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Best Culinary Schools in Indiana | Cost, Requirement & How To Apply

Large cities like in Indiana like Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Gary, and West Lafayette have culinary schools that provide some type of food service education that prepares you for the industry.


The state’s smaller communities are home to community and technical colleges, both of which can offer excellent culinary and professional culinary programs.

Indiana culinary schools aim to teach you a few basic subjects: cooking, food safety, and time management. Cooking includes the practical aspects of cooking; you will start with them early as you need to develop speed and accuracy to work in the restaurant.

Are There Culinary Schools In Indiana?

Indiana is home to six culinary schools, most of which are located in or near Indiana. As you prepare to begin your culinary career, consider what degree you want to earn.

A certificate is a shorter version; you can usually complete this degree in one year or less. An associate’s degree may be more acceptable to employers and requires two years of full-time study.

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How Much Do Culinary Schools Cost In Indiana?

Indiana culinary schools now typically cost about $15,000 to attend. For most students, this is a high price that will force many students to use financial aid.

The average tuition in Indiana is $11,535, although many schools offer much lower tuition. The average scholarship in Indiana is $3,314.

When looking at culinary school tuition, consider whether the dollar amount covers the entire degree program or just a portion of it.

In many cases, this is not the same as the annual tuition you would find at a four-year college. Instead, culinary school tuition usually includes the cost of the entire training program.

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What Are The Requirements For Culinary Schools In Indiana?

Admission to most culinary schools is open, and students are usually only required to have a high school diploma or GED.

If your chosen school is more competitive, you may be asked to take a test to prove you have a basic understanding of kitchen technology. Work experience or other training can also be used to support your application.

While culinary programs in Indianapolis are few and far between, you have several options for local college programs. You can earn a certificate in Culinary Arts or Baking and Pastry Arts in just 18 credits.

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Alternatively, you can earn an Associate’s degree in Hospitality Administration with a specialization in Culinary Arts or Baking and Pastry Arts.

Experience can be gained through on-campus kitchens, and internships may also be available. Read the summaries below to see if one of these programs might suit your needs.

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What Are The Best Culinary Schools In Indiana?

Ivy Tech Community College Central

Ivy Tech Community College in Indianapolis offers an AAS in Hospitality Administration with several different concentration options, including Baking and Pastry Arts, Beverage Management, Culinary Arts, Event Management, Hotel Management, and Restaurant Management.

Graduates in the Indianapolis area have excellent job opportunities due to the large number of restaurants and the Indianapolis Convention Center located in the city.

Culinary Arts students who wish to continue their education with a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management will benefit from an articulation agreement with Ball State University.


Ivy Tech North Central Community College

Ivy Tech Community College in South Bend offers an AAS in Hospitality Administration. Students can choose to specialize in confectionery, beverage management, culinary arts, event management, hotel management or restaurant management.

Graduates in the South Bend area have excellent employment opportunities due to the abundance of local restaurants and college connections.

Culinary Arts students who wish to continue their education with a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management will benefit from an articulation agreement with Ball State University.


Vincennes University

Vincennes University is a top culinary school that offers both diploma and certificate programs in the culinary arts.

Students work in a kitchen lab during each semester of the program and complete their degree by participating in a full service setting where they prepare and serve food to guests.

Graduates have found employment at all levels of the career ladder at companies such as the Hyatt Regency and Sands Casino in Atlantic City.


Purdue University

The prestigious Purdue University offers a bachelor’s degree in food science. The degree is ideal for a chef looking to improve their knowledge base, or for a student interested in more than just technique.

Purdue’s curriculum combines microbiology, biochemistry, and culinary arts to teach students ways to improve the taste, nutrition, and value of food.


Ball State University

Ball State University offers a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in Hospitality and Food Service. The 120-credit program combines courses in business, food and hospitality. Students can then tailor their degree with a large selection of electives.

 Students who choose the B.S. track must also complete a minor, options for which include marketing and travel and tourism.


Indiana University

Indiana University offers a Certificate in Nutritional Studies. The certificate program consists of 24 credits, including courses such as Food Science, Ecological Landscape, and Edible Education.

Two practicums, one indoors and one outdoors, are also required to complete the program. This program is ideal for those interested in expanding their knowledge base or considering a career in food education or nutrition.

