The 14 Best Online Associate in Culinary Arts in 2023 – Best Schools and Info Guide

Whether you’re gifted with cooking skills or want to elevate this hobby, attending an Online Associate in Culinary Arts program is an excellent way to become a kitchen connoisseur! If you find yourself willingly completing culinary interest surveys, a Culinary Arts degree qualifies you for entry-level food industry roles.


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There are over a million restaurants throughout the US and countless more food and food service workers in the hospitality industry, coffee shops, and food companies, where chefs, head cooks, and kitchen assistants or staff are key players. 

Culinary Arts programs at the associate degree level equip students for vital roles in the kitchen, which includes not only cooking but also creating new dishes. They also keep the kitchen safe and manage the kitchen effectively. Graduates also participate in the behind-the-scenes experience as food critics! 

With an associate culinary degree, you become an industry expert who has every opportunity to contribute to a field that is constantly improving.

The Lowdown
Aspiring culinary professionals can prepare for these careers by studying an online associate degree in Culinary Arts that introduces them to the industry’s best practices. Through online culinary programs, students become qualified for bachelor’s programs, while also gaining the qualifications to grow their careers in the professional foodservice and restaurant industries. Learning from world-class chefs and faculty members is indeed an excellent investment that leads to an ideal culinary career!

Methodology

If you love cooking, food, or any job or activity relating to kitchen work and food preparation, an online Culinary Arts degree program at the associate level gets you a foot in the door! Because choosing the best online associate degree program is a crucial step you should take, we rounded up the best programs and colleges that share these academic features that set the bar high:

  • 100% or blended or hybrid Associate in Culinary Arts program that flexible and convenient student attendance,
  • Extensive coursework that emphasizes the foundational or core courses of Culinary Arts introducing students to the history of the culinary industry, food systems, contemporary culinary techniques, cooking techniques, world-class facilities and automated technology, world cuisines, restaurant management or restaurant operations, 
  • A Learning Management System where students learn the culinary skills for competence in career opportunities,
  • Readily available online support and online resources, and easily accessible coursework on the LMS,
  • Seasoned faculty or teaching personnel who are culinary professionals themselves,
  • Transfer path options that allow for an easy transition from an associate online degree to a bachelor’s program,
  • Financial aid for eligible online Culinary Arts students,
  • Full accreditation,
  • Esteem among academic resources and positive student feedback or review.

For more information, check out our Methodology page.


The 14 Best Schools Offering Online Associate in Culinary Arts

Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts

Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts

Online Associate of Occupational Studies in Culinary Arts

Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts offers a Culinary Arts Associate of Occupational Studies degree to students who have completed a diploma or online certificate program from an accredited culinary school.

Escoffier was among the first institutes to offer 100% of the online associate program online that can be completed in as fast as six months with a hands-on externship.

Expect to learn more advanced topics like business communications, world history, and food service math.

The program also equips students with relevant skills in food service operations, management, and preparation. Subjects include:

  • food cost control,
  • menu planning,
  • employee training,
  • food safety,
  • and facility design.

Institute of Culinary Education

Institute of Culinary Education

Online/Hybrid Associate Degree in Culinary Arts and Management

The Culinary Arts & Management blended associate degree at ICE takes 14 months to complete. Based in Los Angeles, ICE combines hands-on cooking skills with management training and general education classes online.

This new hybrid program offers instructors with industry expertise, convenient class schedules, and established industry connections. During your externship, you’ll work at a food business in a real-world environment with quality ingredients, access the campus learning resource center, and step into real-world kitchens.


Bates Technical College

Bates Technical College

Online Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts

Bates Technical Colleges’s Online AAS in Culinary Arts students learn the ins and outs of the culinary industry through hands-on cooking classes, catering events, or banquet preparation lessons that are offered in in-person, online, hybrid, and web-enhanced formats.

