Top 10 Culinary Schools in Virginia | Fees & Details

Are you a resident of Virginia, with a great desire for food and an undying passion for cooking? If yes? Then this article is for you. We have listed some culinary schools in Virginia that can help you become a badass cook and a successful chef from an amateur to a non-amateur level in your career.

The purpose of culinary education is to ensure that students are being given the fundamental training necessary to serve food to the public. Therefore, culinarians are taught life lessons, problem-solving skills, time management, and organization.

Virginia happens to be a country of history and culture museums young minds can explore. Whether you are already in the profession, they provide a free education system for passionate citizens who wish to go into cooking.

Culinary schools founded in 2008, Stephen P. Sands and  Pete Smith began their culinary adventure together in 1999 L Academia de cuisine in Bethesda M.D. A Cook’s Quest began teaching classes in a community center in Reston and Vienna.

You might want to check out Nutrition Courses (Certificate of Completion), there is so much useful information that would guide you on culinary/nutritional courses, carefully read them and see what choice is best for you.                                                          

Note that; at the end of each course, students are issued a certificate of completion. This is only feasible for students who have not only fully participated but have finished all coursework, and mastered test questionnaires.   

I, therefore, advise that students should focus on learning all the necessary skills they need in becoming successful cooks. Remember, there is more to life than passing exams and studying smarter because the beautiful thing about learning is that no one will ever take it away from you.

In a bid to expand your culinary skills further you may want to consider enrolling in online cooking courses and also take up online nutrition courses to advance yourself as a professional.

What is Culinary?

Culinary is referred to as the art of preparing, cooking, presenting, and serving food.
A culinary school is an institution devoted to education in the art and science of cooking and food preparation. Culinary schools can take anywhere from a few short months to 4years.

It is mostly in form of meals in a restaurant, different types of cooking schools around the world are devoted to training professionals, chefs, and others. As a student in culinary school, you will be exposed to the fundamentals of proper sanitation, knife cuts, cooking techniques, food preparation, food purchasing/specifications, catering, and professionalism. 

Culinary schools provide experiences that will get students prepared for jobs in the high-intensity, high-impact field of food. It helps gives a student lacking initial skills the ability to work in the kitchen, learn from other cooks, discover different processes and types of products they can make, and attend lectures held by professionals, and above all their ability will vastly improve.

For every culinary student, a fondness for cooking is most likely a reason for them to join their fellow students, but with time they learn much more than restaurant dishes. They are also opportune to enroll in pastry chef training, which can send them on the path of becoming bakers.

The most important thing in cooking/culinary school is that it is hypersonic.   If you are interested in learning how to bake, then you might want to check out our free online baking courses.   

Anyone can become a cook or a chef, there are no strict education or training requirements to become a chef. The goodness is we can cook, or taste, which evolved to help us know what to put into our bodies. Everyone has a cook’s intuition, and it might be a bit rusty if you are not used to cooking. 

The benefits of attending a culinary school are to study with a variety of chef instructors, gain exposure to advanced techniques and cuisines from all around the world, culinary schools can open up more career opportunities, and many more.

Can International Students Attend Culinary Schools in Virginia

Firstly, who are these international students?

International students are like you and me or foreign students who choose to undertake all or part of their tertiary education in a country other than their own and move to that country to study.       

So, yes, international students can attend culinary schools in Virginia.                           

While the acceptance rate of culinary schools is low, your chances of getting into one are dependent on the strength of your profile. The culinary schools in Virginia consider the following factors very important before insuring admission to international students: Course rigor, Class rank, GPA, Recommendation letters, Character/personal qualities, Test scores, Essay, Extracurricular activities, Talent, etc.

As an international student looking forward to studying culinary in Virginia, all you need is a high school diploma, an application, and fee, and the desire to learn how to cook.

Aside from the culinary schools in Virginia, the culinary schools in Massachusetts and the culinary schools in North Carolina also accept international students. And if you are looking for something outside the US, there are prestigious culinary schools in France and culinary schools in the UK that accept international students.

Average Cost of Culinary Schools in Virginia

There are 18 culinary schools in Virginia, and they are quite expensive. They teach their students how to cook foods from all around the world. Culinary Institute of Virginia provides its student with a comfortable, upbeat, and engaging environment, it’s a place where any student will love to spend time.

Most campuses are dedicated to food service studies, and they are abuzz with culinary activities even after the end of the class.

The average cost of culinary schools in Virginia is $8,184 but ranges from $2,808 to $17,496. Career service advisors are available to provide students and graduates with job placement assistance.

culinary schools in Virginia

Top 10 Culinary Schools in Virginia

While there are over 18 culinary schools in Virginia, do you know the ones that are ranked as the best? Keep reading to find out…


This happens to be among the top culinary schools in Virginia. Asides from providing excellent culinary programs, this institution offers food service management, where you earn a bachelor’s in foodservice management in as little as 2.5years.

They make room for those who want to venture into other jobs within their field. Culinary Institute of Virginia provides standards-based, hands-on training emphasizing professional culinary skills, it also combines classical French cooking techniques with nutritional science.

