced French pastry and international cuisine. Students also learn nutrition and sensory analysis, purchasing and product identification, and principles of beverage service. Students are also required to take academic courses in nutrition, communication, cost control, English composition, leadership, math and science. Second-year culinary students have the opportunity to participate in a 1-term international exchange program with culinary arts schools in France and Ireland.

Bachelor of Science in Culinary Arts and Food Service Management

This program in intended for graduates of the university's associate degree program in culinary arts and can be completed in two years. Topics of study include marketing, human resources, financial management and accounting in relation to hospitality management. Additionally, students can opt to concentrate in resort management and casino and gaming operations or food and beverage management. They also complete general studies courses in macroeconomics, psychology and conversational Spanish.

Central Piedmont Community College

CPCC's culinary arts students use state-of-the-art equipment. Faculty members are proven industry professionals, classes are small, and students gain experience in a variety of settings.

Associate in Applied Science in Culinary Arts

Students in this program are required to meet minimum physical and stamina requirements and have adequate mobility and motor skills to perform the tasks required. They must be able to taste, smell and feel products to determine quality, both for identification purposes and to assess freshness and proper preparation. CPCC culinary arts courses include sanitation and safety, culinary skills and labs, global cuisine and labs, baking and labs, garde manger and labs, catering and beverages. Academic courses include nutrition, purchasing, social sciences, communications and humanities.

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