Overview of Culinary Arts Degree Programs

Overview of Culinary Arts Degree Programs

Apr 4, 2015 | 8:00 am

Earning a culinary arts degree will not only increase your worth to prospective employers, but will also provide you with the essential skills that you need to become a professional in your chosen culinary career path. As is the case with most courses of study, students can earn an associate’s, bachelor’s, or a master’s degree in culinary arts. Consider pertinent information about culinary arts:
Associate’s Degree

This degree program prepares a student for different careers in food preparation, and most programs can be completed within a period of 9 to 24 months. Associate’s degree programs are quite popular because of the low prerequisites (most schools accept candidates with just a high school diploma or GED), short durations, and because the program provides students with a solid academic foundation.

The Core Curriculum

An associate’s degree in culinary arts is typically made up of both academic and hands-on training courses:

Theory and Basics

The academic section will focus on theories and basic disciplines that are necessary to handle, prepare and present food in professional kitchens. The core curriculum may include the following courses:

•Basics of Gastronomy
•Principles in Management
•Food Safety

It is important that some programs may also include general learning requirements like math and college level writing course.

In The Kitchen

This is the hands-on section of many associate’s degree programs. This particular degree program basically provides you with information about culinary arts by refining your skills and teaching you new cooking methods in an on-campus training kitchen. Students may also spend some time in an internship or externship with the school’s partner restaurant or eatery.

Bachelor’s Degree

The typical bachelor’s degree program lasts about 4 years and is for those who want to work in management level in the hospitality and food industry. Students will need to have a high school diploma (or its equivalent) to register for this program.

The Core Curriculum

Those who want to earn a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts are expected to divide their time between hands-on cooking classes and academic studies in order to get all of the much needed information about culinary arts.

Theory and Basics

A bachelor’s degree in culinary arts typically covers the same basics in food preparation and presentation taught in an associate’s degree program, but also teaches a variety of business and customer service skills as well. Aside from the core curriculum mentioned above for associate degree, a 4-year degree program in culinary arts typically includes studies in:

•Organizational Psychology
•Foundations of Business
•Human Resource Management
•Leadership and Ethics

As with any 4-year degree program, students are required to take courses in math, English, and other fundamental courses.

Masters Degree

This is the highest academic degree that can be acquired by students in the field of culinary arts.

Core Curriculum

The curriculum for this program is highly specialized.

Theory and Basics

The standard Master of Culinary Arts degree program available in many universities typically include:

•Beverage Operations Management
•Advanced Cooking Techniques & Artistry
•World Cuisines
•Classical Cuisines

The more information you take in about culinary arts, the more you’ll realize that hospitality and food industry experts with degrees tend to climb up the ladder of success quickly. They also command higher earnings, and get a greater job satisfaction than those who are self-taught chefs. According to Payscale.com, the median annual wage for those with a culinary arts degree in 2010 was $40,000 to $69,704.