14 Best Culinary Schools in Pennsylvania| Fees & Details

Looking for a school that will develop and polish your cooking skills? Try the best culinary schools in Pennsylvania and see their program offerings and whether it suits your demand.

Culinary is a professional art that involves the cooking, preparing, presenting, and serving of food often in a restaurant. A culinary school, culinary college, or cooking school is an educational institution established for the sole purpose of offering education in the art and science of cooking and food preparation. Some traditional colleges also offer culinary arts programs among other programs.

The culinary arts program usually takes 2 or 4 years to complete depending on the qualification you are going for. There are many culinary schools and a few normal colleges that offer culinary arts programs in many countries but the best ones are in the US and Canada.

To this effect, we at Study Abroad Nations have published various posts on the culinary schools in Canada and some of the US states such as the culinary schools in Georgia, some of the best culinary schools in Miami, as well as, top culinary schools in California. For each of these posts, we made sure to give full details such as program duration, admission requirements, and tuition fee.

This article on culinary schools in Pennsylvania is no different from the recommendations above. For each of the culinary schools, their specific details were given. This way, you get to see the program offering and entry requirements to ensure it is the right one for you.

How Long is Culinary School in PA

Culinary schools in Pennsylvania take anywhere from a few short months to four years to complete. This completely depends on the program option you decide to choose. While a certificate in culinary can take 15 months to finish, an associate’s degree will take 2 years, and a bachelor’s degree will take 4 years to complete.

Some culinary schools in Pennsylvania offer master’s degree programs in culinary for students who already have a bachelor’s degree. It takes 2 years to complete.

Cost of Culinary Schools in Pennsylvania

The average cost of attending any of the culinary schools in Pennsylvania is $13,395 but there are also other schools with a tuition fee below $10,000. You could equally qualify for a scholarship if you meet the eligibility criteria.

How Many Culinary Schools are in Pennsylvania?

33 culinary schools in Pennsylvania offer qualifications from certificates and associate’s degrees to bachelor’s and master’s degrees. 33 culinary schools in the state of Pennsylvania is a lot but which ones are the best?

Well, keep reading to find out…

culinary schools in Pennsylvania

Best Culinary Schools in Pennsylvania

The culinary schools in Pennsylvania will teach you skills on the foundational and in-depth cooking methods, as well as, offer you life lessons such as time management, problem-solving, organization management, and discipline. These schools will prepare you for a successful career in the culinary field.

Without further ado, let’s see the culinary schools in Pennsylvania

1.     JNA Institute of Culinary Arts

JNA Institute of Culinary Arts is one of the best culinary schools in Pennsylvania and has been in the industry since 1988. The school is located at South Broad Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). Students are trained by experienced experts in a real-world setting.

Most of the education here at JNA is practical-based but theory and the necessary coursework aren’t left out so that students can get the right background and experience to become successful. The institute offers associate degree, diploma, and certificate programs in culinary arts.

JNA Institute of Culinary Arts Admission Requirements

  • Official high school transcripts or original high school diploma. An equivalent, like a GED, can also be accepted.
  • Submit a complete application form with complete responses to the essay questions
  • Take the interview either in person or by phone
  • Minimum SAT score of 800 or higher on a point scale of 400-1600. Or take the ACT with a minimum score of 16 or higher. The SAT code is 3049 and the ACT code is 7054.
  • Submit official transcripts from previously attended institutions which could be a college or technical school
  • Submit one personal and one professional or educational letter of recommendation.
  • Applicants whose native language is not English are required to take the TOEFL, IELTS, or any recognized English proficiency tests.
  • Students who live in the area are encouraged to take a physical tour of the institute

JNA Institute of Culinary Arts Tuition Fee

The tuition fee at JNA varies by program. The diploma program costs a total of $14,575 while the associate’s degree program costs a total of $29,075.

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2.     IUP Academy of Culinary Arts

IUP is the Indiana University of Pennsylvania and it houses an Academy of Culinary Arts that offers a culinary arts program, a baking and pastry arts program, an associate’s degree in both culinary arts and baking and pastry arts, and a BS degree in both culinary arts and baking and pastry arts. The academy is located in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania

Admission Requirements for IUP Academy of Culinary Arts

  • Unofficial high school transcript or GED scores
  • Official transcripts from previously attended institutions
  • SAT and ACT scores (optional) to help you qualify for scholarships
  • Personal statement (optional)
  • Essay
  • Letters of recommendation

IUP Academy of Culinary Arts Tuition Fees

The tuition fee is $7,848 per semester

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3.     Gaynor’s School of Cooking

Gaynor’s School of Cooking is one of the culinary schools in Pennsylvania. The school is located on East Carson Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. At Gaynors, you get to learn various cooking styles and methods no matter your age. There are classes for kids and teens, pastry and baking classes, the art of fine cooking series, and wine and mixology classes.

No prerequisite experience and no prior qualification are required to join Gaynor’s School of Cooking. It is set up in such a way that it admits learners from all walks of life no matter their background.

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4.     Bidwell Training Center

Bidwell Training Center is a vocational training institute that offers a wide range of in-demand skills ranging from medical coders to culinary arts. The culinary arts program at Bidwell is one of the best in Pennsylvania designed to prepare you for a successful career in the foodservice industry.

The training center houses a fully-equipped commercial kitchen and expert instructors who equip students with hands-on learning. Bidwell Training Center Culinary Arts Training program does not charge a tuition fee for residents of Pennsylvania and others with a high school diploma or an equivalent. The program also takes 12 months to complete.

