CIA Baking and Pastry Arts Associate Degree

  • If running your own bakery or café, designing spectacular cakes, or preparing desserts for high-end catered affairs sound appealing, the CIA Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Baking and Pastry Arts degree program is perfect for you. Our industry-experienced faculty 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 craft high-end, delicious 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!


    • Throughout your education, learn to create desserts, pastries, chocolates, artisan breads, and confections.
    • Learn basic cooking, gastronomy, how to develop menus, food safety, and cost control.
    • Study pastry techniques, baking ingredients and technology, hospitality, nutrition, and principles of design.
    • Bake cakes and tortes using a variety of techniques as well as classical and modern presentations.
    • Refine your business skills with courses in management, communications, and finance.
    • Gain real-world experience through a semester-long paid internship at one of CIA’s 2,000+ food industry partners.
    • By working in the CIA’s Seasonal Bakery Café, experience firsthand how a successful bakery is operated.

    Ready to start? Apply Today!

    Fully Baked Opportunities

    The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates 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.


    The 69-credit AAS in Baking and Pastry Arts degree program includes:

    • 51 credits in baking and pastry arts requirements
    • 12 credits in liberal arts requirements
    • 6 credits in business management requirements

    You will get a hands-on experiential foundation in the baking and pastry arts, including specialty breads, confectionery art, production desserts, design, advanced baking principles, menus, and café savory foods.

    As part of your degree program, you’ll get real-world experience during a semester-long internship at one of more than 2,000 CIA-approved businesses, as well as in the CIA’s award-winning public restaurants.

    See catalog for curriculum details

    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—more than 90% 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.

  • Alain Dubernard, CIA Department Chair—Baking and Pastry Arts, CIA San Antonio.

    Faculty Spotlight

    Alain Dubernard
    Professor and Team Leader—Baking and Pastry Arts
    Diploma, Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM), Mexico City, Mexico. Escuela Panamericana de Hoteleria (Hotel Management School), Mexico City.
    Melissa Fritz, CIA Lecturing Instructor—Baking and Pastry Arts

    Faculty Spotlight

    Melissa Fritz
    Associate Professor—Baking and Pastry Arts
    BS, Johnson & Wales University, Providence, RI. AS, Johnson & Wales University, Charleston, SC.
  • Did you know? 74% of leading food employers surveyed prefer to hire CIA grads.