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Culinary Arts - Associate Degree

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2022 Best Culinary Arts Associate Degree Schools

223 Colleges in the United States
7,304 Associate Degrees
Culinary Arts is of the hottest associate degree programs in the United States, coming in as the #16 most popular major in the country. This means there are lots of options to choose from when you decide to get your degree.

For its 2022 ranking, College Factual looked at 223 schools in the United States to determine which ones were the best for culinary arts students pursuing a associate degree. Combined, these schools handed out 7,304 associate degrees in culinary arts to qualified students.

What's on this page: * Our Methodology

Choosing a Great Culinary Arts School for Your Associate Degree

Best Culinary Arts Associate Degree Schools Your choice of culinary arts for getting your associate degree school matters. Important measures of a quality culinary arts program can vary widely even among the top schools. To make it into this list, a school must excel in the following areas.

A Great Overall School

A school that excels in educating for a particular major and degree level must be a great school overall as well. To account for this we include a college's overall Best Colleges ranking which itself looks at a collection of various factors like degree completion, educational resources, student body caliber and post-graduation earnings for the school as a whole.

Early-Career Earnings

Average early-career salary of those graduating with their associate degree is one indicator we use in our analysis to find the schools that offer the highest-quality education. That is, everyone wants their associate degree to be worth something, and salaries are one measure of determining that.

Other Factors We Consider

The metrics below are just some of the other metrics that we use to determine our rankings.

  • Major Focus - How much a school focuses on culinary arts students vs. other majors.
  • Major Demand - How many other culinary arts students want to attend this school to pursue a associate degree.
  • Educational Resources - How many resources are allocated to students. These resources may include educational expenditures per student, number of students per instructor, and graduation rate among other things.
  • Student Debt - How easy is it for culinary arts to pay back their student loans after receiving their associate degree.
  • Accreditation - Whether a school is regionally accredited and/or accredited by a recognized culinary arts related body.

Our complete ranking methodology documents in more detail how we consider these factors to identify the best schools for culinary arts students working on their associate degree.

More Ways to Rank Culinary Arts Schools

Since picking the right college can be one of the most important decisions of your life, we've developed the Best Culinary Arts Associate Degree Schools ranking, along with many other major-related rankings, to help you make that decision.

Best Schools for Associate Students to Study Culinary Arts in the United States

Explore the top ranked colleges and universities for culinary arts students seeking a an associate degree. Only those schools that rank in the top 15% of all the schools we analyze get awarded with a place on this list.

25 Top Schools for an Associate in Culinary Arts

504 Annual Graduates
$12,000 Median Student Debt

Every student who is interested in an associate degree in culinary arts needs to take a look at Culinary Institute of America. The Culinary Institute of America is a small private not-for-profit school located in the large suburb of Hyde Park.

Those culinary arts students who get their associate degree from Culinary Institute of America receive $6,869 more than the standard culinary arts student.

More information about a associate in culinary arts from Culinary Institute of America

15 Annual Graduates

Every student pursuing a degree in an associate degree in culinary arts needs to check out Madison Area Technical College. Madison College is a large public college located in the city of Madison.More information about a associate in culinary arts from Madison Area Technical College

#3

Valencia College

Orlando, FL
102 Annual Graduates
$14,491 Median Student Debt

Valencia College is a wonderful option for individuals pursuing an associate degree in culinary arts. Valencia College is a very large public college located in the large city of Orlando.

Soon after graduation, culinary arts associate recipients usually make an average of $26,200 at the beginning of their careers.

More information about a associate in culinary arts from Valencia College

61 Annual Graduates
$10,250 Median Student Debt

Any student pursuing a degree in an associate degree in culinary arts needs to check out Kapiolani Community College. Located in the city of Honolulu, Kapiolani CC is a public college with a moderately-sized student population.

Culinary Arts associate degree recipients from Kapiolani Community College earn a boost of about $4,969 above the typical income of culinary arts majors.

More information about a associate in culinary arts from Kapiolani Community College

203 Annual Graduates
$12,000 Median Student Debt

JWU Charlotte is a small private not-for-profit university located in the city of Charlotte.

Associate students who receive their degree from the culinary arts program earn around $25,900 in the first couple years of working.

More information about a associate in culinary arts from Johnson & Wales University - Charlotte

130 Annual Graduates
$12,000 Median Student Debt

Located in the large suburb of North Miami, JWU North Miami is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly small student population.

Associate graduates who receive their degree from the culinary arts program earn around $25,900 for their early career.

More information about a associate in culinary arts from Johnson & Wales University - North Miami

#7

Johnson County Community College

Overland Park, KS
36 Annual Graduates
$12,347 Median Student Debt

JCCC is a large public college located in the city of Overland Park.

Those culinary arts students who get their associate degree from Johnson County Community College earn $10,069 more than the standard culinary arts graduate.

More information about a associate in culinary arts from Johnson County Community College

#8

Sullivan University

Louisville, KY
117 Annual Graduates
$18,138 Median Student Debt

Located in the city of Louisville, Sullivan University is a private for-profit university with a small student population.

Associate graduates who receive their degree from the culinary arts program earn around $25,200 in their early career salary.

More information about a associate in culinary arts from Sullivan University

60 Annual Graduates
$14,866 Median Student Debt

NLU is a moderately-sized private not-for-profit university located in the city of Chicago.

Culinary Arts associate degree recipients from National Louis University get an earnings boost of about $4,369 above the average earnings of culinary arts majors.

More information about a associate in culinary arts from National Louis University

80 Annual Graduates
$12,000 Median Student Debt

Located in the large city of Denver, JWU Denver is a private not-for-profit university with a small student population.

Associate students who receive their degree from the culinary arts program make around $25,900 in the first couple years of working.

