Culinary Academy

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Culinary Academy

Explore Culinary Careers

The Kirkwood Culinary Academy provides students with a jump-start to earning an associate's, bachelor's and/or graduate degree. Examples of college majors include, but are not limited to: Bakery Certificate, Culinary Arts, Hotel Management, and Restaurant Management.

Students learn introductory concepts of food safety, nutrition, and menu planning. Completion of academy fulfills some prerequisite course requirements for Kirkwood’s Restaurant Management and Culinary Arts programs.

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Offered on-site at local high schools. Contact your high school counselor for more information.

Course offerings may vary. Visit your nearest Kirkwood location website or high school for local course options.

HCM-100 | Sanitation & Safety | 2 credits

Studies basic principles of bacteriology, food borne illness, sanitation, workplace safety, personal hygiene, food security, health regulations and inspections. Emphasizes the importance of sanitary equipment and facilities, and pest control. Students must complete the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation certification exam to pass this course.
Arts & Sciences Elective Code: B.


HCM-231 | Nutrition | 2 credits

Reviews basic nutritional concepts in relation to current health concerns and the food service industry. Practices recipe and menu modification to improve nutrition. Prepares students for the national certification test by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation.
Arts & Sciences Elective Code: B.

Immediate entry-level employment opportunities within the food service industry. Discover your interest level and preparedness for a career in the hospitality industry.

Average Salaries


Restaurant Manager/Owner


Based on available Iowa salary data at

Kirkwood offers a two-year AAS degree in the Culinary Arts accredited by the ACF (American Culinary Federation) and recogized as an Exemplary Program by the ACF Education Foundtation. Rated in the top 5 of programs on campus and in the top 50 culinary programs in the country, students in this program assist in the daily operation of The Class Act Restaurant, a full-service restaurant at The Hotel at Kirkwood Center which earned AAA's Four Diamond award.

If you are planning to transfer to a four-year college or university after attending Kirkwood, specific transfer information can be found at All About Transferring.