Florence University of the Arts: Career Certificate
Master Certificate in Baking & Pastry
Career Certificate

FUA Career Certificate programs are subject-intensive programs offering pre-determined coursework for a full immersion and professional experience in a particular field. Career Certificate programs are open to traditional undergraduate students as well as nontraditional students interested in pursuing a new career path. The Baking & Pastry Career Certificate program consists of an introductory Year 1, a specialization Year 2, and this advanced specialization Year 3. This Master Certificate Year 3 program in Baking & Pastry offers an advanced specialization in Baking and Pastry - Chef de Partie, for students who wish to become true experts in their field. Students gain in-depth knowledge of worldwide desserts, wedding and celebration cakes, Italian gelato, artistic chocolate, and much more, while mastering product knowledge, interpretation and innovation, historical context, and dish balance.

SAI Services
SAI Select Services

Application Requirements
Complete online application
Personal statement (300-500 words)
Passport scan (photo page)
Italian privacy consent form
Transcript (if applicable – see Details)
CV/Resume (if applicable – see Details)

Application: now open
Closes: June 15
Apps accepted on a rolling basis, and after deadline as space permits

Program Dates
2023/24: Aug 30, 2023 – May 9, 2024
Dates may vary as a result of add-ons

Eligibility Requirements

Age: 18+

Subject Experience: To enroll directly into Year 3 (bypassing Year 1 and 2), students must demonstrate previous experience (see Details).

English Language: Non-native English language speakers must submit TOEFL: 500+ (paper-based), IELTS: 5+, OOPT: 50+, or equivalent.

Academic Year: High school graduate or above.

Program Overview
The advanced specialization program in Baking and Pastry – Chef de Partie allows students to progress in the Baking and Pastry field and is structured to give students an understanding of Italian Culture as well as advanced skills in the field. The advanced specialization year includes a block set of courses with included workshops and experiential learning projects to bridge theory and practice and allow for full immersion in the courses and baking and pastry community.

Program Objectives
The advanced specialization Year 3 program offers a rigorous program combining lectures, labs, and hands-on learning, with a focus on mastery of techniques and direct experience in Italian baking and pastry. Courses advance skills and techniques in recipe balancing formulas, advanced pastry preparations and production, professional gelato production, sugar artistry, tiered wedding cakes, entremets, advanced chocolate artistry, creative recipe development, and more, with a full immersion in pastry lab management and organization within the school’s CEMI (Community Engagement Member Institutions). These institutions are open to the local community, allowing for students to directly apply skills and knowledge to real-life situations. Students complete shifts and practical experiential learning hours in Fedora, the school pastry shop, and Ganzo, the school’s restaurant.

Career Opportunities
The Year 3 program focuses on both production and individualized skills necessary to advance one’s career in a wide variety of positions. Possible career opportunities include pastry chef in high-end restaurant and hotels, demi-chef de partie in catering companies and commercial bakeries, pastry shop manager, recipe developer for small-medium pastry chains, pastry consultant, personal chef, and more.

Duration and Certification
Students enroll for the full academic year of the Year 3 program. Students who complete the full academic year will earn a Master Certificate in Baking and Pastry – Chef de Partie. All students receive undergraduate course credit and a US transcript upon successful completion. This is a WASC approved and accredited program.

Students wishing to enroll in this advanced specialization in Baking & Pastry program (Year 3) can qualify for Year 3 admission if they have English language fluency and one of the following:

  • Completion of Year 1 & Year 2 programs
  • Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts (requires CV & transcript)
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Culinary Arts, Baking and Pastry or Hospitality (requires CV/resume & transcript)
  • 3 years of professional experience (requires CV/resume)

Students who do not meet Year 3 requirements can begin in one of the earlier programs: Food, Wine & Wellness Year 1, or Baking & Pastry Specialization Year 2. Please see program pages for full requirements.

Optional Internships (fee applies)
Students who complete a full academic year can supplement their program with either a non-credit 3 week internship or a 3-credit 6 week internship in their field of study. This internship can be added in the summer sessions after the regular program has ended. Contact SAI for more details.

