Culinary Arts Schools in Houston with Program Summaries

Dec 11, 2018

Research culinary arts schools in Houston, which currently has more than three colleges offering programs. Read an overview of degree programs and certificates for three schools within 40 miles of downtown Houston and decide which program is right for you.

Houston Culinary Arts Programs

Students interested in the culinary arts have a few school choices in the Houston area. This article highlights three of these schools, which are all within 45 minutes of downtown. There is a table comparing valuable school information, as well as a short paragraph discussing another school option, near the end of the article.

  • The largest school offering culinary arts programs in the Houston area is Houston Community College. Its associate degree and certificate programs in culinary arts are offered on the school's Central campus, which is 1.8 miles from downtown Houston.
  • San Jacinto College, which is 18.4 miles from downtown, offers culinary arts associate degree and certificate programs.
  • Situated 35.7 miles from downtown Houston, Alvin Community College offers an associate degree and certificate in culinary arts, as well as a certificate in culinary management.

Comparison of Schools

Choosing the right school can often be a tough decision. Check out the table below for information on tuition rates, enrollment numbers and more.

Houston Community College San Jacinto College Alvin Community College
School Type 2-year, public 2-year, public 2-year, public
Total Enrollment (2017)* 57,120 30,509 5,785
Campus Setting Large city Large suburb Large suburb
Tuition & Fees (2017-2018)* $1,632 in-district; $3,360 in-state; $3,756 out-of-state $1,500 in-district; $2,580 in-state; $4,140 out-of-state $1,622 in-district; $2,726 in-state; $3,878 out-of-state
% of Full-time Beginning Undergraduate Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017)* 62% 50% 50%
Acceptance Rate (2017)* Open admissions Open admissions Open admissions
Full-Time Student Retention Rate (2017)* 65% 72% 62%
Graduation Rate (Students who started Fall 2014)* 18% 28% 25%

Sources: *NCES College Navigator

Houston Community College

Houston Community College's courses are taught by chefs who have worked in the industry. Students learn their craft in professional, state-of-the-area culinary labs.

Culinary Arts Certificate (Level 2)

The certificate program takes three semesters to complete. Students generally complete the same courses offered in the first year of the associate degree program, excluding the general education courses.

Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts

This degree program takes five semesters to complete or longer if the student is enrolled part-time. Students take courses in food preparation, saucier, garde manger and a la carte cooking, among others. Students complete a practicum or a field experience.

San Jacinto College

San Jacinto College students can complete their education while working in the industry. Students receive basic training and may take a job as an apprentice chef or cook after graduation. Students may specialize in becoming a baker's helper, baker or an assistant cook.

Culinary Arts - Pastry Chef Certificate of Technology

Students in this program earn 39 credits over three terms. Courses include beverage and food control principles, advanced pastry shop, safety, sanitation, baking fundamentals and hospitality supervision.

Culinary Arts - Culinary Arts Certificate of Technology

Students take most of the courses in the Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts - Culinary Arts, except for the general education courses. The certificate is shorter (42 credits vs. 60 credits). Students are still required to complete a practicum.

Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts - Culinary Arts

Students participate in field trips, labs and lectures as part of this program. Courses include baking fundamentals, quantity procedures, international cuisine and garde manger, along with general education courses. Students complete a practicum, which may or may not be paid.

Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts - Pastry Chef

Courses in this degree program cover confections and chocolate, cake decorating, baking fundamentals and bakeshop production. Students must also complete a practicum and take general education classes in the third and fourth terms.

Alvin Community College

Students enrolled in a culinary arts program at Alvin Community College should be prepared to take an entry-level position upon graduation. Students are expected to gain all the necessary educational components needed to obtain American Culinary Federation certification.

Culinary Arts Certificate

This is a 1-year, 3-semester certificate. Students take culinary arts classes, management classes, a class in computer science and a practicum that lasts a semester. Courses include international cuisine, garde manger, current events in culinary arts, healthy cuisine principles and management of hospitality human resources, among others.

Culinary Arts - Culinary Management Certificate

The aim of this certificate program is to teach students basic management skills for the food service industry. Student should be ready to take an entry-level position in kitchen management upon graduation. Courses include food planning and production, current events in culinary arts, computer applications and a practicum.

Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts

Students in this program must take core classes in culinary arts, culinary management and general education requirements, along with a 2-semester practicum. The program takes five semesters to complete.

Other School Option

Another public school that students may consider is Lee College in Baytown, Texas. It is 26.1 miles (34 min) from Houston and has a student population of around 8,000 undergraduates. It offers two certificate programs in culinary arts.

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