America’s Top Online Culinary Schools

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Interrupting one’s busy schedule to follow a dream and new career path can be a difficult decision, but if that dream is a career in the culinary arts, then look no further! These online schools offer challenging, thorough, and opportunity filled degrees and certificates in a wide range of culinary disciplines: gourmet cooking, pastry and baking, culinary arts, food service management, and more. Students can deeply delve into the world of cooking and/or management from the comfort of their own home and kitchen. By enrolling in one of these highly reputed programs, that are instructed by world-class chefs and faculty members, students are introduced to a highly profitable industry.

FEATURED PROGRAMS

The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the job outlook for Chefs and Head Cooks at 9% over the next 8 years, which is faster than average; and the job outlook for Food Service Managers at 5% over the next 8 years, which is as fast as average. Typically, the average pay for these professionals ranges between $40,000-$50,000/yr.

These schools were chosen for several factors that put them ahead of other online programs—due to the: nature of the coursework, degree of thoroughness and complexity of the curriculum, 100% online availability, sufficient financial aid availability, and an education that give students more than just classroom experience. In developing this list, OnlineSchoolsCenter.com, chose not to list the schools in an ordered way, but instead highlighted twenty of the very best programs, all of which have their own unique strengths.

NEW ENGLAND CULINARY INSTITUTE

neci

Program Standouts:
NECI offers three exciting bachelor of arts degree programs that are taught by a superbly dedicated professors who are readily available to online students. This online culinary school supplies its students with state-of-the-art virtual resources to assist them along their academic path. Coursework at NECI has been meticulously designed to adapt to an online format, giving distance education students the same high-quality instruction that on-campus students receive.

Campus Location: Montpelier, VT

Accreditation: Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges; Vermont Department of Education

Tuition and Fees:

  • $12,000 per academic year—tuition
  • $600 per academic year—technology fee
  • $150 one time—program deposit
  • $50 one time—application fee

Types of Aid: Numerous institutional, private, alternative, competition, and online scholarship opportunities; federal and alternative loans; state grants.

Admission Requirements:
Applicants must submit a completed online application, official high school/GED transcripts, official transcripts from an accredited academic institution representing at least 60 completed credit hours of coursework, and a current resumé showing current and active employment and/or prior employment in a food and beverage industry-related position.

Program Options:

  • BA in Culinary Arts
  • BA in Baking and Pastry Arts
  • BA in Food and Beverage Business Management

Degree Outcomes:
These exciting degree programs open up life-changing opportunities in the culinary arts. Depending on the pathway an individual may take, students graduate with finely sharpened skills in management and leadership, baking arts, or culinary arts. NECI’s Career Services Department connects students with beneficial internship opportunities and networking connections.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE NEW ENGLAND CULINARY INSTITUTE, CLICK HERE!

THE ART INSTITUTE OF PITTSBURGH

aip

Program Standouts:
This Pennsylvania-based, online school offers students bachelors and certificate degrees that are focused on food service management. In one of the AIP’s diverse online academic experiences, students may take business, management, accounting, and law courses, in another they may study sanitation and safety, event planning, and hospitality information systems! These unique courses form a challenging, yet rewarding, online programs.

Campus Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education; Accrediting Commission of the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation; Pennsylvania Department of Education

Tuition and Fees:

  • $470 per credit hour—tuition
  • $100 per course—technology fee
  • $50/$75 per course (depending)—digital resource fee

Types of Aid: Institutional, private, and outside scholarship opportunities; federal, state, and alternative grants; federal and private loans; various payment plans; employer partnerships; military benefits.

Admission Requirements:
Applicants must contact an AIP admissions professional and must submit: a completed online application, official high school/GED transcripts, and official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution and any transferrable credits (if applicable).

Program Options:

  • BS in Culinary Management
  • BS in Hotel and Restaurant Management
  • Food and Beverage Operations Certificate

Degree Outcomes:
Students exiting one of The Arts Institute of Pittsburgh’s online culinary operations programs will be prepared to manage complex and fast-paced culinary environments that require a surfeit of skills/leadership responsibilities. Career opportunities for graduates include, but are not limited to: food service director, food and beverage manager, executive chef, banquet manager, and more.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE ART INSTITUTE OF PITTSBURGH, CLICK HERE!

PENN FOSTER CAREER SCHOOL

penn foster

Program Standouts:
PFCS is an outstandingly popular school, that educates a student population numbering over 150,000! In the school’s online Gourmet Cooking Certificate, student will learn to prepare complex and exquisite meals from the comfort of their own kitchen. The Hotel/Restaurant Management Diploma program immerses students in coursework that will challenge them to enhance their skills in marketing, finance, accounting, management, leadership, and more.

