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Culinary Arts

New Program!

Open for Fall 2022

Open for Winter 2022

Closed for Winter 2022 (International)

Length: 2 years Credential: Diploma Delivery: Full Time Classroom

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Next information session

There are no events scheduled for this program. Please visit the link below to see all upcoming and on-demand information sessions.

Upcoming Information Sessions

This program will be delivered in a blended format (OA, OS, OR and OF/CLAS) for the Winter 2022 semester.
Some courses will be delivered online while others occur on-campus.
Learn more about our course delivery options


Considered the best in Canada, the Culinary Arts program, (previously Professional Cooking) is delivered by world-renowned chefs who provide expert, hands-on training. In just two short years you will have the opportunity to train and interact with 20 leading culinary professionals - an amazing experience for anyone passionate about the culinary arts..

During this full-time two year program, you will be trained in all aspects of the culinary trade including foundational cooking techniques, garde manger, introduction to global cuisines, patisserie and culinary management which includes courses such as hospitality mindset, teams and cultures, beverage arts and culinary diplomacy to mention a few. In an industry experiencing high demand, graduates from SAIT’s Culinary Arts program gain valuable, real-life experience and are well prepared for a diverse range of options in the dynamic culinary world.

At SAIT, we are focused on our students’ success and deliver on this promise through small class sizes, a personalized approach and state-of-the-art facilities. Our classrooms and labs have recently received $7 million in upgrades including the new Michelle O’Reilly Charcuterie Lab, SAIT’s gourmet Market Place and our downtown Culinary Campus. Operating in live classroom environments such as the renowned Highwood restaurant, downtown Campus and 4 Nines Dining Centre provides real world experience that readies you for success in the culinary industry.

As a student, you will learn essential cooking skills and current trends through repetitive production style cooking for the public under the watchful eyes and guidance of our professional chefs - just like you would in a real kitchen. Working in teams, you will hone your professionalism, critical thinking and effective communication skills.

At the year-end capstone courses you will have the opportunity to showcase and demonstrate the skills learned throughout your learning journey.

Professional paid internship and study tours

Between your second and fourth semester of your study, you will get to apply your skills in the industry through a professional paid internship. In addition to learning in a real-world environment, internships provide valuable connections and opportunities to network with future employers.

As a student, you can also take advantage of exciting international study tours. Previous tour locations have included Australia, France, Spain, Italy, Chile and Thailand.

Global recognition through chef competitions

SAIT’s Culinary Arts program will give you the skills for a global career path and opportunities to work in the world’s finest dining establishments. You also have the option to compete in skills and culinary competitions - both locally and internationally. Our students have won gold and silver in Provincial and National Skills in addition to the Canadian Chef Association competitions. Our students have also competed in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore and Toronto over the last several years placing in the top three.

Is this the right fit for me?

Most successful students spend approximately 20 hours per week doing homework and review, with additional study required to prepare for exams.

Keep in mind hospitality industry hours can range from early morning to late in the evening and often include holidays. For example, our cold food prep classes start at 7 am and dinner service at the Highwood ends at 10 pm.

The culinary industry is fast-paced with a focus on customer service.

The material is presented at a fairly rapid rate. For the greatest level of success, you must be present and take responsibility for your learning experience.

You must be able to read, write and comprehend the English language at a level exceeding basic conversational English.

Students with higher grades in high school usually experience more success in SAIT programs.


Alberta Apprenticeship has accredited this program for all three technical training periods.

Students are still required to complete 4,680 hours of paid work experience and must successfully challenge all three provincial exams before considered eligible for the Red Seal exam and designation.

Students in the Professional Cooking program can challenge:

  • the first-year government exam after successful completion of their first year in the diploma program
  • the second-year government exam after successful completion of the third and fourth semesters provided they passed the first-year government exam
  • the third-year government exam after successful completion of the Professional Cooking diploma provided they passed the first and second-year government exams.


