GI Bill® Approved Culinary Schools

Culinary Schools for Veterans

Culinary Schools With VA-Approved Programs

The following is a list of GI Bill-approved culinary schools.  Also outlined are the various degrees you can obtain in the culinary field, as well as the various veteran support programs these schools feature.

>> Jump right to the list of GI Bill Approved Culinary Schools

Getting Your Degree in Culinary Arts

Humans love food! From brunch to lunch to dinner parties to bake sales. For those with an interest in making the food, culinary arts can be the right subject to study in school.

A culinary arts degree focuses on skills that you would need in order to pursue a profession in the food industry. You would go on to learn skills such as food safety, nutrition, world cuisine, baking, and hospitality.

Most students earn either a certificate or associate’s degree in culinary arts. Some do go on to get their bachelor’s degree, or even their master’s.

According to BLS, employment in food preparation and serving related occupations is projected to grow 7% from 2019 to 2029, which is faster than the average for all occupations.

Certificate in Culinary Arts

Earning a certificate in culinary arts is a good way to get into this career path and is the best way to start if you want to go further in the field. Getting a certificate in culinary arts will probably take you around a year, depending on the program and if you are attending part or full-time. Some example courses you might take would be Intro to Meat, Fish and Poultry, Soups and Sauces, and Culinary Fundamentals.

Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts

Getting an associate’s in culinary arts can be a good way to get started into a food services position or use it as a step to higher career opportunities. Getting your associates should take you around two years. You might take classes in Culinary Math, Food Safety, or Wine Studies.

Bachelor’s Degree in Culinary Arts

While you don’t have to have a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts to work in a kitchen, it would probably be a smart idea to do so. It would give you the education to go further in your career, and needed if you ever want to be in charge of your own kitchen. While you are going for your bachelor’s degree you would need to find a concentration. Double majoring or even minoring in business would also be a good idea, to give you everything you need to start your own business or restaurant. Some of the courses you might take would be Human Nutrition, Methods of Cooking, and Breakfast Production. Getting your bachelor’s degree will take you around 4 years, however, if you already have your associate’s degree, it should only take around two.

Master’s in Culinary Arts

While most people going into culinary arts don’t end up getting their master’s degree, doing so is an option. Getting your master’s in culinary arts would allow you to pursue leadership positions, run your own restaurant, or study abroad. It would be a good idea to check out your options and see if it makes sense to continue your education with a master’s degree. You would take more specialized courses such as Classical Techniques, Latin Cuisine, or Sanitation and Safety. A master’s degree would take you up to two years depending on the program and if you are attending part or full-time.

Culinary Arts Majors

>> Find GI Bill-Approved Schools with Culinary Programs with the CollegeRecon School Finder tool.

There are six different majors that pertain to a culinary involved degree. They are:

Cooking and Related Cooking Arts

“This degree is offered as an associate’s degree and bachelor’s degree. Training includes the basics of food preparation and food service with more advanced training in culinary skills and hospitality management at the undergraduate level. Two-year associate degree programs teach culinary fundamentals like food handling, kitchen safety and menu planning, while students in four-year bachelor’s degree programs learn how to cook a variety of dishes and may have the opportunity to complete internships.” – CulinarySchools.com

Culinary Arts / Chef Training

“Associate degree programs in culinary arts provide novice or beginner chefs with the training and experience required for entry-level roles in the field. Students are taught the essentials of working in a kitchen including nutrition and food handling. Most programs include diverse training in a variety of cooking forms, including meats and seafood, pastry arts, and buffet techniques. Some associate degree culinary arts programs also include training in managerial skills, such as record keeping, food purchasing, and guest services.” – Study.com

“Students pursuing a culinary arts major at the bachelor’s degree level are trained in both culinary skills and hospitality management. Much of a student’s time is spent in a kitchen setting, learning through hands-on courses in a multitude of culinary styles and methods. Among the skills covered are food safety, nutrition, cooking for large groups, and menu development. Managerial skills include marketing, cost management, and personnel management. Students often complete internships or work experiences in on-campus kitchens, such as coffee shops or cafeterias, or off-campus sites like local hotels or banquet facilities. Many culinary arts four-year programs also require applicants to submit ACT or SAT scores for admission.” – Study.com

