Certificate, Diploma or Degree????

Joined Oct 8, 2001
Okay - So, can anyone tell me what the difference is in getting a culinary arts certificate, diploma or degree?? Does it make a huge difference to get one or the other? Also, what is an AOS in culinary arts? If anyone can help, I'd appreciate it!! Thanks alot!:confused: :bounce: :confused:
Joined Oct 12, 1999
Hello Beccas! Well from my understanding, A "certificate" of technology in Culinary Arts is a document certifying completion of technical classes directly relating to your major...which is culinary arts/restuarant managment. The Degree would be a document certifying the completion of the technogly classes plus basic academic classes like psychology, math, english, speech and the such, what ever is in the degree plan outline of courses. As for the AOS, i can't think what O stands for, but the degree plan i am in is AAS, which is an Associates of Applied Science in Culinary Arts. Maybe somone will add to this post and explain what the "O" stands for. Hope this was any help, and welcome to the Cafe!:)
Joined May 26, 2001
This information applies to the US only. I don't know anything about how other countries's higher education systems work.

AOS stands for Associate of Occupational Science. It is basically a degree that includes some college-level credit. A certificate or a diploma indicate completion of a course of study, but no college credit value. Degrees are granted under the authority of an accreditation -- an outside agency, such as a state board, that examines the program content and determines that it is worthy of receiving college credit.

Certificates and diplomas are useful in that they show that you made it all the way through a course of study successfully. However, if you want to go further with higher education, such as getting a bachelor's degree, master's, or doctorate, and want to have a head start with some credits, a degree (AAS or AOS) is the way to go.

As for how useful any of these is in getting hired -- it's pretty much up to the people doing the hiring. My guess is when they require a "culinary degree " sometimes they really mean degree, sometimes just proof of completion of a training program.
Joined Jul 18, 2000
im kinda confused here. The chefs degree in the states is not a bachelors?. I always thought that all degrees started at bachelor level.

By comparison, in Au an associate generally would be a diploma course. To become proficient in commercial cookery a 4yr apprenticeship (OJT) combined with a 2.75yr certificate course.

Further study options and pathways are available i.e.Certificate IV commercial cookery - Diploma Hospitality Management - Advanced diploma of hospitality management - BBA, BApp Sc, B Hosp Management, etc.

To briefly describe the Aussie system:


Higher Education Sector
Doctoral Degree
Master's Degree
Graduate Diploma
Graduate Certificate
Bachelor Degree
Advanced Diploma

Vocational Education and Training Sector
Advanced Diploma
Certificate IV
Certificate III
Certificate II
Certificate I

Schools Sector
Senior Secondary Certificate of Education
Joined May 26, 2001
Dear Nick.shu --

Here in the States, some private technical and vocational schools can grant an "Associate" degree. So can Community Colleges , which are 2-year programs, and part of the public (state or local) university system. The credits you earn at a community college can often be transferred to a 4-year program, to receive a Bachelor's degree. (Although not all course work translates credit-for-credit.)

So, for example: New York City Technical College, which is part of the City University (itself part of the public university system of the State of New York) grants an Associate degree. People who receive this degree could go on to a Bachelor's somewhere else, probably having to pick up credits in academic subjects.

Another example: Johnson and Wales University (private) grants 4-year (Bachelor's) and 2-year (Associates), and probably some other degrees as well. CIA -- that is Culinary Institute of America, not the spies -- does the same, as well as running "continuing education" courses for people who already have some type of degree but are not working on a higher one.

HOWEVER: if you complete a course at Peter Kump's (oops, sorry, now it's the "Institute of Culinary Education"), you receive a certificate, but NO college credit. If you want a degree, you have to go to an accredited school that has been authorized to grant them.

As you see, the name of the school does not necessarily indicate much. I hope this isn't even more confusing!

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