French Pastry Schools in Chicago, IL with Program Overviews

Oct 20, 2021

Chicago, IL, Schools with French Pastry Programs

Several schools in the Chicago area have baking and pastry arts programs, with at least two offering educational opportunities specifically in French pastry (patisserie). Continue reading to learn more about these unique training options, and compare some key school statistics in the accompanying table. This resource also includes a section about five other schools within 45 miles of downtown Chicago that offer more generalized programs in baking and pastry or the culinary arts.

  • Robert Morris University is a 4-year institution with a designated French Pastry School. Students here can earn a certificate in professional baking and pastry making. The college is located just over one mile from mid-downtown.
  • The College of DuPage, located approximately 23 miles from the downtown, also offers a certificate in baking and pastry making, as well as an associate's degree. Aspiring professionals at this 2-year school also have the chance to prepare French cuisine for the campus-based café and dining room.

Comparison of Schools

Use the following table to compare the cost of attendance at these two schools. Note the differences in enrollment, as well as admissions.

Robert Morris University Illinois College of DuPage
School Type 4-year; private not-for-profit 2-year; public
Total Enrollment (2019)* 1,693 23,903
Campus Setting Large city Large suburb
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2019-2020)* $29,400 $4,110 in-district; $9,720 in-state; $11,820 out-of-state
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Aid (2018-2019)* 98% 58%
Acceptance Rate (2019)* 63% N/A - Open admissions
Retention Rate (2018-2019)* 50% for full-time students 68% for full-time students; 51% for part-time students
Graduation Rate * 40% (Students who started in Fall 2013) 25% (27% transfer-out rate) (Students who started in Fall 2016)

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

Robert Morris University Illinois

The French Pastry School at Robert Morris University Illinois offers certificate programs and classes in professional pastry and baking (l'art de la patisserie), professional cake decorating and baking (l'art du gateau) and professional bread baking (l'art de la boulangerie). Pastry courses are taught by some of the world's best pastry artists, who mentor students throughout these hands-on programs.

Certificate in Professional Pastry and Baking

This French pastry education is part of a 20-week certificate program focused on baking and confectionary arts. Experienced pastry makers from across the globe teach classes. Courses cover French cake and pastries, baking theory and problems, chocolate and sugar, candy and confectionary, food-service technology and plated desserts. The program culminates with a buffet as a capstone project.

College of DuPage

The College of DuPage offers a variety of educational options, including flexible learning, online classes, field studies, fast-track courses and vocational training. The school's Culinary and Hospitality Management Department offers programs in hospitality management, the culinary arts and the baking and pastry arts. Aspiring French patisserie makers can enroll in a certificate or associate's degree program in baking and pastry arts. This college also hosts the Wheat Cafe and the Waterleaf Dining Room, where students in the culinary arts, baking and pastry arts and the hospitality management programs obtain real-life training as part of their coursework.

Baking and Pastry Arts Certificate

This baking and pastry arts certificate program provides courses in cake decorating and confectionery. As part of their studies, students prepare regional cuisines for the Waterleaf Dining Room, including French cuisine. Basic culinary skills are taught through coursework in culinary measurements and conversions, sanitation, nutrition and the hospitality industry. Students also take classes in baking and patisserie.

Associate of Applied Science in Baking and Pastry Arts

Over the course of five semesters, students can earn their associate degree in baking and pastry arts. Though the entire program requires 64 credits for completion, about 40 of those credits focus directly on baking and pastry arts. Along with baking fundamentals, students also study hospitality and culinary arts skills. An internship may also be a facet of the program.

Other School Options

Other regional colleges in the Chicago area offer general pastry arts programs, which fall outside the scope of French pastry education but could interest prospective pastry chefs. Triton College, a 2-year college located about 11 miles northwest of downtown, offers certificate programs in baking and pastry, cake decorating and culinary arts. Moraine Valley Community College, another 2-year school, is located about 16 miles southwest of downtown and offers a 37-credit certificate course in baking/pastry arts and an Associates in Applied Science in Baking and Pastry through the Restaurant/Hotel Management and Culinary Arts Department.

Harper College offers a number of certificate programs, including those in bread and pastry arts and the culinary arts. This 2-year college is located approximately 27 miles northwest of downtown Chicago. Located about 37 miles northwest of downtown Chicago, Elgin Community College (ECC) offers an Associate of Applied Science in Pastry Arts through its Culinary Arts and Hospitality program. ECC also has a certificate program for aspiring baking assistants. McHenry County College's program offerings are similar to ECC; the school is situated about 44 miles from Chicago, north of ECC.

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