The roughly 15 schools in Georgia that offer programs in the culinary arts include ten public technical colleges. In general, the programs are open to high school graduates 16 years of age or older who meet the schools' standardized testing requirements. As the programs often require students to stand for long periods of time and lift between 25 and 50 pounds, applicants may be asked to provide proof of good health.
Programs concentrate on the hands-on development of culinary skills in kitchen laboratories. Programs leading to the award of an associate's degree include general education courses.
Below are brief summaries of the ten largest schools that offer culinary arts degree programs, along with a comparison table that highlights school and tuition information.
Albany Technical College
At this technical college in Albany, aspiring chefs can pursue a 49-credit diploma or a 62-credit associate's degree program in the culinary arts. The culinary curriculum is a combination of lecture-based classes in theory and hands-on training in kitchen safety, restaurant operations, baking and nutrition. To fulfill general education requirements, students in the associate's program also take classes in psychology, English, art and math. Additional program features include training in garde manger (cold food preparation) and contemporary cuisine.
Athens Technical College
Culinary arts programs at the technical college in Athens include a 2-year degree, a diploma and technical certificates in catering, food production and food preparation. Students who graduate from the Associate of Applied Science program may be eligible for a Certified Culinarian credential from the American Culinary Federation, as well as a ServSafe certification from the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation.
Through the 62-credit associate's program, aspiring professionals learn how to use food service equipment, identify food ingredients and follow professional culinary ethics. The core culinary curriculum is similar to that of the Albany program, and students also take general education courses in the natural and social sciences, the humanities, math and language arts.
A variety of certificates are available as well, including those for aspiring culinary nutrition assistants and catering specialists. These certificates require 12-24 credits to complete and include a basic cooking course and training in kitchen safety and sanitation. Students enrolled in the catering program also learn about cold food and contemporary food preparation.
Atlanta Technical College
The culinary arts program at Atlanta's technical college is accredited by the American Culinary Federation (ACF) and is designed to prepare future professionals for entry-level work as bakers, caterers, cooks or culinary managers. In addition to the culinary and general education core, the 62-credit curriculum includes a 6-credit practicum, and students can take a 6-credit course in advanced baking and global cuisine. A culinary arts diploma program is also available; culinary nutrition assistant and culinary nutrition manager certificates are offered as well.
Chattahoochee Technical College
Chattahoochee Technical College in Marietta is the largest technical institute in Georgia that offers a culinary arts degree. Instruction takes place at the Mountain View campus, and the program has been accredited by the ACF. Relevant facilities emphasize the gourmet aspect of the program and include a professionally equipped kitchen and the campus-based Café Rouge.
As with the Atlanta program, the curriculum requires a 6-credit culinary practicum, and students take an additional 3-credit course in culinary leadership. They can also choose electives in advanced baking, marketing or small business management.
In addition to the degree, Chattahoochee offers a 52-credit diploma in the culinary arts that includes the same 11 courses required for the associate's degree and just 8-9 credits of general education.
Georgia Northwestern Technical College
The culinary arts programs at Georgia Northwestern Technical College are available at the Floyd County Campus in Rome. To earn an associate's degree in the field, students complete 65 credits of both theoretical and practical training. The curriculum includes an elective in advanced baking and international cuisine. Georgia Northwestern also offers a culinary arts diploma and related culinary certificates for aspiring prep cooks and catering specialists.
Gwinnett Technical College
Gwinnett Technical College is located in the Atlanta suburb of Lawrenceville, and the ACF accredits its culinary arts program. Relevant programs include a 12-credit certificate for prep cooks, a 50-credit diploma and a 65-credit Associate of Applied Science program. Admission requirements for the culinary program include an essay-based personal profile, a resume and two letters of reference. Once admitted, students have to purchase their own chef's and dining room uniforms, knives and books.
The full-time degree program takes at least 4-5 semesters to complete, and the culinary curriculum is nearly identical to those at the aforementioned schools. Future professionals may also be interested in the continuing education courses in entrepreneurship and management.
Savannah Technical College
Through the Culinary Institute in Savannah, students can enroll in an ACF-accredited diploma or degree program, and the school also offers formal training in baking and pastry arts. Graduates may qualify for the ACF's Certified Culinarian credential.
Unique to the 65-credit culinary arts associate's program are electives in food and beverage management, event planning and hospitality. Students pursuing a degree in baking and pastry arts complete 66 credits of coursework over five semesters, including a culinary arts core. They also learn how to make artisan breads, European cakes, chocolates and plated desserts.
Southern Crescent Technical College
The Personal Services Department at Southern Crescent Technical College offers an associate's degree program in culinary arts at its Griffin campus. The program requires 65-67 credits of coursework in culinary arts and general education, as well as a minimum of six credits of related electives. These may include topics in employee training, management, business ethics and accounting.
In addition to the degree program, Southern Crescent offers a 52-credit culinary arts diploma and a 25-credit catering specialist certificate program. The latter includes courses in food safety and sanitation, baking, cooking and restaurant operations.
West Georgia Technical College
Through the School of Business and Public Services, students can earn a diploma or an Associate of Applied Science in the culinary arts, and technical certificates are available for aspiring food production workers and prep cooks. Prospective chefs have the opportunity to train with a 2-member faculty, including a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu.
The degree and the diploma require 65 and 52 credits of coursework, respectively, and students in the associate's program can also take six credits of electives in nutrition, food service management, marketing or customer service. Certificate programs in prep cooking and food production require 12-16 credits of coursework in safety and sanitation, culinary fundamentals and cooking practices. Additional school features include Jobweb, an online tool that can help students find employment.
Wiregrass George Technical College
Culinary arts programs at Wiregrass Georgia Technical College in Valdosta include a 65-credit associate's degree and a 52-credit diploma, and the curricula are nearly identical to those offered by the preceding schools. Students can also earn a 25-30-credit technical certificate in catering or dietary management. The latter can help students acquire a number of important industry certifications, including the ServSafe credential from the National Restaurant Association. Students should be aware in advance that internships might require drug screenings, physical exams or CPR certifications.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Culinary Arts Degrees Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)|
|Albany Technical College||2-year, public; small city||Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts|| $2,712 in-state;
|Athens Technical College||2-year, public; midsize city||Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts||$2,798 in-state;
|Atlanta Technical College||2-year, public; large city||Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts|| $2,820 in-state;
|Chattahoochee Technical College||2-year, public; large suburb||Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts||$2,816 in-state;
|Georgia Northwestern Technical College||2-year, public; small city||Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts||$2,798 in-state;
|Gwinnett Technical College||2-year, public; large suburb||Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts|| $2,972 in-state;
|Savannah Technical College||2-year, public; midsize city|| Associate of Science in Baking and Pastry Arts,
Associate of Science in Culinary Arts
|Southern Crescent Technical College||2-year, public; large suburb||Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts||$2,842 in-state;
|West Georgia Technical College||2-year, public; rural||Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts||$2,838 in-state;
|Wiregrass Georgia Technical College||2-year, public; small suburb||Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts||$2,794 in-state;
Source: *NCES College Navigator