We have all enjoyed a night out for dinner with good company at a restaurant, or spent the night at a hotel during a road trip or vacation at some point in our lives. You probably have a favourite place to go when you decide to treat your friends somewhere nice, or make a recommendation to someone who is new to the area. You can thank the managers who work hard to operate these fabulous businesses every day. Whether you have or have not thought of the idea before, hotel and restaurant management can be a lucrative career without the need for a costly educational experience. A two-year Associate Degree in hotel and restaurant management is typically all that is needed to successfully run and operate a business in the hospitality industry. It is more profitable to have one rather than starting up a hospitality business yourself, and you can easily make up the cost for the degree in the profits of your business. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the typical salary of a hotel or food service manager to be about $50,000 – $55,000 per year. Students in hospitality can also become entry level managers in businesses already established and work their way up in the industry area. A good number of CEOs in successful restaurant chains, for example, were once restaurant managers themselves. Wedding planners, concierges, travel experts, casino managers, and resort professionals may also benefit from this type of degree.
Below we’ll review 15 schools with two-year programs that Best Value Schools found with a great value in hospitality education.
15 Best Schools with an Associate Degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management
1. Craven Community College – Associate in Applied Science Entrepreneurship Degree (26 points)
If you’re interested in starting up your own hospitality business, Craven Community College’s AAS Entrepreneurship Degree is certainly worth its salt. The program prepares students to know all the aspects of operating their own restaurant and/or recreation facilities, from sanitation practices to customer service, human resources, marketing, and more. Graduates who earn this degree will be ready to open their own businesses in key tourism destinations, including those in Western and Northeastern North Carolina.
- Tuition & Fees: $2,023
- Student to Faculty Ratio: 14
2. Casper College – Associate Applied Science Hospitality Management (24 points)
If you’re eager to strike out with a hospitality business of your own right away, this AAS program by Casper College is the perfect fit. It provides the full coursework of a two-year degree without all the fat. While transferring with this particular degree is not recommended, it’s just right for students who plan to establish their own business right away after they graduate.
- Tuition & Fees: $3,834
- Student to Faculty Ratio: 13
3. Albany Technical College – Associate Applied Science in Hotel / Travel / Restaurant Management (23 points)
Albany Technical College provides a sound basis for students to prepare for their careers in hospitality management in this AAS Degree. Whether it be for a restaurant, hotel, or event planning, the key elements of business communication, operational management, sanitation, and customer satisfaction are reinforced in the student’s educational journey. Hands-on internship experience is also part of the program, giving students a valuable opportunity to practice what they learned in real-world settings.
- Tuition & Fees: $2,996
- Student to Faculty Ratio: 15
4. Fayetteville Technical Community College – Associate Degree in Hospitality Management (21 points)
Fayetteville’s strategic location in North Carolina is relatively close to some of the most sought-after tourism areas for hospitality, including Carolina Beach, Wrightsville Beach, and the Outer Banks. This in turn gives students a further advantage when they enter the dynamic field, whether it be through a management position or outright entrepreneurship as a business owner. Here’s the best part – their Associate in Hospitality Management degree program is taught completely online, eliminating any difficulties of reaching the location for students in the short term.
- Tuition & Fees: $2,544
- Student to Faculty Ratio: 20
5. Cincinnati State Technical and Community College – Associate of Applied Business Degree in Hospitality Management (20 points)
While some schools offer separate hospitality degrees in either the culinary or operational sides, Cincinnati State Technical College handles it a little differently. Their flexible Associate’s program allows students to first “get their feet wet” into the hospitality industry and later allows them to decide whether they wish to pursue Food and Beverage, or Operations. Students in the Food and Beverage track further dive into hospitality management for the kitchen side, while Operations teaches students the management skills for hotels, event planning, and the front end of restaurants. We love how the transitions are seamless in this program, and how it emphasizes the importance of management for the front and the back sides of a restaurant.
- Tuition & Fees: $4,446
- Student to Faculty Ratio: 14
6. NHTI Concord’s Community College – Associate in Science Hospitality & Tourism Management (19 points)
This competitive degree program provides education in the lodging and travel sectors of hospitality. It gives students the prime opportunity to engage in New Hampshire’s growing tourism and hospitality industries and takes their concentrations further into several functioning roles within the profession. Students can hone their skills in event and conference management, wedding planning, hotel administration, and more. They can even concentrate in digital communications for today’s growing virtual economic environment.
