Culinary Arts & Hospitality


Considered among the leading culinary arts and hospitality instructional programs in the Midwest, Elgin Community College is the place to be for those with the passion and drive to create culinary and pastry delights.

At ECC, you can pursue an Associate of Applied Science degree in each significant hospitality discipline: Culinary Arts, Pastry Arts, and Restaurant Management. In the program, you will learn about every aspect of the industry while developing technical and employability skills. You will acquire skills in the core courses taught in a classroom or online and apply these new skills in one of our five commercial kitchen labs and our student-run, fine-dining restaurant, Spartan Terrace.

If you already work in the industry and need to enhance your technical skills, consider a shorter-term commitment by earning a certificate. ECC’s Culinary Arts and Hospitality Program has transfer agreements with many four-year institutions if you seek a four-year degree.

Get additional information, including course listings and class descriptions.

Planning to Transfer? Learn more about earning a Bachelor’s degree, earning summer credits for transfer, or dual admissions with a university by visiting University Transfer & Partnerships.

Prepare for Immediate Employment

The future employment outlook for Culinary Arts and Hospitality is positive. This is due to the increasing demand for diverse and unique dining experiences. This increase is due to an increase in travel and tourism and the need for managers to oversee and coordinate food service operations in hotels, restaurants, and other establishments. Refer to Career Coach for more information regarding related occupations and compensation.

Median Pay Rates

Plan of Study and Course Descriptions

Review the ECC catalog for details about the culinary arts and hospitality plan of study and course descriptions.

Associate of Applied Science

Vocational Certificates

Basic Vocational Certificates

Getting a Job as a Restaurant Manager

The hospitality field is a growth industry. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that working in a restaurant, hotel, school cafeteria, or pub as a restaurant manager or beverage professional will grow by 15% by 2030, which is faster than the average for all occupations. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Food Service Managers, (accessed December 22, 2021). See details about the salary and job opportunities for a career in food service on the ECC Career Coach site.

Chefs and Bakers are in Demand

You can expect higher-than-average job opportunities for an executive chef, sous chef, or pastry chef. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that culinary program graduates will see projected job growth of 25 percent by 2030. Jobs as pastry cooks, cake decorators, or bakers making loaves of bread and pastries will grow by 10 percent during the same period. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Chefs and Head Cooks and Bakers, (accessed December 22, 2021). See details about the salary and job opportunities in this creative career field in the culinary arts on the ECC Career Coach site.

Learn more about the Culinary Arts and Hospitality Department at ECC!

Earning an Associate Degree at Elgin Community College can set your career in motion.

Apply today