The cost of attending the Culinary Institute of Virginia is $15,000 to $65,000.

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Stratford university is a private university in Virginia, it was founded in 1976. Stratford University has campuses in, Alexandria, Woodbridge, Maryland, and India. Approximately 20% of the student body is international and another 20% is military. They deliver online, classroom, and blended online /classroom programs.

Stratford university signed a memorandum with the sojourner Douglass college on April 2, 2015. They have received the Virginia perseverance award for both 2015 and 2016. The award was presented to them by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe at the annual chamber of commerce workforce conference in Richmond.

This university has helped a lot of culinary students to practice their skills. It does not merely provide technical knowledge but also invests in the practical skills of its students, so they could excel in their field if they choose to practice professionally.

Asides from the traditional culinary art courses, programs like baking and pastry arts, hotel and restaurant management, and hospitality management are taught at this university. The acceptance rate of Stratford university is over 318 and the tuition fees yearly are $24,975.

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This is a small institution with an enrollment of over 192 undergraduates, its acceptance rate is 100%, and the popular majors of the school include; multimedia, culinary arts, food service, and restaurant and food service management.

Yearly, 50% of students graduate from this university and start earning salaries of over $23,700. The tuition fee cost $22,708 yearly. This school is a wonderful training ground, especially for those aiming for professional careers because of their up-to-date facilities, students here learn much more than just basic skills.

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This is a public community college that comprises six campuses and four centers in the northern Virginia suburbs of Washington. This university can take you anywhere you want to go in your chosen field of study, it’s a learning experience that is just as unique as your goals.

Since 1964 the college has offered quality and convenient experiences at an affordable price, its student bodies consist of 180 international students.

The college was founded on February 8, 1965, with a population of 77,332 students and 2500 staff and faculties. Before aid, the average annual cost was $23,268 and after the aid students now pay $10,005. The college lecture students on how to manage hotel restaurant and take electives in food purchasing, menu planning, and nutrition.

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This is a private, for-profit vocational college located in Vienna, Virginia. It was established in the year 1999  when Richard K. Kim was president. Campuses are located in Vienna, VA, US, Centreville, Silver Spring, and MD. In regional universities among mid-west schools, it is ranked 119-157.

People tend to choose this college because it will help them complete their program faster due to the trimester system and full range of courses each semester. Columbia College breeds students who are motivated, driven, and independent.

Culinary in this college consists of 68 credits of specific training required to prepare students for a variety of positions. Students learn both theoretical and practical knowledge in other to meet industries’ demands. The cost of tuition fee for culinary students at Columbia College is $2,320 for a certificate and $3,004 for an associate degree.

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The college is located in Bristol, it offers training in three qualifications, the time range to complete training is from 6months to 3years depending on the qualification, the cost of attending this college is $1,800 to $65,000. The higher learning commission has accredited the college since 1983.

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This is a public research university in Fairfax country, Virginia. The university was originally founded in 1949 as a northern branch of the University of Virginia, it became an independent university in 1959.

It exposes students to the fundamental concepts of food and their preparation, the cost of the tuition fee at this university is $13,119 for states and $36,579 for out-of-state students.

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This is a public university in Abingdon, Virginia. The college was established on November 30, 1967. It is committed to student success and committed to excellence. Its campuses are located in a suburb with a total enrollment of 2,387. The cost of attendance is $4,210.

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This is a for-profit college in Arlington, Virginia. It was opened in 2000 and was a branch of the art institute in Atlanta and was very active from 2000-to 2018. They offer three related culinary degree programs and diplomas. The average annual cost is $20,307.

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This is a public community college in Clifton forge, Virginia. It was established in the year 1962. It offers a variety of credit programs, including those for transfer and selected occupational, technical, and allied health fields.

Summer camps for youth and special topics seminars are offered throughout the year, it educates students on the use of proper culinary procedures combined with food science and proper sanitation standards.

The average cost of study before aid was a total of $19,310, $4,710 tuition, and $14,600 for another cost of books and off the camp room.  Then after aid, the cost of attendance became $6,089.

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With all this being said, to become a chef in Virginia, all you need is a high school diploma, an application and fee, and the desire and love to learn how to cook.

Virginia having a record of great quality health care, a low crime rate and a strong economy is the best place to live with your family and the best place to study as a student regardless of your course of choice. It is a country for history lovers.

Across Virginia, people with great love for cooking are inspired by culinary delights, there is a lot to love when it comes to food and drinks in Virginia the country is filled with wineries, distilleries, etc across its states. An international student that wishes to expand more in their profession as chefs, mixologists, and so on seek admission into universities in Virginia.

Culinary Schools in Virginia – FAQs

How long does it take to complete culinary school in Virginia?

It typically takes 2 years to complete culinary school in Virginia for an associate degree while diplomas and certificates take a lower amount of time than a few months.

How much do chefs make in Virginia?

The average annual salary of chefs in Virginia is $66,482.