Best Online Hospitality Management Degree Programs
Do you love to travel? Would you like to help others enjoy their travel and tourism experiences? If you enjoy working with people and helping them to have fun, a degree in Hospitality Management may be a perfect fit for you. There are multiple job options in the hospitality services sector that you may enjoy, including Event and Convention Coordination, Restaurant Management, Travel and Tourism Management, Recreation-related Industries, and so much more.
Entry-level jobs in these areas do not require a degree, but for those looking for a career in the industry, an associate’s or bachelor’s degree will open the door to the advanced positions that receive higher pay. To make degrees more obtainable, many colleges now offer online degrees. Some offer a BS in hospitality and tourism management, a BS in Business Administration with an emphasis in Hospitality Management, or simply a BS in Hospitality Management. The degree you pursue depends on what your focus will be in the hospitality sector.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), the hospitality industry is growing. They label the industry “Leisure and Hospitality.” In June 2019, the industry hired over 1.1 million people nationwide, “an increase of 42,000 hires from May and 64,000 hires from June 2018.” The bureau also breaks down the industry statistics into smaller categories that may be helpful to you if you are not sure which sector each student would like to enter.
This growth shows a demand for people who have a love of travel and helping others. If this is you, but your life needs the flexibility that an online degree offers, our ranking of the best online hospitality management degree programs can start you on your path to a career in a field with a high demand now and high growth on the horizon.
The Best Online Hospitality Management Degree Programs ranking is based on four main data points covering four categories:
- Affordability (average net price)
- Student Satisfaction (retention rate)
- Academic Quality (4-year graduation rate)
- Student Outcome (20-year return on investment per Payscale.com)
Each data point is ranked with equal weight. Schools received a weighted overall ranking score for each individual point mentioned above–100 being the highest score possible.
In the case of a tie in scoring, the average net price was the determining factor for which school received the higher rank–the lower the net price, the higher the ranking.
Best Online Hospitality Management Degree Programs
1. Arizona State University – ASU Online
Average Net Price: $11,163
Retention Rate: 86%
Graduation Rate: 65%
Payscale ROI: $451,000
Located in Tempe, Arizona, Arizona State University (ASU) is a public research university established in 1885. It is the largest public university in the United States and offers over 150 fully online degree programs through the online portion of the university. Amongst the degrees offered in the online program is the Bachelor of Arts in Tourism degree program offered through the W.P. Carey School of Business. This program features a multidisciplinary curriculum where students will develop the skills and understanding that is necessary to perform effective marketing within their future hospitality and tourism jobs. The online Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management prepares students for careers in the tourism industry, commercial recreation businesses, travel and tourism bureaus, or tourism development companies. ASU Online is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. It ranks 117th in the US News rankings and has been graded with an “A” from the niche.com grading system.
2. University of Massachusetts – Amherst
Average Net Price: $20,926
Retention Rate: 91%
Graduation Rate: 77%
Payscale ROI: $468,000
The Hospitality and Tourism Management program at the University of Massachusetts is considered to be a global leader in educating future leaders in the industry. The curriculum focuses on industry knowledge, discipline, critical thinking, leadership, communication, teamwork, ethics, and legalities that may be encountered within the management roles. Students will feel all of the benefits that the university has to offer through its online hospitality management degree program. To obtain a degree, students will be expected to master the skills of lodging operations and hospitality law. Additionally, concentrated studies in management skills will be required within the specialized divisions of the hospitality industry, including revenue management, event management, food and beverage management, human resource, service experience, and destination management. The staff is highly committed to educating students as part of the next generation of managers for all aspects of the industry. UMASS has earned a niche.com rating of an “A” and ranks 26th on the US News College rankings for 2019.
3. Florida International University
Average Net Price: $12,503
Retention Rate: 88%
Graduation Rate: 56%
Payscale ROI: $355,000
The bachelor’s program in Hospitality Management at Florida International University has a unique take on educating students interested in this degree. Partnered with Tianjin University of Commerce (TUC) in Tianjin, China, the program focuses on providing students with a global perspective in regards to hospitality. It allows students to obtain a dual degree upon completion of the program. There is also an opportunity for students to study abroad in China with The Marriott Tianjin China Program, which offers students a chance to learn the specifics of the hospitality business, as conducted in China. This first-hand experience sets students up as more well-rounded graduates and allows them to be better equipped to work for hotel chains. The faculty focuses its curriculum on teaching their students how to apply international knowledge to every area within the industry in both university settings. FIU has received an “A-” grade from the niche.com.
