Why This Matters

  • EVENT PLANNER JOBS WILL INCREASE 18% BY 2031

    Job growth in this area of hospitality management, which includes meeting, convention, and event managers, is faster than average, with 22,900 new jobs expected over the next decade.

  • EARN MORE WITH A MASTER’S DEGREE

    After receiving a bachelor’s, you can go on to earn a master’s, opening the door to higher-paying jobs like general hotel manager, director of events, and marketing communications manager.

  • THIS FIELD OFFERS SEVERAL AREAS OF SPECIALIZATION

    Hospitality management includes many types of jobs. Specialization in your degree program can prepare you for the career of your choice in event planning, lodging, food service, or eco-tourism.

Our Research

This list features some of the best online hospitality management degree programs at top colleges across the country. Each school featured is a nonprofit, accredited institution — either public or private — with a high standard of academic quality for post-secondary institutions. Many of the schools on our list have been accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, which assesses the objectives, quality, and overall effectiveness of business-related programs.

We evaluated each school’s program on tuition costs, admission, retention and graduation rates, faculty, and reputation as well as the student resources provided for online students. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. Read more about our ranking methodology.

Next, we compared this comprehensive list of online hospitality management degree programs to a list of aggregated college rankings from reputable publications like the U.S. News & World Report among others to simplify a student’s college search. We pored through these rankings so students don’t have to.

The Top 36 Hospitality Management Degree Programs

Best Hospitality Management Degree Programs 2023
01
Intelligent Pick
Cornell University
01
Most Affordable
FAU College of Business
01
Best in the Northeast
UMass Amherst Isenberg School of Management
01
Best Scholarships
NYU School of Professional Studies
01
Best Experiential Learning
Florida International University
01
Best Catholic Institution
Madonna University
01
Best Public Research School
Virginia Tech
01
Best Job Placement Rate
SUNY Delhi
01
Best in the South
TAMU Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences
01
Best in the Midwest
Purdue University
01

The George Washington University School of Business
01

University of South Carolina
01

Florida State University
01

Charleston Southern University
01

Mt. San Antonio College
01

University of Nevada at Las Vegas
01

University of Wisconsin at Stout
01

Utah Valley University
01

University of New Hampshire
01

North Carolina Central University
01

University of Houston
01

Montgomery College
01

Auburn University
01

WSU Global Campus
01

Cleary University
01

ECU College of Business
01

University of Central Florida
01

Northern Arizona University
01

Johnson & Wales University
01

University of Missouri at Columbia
01

Fort Hays State University
01

San Jose State University
01

Missouri State University
01

SDSU School of Hospitality & Tourism Management
01

California State University at East Bay
01

Eastern New Mexico University

What You Should Know About This Degree

For individuals entering the field at the bachelor’s level with no prior experience, it’s important to know that hospitality management can be a demanding career. You may work long hours, often on evenings, weekends, and holidays. Depending on the specific industry and job title, you may be juggling multiple responsibilities; many aspects of the job are outward-facing, requiring good interpersonal and communication skills.

For those already working in the industry and considering a master’s, there is debate about whether experience is more valuable than education in advancing your career. Additionally, many large hospitality companies offer their own professional development programs for employees that may be similar to graduate programs. Knowing what your career goals are and what type of education or experience is necessary to achieve them is key in deciding if this degree is right for you.

Regardless of level, most programs require students to participate in a hands-on field experience. The number of hours and type of experience varies by program, so it’s important to be aware of what will be expected of you and if the requirements will fit into your schedule and lifestyle. Some programs offer international field experiences; if you are interested in working abroad, it may be beneficial to seek out programs that offer these kinds of experiences.

What’s Next?

As you review these programs, there are some questions you should ask:

  • Does this program offer the specialization that I want? Hospitality management includes hotels/lodging, event planning, tourism/eco-tourism, food/beverage service, and more. If you want to focus on a particular area, make sure the program you’re considering allows that through a major, minor, or electives.
  • Will this degree help me achieve my career goals? While a master’s in Hospitality Management can lead to salary increases and make you stand out from other job candidates, some employers value experience over education. Before committing to an online Master’s program, consider if it’s the best path to achieving your goals.

Once you have identified the programs that interest you, research their admissions deadlines, processes, and requirements. This information is typically available on the program’s webpage; you can also contact the program directly if you have questions.

Funding your education is another important consideration. Ask the schools you are applying to about scholarship and financial aid opportunities and deadlines. For individuals already working in the hospitality management industry, some employers offer tuition assistance.