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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions | National Culinary School

culinary students taking a picture

How do I get accepted into the culinary or pastry arts program?

For admission to our culinary or pastry arts program, prospective students must take a tour of the school and have a personal interview with the director. Following the interview, students need to complete an application for admission, make financial arrangements for tuition, and submit an enrollment agreement with a non-refundable registration fee of $150 to reserve a place in the class.

How long does each culinary program take to complete?

The full-time diploma programs at National Culinary School are held five days a week, Monday through Friday, to allow our students to enter the job market quickly. Our Culinary Arts Program takes five months to complete, and our Baking & Pastry Arts Program takes six months. Classes for the Advanced Confectionary and Sugar Arts Diploma are held Monday through Wednesday and the program takes eight weeks to complete.

What is the average culinary class size?

National Culinary School limits the size of each class to 15 students or fewer. We maintain small class sizes to provide our students with plenty of hands-on training and interaction with our highly qualified chef instructors.

Do you offer culinary job placement assistance?

The cost of tuition for our culinary and pastry arts programs includes job placement assistance upon graduation. Within the program, students learn the essentials of resume building, interview etiquette, and capturing job leads. We have created long-lasting partnerships with many local restaurants and businesses and inform students of all job openings to help match them with a position that fits their interests.

Where do your culinary graduates work?

Some of our graduates work on cruise ships and at resorts, but many find their dream jobs right here in San Diego. Our graduates work at San Diego State University, Carmel Mountain Ranch Country Club, and Puesto, to name a few.

How much do the culinary and pastry arts programs cost?

The total cost for our Culinary Arts Diploma is $12,000. A diploma in Baking and Advanced Pastry Arts is $14,000. Tuition for any one module is $1,800, but no more than two modules may be taken at this price. Our diploma in Advanced Confectionary and Sugar Arts is separated into two rotating modules. The tuition for one module in this program is $2,600, or $5,400 for both. Uniforms, textbooks, knife set, and administration fees are not included in the price of tuition.

Do you accept financial aid?

National Culinary School does not accept federal financial aid. However, we do offer an in-house culinary financing program with a flexible payment plan for eligible students.

What types of culinary financing options are available?

At National Culinary School, we believe a professional culinary education should be accessible to everyone. That’s why we offer interest-free financing with as little as 20 percent down. With our in-house financing program, students are not required to make payments until a month after graduation, allowing them to fully focus on their culinary or pastry arts training. We also offer special financing to military, active duty personnel, and veterans.

Can I pay for culinary school with my GI Bill benefits?

Yes. We are proud to participate in the Veterans Affairs GI Bill to help military service members transition to a career in culinary or pastry arts. Based on your eligibility, Our GI Bill benefits may cover the entire cost of your tuition. For information on how to apply for benefits, contact the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or call us at (619) 249-5180 and we’ll be happy to walk you through the process.

Do you accept international students for culinary programs?

National Culinary School accepts international students who can read and write English and who have passed the California High School Proficiency Exam. Unfortunately, we do not provide visa services. International students are required to pay tuition in full before graduation.

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