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Baking School in California with Training Program Descriptions

There are roughly 57 schools in California that have baking programs. Read an overview of the 10 largest schools' programs, requirements and tuition info and find out which one is right for you.

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Essential Information

Formal education isn't required to become a baker, but it can provide students with the skills necessary to get started in the field. Students in California may choose to earn an undergraduate certificate in a number of culinary fields, or an associate's degree that includes coursework in baking and pastries. Associate's degrees include general education coursework, as well, although certificates are usually skill set-specific and often may be earned in less than a year. Hands-on experience in kitchen laboratories is included in all programs and some schools allow students to gain work experience through cooperative arrangements with campus or local restaurants.

In California, more than 55 schools offered certificates and degree programs in baking, and the following 10 schools represent the largest of the options.


American River College

Located in Sacramento, American River College has been striving to enrich students' lives with quality technical and career training since it opened in 1955. Through the Department of Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management, students can pursue an Associate in Arts in Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management, a Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management Certificate or an Introductory Baking Certificate. Through all three programs, they'll explore breads, yeast doughs and pastry, food theory and preparation, fine breads and pastries. The baking certificate includes an additional course in advanced baking and pastry. Culinary students also have the opportunity to prepare meals at the Oak Café.

  • Programs Offered: Associate in Arts in Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management,
    Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management Certificate,
    Introductory Baking Certificate
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $1,104 in-state, $7,200 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; large suburb

Cerritos College

Norwalk's Cerritos College is one of the 5 largest community colleges in Los Angeles County and is committed to serving the community. Students interested in baking can select from an 18-credit Certificate of Achievement in Professional Baking and Pastry. Course topics include food service safety and sanitation, baking and pastry production and baking skills. Enrollees also complete work experiences and help operate the Cerritos College Café.

  • Programs Offered: Certificate of Achievement in Professional Baking and Pastry
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $1,340 in-state, $6,072 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; small city

Long Beach City College

Established in 1927, Long Beach City College in Long Beach promotes student learning and achievement by enhancing learning experiences. Students can select from an Associate in Science in Baking and Pastry Arts or a Certificate of Achievement in Baking and Pastry Arts. Courses for both programs include introductory baking, baking and pastry, culinary arts nutrition and cake decorating. The associate's degree program also includes a course in chocolate. Students receive professional and practical experience through supervised work experiences in hotels and restaurants.

  • Programs Offered: Associate in Science in Baking and Pastry Arts or a Certificate of Achievement in Baking and Pastry Arts
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $1,366 in-state, $7,218 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; large city

Orange Coast College

Costa Mesa's Orange Coast College strives to help students accomplish their professional and life goals by helping them pursue their passions and acquire the skills necessary for their chosen professions. Students can pursue a variety of baking programs, including a Certificate of Achievement in Baking and Pastry - Basic, a Certificate of Achievement in Advanced Baking and Pastry, or a Certificate of Achievement in Culinary Arts, which includes a basic baking course. The basic baking program provides learners with the skills needed to become a baker, with classes in safety and sanitation, directed practice and baking principles. The advanced baking program includes additional courses, such as menu planning, principles of pastry arts and food production management.

  • Programs Offered: Certificate of Achievement in Baking and Pastry - Basic,
    Certificate of Achievement in Advanced Baking and Pastry,
    Certificate of Achievement in Culinary Arts
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $1,184 in-state, $6,320 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; midsize city

Palomar College

Located about 30 miles north of San Diego in San Marcos, Palomar College is an affordable community college that offers a variety of academic and enrichment courses and programs. Students can select from an Associate in Arts in Culinary Arts, a Certificate of Achievement in Culinary Arts or a Certificate of Proficiency in Patisserie and Baking. These programs include courses in microbiology and food, patisserie and baking and nutrition basics. The culinary arts programs include studies in culinary essentials, foodservice management, menu planning and directed practice. Students use commercial kitchens and learn to prepare baked goods for hotels, restaurants, resorts and bakeries.

  • Programs Offered: Associate in Arts in Culinary Arts,
    Certificate of Achievement in Culinary Arts,
    Certificate of Proficiency in Patisserie and Baking
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $1,328 in-state, $5,224 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; small city

Pasadena City College

At Pasadena's Pasadena City College, students can pursue an Occupational Skills Certificate in Culinary Arts - Baking and Pastry or a Certificate of Achievement in Culinary Arts. Courses for the 40-credit culinary arts program include introductory culinary arts, special events management, food service in baking and pastry and advanced baking and pastry. The 6-credit baking and pastry program addresses food service baking and pastry and advanced baking and pastry. Students create baked goods, such as breads, cookies, cakes and fancy pastries.

  • Programs Offered: Occupational Skills Certificate in Culinary Arts - Baking and Pastry,
    Certificate of Achievement in Culinary Arts
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $1,152 in-state, $6,504 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; midsize city

Saddleback College

Saddleback College in Mission Viejo emphasizes excellence, innovation, global awareness and learning. The school offers both an Associate in Science in Culinary Arts and a Certificate of Achievement in Culinary Arts. Cooking classes include food preparation, baking fundamentals, classic French cuisine, culinary principles, Italian cuisine and an internship. Graduates can assist bakers and chefs as they prepare a wide variety of foods.

  • Programs Offered: Associate in Science in Culinary Arts,
    Certificate of Achievement in Culinary Arts
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $762 in-state, $4,694 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; large suburb

San Diego Mesa College

Located in San Diego, Mesa College is the largest school in the San Diego Community College District. Individuals interested in taking baking courses or completing a baking program can earn the school's Associate in Science in Culinary Arts and Management in Hospitality. They explore hospitality leadership, food preparation theories, baking and pastry arts, advanced baking and pastry arts and menu preparation.

