How long does it take to graduate from culinary school?

For adult learners thinking about going back to school for the culinary arts, you might be wondering how long it takes to graduate from culinary school.

The truth is, that answer varies depending on the program you choose and the amount of time you’re able to dedicate to your studies. 

How long does it take to graduate from culinary school?

As we mentioned above, the length of time it takes to graduate from culinary school depends on the program you pick. Some programs are only a few months long, while others range two to four years. 

A professional degree in the culinary arts generally takes the same amount of time as your traditional education (about four years).

Here’s what you need to know about the various culinary programs and how long they take. 

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Culinary Programs

There are three main types of culinary programs available to you, including diploma and certificate programs, degree programs, and individualized culinary school education.

Culinary Diploma or Certificate Programs

Diploma and certificate culinary programs usually focus on a specific area of study or do a generalized education about all aspects of cooking. They are shorter than your traditional degree programs, usually somewhere in the range of six months to a year long

These programs usually offer some real-world experience and come with payment/financing options that make it possible to pay for your education in smaller chunks. They are fast programs that aim to prepare you for entry-level positions in the culinary industry. 

Degree Culinary Programs

When you take a degree program, you are essentially going to college for a culinary arts or science education (depending on where you want to focus). Even within degree programs, there are several different degrees you can attain. Here’s an example of how long each degree can take to complete:

Associate’s Culinary Degree: 2 Years

Bachelor’s Culinary Degree: 4 Years

Master’s Culinary Degree: 6 Years (4 for your Bachelor’s and 2 more for your Master’s)

Degree programs don’t only focus on cooking and the culinary industry. You’ll need to take additional educational courses like English, math, and science. However, these programs can prepare you for higher-level positions within the culinary, hospitality, and management fields. 

Culinary School

Culinary school is an overall comprehensive culinary education done in less time than your typical degree programs. These are more intensive than your certificate or diploma programs and fast-track your training so you can more easily get a job in the culinary industry upon graduation. 

Generally, culinary school takes an average of two years, though this greatly depends on your track and how much time you can dedicate to your education. 

You have several options when it comes to getting a culinary education. Hopefully, one of these makes sense for the timeline and will help you secure a job in the culinary industry quickly.