Students smile at the camera in the culinary lab

Culinary Specialist - Technical Diploma

If you’d like to turn your passion for cooking into a creative and rewarding career, you could be a great fit for the Culinary Specialist program. Grads will be prepared for employment in the food service industry through training and practical experience in food preparation, sanitation, nutrition, marketing, dining trends, catering, management and work ethics. Plus, grads will possess a working knowledge of culinary vocabulary, the ability to work as members of a team and the confidence to operate in a variety of fast-paced environments. The program includes testing for a National Restaurant Association Certification.

Program Code: 313162
Home » Academics and Training » Culinary Specialist
Area of Study: Business, Hospitality

Ready for a fast-paced career in the food industry? This technical diploma program can help you become a chef or start a management role in a restaurant or other food service setting.

Program Costs & Financial Aid

See costs of tuition, books, and supplies.

This program is fully eligible for financial aid.

Estimates based on in-state residency. Learn more about tuition and fees.

Explore Locations

Offered At:

Follow Your Path

All credits in this technical diploma apply toward the following associate degree(s):

Culinary Management, 103171


  • Day
  • Full-time
Michael Zeitler
Meet Michael Zeitler, a Culinary Specialist program student with a clear plan to take his cooking career to the next level. Currently a kitchen supervisor at 1919 Kitchen and Tap (a sports bar and gastropub located in Lambeau Field), Zeitler hopes to...

Michael Zeitler

Culinary Specialist student

How do I get started in this program?

Requirements for Program Entry

  • Apply at
  • Submit high school, GED, or HSED transcripts and college transcripts (if applicable) to
  • Tip! Our admission advisors will assist you through every step. Have questions? Connect with NWTC Admissions at or 920-498-5444.

Program Availability

A waitlist often forms for this program. Learn more about program waitlists.

What are my courses?


Students following the study plan below will complete the Culinary Specialist technical diploma in the number of semesters shown.

Total Credits 29
  • Curriculum Note: The credit for 10-890-101, College 101 is an Institutional Requirement for graduation. Consequently, it is not part of the program requirements, but must be passed with a C or better.
  • Students selecting the Math Reasoning option may also need to complete an Arithmetic Assessment.

Program Outcomes

  • Apply principles of safety and sanitation in food service operations.
  • Apply basic principles of nutrition.
  • Demonstrate basic culinary skills.
  • Assist in food service management.
  • Plan menus.
  • Explore food service financial information.

What careers are in my future?


Graduate Employment

with 100% in field

Employment Potential

A graduate of this program will have the potential for employment in the following areas:

  • Sous Chef
  • Banquet Chef
  • Pastry Chef
  • Food Production Manager
  • Purchasing Manager
  • Institutional Food Service
  • Contract Food Service
  • Restaurant Owner or Manager
  • Personal Chef

What else do I need to know about the program?


  • The Culinary Specialist program students are required to order and prepay for two sets of personalized chef uniforms and one pair of kitchen safe shoes three weeks prior to the beginning of classes. These supplies are approximately $200. Students accepted to the program will receive details through their NWTC e-mail account on how to order these supplies.

Industry Credentials

National Restaurant Association Certification. The course includes National Restaurant Association Certifications as well as the CESIM Hospitality Simulation.

Study Abroad Opportunities

The International Programs staff continually seeks opportunities for students to travel abroad for educational experiences that may be offered in association with program courses.

Learn more about upcoming study abroad opportunities.


Classes wherever you have an internet connection. 

  • An in-person career experience, such as an internship, practicum, or credit for prior learning, may be required.
  • Some online courses may be held at specific dates/times.
Classes between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Classes between the hours of 5:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.
A combination of online classes and Saturday and/or Sunday classes.
12 or more credits per term.
Fewer than 12 credits per term.