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Culinary Schools in Virginia with Degree Program Descriptions

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), there are 17 schools within Virginia that have culinary arts degree programs. Read an overview of the eight largest schools' programs, requirements and tuition info and find out which school is the right one for you.

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Essential Information

Certificate and associate degree programs are available at several Virginia community colleges. Coursework covers general culinary arts skills, baking and pastry arts, and business management. Experience could be required prior to admission for some programs. Culinary programs generally include hands-on kitchen labs and could require internships or apprenticeships.

Central Virginia Community College

Central Virginia Community College is located in Lynchburg. Students can enroll in the 4-semester culinary arts certificate program or the 5-semester associate's degree in culinary arts and management program. The certificate program provides a solid basis in preparation of meat/seafood/poultry, fruits/vegetables/starches, baking and stocks/soups/sauces, as well as food production and sanitation. Admission to the associate's degree program is competitive and the program adds courses in garde manger, American regional cuisine, food production, menu management and an internship.

Dabney S Lancaster Community College

The culinary arts programs are located at the Rockbridge Regional Center (RRC) in Buena Vista, but students may take non-culinary-related classes at RRC or at the main campus in Clifton Forge. The college offers a 2-semester culinary arts certificate program and a culinary arts and management associate's degree program. The degree program is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation (ACFEF).

J Sargeant Reynolds Community College

Located in Richmond, J Sargeant Reynolds Community College offers an associate's degree program in culinary arts and a certificate in pastry arts. The associate's degree program can be completed in two years or students may opt for a fast-track 15-month schedule. The fast-track program is designed for students with commercial kitchen experience and prior college. The pastry arts certificate is also an advanced program designed for students with some experience including a minimum of three years commercial bakery or pastry experience, prior culinary arts college coursework or American Culinary Federation (ACF) certification. The school also provides the educational component for ACF's 3-year apprenticeship program in culinary arts but doesn't administer apprenticeships.

Northern Virginia Community College

Northern Virginia Community College offers a culinary arts certificate program at its campus in Annandale. This program consists of two semesters of basic culinary skills in several kitchen stations, such as baking and garde manger. In cooperation with Nation's Capital Chef's Association, the school also participates in a 3-year apprenticeship program, providing the relevant classroom instruction for the apprenticeship. The school is also a recognized sponsor of the ACF Apprenticeship Training Program for Cooks.

Patrick Henry Community College

Patrick Henry Community College in Martinsville offers two culinary arts career study certificates. The certificate program in culinary arts consists of 28 credit hours covering basic culinary principles, baking, sanitation, as well as an internship. The certificate program in culinary and hospitality management is 29 credit hours and covers fundamental skills in the preparation of soups, meats, vegetables and stocks, along with courses in business and kitchen management and an internship.

Rappahannock Community College

A culinary arts certificate program is offered at Rappahannock Community College in Glenns. The program consists of three semesters covering kitchen fundamentals and principles. The kitchen lab portions of the program are taught at the Northern Neck Tech Center in Warsaw and other off-campus sites. Qualified students are permitted to serve summer externships in area restaurants.

Tidewater Community College

Tidewater Community College conducts its culinary arts program at its Norfolk campus. The school offers certificates in catering and classical cooking, as well as a kitchen management certificate that doesn't include cooking components. The 2-semester catering program covers general culinary arts, sanitation and cost control. The classical cooking 2-semester program covers basic culinary principles, baking and regional cuisines. The school also offers an associate's degree program in culinary arts, which explores recipe management, culinary arts principles and regional cuisines, as well as general education and business courses. This degree program is accredited by ACFEF.

Virginia Western Community College

The Culinary Institute at Virginia Western is located in Roanoke. The school has certificates in culinary arts and in baking and pastry. The culinary arts certificate program focuses on baking, global cuisine and the preparation of soups and stocks, while the baking and pastry program focuses on pastry, desserts and artisan breads.

The school also offers an associate's degree program in culinary arts that covers the fundamentals of commercial cooking in various kitchen stations, such as stocks, soups, poultry and seafood. The program also includes general education and business courses related to the hospitality industry. Graduates of the degree program are eligible to sit for the ACF's Certified Culinarian and the Certified Pastry Culinarian examinations.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Culinary Degrees Offered Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)
Central Virginia Community College 2-year, public; small city Culinary Arts Certificate,
Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts and Management
$4,470 in-state*
$10,308 out-of-state*
Dabney S Lancaster Community College 2-year, public; fringe rural Culinary Arts Certificate,
Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts and Management
$4,350 in-state*
$10,188 out-of-state*
J Sargeant Reynolds Community College 2-year, public; large suburb Pastry Arts Career Studies Certificate,
Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts
$4,653 in-state*
$10,491 out-of-state*
Northern Virginia Community College 2-year, public; large suburb Culinary Arts Certificate $5,138 in-state*
$11,055 out-of-state*
Patrick Henry Community College 2-year, public; fringe rural Career Studies Certificate in Culinary Arts,
Career Studies Certificate in Culinary and Hospitality Management
$4,360 in-state*
$10,198 out-of-state*
Rappahannock Community College 2-year, public; distant rural Culinary Arts Career Studies Certificate $4,460 in-state*
$10,298 out-of-state*
Tidewater Community College 2-year, public; midsize city Career Studies Certificate in Catering,
Career Studies Certificate in Classical Cooking,
Career Studies Certificate in Kitchen Management
Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts
$5,171 in-state*
$11,009 out-of-state*
Virginia Western Community College 2-year, public; small city Career Studies Certificate in Culinary Arts,
Career Studies Certificate in Culinary Arts: Baking and Pastry,
Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts
$4,713 in-state*
$10,551 out-of-state*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

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