Culinary Arts


Since its creation in 1993, Northampton's Culinary Arts program has earned a reputation as one of the finest of its kind. As a graduate of our program, you will be in demand in a wide variety of settings. Nearly all of the leading food service industry employers in our region - from fine dining restaurants to campus dining services - proudly employ our graduates.

The program provides a year of intensive full-time study that combines theory and lecture with nearly 1,000 hours of hands-on practical application. Students are trained in all the formal classical methods of preparing food and then put that training into practice. Once the culinary training has been completed, students can complete the additional core courses needed to earn their Associate in Applied Science degree. If you already have a college degree, you may prefer to opt for the program's specialized diploma and forgo the core courses required for the associate's degree.

Culinary Arts graduates are trained for careers including chef, line chef, banquet chef, executive chef, baker, pastry chef and caterer. Potential work settings include multi-unit chain restaurants, owner operated restaurants, four-star hotels, private country clubs, corporate food service and catering. Whether you would like to own your own restaurant or work for a large employer, you will find rewarding and satisfying career opportunities with a degree from our program.


The program starts with an intensive series of seven culinary modules taught over the first six-month period. This period combines classroom discussion, lecture and demonstration of theories and techniques used in the food service industry, and hands-on skills training. In the second six months of the program, you will be part of the student team that runs the College's fine dining restaurant, Hampton Winds, located in the Gates Center.

View Gainful Employment information on the Culinary Arts specialized diploma.


The Culinary Arts Program is a selective admissions program and there will be more applicants than can be accepted. You are therefore encouraged to apply with all necessary paperwork by the established deadline dates.

There are two opportunities during the year to enter the program. The preferred application deadline for fall enrollment (courses beginning in August) is February 1st; the preferred spring (courses beginning in March) deadline is October 1st. A completed application includes the application and fee and official high school and college (if applicable) transcripts.

Prior to acceptance, you are required to take the English Placement Test (EPT) and be able to enroll in English 101 or be able to transfer English 101 or its equivalent. Immunizations for Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B and a urinalysis are required for all Culinary Arts Students.

Contact the Admissions Office at 610.861.5500 for further information.


Graduates of the program will:

  • Understand the terminology of the commercial kitchen. This includes terms from several European languages, as well as the accepted terms and titles used in a modern food service establishment.
  • Have an understanding of the operation, maintenance and cleaning of the tools and machines used in a modern food service establishment.
  • Demonstrate proper sanitation and safety techniques for all aspects of the food service establishment.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and application of culinary techniques and methods used in modern food preparation.
  • Recognize all of the major food products used in a commercial food service establishment.
  • Demonstrate an ability to maintain an organized file of recipes and preparation methods.
  • Demonstrate the ability to accurately measure and formulate recipes that result in consistent desired results each and every time, both in quality and cost.
  • Demonstrate the ability to organize a food preparation workstation based on menu items to be prepared.

Career Potential: Leading to: Chef, Line Chef, Banquet Chef, Executive Chef, Baker, Pastry Chef, Caterer