By obtaining their AAS in Culinary Arts, students become eligible for a bachelor’s program. They can also choose to get entry-level jobs in:

  • hospitality management,
  • culinary arts management, and related fields.

AAS in Culinary Arts graduates earn a certificate in American Culinary Federation as a Certified Culinarian. They also gain the distinction of being certified ServSafe Food Managers. 


Pikes Peak Community College

Pikes Peak Community College

Online Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts

Pikes Peak Community College’s Online Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts students learn about cooking, food preparation, food handling, as well as food safety and sanitation standards from chefs-instructors. In particular, the program prepares students to be employed as first cooks or assistant bakers in industrial kitchens once they graduate. 

PPCC’s AAS in Culinary Arts is offered as a classroom-based, remote real-time, online, or hybrid program and takes four semesters to finish. It has earned the Exemplary status, the highest rating for this category, from the American Culinary Federation, North America’s largest professional association of chefs. 


Remington College

Remington College

Online/Hybrid Associate Degree in Culinary Management

The online/hybrid Associate in Culinary Management program at Remington College emphasizes the following:

  • the fundamentals of cooking,
  • restaurant management,
  • event planning,
  • and culinary small business principles for students seeking to run their own restaurant one day.

Each course includes an online lecture component to provide students with the background knowledge necessary before participating in a culinary lab on campus to practice cooking techniques under the supervision of a seasoned culinary instructor.


Sullivan University

Sullivan University

Online Associate of Science in Culinary Arts

The College of Hospitality Studies at Sullivan University, which has set the standard for culinary education for more than 30 years, offers an online/blended Associate of Science Degree in Culinary Arts, combining both the art and science of cooking. It takes 18 months to complete, featuring its streamlined curriculum.

Whether you’re interested in working in a trendy restaurant, starting your own business, or enjoying food around the globe, this AS in Culinary Arts program makes education and training easy with state-of-the-art kitchen labs that enable students to perfect their cooking methods. Students also participate in a practicum or internship at a partner restaurant. 


University of Alaska Anchorage

University of Alaska Anchorage

Online Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts

The Culinary Arts online Associate of Applied Science at the University of Alaska Anchorage features seasoned professionals, a constantly-evolving curriculum, and courses accredited by the American Culinary Federation (ACF). This program teaches students how to:

  • write recipes,
  • shop for ingredients,
  • keep food costs within an acceptable range,
  • and sell the final product.

Elective courses include nutrition, business, entrepreneurship, marketing, and beverage management.

Upon completing this two-year associate degree program, students will have a solid foundation in culinary arts, along with skills in baking, cost control, and operations management. Students become ACF-certified chefs after completing the program.

Students get a chance to study abroad in Florence, Italy, where they get hands-on training from top instructors and experience state-of-the-art culinary and wine classrooms. To fulfill their elective requirements, students may elect to attend a semester abroad after completing their core and laboratory courses. 


Johnson and Wales University

Johnson and Wales University

Online Associate Degree in Culinary Arts

Johnson and Wales University students enrolled in the Online Associate in Culinary Arts program learn:

  • advanced techniques in classical and international cuisine,
  • Garde manager,
  • patisserie and desserts,
  • financial management, and food safety.

They have access to a “global pantry” while learning about running a sustainable kitchen and supporting local farms and fisheries as part of their experience-based approach.

Integrating arts and sciences with front-of-the-house courses, students develop the skills for long-term career success.


Yuba College

Yuba College

Online Associate of Science in Culinary Arts

Yuba College’s Online AS in Culinary Arts teaches students the basics of cooking and food preparation methods while enabling them to demonstrate proficiency in cleaning, organizing, and sanitizing according to industry standards for food handling and restaurant service. 

Students are also taught to present themselves professionally at all times, work well with a team, and be prompt at work. Graduates must learn the fundamentals in an employee handbook, which follows industry standards.

To earn an AA/AS degree, students must complete 18 General Education units, the multicultural graduation requirement, and the health requirement. The total number of degree-applicable units needed for an AA or AS is 60 credits.


