Baking and Pastry Arts Bachelor's Degree

Learn about baking and pastry arts programs and your options for earning a bachelor's degree. Explore baking-related course topics, what kinds of hands-on experience and training are offered, information on industry certification and job prospects. Schools offering Baking & Pastry degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

How Can I Earn a Baking and Pastry Arts Bachelor's Degree?

While bachelor's programs in baking and pastry arts aren't as common as associate programs, you can still choose from a variety of options. Some programs offer a culinary arts degree with a concentration in baking and pastry arts. Baking and pastry programs are typically offered by for-profit culinary arts institutions and private schools. Online programs aren't generally available due to the great deal of work that you'll need to perform in the kitchen.

Degrees OfferedAssociate, bachelor's degree
Common CoursesDessert and pastry design, health/sanitation, presentation, technique, management
Other RequirementsHands-on training, domestic/international internships, certification (optional)
Career OptionsBaker, chef, restaurant manager, bakery/pastry shop manager

What Courses Will I Take?

The classes that you take in a baking and pastry arts bachelor's degree program can teach you to plan menus, develop recipes and manage kitchens. You'll likely take courses in related topics, such as business, human resources, marketing, cost control and retail operations. Topics of possible study include the following:

  • Traditional and contemporary desserts/breads
  • Nutrition
  • Food production
  • Sanitation
  • Specialized techniques (e.g. cake decorating)
  • Restaurant/bakery management

Some of the different types of baked goods and pastries you may learn to make include tortes, sweet breads, cakes, cookies, ice creams and chocolates. Sugar artistry and decoration techniques also might be taught through hands-on experiments in campus kitchens.

How Can I Gain Hands-On Experience?

Most bachelor's degree programs in baking and pastry arts include internships and other real-world learning experiences. For example, you might be able to work at an on-campus restaurant or bakery, or complete an internship that allows you to work closely with the pastry chefs at a restaurant, hotel or bakery. You also might travel to places like France to gain first-hand knowledge of the tastes, methods and traditions of international pastry and baked goods production.

What Kinds of Jobs Might I Find?

Graduates of baking and pastry arts programs can find work as managers or chefs at fine dining restaurants, high-end bakeries, resorts, hotels and other similar businesses. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), some of these jobs are highly competitive, and a solid education in business and cost control might help you to find work.

While not required, certification might increase your employment prospects. The American Culinary Federation (ACF) can award you the designation of Certified Pastry Culinarian, Certified Working Pastry Chef, Certified Executive Pastry Chef or Certified Master Pastry Chef, depending on your education and work experience. To receive certification, you usually must pass an extensive test that includes both written and practical components. The Certified Master Pastry Chef designation is the most prestigious title and requires eight days of examinations to receive certification.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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