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Degree Overview: Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree in Culinary Arts

Majors Overview September 22, 2014

Students in bachelor’s degree programs in culinary arts will be provided with the necessary education and training in culinary business skills and methods. Those interested may earn a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Bachelor of Professional Studies (B.P.S.), or Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Culinary Arts degree. Graduates will be prepared for careers in food research or the restaurant business.

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree Programs in Culinary Arts

Students enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs in culinary arts are trained for work in the business by gaining real-world knowledge via networking, externships, co-op programs, and hands-on experience. Students might also get a firm grasp of the field by interacting with visiting chefs.

Culinary arts programs usually guide students with building leadership qualities and enhancing critical thinking skills. Some programs offer the opportunity to focus narrowly on a concentration area, such as pastry arts or baking.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria usually require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma, in addition to submitting ACT or SAT scores. Students enrolled in some schools are expected to have taken various courses during high school, such as coursework in hospitality and baking.


Coursework focuses on different areas in the business, including customer service philosophies, international cuisine, kitchen techniques, nutrition, food safety and sanitation, restaurant operations, and managerial skills. Students’ palates are developed, and they gain skills in management and communication through coursework in the following topic areas:

•American cuisine
•Plate presentation
•Beverage purchasing
•French cuisine
•Food safety
•Customer service
•Hospitality law
•Food traditions
•Food preparation

Job and Wage Outlook

Those that successfully complete the program can pursue entry-level careers in culinary services and restaurants. Graduates can choose from job positions such as personal chef, food stylist, food service director, assistant pastry chef, or sous chef.

In May 2012, head cooks and chefs banked an average annual wage of $42,480, whereas food service managers brought home $47,960 on average (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Job growth for the two careers is expected to decline by 1% and 3% respectively over the 2010 – 2020 decade (BLS).

Continuing Education and Certification

Students may seek continuing education by pursuing master’s degree programs in food service and culinary arts that are aimed at occupying upper-level positions in the field. Professionals with at least five years of experience may obtain the International Association of Culinary Professionals’ Certified Culinary Professional credential through the passage of an exam and may consequently showcase their skills and knowledge to potential employers.

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