Thanks to the increase of online culinary schools, you can spice up your career with a culinary arts degree from anywhere in the world.
With a culinary arts degree, you’ll get hands-on training on the latest in food trends and preparation, along with the fundamentals of cooking, plating and so much more. You even have a chance to get creative by experimenting with different cuisines and inventing new dishes to please your friends, family, and patrons.
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By enrolling in a bachelor degree in culinary arts, you’re preparing yourself with the knowledge and skills you need for a successful career.
Online Culinary Schools
Online culinary arts schools prepare students for careers in professional cooking or baking, restaurant management, or similar areas in the industry. There are several online culinary degrees that offer different levels of skills and expertise.
Online Certificate in Culinary Arts
An online certificate in culinary arts can teach you basic culinary fundamentals and food safety and sanitation practices. You can develop knife skills and learn about different flavor dynamics, ingredients, and cooking methods.
Some courses that may be offered in a culinary arts certificate program include culinary fundamentals, pastry and baking, restaurant essentials, and food safety and sanitation. Some online culinary colleges offer certificate programs in a specific area, such as professional baking, professional cooking, or restaurant management.
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A culinary arts certificate can be beneficial for entry-level culinary careers, such as baker, food prep worker, catering worker, or line cook.
Online Associate’s in Culinary Arts
An associate’s degree in culinary arts dives a little deeper into culinary fundamentals and food safety training. This program may provide you with more advanced skills and knowledge in food preparation, cooking and baking methods, and food handling.
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Courses that may be offered in a culinary arts associate’s program include food safety and sanitation, recipe and menu management, principles of baking, American regional and international cuisine, and nutrition. The degree may be beneficial for a number of entry to mid-level culinary arts careers, such as line cook, junior sous chef, assistant kitchen manager, or chef de partie.
Online Master’s in Culinary Arts
A master’s in culinary arts can prepare you for advanced culinary arts careers, specifically at the management level. Key topics studied in the program may include food microbiology, food engineering, food service and beverage management, and nutrition and dietetics.
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The degree may help you become a more competitive job candidate and allow you to advance from your current position. Accredited master’s in culinary arts programs usually focus on restaurant and hospitality management or gastronomy. Professionals who hold a master’s in culinary arts may pursue a career as a head or executive chef, catering or restaurant manager, or food service director.
Common Online Culinary Arts Programs
A bachelors in culinary arts program typically offers different specializations that allow students to choose a specific path in the industry, such as baking and pastry arts, professional cooking, or restaurant and hospitality management.
Baking and Pastry Arts
A culinary arts bachelor’s degree in baking and pastry arts may prepare you for various baking careers, such as professional baker, cake decorator, or pastry chef.
The degree reviews fundamental food safety and sanitation practices and culinary arts fundamentals. Baking courses typically offered in this program include artisanal breadmaking, cakes and tortes, advanced pastry and confections, and professional baking.
You may learn how to prepare and bake an assortment of cakes and fillings, breads, pastries, and candies. The program also explores basic baking ingredients, common substitutions, proper baking techniques, and food storage and handling methods.
Caterers are responsible for organizing and serving food at weddings, company parties, family reunions, and other events and festivities.
For them to successfully perform their tasks, caterers must learn how to plan for large events, prepare, and cook food. They should also have efficient customer service and communication skills. In addition, catering managers need to have a vast knowledge of necessary basic business concepts.
A number of universities now offer catering management degree programs to prepare students for careers in the food service and hospitality management industries. The coursework for culinary majors who chose catering typically includes employee management, menu planning, beverage service, and business strategy development.
Culinary Arts Management
Culinary Arts is an exciting career field as it can offer various jobs around the world. Not only can it make for a satisfying career, but involvement in creativity makes the job even more enjoyable for many. The Culinary Management degree focuses on both culinary and management skills. In these programs, one can learn every aspect of the business, including the essential knowledge needed to run your own business.
The course involves the various aspects of culinary management, including lessons on menu planning and design, how to cook, preparing wine and food, and courses to help a student understand how to run and manage their business. The program courses generally include culinary theory, international cuisine, sanitation and food safety among many more.
