Professional Culinary Studies - A.A.S.

This degree is reserved for students in special industry partner programs. The Professional Culinary Studies associate degree program prepares students for careers in food production and other career paths where food production serves as the foundation of success. Culinary laboratory courses are delivered through a multimedia environment where students focus on the progressive development and practice of culinary skills and techniques, product identification and cooking methods, then expand to the study of classical and contemporary techniques and flavor profiles used in the production of the major world cuisines. Students explore alternative and emerging recipes and cooking practices including plant-based and evolving cuisine.

Hands-on food production experiences are paired with professional studies courses, resulting in a curriculum that is both dynamic and directly aligned with industry needs. Students learn to develop recipes, implement cost controls, apply food safety standards, and learn the competencies to sit for a Conference for Food Protection approved Food Safety Manager Certification Exam. General education courses engage students in critical thinking and communication practices that meet industry expectations.

Graduates of the program have the opportunity to gain employment in the food service industry or to further their education by continuing on to a bachelor's degree program.

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

Upon completion of the program, graduates are expected to:

  • Execute professional cooking methods and techniques to produce nutritious, high quality food.
  • Apply FDA recommended food safety and sanitation principles throughout the food production cycle with emphasis on production and service.
  • Implement basic cost control measures to track goods, services and costs through the cycle of cost control.

Professional Culinary Studies

A two-year program leading to an associate degree

Major Courses
CUL1010Culinary Fundamentals I3
CUL1020Culinary Fundamentals II3
CUL1200Introduction to Breakfast & Lunch Cooking3
CUL1310Principles of the Plate3
CUL1420Traditional Cooking Techniques3
CUL2900International Cuisine Culinary Capstone3
SFS2001Introduction to Plant-based Cuisine3
SFS2110Culinary Science, Nutrition & Sensory Analysis3
Applied/Experiential Learning
CFIT2799College of Food Innovation & Technology Intermediate Internship *9
Related Professional Studies
FSM1185Food Safety and Sanitation Management **1
FSM2045Introduction to Menu Planning and Cost Controls3
A&S Core Experience
Communications Foundation Courses9
Rhetoric & Composition I
Rhetoric & Composition II
Communication Skills
Integrative Learning3
One ILS course at the 2000 level
A Survey of College Mathematics (or higher, based on student’s placement)
A&S Elective3
One course with an EASC attribute
Free Electives #3
3 credits selected from 1000–4999 numbered offerings within the university
Total Credits61.0

Internships will be available but will not be required for students with a minimum of three years relevant experience. For online students who qualify and do not wish to register for an internship, 1000+ level college discipline-specific courses can be taken in place of the internship. Please refer to advisor for appropriate courses.


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

#  In addition to classes, free elective credits may be applied to a number of options such as internship, study abroad, Directed Experiential Education courses and courses in a specialization or minor as relevant. For students who qualify for the J2 program, up to four graduate courses may apply. Students are strongly encouraged to contact a faculty advisor before scheduling free elective credits.

Note: Students must pass MATH0010 Pre-Algebra or have equivalent placement scores to enroll in required math courses.

Note: Students must pass ENG0001 Writing Workshop or have equivalent placement scores to enroll in ILS 2000-level courses.