If going to culinary school is a dream, but you already have a busy work schedule, then choosing online culinary schools would be a perfect choice for you. These culinary schools, although online, do not take away the challenge and demand needed to perfect the craft of becoming a professional chef. The programs are vigorous, taught by actual world class chefs and faculty members, and gives you the same classroom experience you would get. Here is a list compiled of some of the best online colleges that offer culinary programs that you can choose from.


There is a lack of real professional cooking, and culinary arts programs online. What we have done is identified the best online culinary schools based on educators, course quality, and affordability and presented in a way to help you make the decision about the right culinary path for your career.

  1. Penn Foster Career School
    MERIT: 86
    Average Cost: $79 per credit hour

    Penn Foster offers an online Gourmet Cooking Certificate to get started on from the comfort of your own kitchen. With this program, you learn to cook gourmet meals and improve your skills at your own pace. This program lasts around three months. Here, you can prepare sauces, soups, pastries, and world cuisines. Tuition and fees for the Gourmet Cooking Certificate are $635 for full payments, $735 for monthly auto payments, or $769 for monthly payments. To apply you must have a high school diploma or GED.

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  2. Le Cordon Bleu
    MERIT: 85
    Average Cost: $500

    Le Cordon Bleu offers a specialized training program with an on ground and online component for newcomers. This program includes hands on instructions, face to face instruction, and online work. You will advance your skills in management, customer service, and purchasing. Tuition and fees for this program is $500. Campus locations are worldwide.

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  3. Escoffier International Culinary Academy
    MERIT: 84
    Average Cost: $11,900

    At Escoffier, the programs offered are the Certificate in Culinary program and the Certificate in Baking and Pastry program.

    The Baking and Pastry program offers over 100 baking assignments and a fast paced 6 week training block. There is an emphasis on vegan and gluten free baking. You learn artisan bread baking, cake decorating, budget management and menu planning. Tuition and fees is $11,900 for the full program and a $40 registration fee.

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  4. MERIT: 81
    View Profile Average Cost: $470 per credit hour

    Students can receive their bachelors and certificates degree on food service management. If you are more interested in managing people, controlling costs, and working with the menu and staff, this is the program for you. Tuition and fees are $470 per credit hour and $100 per course. There are institutional, private, and outside scholarships available for students. The degree will prepare you for food director or banquet manager.

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  5. Virginia College
    MERIT: 78
    Average Cost: $14,382

    At Virginia College, you can receive an Associate’s degree in the Culinary Arts program. This program focuses more on food management services, such as purchasing, menu planning, and supervision in a hospital industry. If you are interested in understanding process and formulas behind food and labor costs, this would be a great match for you. In order to be admitted, students have to send in an online application as well as a certificate or diploma in cooking and kitchens skills.

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  6. Rouxbe Online Culinary School
    MERIT: 75
    Average Cost: $99 per course

    If you want to become an expert on one specific dish, such as pasta, steak, or eggs, this program offers that. This program is very thorough, with cooking classes, how-to instruction videos, practice recipes, and interactive quizzes. There are over 80 lessons and the cost of each course ranges from $49-$99.

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  7. Epicurious Cooking School
    MERIT: 74
    Average Cost: $49 per course

    Epicurious offers an Emmy-award winning series, “Around the World in 80 Days” with help from instructors of the Culinary Institute of America. Epicurious has free online beginner courses and more advanced lessons for $49. The courses never expire and they provide thorough knowledge on culinary history, culinary dish history, and advanced styles of cooking.

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  8. America’s Test Kitchen School
    MERIT: 70
    Average Cost: $39.95 per month

    You can choose over 230 courses created by the dozens of chefs who also cook for the television series “America’s Test Kitchen.” If you just want to try out the courses, there is a free 14-day trial. So, there isn’t a reason to not try out this cooking course; you can see if it is the right fit for you. The membership cost of the courses, if you decide to become enrolled, are $19.95 a month without instructor access, or $39.95 per month with instructor-led classes and feedback. With flexibility in costs and courses to choose, you can make learning right at home a fun experience for yourself.

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  9. MERIT: 68
    View Profile Average Cost: $199.25 a year

    There are over 200 culinary lessons with this online program and a certificate upon completing your program. There are over 12 courses to choose from, with numerous lessons. If you want to test out the programs to see what they have to offer, they include a free 24-hour trial membership. The cost of actually becoming a member at Top Chef University is $24.95 a month or $199.25 a year. What makes this university stand out from others is that former Top Chef contestants are the instructors.

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  10. MERIT: 64
    View Profile Average Cost: $197 a course

    There are 12 lessons in this online Vegetarian Cooking School. You can sample free videos online or sign up for private customized lessons. First, you get a consultation and the appropriate lessons are shipped out to you in the form of DVD. They have lessons for your specific wants and needs. For the private lessons, you pay $579 and for the 12 lessons, $579.

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  11. MERIT: 55
    View Profile Average Cost: $99

    Foodist Kitchen is a 30-day program that uses proven methods to help you build a life-long cooking habit. This program is more of an introductory program for people just looking to begin a lifelong passion of creation awesomeness in the kitchen.

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