These programs also teach critical thinking and interpersonal skills by studying customer service, human resource management, accounting, and hospitality law.
A professional cooking bachelor’s degree in culinary arts provides an overview of basic culinary fundamentals, how food is grown and raised, food safety and sanitation, and food preparation techniques.
The program dives deeper into how certain vegetables and meats should be handled, cut, and prepared. The curriculum may also emphasize different types of food, such as hot versus cold, and nutrition and healthy foods.
This program may be beneficial if you’re seeking a career as a nutritionist, kitchen manager or assistant manager, food stylist, food journalist, or sous chef. Executive chef positions may also be attainable with a bachelor’s degree.
Restaurant and Hospitality Management
If you’re interested in becoming a restaurant, events, or business operations manager in the foodservice industry, a restaurant and hospitality management degree might be beneficial.
The program includes the study of the fundamentals of hospitality management, including common roles and responsibilities of managerial positions. It also explores menu planning and development, food and beverage pricing, and hospitality marketing strategies.
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You may be introduced to financial management concepts, restaurant operation standards, and culinary arts fundamentals. Professionals may work in leadership positions in a variety of settings, such as hotels, restaurants, resorts, and other similar businesses.
Culinary Careers & Salaries
There are many different types of culinary careers, ranging from professional cooking or baking to food science, nutrition, and management.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these are the annual median salaries of culinary careers:
|Careers||Annual Median Salaries|
|Agricultural and Food Scientists||$74,160|
|Dieticians and Nutritionists||$61,650|
|Food Service Managers||$59,440|
|Chefs and Head Cooks||$50,160|
|Agricultural and Food Science Technicians||$44,700|
|Food Preparation Workers||$28,780|
|Waiters and Waitresses||$26,000|
|Food and Beverage Serving||$25,980|
Most of the careers listed may be attainable with a high school diploma or an associate’s degree in culinary arts while some positions generally require a bachelor’s degree for entry.
According to the BLS, the industry continues to thrive as chefs and head cooks are excepted to see a 15% job growth over the next 10 years. View a list of the top 40 Culinary careers to compare jobs and salaries in this field.
Culinary Arts Curriculum & Courses
These are some examples of courses that may be offered in a culinary arts bachelor degree program:
- Culinary Fundamentals: Students are introduced to basic culinary fundamentals, such as knife skills, food and preparation, and cooking methods.
- Sanitation and Safety: Food safety and sanitation procedures essential to proper food preparation to prevent foodborne illnesses and other hazards are studied.
- International and American Regional Cuisine: Students learn about the cultural aspects of different cooking styles and cuisines.
- Science of Food and Cooking: This course explores the components of food, such as sugars, proteins, and fats and how they’re affected by the cooking process.
- Foundations of Professional Baking: Students learn about baking fundamentals, methods, and techniques used to make a variety of baked goods.
- Nutritional Cooking: Nutrition concepts, food allergies, digestion, and nutrient analysis are studied in this course.
- Food and Beverage Cost Control: The process of cost control when purchasing and storing food and beverage menu items and how sales and service play a role in making a business profitable are explored.
- Recipe and Menu Management: The creation of menu items and developing an aesthetic menu layout is studied.
- Food Microbiology: Students learn about food safety, nutrient quality, and how microorganisms in food can contaminate or spoil food from a microbiological perspective.
- Principles of Food Service Management: The roles and responsibilities of managerial positions in food service, such as cost control, employee hiring and training, and menu planning, are explored.
The curriculum can differ depending on the specific area of study.
How to Choose an Online Bachelor Culinary Arts Program
It’s important to consider what type of services and benefits a culinary arts program may offer. These are some questions you may think about to help you choose the right culinary arts program for your career goals:
- Does the program offer courses that align with your career interests?
- Can coursework and assignments be completed fully online?
- Is the program or institution accredited?
- What kind of student services does the institution or program offer?
- What type of learning environment does the program offer?
If you’re interested in a specific culinary arts career, exploring programs that offer specializations may be beneficial to your career goals.
