Top 25 Culinary Schools
1. Metropolitan Community College Nebraska
Metropolitan Community College Nebraska takes top spot on our list due to its low tuition and high-quality culinary school. MCNN offers an associate’s degree in Culinary Arts with an optional specialization in Baking and Pastry. There are also several certificate programs at MCNN.
- Tuition per year: $3,105 in-state; $4,545 non-resident
- Graduation rate: 17%
2. Oakland Community College
Oakland Community College in Michigan offers an Associate’s degree in Culinary Arts. All students must do an internship to get hands-on experience. OCC has an on-campus bakery, restaurant, and cafe to give students plenty of experience in real professional kitchens.
- Tuition per year: $4,592
- Graduation rate: 13%
3. Saint Louis Community College
Saint Louis Community College has a leading culinary program and highly affordable tuition rates. Students can choose between associate’s degree programs in Culinary Arts and Baking and Pastry Arts. There is also a certificate program in Food and Beverage Management.
- Tuition per year: $4,845 in-state; $6,645 non-resident
- Graduation rate: 16%
4. Pierpont Community and Technical College
Pierpont Community and Technical College offers an innovative and flexible culinary program. Students in the Associate’s in Food Service Management program can specialize in Culinary Arts, Baking Arts, Resort and Hotel Management, and Dietary Management. This program includes a practicum experience so that students can get a hands-on feel for the profession.
- Tuition per year: $4,938 in-state; $11,704 non-resident
- Graduation rate: 16%
5. Henry Ford Community College
Henry Ford Community College has the leading culinary arts program in Michigan. HFCC is one of the few public colleges to offer a Bachelor’s degree in Culinary Arts. Like many of the other programs on this list, HFCC’s culinary program includes an internship that allows students to get professional experience.
- Tuition per year: $5,020 in-state; $6,940 non-resident
- Graduation rate: 12%
6. Grand Rapids Community College
Grand Rapids Community College is the sixth community college on our list. It offers associate’s degrees in Restaurant Management and Culinary Arts. Students in the Culinary Arts program can choose from many different specializations in Culinary, Culinary Management, Baking and Pastry Arts, and Personal Chef. GRCC has its own bistro, brewery, and restaurant to allow students to get practical experience.
- Tuition per year: $7,809 in-state; $11,049 non-resident
- Graduation rate: 32%
7. Anne Arundel Community College
Anne Arundel Community College is known as one of the best community colleges in the country. Its Hotel, Culinary Arts, and Tourism Institute offers an Associate’s in Hotel/Restaurant Management with a specialization in Culinary Arts. Students can also study for certificates in Culinary Arts and Baking and Pastry Arts.
- Tuition per year: $8,240 in-state; $13,160 non-resident
- Graduation rate: 31%
8. Northwestern Michigan College
Northwestern Michigan College is another Michigan-based community college with a strong culinary arts program. NMC offers an Associate’s in Culinary Arts. Students have the opportunity to work at Lobdell’s, a critically acclaimed restaurant that is located on NMC’s campus.
- Tuition per year: $8,280 in-state; $10,941 non-resident
- Graduation rate: 22%
9. Kennedy-King College
Kennedy-King College is a public community college with a wide variety of programs, including pastry education at The French Pastry School (which is affiliated with KKC). KKC offers certificates in Professional Pastry and Baking as well as Cake Decorating and Baking. Students can also study Artisinal Bread Baking.
- Tuition per year: $9,216 in-state; $11,544 non-resident
- Graduation rate: 29.5%
10. Institute for Culinary Education
The Institute for Culinary Education (ICE), which has campuses in New York City and Los Angeles, is one of the most prestigious culinary schools in the country. Students can pursue diplomas in Culinary Arts, Pastry and Baking Arts, Hotel and Restaurant Management, Hospitality Management, Cake Decorating, and Artisan Bread Baking. These programs take anywhere from 6-12 months to complete.
- Tuition per year: $13,528
- Graduation rate: 81%
11. Louisiana Culinary Institute
The Louisiana Culinary Institute (LCI) is often recognized as the finest culinary school in the South. LCI offers an associate’s degree in Professional Cooking and Culinary Arts and another in Hospitality and Culinary Management. These programs take around 16 months to complete.
- Tuition per year: $14,575
- Graduation rate: 80%
12. Sullivan University
Sullivan University offers many programs in other fields, but it’s best known for its culinary school. Students can study for associate’s degrees in Culinary Arts, Baking and Pastry Arts, and Hotel and Restaurant Management. Students can complete their associate’s degrees in 18 months if they follow the accelerated schedule.
- Tuition per year: $12,870
- Graduation rate: 23.2%
13. Monroe College
Monroe College has its own culinary institute that offers associate’s degrees in Culinary Arts and Baking and Pastry. Students in the Bachelor’s in Hospitality Management program can also specialize in Culinary Management. Monroe has a restaurant and a pastry shop on-campus so that students can get hands-on experience.