After successfully completing this program, graduates will receive a SAIT diploma in Culinary Arts. Students that began this program before Fall 2021 will receive a SAIT diploma in Professional Cooking.

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Career opportunities

Graduates can pursue job opportunities in restaurants, hotels and convention centres. Potential positions include: 

  • executive chef 
  • sous-chef 
  • chef de partie 
  • banquet chef 
  • Garde manger 
  • chef de cuisine 
  • kitchen manager 

Related careers include: 

  • food stylist 
  • educator 

Tuition and fees per year*

Year 1: $8,923
Year 2: $7,455

Year 1 (International): $24,462
Year 2 (International): $22,970

*Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change

Full costs
Tuition and financial aid


You will be offered admission to this program through direct entry if you meet the admission requirements and space is available. 

Admission Requirements

When can you apply?

Applications are accepted until the program start date but are subject to change. 

  • Applications for Winter 2022 open March 31, 2021.
  • Applications for Fall 2022 open Oct. 6, 2021.
Classes begin Year start date Year end date
Winter 2022 March 21, 2022 Oct. 21, 2022
Fall 2022 Sept. 6, 2022 April 29, 2021

How to apply

SAIT named Canada’s top hospitality and top culinary school

For the sixth consecutive year, CEOWORLD Magazine recognized SAIT as the number one hospitality school in Canada.

Admission Requirements

Admission and selection

Applications are accepted until the program start date but are subject to change. 

  • Winter 2022 start: applications are accepted beginning June 14, 2021.
  • Fall 2022 start: applications are accepted beginning Oct. 6, 2021.

Admission requirements

At least 50% in the following courses or their equivalents:

  • English Language Arts 10-1 or English Language Arts 10-2 or Humanities 10 and,
  • Math 10C or Math 10-3 or Pure Math 10 or Applied Math 10.

All applicants must demonstrate English Language Proficiency prior to admission, including students educated in Canada.

SAIT accepts high school course equivalents for admission. If you don't meet the requirements, consider Academic Upgrading.

SAIT evaluates international documents for admissions. After you've applied, consider our  international document assessment service if your education is from outside of Canada. 

Direct entry: four step process 

Step 1:  Read the program information to see the qualities needed for student success.

Step 2:  Ensure that you meet all of the admission requirements listed above.

Step 3: Apply to Culinary Arts and submit your  transcripts and/or anticipated final grades

  • Admission will be extended on a first-qualified, first-offered basis until the program is full.

Step 4: Continue to monitor changes to your  application status through  mySAIT.ca.

Communication during admisison

Email is the primary source of communication during the admission process. Ensure your personal email account is managed appropriately to receive our emails, files and communications. 


Program outline

Looking for course descriptions and requisites? Visit the course catalogue

I am a current student entering my second year

First year

Semester 1

Course Code Course Name Credit
COOK-204 Culinary Fundamentals 3.0
COOK-207 Breakfast and Brunch 3.0
COOK-217 Vegetables and Starches 3.0
COOK-223 Fundamentals of Cold Foods 3.0
COOK-227 Soup, Sauces and Stock 3.0
KMGT-202 Culinary Management I 3.0
Semester 1 Total 18.0

Semester 2

Course Code Course Name Credit
COOK-203 Capstone Year I 3.0
COOK-233 Classic and Contemporary Hot Foods 3.0
COOK-253 Butchery for Chefs 3.0
COOK-263 Quick Services Cooking 3.0
COOK-267 Baking and Yeast Goods 3.0
KMGT-250 Culinary Management II 3.0
PINT-201 Professional Internship 1.5
Semester 2 Total 19.5

Second year

Semester 3

Course Code Course Name Credit
COOK-303 Contemporary Restaurant Cuisine - Lunch 3.0
COOK-307 Patisserie 3.0
COOK-317 Contemporary Restaurant Cuisine - Dinner 3.0
COOK-333 Garde Manger 3.0
KMGT-320 Culinary Management IV 3.0
KMGT-300 Culinary Management 3A 3.0
KMGT-310 Culinary Management 3B 3.0
Semester 4 Total 18.0