Online culinary arts schools lack face-to-face instruction, but many programs offer synchronous live sessions that allow students to observe a professional chef. Some programs may have a combination of asynchronous and synchronous classes. Students may be asked to complete video lessons or reading assignments asynchronously, while live sessions can be helpful for watching demonstrations and asking questions.
Some culinary arts schools may offer career services or internships to help students gain experience or find employment upon graduating.
Admissions requirements for culinary arts schools can vary, as some schools may have more strict requirements than others. These are some common admissions requirements for culinary arts schools:
- Admissions application
- High school diploma or GED
- Official transcripts
An application and proof of high school or GED completion are usually the two main components in a culinary school’s admissions process. Some schools may request additional materials, such as official transcripts or professional recommendations. Culinary experience usually isn’t required at the undergraduate level.
Online Culinary Programs Accreditation
Regional accrediting organizations recognized by the U.S. Department of Education are responsible for screening postsecondary institutions to ensure they meet national education standards.
Accredited schools are recognized as meeting or exceeding education standards by offering quality curricula, instruction, facilities, and student services. Federal financial aid eligibility, employment opportunities, and graduate school admissions can be affected by the accreditation status of a school.
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The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) offers a list of regional accrediting organizations and accredited postsecondary institutions.
Online culinary arts schools can seek accreditation from the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation Accrediting Commission (ACFEFAC).
The ACFEFAC is a programmatic accreditation organization that establishes standards that culinary arts schools are expected to meet. The organization is recognized by the CHEA. The ACFEFAC ensures that culinary schools meet industry standards. The organization also reviews the credentials of faculty members and the curriculum to ensure students are taught proper culinary skills and procedures.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
Financial aid and scholarship opportunities may be available to help you pay for your culinary arts degree. State aid eligibility requirements can vary, but you may find more information through your state’s Department of Education.
The U.S. Department of Education offers federal financial aid to students who demonstrate financial need based on household income and other criteria. You can find out if you’re eligible for federal aid by submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Some scholarships are open to virtually any student, while others may be awarded based on merit or academic interests amongst other things.
What Can You Do With a Culinary Degree?
There are many careers in the culinary arts industry to choose from. The degree path you may choose can affect the type of career opportunities that might be available to you.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, several food preparation and serving careers do not require a postsecondary education for entry. Head cooks, executive chefs, sous chefs, and other leaders in the kitchen may pursue a culinary degree to advance their skills.
A culinary degree in restaurant management can be beneficial if you wish to become a food service manager or events or catering manager.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Culinary Degree Online?
It will take four years to complete a traditional, 16-week semester bachelor’s degree if you attend full-time. If you study part-time, it can take longer to complete.
If the program follows an 8-week semester schedule and you stay continuously enrolled year-round, you may finish in less time. A bachelor’s in culinary arts typically includes general education courses in the first half of the program, while major and elective coursework is completed in the second half.
Is an Online Culinary Arts Degree Worth It?
Yes, an online culinary arts degree is worth it for many students. While gaining job experience to advance in the culinary arts industry is important, earning a degree may help you develop essential culinary skills and knowledge in a shorter period of time.
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A culinary arts degree may help you stand out as a competitive job candidate and possibly lead to a wider range of job opportunities. The food preparation and serving industry is also expected to grow much faster than average compared to all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Best Online Culinary Schools
Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.
Boston University offers a certificate program in culinary arts. The program offers lectures, field trips, and intensive hands-on classes taught by working chefs in BU’s laboratory kitchen. It provides over 400 hours of instruction, with classes meeting Mondays through Thursdays during the day.
Boston University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
The Culinary Institute of America has world-class programs in New York, California, Texas, and Singapore. The Texas location specializes in Latin cuisine, and the Singapore location specializes in Asian cuisine. CIA has public restaurants on each campus where students can gain real-world experience, and the program offers access to study abroad and internship opportunities.
