Why This Matters

  • TOP 10% OF HOSPITALITY MANAGERS MAKE $105,720 PER YEAR

    Hospitality managers in the top 10% of their field make more than $100,000 annually, while the median income is greater than $54,000.

  • HOSPITALITY MANAGERS ENJOY 10+ CAREER PATHS

    From general hotel managers to restaurant managers, hospitality management graduates can choose from a variety of exciting career paths.

  • WORK FOR TOP LUXURY HOTELS IN MORE THAN 90 COUNTRIES

    Though demand for hospitality managers is expected to decline by 2029, professional hospitality managers with a degree will gain a competitive edge and opportunities to travel or live in countries across the globe.

Our Research

We found that the majority of hospitality management programs offer bachelor of science or bachelor of arts degrees, with some degree programs housed within the business department of a college or university. During our review of top schools, we found that the curriculum may be delivered online, in-person, or in a blended format.

Bachelor’s degree programs in hospitality management are typically accredited by either the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration (ACPHA) or the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). In addition to these accreditation bodies, hospitality management programs may be regionally accredited. Accreditation is an important factor in degree program choice as certain employers may require that a specific entity accredits your degree.

We evaluated each program on the basis of flexibility, faculty, course strength, cost, and reputation. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score for each program on a scale from 0 to 100. Our top picks for the best Hospitality Management Degree program are affordable, respected, and flexible.(For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.)

  • 61 hours to write this article
  • 184 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 352 education programs we compared

The Top 50 Hospitality Management Degree

The Best Hospitality Management Degree
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What You Should Know About This Degree

Before choosing a course of study, it’s important to understand the differences in degree programs. Similar academic programs include restaurant management, tourism development and management, and hospitality leadership.

The main differences between these degree programs are their emphasis on leadership and the setting in which practical job functions take place. A business leadership-focused program sets you up for success in an upper management role. In contrast, a tourism development and management degree gives you the tools you need to understand how tourism and travel impact global communities. Restaurant management is distinct from hospitality management; it’s specific to dining establishments at the franchise and corporate level.

When searching degree options, look for programs that are at least regionally accredited. Choosing a program with national accreditation, such as ACPHA, ensures your degree is marketable to potential employers.

Demand for hospitality managers in the United States is expected to decline across all levels of training and education in the next ten years. This means that employers will look to trained, degreed candidates before considering someone with only practical experience in the field.

There are no licensing or certification requirements for a hospitality manager. However, earning an extracurricular certification in your field increases your chances of landing a top-paying position.

What’s Next?

When researching hospitality management programs, here are a couple of questions to ask yourself:

  • Am I eligible for this program? Because the majority of hospitality management programs are bachelor’s level, you must have a high school diploma or equivalent and a minimum passing score on a college entrance exam. If you’ve already completed an associate degree in general studies, your home state may offer automatic admission at a public university.
  • How long does it take to complete this online degree? Your individual length of study depends on whether you have existing, transferable college credits and if you plan to attend full-time or part-time. Typically, a bachelor’s degree takes four years of full-time study regardless of its delivery method (online vs. on-campus). A part-time program may take longer to complete but offers the benefit of allowing time for work or family while earning your degree.

As you browse hospitality management degree programs, pay attention to admission deadlines, requirements, and fees. This information is often available on the admissions department web page or by calling the department. Carefully craft your admissions essay, if required, to communicate why you want to complete the program, and mention your unique qualifications.

Financial aid may be available for your desired degree program, particularly if you plan to attend a public university. However, the deadlines to apply for financial aid might not coincide with admission deadlines, so be sure to apply early to be considered for the most assistance. If you’re employed in the hospitality industry, ask your employer if the company offers assistance with tuition, books, or supplies.