Learn About Accredited Commercial Cooking Degree Programs Online

Affordable Classes

Career-oriented college degrees gain more and more attention as traditional colleges price Americans out of the market. As business ultra-specializes so will the degrees attainable. Commercial cooking is one very manageable degree within the competitive field of culinary arts. Thanks to popular T.V. such as the Food Network and reality shows such as America’s Top Chef and Iron Chef, cooking is more akin to an extreme sport than it is a dull, dead-end job.

Degree Prerequisites

Sound attractive? Cooking in a kitchen whether for a low-brow or high-brow restaurant, spa kitchen, upscale hotel, even in food service, is a demanding, front-line job. Hours are often long and jobs competitive. Students with previous experience in an entry-level restaurant job or commercial kitchen are desirable, but lack of experience for a two-year degree is not necessary and certainly requires no previous post-secondary education.


Cooking schools and community colleges are a primary source for commercial cooking courses and diplomas. A one-year certificate program provides students with a comprehensive smattering of courses. Curriculum is designed to prepare candidates for immediate jobs, as well as pave the way for a four-year degree. Commercial cooking teaches students food and beverage basics, such as sauce preparation, baking, basic mixology and general information on wine. Adjunct courses such as nutrition, cost management, kitchen, bar and dining room operations, and sanitation, cover a wider berth of restaurant knowledge.

Specialty cooking diplomas provide a year of intensive specialization in a particular aspect of cooking. Most popular is the pastry and baking subspecialty.

Associates Degree

Two-year Associates degrees that prepare students for commercial cooking may be interchangeably called Food Service degrees. A step up from the curriculum outlined above in the certificate program, the Associates degree expands and prepares a student with more challenging skills. Students are required to combine interdisciplinary undergraduate courses, such as social sciences, English, and math, with advanced courses in food preparation, nutrition, restaurant operations and required business electives. Hands-on experience is also offered through many programs.

Bachelors Degree

Students that seek commercial cooking degrees at the four-year level will find Bachelors programs in the culinary arts. Students pursue jobs as kitchen chefs versus cooks in food service. Basic curriculum remains the same with additional material in business and restaurant management, pastry arts, and catering. Bachelors degrees also require undergraduate interdisciplinary courses in social sciences, English, math and physical education. Students often have the opportunity for internships in working kitchens.

Career Outlook

Commercial cooking degrees tend toward the trade end of he culinary arts, but provide good entry-level jobs as well as pathways to more advanced coursework or degrees that lead to upscale chef positions. Jobs grow with the pace of business at large, which is brisk and going global.