Milwaukee Area Technical College

Milwaukee Area Technical College

Online Associate Degree in Baking and Pastry Arts

At Milwaukee Area Technical College, students of the Online Associate in Baking and Pastry Arts learn the techniques for making artisan bread, pastries, cakes, confections, and showpieces. It is well-regarded as excellent educational preparation for individuals planning to open up their own bakery and cafe.

The American Culinary Federation awards the Certified Pastry Culinarian title to those who successfully complete the technical coursework of the online Baking and Pastry Arts associate degree. Course requirements underscore knowledge of:

  • preparation procedures,
  • production methods and presentations,
  • food safety,
  • cost control,
  • and professionalism. 

Upon earning this online associate degree, students receive a Baking Production technical diploma, which is valuable during job applications. 


Keiser University

Keiser University

Online Associate of Science in Culinary Arts

This degree program offered by Keiser University comes with lab sessions, academic preparation, and hands-on learning to prepare students for careers in the culinary arts. From basic to advanced knowledge of food preparation and handling, students acquire professional skills in cooking.

Students are prepared for entry-level jobs in the food service industry by completing an externship as part of the curriculum. The American Culinary Federation accredits culinary arts at Keiser University.


Monroe College

Monroe College

Online Associate Degree in Culinary Arts

Monroe College offers an online associate degree in Culinary Arts which covers:

  • knife skills,
  • food preparation,
  • restaurant services,
  • basic baking for the professional cook,
  • while focusing on solid culinary techniques and basic baking.

The American Culinary Federation Educational Institute accredits them, and the program focuses on teaching fundamentals such as food handling, nutrition, and food safety. Graduates with an AAS degree become Certified Culinarians (CC) by the organization.

By enrolling in this program, you can learn how to make pastries at The Pastry Kiosk, a student-run café. Besides gourmet sandwiches on freshly baked bread, it also serves quiches, salads, soups, tarts, biscotti, croissants, and decorated cupcakes and mousse-filled cakes, tarts, and mousse-filled cakes; all of which you can learn to create on your own.


Brookdale Community College

Brookdale Community College

Online Associate – Applied Science in Culinary Arts

The program is designed for highly motivated individuals who wish to work as professional chefs in restaurants or other food service establishments. With this fast-track training program, you will study general education, take career courses, and prepare food for professional use on a daily basis.

Those interested in food preparation or supervisory positions in restaurants, catering services, and school, college, hospital, nursing home, and business establishment facilities may be able to find employment. Prospective students must take the College Placement Test before they begin the program.

Every semester, there will be three-week blocks for the culinary courses. The student has classes from Monday to Thursday, which allows them to pursue job opportunities during the weekend. Students will be matched with challenging externship experiences according to their career goals.

In addition to local restaurants and hotels, previous students have also successfully completed externships at Disney World and other locations abroad. Expect to experience the same when you choose this culinary program.


Stanton University

Stanton University

Online Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts

Stanton University started offering this online Associate Degree Program for Korean Culinary Arts in 2019. Those interested in or pursuing Korean Culinary Arts will benefit greatly from this experience. Prof. Lee Jae Ok, an accomplished chef who served as the head chef for the South Korean G20 summit, will teach the course.

Graduating from this program will prepare them for careers in the food service industry. The program will be available both in Korean and English languages. So, students who speak Korean fluently will not have to meet the English Proficiency requirement.

They offer a practice class rate of $200 per unit, including ingredients and material fees. 

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Frequently Asked Questions 

What can I expect to learn with an Online Associate in Culinary Arts?

Getting an associate’s degree in culinary arts can help you learn about fundamental food and food preparation techniques while exploring the business aspects of the food service industry. A culinary arts associate degree program covers topics such as knife skills, baking, and costing, along with business practices such as service management.

Other courses like Sanitation, Introduction to Wines, Purchasing And Cost Control, and Dining Room Service are all taught in the program. As for elective courses, you can choose from a wide range of liberal arts topics.

