Pastry Chef Colleges and Universities in the U.S.

Pastry chef schools prepare students to be culinary professionals specializing in baked goods and desserts. Pastry chef programs can lead to certificates, associate's degrees and, in rare cases, bachelor's degrees.

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While many culinary programs cover the art of pastry creation, there are also programs that apply specifically to aspiring pastry chefs. A pastry chef program should offer not just courses on recipes and how to use kitchen equipment, but also specialized pastry classes, like the art of cake decorating.

10 Schools with a Pastry Chef Program

The following colleges offer either certificates or associate degrees for baking and pastry arts programs.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)*
Houston Community College System Houston, TX 2-year, Public Associate, Certificate $1,632 (in-district), $1,632 (in-state), $3,756 (out-of-state)
Valencia College Orlando, FL 4-year, Public Associate, Certificate $2,474 (in-state), $9,383 (out-of-state)
Pima Community College Tucson, AZ 2-year, Public Certificate $1,974 (in-state), $8,610 (out-of-state)
College of DuPage Glen Ellyn, IL 2-year, Public Associate, Certificate $5,275 (in-district), $10,885 (in-state), $12,985 (out-of-state)
Oakland Community College Bloomfield Hills, MI 2-year, Public Certificate $2,745 (in-district), $5,235 $7,305 (out-of-state)
Central New Mexico Community College Albuquerque, NM 2-year, Public Associate, Certificate $1,448 (in-state), $6,704 (out-of-state)
Columbus State Community College Columbus, OH 2-year, Public Certificate $3,808 (in-state), $8,430 (out-of-state)
Johnson County Community College Overland Park, KS 2-year, Public Certificate $2,730 (in-district), $3,180 (in-state), $6,420 (out-of-state)
Milwaukee Area Technical College Milwaukee, WI 2-year, Public Associate, Diploma $4,360 (in-state), $6,286 (out-of-state)
Central Piedmont Community College Charlotte, NC 2-year, Public Associate $2,664 (in-state), $8,808 (out-of-state)

Source: *National Center For Education Statistics

College Selection Criteria

Keep these factors in mind when considering a baking/pastry arts school to enroll in.

  • If applying to a program at a technical school or junior college, confirm that they are accredited by the American Culinary Federation Education Accrediting Commission.
  • Look for programs that include courses outside the culinary field, such as math and business skills, that could help one own their own restaurant one day.
  • Students should seek programs that offer apprenticeships, which will give them valuable experience working with a certified chef and possibly an advantage in the job market.
  • According to the BLS, chefs who have more experience and business skills could see higher demand and have better job prospects, so you may want to consider a higher program level.

Culinary programs specializing in baking or pastry arts are available all around the country. These programs may provide business training and apprenticeships, and most grant certificates or associate degrees.

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