4. California State University – East Bay
Average Net Price: $11,566
Retention Rate: 76%
Graduation Rate: 45%
Payscale ROI: $513,000
The Hospitality and Tourism Management program provided at California State University – East Bay has been created to provide preparation for those who are hoping to enter a supervisory or management role within the tourism and hospitality markets. The education they receive will equip them with expertise and competence that will allow them to embark on a career in lodging, event management, or the foodservice industry. With an emphasis on innovative and creative leadership, the online hospitality management degree program offers a focus on providing excellent service to guests that will encourage them to come back to establishments for return visits. At California State University – East Bay, students will be empowered to excel in any management role they desire within the fields of hospitality and tourism. Niche.com gives this university a B+ grade for value, and US News ranks it as 80th out of all the colleges in the nation.
5. Washington State University
Average Net Price: $16,314
Retention Rate: 80%
Graduation Rate: 64%
Payscale ROI: $448,000
Receiving an “A” grade on the niche.com rating as well as earning a ranking of 166 on the US News College rankings, the hospitality program offered at Washington State University provides them with a broad range of knowledge regarding all of the intricacies found within the lodging and tourism industries.
Additionally, they will be part of an opportunity-rich culture that focuses on the fundamental methods and strategies of hospitality management, which are a part of this fast-paced industry. The program was established in 1932 and currently stands as the third oldest hospitality program within the United States. This legacy, combined with Washington State University’s current ranking as one of the top ten hospitality programs in the United States, gives students a stellar skill set to use as a foundation for their career. The program also provides opportunities for hands-on industry learning, internships with the faculty, and a chance to study in Switzerland to enhance their expertise even further.
6. The University of Alabama
Average Net Price: $21,973
Retention Rate: 87%
Graduation Rate: 68%
Payscale ROI: $366,000
Founded in 1820 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, the University of Alabama is the largest public university in the state. It has online Bachelor’s programs in Restaurant, Hotel, and Meetings Management to educate students about the hospitality administration fundamentals. Students at U of A will gain a vast amount of knowledge to create a solid foundation for a prosperous career in convention sales, hotel industries, or food service management. Students at U of A learn essential problem-solving strategies as well as the practices and techniques required to become an effective and productive manager. Partaking in this program requires them to complete courses that total to 120 hours. Finally, each student is required to complete at least 500 hours of an internship to obtain a degree. The University of Alabama ranks 153rd on the US News ranking list and has been graded as an “A” in the niche.com college grading system.
7. East Carolina University
Average Net Price: $15,415
Retention Rate: 83%
Graduation Rate: 61%
Payscale ROI: $271,000
Founded in 1907 in Greenville, North Carolina, East Carolina University is a public university that provides an online Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management degree. When studying for this degree, students receive a solid liberal arts foundation. ECU’s program is offered through the College of Business and the School of Hospitality Leadership. It focuses on preparing them for a management career in food and beverage, lodging, or conventions and special events. The coursework requires that students chose a concentration in one of these areas. Also, it consists of a total of 126 semester hours that feature 45 semester hours of hospitality core classes. Accredited regionally by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), students are required to complete a minor in business administration along with their hospitality degree.
Additionally, they will need to complete 200 field work hours as well as a 400-hour internship to complete the program in its entirety and obtain a degree. As a bonus, East Carolina University students will have the option to earn a bachelor’s in hospitality management degree and a master’s in business administration degree with a hospitality management option in only five years. Its niche.com grade is a “B+” and US news ranks East Carolina University as 228th on their list of best colleges in America.
8. Northern Arizona University
Average Net Price: $14,789
Retention Rate: 76%
Graduation Rate: 54%
Payscale ROI: $292,000
The School of Hotel and Restaurant Management at Northern Arizona University, located at the W.A. Franke College of Business, is an AACSB International accredited business school. The program at Northern Arizona University provides students with hands-on experience, internship programs that are outside in the work force, and comprehensive coursework. Students learn problem-solving, critical thinking, and analytical skills to assist students in becoming an effective and successful manager within the hospitality field. A bachelor’s degree can be obtained when a total of 120 units of curriculum are completed. Located in Flagstaff, Arizona, Northern Arizona University has received a “B” grade from niche.com and ranks 293rd on the US News college ranking list for the year 2020. Therefore, they tailor their teachings to provide students with the ability to adapt their skills to new challenges and obstacles that they will encounter throughout their careers.