Semester 4

Course Code Course Name Credit
COOK-302 Capstone Year II 3.0
COOK-304 Exploration of Canadian Cuisine 3.0
COOK-350 Exploration of Global Cuisine 3.0
FDPM-300 Community Events and Guest Services 3.0
KMGT-325 Culinary Management V 3.0
NUTR-313  Nutrition and Special Dietary Needs 3.0
Semester 5 Total 18.0
Program Total 73.5

Course outline for students who began this program before Fall 2021

First year

Semester 1

Course Code Course Name Credit
COOK-202 Culinary Fundamentals 3.0
COOK-227 Soup, Sauces and Stock 3.0
COOK-235 Dinner Cookery 3.0
COOK-253 Meat Preparation 3.0
COOK-267 Baking and Yeast Goods 3.0
Semester 1 Total 15.0

Semester 2

Course Code Course Name Credit
COOK-207 Breakfast Cookery 3.0
COOK-217 Vegetables and Starches 3.0
COOK-223 Cold Kitchen 3.0
COOK-233 Lunch Cookery 3.0
COOK-263 Line Cook 3.0
Semester 2 Total 15.0

Semester 3 (between the first and second year)

Course Code Course Name Credit
PRAC-287 Professional Internship 3.0
Semester 3 Total 3.0
First Year Total 33.0

Second year

Semester 4

Course Code Course Name Credit
COMM-363 Workplace Communication Skills 1.5
COOK-303 Lunch á la Carte 3.0
COOK-307 Patisserie 3.0
FDBS-323 Food and Wine Pairing 1.5
FDBS-327 Food and Beverage Service 3.0
NUTR-313 Nutrition and Home Meal Replacement 3.0
Semester 4 Total 15.0

Semester 5

Course Code Course Name Credit
COOK-317 Dinner á la Carte 3.0
COOK-333 Garde Manger 3.0
COOK-350 Culinary Perspectives 3.0
COOK-352 Market Food Production and Costing  3.0
FDPM-353 Supervision and Event Planning 3.0
Semester 5 Total 15.0
Second Year Total 30.0
Program Total 63.0


Students must attain a PGPA and/or a CGPA of 2.0 or better in each semester and pass the necessary prerequisite courses to progress through the program. To qualify for graduation, students must pass all courses, attain a CGPA of 2.0 or better and complete course requirements within the prescribed timelines.

Transfer options

The opportunity to advance your education through transfer in, within or on from SAIT is available. Visit transfer options to learn more.


2021/22 Domestic Tuition and Fees*

Year Tuition fees SAIT fees Saitsa fees Health & Dental Plan 2021/22 total
1 $7,590 $793.20 $287.77 $252 $8,923
2 $6,122 $793.20 $287.77 $252 $7,455

2021/22 International Tuition and Fees*

Year Tuition fees SAIT fees Saitsa fees Health & Dental Plan 2021/22 total
1 $23,129 $793.20 $287.77 $252 $24,462
2 $21,637 $793.20 $287.77 $252 $22,970

*Second year tuition and fees are for students continuing in there second year for Professional Cooking.

*Fees and tuition are based on a two-semester full course load structure. There may be additional fees for practicums and terms held outside this time frame. 


Campus athletic and recreation Fee: $183.20
Universal transit pass (UPass): $310 - Check eligibility here.
Student support fee: $150
Student technology fee: $150

Health and Dental Fees

Domestic Students 

  • Health Plan: $122
  • Dental Plan: $130
  • For students with existing health and/or dental plans, please refer to the Saitsa website for information on opting out.

International Students 

  • Health and Dental Plan: $252
  • For more information on Health and Dental Benefits for International students please contact the International Centre.

