The Complete Culinary School Guide An Extensive Look at Culinary Schools & Careers Including Cooking, Pastry, Management & Wine

Today’s economy demands a skilled, trained, and educated workforce and completing post-secondary degree or certificate programs has become a prerequisite for an increasing number of occupations. In fact, research from the Center for Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University projected that by 2018, nearly two-thirds of all jobs in the United States will require some type of postsecondary education.

Best Culinary Schools and Programs: 2016-2017

Culinary students have many options to consider when choosing the right culinary school and program. Whether their interests lie in restaurant management, food preparation, or other specializations, it is vital that they enroll in a program that offers their desired area of study and will help them excel in the field. Through extensive analysis, we have served-up the best on-campus and online culinary programs and ranked them based on our criteria. Learn more about the best culinary schools and programs for 2016-2017 here.

1 San Jacinto College
SCORE99.70 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %2% TOTAL PROGRAMS11 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO19:1 GRAD RATEN/A

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
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2 Pima Community College
SCORE99.44 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %9% TOTAL PROGRAMS8 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO25:1 GRAD RATEN/A

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesNo
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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3 Delaware Technical Community College-Stanton/Wilmington
SCORE99.42 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %7% TOTAL PROGRAMS6 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO13:1 GRAD RATEN/A

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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4 Del Mar College
SCORE99.31 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %18% TOTAL PROGRAMS5 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO14:1 GRAD RATEN/A

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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5 Athens Technical College
SCORE99.06 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %1% TOTAL PROGRAMS5 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO13:1 GRAD RATEN/A

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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6 Cincinnati State Technical and Community College
SCORE99.04 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %11% TOTAL PROGRAMS6 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO15:1 GRAD RATEN/A

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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7 College of Southern Idaho
SCORE98.95 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %46% TOTAL PROGRAMS9 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO21:1 GRAD RATEN/A

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
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8 Edmonds Community College
SCORE98.20 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %27% TOTAL PROGRAMS6 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO14:1 GRAD RATEN/A

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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9 Richland Community College
SCORE98.04 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %31% TOTAL PROGRAMS6 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO16:1 GRAD RATEN/A

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
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10 Pulaski Technical College
SCORE97.99 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %25% TOTAL PROGRAMS8 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO22:1 GRAD RATEN/A

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
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11 Wiregrass Georgia Technical College
SCORE97.94 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %N/A TOTAL PROGRAMS5 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO13:1 GRAD RATEN/A

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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12 Cochise College
SCORE97.88 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %22% TOTAL PROGRAMS4 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO16:1 GRAD RATEN/A

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesNo
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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13 Milwaukee Area Technical College
SCORE97.71 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %N/A TOTAL PROGRAMS6 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO12:1 GRAD RATEN/A

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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14 Mohave Community College
SCORE97.67 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %9% TOTAL PROGRAMS5 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO14:1 GRAD RATEN/A

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesNo
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
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15 Wilkes Community College
SCORE97.58 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %17% TOTAL PROGRAMS4 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO11:1 GRAD RATEN/A

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
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16 Scottsdale Community College
SCORE97.57 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %23% TOTAL PROGRAMS5 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO17:1 GRAD RATEN/A

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesNo
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
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17 Manchester Community College
SCORE97.48 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %39% TOTAL PROGRAMS5 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO17:1 GRAD RATEN/A

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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18 Atlanta Technical College
SCORE97.41 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %33% TOTAL PROGRAMS4 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO16:1 GRAD RATEN/A

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
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19 Kaskaskia College
SCORE97.25 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %19% TOTAL PROGRAMS6 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO20:1 GRAD RATEN/A

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
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20 St Philip's College
SCORE97.03 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %15% TOTAL PROGRAMS6 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO15:1 GRAD RATEN/A

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
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21 Blue Ridge Community and Technical College
SCORE97.00 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %8% TOTAL PROGRAMS6 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO25:1 GRAD RATEN/A

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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22 Phoenix College
SCORE97.00 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %13% TOTAL PROGRAMS4 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO17:1 GRAD RATEN/A

