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 receive training in all of the formal classical methods as well as current food preparation techniques that are then put 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, 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, cruise ships, amusements parks, 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 five culinary modules taught over the first semester. 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 next two semesters of the program, you will be part of the student team that runs the College's fine dining restaurant, Hampton Winds, catered events and its new Grab and Go unit located in the Gates Center. 


Culinary Arts classes are filled on a first come, first serve basis.  There are three opportunities during the year to enter the program:  Fall (courses beginning in August), Spring (courses beginning in January), and Summer (courses beginning in May).

You must be English I eligible (at a college-level in reading and writing ability) to sign up for Culinary Arts (CULA) classes.  To show you are English I eligible, you may take the English Placement Test, document a testing exemption based on high school GPA or approved SAT/ACT/AP scores, or transfer credits for English I from another college/university.

A valid ServSafe Managers Certificate is required prior to the start date of classes and submitted through My Record Tracker.  The certificate must be valid while in the entire program. 

All students must have a physical examination completed by a licensed medical provider (MD, DO, CRNP, or PA) within 6 months of entry into the program.  Working in the kitchen will be PROHIBITED until the required medical forms are uploaded into My Record Tracker.

Immunization for Tdap (pertussis) and a urinalysis are required for all Culinary Arts Students. 

Tetanus Diphtheria Acellular Pertussis (Tdap)

Please provide documentation of Tdap, required within the last 10 years or previous Tdap vaccine and Td within the last 10 years.

Immunization for Hepatitis B is recommended.

Hepatitis B – 3 Doses (**RECOMMENDED**)

Please provide documentation of Hepatitis B – 3 doses.  ** If you choose not to provide this documentation, please upload a typed or handwritten note stating that you do not wish to provide the requested documentation in order to complete the requirement.

Any questions concerning the health requirements should be directed to the NCC Health & Wellness Center at 610-861-5365

Contact the Admissions Office at 610.861.5500 for further information regarding the program.



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: Sous Chef, Banquet Chef, Executive Chef, Baker, Pastry Chef, Caterer, Culinary Sales Representative, Personal Chef, Research & Development Chef and many other opportunities