Campus Location: Scranton, PA

Accreditation: Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools; Distance Education Accrediting Commission; Council for Higher Education Accreditation; International Association for Continuing Education and Training; Pennsylvania State Board of Private Licensed Schools

Tuition and Fees:

  • $649 with full payment; $739 with monthly auto payment; $769 with monthly payment—Gourmet Cooking Certificate tuition
  • $649 with full payment; $699 with monthly auto payment; $769 with monthly payment—Hotel/Restaurant Management Diploma tuition

Types of Aid: Institutional student discounts and promotions; 0% interest payment plans; super-low tuition costs!

Admission Requirements:
Applicants must submit a complete online application and official high school/GED transcripts.

Program Options:

  • Hotel/Restaurant Management Diploma
  • Gourmet Cooking Certificate

Degree Outcomes:
Online students graduating from these programs can take advantage of the career development expert that has partnered with PFCS, Career Cruising, a company that professionally assists students in all aspects of job hunting. With the guidance of the Career Service Department, and a top-notch education from this institution, students will go on to cross new horizons.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT PENN FOSTER CAREER SCHOOL, CLICK HERE!

LE CORDON BLEU

le cordon bleu

Program Standouts:
This culinary institution has locations in more than a dozen cities throughout the United States, and offers some of the most prestigious degrees in the discipline. In one of Le Cordon Bleu’s reputable online programs, students will be challenged through hands-on project and complex coursework, and supported by a diverse group of peers and world-renowned faculty members.

Campus Location: Worldwide

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (Chicago); The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools

Tuition and Fees:

  • $500 one time—application fee

Access the net price calculator and learn about individual Le Cordon Bleu tuition and fees by clicking here!

Types of Aid: Federal grants, loans, and work-study programs; tuition reimbursement; institutional and alternative scholarship opportunities.

Admission Requirements:
Applicants must submit a completed online application, official high school transcripts or a passing grade on the Wonderlic test, a photocopy of a government issued photo ID or passport, a current resumé or CV – no culinary experience necessary, and a letter of motivation.

Program Options:

  • Associate in Culinary Operations
  • Associate in Hospitality & Restaurant Management
  • Bachelor’s in Culinary Management

Degree Outcomes:
Having earned a degree from one of the most well-known culinary school in the country, students will be well-prepared to enter the job market of their newfound career paths. Graduates will be qualified for professional operations, front-of-house or management positions in restaurants, resorts, hotels and other foodservice corporations.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT LE CORDON BLEU, CLICK HERE!

ESCOFFIER ONLINE INTERNATIONAL CULINARY ACADEMY

escoffier

Program Standouts:
This international school offers two first-class certificate programs in the culinary discipline: an online Pastry Certificate and an online Culinary Arts Certificate. More cooking focused, the Pastry program gives students numerous hands-on projects with an emphasis on specialty diets like gluten-free and vegan baking. The Culinary Arts programs “lays the foundation for a comprehensive knowledge of technique fundamentals and business skills.”

Campus Location: Boulder, CO; Austin, TX

Accreditation: Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training; Colorado Department of Higher Education

Tuition and Fees:

  • $11,900 full program—tuition
  • $45 one time—registration fee

Types of Aid: Institutional benefits; various 0% interest monthly payment plans; low tuition costs.

Admission Requirements:
Applicants must submit a completed online application, official high school or GED transcripts; SAT/ACT scores (not required but highly encouraged).

Program Options:

  • Certificate in Baking and Pastry
  • Certificate in Escoffier Online Culinary Arts

Degree Outcomes:
Depending on which area of the field individuals are trying to enter into, this online school gives students bountiful resources, and a thorough, yet fast-paced, education. The Culinary Arts program includes a real-world industry externship which establishes new connections. The Pastry curriculum includes opportunities for students to network within a culinary community of master chefs.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT ESCOFFIER ONLINE INTERNATIONAL CULINARY ACADEMY, CLICK HERE!

VIRGINIA COLLEGE

virginia college

Program Standouts:
This online culinary school offers an Associate’s in Culinary Arts Degree Program that focuses on sharpening students’ practical skills and business acumen in a culinary context. Students undergo coursework in areas such as Purchasing from a Cultural Perspective, Supervision in the Hospitality Industry, and Facilities Management and Menu Planning.

Campus Location: Birmingham, AL

Accreditation: Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools;

Tuition and Fees:
For information about Virginia College tuition and fees, click here and contact an admissions professional.

Types of Aid: Federal and state grants; federal and private loans; institutional and outside scholarship opportunities.

Admission Requirements:
Applicants must submit a completed online application, and must submit transcripts from an accredited institution representing a diploma or certificate program in cooking and kitchen skills. Students can learn more about the admissions process by contacting an admission professional.

Program Options:

  • Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts

Degree Outcomes:
Upon graduating from this reputed online program, students will understand the process and formulas behind the control of food and labor costs in a commercial operation; and will understand the elements behind successful hospitality marketing. Graduates are steeped in the various laws and procedures governing employment and food service management.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT VIRGINIA COLLEGE, CLICK HERE!