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesNo
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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23 Fayetteville Technical Community College
SCORE96.96 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %1% TOTAL PROGRAMS5 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO20:1 GRAD RATEN/A

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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24 South Georgia Technical College
SCORE96.93 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %3% TOTAL PROGRAMS4 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO14:1 GRAD RATEN/A

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
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25 Georgia Northwestern Technical College
SCORE96.91 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %N/A TOTAL PROGRAMS5 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO19:1 GRAD RATEN/A

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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26 College of Lake County
SCORE96.88 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %9% TOTAL PROGRAMS9 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO17:1 GRAD RATEN/A

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
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27 Central New Mexico Community College
SCORE96.86 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %15% TOTAL PROGRAMS4 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO24:1 GRAD RATEN/A

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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28 Estrella Mountain Community College
SCORE96.81 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %26% TOTAL PROGRAMS4 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO19:1 GRAD RATEN/A

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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29 Westmoreland County Community College
SCORE96.67 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %4% TOTAL PROGRAMS9 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO18:1 GRAD RATEN/A

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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30 Santa Fe Community College
SCORE96.66 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %8% TOTAL PROGRAMS4 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO15:1 GRAD RATEN/A

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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31 Delgado Community College
SCORE96.63 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %2% TOTAL PROGRAMS5 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO19:1 GRAD RATEN/A

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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32 Jones County Junior College
SCORE96.57 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %35% TOTAL PROGRAMS4 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO25:1 GRAD RATEN/A

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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33 Elgin Community College
SCORE96.34 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %14% TOTAL PROGRAMS9 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO20:1 GRAD RATEN/A

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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34 Rend Lake College
SCORE96.31 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %44% TOTAL PROGRAMS4 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO15:1 GRAD RATEN/A

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
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35 Henry Ford Community College
SCORE96.23 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %1% TOTAL PROGRAMS5 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO24:1 GRAD RATEN/A

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
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36 North Georgia Technical College
SCORE96.13 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %1% TOTAL PROGRAMS4 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO17:1 GRAD RATEN/A

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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37 Washtenaw Community College
SCORE96.01 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %14% TOTAL PROGRAMS4 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO19:1 GRAD RATEN/A

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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38 Sandhills Community College
SCORE95.86 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %18% TOTAL PROGRAMS4 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO16:1 GRAD RATEN/A

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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39 Santa Rosa Junior College
SCORE95.73 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %21% TOTAL PROGRAMS4 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO23:1 GRAD RATEN/A

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
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40 Wake Technical Community College
SCORE95.45 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %2% TOTAL PROGRAMS5 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO18:1 GRAD RATEN/A

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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41 Renton Technical College
SCORE95.42 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %15% TOTAL PROGRAMS4 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO14:1 GRAD RATEN/A

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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42 City College of San Francisco
SCORE95.20 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %N/A TOTAL PROGRAMS5 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO20:1 GRAD RATEN/A

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
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43 Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College
SCORE95.12 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %1% TOTAL PROGRAMS4 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO22:1 GRAD RATEN/A

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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44 Macomb Community College
SCORE95.10 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %9% TOTAL PROGRAMS7 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO28:1 GRAD RATEN/A

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
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45 Coahoma Community College
SCORE95.02 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %30% TOTAL PROGRAMS4 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO26:1 GRAD RATEN/A

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
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46 Southwestern Illinois College
SCORE94.78 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %14% TOTAL PROGRAMS4 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO20:1 GRAD RATEN/A

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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47 Ogeechee Technical College
SCORE94.64 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %N/A TOTAL PROGRAMS4 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO16:1 GRAD RATEN/A

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
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48 Arizona Western College
SCORE94.63 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %20% TOTAL PROGRAMS3 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO21:1 GRAD RATEN/A

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
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49 Central Oregon Community College
SCORE94.63 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %8% TOTAL PROGRAMS4 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO20:1 GRAD RATEN/A

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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50 Horry-Georgetown Technical College
SCORE94.62 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %1% TOTAL PROGRAMS5 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO21:1 GRAD RATEN/A

