Program Details, Costs, and Admission Requirements

  • Program Length 
    10 Months
  • Credential 
  • Options 
  • Location Offered 

Do you love baking pastries and bread and making divine desserts? Shape your passion with VIU’s Professional Baking and Pastry Arts program for a rewarding, hands-on career that can take you around the world. Learn advanced baking and dessert making, as well as sugar and chocolate artistry techniques.

This internationally recognized program provides students with hands-on, real-world experiences providing baked goods and pastries to the university community, including making cakes to order. Students of VIU’s baking school also learn on the department’s wood-fired brick oven.

Graduates of our pastry art school have found work in bakeries – including opening their own – and a range of high-end restaurants, world-class hotels and resorts. Educational grants are available to students wanting to train in these in-demand industries.

The Professional Baking and Pastry Arts Certificate Program

The Culinary Institute of Vancouver Island (CIVI) at VIU provides students with a Certificate in Professional Baking and Pastry Arts, giving them a leading edge for advancement and progression in the baking and pastry profession. This full-time program provides students with knowledge and experience in the science and production of bakery items baked in both commercial ovens and our wood burning brick oven. Emphasis is placed on traditional and artisan baking methods as applied to modern Canadian and international trends. The pastry arts component of the program also provides the fundamental skills needed in pastry training from cake decorating, including wedding and special occasion cakes, to desserts, chocolate and sugar work. Baking and pastry arts students are ready for employment in patisserie shops, hotels, retail and wholesale bakeries, supermarkets, restaurants, caterers, camps and other food–related businesses.

The program takes place from late August to June, Monday to Friday, in our bakery at VIU's Nanaimo campus. Yeast baking classes run from 6 am to noon, Monday to Friday. Pastry classes run from 10 am to 4 pm Monday to Friday. Students alternate between the yeast baking and pastry courses, switching between the courses every few weeks. Both programs operate under conditions similar to an actual bakery, with deadlines, retail and wholesale customers. A typical day consists of one hour of theory, with the remainder being devoted to practical, hands-on training. Time is scheduled for competitions, shows and off campus visits. Guest bakers, chefs and business owners are often scheduled to partake in the students' learning schedules. Our wood fired brick oven is unique to our facility providing students with training in traditional hearth oven baking. Good attendance is mandatory.

The year is divided into several terms, during which time students increase their levels of competency in ten areas: (1) ovens; (2) breads and buns; (3) sweetened/unsweetened yeasted and croissants; (4) quick breads and cookies; (5) cake baking, finishing and decorating; (6) puff pastries and pies; (7) bakery management; (8) chocolate and sugar work; (9) wood-fired oven and gluten free baking; and (10) fancy pastries. Seasonal, festive and ethnic baking are also covered. Students who complete the program will embark on a ten-week paid co-operative work term that is arranged through the Centre for Experiential Learning at VIU.

Upon successful completion of the program and the co-op work term, students receive the Vancouver Island University Certificate in Professional Baking and Pastry Arts as well as credit for their first year Baker Apprentice technical training and 1200 work experience hours to apply towards obtaining their Red Seal. 

For Apprenticeship Registration: call 1-888-920-2221, Ext. 6227

Program Outline

Professional Baking and Pastry Arts

BAKE 120 - (Preparation for Bake Certificate Co-op)

BAKE 122T - (Bakery Professional Capstone Module)

BAKE 124T - (Pastry 1 Basic)

BAKE 126T - (Pastry 2 Advanced)

BAKE 128T - (Yeasted 1 Basic)

BAKE 129T - (Yeasted 2 Advanced)

BAKE 130 - (Bake Certificate Co-op)

Note: The Bake Certificate Co-op takes place over ten weeks from mid-June to August. 

Monday, June 1, 2020

Admission Requirements

Notes on Admission

  • Enrolment in this program is limited. Students who meet or exceed the minimum admission requirements may not necessarily be admitted to the program.
  • Must have the ability to stand for 4 hours at a time, and must be capable of lifting 20 kg/44 lbs as per industry standard.

Recommendation for Admission

  • High school career food preparation courses.
  • Food industry experience.

Career Opportunities

Upon successful completion of the program, Culinary Institute of Vancouver Island baking and pastry arts students are ready for employment in the professional baking and pastry industry — patisserie shops, hotels, retail and wholesale bakeries, supermarkets, restaurants, caterers, camps and other bakery related franchises hire our graduates both in Canada and internationally. The Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program has information about careers and industry standards in baking and pastry.

Work Placement Opportunities

Apprenticeship Information

Graduates of this program may receive credit towards the technical portion of the first year of the Baker Apprenticeship program. In order to complete the apprenticeship and become a journeyperson, graduates would return to VIU for 4 weeks per year in each of the next two years.

The Baker Apprenticeship program consists of 3 years of on-the job experience combined with in-school technical training in order to become eligible to write the Interprovincial (Red Seal) examination for journeyperson-certification.

For more information on apprenticeship training, please visit the IATCBC website, contact the Industry Training Centre at 1-866-660-6011. Visit VIU's Trades and Applied Technology Apprenticeship page for more information and schedules.

Domestic Fees

Tuition Fee Schedule

When applying to the program, applicants will be charged a non-refundable application fee.

When applying to graduate, students will be charged a non-refundable graduation and alumni fee.

Some courses have additional fees to pay for extraordinary class–related expenses.



Tuition (10 months x $461.18 per month + 1 academic credit x $153.73)


Lab fee


Student Activity fee (4% of tuition and lab fee)


Student Services fee (4.417% of tuition)


VIU Students' Union fee (10 months x $20.73 per month)


Co-operative Placement ($667.64 per term)


Health and Dental Plan fee ($275 per year)


Books and supplies (approximate costs)


Baking Kit (approximate costs)





The Health and Dental Plan fee is in effect only for full-time students at the Nanaimo Campus.  

All fees are subject to change without prior notice.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.

Program Start Date Accepting Applications Campus
Anticipated intake for someone applying today
Aug 30, 2021
Next Intake(s)
  • August 2022
Application Fee
Testing Required
Admissions Assistant

Name: Miranda MacCallum
Phone: 250-753-3245 ext. 2584

Chair Contact

Name: Rita Gower
Phone: 250-740-6114

Culinary Arts (Trades and Applied Technology), Culinary Management (Trades and Applied Technology)