Students interested in working as bakers or pastry chefs may wish to earn a degree in pastry arts. Texas has more than a dozen schools that offer pastry arts degrees. Students may choose from programs leading to certificates, diplomas, and associate's degrees. Associate's degrees may be earned in less than two years, depending on the school, and certificates and diplomas are generally shorter programs, allowing students to gain hands-on baking and pastry art skills in classroom and kitchen laboratory settings. Some programs include practicum or field experience opportunities.
Below are the profiles of the five public and private non-profit Texas schools that offer pastry arts programs.
Del Mar College
Del Mar Community College is located in the city of Corpus Christi. The school offers an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Culinary Arts program with a baking and pastry specialization. Students in this 60-credit program begin with basic food preparation, sanitation, and safety courses, as well as an introductory baking class. Students then move on to learn about pies, tarts, teacakes, cookies, cake decorating, and plated deserts. This program can be completed in five semesters.
El Centro College
Dallas-based El Centro Community College offers an Associate in Applied Science in Baking and Pastry program that requires students to complete at least 60 credit hours. Of all of the schools in the Dallas County Community College District, El Centro is the only one to offer culinary arts training through the Food and Hospitality Institute, which is located downtown Dallas. Required courses cover topics like bread and rolls, advanced pastry shop, and quantity bakeshop production. The school also offers electives in laminated dough, pate a choux, donuts, and advanced pastry competition. Students may also choose to enroll in the 22-credit certificate program, which includes many of the same baking and pastry classes, but no general education courses.
El Paso Community College
El Paso Community College, located in El Paso, enrolls more than 30,000 students annually. The school offers two programs for students interested in the pastry arts. Aspiring pastry chefs can enroll in the school's culinary arts certificate or AAS program with a pastry specialization. This 37-credit certificate program requires courses in foodservice management and nutrition and diet therapy, along with the fundamentals of baking and bakery operations. There's also a class focused on pies, cookies, teacakes, and tarts. The AAS degree program requires 60 credits and includes general education courses in topics like accounting, communications, and sociology.
Houston Community College
Situated in the city of Houston, this school has a student population of approximately 63,000. Houston students can earn a Certificate in Baking and Pastry or an Associate in Applied Science in Baking and Pastry. With the exception of a few courses, the entire pastry arts certificate program focuses on the creation and presentation of pastries. Students are exposed to making bread, tarts, cakes, and confections, among other items. In the Associate in Applied Science program, baking and pastry students can hone their pastry arts skills by cooking a variety of desserts, bread, and cakes. Field experience may be obtained in a practicum or cooperative education position in culinary arts, baking, and pastry arts, or cake decorating.
St. Phillip's College
St. Phillip's College in San Antonio serves over 10,000 students annually. The school offers two programs for aspiring pastry chefs: the Baking Principles Certificate and the Associate of Applied Science in Baking and Pastry Arts. The certificate program can be completed in three semesters and includes courses in basic food preparation, fundamentals of baking, and advanced pastry shop. Students also complete a practicum in baking and pastry arts. The 60-credit Associate of Applied Science program encompasses many of the same courses as the certificate program, and it also includes the study of chocolates and confections, plated desserts, and wedding cakes. The associate's degree program can be completed in two years.
School Comparison Table
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Pastry Arts Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)*|
|Del Mar College||Two-year, public; large city||Associate in Applied Science in Culinary Arts with a Baking and Pastry Specialization|| In-district: $2,729
|El Centro College||Two-year, public; large city|| Baking/Pastry Certificate,
Associate in Applied Science in Baking and Pastry
| In-district: $1,770
|El Paso Community College||Two year, public; large city|| Certificate of Completion in Culinary Arts - Pastry Specialization,
Associate in Applied Science in Culinary Arts - Pastry Specialization
| In-state: $3,010
|Houston Community College||Two-year, public; large city|| Certificate in Baking and Pastry,
Associate in Applied Science in Baking and Pastry
| In-district: $1,632
|St. Phillip's College||Two-year, public; large city|| Baking Principles Certificate,
Associate of Applied Science in Baking and Pastry Arts
| In-district: $2,820
Source: *NCES College Navigator.