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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1 University of Alaska Anchorage
SCORE98.10 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %44% TOTAL PROGRAMS3 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO19:1 GRAD RATE26%

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
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2 Johnson & Wales University-Denver
SCORE97.74 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %97% TOTAL PROGRAMS4 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO17:1 GRAD RATE51%

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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3 Johnson & Wales University-Providence
SCORE97.58 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %98% TOTAL PROGRAMS6 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO24:1 GRAD RATE53%

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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4 Baker College of Muskegon
SCORE97.49 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %80% TOTAL PROGRAMS5 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO33:1 GRAD RATE18%

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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5 Drexel University
SCORE96.53 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %93% TOTAL PROGRAMS2 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO10:1 GRAD RATE65%

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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6 Culinary Institute of America
SCORE96.36 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %95% TOTAL PROGRAMS4 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO15:1 GRAD RATEN/A

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
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7 Pennsylvania College of Technology
SCORE96.32 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %9% TOTAL PROGRAMS3 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO18:1 GRAD RATE40%

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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8 Delaware Valley University
SCORE95.92 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %100% TOTAL PROGRAMS2 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO14:1 GRAD RATE58%

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
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9 Southern New Hampshire University
SCORE95.19 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %71% TOTAL PROGRAMS5 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO28:1 GRAD RATE59%

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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10 Mississippi University for Women
SCORE91.54 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %74% TOTAL PROGRAMS1 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO14:1 GRAD RATE39%

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
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11 Mississippi State University
SCORE90.78 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %68% TOTAL PROGRAMS1 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO19:1 GRAD RATE58%

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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12 Southern Adventist University
SCORE90.49 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %97% TOTAL PROGRAMS1 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO14:1 GRAD RATE58%

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
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13 College of the Ozarks
SCORE90.37 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %79% TOTAL PROGRAMS1 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO15:1 GRAD RATE62%

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
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14 Nicholls State University
SCORE90.21 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %32% TOTAL PROGRAMS2 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO20:1 GRAD RATE39%

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
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15 University of Cincinnati-Main Campus
SCORE90.13 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %54% TOTAL PROGRAMS1 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO18:1 GRAD RATE62%

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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16 Cornell University
SCORE88.71 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %47% TOTAL PROGRAMS1 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO9:1 GRAD RATE93%

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
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17 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
SCORE88.63 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %42% TOTAL PROGRAMS1 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO19:1 GRAD RATE84%

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
Read More Read Less
18 Texas Woman's University
SCORE88.02 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %36% TOTAL PROGRAMS1 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO19:1 GRAD RATE47%

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
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19 University of Nevada-Las Vegas
SCORE87.54 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %38% TOTAL PROGRAMS1 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO22:1 GRAD RATE41%

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
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20 Southwest Minnesota State University
SCORE86.00 TUITION & FEES FINANCIAL AID %76% TOTAL PROGRAMS1 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO29:1 GRAD RATE41%

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
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Find Culinary Schools Near You

Although many chefs are able to gain success in the field by learning as they go in the kitchen for many years, culinary schools give students a solid foundation of how to work in the field through a combination of practical experience and textbook theory. Culinary degree programs can be found at trade schools and community colleges, as well as four-year colleges and universities. Prospective students should evaluate their needs and ultimate career goals in order to choose which level of education–and type of school–is best for them. The following search tool can help you find both.

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Acceptance Rate Student Population School Type Culinary Programs

Popular Culinary Degrees & Program Options

Students who want to concentrate on an area of the culinary field can find topics to specialize in, giving them the expertise they need to get a specific type of position. Explore the culinary degree and program options below to learn about the education and training required.

  • Cooking

    Cooks and chefs must procure and maintain fresh ingredients, create and refine menu items, monitor portion sizes, supervise kitchen staff and prepare food alongside other kitchen staff.

    read more
  • Pastry

    Students in this specialization focus specifically on perfecting the art of making breads, pastries, and desserts, from conception to execution.

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  • Restaurant Management

    Restaurant managers train staff, perform daily accounting and oversee the front of the house. They have a “whatever it takes” attitude.

