Frequently Asked Questions


How many certificates and Associate of Arts degrees does the Culinary Arts department offer?

  1. Culinary Arts Associate of Arts
  2. Restaurant Management Associate of Arts
  3. Culinary Arts Certificate
  4. Baking & Pastry Certificate
  5. Restaurant Management Certificate
  6. Front House Operations Certificate
  7. Restaurant Dining Room Service Certificate

How much does each certificate cost?

Estimated certificate costs are based on in-state tuition (costs include books, uniform, and supplies):

  1. Culinary Arts Certificate: $2,990
  2. Baking & Pastry Certificate: $2,404
  3. Restaurant Management Certificate: $1,554
  4. Front House Operations Certificate: $1,125
  5. Restaurant Dining Room Service Certificate: $707

Do I need any previous cooking or work experience to enroll?

The curriculum in these programs is designed to accommodate the novice cook as well as individuals with some cooking experience.

Will I be a chef when I finish my Culinary Arts or Baking and Pastry Certificate?

We are training professionals for entry-level jobs in the food service industry. You must work your way up the career ladder in the industry to become a chef.

Do you have a job placement program?

Yes. The Culinary Career Center connects students and graduates with over 400 local employers – restaurants, hotels, caterers and wineries - in Northern California and the Bay Area.

How long does it take to get my certificate or Associate of Arts degree?

There is no minimum or maximum time to complete certificates. Many of our students work while enrolled in our courses, so they attend classes part time. Our courses are generally 8-weeks in length, 1-4 days/week, and there are two 8-week sessions in both the Fall and Spring semesters. We offer a few classes during the Summer.

Completion of Certificates

Most of our students pursue several certificates and/or Associate of Arts degrees. Faculty assist them in creating a schedule each semester that will work for their individual situation. Several courses overlap between certificates.

  1. Restaurant Management certificate: 11-13 courses
  2. Culinary Arts certificate: 11 courses
  3. Baking & Pastry certificate: 9 courses
  4. Front House Operations certificate: 7 courses
  5. Restaurant Dining Room Service certificate: 3 courses


Completion of Associate of Arts degrees

These two degrees are comprised of Culinary Arts Department courses and General Education courses. We recommend students consult with Culinary Arts Department faculty on their course sequence and certificate progress. For completion of General Education courses and A.A. degree requirements, we recommend students consult with the college’s Counseling Department.

  1. Associate of Arts, Culinary Arts
  2. Associate of Arts, Restaurant Management

Do I have to take classes full time?

No. You may tailor your class schedule to your needs. You must complete two courses, CUL 250 Sanitation and Safety and CUL 250.1 Culinary Arts Survey, before advancing to additional courses in the program. These prerequisite courses are required for all certificates and A.A. degrees, but students need only successfully complete them once.

Is there room in the classes? I've heard they fill up quickly.

Classes fill up quickly. Once you get started in the program, you will have priority registration, and it becomes easier to get into classes. If the classes you want are full, and you are unable to enroll, come to the first class and ask the instructor if there is room to add. If so, you will be given an add code at that time. Instructors do not have add codes until the first day of a class.

Do I need a uniform?

A uniform is required for all culinary arts lab classes and for the Restaurant Dining Room Service class. Instructors will notify students of the specific uniform, knife kit and text book(s) requirements before the first week of classes.

Where are classes held?

Classes are held in the B. Robert Burdo Culinary Arts Center at 1670 Mendocino Avenue across the street from the Santa Rosa Campus. The Culinary Arts department phone number is 707-522-2800.

How do I register for classes?

Complete an application on-line and register for classes. You can also register on campus at Admissions & Records.

Who should I contact to get more information?

Department Chair: Betsy Fischer 707-524-1758