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Resident Course in Confectionery Technology (Candy School)

Registration closed for the 2024 course.
Next course will be held July 22 through August 2, 2024

What is the Confectionery Technology Course?

The two-week Resident Course in Confectionery Technology, also known as Candy School, is designed to instruct technical, production, and research personnel in candy science. The course begins with the chemical and functional interactions of ingredients and advances to more complex subject material including processing, troubleshooting, reworking, and sensory analysis. Learning from industry experts, participants will gain hands-on laboratory experience with all types of candies.

At its heart, Candy School is about science. The chemical and functional interactions of ingredients don’t change. Students learn the science of candies and then make them, varying ingredients to see what happens.

Who should attend?

While Candy School is intended primarily for technical personnel, it is also of value to individuals in production, management and sales who wish to increase their knowledge of confectionery technology.

International students are welcome to attend! Since the course is taught entirely in English, it is recommended that all attendees have a strong command of the language in order to get the most out of Candy School.

Enrollment Fees, Cost, & Registration

Enrollment fees cover tuition, laboratory materials, reference workbooks, daily lunches, welcome picnic and banquet dinner.

Registration closed for the 2024 course.

The cost of the course for one individual is $3,995.


*Lodging is not included in the registration fee. Local area hotels include:

  • DoubleTree by Hilton Madison Downtown
    • 252 West Johnson Street, Madison, WI 53703
      • (608) 251-5511
  • Wisconsin Union Hotel
    • 1308 West Dayton Street, Madison, WI 53715
      • (608) 263-2600
  • Best Western Plus InnTowner Madison
    • 2424 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53726
      • (608) 233-8778
  • The Edgewater Hotel
    • 1001 Wisconsin Place, Madison, WI 53703
      • (608) 535-8200
  • The Madison Concourse Hotel & Governor’s Club
    • 1 West Dayton Street, Madison, WI 53703
      • (800) 356-8293

History of Candy School

In the summer of 1963, J.H. von Elbe, a new professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, drove down to Herb Knechtel’s research and development laboratory in Skokie, Illinois to pick up the equipment needed for the first Resident Course in Confectionery Technology. Decades later, the course, hosted by the UW–Madison Department of Food Science, has become an important training ground for the candy industry.

Over a thousand students — from line workers and company owners to technical staff and suppliers — have learned the science of candy from the world’s confectionery experts. “The word to describe it is probably impossible,” says consultant Walt Vink, who spent 26 years with LifeSavers and attended, sent employees to, and taught in the course that is affectionately called “Candy School.” Students are often competitors, Vink says, but when they get to campus, they share information. As the confectionery school continues through its second half-century, private support is key to improving students’ candy-making experience.

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