Top 10 Affordable Culinary Schools

If you have a passion for cooking but want an affordable education, these 10 culinary schools offer exceptional training and reasonable tuition costs.

1. Maui College at the University of Hawaii

Location: Kahului, Maui, Hawaii

Estimated Cost: $180 per term (prorated part-time)

Maui College’s Culinary Arts program offers two specialty areas: Culinary Arts and Baking. The college’s Associate in Applied Science degrees are accredited by the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation Accrediting Commission.

Available Programs

  • Associate in Applied Science (AAS)
  • Certificate of Achievement (CA)
  • Certificate of Competence (CO)

Course Length

  • AAS: 67 Credits for Culinary Arts; 77 credits for Pastry Cook
  • CA: 31 Credits
  • CO: 19 Credits for Culinary Arts; 20 credits for Pastry Cook

Cost of Living

  • Very expensive

How to Apply

2. Trenholm State Technical College

Location: Montgomery, Alabama

Estimated Cost: $10,868 (tuition only)

Trenholm’s Culinary Arts program is the largest of its kind in Alabama. The American Culinary Federation Education Foundation Accrediting Commission recognized Trenholm’s Culinary Arts program as an Exemplary Program. Only 22 culinary programs in the world have received this recognition.

Available Programs

  • Associate in Applied Science Degree Culinary Arts
  • Associate in Applied Science Degree Culinary Arts/Hospitality Management

Course Length

  • 6 terms

Cost of Living

  • Very affordable

How to Apply

3. Indian Hills Community College

Location: Ottumwa, Iowa

Estimated Cost: $5,700 (in-state students); $7,500 (out-of-state students)

The Culinary Arts Program at Indian Hills Community College has state-of-the-art kitchens and award-winning instructors. The program is accredited by the American Culinary Federation (ACF), and offers ACF Certificate Preparation.

Available Programs

  • Associate in Applied Science Degree (A.A.S.)

Course Length

  • 7 terms (21 months)

Cost of Living

  • Very affordable

How to Apply

4. Cochise College

Location: Sierra Vista, Arizona

Estimated Cost: $13,903 for in-state students living on campus; $18,103 for out-of-state students

Cochise College’s AAS degree prepares students for employment as an assistant to the chef or food director. Students can also take advantage of apprenticeship certificates for bakers, chefs and sous chefs.

Available Programs

  • Culinary Arts AAS degree
  • Sous Chef Certificate
  • Chef Patissier Certificate

Course Length

  • 4 semesters

Cost of Living

  • Affordable

How to Apply

5. Pierpont Community and Technical College

Location: Fairmont, West Virginia

Estimated Cost: $12,360 (in-state students); $29,280 (out-of-state students)

Two programs at Pierpont Community and Technical College have been named “Exemplary” by the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation Accrediting Commission:

  • Food Service Management – Pastry and Baking Arts Specialization (AAS)
  • Food Service Management – Culinary Arts Specialization (AAS)

The school’s culinary team represented West Virginia in the American Culinary Federation Regionals in New York. The program is considered the best in West Virginia for culinary arts.

Available Programs

  • Associate in Applied Science Culinary Arts Specialization
  • Associate in Applied Science Pastry and Baking Arts Specialization

Course Length

  • 60 credit hours

Cost of Living

  • Affordable

How to Apply

6. St. Philip’s College

Location: San Antonio, TX

Estimated Cost: $86/semester-credit-hours (in-district); $202/semester-credit-hours (out-of-district); $453/semester-credit-hours (non-resident)

St. Philip’s College offers two culinary arts programs. The A.A.S. degree program has received Exemplary status from the American Culinary Federation (ACF) for seven years. The program is accredited by the American Culinary Federation Foundation Accrediting Commission. Graduates attain the Certified Culinarian status from ACF.

Available Programs

  • Culinary Arts, A.A.S.
  • Culinary Studies Level 1 Certificate

Course Length

  • 60 semester credit hours (AAS)
  • 20 semester credit hours (Level 1 Certificate)

Cost of Living

  • Very affordable

How to Apply

7. Boston University Metropolitan College

College students, red coat, smiling, graduation day.
Graduation Day at Boston University

Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Estimated Cost: $14,200

BU’s Certificate Program in the Culinary Arts is taught by experienced, working chefs. The full-time program is the only one of its kind in America, and was created in 1989 with the help of Julia Child and Jacques Pepin. Students learn French techniques as well as international cuisines in more than 400 hours of instruction.

Available Programs

  • Certificate Program in the Culinary Arts

Course Length

  • 1 semester

Cost of Living

  • Very expensive

How to Apply

8. College of Southern Nevada

Location: North Las Vegas, Nevada

Estimated Cost: $19,386/year (in-state; full-time; 13 credits/semester); $26,576/year (in-state; full-time; 13 credits/semester)

The culinary arts programs at the College of Southern Nevada are accredited by the ACF and the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration. The program has received Exemplary status from the ACF.

Available Programs

  • Culinary Arts (AAS)
  • Culinary Arts (CA)
  • Pastry Arts (AAS)
  • Pastry Arts (CA)

Course Length

  • 67 credits (AAS)
  • 31-33 credits (CA)

Cost of Living

  • Very expensive

How to Apply

9. Sullivan University

Location: Louisville, Kentucky

Estimated Cost: $345/credit-hour

Sullivan University was named one of the best culinary schools in America. The school’s National Center for Hospitality Studies is world-renowned and is home to some of the most sought-after instructors.

Available Programs

  • Associate of Science degree in Culinary Arts

Course Length

  • 18 months

Cost of Living

  • Affordable

How to Apply

10. Platt College

Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Estimated Cost: $24,621/year

Platt College has three campus restaurants which are staffed by Culinary Arts students. When students near graduation, they complete an externship at a working restaurant or kitchen.

Available Programs

  • Culinary Arts
  • Pastry Arts

Course Length

  • 2 years

Cost of Living

  • Affordable

How to Apply

Starting out your culinary career? Check out the various restaurant hiring.

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