Students who choose to study culinary arts learn the techniques and theories associated with cooking from industry insiders. They also receive preparation for working in different positions in different types of restaurants. The highest levels of education in culinary arts also afford graduates with the knowledge necessary to manage or even own a restaurant or become an instructor.
Traditional colleges often offer bachelor's degrees in the culinary arts. Students start by earning an associate degree, learning the basics of their chosen field as well as theory and operations of business in the industry. Bachelor's degrees build on the foundation of associate degree programs but train students for management positions. Culinary schools sometimes offer bachelor's degree programs as well with the benefit that all coursework relates to a student's chosen field. They often also offer degrees in more specialized fields. The Culinary Institute of America, for instance, offers a bachelor's in baking and pastry arts in addition to culinary arts.
The highest degree students can earn is the master's. They generally take an additional 18 months to two years of study after completion of a bachelor's degree though programs differ. Students often choose to pursue master's degrees in culinary fields because they wish to teach in a culinary program. Some master's degree graduates, though, publish in the food industry, work as food and wine consultants or promote tourism as related to culinary arts. Some students attend master's classes to focus on specific skills such as international cuisine or the evolution of dishes in a certain region.
Master of Liberal Arts in Gastronomy
Boston University Metropolitan College offers a Master of Liberal Arts in gastronomy. Jacques Pépin and Julia Child co-founded this program, which encompasses multiple disciplines: the arts, humanities, natural sciences and social sciences. Students, having examined the role of food in society from different perspectives, come away with holistic views related to food. The program requires students to read, research and write about food; students also get hands-on training in the culinary arts. Additionally, the MLA program for gastronomy allows students to specialize by applying specific courses to their program. For instance, they can earn two credits for completing the Cheese Studies Certificate Program and four credits for the Wine Studies Certificate Program.
Master of Culinary Arts from Atlantic International University
Atlantic International University offers a Master of Culinary Arts program online. AIU staff work with faculty and academic advisors to tailor the program to individual students based on their academic and industry experience. With these programs, students still gain experience in the kitchen, but they also study cost control, sanitation, menu and kitchen management and nutrition. Topics students may choose to explore include regional cuisine such as Latin and Classical European, pastry techniques and beverage operations management. In addition to a master's thesis, students also complete a master's thesis project in their chosen field. AIU's program is unique in that distance learning allows students to study without having to relocate.