Entry Requirements

  • Present proof of graduation like a high school diploma or a GED
  • Show proof that you are a resident of Pennsylvania
  • Criminal record check

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5.     YTI Career Institute

YTI Career Institute offers one of the best culinary schools in Pennsylvania with innovative programs that are offered both online and on-campus (hybrid). There are two culinary programs at this institute, the Pastry Arts program which takes 12 months to complete, and the Culinary Arts & Restaurant Management program which takes 20 months to complete.

Culinary Arts & Restaurant Management program offers an associate degree in specialized business and costs $40,040 which covers tuition, electronic device, ebooks/books, tools, knives, materials, uniforms, and student fees. The Pastry Arts program leads to a Diploma and costs $24,320 and also includes the materials listed above.

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6.     Lackawanna College

Lackawanna College is a community college in Pennsylvania that offers an Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts. The degree gives students a well-rounded education in the culinary arts, equipping students with a wide variety of cooking topics and techniques. Some of the skills you will learn are baking techniques, beverage management, American regional cooking studies, and culinary concepts of the Mediterranean.

The program takes two years to complete. Interested students will have to contact the admissions office to get info on tuition and admission requirements into the program.

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7.     Laurel Technical Institute

Laurel Technical Institute has one of the best culinary schools in Pennsylvania. The institute houses a School of Culinary Arts that offers a 12-month Culinary Arts Diploma taught by experienced chefs who will equip you with modern and classical cooking techniques.

To equip you with practical experience, you will spend one semester at the campus harvesting food in the campus garden and serving at the school restaurant.

To serve students better, the culinary school offers online, on-ground, and hybrid learning formats to offer you flexibility.

Admission Requirements

  • A completed application form
  • High school transcripts or its equivalent and transcripts from previously attended institutions
  • Sign the statement of undertaking
  • Criminal background checks and drug screening

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8.     Westmoreland County Community College

One of the perks of choosing to pursue a culinary program at Westmoreland County Community College is that there is a wide range of programs and qualifications for you to choose from. The culinary programs are:

  • Baking and Pastry Apprenticeship Option that leads to an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) and a Diploma
  • Baking and Pastry (AAS & Certificate)
  • Culinary Arts Apprenticeship (AAS & Diploma)
  • Culinary Arts (AAS & Certificate
  • Restaurant Management (AAS)
  • Dietary Management (AAS)
  • Lodging Management (AAS)
  • Hospitality Management (Diploma & Certificate)

Each of these pathways has different entry requirements and tuition fees. However, they are all designed to equip you with the particular skills you need to build a successful career in the foodservice industry. This is one of the culinary schools in Pennsylvania that you should consider applying to.

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9.     Clearfield County Career and Technology Center (CCCTC)

CCCTC offers one of the best culinary programs in Pennsylvania through its department of Culinary Arts & Food Management. The program trains students with modern equipment that meets industry standards and equips them with hands-on techniques that will build a successful career for them.

The program cost is $6,800 and covers books and certifications. Other fees are $22 for a criminal record check, $13 for child abuse clearance, $23.85 for a federal criminal history record, $100 for uniforms, $30 for non-skid shoes or sneakers, and a $300 deposit for tuition. The program takes 9 months to complete.

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10.  Monroe Career Technical Institute (MCTI)

At MCTI, you can find one of the best culinary programs in Pennsylvania. The culinary arts program here prepares students for careers in the foodservice industry through instruction and specialized learning that covers theory, lab, and work experience.

To learn about entry requirements and tuition, you need to show an interest in admission and contact the admissions office to get all the info regarding your admission into the culinary arts program

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11.  Lebanon County Career and Technology Center (LCCTC)

LCCTC is one of the best culinary schools in Pennsylvania and at it achieves this rank through its high-quality culinary arts program offering. The program is accredited by the American Culinary Federation (ACF). It takes one year of full-time study to complete the program and you will be required to purchase a uniform, black leather shoes, and the ServSafe certification.

The admission requirements and tuition fee will be made available to students who show interest in applying for the program.

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12.  Pittsburgh Technical College

Pittsburgh Technical College offers more than 30 programs of study including culinary and baking programs. It is one of the best culinary schools in Pennsylvania due to its wide and quality program offering related to the foodservice industry. You can find the Baking & Pastry certificate program and Culinary Arts in associate of science and certificate.

These programs are offered through the college’s School of Culinary Arts. Follow the link provided below to request more information concerning tuition and admission requirements.

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13.  Steel Center for Career and Technical Education (SCCTE)

SCCTE offers an instructional culinary arts program that prepares students for a career in the foodservice industry. The program coves theory, lab, and work experiences to equip aspiring chefs with real-world experience in the foodservice industry.

You can take a virtual tour of the school and get insights into the inner workings, see their labs, and how they operate. This can give you a good view of how the school works before you apply.

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14.  Central Montco Technical High School

This is a school with a focus on the arts, sciences, and technology. The school offers a culinary arts & restaurant practices program that covers instructional and experiential learning to prepare students for a career in the foodservice industry. Instruction covers theory, laboratory, and work experience related to planning selecting, preparing and serving quantity food and food products.

The required materials to join this program include:

  • Black chef coat
  • Checkered chef pants
  • Black apron, floppy black chef hat
  • Blackwork shoes resistant to water and oil
  • Digital or bi-metallic stem thermometer
  • School supplies include dividers, pens, and highlighters.

You will get an accredited certificate upon successful completion of the program.

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This wraps up the list of best culinary schools in Pennsylvania and I hope they have been helpful.