Books and supplies*

  • Books and supplies are approximately $1,000 - $1,500 per full-time year.
  • A $250 laundry fee is included in the above totals.
  • For an estimate of the costs associated with purchasing a device that meets the standard hardware and software requirements, see our computers and laptops page.
  • Find out about tuition and financial aid.

* Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change.

Next steps for incoming students

Have you been accepted to this program? Here's what you'll need for your first day of classes.

Winter 2022


Your program orientation will take place online. You will receive further details shortly from your academic chair or program coordinator.

Learn more about your orientation.

How to register for classes

You'll follow a fixed block registration process to enrol in your classes. Learn how to register on our registration and schedules page.

Computers and laptops

This is a bring your own device program with a standard hardware and software requirement. See the specific requirements on our computers and laptops page

Required equipment/tools

Your knife tool kit ($540) can be optionally purchased on orientation day and within the first week of classes at the Market Place in the John Ware building

Required uniform

One of your first steps to becoming a student in the Professional Cooking diploma program is to be sure you have the required attire on your first day of class and dress appropriately throughout the entire program.

Chef's jacket, waist apron and pants (your Chef's uniform) are provided with an annual laundry fee of $250 and issued twice weekly from laundry in the John Ware building.

Facemasks will also be supplied.

Chef's hat, necktie, hairnets and gloves (included in the tool kit) are available for purchase from the Market Place.

Chef's clogs ($90 - $140) may be purchased from the SAIT Bookstore. Invest in good quality, comfortable chef's clogs — you will be on your feet all day in this program and in your career.

Tips for success:

  • Our main goal is to prepare you for the real world in a hands-on, production-style environment.
  • Most successful students spend approximately 20 hours per week doing homework and review, with additional study required to prepare for exams.
  • Keep in mind, hospitality industry hours can range from early morning to late in the evening and often include holidays. For example, our cold food prep classes start at 6:30 am and dinner service at The Highwood restaurant ends at 10 pm.
  • The culinary industry is fast-paced with a strong focus on customer service.

Preparation courses

To support your success, you’ll be automatically registered in two short courses to prepare you for the academic year: 

PERS 050: Student Rights and Responsibilities

This course is designed to introduce you to student rights and responsibilities at SAIT. You will learn about SAIT's rich and diverse community, become familiar with guidelines and procedures that create a safe, respectful learning experience for you, and gain practical tips for how you can engage in the SAIT community in a positive and responsible way. PRES-050 must be completed within 30 days from the start of the semester.

PREP 100: The SAIT Experience

Get tips and insider information on time management, exam preparation, effective notetaking and more through this free, online short course for new students. Plus, learn about discussion boards, online communication and submitting assignments online. Course completion is recommended by the end of your first semester.

Both courses can be accessed through  Brightspace (D2L) before the first day of classes.

Required textbooks

Find your booklist on the SAIT Bookstore's website. The booklist will be available closer to the program start date.

Can’t find your program or course? The bookstore didn't receive a textbook list. Contact your program directly to determine if they’re still refining course details or if you're in luck, no textbook purchase required this term.

Anticipated supply costs: You will need to purchase books and program supplies in your first week. Your books and supplies will cost approximately $900. This is not included in your tuition.

Internship: Internship course fees are due in May of your first year (approximately $553 for domestic students.) This is included in the overall tuition listed in the fee table, however, it often comes as a surprise since the bulk of your tuition is due in August and January.

Optional international study tour: There is an optional international study tour between the first and second year. Interested students should budget approximately $3,500.


Phone: 403-851-1639
Email: hospitality.info@sait.ca

Academic chair

Rupert Kaupp, Academic Chair
Email: rupert.kaupp@sait.ca

Next steps for all students

Here's what else you'll need to do to get ready!

Next steps for accepted students

Important dates and deadlines

Find important dates applicable to all students, including your transcript and tuition payment deadlines on our Important Dates page.

Important Dates

Have questions about this program?

Contact us at

School of Hospitality and Tourism

Meet some of the instructors

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