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How long does it take to graduate from culinary school?

    Enjoy experimenting with new recipes and have a passion for cooking or baking? Do you have aspirations to work in the restaurant industry? Or are you already, and do you want to further your career in the world of food? Then, culinary school may be your calling.

    Culinary school may give you a leg up to explore positions in the restaurant industry, hone your skills, and advance your career. All that said, a big part of deciding if a certain type of schooling is right for you ultimately is figuring out how long it will take.

    When it comes to culinary school, there are a few options to consider, and the time it takes to graduate will depend on the program you pick. Some programs are only a few months long, while others range from two to even four years (and beyond).

    Continue reading to learn how long it takes to graduate from culinary school.

    How long does it take to graduate from different culinary programs?

    The time it takes to graduate from culinary school will vary greatly depending on the program you pick and how much time you can dedicate to your education at any given time. For example, if you need to work while you attend school, school could potentially take you longer to complete.

    Let’s dive into the different options for culinary school, from certificate programs to master’s degrees, and how long they might take to complete.

    Culinary diploma or certificate programs

    Diploma and certificate culinary programs usually focus on a specific area of study or are based on a generalized education of all aspects of cooking. They tend to be shorter than traditional degree programs and usually take somewhere in the range of six months to a year to complete.

    These programs usually offer real-world experience and are designed to be expedited programs that aim to prepare you for entry-level positions in the culinary industry.

    Culinary degree programs

    When you enroll in a culinary degree program, you’re devoting time to a broad culinary arts or food science education.

    Degree programs tend to focus on cooking and the culinary industry along with a general education component that includes courses like English, math, and science. Even with generalized education requirements, these programs are designed to prepare you for higher-level culinary, hospitality, and management positions.

    There are several different degrees you can attain. Generally, the options are:

    • Associate culinary degree: This degree tends to take two years to complete.
    • Bachelor’s culinary degree: This degree tends to take four years to complete.
    • Master’s culinary degree: This degree tends to take six years to complete (four years for your bachelor’s and two more years for your master’s).

    Keep in mind that the timeframes outlined above for how long these programs take to complete are estimates. There are circumstances where these programs could take less time or more time.

    Final thoughts

    You have several options for getting a culinary education, be it attending a certificate program, a two-year program, a four-year program, or even obtaining an advanced degree.