  • Programs Offered: Associate in Science in Culinary Arts and Management in Hospitality
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $1,140 in-state, $5,532 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; large city

Santa Rosa Junior College

Santa Rosa's Santa Rosa Junior College was founded in 1918, making it one of the oldest 2-year colleges in California. Students can pursue an Associate in Arts in Culinary Arts or a Culinary Arts Baking and Pastry Certificate. The program trains students to purchase and handle food, use and apply cooking terms and solve food-related problems. Courses for both the associate's degree and the 17.5 credit certificate program include sanitation and safety, preparing tarts and pies, using knives, baking bread, decorating cakes and production baking. The certificate is designed to introduce students to work in a bakery or as a pastry chef.

  • Programs Offered: Associate in Arts in Culinary Arts,
    Culinary Arts Baking and Pastry Certificate
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $1,278 in-state, $6,652 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; midsize city

Southwestern College

Southwestern College in Chula Vista offers more than 320 associate's degree and certificate programs, including an Associate in Science in Culinary Arts: Cooking and Baking, a Certificate of Achievement in Culinary Arts: Cooking and Baking - Advanced and a Certificate of Achievement in Professional Baking and Pastry. Baking courses for these programs include introductory baking, the basics of baking and pastry production, decorating and designing pastries, baking and producing breads, sanitation and nutrition and food purchasing and control. Students learn to apply baking and pastry skills by working in a professional kitchen and through work experience. They also learn to estimate costs and use correct food handling techniques.

  • Programs Offered: Associate in Science in Culinary Arts: Cooking and Baking,
    Certificate of Achievement in Culinary Arts: Cooking and Baking-Advanced,
    Certificate of Achievement in Professional Baking and Pastry
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $1,334 in-state, $6,654 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public, large suburb

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type and Setting Baking Degree Programs and Certificates Offered Tuition and Fees (2012-13)
American River College 2-year, public; large suburb Associate in Arts in Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management,
Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management Certificate,
Introductory Baking Certificate
$1,104 in-state, $7,200 out-of-state*
Cerritos College 2-year, public; small city Certificate of Achievement in Professional Baking and Pastry $1,340 in-state, $6,072 out-of-state*
Long Beach City College 2-year, public; large city Associate in Science in Baking and Pastry Arts or a Certificate of Achievement in Baking and Pastry Arts $1,366 in-state, $7,218 out-of-state*
Orange Coast College 2-year, public; midsize city Certificate of Achievement in Baking and Pastry - Basic,
Certificate of Achievement in Advanced Baking and Pastry,
Certificate of Achievement in Culinary Arts
$1,184 in-state, $6,320 out-of-state*
Palomar College 2-year, public; small city Associate in Arts in Culinary Arts,
Certificate of Achievement in Culinary Arts,
Certificate of Proficiency in Patisserie and Baking
$1,328 in-state, $5,224 out-of-state*
Pasadena City College 2-year, public; midsize city Occupational Skills Certificate in Culinary Arts - Baking and Pastry,
Certificate of Achievement in Culinary Arts
$1,152 in-state, $6,504 out=of-state*
Saddleback College 2-year, public; large suburb Associate in Science in Culinary Arts,
Certificate of Achievement in Culinary Arts
$762 in-state, $4,694 out-of-state*
San Diego Mesa College 2-year, public; large city Associate in Science in Culinary Arts and Management in Hospitality $1,140 in-state, $5,532 out-of-state*
Santa Rosa Junior College 2-year, public; midsize city Associate in Arts in Culinary Arts,
Culinary Arts Baking and Pastry Certificate
$1,278 in-state, $6,652 out-of-state*
Southwestern College 2-year, public, large suburb Associate in Science in Culinary Arts: Cooking and Baking,
Certificate of Achievement in Culinary Arts: Cooking and Baking-Advanced,
Certificate of Achievement in Professional Baking and Pastry
$1,334 in-state, $6,654 out-of-state*

Sources: *NCES College Navigator

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Popular Schools

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Louisville
    Areas of study you may find at Sullivan University include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Culinary Arts and Culinary Services
        • Baking and Pastry Arts
        • Catering and Restaurant Management
        • Chef Training
  • School locations:
    • Milwaukee
    Areas of study you may find at Milwaukee Area Technical College include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Cosmetology and Related Services
      • Culinary Arts and Culinary Services
        • Baking and Pastry Arts
        • Catering and Restaurant Management
        • Chef Training
      • Funeral Related Services
  • School locations:
    • Denver
    • North Miami
    • Charlotte
    • Providence
    Areas of study you may find at Johnson & Wales University include:
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Culinary Arts and Culinary Services
        • Baking and Pastry Arts
        • Catering and Restaurant Management
        • Chef Training
  • School locations:
    • Muskegon
    Areas of study you may find at Baker College include:
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Culinary Arts and Culinary Services
        • Baking and Pastry Arts
        • Catering and Restaurant Management
        • Chef Training
  • School locations:
    • West Palm Beach
    Areas of study you may find at Lincoln College of Technology include:
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Cosmetology and Related Services
      • Culinary Arts and Culinary Services
        • Baking and Pastry Arts
        • Catering and Restaurant Management
        • Chef Training
  • School locations:
    • Stanford
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Psychology and Human Behavior

Popular Schools

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