Why This Matters

  • 38,500 NEW RESTAURANT MANAGERS NEEDED SOON

    Within hospitality management, one of the fastest-growing occupations is food service manager, with 11% projected job growth by 2028.

  • MANAGEMENT POSITIONS WILL RISE 7% BY 2028

    The overall job outlook for those seeking management roles is good. The formation of new companies and expansion of existing organizations will drive this job growth.

  • INCREASE YOUR EARNING POTENTIAL BY $26,000

    Individuals with a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management earn an average annual salary of $52,000, compared to $78,000 for someone with a master’s.

Our Research

This list focuses on master’s degree in hospitality management. Most programs offer a Master of Science (MS) in hospitality and tourism management, although in some programs, you can earn a Master of Business Administration (MBA). All of the programs can be completed online.

Every program is accredited by a regional accreditation body. This guarantees that the schools meet a high standard of quality in higher education, and means credits and degrees are more likely to transfer to other institutions.

While there is no program-specific accreditation for hospitality management degrees, many programs are accredited through specialized bodies like the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) or the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

We evaluated each program based on flexibility, faculty, course offerings, cost, and reputation. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score of each program on a scale of 0 to 100. Our top picks for the best online master’s in hospitality management programs are flexible, cost-effective, and well-respected.(For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.)

  • 55 hours to write this article
  • 137 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 401 education programs we compared

The Top 10 Online Master’s in Hospitality Management Programs

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What You Should Know About This Degree

When it comes to working in hospitality management, experience is valued just as much, if not more, than education. Therefore, it is debatable whether a graduate degree in hospitality management is truly necessary, especially for those who are already working in the field.

For individuals with a bachelor’s degree in another field who are looking to enter hospitality management, a master’s can be an efficient and cost-effective way to acquire the skills necessary to shift careers. Those already working in the industry should consider their career goals, and whether they need an additional degree, or more on-the-job-training to advance.

Hospitality management encompasses a wide variety of industries, including lodging, food and beverage service, tourism, event management, and gaming management. Projected job growth in each of these specific areas varies. For example, there is little expected change in the number of lodging management positions in the U.S. through 2028. A degree in hospitality management may make job candidates more attractive to employers, but those in the field should expect to face competition for positions.

Although there are no required certifications or licenses for those in hospitality management, there are industry-specific credentials that individuals can earn, like the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) certification from the Events Industry Council for those working in event and meeting planning.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching Master’s in Hospitality Management programs:

  • Does this program offer the concentration I want? Within hospitality management, there are many areas of focus, including tourism/eco-tourism, food and beverage service, lodging, and event planning. Based on your career goals and area of interest, you may want to select a program that offers a concentration through electives, minors or a certificate.
  • Is there an executive track for this program? Some hospitality management master’s programs offer an executive track designed for individuals with professional experience in the field. If you qualify for an executive track, you may be able to complete the program faster and at a lower cost.

Review the program’s application deadlines and admission requirements. Make sure that you meet the basic eligibility requirements before applying. You can typically find this information on the school’s website or by contacting the admissions department directly.

At this stage, you should also consider how you will fund your graduate degree. Research opportunities for scholarships, assistantships, and financial aid. If you are currently employed, find out if your job offers any tuition assistance benefits.