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Culinary Arts Certificate Vs. ​Associate Degree

This article will help you learn about the differences between a culinary certificate training program and an associate degree in culinary arts.

Choosing between a culinary arts certificate, an associate degree in culinary arts, or even a bachelor’s degree can be a little confusing. When deciding which route to take, keep these things in mind.

Culinary Certificate Program

To be accepted into a culinary arts certificate program you'll need to first have your high school diploma or GED. During your certificate program you'll take classes like nutrition, food safety, and sanitation. You'll also learn about baking, pastry, and ethnic cuisine. On the business side you may also learn about food purchasing and general restaurant operations.

A culinary arts certificate program normally takes about 6 to 9 months to complete (30 weeks).

Associate Degree In Culinary Arts

To be accepted into a culinary arts associate degree course, you'll also need to have your high school diploma or GED. There may be a minimum GPA requirement of 2.0 to 2.5 as well. Besides the classes you'd take in a certificate program, an associate degree course may also include catering, culinary presentation, baking, and pastry arts. On the business end of things you'll see classes covering entrepreneurship and inventory control.

An associate degree in culinary arts course will take 2 years to complete.

Certificate Vs. Degree Table

Table with some of the information covered above.

Culinary CertificateAssociate Degree
PrerequisitesHS diploma or GEDHS diploma or GED
Program Length30 weeks2 years
Courses Nutrition, food safety and sanitation, baking, ethnic and international cuisine, food purchasing, restaurant operationsEntrepreneurship, catering cuisine, culinary presentation, regional cuisine, inventory control, baking, and pastry arts
CareersBaker, cook/chef, restaurant manager, catererPrivate home cook, food prep manager, sous chef, garde manger, menu planner

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