8 Best Culinary Schools in Massachusetts | Fees & Details

Are you highly motivated, career-oriented, and want to work in a restaurant or other foodservice establishment? These Culinary schools in Massachusetts combine general education studies, career courses, and hands-on professional food preparation.

The path to becoming a chef is filled with challenges but can be tremendously rewarding if you are quite passionate about food. What Culinary school does is teach beginner cooks the basic skills they need to work in professional kitchens, and also go as deep as providing a helpful start to their careers in restaurants.

If you’re considering attending one of the culinary schools in Massachusetts or its neighboring states, and you have an eye on the best ones, it is recommended that you know the type of program(s) the schools offer and the reasons people regard them over others. However, we have taken that burden off of you by providing this list of the best and top-rated Culinary schools in Massachusetts.

Before then, I would like to suggest and emphasize the importance of doing thorough research to know if this is the path you truly want to follow. Enrolling in schools straight up may not do it for you as you will need to understand the concept of Culinary itself, the career opportunities, your short-term and long-term goals for it, and so on.

This you can do by taking free online courses on baking, reading books on culinary arts, watching other people in the industry on YouTube, and not just their recipes but their stories which may include how they started, the challenges they encountered, and how they overcame such challenges to get to where they are.

This will help you have a journey with lesser hassles because you have seen what others did to scale through (although a single approach may not work for everyone).

At the top of my recommendations are the following books The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America’s Most Imaginative Chefs, by Andrew Dornenburg & Karen Page; How Baking Works, by Paula Figoni; Culinary Artistry, by Andrew Dornenburg & Karen Page; and The Soul of a Chef: The Journey Toward Perfection, by Michael Ruhlman.

You can check out YouTube Channels like Mashed, Cuisinart Canada, Ryan Dean Dexton, and Masterchef Australia, to name a few.

If Massachusetts doesn’t cut it for you, you may check out some really nice culinary schools in other states such as Rhode Island, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. If you would like to study outside the US, you may check out this article for the best schools for culinary arts in Canada.

The average cost of culinary schools in Massachusetts

Massachusetts is home to 11 different culinary schools, many of which are located in or close to Boston. The average tuition cost in Massachusetts is $12,282, although tuition can cost as little as $600 in some Community Colleges.

culinary schools in Massachusetts

8 Best Culinary Schools in Massachusetts | Fees & Details

Massachusetts has a proportionately large number of culinary and hospitality schools. There are a total of 16 programs offered through community colleges, universities, and post-secondary vocational schools. This provides ample opportunity for those seeking a career in the culinary arts to find quality training just about anywhere in the state.

If you are interested in going to a top-rated cooking school in Massachusetts, check out some of the culinary schools below. We have searched the available programs to bring you some of the best schools in the state.

Please note that the programs on this list are all accredited.

1. Boston University

Boston University, a private school in Boston, has emerged first on our list of Culinary schools in Massachusetts because its program was ranked #1 on College Factual’s Best Schools for culinary arts list.
Taught entirely by experienced working chefs and experts in the food industry, Boston University’s full-time culinary arts program is the only one of its kind in the country with classes limited to only 12 students to ensure a personal and intimate learning environment.
Upon successful completion of this program, students receive a Certificate in the Culinary Arts from Boston University which may be applied for credit toward Boston University’s Master of Liberal Arts in Gastronomy upon acceptance to the program.
Program Duration: The Certificate Program in Culinary Arts is a fourteen-week, hands-on cooking program that exposes students to French and international cooking techniques. It runs twice a year, in the fall and spring semesters. Classes meet for full days, Monday through Thursday—with occasional evening and weekend seminars.
Program Cost: $14,200
For further information (such as admission requirements) visit the school site through the link provided below.

Visit school site

2. The Cambridge School of Culinary Arts

The next best among the culinary schools in Massachusetts is the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts located in Cambridge. It offers culinary education for budding professionals and enthusiastic hobbyists in the Greater Boston area and beyond, introducing them to the art and science of cooking and providing a solid foundation in savory cooking and baking.

Situated around the bustling part of Boston, CSCA gives students the opportunity to explore exciting culinary trends while participating in events taking place in the city.

The Cambridge School of Culinary Arts is endorsed by the International Association of Culinary Professionals and is a member of the American Institute of Wine and Food.

Admission Requirements

  • A completed online application
  • A non-refundable application fee of $45.00
  • A personal statement detailing your background, training, or experience in the culinary arts (if applicable), interests, goals, and reasons for applying
  • A resume
  • Official copies of your most recent educational transcripts: high school, high school equivalent (GED, HiSet, or TASC), or college
  • Two letters of reference from an employer, co-worker, or friend
  • A passport-sized photograph

Program Duration: The Culinary Certificate Program (CCP) lasts for a period of 16 weeks. Upon satisfactory completion of the Culinary Certificate Program, students will have the option of transferring directly into the 37-week intensive Professional Chef’s Program to further refine their culinary knowledge and skillset.