Personal and Culinary Services

“A degree in personal services, allows students to get a degree in areas such as Cosmetology which allows you to practice creativity and expertise as you perfect someone’s hair or makeup. A major in Culinary Arts allows you to explore your passion for food and cooking to work in the kitchen as an assistant or top chef. A degree in Funeral Service and Mortuary Science will allow you to meet people’s needs in a very emotional time.” – Collegefactual.com

Culinary Arts & Related Services

See Culinary Arts/Chef Training, above. This degree is very similar.

Culinary Science / Culinology

“A bachelor’s degree in culinary science is a blending of the culinary arts and food science that allows students to not only cook food, but to learn more about the food that they’re cooking. Students will learn how to bring their culinary skills together with scientific principles, and using contemporary equipment and advanced techniques to produce cuisine that’s full of flavor and nutrition. Culinary science graduates will have a host of career opportunities, including food manufacturing, product development, food technologist, food writer, research and development specialist.” – The Culinary Institute of America

Restaurant, Culinary & Catering Management / Manager

“A program that prepares individuals to plan, supervise, and manage food and beverage preparation and service operations, restaurant facilities, and catering services. Includes instruction in food/beverage industry operations, cost control, purchasing and storage, business administration, logistics, personnel management, culinary arts, restaurant and menu planning, executive chef functions, event planning and management, health and safety, insurance, and applicable law and regulations.” – MyPlan.com

Licensing

In order to be called a “certified chef,” you most likely will need to be certified by the American Culinary Federation (ACF). They grant certification for chefs, master chefs, and other specialized titles in the field. You can take the exam with either a basic two-year degree in culinary arts or with a minimum of two years working in the field. Different sectors of the culinary world might have other types of licensing available such as a food handler’s license.

Jobs in Culinary Arts

Those with a certificate in culinary arts can start as an assistant, or as a food prep worker and work their way to a better job after more education and/or experience. Here are some typical jobs based on education levels. There might be some variation depending on location and the opportunities that are available in your area.

Jobs Available with Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts

  • Chefs, who prepare food in restaurants and other dining establishments, have an average salary of $44,549, according to Glassdoor.
  • Line Cooks, who set up and stock food items, and other supplies, and prepare and cook the food, have an average salary of $25,230, according to com.
  • Pastry Chefs, who are culinary artists who specialize in creating desserts, sweets, and breads, have an average salary of $55,613, according to com.

Jobs Available with Bachelor’s Degree in Culinary Arts

  • Sous Chefs, who are the assistant to the head chef, or 2nd in command, and oversee the kitchen when the chef can’t be there, have an average salary of $47,297, according to com.
  • Food Service Directors, who supervise food service personnel, and work on food service-related business and personnel management, have an average salary of $47,297, according to com.
  • Personal Chefs, who prepare specialized meals for clients in their kitchens or their own, have an average salary of $50,383, according to com.

 

List of GI Bill-Approved Culinary Schools

Culinary Schools, where you will receive a comprehensive culinary education in a shorter amount of time, can be a good option vs finding a program at a traditional college or university.

All of the following culinary schools are GI Bill approved.  

Some of the following schools have paid for promotional consideration.

