Depending on the institution and the degree, education requirements for baking and pastry chef degrees center around hands-on pastry chef training, baking principles, cake decoration, kitchen management and menu development. Requirements may also include liberal arts classes, such as math, literature, history and language.
No two baking or pastry chef degree programs are alike, and some schools do not offer accredited degrees but diplomas instead. As of 2015, The Cordon Bleu, which has campuses in the United States, London and Paris, offers a Patisserie Diploma. The nine-month program covers classical French pastry techniques, French bread-making, sugar craft, chocolate production techniques and wine.
The Culinary Institute of America has an associate's degree in baking and pastry arts. The accredited, roughly 70-credit and 21-month program includes a core liberal arts foundation and such classes as food safety, life skills, culinary math, nutrition and an introduction to gastronomy. At The Culinary Institute of America, prospective students must complete at least six months of employment in a non-fast food establishment with a professional kitchen prior to enrollment.
Johnson Wales University's bachelor of science in baking and pastry arts program entails 190 credits in a wide range of subjects, such as petits gateaux, artisan bread, Viennoiserie, tiered cakes and advanced sugar artistry. This is an accredited undergraduate program, so students must fulfill academic requirements and a prescribed humanities curriculum that includes English composition, college math, psychology and the ethics of business leadership.