Culinary Arts: Food Service Diploma

Academic Programs

Career Path


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Program Options

Degree, Certificate or Diploma


Council Bluffs Campus

Program Information

Get on the cutting edge of cooking by enrolling in Iowa Western’s Culinary Arts program of study. You’ll learn the fundamental and intermediate techniques of food preparation, production, and baking skills. Graduates are awarded a Diploma and find immediate employment in this exciting field.

You’ll get hands-on cooking experience in Iowa Western’s new facility in the Student Center. Iowa Western also participates in the Iowa Beef competition and the Iowa Pork competition each year.

Job Outlook

61,237 Jobs (2020)

+6.3% Change from 2020-2025

Data is from the Omaha Metropolitans Area, and the seven counties in Southwest Iowa that Iowa Western serves

What will you do

The Culinary Arts program is designed to place students into the workforce upon completion of the ten-month diploma. After completing this program, graduates are qualified for entry-level to intermediate positions in the field. Students who wish to earn a degree and qualify for advanced positions should continue on and complete The Culinary Arts diploma, or one of three Associate of Applied Science degrees in Culinary Arts: Culinarian, Baking and Pastry Art, or Restaurant and Hospitality Management.


  • Entry: $11.21
  • Average: $13.26
  • Experienced: $19.20

Career Examples

  • Bartenders
  • Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, Including fast Food
  • Waiters and Waitresses
  • Personal Care Aides
  • Post Secondary Teachers
  • Cooks, Restaurant
  • Food Preparation Workers
  • Meat, Poultry, and Fish Cutters and Trimmers

First Semester

HCM 186 - Culinary Foundations I 3.0 Credit(s)
HCM 191 - Quantity Food Production I Lab 4.0 Credit(s)
HCM 113 - Culinary Baking 1.0 Credit(s)
HCM 100 - Sanitation and Safety 2.0 Credit(s)
MAT 711 - Business and Financial Mathematics 3.0 Credit(s)

Semester Total: 13.0 Credits

Second Semester

HCM 187 - Culinary Foundations II 3.0 Credit(s)
HCM 192 - Quantity Food Production II Lab 4.0 Credit(s)
HCM 278 - Cost Control 2.0 Credit(s)
HCM 121 - Culinary Baking II 1.0 Credit(s)
HCM 255 - Purchasing 3.0 Credit(s)
ENG 110 - Writing For The Workplace 3.0 Credit(s)

Semester Total: 16.0 Credits

Total Semester Hours Required: 29.0


Additional Information

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Program Outcomes

Upon the successful completion of the program students will:

  • Identify and demonstrate how to properly use the principle pieces of equipment in a kitchen, baker and and dining room setting while preparing and serving foods in mass quantity.
  • Define and explain the structure and functions of a standardized recipe and how to price out for a menu after it has been modified or extended.
  • Demonstrate a set of mental and manual skills, and the ability to apply them to a range of cooking and baking styles, using equipment in quantity, hot and cold foods as well as baking preparation.
  • Understand and apply basic culinary and baking principles specifically to entrees, soups and sauces, garde manger, charcuterie and baked goods during preparation in compliance with HACCP and in accordance to industry standards and specifications.

Program Disclaimers

  • Salary information from EMSI Analyst Database