Program Cost: $14,655.00

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3. North Shore Community College

Located in the suburb of Danvers, North Shore Community College is one of the best culinary schools in Massachusetts with a four-star review on Niche.

NSCC offers three culinary programs such as an Associate in Applied Science degree in Culinary Arts and Food Service, a Credit Certificate in Culinary Arts & Food Service, and a Certificate of Completion in Basic Culinary Arts.

Program Duration: This will depend on the program type. However, the anticipated program length for the completion of the highest level exit point is 2 years.

Program Cost: The tuition and fees are determined by the number of registered credits and residency, and charges are assessed each semester starting from $200 per credit. Additional program fees are charged for culinary programs.

For admission requirements and other details, click the link below.

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4. Holyoke Community College

Holyoke Community College is one of the top culinary schools in Massachusetts, offering the only American Culinary Federation accredited program in the state. This certificate can serve as your first year to the institution’s A.A.S. in Culinary Arts.

A number of different programs are offered, including Applied Science Degree in Culinary Arts, Culinary Arts Certificate, and Hospitality Management Certificate.

Here, you will learn directly from industry professionals who are dedicated to your success. Whether you want to make a name as a chef, start your own restaurant, or build a career in travel and tourism, HCC will help you graduate with the skills you need to transfer to a four-year institution or enter the workforce straight up.

You may visit the school site below to request information about each of the programs’ duration, cost, and requirements.

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5. Bristol Community College

Bristol community college is a reputable college in Attleboro and one of the best culinary schools in Massachusetts. Its Culinary Arts Career Program offers a variety of courses that reinforce the learning experience and prepare students for a career in entry-level and advanced positions.

BCC’s culinary program has the degree path (A.A.S. in Culinary Arts, which lasts for a period of two years) and the certificate path (Certificate of Achievement in Culinary Arts Program which runs for a few months).

Some of the featured courses in the Bristol Culinary Arts Career Program include:

  • Culinary Essentials and Advanced Culinary
  • Tableside Cooking
  • Mixology and Bar Management and more

Program cost: Find out about the program cost here.

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6. Berkshire Community College

Located in Pittsfield, Berkshire Community College has successfully earned its reputation as one of the top-rated schools in Massachusett.

The Culinary Arts Management certificate program prepares students for responsible positions in food production. They learn food preparation, plate presentation, and buffet and banquet techniques for small and large groups. Sanitation, nutrition, baking principles, food service, and controls used in managing a professional kitchen are studied. Students also apply their skills with a supervised internship/work experience.

Program Duration: This is a one-year, 28-credit certificate program.

Program Cost: Starting from $223 per credit.

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7. Bunker Hill Community College

As one of the best culinary schools in Massachusetts, Bunker Hill Community College offers two culinary arts programs: the degree program and the certificate program.

The certificate program is a weekend program that prepares students with the basic skills and knowledge required for entry-level positions in the foodservice industry.

Program Duration: This is a two-semester, 22-credit program scheduled from September through May.

The Culinary Arts Degree Option prepares students with an intensive, practical application of skills and decision-making demanded by the culinary arts profession. The program provides a hands-on curriculum interwoven with operational procedures found in most food production and service venues.

Students participate in the operation of a restaurant on campus and in an internship experience, and at the end of the two-year program, students will be awarded an Associate of Applied Science degree in Culinary Arts. The curriculum is based on American Culinary Federation standards,

Program Cost: Starting from $220 per course credit.

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8. Middlesex Community College

Middlesex Community College is one of the best culinary schools in Massachusetts. It offers a unique culinary program combining Hospitality Management, Culinary Arts, and Business Administration.

The Culinary Arts courses at MCC are held on their campuses in Lowell, Bedford, and also online. During these programs, students are exposed to a variety of culinary skills and learn to work together in teams similar to what they will encounter in the industry, whether they are absolute beginners or looking to obtain additional professional training.

Middlesex recognizes that the culinary industry is fast-paced and students are taught to adjust to rapid changes and a high-pressure environment to deliver a quality product.

Program Duration: A minimum of two years for an A.A.S. degree in culinary arts.

Program Cost: Starting from $252 per credit unit.

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In conclusion, culinary skills are not acquired overnight. These skills require a lot of hard work, commitment, discipline, and of course, the coins. Find a way to balance your theoretical learnings with your practical classes as they are both important in their own unique ways.

Look for people in the industry who have made name for themselves or the ones who have success stories to tell. Connect with professionals. Learn from your mistakes. And ultimately, believe in yourself.

Culinary Schools in Massachusetts – FAQs

How do I become a chef in Massachusetts?

You don’t need any specific formal education or a state license to become a chef in Massachusetts. But looking at the incentives that these restaurants in Massachusetts offer in order to keep and retain talent, one must really consider attending a culinary arts program in order to stand out.

Is 30 too old for culinary school?

Of course not. There are no specific age limits for starting a culinary career, so you can become a chef even after 30. However, opportunities in the industry may favor young chefs more.