CIA is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Eastern New Mexico University offers a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences with a Culinary Arts concentration. In addition to professional cooking skills, the curriculum offers studies in hotel administration and the hospitality industry. The program includes a 6 credit internship and a combination of synchronous and asynchronous online coursework.
Eastern New Mexico University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
At Elgin Community College, students can earn an Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts, Pastry Arts, or Restaurant Management. Options for a vocational certificate include Bakery Supervisor, Cook, Cook Assistant or Baker Assistant, Decorative Pastry, Ice Carving, Prep Cook, Restaurant Operations, and Baker. There is a student-run restaurant on campus.
Elgin Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Finger Lakes Community College offers a Certificate in Culinary Arts. Classes meet just twice a week and opportunities are offered to gain hands-on experience in a restaurant. The program provides over 300 hours of professional work experience. Students are also asked to practice some skills at home following online video demonstrations.
FLCC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Florida International University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management: Restaurant and Culinary Management. The program requires the completion of 300 hours in an advanced internship to gain hands-on experience.
Potential courses include Introductory Commercial Food Production, Dining Services Management, Foodservice Trends and Challenges, and Purchasing and Menu Planning. Start dates are offered in the fall, spring, and summer.
Florida International University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Johnson & Wales University offers an online BS in Culinary Arts and Food Service Management. Courses are 8 weeks long, and the student-to-faculty ratio is just 15-to-1. The program’s faculty members have industry experience and teach real-world skills. Potential courses include Hospitality Strategic Marketing, Financial and Managerial Accounting, and Food and Beverage Strategies and Logistics.
JWU is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
The Miami International University of Art & Design offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Culinary Management designed to develop both business and creative skills. The program requires the completion of 180 quarter credits, which can usually be finished in 12 quarters. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis to begin in any quarter.
Miami International University of Art & Design is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Pikes Peak State College offers an Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts. Coursework is available in classroom-based, online, remote real-time, HyFlex, and hybrid formats. Potential courses include Culinary Program Fundamentals, Food Service Concepts and Management Skills, and Food Safety and Sanitation.
Pikes Peak State College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
At Saint Paul College, students can earn either a Culinary Arts Diploma or an AAS in Culinary Arts. Students enroll full-time with a cohort, taking hands-on classes in person four days a week and taking online classes one day a week. The curriculum teaches not only cooking skills but also restaurant operations, cost control, and management skills.
Saint Paul College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Sowela Technical Community College offers a flexible online culinary arts program that is designed to meet the scheduling needs of working adults. The program features the same curriculum as its on-campus counterpart and has received Quality Program status from the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation.
Sowela Technical Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The State University of New York – Delhi offers a BBA in Culinary Arts Management that can be earned 100% online. Class sizes are small to help students receive one-on-one attention. Potential courses include Advanced Human Resource Management, Hospitality Law, and Hospitality Financial Management. The program offers chances to participate in internships and experiential learning opportunities.
SUNY Delhi is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
The State University of New York – Erie offers an AOS in Culinary Arts. The curriculum provides academic learning and hands-on experiences working at on-campus restaurants. Students typically enroll full-time during the day, but some classes are available in evening, online, or hybrid formats.
SUNY Erie is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Texas State Technical College offers both a certificate and an associate degree in culinary arts. The certificate usually takes 8 months to complete, and the AAS typically takes 20 months to complete. Classes are available online and in-person at both the Waco and East Williamson County campuses.
TSTC is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Washington State University offers an American Culinary Federation Apprenticeship Culinary Certificate. Courses are available online and at the Pullman campus. The program is designed to allow students to work full-time while pursuing their certification. Online certificates are also available in Food Safety and Proficiency in Food Science.
Washington State University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Getting Your Bachelor’s Degree in Culinary Arts Online
A culinary arts bachelor degree can introduce you to the fundamentals of culinary arts and allow you to explore professional cooking and baking methods essential to the industry.
The degree can be beneficial if you’re interested in becoming a head chef, sous chef, restaurant manager, or other lead positions.
If you’re interested in becoming a competitive candidate in the culinary arts industry, you can take the first steps toward earning your degree by researching accredited culinary schools online that best support your goals.