How to Get Into Culinary School: Step-by-Step Guide


Have you been giving some thought to a career path in the food industry? You may be aware of the different jobs that are available, but it can be confusing to think about where to begin with your culinary education, obtaining certifications, applying for jobs, etc. A culinary degree can help you take your love of all things food to the next level by securing a career that you’ll love.

There isn’t only one path to getting into a reputable culinary academy and obtaining your degree. Each school has its own curriculum and degree programs. There will also be a variety of requirements that you will come across when applying to a school. Wondering how difficult this process is to navigate and how to get into a culinary school? Here is a steb-by-step guide.

Step 1: Choose Where You Want to Study

There are plenty of established, reputable culinary schools all across the world. Consider where you want to complete your studies. It may be necessary for you to remain relatively close to home while you obtain your education. If you have the ability to venture outside of your current location, you can obtain your culinary degree from one of the excellent schools in England, Bulgaria, France, etc.

A lot of prospective students believe that they won’t be able to afford an education in another country, taking into account the cost of room and board. However, many schools make it quite affordable to participate in their curriculum by offering financial aid or scholarship opportunities. You can inquire with the admissions department to find out more.

Step 2: Pick a Culinary Program

While you are in the process of finding a culinary school, you’ll want to decide what kind of program you want to enroll in. If you have the opportunity, you can visit a school to see what their classes are like in person. If this isn’t a possibility, the internet makes it very easy to learn all about what a culinary school has to offer its students.

Consider the different programs that are available. The curriculum can include things like:

Culinary Arts

A basic culinary arts program will look at a large selection of information, including classical and contemporary techniques. Information can include different cuisines from all over the world, special dietary requirements, allergy information and more.

The HRC Academy Culinary Arts program transforms students into qualified professionals. Apply today!

Baking and Pastry Arts

Baking and pastry arts are very detail-oriented and creative. If cooking isn’t quite your style but you love to make cakes, breads, desserts and more, consider really focusing on a specific craft.


Some culinary professionals prefer to be right in the kitchen, doing the food preparation and cooking. However, there is also a management role that is very important at each institution. This might be a role that you want to take on later on in your career, but you can also obtain formal education in hospitality management if you’re so inclined.

Consider other factors about a culinary school before you apply, such as:

Student-to-Faculty Ratio

If there are a number of students assigned to one faculty member in the majority of your classes, this can compromise your quality of education. In a program such as this, it’s beneficial that you can work closely with the professionals that are teaching your courses in order to learn as much as possible while you are enrolled.

Course Offerings

You may think that you know what you want to focus on right now in culinary school, but your interests may change. Take a good look at the course offerings that a school offers. Make sure your interests are met right now as well as in the future.

Step 3. Check the Requirements for Culinary School

Before applying, check with a culinary school’s admission department to see if you meet the requirements needed to apply and attend their program. Depending on where you’re applying, you may need to:

  • Prove that you have graduated from high school.
  • Have worked in the food industry for a certain number of years.
  • Can provide references from industry professionals that support your ability to complete a culinary education.
  • Provide an application fee.
  • Can show records of your prior education.

Once you are enrolled in a culinary school, there may be certain culinary school requirements that you need to adhere to in order to remain at that school. For example, you may need to maintain a certain grade point average, complete a certain number of lab hours or enroll in a specific number of credit hours per semester in order to stay on track for graduation. It’s a good idea to inquire about these requirements ahead of time. If, for some reason, you think it’s going to take you longer than normal to complete your program, you want to ensure you’re going to a culinary school that will accommodate you rather than kick you out. This is something you should know before you inquire about how to apply to culinary school.

Step 4: Apply to a Culinary School

If you feel like you’re ready to enroll in culinary school and have the personality traits that are necessary to focus on this detail-oriented and fast-paced career path, you should go ahead and apply to the school of your choice.

Pick Your Specialty

Determine what program you’re going to enroll in. This may be very specific, or you may choose to go into something much broader. This has its benefits, as you can focus on a more specific topic when you figure out what you really enjoy about the culinary industry.

Choose Your School

Determine what school or multiple schools you’re going to apply to. Some prospective students choose to apply to several schools. In case they do not get accepted to one school, there may be one or more backup options that they can turn to.

Meet All of the Application Requirements

Each school will have its own set of application requirements, and you’ll want to make sure that you account for each one. Keep all of your information organized, sending out just one application at a time so that you don’t get the information mixed up from one school to the next. Make sure that you’re adhering to the application deadlines. Even if you provide all of the correct information that a school is looking for, you’ll be disregarded if you are late with your application.

Your requirements may include things like providing letters of recommendation from past teachers or professionals that you know. Leave enough time for these people to create these letters for you so that you don’t miss an application deadline because someone else doesn’t have the time to get you the documentation you’re looking for.

Consider Finances

Before you apply to a culinary school, make sure that you can afford the program that you’re considering. You may be able to pay for the degree program you’re enrolling in with ease. If not, figure out if there are financial aid programs or scholarships that you are eligible for. You don’t want to enroll in a school that you can’t afford, only to find that you need another option at the last minute.

Get Your Experience in the Real World

While you are actively looking into culinary schools or are in the midst of a program, it doesn’t hurt to obtain experience in the real world. This may be simply working in a low-level position in a nearby restaurant. You may be able to find more curriculum-focused apprenticeships or interns once you have completed some of your education.

Ready to Start Your New Journey in the Culinary School?

If you are ready to embark on your new journey and want to know more about how to get into culinary school, reach out to the admissions team at HRC Academy. HRC Academy is an esteemed culinary school that offers a number of educational opportunities that allow you to follow your dreams in the food industry. We offer several degree programs, in addition to providing different financial assistance to those students who need it.

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