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  • Hospitality Management

    From the front desk to housekeeping to the kitchen, hotel managers must be able to effectively run all of the operations, not just the ones related to food. This specialization gives students the managerial tools they need to do that and more in just about any tourism and lodging setting.

    read more
  • Wine Steward & Sommelier

    What people have to drink when they’re eating a meal is a crucial part of the experience. In this specialization, students explore how to pair the right beverages with meals, as well as winemaking, distillation and brewing.

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Culinary School Learning Center

Interview with Ryan Grimm, executive chef at the California Biscuit Company in West Hollywood

About Ryan
Expert
  • Formally the Executive Chef at the Down Town Los Angeles gastro pub, Eat Drink Americano

  • Graduated from the California Culinary Academy, Le Cordon Blue in 2006

  • Has worked in small fine dining restaurants as well as one of the largest hospitality companies in the word (Disney)

  • Has worked in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Orlando, Seattle and Lake Arrowhead

  • Recently finished a self-driven study in Southern cuisine, which included working, for a short period of time, in some of the best restaurants in the South

I strive to be the best I can each day.  My culinary philosophy: I believe that food is so much more than just nutrition and fuel for our bodies. It can alter a person’s attitude and affect their entire day. I believe that if a guest comes in and is having a bad day, I can turn it around for them with great food and amazing service. That’s my goal every time I have a guest walk through my door; everyone leaves with a smile on their face.

How did you become interested in working as a chef? 

I grew up always seeing my mom, dad and grandmothers in the kitchen.
 I had always enjoyed working in the kitchen, but I never thought about it as a career until one day after school in the 11th grade. My friends and I were hanging out at my house after school. Everyone was hungry, but nobody wanted to leave the house to get food. I threw something together in the kitchen and everybody said they enjoyed it. I never thought I could use cooking to earn money until after everyone finished, they threw money down on the table. And then it clicked in my mind… I can earn money cooking!

How did you choose the culinary school you attended? 

I chose the California Culinary Academy, Le Cordon Blue. I made this decision after looking at several schools and talking with my culinary instructor in high school. Factors that landed my with the decision were: The school was one of the top in the country, it was far enough from my home that I was on my own but close enough that I could go home regularly and for a reasonable price. 

What was the best part of culinary school? 

The two best parts about the CCA were the knowledgeable instructors and the unlimited access we (the students) had to ingredients. We were encouraged to use what we needed and or wanted. If there was an ingredient that we wanted to learn to use, but the school didn’t have, the instructor would put in an order and we would have it in a day or two.

What was the most challenging part of culinary school?

Hands down, the most challenging part of the CCA was that you only got what you put in (this goes for many schools and most of life). Many students fell victim to this; they felt like they weren’t getting their money’s worth out of the school, so they dropped out, or they dropped out because they simply didn’t care about school and they preferred to be out partying.

But for the students that did their schoolwork, read threw the books and engaged in class, culinary school was a very positive experience. I spent my free time working at the school, both as a T.A. and as a cook at their top restaurant (effectively doubling my learning time).

How did culinary school prepare you for your career?

Many people (myself included, to an extent) thought that by going to culinary school, we just automatically got top chef jobs right out of culinary school. Well…not so much. But what culinary school actually did for me (and what I believe it is designed to do) is give the students a solid base in the culinary field. We weren’t walking out the door as young Thomas Kellers, but we were leaving with the skills and knowledge to get our foot in the door, impress them with what we already knew and quickly learn and pickup what other Kitchens were doing. On top of the recipes and techniques I learned, I had a basic understanding of how to run a restaurant and how to open a restaurant, and I was able to look at a PNL statement and discern enough information not to embarrass myself and to produce a PNL if called upon.

What advice would you give to someone who is aspiring to become a chef?

Working in a kitchen often involves long hours, low pay, harsh working conditions and little praise. You only get what you put into it, so read all the cook books you can get your hands on, constantly research different cuisines, travel and take every opportunity you can get to go and work in different kitchens and network. Networking will quite possibly help make or break you later in your career. It’s important to have a wide varied culinary network including suppliers, cooks, dishwashers, front of house members and managers.