The Whys and Hows of a Culinary Doctorate Degree
As is the case with any educational field, there are options to take your culinary training all the way to the top.
A Doctorate degree (PhD) in the culinary arts is fairly rare for working chefs today, but for individuals who want to move their careers beyond the kitchen to encompass food theories, cultural implications of cuisine, food safety and sanitation, mass food production, or hospitality management, post-graduate work in the culinary field can be a great step.
Why Choose a Culinary PhD?
In addition to helping you meet your personal educational goals, attaining an advanced degree is a great way to boost your culinary career. More specifically, you can:
Take on an educational role. If becoming a professor of the culinary arts is your goal, your education matters. Most professors in a collegiate setting have advanced doctorate degrees in their field.
Working at the executive level. This goes beyond becoming an executive chef to include top-tier management positions in the food and service industry.
Gaining a competitive edge. When it comes to the culinary field, there is quite a bit of competition for the upper level jobs. Having a PhD may help you be considered for more (and better) jobs.
Research potential. If you are interested in food science, particularly at the production level (for large corporations or smaller, independent manufacturers), a PhD is a great way to achieve your professional goals. In many cases, you can combine your culinary knowledge with agriculture, engineering, or food science.
Doctorate-Level Culinary Work
Depending on your professional goals and area of study, you may find yourself studying any of the following in your culinary PhD program:
- Food Preparation
- Food Purchasing
- Safety and Sanitation
- Employee Management
- Menu Creation and Planning
- Wine and Beverage Service
- Food Science
- Food Production
- Human Resource Management
- Cost Control
- Quality Improvement
Requirements for Entering a Culinary PhD Program
If you’re interested in pursuing this high educational goal, it is necessary to first have a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in the culinary field. Depending on your area of study, these degrees could be in the culinary arts, agricultural studies, or hospitality management.
Because advanced education in this field is still something of a rarity, you’ll also have to find a program that not only provides the degree and course of study you want, but that is also found in a location that makes it realistic for you to get your education.
Many culinary degree options are offered online for this very reason, and you may be able to find a culinary PhD program that you can complete from the comfort of your own home virtually anywhere in the United States.