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

Majors Overview October 12, 2014

Graduates of bachelor’s degree programs in culinary science will be equipped with advanced baking and cooking skills and will be prepared for leadership positions in the food service and hospitality industries. Professional chefs will be trained in marketing, merchandising, food science, management, and finance.

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

Beginning in the kitchen, coursework in a bachelor’s degree program in culinary science covers the science of food, in addition to culinary arts. Their own distinctive palate is developed by students, who become proficient in both classic and contemporary culinary techniques. Courses focus on essential skills in baking and pastry arts, presentation, and line cooking.

There is an emphasis placed on knowledge of wines, international cuisines, and American regional cuisines. At least one foreign language common to the hospitality industry, such as French or Spanish, is required to be learned by students.

Kitchen experiences are augmented with coursework that covers rudimentary interpersonal relationship training along with computer, merchandising, and marketing skills aimed at preparing students to seek management positions in the hospitality field.

Schools typically expect students to gain practical experience via externship or internship programs. Those that successfully complete the program can expect to gain a good grasp of budgeting, purchasing, and merchandising, in addition to profitable operation of a culinary business.


Coursework combines business aspects of running a culinary operation with the practical application of culinary skills. Core coursework may include the following:

•Hospitality Systems and Applications
•Catering and Menu Planning
•Regional American Cuisine
•Baking and Pastry Applications
•Garde Manager
•Management Principles and Culinary Leadership
•Purchasing and Cost Control
•Meat and Seafood Fabrication
•Wine and Beverage Management
•Wines of the World
•Classical Cuisines

Job and Wage Outlook

A 1% decline in job growth has been predicted for chefs and head cooks over the 2012 – 2022 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). The decline is attributable to restaurants’ hiring of cooks in place of chefs, in a bid to save money. In 2012, these experts brought home an average annual wage of $42,480 (BLS). Higher salaries can be expected in upscale establishments.

Certification and Continuing Education Choices

Fourteen levels of certification are offered by the American Culinary Federation (ACF) through accredited schools to benefit culinary educators, culinary administrators, baking and pastry professionals, personal cooking professionals, and cooking professionals.

The ACF awards certification in five-year increments; professionals can pursue continuing education offered by the ACF in order to recertify.

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