Optional Italian Language (fee applies)
Career Certificate program students can supplement their program with a 3-week, 3 credit intensive Italian Language course that takes place prior to the fall and spring sessions. Beginning, intermediate and advanced levels of intensive Italian language are offered.

Starting in the Fall, the Year 3 advanced specialization comprises two academic terms. Each term features a core set of four, 3-credit courses and one 6-credit course, with a 1-credit Food, Health and Safety seminar at the start of the Fall semester. In addition, students complete a non-credit experiential learning project during the January intersession, and non-credit workshops during the semester intersessions.

The Year 3 advanced specialization in Baking & Pastry courses are:

Optional intensive Italian language (August intersession)

Fall Semester
Master Italian Pastry Arts I, Experiential Learning and HACCP seminar
Intersession Week: Project I – Laminated Doughs Workshop
Wedding Cakes: Tiered and Themed Decorated Cakes
Professional Gelato Production
Intersession Week: Project II – Savory Pastry Workshop
International Cakes
Intersession Week: Project III – Panettone and Pandoro Workshop
Long Shelf-Life Cakes and Italian Snacks, Experiential Learning
Advanced Chocolate Artistry

January Intersession
Master Italian Pastry II Experiential Learning Project
Project I: Macarons workshop

Spring Semester
Creative Recipe Development and Production
Professional Chocolate Showpieces
Intersession Week: Project II- Contemporary Dessert Plating Workshop
Interpersonal Communication
Intersession Week: Project III- Special Diet Pastry Workshop
Sugar Artistry
Intersession Week: Project IV- Regional Italian Folklore Workshop
Entremets Experiential Learning

For the full detailed course descriptions please contact us.

This professional program includes SAI Select Services, designed for more independent students.

  • Program tuition, with US academic credit
  • Student health insurance providing full coverage and medical emergency evacuation
  • SAI orientation to the host city and school
  • SAI staff on-site providing assistance as needed and 24-hour emergency support

Pre-departure and Re-entry services

  • US-based admissions counselor assigned to you, providing friendly assistance
  • Helpful pre-departure tools and resources
  • SAI Student Visa consulting
  • Paid registration fees for national re-entry conferences
  • SAI alumni network

Please see the following links for up-to-date calendar information:

Academic Year 2023/24 pdf (150KB)

SAI Program Fees* USD
Application Fee $120
Security Deposit
Refundable at the end of the term.
Program Fee
Includes tuition and SAI Select Services, no housing (see What’s Included).
Coming soon
Optional / Additional Fees:  
Optional 3 week Italian Language Course
Before regular term, housing not included.
contact SAI
Optional Non-Credit Internship (3 weeks)
After regular term, housing not included.
contact SAI
Optional 3 Credit Internship (6 weeks)
After regular term, housing not included.
contact SAI
International Mailing Supplement
When applicable, students are charged an international mailing supplement to ensure visa paperwork arrives in a timely manner.

*prices are subject to change

Housing is not included in SAI Select Services programs. However, your SAI Admissions Counselor will be happy to provide you with information and recommendations for housing agencies, dormitories, and rentals in Florence. Students who do not have prior housing arrangements should begin speaking with their Admissions Counselor as soon as possible.

Passports should be valid for 3 months after planned departure from Italy.

Student Visas
In accordance with Italian law, students studying in Italy for 91 days or more are required to obtain a student visa. Those with Italian/EU citizenship are exempted. Non-US nationals should consult their local Consulate for information on student visa requirements.

Depending on the consulate, students will either mail in their student visa application or appear in person to present their application to the consulate. Our Student Visa Office is available to assist students in preparing for the appointment; SAI Student Visa Consulting is part of the SAI Select Services included in the program fee. SAI Student Visa Processing Service is available for select consulates only, for an additional fee.

About SAI

SAI is dedicated to providing academic and cultural learning experiences abroad that enhance global awareness, professional development and social responsibility. We concentrate our programs in Europe, with a focus on in-depth learning of individual European countries and their unique global role in the geopolitical economy, humanities, and in the arts.