Bachelors In

Culinary Arts Degrees

The complete guide on what you’ll learn, job prospects, university programs, and saving time and money.

Why We Love It

  • $45,920
    Potential Avg. Salary*
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook

* Salary & growth data is based on the recent Bureau of Labor and Statistics data published at for 35-1011 Chefs and head cooks 11/2021. Based on national data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary.

With a bachelor of science in culinary arts, you’ll study every aspect of running a foodservice business. You’ll learn how to cook and prepare popular dishes, how to plate food appealingly, and how to craft your own signature recipes. Additionally, you’ll learn how to manage and operate a restaurant. It’s the perfect degree for aspiring chefs who want to own their own restaurants, bakeries, or cafes.

What is a Degree in Culinary Arts?

Most aspiring chefs pursue associate’s degrees in culinary arts. As the degree that requires the least amount of education to find work as a chef in a restaurant, it’s a great starting point. However, many chefs want to operate and manage their own restaurants one day in the future, and studying only to be a chef can create limitations on your career path. With a bachelor of science in culinary arts, you can focus both on how to be an excellent chef and how to be an effective and profitable business owner.

In a bachelor of culinary arts program, you’ll primarily focus on refining your skills as a chef. You may specialize in preparing certain cuisines, you’ll learn how to develop your own custom recipes, and you’ll learn how to place and present food that delights diners. Additionally, you’ll learn management and leadership skills that will help you run a business or lead kitchen staff, you’ll learn how to market your restaurant, and you’ll learn tax, health, and other laws/regulations pertaining to restaurant ownership.

Recommended Schools

What Courses Would I Take For a Major in Culinary Arts?

  • Science of Food and Cooking
  • Food and the Senses
  • Foundations of Professional Baking
  • Nutrient Quality and Composition
  • Introduction to Business Statistics
  • Corporate Dining Concepts
  • Financial Management
  • Microbiology and the Chemistry of Food Safety

What Jobs Can You Get with a Degree in Culinary Arts?

In recent decades, dining out has increased in popularity exponentially, with more individuals and families dining out for entertainment and simplicity. As such, the demand for restaurants has increased, as well as the demand for chefs to prepare recipes, develop menus, and manage kitchens and kitchen staff. This is expected to increase demand for chefs and restaurant owners in the coming decade. Culinary arts majors will be well-prepared to find work in restaurants as well as run their own successful dining establishments.

How Long does it take?

A bachelors in Culinary Arts will have a typical length of 4 years in a full time schedule. That said, there are many ways to speed up the timeframe by either taking more units via online coursework, community college, or taking free classes at that could transfer to universities in the US.

Online Culinary Arts Degree

Culinary arts are not popular choice for students seeking a bachelor degree. It is more common to study culinary arts as a professional training or associate degree. There is still some universities offering a bachelor degree program. The program is usually shorter than other specializations and some programs allow the students to earn the bachelor degree after completing 45 credit hours only. Although online programs are available, studying culinary arts online is preferable choice as the study depends mainly on practical hands-on experience. Alternatively, you may enroll into programs offered using hybrid mode of education.

What Can You Do With a Culinary Arts Degree?

Food is not only essential for life but it is also one of the main pleasures for people. Some talented chefs succeeded in achieving worldwide reputation and earning a wealth reaching hundreds of millions of dollars. It is estimated that there are more than 15 million restaurants around the world. Culinary arts refer to the art of preparation, cooking and presentation of food. Culinary artists are known as chefs or cooks, particularly those working in restaurants. Professional or expert chefs have knowledge in nutrition, food science and diet to prepare food that looks and tastes good while maintaining a healthy nutritional content.

What does a culinary arts student learn?

Studying culinary arts involves a major part of practical training in addition to having the knowledge related to all stages of preparing a meal. This includes selection of the raw food ingredients, knowing the nutritional needs of people and how to fulfill these nutritional needs and then the best way to present the food in a pleasant final look. The following list shows the courses that are commonly offered in culinary arts degree programs:

  1. Major international cuisines: this course introduces the most important cuisines making it an exciting course to most students. The cuisine of a country is an essential part of its culture and identity.
  2. Equipment use and maintenance: this course presents the most important and types of equipment used in the kitchen and how they should be maintained and cleaned.
  3. Menu development: this course introduces the process for developing a menu for the restaurant which includes determining the menu concept, choosing the core ingredients, analyzing the supply chain, setting the cost of the menu items and running a test kitchen.
  4. Sanitation and hygiene: this topic remains a major concern that should always be maintained carefully for a successful restaurant. The course introduces the acceptable standards for restaurants and the standard cleaning procedures.
  5. Food plating: it is the arranging of food and decorating it to improve the way it finally looks. This certainly affects its perception and the satisfaction of the clients.
  6. Inventory management: restaurants need to carefully monitor the inventory to make sure that the raw food is available in suitable amounts enough to make the food and keep it fresh.
  7. Food cost control: there are many factors that should be considered in the final cost of food including the cost of the raw food, labor cost, preparation and cooking cost, and cost related to the place. Accurate determination of the cost is essential for success of the business.
  8. Other courses: knife handling techniques, styles of cooking, individual ingredients, buffet planning and execution, customer satisfaction and food expediting.

Now I have the culinary arts degree…where can I work after graduating?

Culinary is a career that depends heavily on skills and experience more than theoretical knowledge. Accordingly, many people argue that it is better choice to get practical paid training in restaurants instead of paying thousands of dollars and studying for years to get a degree in this field. However, studying culinary arts provides structured, organized and structured knowledge that is needed if you will run your own restaurant or you are leading a luxurious restaurant. The following list shows a number of jobs that are available for culinary arts graduates:

  1. Chef and head cook
  2. Food service managers: this is similar to working as chef or head cook but on the level of supervision.
  3. Nutritionist: the role of this job is to ensure that the food served to people has the right nutritional balance to maintain a healthy body.
  4. Rating of restaurants and hotels: you can with governmental and non-governmental organizations that care about rating the restaurants and the food they serve. This is an important topic for this industry with intense competition.

Should I choose a culinary arts degree?

If you own or run a restaurant and dream about reaching the A class level and gaining world reputation, then studying culinary arts is certainly a reasonable choice. You will get thoroughly knowledge and experience about the field. Additionally, the study will help you develop a number of important skills:

  1. Precision and attention to details: fine details really matter in food preparation including tiny amounts of spices or small details in the presentation of food. If you want to succeed in this field, you should always pay attention to these details.
  2. Creativity, innovation and artistic sense: preparing food is an art that has huge space for creativity. Novel food ideas are introduced every year and they still succeed in gathering the people attention and pleasure.
  3. Time management and organization: successful chefs have to manage large number of food orders within short time which can be very stressful. They have to organize the food preparation in a way that keeps the ingredients fresh and save time.

Recommended Schools

Best Jobs for Culinary Arts Degrees

With a bachelor of science in culinary arts, you’ll be prepared to enter the hospitality field as a sous chef, head or executive chef, or pastry chef. Additionally, you’ll have the business acumen necessary to one day own and operate your own restaurant, café, or bakery.

How to save time and money

Our mission is to help you to avoid paying full price for college. We want your Culinary Arts degree to be affordable and accessible. Here’s how you could save:

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Get an Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts First

With an associate’s degree, you can find work as a sous chef or chef in restaurants, bakeries, and cafes across the U.S. This will allow you to begin accruing the cooking and management experience you’ll need to one day open your own business. Later, you can return to school to earn a bachelor’s degree to learn how to run your own business, and the credits from your associate’s degree may even transfer to reduce the amount of time required to earn your bachelor’s.

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