In-Person Program

UT Culinary Certificate

Program Overview

Are you craving a career change? Let your passion for cooking lead the way to a fulfilling career.

The University of Tennessee Culinary Program is an eight-week intensive series of classes totaling 200 hours that teaches you about the foundations of culinary arts.

Offered by the UT Center for Professional Education & Lifelong Learning, the program is recognized by the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation (ACFEF) as an approved program. ACFEF approved status recognizes culinary- and hospitality-related programs that meet or exceed industry standards for education and training.

Note: We are now accepting enrollments for our June 2024 session. Please click the “Request Information” button to reserve your seat. Class sizes are limited.

ACFEF-approved program

Three sessions per year

Partial scholarships available

No previous experience required

About the UT Culinary Program

The UT Culinary Program is a full-time eight-week, 200-hour course that prepares you to begin an exciting career in restaurants, hotels, catering, food trucks, and more.

Three sessions are held annually. The fee is $5,600.

You’ll train in a fully-equipped commercial kitchen as well as a special classroom designed for culinary education while learning from experts in the industry.

You’ll also have access to the online application of the On Cooking textbook, which offers recipe conversions, culinary production systems, updated recipe costs, and more. This access will last for a full two years and is a highly beneficial aspect of the culinary and catering program.

Although this program is designed to be shorter than average, the eight weeks you spend training will be intense and thorough. You’ll be challenged from start to finish with real-life scenarios and events, such as catering a large dinner party or running a food truck during the lunch rush.

You’ll focus not only on honing your skills in the kitchen, but also on learning the business aspects of the culinary industry.

Enrollment and Payment Details

The fee is $5,600 and includes all required books and materials.

As a certificate course, the UT Culinary Program is not eligible for FAFSA benefits, but these financing and payment options are available:

  1. Payments may be made by credit card (Visa, MasterCard, or Discover), cash, certified check, or money order. Certified checks or money orders must be made payable to The University of Tennessee.
  2. Sallie Mae Student Loans—Please visit the Sallie Mae website for loan options.

Military and Veterans’ Benefits

The GI Bill will pay for Non-College Degree Programs, like the Culinary Certificate Program. To verify program eligibility and learn more about using your GI Bill benefits for this program, please check with the UT Veterans Success Center.

Our Veteran Student Services & School Certifying Official, Jayetta Rogers, can be reached via phone at 865-974-1500 or in person at the Veterans Success Center.

The Veterans Success Center is located on the ground floor of Hodges Library, G020 Hodges Library, 1015 Volunteer Blvd., Knoxville, TN 37996. Operation hours are Monday – Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Students are welcome by appointment or walk in. For general VA questions and information, you may use their general email at

A Word from Our Program Director

As the UT Culinary program director, my responsibilities include managing the education of our student culinarians and finding work for them when they graduate. I adapt and implement the curriculum for the program, teach courses, and organize and schedule for the American Culinary Federation certified chef-instructors. We execute multiple events per eight-week session, serving anywhere from 80 to 200 people at each event.

Chef Greg J. Eisele, CEC, ACE, PC-II

Learn More about our Culinary Program

You’re invited to a complimentary private consultation with Chef Greg and tour of our culinary facilities at the UT Conference Center in downtown Knoxville.

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Frequently Asked Questions About the UT Culinary Program

Every culinary education program has its own unique set of requirements. Most programs only require a high school diploma or GED to begin, and some do not require either. In order to enroll in the UT Culinary Program, you must have a high school diploma or GED equivalent. Must be 18 years of age or older.

If you’re interested in beginning a career in the foodservice industry, you have to start somewhere. Culinary education programs are meant to teach you the skills you need to become a great chef; so while having some previous kitchen experience is beneficial, it is neither required nor necessary in order to perform well in the program. The most important thing you need is a passion for food, people, and learning.

Please visit our Payment Details for more information.

Yes, a limited number of partial scholarships for the UT Culinary Program are offered through the American Culinary Federation’s Smoky Mountain chapter.

Scholarship funds will be granted for ACF-approved continuing education hours and certification expenses. Funds will be distributed at the beginning of the session and paid in full after a documented “pass” grade and a final “paid in full” receipt are provided.

Download the scholarship application.

When you graduate with a culinary certificate, you will have several career opportunities available to you. Become a food truck chef/owner, open your own catering business, or work your way up the ladder as a sous chef. Though an immediate job is not a guarantee, our chefs will continue to mentor and help you as you discover your own path toward a culinary career.