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Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech community colleges are located state of Indiana, and each offers an associate degree in hospitality management. Students throughout the can tailor their degree by focusing on one of six culinary options, including culinary arts.

In fact, those who choose to do so can then continue their education with a bachelor’s degree. degree in Hospitality Management from Ball State University through an agreement between the two schools.

Regardless, Ivy Tech prepares students to work and succeed in the hospitality and/or culinary industries.


Ivy Tech Northeast Community College

Like other branches of Ivy Tech Community College, Ivy Tech Northeast in Fort Wayne offers an associate degree in hospitality management. Students can tailor their degree to focus on one of six culinary options.

These include, in particular, the art of baking and confectionery, culinary arts and restaurant management.

Those who choose to major in the culinary arts can continue their studies with a bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management from Ball State University through an agreement between the two schools.


How Much Do Cooks In Indiana Earn?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary for a chef or head cook in Indiana is $53,380 per year or $25.66 per hour. However, being a chef requires proper training, which can come at a high price if you go the formal education route.

However, there is no strict education or training requirements to become a chef. Most of them acquire knowledge and skills during long hours in the kitchen. However, those who want to become a head chef can get a culinary degree and an internship.

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How Do I Become A Cook In Indiana?

Depending on the track you choose, you could be ready to start working in less than two years. Most associate degrees can be earned in two years, but some programs offer accelerated certificate or diploma options that typically take about a year.

The official culinary program is just the beginning. Working as a chef requires a lot of experience, so fresh graduates probably won’t start working as a chef right away.

Additional training under a professional chef, whether it’s an internship or apprenticeship or just a day job, will enhance the skills and knowledge every chef needs. As a bonus, work experience is a great networking opportunity.

Whether you’re a commissary or a chef, with your experience and networking skills, you can land your first chef job. From there you can work your way up to sous chef and eventually to chef.

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What Are The Best Paying Culinary Jobs in Indiana?

There are many ways to use a culinary certificate or degree, making it one of the most versatile options.

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While the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 46% of chefs work in restaurants, they also note that a significant proportion of chefs are self-employed. As a new graduate, you can find entry-level jobs as a chef or sous chef.

Some of the most important culinary employers in Indiana include Taher, Au Bon Pain and Patrice & Associates. If you’re willing to go out on your own, you can succeed as a restaurant owner or independent caterer.

Indiana is one of the few states in the country that has no licensing or certification requirements for cooks and chefs. This means that your employers may pay more attention to your education and experience when deciding whether or not to hire you.

If you want to give potential employers an idea of ​​your skills, you may want to consider getting certified by the American Culinary Federation. You have to choose a field and then take comprehensive tests in that field to get certified.

Culinary Schools In Indiana FAQs

What Can I Do With Culinary Arts Degree In Indiana?

Culinary job titles range from cooks, who typically prepare food to order and are responsible for cleaning the kitchen, to master chefs, who may be responsible for entire kitchens and plan menus in five-star restaurants. Catering managers are the highest paid individuals in the culinary arts field, with the BLS reporting that they earned a national median income of $25.02 in 2017.

What Does It Take To Become A Chef In Minnesota?

There are no specific government requirements to become a chef; however, training and certification is the fastest way for a chef to advance through the culinary arts ladder and eventually become a chef or catering manager. Earning a high school diploma or GED is usually a necessary starting point, and cooks can then continue their education while gaining work experience.

Where Is The Best Place To Work As A Chef in Indiana?

The best place to work as a chef, cook or catering manager in Indiana is the capital city of Indianapolis. In 2017, the BLS reported 1,300 food service managers and 8,380 restaurant chefs working in the city. Bloomington and Michigan City were the highest-paid cities for food service managers, while Indiana’s highest-paid restaurant chefs worked in Evansville, Lafayette and South Bend.


After reviewing the menu of culinary schools in Indiana, narrow down your choices by evaluating the quality of the program to ensure you get the best training to start your career. Courses should be taught by experienced instructors and chefs, and the school should offer employment or employment counseling services.

But the cornerstone of any quality culinary program is its kitchen. Look for one that is fully staffed and student-run. It is also helpful if the school has a student restaurant or other events, such as dinners, that are open to the public.

But make sure the program has opportunities for you to go out and work in other kitchens in the community through internships or apprenticeships. Training will be key to your education and your future job prospects.

References – Top 10 Best Culinary Schools in Indiana 2021



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