Program Spotlight: Culinary Arts

culinary arts student decorating salad

Are you someone that enjoys spending time in the kitchen, creating your own culinary masterpieces or perfecting your favorite recipes? Having a job to earn a living is inevitable for most people, but having a career that incorporates your passion is rare. If you are someone that loves working with food, a degree in culinary arts may be the right career path.


Stratford University seeks to prepare students for the evolving demands of culinary arts professions, by providing them with a framework for the lifelong learning required for career advancement. A Stratford University Culinary Arts degree empowers students with the hands-on skills to realize tangible improvements in craft and career, alike.   

Degree Program

The hospitality industry is one of the largest employers of culinary professionals in the US, landing in the top 3 employers year after year. The culinary field holds a wide variety of career paths to choose from in a vast array of job settings. Graduates with a culinary degree often work in venues such as restaurants, hotels, casinos, cruise ships, resorts, or any other place people tend to dine out. For these reasons, the culinary industry provides job security with many opportunities for growth and a variety of career paths.


Stratford University’s Associate of Applied Science in Advanced Culinary Arts program is designed to give students the culinary skills required for entry into the foodservice industry with the additional liberal arts education needed for management positions. The program focuses on culinary skills, theory, communication, and problem-solving skills.


Stratford has flexible start times throughout the year, with culinary arts associate’s courses available on campus and online. Courses can be completed in 5-10 weeks, and students can earn their culinary arts degree in as little as 18 months.

Career Options

A culinary arts degree offers a wide variety of career paths and job opportunities to choose from. If you have your sights set on working in a restaurant as a line cook or sous chef, those are definite possibilities. But a culinary arts degree opens so many more doors around the world. Here are a few career options for culinary arts graduates:


  • Kitchen Chef: generally works in kitchens of restaurants, hotels or casinos. Prepares the food for establishments guests. Career advancement to sous chef and even executive chef is possible with the development of skills and talent.
  • Personal Chef: works primarily for one or more clients, preparing meals according to their specific dietary guidelines. Personal chefs may prepare food a week or two in advance for the client’s convenience. This career can be very lucrative and allows the chef to work at his own discretion.  
  • Food Photographer: works for magazines, marketing companies, and television programs. This position works with styling food to make it look it’s best for photography.
  • Nutritionists: have culinary skills as well as food science knowledge. They work with clients for dietary consulting and develop meal plans for clients that have dietary restrictions.
  • Caterers: prepare food just as kitchen chefs do, but without working in a kitchen. Caterers prepare food in large quantities to serve at private events, such as corporate functions, weddings, or parties. They assist in event planning and menu creation. They generally are small business owners.

Why Stratford?

The mission of Stratford University is to prepare students for rewarding careers through quality educational programs that meet the changing needs of employers and the community. In order to meet this mission, the University offers a variety of certificate, diploma, associate’s, bachelor’s, and graduate programs, such as an Associate of Applied Science in Advanced Culinary Arts degree, in emerging and high employment demand fields.


Stratford offers culinary arts courses during days, evenings, and weekends to accommodate any busy work schedule. Classroom instruction is blended with a portion of classes being offered online. With several start times throughout the year, it’s never been a better time than now to start earning a culinary arts degree.

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