9. Utah Valley University
Average Net Price: $7,995
Retention Rate: 64%
Graduation Rate: 29%
Payscale ROI: $482,000
Established in 1941 in Orem, Utah, Utah Valley University’s hospitality program is overseen by the Woodbury School of Business. This school is an AACSB accredits school and provides four different specialized online hospitality management degree programs to prepare students for careers. These specialties include General Operations, Revenue Management, and Foreign Language Track. The program focuses on Food and Beverage Management and is typically reserved for those planning to participate in the Culinary Arts associate’s degree program. To graduate with a bachelor’s degree, students need to complete coursework that totals 120 credits and includes classes such as hotel operations, hospitality finance, human resource management, hospitality law, marketing, and managerial accounting. Utah Valley University has received a “B” grade for the overall value of the education that they offer their student body.
10. Robert Morris University – RMU Online
Average Net Price: $25,996
Retention Rate: 80%
Graduation Rate: 61%
Payscale ROI: $283,000
Founded in 1921, Robert Morris University is a private higher learning institution that in Moon, Pennsylvania. It offers an online bachelor’s degree program in Business Administration, which includes an option for students to concentrate their studies in Hospitality and Tourism Management. This program is offered through the School of Business and provides students with a solid academic foundation that includes business fundamentals specific to the hospitality industry. The coursework that students are required to complete includes a focus of studies on humanities, science, social sciences, and economics. Students will also have the ability to gain real-world experience through internship opportunities offered within the program. Robert Morris University has received an overall “B-” grade from niche.com with an ‘A-” in value. It also ranks as 36th best college in the nation in the US News college rankings for 2020.
11. Concordia University – Saint Paul
Average Net Price: $18,392
Retention Rate: 68%
Graduation Rate: 53%
Payscale ROI: $368,000
Concordia University was founded in 1893 in Saint Paul, Minnesota, as a liberal arts university. Its online Bachelor of Arts in Hospitality Management degree provides students with the foundation in the fundamentals of management, marketing, and customer service. This foundation will be a catalyst for them to build their successful career in the leisure, hospitality, travel, or tourism industries. Throughout their online hospitality courses, students are encouraged to focus on the development of practical knowledge, which they will then be able to apply to students’ work in the tourism and hospitality industry. A degree can be obtained once the coursework is completed, which totals to 128 hours. The online courses are offered in seven-week semesters and must be completed as such for work to be counted towards a degree. It ranks 76th on the US news college rankings list and has received a “B-” grade from niche.com.
12. Johnson & Wales University
Average Net Price: $25,874
Retention Rate: 77%
Graduation Rate: 63%
Payscale ROI: $209,000
Founded in 1914 in Providence, Rhode Island, Johnson & Wales University is a private, nonprofit university. The university was specifically designed for individuals looking to become professionals in the hospitality industry. Johnson and Wales provides a plethora of concentrations for students to choose from, with degree programs through four academic units that include the College of Business, the Hospitality College, the College of Arts & Sciences, and the College of Culinary Arts. The online degree program offered provides students with in-depth industry training and knowledge. JWU students also learn the management skills necessary for a successful career in food and beverage, lodging, event planning, and tourism. The hospitality management degree features online hospitality courses in financial analysis, business negotiations, design and execution strategies, and revenue management. To be accepted in this degree program, students are required to have at least two years of full-time work experience under their belts. Degrees are allowed to be completed in its entirety without ever having to step foot on campus. Course work is presented in an 11-week course structure. It has a “B-” grade from niche.com and ranks 80th in the nation on the US news rankings list.
13. Fort Hays State University
Average Net Price: $12,376
Retention Rate: 71%
Graduation Rate: 41%
Payscale ROI: $208,000
Founded in 1902, Fort Hays State University, located in Hays, Kansas, is a public university. It is one of the largest within the state of Kansas and offers a virtual college experience for those students who need more flexibility to obtain his or her degree. The online Bachelor of Science in Tourism and Hospitality Management degree prepares students for management careers in the hospitality and tourism industries. Students can tailor their degrees to meet their personal and professional goals. To assist students with this unique strategy, Fort Hays State University offers degree concentrations in Events Management, Health & Wellness Tourism, and Hospitality Operations. Students are required to complete a total of 120 hours of coursework to earn their degrees. This university also offers opportunities for students to participate in internships to gain additional skills and acquire more hands-on learning experiences. Niche.com has graded this university with a “B” and US News ranks it as 117th in the nation.