More information about a associate in culinary arts from Johnson & Wales University - Denver

UH Maui College is a small public university located in the city of Kahului.

Associate recipients from the culinary arts degree program at University of Hawaii Maui College earn $13,269 more than the typical graduate in this field when they enter the workforce.

More information about a associate in culinary arts from University of Hawaii Maui College

49 Annual Graduates
$14,666 Median Student Debt

Cincinnati State is a medium-sized public college located in the large city of Cincinnati.

Associate recipients from the culinary arts degree program at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College get $3,369 more than the typical college grad in this field when they enter the workforce.

More information about a associate in culinary arts from Cincinnati State Technical and Community College

#13

Nassau Community College

Garden City, NY
15 Annual Graduates

Nassau Community College is a fairly large public college located in the suburb of Garden City.More information about a associate in culinary arts from Nassau Community College

#14

Leeward Community College

Pearl City, HI
15 Annual Graduates

Leeward CC is a medium-sized public college located in the suburb of Pearl City.More information about a associate in culinary arts from Leeward Community College

82 Annual Graduates
$10,917 Median Student Debt

Located in the rural area of Sanborn, Niagara County Community College is a public college with a small student population.

Students who graduate with their associate from the culinary arts program report average early career wages of $22,300.

More information about a associate in culinary arts from Niagara County Community College

#16

Monroe College

Bronx, NY
78 Annual Graduates
$12,788 Median Student Debt

Monroe College is a medium-sized private for-profit college located in the city of Bronx.

Students who graduate with their associate from the culinary arts program report average early career wages of $19,200.

More information about a associate in culinary arts from Monroe College

#17

Joliet Junior College

Joliet, IL
58 Annual Graduates

Joliet Junior College is a large public college located in the suburb of Joliet.More information about a associate in culinary arts from Joliet Junior College

#18

SUNY Delhi

Delhi, NY
15 Annual Graduates
$13,000 Median Student Debt

Located in the town of Delhi, SUNY Delhi is a public school with a small student population.

Associate students who receive their degree from the culinary arts program make about $21,300 for their early career.

More information about a associate in culinary arts from SUNY Delhi

13 Annual Graduates

IUP is a large public university located in the distant town of Indiana.More information about a associate in culinary arts from Indiana University of Pennsylvania - Main Campus

#20

Manchester Community College

Manchester, CT
23 Annual Graduates

MCC is a small public college located in the large suburb of Manchester.More information about a associate in culinary arts from Manchester Community College

#21

Keiser University - Ft Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale, FL
68 Annual Graduates
$20,000 Median Student Debt

Located in the midsize city of Fort Lauderdale, Keiser University - Ft Lauderdale is a private not-for-profit university with a very large student population.

Associate graduates who receive their degree from the culinary arts program earn about $24,500 for their early career.

More information about a associate in culinary arts from Keiser University - Ft Lauderdale

6 Annual Graduates

Located in the rural area of Fennimore, Southwest Tech is a public college with a small student population.More information about a associate in culinary arts from Southwest Wisconsin Technical College

29 Annual Graduates

FSCJ is a very large public college located in the city of Jacksonville.More information about a associate in culinary arts from Florida State College at Jacksonville

#24

ECPI University

Virginia Beach, VA
155 Annual Graduates
$18,464 Median Student Debt

Located in the large city of Virginia Beach, ECPI University is a private for-profit university with a large student population.

Associate students who receive their degree from the culinary arts program earn about $20,900 for their early career.

More information about a associate in culinary arts from ECPI University

#25

Howard Community College

Columbia, MD
11 Annual Graduates

HCC is a medium-sized public college located in the city of Columbia.More information about a associate in culinary arts from Howard Community College

Rest of the Top Best Culinary Arts Associate Degree Schools

#25

Howard Community College

Columbia, MD
#31

The University of Montana

Missoula, MT

Honorable Mentions

Here are some additional great schools for Culinary Arts students that almost earned our Best Culinary Arts Associate Degree Schools award.

Rank College Location
34 Alfred State College Alfred, NY
35 Miami Dade College Miami, FL
36 Milwaukee Area Technical College Milwaukee, WI
37 Pittsburgh Technical College Oakdale, PA
38 College of Lake County Grayslake, IL
39 Waukesha County Technical College Pewaukee, WI
40 Metropolitan Community College Omaha, NE
41 SUNY Schenectady County Community College Schenectady, NY
42 Chippewa Valley Technical College Eau Claire, WI
43 El Centro College Dallas, TX
44 Des Moines Area Community College Ankeny, IA

Culinary Arts by Region

View the Best Culinary Arts Associate Degree Schools for a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

View All Rankings >

One of 3 majors within the Personal & Culinary Services area of study, Culinary Arts has other similar majors worth exploring.

Culinary Arts Focus Areas

Major Annual Graduates
Culinary Arts/Chef Training 4,189
Baking & Pastry Arts/Baker/Pastry Chef 1,394
General Cooking & Related Culinary Arts 916
Restaurant, Culinary, & Catering Management/Manager 635
Institutional Food Workers 74
Other Culinary Arts & Related Services 71
Food Preparation/Professional Cooking/Kitchen Assistant 12
Wine Steward/Sommelier 8
Meat Cutting/Meat Cutter 4
Food Service, Waiter/Waitress, & Dining Room Management/Manager 1

Majors Similar to Culinary Arts

Related Major Annual Graduates
Funeral & Mortuary Science 1,398
Cosmetology 992
Other Personal & Culinary Services 3

Notes and References

  • The bars on the spread charts above show the distribution of the schools on this list +/- one standard deviation from the mean.
  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to U.S. Army Europe Images. More about our data sources and methodologies.

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