Typically, a two-year education, this program requires a high school diploma or GED is required for admission. Some schools also look for a completed certificate program before pursuing an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.

Can I study for an Associate in Culinary Arts 100% online?

Culinary Arts education involves actual training, which means a 100% online program isn’t commonly offered. Most coursework, however, is delivered in a hybrid format. Most lab work and general coursework must be completed on campus, but some laboratory courses can be done remotely. Many programs also require internships.

Can I choose a specialization with an Online Associate in Culinary Arts?

As a student of Culinary Arts, you must focus on the cuisine you are most interested in, learn the business side of operating your own catering or restaurant business, secure a position as a food service manager, or obtain your dream job as an executive chef.

Students can choose concentrations, specializations, or tracks other than the core classes in many online culinary schools, enabling them to tailor their education to their career goals. The specialization options depend entirely on the program offered by the culinary school.

What are the jobs prospects for Online Associate in Culinary Arts degree graduates?

While an online Associate in Culinary Arts offers introductory education and training, students still gain real-world culinary experience that qualifies them for work.

The restaurant and hospitality industry is constantly looking for the next kitchen superstars, including prep cooks, chef assistants, and trained chefs in large chains, diners, and hospital cafeterias.

Upon earning an Online Associate in Culinary Arts, graduates also snag jobs as:

  • bakers,
  • pastry chefs,
  • restaurant cooks,
  • assistant chefs,
  • servers,
  • bartenders,
  • personal chefs,
  • line cooks,
  • and short-order cooks.

More opportunities are offered to individuals that have gained more experience and advanced their education, which is why transitioning to a bachelor’s degree is highly recommended.

What skills will I learn in an online associate degree in Culinary Arts?

Despite the culinary arts’ focus, associate degrees in the culinary arts also require candidates to master math, science, communications, and writing classes at a college level. Curriculums that prepare students for challenges in the culinary industry are well-rounded.

Education in the culinary arts should be seen as a professional development program that equips students with the skills to be successful in a competitive profession.

In an associate degree in culinary arts, you’ll learn cooking techniques, food safety and sanitation, knife and cutlery skills, menu development, gastronomy, wine studies, and food preparation and presentation. As for chefs, you’ll gain know-how in basic management of kitchen staff, cost of food and beverage, as well as line cook processes. 

Hands-on learning is highly conducive to a cooking education. At most reputable culinary arts institutions, associate’s degrees include a great deal of practical training since the real magic happens in the kitchen, not in the classroom.

Are there any specializations in Culinary Arts?

Your online culinary arts degree program may allow you to select from various specializations. There are culinary arts schools that offer only one specialty, while there are others that offer multiple specializations. Here are some specializations to choose from:

  • Culinary Arts Management
  • Nutrition
  • French Cuisine
  • Baking and pastry arts
  • Professional cooking
What are the pros and cons of an online associate degree in culinary arts?

Online culinary schools come with both advantages and disadvantages. When deciding whether to attend a traditional campus or not, weigh all the positives and negatives first. For instance, some downsides include losing social interaction, losing motivation to take classes, and having difficulty matching with a culinary program that comes with practical experiences.

On the contrary, online culinary schools have many positive points. For example, you can learn about diverse aspects of the food service industry. These programs’ tuition fees are also cheaper than the physical ones. Also, as a result of not having to commute, you will be able to reduce your total cost even further. You can take your classes at your own pace since you can arrange your schedule flexibly. 


Key Takeaways

Often, the desire to learn more separates the enthusiasts and hobbyists from the professionals and elites. The same principle applies to hopeful kitchen experts! Create good food with more than just an essential culinary career guide and broaden your understanding of health and culture with an Associate in Culinary Arts degree that you can obtain online. This program prepares you for the next academic level, the bachelor’s degree, while making you eligible for enjoyable and well-paying work!


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