14. Troy University
Average Net Price: $13,349
Retention Rate: 72%
Graduation Rate: 38%
Payscale ROI: $267,000
Founded in 1887 in Troy, Alabama, Troy University is a public university that offers Bachelors degrees of Science in Hospitality, Sport, and Tourism Management. These can be obtained entirely online with a program that provides the necessary skill set for students to have a successful career in hotels, restaurants, resorts, conference centers, event management, casinos, retail, club management, entertainment, and other related industries. The curriculum offered by The School of Hospitality, Sport & Tourism Management assists students with the development of communication and analytical and critical-thinking skills.
Additionally, the program allows students to add one of three concentrations to hospitality studies. By choosing a focus on hospitality management, sport management, and tourism management, students will be able to tailor their studies and education to their specific career goals. Coursework includes classes such as marketing, hospitality service, and current issues in hospitality totaling to 122 hours. Students will be required to complete a capstone course (otherwise known as a senior thesis), internship, and an 18-hour minor to obtain a final degree for this program. Troy has a grade of a “B” from niche.com and ranks 65th in the nation according to US News for 2020.
15. Eastern New Mexico University
Average Net Price: $8,801
Retention Rate: 61%
Graduation Rate: 34%
Payscale ROI: $184,000
Founded in 1934, Eastern New Mexico University is a public university. Considered one of the most diverse universities in the United States, the student body is made up of individuals from 48 states and 31 different countries. The online hospitality management program is offered as a focus when students participate in the Business Administration bachelor’s degree program. Eastern New Mexico University requires students to complete all the classes mandated for a degree in Business Administration. All of the coursework involved in both the business degree as well as the hospitality concentration prepares students for careers in the restaurant, hospitality, lodging, or tourism industries.
Additionally, students will need to complete a total of 19 hours in their specific emphasis area. Finally, a capstone course will be required to graduate with this degree. ENMU’s ranking with US News puts them as the 87th best college in the nation and Niche.com grades them as a “B-“.
16. Norfolk State University
Average Net Price: $15,259
Retention Rate: 73%
Graduation Rate: 38%
Payscale ROI: $115,000
Norfolk State University in Virginia is a public university founded in 1935. It is a member of the Virginia High-Tech Partnership as well as the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. Norfolk State University offers an online Bachelor’s degree of Science in Tourism and a Hospitality Management degree. This program helps to prepare students for a variety of careers that are available in the hospitality industry. The program follows a cohort format, meaning that studies are set up under the assumption that everyone starts together, works through the program together, and finishes together. As part of this program, students are required to complete a total of 121 credits and a senior project to obtain a degree. Students will also have a chance to gain real-world experience through internship opportunities. It has a “B-” grade for value from Niche.com, and US News has ranked the university at number 91 on their list for 2020.
17. Bethune-Cookman University
Average Net Price: $19,252
Retention Rate: 65%
Graduation Rate: 35%
Payscale ROI: $96,800
Founded in 1904 in Daytona Beach, Florida, Bethune-Cookman University is a private university. The university is affiliated with the United Methodist Church and offers an online Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management. This hospitality degree is an accelerated program offered through the Bob Billingslea School of Hospitality Management and the College of Online and Professional Studies. This online program prepares students for various leadership roles in lodging and resorts, entrepreneurship, global tourism, and more. The curriculum provided by the hospitality program taken online gives them a solid foundation in business administration. These skills acquired will be necessary to succeed in any management role in a hotel, a restaurant, tourism, or travel position. An internship program is offered as well and provides students with essential real-world experience that they can apply to any position throughout their careers in the hospitality industry. It has a “C+” grade from Niche.com and a ranking at 164 for the US News college ranking list for 2020.
18. University of South Carolina – Beaufort
Average Net Price: $16,507
Retention Rate: 58%
Graduation Rate: 26%
Payscale ROI: $158,000
The University of South Carolina – Beaufort offers an online degree program in Hospitality Management. The school is a public university that offers an intimate learning situation since its undergraduate enrollment is under 2,000 students. Once enrolled, students have the opportunity to tailor their education with their unique and specific professional career goals. Concentrations in food service, hotels, and tourism are all offered. The university is ranked at 164 on the US News rankings and has received a “B-” for academics and value by the niche.com grading system. The hospitality management degree program that is available through online learning and will take a total of 120 hours to complete. According to university statistics, students should be able to complete the program within two years of concentrated study, which provides them with all of the necessary skills they will need while allowing them to enter the work force and embark on their career earlier in life.