Feb 29, 2024  
2022-2023 Catalog 
2022-2023 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Culinary Arts, A.O.S.

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Degree: Associate in Occupational Studies
HEGIS Code: 5404
Curriculum Code: 578.CUL
Campus Location: City and North

Business and Public Service Division

Pre-Admission Recommendations: Food Preparations courses, Related Food Service Experience
Recommended H.S. Courses and/or Experiences: 2 years Math, English Courses
Career Opportunities/Further Education: Restaurant Industries, Hotels, Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Hospitality

Program Description

Culinary Arts provides an environment for students to become learners who possess the skills, knowledge, creativity and ethical values necessary in the rapidly changing, culturally diverse culinary professions. Education occurs through a competency-based curriculum that integrates academic and hands-on learning, preparing graduates for entry into positions in culinary arts. The A.O.S. degree is usually achieved through full-time day study, although several classes are available in the evening or in a full or partial online format.

Throughout the Culinary Arts Program, food preparation and management skills are developed. Besides foundations-based coursework and skills development in hot food preparation, specific areas of study include wine appreciation, baking, methods and ingredients of international cuisines, America’s regional cuisines, banquet management and buffet presentation and the skills of the cold kitchen. Practical experience is another highlight of the curriculum as students gain practical experience in the Statler Erie Room at North Campus and the E.M. Statler Dining Room at City Campus, as well as the campus cafeterias and the City Campus Atrium Café.

Graduates of the program can be employed throughout the hospitality industry as chefs, bakers, cooks and apprentices in hotels, restaurants, clubs and hospitals. They are also better prepared to attend nationally recognized culinary programs, as well as to transfer into bachelor’s degree programs in many areas of hospitality management.



The program is accredited by American Culinary Federation Education Foundation, Inc., 180 Center Place Way, St. Augustine, FL 32095, (904) 824-4466, acfchefs.net.



Number of Program Graduates

Employment Rate

Number of students obtaining entry level certification by graduation.

2016 32 100% 32
2017 30 100% 30
2018 12 80% 3
2019 12 80% 3


Special Admissions Requirements/Prerequisites

Food preparation and service uniforms are required for all laboratories. Students may not be allowed in our inspected kitchens without proper uniforms.

Math/Algebra Proficiency: The student passes SUNY Erie Math Pretest and is placed at the MT 006 level or above, or has received a waiver from the Math Department. Math Developmental courses must be passed with a grade of “C.”

English Proficiency: The student passes SUNY Erie English Pretest at the EN 110 level or above, or has received permission from the Hospitality Management Department or a waiver from the English Department. English developmental courses must be successfully completed with a grade of “C.”

Culinary Arts students must use their own cutlery set in all food preparation classes beginning the first semester.

Essential Functions for the Culinary Arts AOS Program:


Applicant much have sufficient physical abilities, manual dexterity and visual acuity to:

  • use knives to pare, slice and dice fruits and vegetables and produce and fabricate proteins;
  • use other kitchen tools to manipulate ingredients;
  • visually assess the appearance of a food item to determine whether it is cooked and plated properly;
  • taste items and distinguish flavors;
  • stand for four (4) hours at a time without sitting;
  • be able to move and lift pots, pans and other items weighing up to 30 lbs; and
  • be able to walk, stoop, and bend while lifting items weighing up to 30 lbs.


Applicant must have sufficient intellectual ability and be able to:

  • process verbal and written instructions;
  • communicate verbally and in writing;
  • multiply or divide quantities in recipes as instructed;
  • multi-task (execute multiple tasks simultaneously); and
  • read the warning labels on kitchen equipment and adhere to instructions.


Applicant must be able to:

  • work effectively independently and with small and/or large groups as part of a team;
  • take directions well from authority;
  • accept criticism from authority and peers;
  • handle a diverse array of personality types, often in close quarters, in an artistic environment;
  • be in the presence of sharp instruments, knives, and equipment that may be construed as dangerous;
  • be alert to one’s own food allergies, personal preference or prohibition to certain foods (i.e. religious beliefs); and
  • be able to cook with alcohol and be in the presence of an abundance of alcohol and people consuming alcohol.


  • The Statler Foundation Scholarship
  • The Statler Foundation Study Abroad Scholarship
  • New York Restaurant Association Scholarships
  • New York State Hotel Association Scholarship
  • The Innkeepers Association of Western New York’s Bertrand H. Hoak Memorial Scholarship Award
  • American Academy of Chefs
  • American Culinary Federation. Inc
  • Chaine Des Rotisseurs
  • Jason Pfahl, Scholarship
  • Gary Miller, Scholarship
  • Paul Cannemela, Scholarship
  • Connie Walmsley, Scholarship

Program Competencies

Upon graduation with an Associate in Occupational Studies degree in Culinary Arts, the graduate will be qualified to:

  • demonstrate the technical skills necessary to produce quality food in a professional kitchen at an entry-level position;
  • demonstrate human relations skills relating to the culinary and hospitality industry such as communicating, training, recognizing diversity, evaluating, delegating, planning and organizing with sufficient skill to be hired at an entry level management position;
  • demonstrate an understanding of the pairing, preparation and service of wines, beers, and spirits in a hospitality operation;
  • demonstrate an understanding of sanitation as it applies to the hospitality industry by passing the Nation Restaurant Association ServSafe test;
  • demonstrate proficiency with common business practices within the food service industry including inventory, menu planning, cost control and food purchasing; and 
  • demonstrate computer literacy as it applies to the hospitality industry.


Total Degree Credits: 72.0


This is a recommended sequence. Student should consult his/her academic adviser prior to registering. In order to be granted an associate degree, a student must demonstrate proficiency in algebra at the level of MT 006.

Additional Courses:

Culinary Arts graduates may take these additional baking courses and be eligible for the Baking & Pastry Arts Certificate (City Campus only)

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