Culinary Arts - Pastry Arts concentration

Associate in Applied Science Degree - A.A.S.

The Culinary Arts program provides training for students who wish to pursue a career in the food service industry as a professional chef or pastry chef. The core curriculum is comprised of 50 credits of general education and hospitality foundation courses, while each of the two concentrations – in Culinary Arts (CULA.AAS) and Pastry Arts (CULA.PASTRY.AAS) – is comprised of 16 credits that focus on advanced courses in the specialty area selected.

Students in either concentration will demonstrate proficiency in culinary skills and techniques that include the principles and processes of cooking and baking, proper use of knives, food presentation, menu development, and food safety and sanitation.

  • Apply safe and sanitary practices within any food production department compliant with laws and safety regulations;
  • Develop appropriate menus and recipe selections, recognize costs incurred, and apply cost control techniques;
  • Design and plan meal service, buffets, and food-related activities/functions and understand the purchasing and requisition process;
  • Develop professional written and verbal communication and computational skills related specifically to hospitality;
  • Demonstrate proficiency in a variety of professionally recognized culinary/pastry skills and techniques;
  • Apply practical culinary/pastry techniques that stress creativity and innovation with respect to flavor and texture in food production;
  • Work in any production or food preparation station within a food service department;
  • Create and critique high-quality food products with artistic designs;
  • Effectively supervise and train kitchen personnel.

Students who complete the Culinary Arts program will be qualified to work in a variety of food service positions and settings, including restaurants, hotels, catering facilities, corporate dining facilities, healthcare food operations, and resorts. Those who complete the Pastry Arts concentration will be qualified for positions in hotels, fine dining restaurants and clubs, as well as a variety of positions with retail and wholesale bakeries.

Graduates of this A.A.S. program also would be eligible to transfer to Fairleigh Dickinson University to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Individualized Studies offered through the University’s Petrocelli College of Continuing Studies. Students may also transfer to Johnson & Wales University, where many credits will be accepted. Other transfer opportunities are being developed.

Admission to the program requires, at minimum, a high school diploma or its equivalent.

Culinology / Food Science degree program
Professional Baking certificate program
Professional Cooking certificate program

2023-2024 Academic Year
 earlier / Archive
CIP 120503

The course sequence below represents a recommended example of how this degree program can be completed in two years, presuming a Fall Term start and satisfaction of all Developmental Studies (foundation courses) requirements and prerequisites. Actual approaches toward completion depend on each student's anticipated transfer institution, career objectives, or other individual circumstances.

Students are encouraged to meet regularly with an academic advisor or Success Coach to consider options, establish plans, and monitor progress.

Code Course (lecture/lab hours) Credits
To Do This Semester
ENG 101 English Composition I (3/0) 3

✔ Meet with your faculty advisor to complete an academic plan. Make sure you are aware of any course prerequisites you may need to take, and how long it will take to complete your degree.

✔ Use your online tools: Check your MercerMail daily, utilize features of Office 365, and get to know Student Planning.

✔ Take advantage of Learning Centers or Online Tutoring to support your studies and assignments.

HOS 101 Food Preparation I (1/4) 3
HOS 111 Culinary Math (1/0) 1
HOS 118 Sanitation and Safety in Food Service Operations (2/0) 2
HOS 217 Professional Baking I (1/4) 3
MAT 120 Mathematics for Liberal Arts (3/0)  
  OR 3
MAT 125 Elementary Statistics I (3/0)

ENG 102 English Composition II (3/0) 3

✔ Transitioning to college can be challenging. Meet with your Success Coach for guidance and support.

✔ Apply for financial aid by May 1.

✔ Contact professors with questions and use their office hours to develop a connection. Talk with them to get the inside scoop on how your profession works.

✔ Be sure to visit the Career Services office to explore jobs, internships, and career information and get help with your resume and other career tools.

✔ Apply for Continuing Student scholarships at

HOS 100 Hospitality Success Skills (1/0) 1
HOS 102 Food Preparation II (1/4) 3
HOS 116 Techniques of Healthy Cooking (1/4) 3
HOS 218 Professional Baking II (1/4) 3
HOS 219 Professional Baking III (1/3) 2
HOS 110 Breakfast / Pantry (1/3) 2
HOS 289 Culinary / Pastry Arts Internship
  • Typically taken during the Summer session between the program’s first and second years. Alternatively, may be taken in the third or fourth semester.
HOS 203 Hospitality Purchasing (3/0) 3

✔ Keep in contact with each professor and your faculty advisor. Make sure you are on track to graduate on time.

✔ Work with Career Services to formulate plans for after you've earned this degree.

✔ Develop team and leadership skills by getting involved in activities and clubs.

✔ Apply for Continuing Student scholarships at

✔ Manage your stress! Take advantage of the MCCC pool, Fitness Center, free yoga and Zumba. Reach out for counseling or other support if you need it. Your Success Coach can connect you with resources.

HOS 230 Experimental Kitchen (1/3) 2
HOS 246 Artisanal Breads (1/3) 2
HOS 247 Restaurant Desserts (1/4) 3
  —    — General Education elective

HOS 115 Food and Culture (2/2) 3

✔ Get ready to start your career! Begin the job application process.

✔ Discuss your career plans with your faculty advisor. S/he can help you transition successfully.

HOS 245 Chocolates and Confections / Retail Bakeshop (1/4) 3
HOS 249 Advanced Pastry (1/3) 2
IST 101 Computer Concepts with Applications (2/2)
  • Or consult academic advisor.
  —    — Humanities general education elective 3