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About our Culinary Arts
Associate Degree


As the third-largest national industry and the largest in the state of Maine, the food industry estimates more than 60,000 additional chefs will be needed each year in the United States. SMCC’s Culinary Arts program offers instruction in food preparation and service to supply these demands. It is the only post-secondary culinary program in Maine certified by the American Culinary Federation.

The program curriculum covers all aspects of fundamental food preparation including meats, poultry, fish, vegetables, sauces, soups, bread and pastry baking, desserts, specialty cooking, dining room service and more. Related instruction gives emphasis to management techniques, including inventory control, culinary mathematics, personnel and business management, bookkeeping, accounting and menu planning. General education with coursework in English, math and social science and a 400-hour externship rounds out the program. Opportunities for graduates are wide ranging in all areas of both direct food preparation and related management in the food service field.

Graduation Outcomes

  • Demonstrate the proper application of dry, moist and combination cooking methods to a variety of food products and test those products for doneness.
  • Demonstrate knife cuts and portion control.
  • Demonstrate current food service sanitation procedures.
  • Serve food according to professional industry standards.
  • Calculate costs and apply procedures in order to run a cost-effective food service establishment.
  • Create menus that incorporate menu-planning principles that maximize sales and profits.
  • Produce a variety of bakery products using standard baking procedures and evaluate the products based on method, timing, appearance, texture, cell structure and overall eating quality.

Equipment Requirements

What opportunities does this program provide?

SMCC graduates in this program have gone on to work as:

  • Chef
  • Kitchen Manager
  • General Manager
  • Restaurant Owner
  • Catering Business Owner
  • Food Truck Owner
  • Events Planner

Continue Your Education

SMCC graduates have used our transfer agreements to continue their education at:

  • Johnson & Wales University
  • Maine College of Art
  • Mount Holyoke College
  • Saint Joseph’s College
  • Southern New Hampshire University
  • Thomas College
  • University of Maine
  • University of New England
  • University of Southern Maine
  • Wellesley College

To view our seamless transfer agreements, visit our Transfer webpage.

How do I complete this program?

Browse the information below to view our program requirements and how you might complete this program.

Estimated Full-Time Degree Completion Time


Please note, these estimates are based on a student taking an average of 15 credits per semester and do not include college preparatory or developmental courses.

Interested in viewing full program and course details?

Are you a current student?

Be sure to view the degree program requirements for your specific program. Log into MySMCC and click My Maine Guide, MyDegree to learn more.

Not ready to commit to a degree program? We may have other options that work for you.

Did you know that we offer a broad array of short-term workforce training programs that allow you to enter the workforce and start earning quickly? These programs are a great way to enter a career in your area of interest and to become accustomed to college classes. They are also often grant-funded (free of charge to trainees). And, if you find you want to keep going, we can help you find a related academic degree or certificate program of interest with which you can continue your education.



The Southern Maine Community College Culinary Arts Program is accredited by the American Culinary Federation (ACF).

American Culinary Federation (ACF)
6816 Southpoint Pkwy Ste 400
Jacksonville, FL 32216
(904) 824-4468

Costs & Financial Aid

This degree program may have specific associated costs which are important to know before attending. We encourage you to apply for financial aid which provides funds in the form of grants and scholarship (free), loans (need to repay) and student employment (earned money.)

Bed & Butter: THE Hospitality Podcast

Bed Butter SMCC Combo Logo KO 1024x1018

Bed and Butter, is THE Hospitality podcast where host Sean Riley, a seasoned hotel executive, shares over 40 years of industry wisdom. Produced in collaboration with Southern Maine Community College and Communications & New Media Studies program students, the program integrates national leaders discussing opportunities for culinary arts and hospitality students. Learn more.

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Ready to apply?

Learn how to apply and fill out our online application when you’re ready.

Contact Us:

Admissions: 207-741-5800 or 

Department Chair: Maureen LaSalle, 207-741-5746 or

A three-credit class averages


Full-time tuition & fees


*Additional program costs may apply.


South Portland, Brunswick & Online