Culinary Arts - AAS

The Culinary Arts associate degree program provides students with practical education in food production, while developing professionalism and excellence in academic achievement. Students progress through a program of study that builds proficiency in food production and cooking, cost control, nutrition, food safety and sanitation. Experience-based training is paired with traditional academic courses resulting in a curriculum that is both dynamic and directly aligned with industry needs.

Upon completion of the program, graduates are expected to:

  • Execute professional cooking techniques and skills needed to produce, present and serve quality food and beverages utilizing ingredients and flavor profiles of the major world cuisines
  • Apply sound nutritional practices related to healthful cooking by incorporating traditional ingredients and adapting classical and contemporary techniques to yield products that meet universal recognized federal and private dietary recommendations
  • Apply FDA recommended food safety and sanitation principles to food and beverage products, tools and equipment used throughout the flow of the food and beverage operation
  • Implement cost control measures to track goods, services and costs through the cycle of cost control and to evaluate revenue and expenses and their effect on profitability
  • Communicate professionally and exhibit appropriate decision making skills with respect for individual and team diversity as it applies to the food and service industry

The focus of the first-year culinary lab classes is on the development and practice of cooking, baking, dining and beverage service skills, and includes national certification in alcohol intervention procedures. Second-year laboratories include advanced techniques in classical and international cuisines, garde manger, patisserie/dessert and dining room.

The culinary lab experience is complemented by a sound general education core and professional studies which include menu planning and cost control, nutrition and a food safety course that, upon successful completion, results in a Food Safety Manager certification recognized by the Conference for Food Protection.  

Culinary Internship

Associate degree students will participate in 1 term of experiential education, which allows students to participate in food service operations in preparation for future careers. Possible sites include local and national hotels, restaurants, country clubs, resorts, casinos, spas and corporate food service providers. Eligibility requirements for certain sites include a 2.75 cumulative GPA and completion of all prerequisite coursework. International internship opportunities at host company sites throughout the world may also be available for students who have met specific college eligibility requirements, have a minimum of 1 year work experience in a full-service restaurant, hotel or resort, and who maintain a 3.25 cumulative grade point average.

Graduates of the Culinary Arts associate degree program are eligible, or may apply, for entrance into the following Bachelor of Science degree programs: Culinary Arts, Baking & Pastry Arts, Culinary Arts and Food Service Management, Culinary Science, Culinary Nutrition, Food & Beverage Entrepreneurship or Business Studies. Certain requirements pertain to each of these bachelor degree programs, which are noted in their respective program descriptions.

Graduates of the program have the opportunity to gain employment in the food service industry, which would include a variety of positions in full-service restaurants, hotels, clubs and resorts catering operations, quantity food production facilities, health spas and cruise lines.

Culinary Arts

A two-year program leading to an associate degree

Major Courses
CUL1015Introduction to Culinary Foundations3
CUL1035Culinary Fundamentals3
CUL1055Cooking in Today's Restaurant: Breakfast & Lunch3
CUL1075Cooking in Today's Restaurant: Dinner3
CUL1095Cooking in the Global Marketplace3
CUL1115The Science of Cooking and Sensory Analysis3
CUL1135Purchasing, Product Identification & Protein Fabrication3
CUL1325Essentials of Dining Service3
CUL1345Foundations of Baking & Pastry3
CUL1365Exploring Beverages *3
CUL2215The Craft of Garde Manger3
CUL2235Contemporary Service and Restaurant Supervision3
CUL2245International Cuisine and Culinary Cultures3
CUL2255Advanced Pastry3
CUL2265Classical Cuisines of France and Italy3
Applied/Experiential Learning
COCA2799College of Culinary Arts Intermediate Internship13.5
Related Professional Studies
FSM1065Food Safety and Sanitation Management **1.5
FSM2045Introduction to Menu Planning and Cost Controls4.5
A&S Core Experience
Communications Foundation Courses 13.5
English Composition
Advanced Composition and Communication
Communication Skills
Integrative Learning4.5
One ILS course at the 2000 level
A Survey of College Mathematics (or higher, based on student's placement)
SCI1050 Nutrition
A&S Elective4.5
One course with an EASC attribute
Total Credits96.0

ServSafe Alcohol Certification course required.


Students must pass a national exam that is recognized by the Conference for Food Protection as a graduation requirement.

NOTE: Students must pass MATH0010 Basic Mathematics or have equivalent placement scores to enroll in required math course(s).

In collaboration with academic colleges across all JWU campuses, JWU Study Abroad programs offer a variety of options for major, minor, Arts & Science, and elective credit at many price points for students during the academic year and summer. Financial aid is applicable and scholarships are available. Visit the study abroad website for information, program descriptions and online applications.

Four-Year Options:

Please note the following campus considerations when choosing a 4-year option:

  • Applied Food Science, Innovation & Technology is only offered at the Charlotte Campus.
  • Baking & Pastry Arts bachelor's degree program is only offered at the Providence Campus for day students.
  • Business Studies is not available for Denver CE.
  • Culinary Arts and Food Service Management is not available for Denver CE.
  • The Culinary Nutrition program is offered as a 2+2 program at the Charlotte Campus (pending approval by UNC Board of Governors). The Providence, North Miami and Denver campuses offer a 4-year bachelor's degree program.
  • Food & Beverage Entrepreneurship is only offered Online and at the Charlotte, North Miami and Providence campuses for day students.