Park City Culinary Institute

Culinary Certificates Offered:

  • Cooking and Related Culinary Arts, General
  • Culinary Arts and Related Services, Other
  • Culinary Arts/Chef Training
  • Food Preparation/Professional Cooking/Kitchen Assistant
  • Foods, Nutrition, and Related Services, Other
  • Institutional Food Workers
  • Personal and Culinary Services, Other
  • Restaurant, Culinary, and Catering Management/Manager

Nicholls State University

Culinary Degrees Offered:

  • Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts/Chef Training
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Culinary Arts/Chef Training

Veteran Assistance:

Culinary Institute of America

Culinary Degrees Offered:

  • Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts/Chef Training
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Culinary Arts/Chef Training

Veteran Assistance:

Lake Washington Institute of Technology

Culinary Degrees Offered:

  • Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts/Chef Training

Veteran Assistance:

University of Alaska – Fairbanks

Culinary Degrees Offered:

  • Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts/Chef Training

Veteran Assistance:

San Diego Mesa College

Culinary Degrees Offered:

  • Associate’s Degree in Cooking and Related Culinary Arts

Veteran Assistance:

Pikes Peak Community College

Culinary Degrees Offered:

  • Associate’s Degree in Cooking and Related Culinary Arts

Veteran Assistance:

Daytona State College

Culinary Degrees Offered:

  • Associate’s Degree in Restaurant, Culinary, and Catering Management/Manager

Veteran Assistance:

Pensacola State College

Culinary Degrees Offered:

  • Associate’s Degree in Restaurant, Culinary, and Catering Management/Manager

Veteran Assistance:

Hawaii Community College

Culinary Degrees Offered:

  • Associate’s Degree in Cooking and Related Culinary Arts

Veteran Assistance:

Idaho State University

Culinary Degrees Offered:

  • Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts/Chef Training

Veteran Assistance:

Southwestern Illinois College

Culinary Degrees Offered:

  • Associate’s Degree in Restaurant, Culinary, and Catering Management/Manager

Veteran Assistance:

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Culinary Degrees Offered:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Restaurant, Culinary, and Catering Management/Manager

Veteran Assistance:

Boston University

Culinary Degrees Offered:

  • Master’s Degree in Culinary Arts and Related Services

Veteran Assistance:

Northwestern Michigan College

Culinary Degrees Offered:

  • Associates Degree in Culinary Arts/Chef Training

Veteran Assistance:

Grand Rapids Community College

Culinary Degrees Offered:

  • Associates Degree in Culinary Arts/Chef Training
  • Associate’s Degree in Restaurant, Culinary, and Catering Management/Manager

Veteran Assistance:

Mississippi State University

Culinary Degrees Offered:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Culinary Science/Culinology

Veteran Assistance:

Wake Technical Community College

Culinary Degrees Offered:

  • Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts/Chef Training

Veteran Assistance:

University of Nevada – Las Vegas (UNLV)

Culinary Degrees Offered:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Culinary Arts

Veteran Assistance:

Oklahoma State University – Oklahoma City

Culinary Degrees Offered:

  • Associate’s Degree in Restaurant, Culinary, and Catering Management/Manager

Veteran Assistance:

>> Find more GI Bill-approved Culinary Schools with the CollegeRecon School Finder tool.

 

Culinary Scholarships

Beyond the GI Bill or Tuition Assistance, scholarships can be ideal for paying for college. The great thing about scholarships is you can find them for each and every degree you might pursue. Here are a couple of scholarships just for those going into the culinary arts:

James Beard Foundation Scholarship

This scholarship assists aspiring and established culinary professionals who plan to further their education at a licensed or accredited culinary school or hospitality institution college or university. They offer cash grants that will be applied to tuition or other school-related expenses, tuition waivers, and work student grants. The amounts do vary. They will reopen their scholarship in 2021.

The AIWF Scholarship Program

The AIWF (The American Institute of Wine and Food) Scholarship Program is to give back to the community and support individuals interested in the culinary arts and/or Oenology. Each chapter offers scholarships to full-time students attending an accredited program. They have chapters in Monterey Bay, Napa and Sonoma Wine Country, San Diego, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Wichita.

For more Culinary Arts scholarships, please go here.  You can also view other scholarships on College Recon, from scholarships for veterans to military spouses and more.

 

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About the author

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Julie Provost is a freelance writer, blogger, and owner of Soldier's Wife, Crazy Life, a support blog for military spouses. She lives in Tennessee with her National Guard husband and three boys.