Chefs cooking

About the ACA

The Academy of Culinary Arts

About Us

Details About Studying at the Academy

The degree programs mix hands-on training and academic classes. And through an externship, you'll gain real-world experience in an industry established throughout the U.S. or Europe. You'll have plenty of options to practice your skills in competitions, student activities and special events. As part of your training, you'll help operate Careme's, a gourmet restaurant open to the public and located on the college's Mays Landing campus. The restaurant is open for lunch, dinner and special events, Monday through Thursday when classes are in session

Class Schedules

Classes for full-time students meet five hours a day, Monday through Thursday, in morning or afternoon sessions from January through May and September through December. Upon request a flexible part-time schedule can be customized to meet the needs of students during fall and spring semesters.


Location Options

You can complete the non-culinary portion of your program by taking classes at any of the college's locations, at your home county college or by taking courses online and completing credits via the Internet. All culinary courses are offered in our Culinary Labs at our Mays Landing campus.



At the completion of all culinary courses, you'll participate in a culinary awards ceremony, receiving a certificate of completion in the program, and a gold, silver or bronze medal based on your grade point average and criteria set by the American Culinary Federation.



All students are required to wear a uniform and to purchase tools and textbooks. Learn more about the Tools of the Trade.


Four-Year Degrees

The Academy has transfer agreements with four-year colleges and universities, including Drexel, Widener, Johnson & Wales, Fairleigh Dickinson, Northwood and Florida International, for students who wish to pursue a bachelor's degree. You can get a full list of transfer agreements from the Career and Academic Planning Center.

Admissions – Transfer Agreements

Culinary Job Types

There's a culinary job type to suit just about every lifestyle. With culinary training, you can stay near home, live in another country, or work in the travel industry, on land, sea or air. Choose a traditional role in hotels, restaurants and hospitality, or explore one of the newer types of culinary and foodservice jobs. Some areas that brim with opportunity now:

Personal Chefs and Caterers

There's growing demand for chefs who can cook for a household, part time or full time. Busy people also enlist chefs for their in-home entertaining. Locally, opportunities are growing along the South Jersey shore, with calls coming in to the college for both of these job types. Prepare with any of the culinary programs.

Pastry Chefs

Beautiful pastries and cakes are small indulgences that people grant themselves these days. There's growing demand for pastry chefs - preparing elaborate wedding cakes for retail and catering, working in retail stores and even operating their own shops. Prepare with an associate degree in baking and pastry or 1-year baking/pastry certificate

Assisted Living

Upscale living facilities advertise the quality of food and dining, as a way to draw clients. In these positions, your job is to prepare delicious food that meets nutritional guidelines. Hours: Typically 9 to 5 Monday through Friday. Prepare with an associate degree in foodservice management.

Chains and Franchises

Managing a chain restaurant or franchise can bring a rewarding salary and lots of opportunity to move up. If you love a challenge, have high energy, and like variety, you might like this type of job, where you're responsible for the bartenders as well as kitchen staff, the customer service, the profit-and loss. Prepare with the Academy's associate degree in foodservice management.

Culinary Careers

  • Executive chef

  • Kitchen manager

  • Pastry chef

  • Restaurant owner

  • Food & beverage manager

  • Personal chef

  • Food critic

  • Television chef

  • Culinary instructor

  • Food stylist/photographer

  • Product research & development specialist

  • Caterer

  • Cookbook author

  • Wedding cake designer

  • Banquet planner

  • Corporate chef

  • Franchise owner or manager

  • Chain restaurant owner or manager

  • Kitchen designer

  • Brokering


Attend an Open House

Attend an open house so you can experience the sights, sounds, aromas and tastes of the Academy first-hand. Staff and faculty members will show you our campus and answer questions on everything from the enrollment process to applying for financial aid to how you can study abroad. Or arrange a personalized tour of the Academy of Culinary Arts, by calling 1-800-645-CHEF.

Open House Dates

More Information on Visits

If you are considering enrollment in the ACA, did you know you can visit a class (or more) for the day? Call us ahead of time and we’ll be happy to provide you a schedule, at no cost to you.