Program Description

The Culinary Arts Associate Degree program is for learners who are passionate about food. If you are interested in becoming a professional cook, chef, baker, pastry chef, institutional cook, kitchen assistant, or other culinary professional, then this program is for you. Learners will have the opportunity to practice and apply skills learned in cooking methods, baking, sanitation, menu planning, nutrition, dining room operations, fine dining, cost control and management. Learners will hone the skills necessary for developing and creating dishes that are visually appealing and full of flavor. Restaurant professionals work long hours on their feet, multi-task and interact with the customer to provide an excellent dining experience.

Approximate Program Cost

Tuition & Fees: $12,226
Books & Supplies: $2,462

Starting Salary

Average, according to Economic Modeling Specialists International

Financial Aid

Total financial aid offered may not exceed the estimated Cost of Attendance (COA).
Close-up view of a busy kitchen work space. A student dices an onion as other tools and ingredients are kept nearby.

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Get an inside look at our Culinary Lab and Spoons Restaurant, the learning kitchen for our Culinary Arts students.

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The application takes just a few minutes to complete.


Courses for this program may be available at a variety of campus locations through multiple modes of delivery if you meet the admission requirements and prerequisites.

at Wausau
at Antigo
at Medford
at Phillips
at Spencer
at Wittenberg
at Online

* Campus and online availability of courses and programs may be subject to change.


Graduates will be able to…

  • Apply principles of nutrition
  • Demonstrate culinary skills
  • Analyze and manage food service financial information
  • Plan menus
  • Relate food service operations to sustainability
  • Apply principles of safety and sanitation in food service operation


Some of the potential careers graduates can pursue are:

  • Baker
  • Catering Manager
  • Banquet Chef
  • First Line Supervisors of Food Preparation and Serving Staff
  • Head Cook
  • Chef
  • Sous Chef
  • Garde-Manger
  • Line Cook
  • Prep Cook


The Culinary Arts Associate Degree is a 62 Credit program. The following is a typical semester breakdown of the courses within the program.

First Term

Sanitation For Food Service Operations 1.00
Culinary Fundamentals 4.00
Baking Fundamentals 2.00
Breakfast Cuisine 1.00
Mid-Day Meals 1.00
Complex Carbohydrates 1.00
Math With Business Applications 3.00
College Mathematics 3.00
Wait Staff Training 1.00
College 101 1.00

Second Term

Written Communication 3.00
English Composition 1 3.00
Nutrition 2.00
Soup & Stock Production 2.00
Meat & Fish Essentials 3.00
Psychology Of Human Relations 3.00
Intro To Psychology 3.00
Menu Planning, Management And Design 1.00
Culinary Skills Project 1.00
Restaurant Sales And Promotion 1.00

Third Term

Oral/interpersonal Communication 3.00
The Seasonal Kitchen And Pantry 2.00
Restaurant Operations 4.00
Restaurant Cost Controls 2.00
Baking And Specialty Decorating 2.00
Intro To Sociology 3.00

Fourth Term

Garde-Manger / Decorative Foods 2.00
Introduction To Diversity Studies 3.00
Culinary Internship 3.00
Gourmet Foods 3.00
International Cuisine 2.00
Restaurant Operations 2 2.00

Credit for Prior Learning Available

View All Detailed Course Information


Pathways are a series of connected programs that enable you to advance over time to better jobs and higher levels of education and training. By earning one degree, you could also be completing several courses of a related program in a pathway, bringing you one step closer to an advanced degree.

If you begin with one of the following programs, you will earn significant credit towards this Culinary Arts Associate Degree:

Transfer Information

You can continue your education to earn a four-year degree in a variety of ways.

Program Transfer

The following transfer guides, executed in partnership with post-secondary institutions, are based on agreements that allow you to continue your program at another college.

School Name Degree Name
Johnson & Wales University Bachelor of Culinary Arts and Food Service Management
Siena Heights University Bachelor of Applied Science
UW Stout Bachelor of Hotel, Restaurant & Tourism

General Transfer

All associate degrees transfer to a variety of programs at other partner colleges to give you the opportunity to continue your education in other areas of study.

View all transfer guides

Cost of Attendance

2024–2025 Estimated Academic Year Budgeted Cost of Attendance

The estimated Cost of Attendance (COA) is a budget that includes categories of expenses that a student can expect to incur while attending college. The COA does not reflect actual charges. It is an average based on the estimated living costs typical of our region. In determining the cost of attendance, Northcentral Technical College uses the budget established by the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) Financial Aid Budget Work Group. This budget is used to determine financial need for all students who apply for financial aid. A student's cost of attendance is composed of all educational expenses that can be included for financial aid purposes that a student may accrue while pursuing their education for the year (or semester, if enrolled less than a year). A student's financial aid cannot exceed their cost of attendance. Schools are required to provide a fuller picture of what it may cost students to pursue their degree, not just what they will owe in tuition/fees and books/supplies.

Please Note: this COA budget estimate assumes full-time attendance for two semesters — Fall 2024 and Spring 2025.
Expenses Student Living With Parents (Home) Student Living on Own (Other)
Full-time Tuition (based on a total of 30 credits, 15 credits fall and 15 credits spring)
In-State Tuition & Fees
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
In-State Tuition & Fees
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
Living Expenses (Housing & Food) $3,008 $9,147
Books / Supplies $1,465 $1,465
Transportation $4,017 $4,017
Personal Expenses $3,608 $3,608
Loan Fees $85 $85
Total Estimated Cost Of Attendance

* Tuition listed is based on approved rates for the 2024–2025 academic year. Rates are approved each March by the Wisconsin Technical College System Board and estimated budgets are updated at that time.

For the 2024–2025 academic year, the Wisconsin Resident tuition rate is $149.50 per credit and Out-of-State resident tuition is $224.25 per credit.

For the 2024–2025 academic year, Student Fees include: a minimum $5.00 material fee and a $13.15 per credit activity fee. A $4.00 per semester insurance fee will be assessed to students taking at least one course which has a scheduled session on campus.

Students awarded Federal Direct Loan(s) also have an average of the mandatory loan fees automatically added to their COA.

Students with disability-related expenses may contact the Financial Aid Office to have their additional expenses considered. Disability-related expenses include but are not limited to: personal assistance, equipment, and supplies. The Financial Aid Office may potentially include disability expenses in the COA that are not provided by other assisting agencies.

NTC also offers a Net Price Calculator to help estimate costs.

For more information regarding billed tuition and fees visit

We’re happy to answer any questions you may have about how the financial aid process works. Please feel free to reach out for more information.

NTC Financial Aid Office


Admissions Process

Our application process takes just a few minutes to complete, but we want to make sure you have the things you’ll need on hand to complete the application. We’re here to help if you have any questions while submitting your application.

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The application can be submitted online and takes just a few minutes to complete. There is no fee to apply.

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What’s Next?

We’ll review your application and let you know if we need anything else. If you’re all set, your acceptance letter will be emailed to you.