- Tuition per year: $15,860
- Graduation rate: 52%
14. Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts
The Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts is another very prestigious culinary school. It has a main campus in Austin, Texas, with a satellite campus in Boulder, Colorado. Students can study for an associate’s degree in Culinary Arts at the school. Diplomas are also available in Culinary Arts and Pastry Arts.The school gives students externship opportunities so they can network and get practical experience.
- Tuition per year: $17,745
- Graduation rate: 62%
15. Kendall College
Kendall College offers several culinary programs. Its Associate’s in Culinary Arts is aimed at students with a degree in another field. Kendall also offers a Culinary Entrepreneurship concentration within its Bachelor’s in Business program. Kendall has its own restaurant, and students can also get experience through internships at other restaurants.
- Tuition per year: $18,793
- Graduation rate: 69%
16. New England Culinary Institute
The New England Culinary Institute is often considered to be the premier culinary school in the region. It offers several associate’s and bachelor’s level programs, including some that can be taken online. NECI places a great deal of importance on hands-on experience, which why culinary students at both the associate’s and bachelor’s level are required to complete two internships.
- Tuition per year: $22,200
- Graduation rate: 79%
17. Culinary Institute LeNotre
Culinary Institute LeNotre in Houston specializes in training pastry chefs, though it also offers programs in culinary arts. The founder of the school, Alain LeNotre, is a highly successful and experienced pastry chef. He opened the school in 1998, making it one of the oldest culinary schools in Texas.
- Tuition per year: $16,625
- Graduation rate: 38%
18. Keiser University
Keiser University may be best-known for its programs in other areas, but it does have a strong culinary school. The school offers an Associate’s in Culinary Arts that gives students a well-rounded education in the field. The program includes an externship to provide students with professional experience and networking opportunties.
- Tuition per year: $21,008
- Graduation rate: 50%
19. The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College
Walnut Hill College in Philadelphia is the leading culinary school in the state. Students can study for bachelor’s or associate’s degrees in Culinary Arts, Pastry Arts, and Restaurant Management. Walnut Hill has four restaurants on-campus that students can work in.
- Tuition per year: $23,550
- Graduation rate: 64%
20. International Culinary Arts and Sciences Institute
The International Culinary Arts and Sciences Institute, better known as ICASI, is one of the leading culinary schools in Ohio. ICASI originally started out by offering recreational classes for hobbyists, but quickly added professional culinary training when the level of demand became clear. The culinary scene in the region is growing quickly, so students will have plenty of opportunities when they graduate.
- Tuition per year: $21,905
- Graduation rate: 40%
21. Johnson and Wales University
Johnson and Wales University offers programs in many different fields, but its culinary programs are the highlight of the school. Numerous bachelor and associate-level programs are available, including Culinary Arts, Pastry Arts, and even Culinary Science. As with most of the other programs on this list, students must complete internships to get practical experience.
- Tuition per year: $25,407
- Graduation rate: 56%
22. Culinary Institute of America
The famous Culinary Institute of America is located in Hyde Park, New York. It’s undoubtedly the best-known and most prestigious culinary school on this list, but its pricy tuition causes it to rank behind some lesser-known schools. The school offers bachelor’s degrees in Culinary Science, Applied Food Studies, and Food Business Management. Associate’s degrees are available in Culinary Arts and Baking and Pastry Arts.
- Tuition per year: $33,690
- Graduation rate: 74%
23. Paul Smith’s College
Paul Smith’s College offers an elite culinary education in upstate New York. Students can benefit from the school’s excellent facilities, which include six food laboratories and a baking laboratory. Students take part in a series of semester-long experiences in the field to get hands-on experience.
- Tuition per year: $29,313
- Graduation rate: 44%
24. Boston University
Boston University is best-known for its traditional academic programs, but it also has a top-notch culinary program. A certificate in Culinary Arts is available from BU’s Metropolitan School, which provides career training. This program is only a semester long, but it is intensive and throrough.
- Tuition per year: $55,892 (One semester certificate: $14,200)
- Graduation rate: 87%
25. Drexel University
Drexel University is another prestigious university that offers culinary training along with traditional academic degrees. Its Bachelor’s in Culinary Arts and Sciences includes traditional college courses in arts and sciences as well as culinary training. Drexel has a bistro on campus where culinary students can get practical experience.
- Tuition per year: $54,516
- Graduation rate: 70%
Our Ranking Methodology
The formula that we used to rank these schools takes two factors into consideration. First, we looked at the yearly tuition rate that each school charges. Secondly, we looked at each school’s tuition rate. Schools that charge varying rates to in-state residents and non-resident students only had their in-state rates considered. After ascertaining each school’s tuition rate, we added a multiplier taken from the percentage of students who did not graduate. This gives each the final rating for the school. E.g. School A has a yearly tuition rate of $10,000 and a graduation rate of 50%. School A would have a rating of 15,000 (10,000 x 150%). Lower ratings result in better rankings in this article.