Paul Bocuse

The Culinary Institute of America salutes the life and legacy of the most important chef in history—Paul Bocuse. We are deeply saddened by his passing, but have been greatly enriched by his friendship and will continue to be inspired by his example. He was the greatest ever. Au revior M. Paul. Merci Bocuse!

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    CIA Baking and Pastry Arts Associate Degree

  • Learn to run your own bakery or café, create eye-pleasing and delicious cakes, and prepare desserts for world-class events through the CIA Associate in Occupational Studies (AOS) in Baking and Pastry Arts degree. Our industry-experienced faculty at The Culinary Institute of America California campus will ensure you receive a hands-on learning experience that provides you with the foundation for a successful career. After you’ve earned your degree in less than two years, you’ll be trained to design superb chocolates, confections, pastries, and plated desserts. A CIA associate degree is the perfect way to seamlessly enter our bachelor’s-level programs. Or hit the ground running by pursuing a CIA bachelor’s degree in your first year!

    Highlights:

    • Throughout your education, learn to create artisan breads, desserts, pastries, chocolates, and confections.
    • Understand the basic fundamentals of cooking, food safety, cost control, gastronomy, menu development, and wines.
    • Learn pastry techniques, nutrition, principles of design, baking ingredients and technology, and hospitality.
    • Using a variety of techniques and presentations, bake simple and complex cakes and tortes.
    • Hone your skills with courses every business owner should know, including management, communications, and finance.
    • Through a semester-long paid internship, gain real-world experience at one of CIA’s 2,000+ food industry partners.
    • By working in the CIA’s student-staffed Bakery Café by illy, experience firsthand how a successful bakery café is operated. All CIA restaurants are public-facing, fully operational retail dining establishments that serve more than 333,000 customers annually.

    Ready to get started? Apply Today!

    Fully Baked Opportunities

    The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that employment opportunities for chefs, including dessert and pastry chefs, will grow nine percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the national average for other careers. You’ll find plenty of employment opportunities at:

    • Bakeries
    • Bistros
    • Hotels
    • Private clubs
    • Resorts
    • Restaurants

    With so many possibilities, our Career Services staff is ready to help you every step of the way. There’s no network like the CIA network, which includes some of the world’s most renowned culinary, beverage, and hospitality experts.

    The list of celebrated CIA alumni is as diverse as it is extensive. They’ve found success doing what they love. Now it’s your turn.

    Freshman Year—First Semester

    CourseCredits
    Baking and Pastry Techniques*
    6 credits
    Baking Ingredients and Equipment Technology
    1.5 credits
    Mathematical Foundations
    1.5 credits
    Externship Prep Seminar I
    Non-Credit
    Food Safety*
    1.5 credits
    Professionalism and Life Skills
    1.5 credits
    Nutrition
    1.5 credits
    Introduction to Hospitality and Customer Service
    1.5 credits
    College Writing
    3 credits
    Total Credits: 18
    *Students must receive a passing grade for both Baking and Pastry Techniques and the NRA ServSafe® examination (part of the Food Safety course) and meet GPA requirements in order to progress to the second semester of the freshman year.

    Freshman Year—Second Semester

    CourseCredits
    Principles of Design
    1.5 credits
    Café Savory Food Production
    1.5 credits
    Basic and Classical Cakes
    3 credits
    Individual and Production Pastries
    3 credits
    Baking and Pastry Practical Examination I
    Non-Credit
    Hearth Breads and Rolls
    3 credits
    Externship Prep Seminar II
    Non-Credit
    Principles of Menus and Managing Profitability in Foodservice Operations
    3 credits
    Introduction to Gastronomy
    1.5 credits
    Total Credits: 16.5

    Externship

    CourseCredits
    Externship (Baking & Pastry Arts)
    3 credits
    Total Credits: 3

    Sophomore Year—First Semester

    CourseCredits
    Confectionery Art and Special Occasion Cakes
    3 credits
    Chocolate and Confectionery Technology and Techniques
    3 credits
    Contemporary Cakes and Desserts
    3 credits
    Specialty Breads
    3 credits
    Advanced Baking Principles
    3 credits
    Baking and Pastry Practical Examination II
    Non-Credit
    Total Credits: 15

    Sophomore Year—Second Semester

    CourseCredits
    Introduction to Hospitality and Customer Service
    1.5 credits
    Wine Studies
    3 credits
    Café Operations
    3 credits
    Beverages and Customer Service
    3 credits
    Restaurant and Production Desserts
    3 credits
    Restaurant Operations: Baking and Pastry
    3 credits
    Total Credits: 16.5

    Total Credits for Associate Degree: 69

    Requirements for Admission

    • A high school diploma or GED credential.
    • Recommendation—One character letter of recommendation is required. It should be from an employer, teacher, or professional colleague either within or outside the foodservice industry. The letter should address your commitment to the food world, problem-solving ability, and persistence in either work or academics.

    How to Apply

    Baking & Pastry School Costs

    The CIA is very committed to making your CIA education as affordable as possible. Our costs are comparable to similar colleges, and here’s even better news—approximately 92% of our students receive some form of financial aid.

    Don’t let applying for financial assistance keep you from going to the world’s premier culinary college. No matter what your individual circumstances are, we will work with you to help make attending the CIA an affordable investment in your future in the world of food.

  • Sarah Baldwin, CIA baking and pastry arts alumni. Photo taken at Ron Ben-Israel Cakes, New York, NY.

    Alumni Spotlight

    Sarah Baldwin
    Creative Director, Ron Ben-Israel Cakes
    Read about CIA alumna Sarah Baldwin, who is currently working at her dream job: Creative Director for Ron Ben-Israel Cakes in New York City.
    Robert Jörin, CIA Professor and Team Leader—Baking and Pastry Arts, California campus.

    Faculty Spotlight

    Robert Jörin
    Professor and Team Leader—Baking and Pastry Arts
    Awards:
    World Champion (U.S. Team), Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie, Paris, France, 1999. Winner, James Beard Foundation Pastry Competition, West Coast Region, 1993.
  • Bachelor’s travel programs give you an exclusive “insider look” at world cultures and cuisines.
    Learn More