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Indianapolis Cooking Classes with School and Program Options

The Indianapolis area has at least two schools that offer cooking programs. Learn about the degree programs, admission info and program requirements for these schools, both within five miles of downtown, and make an informed decision.

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Cooking Classes in Indianapolis

Aspiring chefs and bakers in the Indianapolis area have a couple of options for training within 10 minutes of the city center. This article looks at the two schools with culinary programs in the city and at the training options they offer. There is also a table listing pertinent facts about each school, such as size, tuition, acceptance rates and graduation rates. This information can be useful to prospective students as they choose a school.

  • The Chef's Academy at Harrison College-Indianapolis, less than a mile from the heart of the city, is fully accredited and features four training kitchens. Students can select from an associate's degree program in pastry arts or culinary arts.
  • Culinary arts studies are offered at three of the campuses of Ivy Tech Community College, one of which is about three miles from downtown. Ivy Tech offers certificate programs in hospitality administration with specializations including culinarian certification and certified pastry culinarian. Its associate's degree programs in hospitality administration offer concentrations in culinary arts as well as banking and pastry arts. Students can gain experience at the campus restaurant and bakery.

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

Individuals who are looking for their best option for culinary training need to be armed with facts about all the schools. The following table presents information in a format that makes it easy to compare these institutions.

Harrison College - Indianapolis Ivy Tech Community College
School Type 4-year (primarily associate's), private for-profit 2-year, public
Total Enrollment (2014) 3,498* 91,179 (all locations)*
Campus Setting Large City Large City
Tuition and Fees (2015-16) $17,100* $4,115 in-state, $7,992 out-of-state*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Aid (2013-14) 91%* 82%*
Acceptance Rate (2014) 100%* N/A - Open Admissions
Retention Rate (Fall 2013 to Fall 2014) 42% (full-time students pursuing bachelor's degrees)* 45% (full-time students who returned for a second year)*
Undergraduate Graduation Rate 50% (Students who started 2008)* 8% (Students who started 2011)*

Sources: *NCES College Navigator

Harrison College

Harrison College's Chef's Academy is accredited by the American Culinary Federation and the Indiana Commission on Proprietary Education. The Chef's Academy has a 27,000 square foot facility with a computer lab, a student lounge and four kitchens filled with state-of-the-art equipment. Students can join clubs, including the Garden Club, the Beer Brewing Club and the Cake Decorating Club.

Culinary Arts Diploma

This 48 quarter credit hour program offers hands-on training in food preparation and presentation. In addition to taking part in classes on food safety, meat preparation and an externship, students must also complete the Basics of Nutrition and Strategies for Success.

Pastry Arts Diploma

This 48 quarter credit hour program offers students the fundamentals of baking and dessert preparation while integrating food safety, cost consciousness and nutrition. In addition to hands-on course, students will also participate in an externship.

Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts

Through the Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts, students gain real-world experience preparing food and presenting it. The program takes just under two years to complete. Students start with courses that train them to prepare breakfast, lunch and starches, then move on to prepare soups, stocks and sauces. They create professional baked goods, explore kitchen safety, incorporate nutrition into meals, pair wines, design menus, calculate and control food costs and study small business management. The 70 week course includes a 4-credit internship and a 12-credit externship.

Associate of Applied Science in Pastry Arts

Students completing the Associate of Applied Science in Pastry Arts take general education courses and basic culinary courses, but most of the program focuses on baking. They explore common dough formulas and create specialty bread products, pastry creams, custard, pies, cakes, cookies and ice creams. They also learn to use chocolate and sugar, calculate a product's nutritional value, operate a small business, design a menu and manage a restaurant. To graduate, they complete a 16-week externship.

Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College has multiple colleges strewn throughout Indiana and the surrounding areas. The main Central Indiana campus is the North Meridian campus in Indianapolis. There, students can work at the on-campus restaurant, named 'Courses'. Ivy Tech's Indianapolis campus offers a variety of certificate and associate's degree programs in culinary arts. All of the following programs, except the associate's degree with the concentration in baking and pastry arts, can also be pursued on the Bloomington, Indiana, and Columbus, Indiana campuses.

Certificate in Hospitality Administration - Certified Pastry Culinarian Concentration

By completing this 18-credit certificate, students earn national certification as a Certified Pastry Culinarian. In addition to basic sanitation and first aid, human relations management and nutrition courses, students explore the basics of baking and create cakes, fillings and icings. They also make classic pastries and chocolates. Credits from this certificate can be transferred into an associate's degree program.

Certificate in Hospitality Administration - Culinarian Certification

This certificate leads to national accreditation as a Certified Culinarian. Through the 18-credit program, students learn the basics of first aid, sanitation and food theories. They create soups, sauces and stocks and incorporate nutrition into their meals. They also study baking. These credits can also be applied toward an associate's degree.

Associate of Applied Science in Hospitality Administration - Culinary Arts Concentration

The Associate of Applied Science in Hospitality Administration with a Concentration in Culinary Arts takes about four semesters to complete. In addition to the courses completed in the certificate, students prepare breakfasts, cook seafood and other meats, prepare classic cuisine and design a menu. They study catering administration, customer service and garde manger (defined as the cold kitchen area). To graduate they must also complete an internship.

Associate of Applied Science in Hospitality Administration Baking and Pastry Arts Concentration

The first semester of baking and pastry arts associate's degree program is dedicated to general education courses and introductory culinary courses, such as sanitation and baking. In the second semester, students explore baking science, nutrition, food theories and human relations. In the third semester, they study customer service, bake cakes, use icings and fillings, create classic pastries, study breads made from yeast and learn how to control food costs. In the final semester of the program, they engage in bakery merchandising, menu design, plated desserts and wedding cake production. They also complete an internship.

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