A.A.S., Culinary Arts

Our Associate of Applied Science curriculum* with a Culinary Arts concentration is designed to give you the expertise needed to enter the food service or restaurant industry in a mid-level position. With an ideal location in the Midwest’s greatest culinary city, Chicago, the AAS degree in Culinary Arts offers a strong foundation, based on real work experience and potential for professional growth in hospitality and food service. Our flexible bilingual Culinary Arts courses also offer classes for working professionals who want to get a degree while working at the same time. 

Our on-the-job externship/internship and cooking classes at St. Augustine make sure you are prepared with real-world culinary experience in a dual language education program that can boost your resume and your career. Culinary arts students are given the opportunity to work in a food service environment for 300 clock hours. Regardless if you’re goal is to become a chef, a baker, or a hotel manager, a Chicago-based externship paired with our associate’s degree in Culinary Arts will prepare you for a rewarding career in the culinary world.

What Does a Culinary School in Chicago Prepare You For? 

Completion of this rigorous 60-credit-hour culinary arts degree program qualifies you for employment in a variety of hospitality settings where you can further develop your passion for cooking:

Hotels

Restaurants 

Hospitals 

Snack Bars

Retirement Homes

And More

A culinary school in Chicago provides students with the resources and the prime location needed to help pursue their hospitality careers. We cater especially to those seeking colleges for adults with courses that focus on a wide variety of culinary techniques, from Advanced Culinary Skills to Latin American and European cuisine, our cooking classes at St. Augustine go well beyond the cooking fundamentals to give culinary students the skill set needed to succeed in any professional kitchen. We work alongside local Illinois industry leaders to guarantee our courses are providing our students with the skills necessary to succeed in the culinary world.

An Illinois Food Sanitation Certificate 

Requirements for this culinary arts associate’s degree include 16 credit hours for general education, 4 credit hours for support courses, and 40 credit hours for specialization courses in our Chicago culinary institute. Your study in the culinary arts world includes theory and practice, as well as the opportunity to receive your sanitation certificate, a must-have for work in this field. Our culinary courses will provide you with the information necessary to have a food sanitation certificate, along with a keen knowledge of how to prepare and keep your food clean. You will also learn basic culinary skills such as knife skills, cooking techniques for meats and vegetables, and how a professional kitchen is managed. If you want to open your own business, getting your food sanitation certificate is mandatory.

What Jobs can you get with a Degree from a Chicago Culinary Institute? 

As part of the food and beverage industry, someone who holds a culinary arts associate’s degree can be guaranteed a job in many kitchens (and out of kitchens as well). Whether working in production or distribution, your part in the process of delivering food and beverage to consumers is a crucial part and one that employers and kitchen managers are looking for. You can even get jobs teaching about food. If you wish to express your artistic self with food, there are jobs for you.

Pastry Chef 

Have a sweet tooth? A pastry chef is in charge of a restaurant or bakery’s baked goods. They can also work in a catering company, hotel, or another food service company. Besides working with baked goods, a pastry chef might be in charge of a dessert menu.

Food Technologist 

Your role is to guarantee that food products are safe and meet specific standards of health inspectors or the FDA. A food technologist looks at the whole development process of food. You will approve the nutritional data, write product descriptions, and make sure all of the food is following USDA regulations.

Food Safety Specialist 

Similar to a food technologist, a food safety specialist ensures that food is safe for human consumption. Following food from a farm to the dining table, you have a crucial role in making sure consumers are eating food that is safe.

Food Stylist 

Allowing for a bit of artistic expression, a food stylist designs, prepares, and plates food for photography or on-air demonstrations. You can work for magazines, online food channels, or a television show, and you even might be able to conduct live demonstrations at private events.

Resources

Learn more about how you can receive SAC’s Associate’s degree in Culinary Arts below, and how St. Augustine’s programs have helped others.

Success Stories: As the number one school in Illinois in raising students’ income, and having a second higher graduation rate than comparable institutions in Chicago, we are proud to present a few of our outstanding students below who have stood out and demonstrated St. Augustine’s dedication to success.

Career & Transfer Center: St. Augustine is not just a college, it’s a launchpad for you and your career. Contact our staff to receive assistance related to jobs, interviews, or internships.

Community: Our community is built on inclusivity and diversity. Regardless of someone’s background, they deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.

Empowered to Succeed

As a graduate of the A.A.S. in Culinary Arts program*, you will be prepared to:

  1. Understand concepts focused on culinary techniques, procedures, styles, and services.
  2. Apply knowledge and show proficiency in culinary specifications and categories, as well as structure organizational skills.
  3. Apply basic and advanced food preparation techniques to culinary skills.
  4. Demonstrate safe handling and use of food, cooking equipment and tools.

*The general education core for this degree complies with guidelines of the Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI)

View Full Course List

List of Classes and Credit Hours for AAS Culinary Arts

Culinary Arts FAQs

Q: Is math used in Culinary Arts?

A: Simple math is used in the AA in culinary arts, from measurements to ratios to conversions, the amount of math you will use during your time in a culinary school in Chicago will depend from course to course. While mathematics is not at the heart of an associates degree in culinary arts, having a working knowledge of the principles of numbers, chemistry, and biology will be crucial and help you go far, both in your cooking classes at St. Augustine College and beyond.

Q: Is there science in Culinary Arts?

A: Integrating elements of food science in our Culinary Arts associate’s program in order to help explain the culinary practice. Similar to math, science is an essential part of cooking from beginning to end, chemical reactions occur throughout the entire process and the result is delicious food. Simple aspects of science, such as how yeast is used in the process of bread baking, is a great example of understanding how important it is to understand the scientific process of baking.

Q: How do I start a career after graduating with an Associate’s degree in Culinary Arts?

Starting a career after going to culinary school in Chicago can sometimes feel daunting. Many times cooks begin a career due to their own personal connections, but St. Augustine College’s Chicago culinary institute allows students to build real work connections and relationships with chefs and culinary professionals with an on-the-job externship/internship, allowing culinary students the opportunity needed to not only help build their resumes, but help create relationships that may evolve into job opportunities.

Q: How long is culinary school?

A: SAC’s Culinary Arts Associate degree takes about two years to complete. But if you are interested in furthering your education in culinary arts, a degree at St. Augustine College can be the first step in getting a bachelors, masters, or even a doctorate in culinary arts.

Q: Are there scholarships for culinary school at St. Augustine College?

A: St. Augustine has always envisioned a world where higher education was available for all, regardless of their financial status. A variety of scholarships and work-study opportunities are available for all culinary arts degree students who qualify. At St. Augustine College over 70% of our students receive 100% tuition assistance in the forms of scholarships and grants.

Q: What are the signs of a successful culinary student?

A: A culinary student who graduated from this Chicago culinary school should be proficient in a variety of culinary techniques, procedures, styles and services, along with being well-versed in the tools used on a daily basis. You will also have the knowledge needed to pass and receive your food sanitation certification, a must-have for work in the food industry.

Success Stories

Empowering students to thrive in today’s competitive world.