- Tuition & Fees: $7,250
- Student to Faculty Ratio: 9
7. St. Louis Community College – Associate in Applied Science Hospitality Management (16 points)
Located in the heart of the St. Louis metropolitan area, this community college takes pride in its strong AAS Hospitality Management program. Graduates with this degree will come out ready to work in some of the most highly sought-after restaurants in the country in a tourism area prized for its culinary traditions. (St. Louis barbeque, anyone?) The program has excellent economic value for the Gateway to the West and it is also offered online for the convenience of working students.
- Tuition & Fees: $4,845
- Student to Faculty Ratio: 19
8. Tompkins Cortland Community College – Associate in Applied Science Degree, Hotel and Restaurant Management (15 points)
In New York State there is a prestigious community college renowned for world-class hospitality education that stands out from the pack. An Associate’s in Hospitality degree is one thing; an AAS in Hotel and Restaurant Management from Tompkins Courtland Community College is another class altogether. The school isn’t shy to showcase its on-site organic garden and connections to the National Restaurant Association. Students get the rare opportunity to travel abroad and learn skills that have the potential to place them not only in entry-level management positions but also in mid-level and regional management.
- Tuition & Fees: $6,258
- Student to Faculty Ratio: 15
8. Central Texas College – Associate of Applied Science Hotel Management Specialization, Food and Beverage Management Certificate (15 points)
Central Texas College offers the unique benefit of harnessing hospitality education to a hearty Associate of Applied Science Degree. Though the program focuses on hotel management, students can also pursue a separate Food and Beverage Management certificate to assist them in running the restaurant side of the business. The Certificate is stackable to an AAS Food and Beverage Management Specialization. Both programs are taught completely online, allowing students the flexibility to study as they work their way up the hospitality industry in a practical manner.
- Tuition & Fees: $3,390
- Student to Faculty Ratio: 24
10. Finger Lakes Community College – Associate Applied Science Hospitality and Tourism Management (13 points)
This historic college was the first in New York State to offer a hospitality degree program for students to launch their careers. The credits in this program are completely transferrable through schools in the State University of New York system. The Associate Degree branches into three certificate sectors which include Food and Beverage Management, Event and Tourism Management, and Hotel and Resort Management.
- Tuition & Fees: $5,296
- Student to Faculty Ratio: 20
10. Macomb Community College – Associate of Business Administration Degree in Hospitality Management (13 points)
If you’re looking for an Associate’s degree with a strong transfer portfolio, look no further than Macomb Community College. Their remarkable ABA program in Hospitality Management can be transferred to a number of colleges within Michigan for students who wish to further their studies for a Bachelor’s in Hospitality Management. They can even study further to achieve an MBA, a smart move in the realm of entrepreneurship. Even more remarkable is the fact Macomb touts that over 75% of their students graduate debt-free – and that’s definitely worth something to write home about.
- Tuition & Fees: $3,437
- Student to Faculty Ratio: 25
12. Keiser University Fort Meyers, Tallahassee FL – Associate of Arts in Business, Hospitality (12 points)
Keiser University’s reputed programs include preparing students in running the complexities of hospitality businesses. Their keystone locations in Fort Meyers and Tallahassee Florida offer the Associate of Arts in Business with a concentration in Hospitality for students who are attracted to the idea of learning in the Sunshine State. But an Associate’s management degree is not the only thing Keiser University offers. Students can also take Associate Degrees in Culinary Arts, and Baking and Pastry Arts to further hone their skills in the hospitality area in further appreciation of restaurant business operations. The Culinary programs are offered in Melbourne, Sarasota, and/or Tallahassee respectively. Students are encouraged to check out the school site for more details about specific program locations.
- Tuition & Fees: $21,008
- Student to Faculty Ratio: 14
13. Chemeketa Community College – Online Associate of Applied Science in Hospital and Tourism Management (11 points)
This unique college derives its name from a word that means “place of peach” in the Kalapuya Native American language. It dedicates itself to making affordable education possible in the Oregon community. In this spirit, the AAS in Hospital and Tourism Management is a great start in the Oregon student’s career. (Or for any student, for that matter.) Students learn valuable skills in the business management of hospitality institutions so they can become part of the state’s booming tourism industry.
- Tuition & Fees: $5,175
- Student to Faculty Ratio: 22
14. American Military University Dr. Wallace E. Boston School of Business – Online Associate in Arts Hospitality (8 points)
Veteran students will appreciate the practical applications of the American Military University, a sub-branch of the American Public University System. The online Associate in Arts Hospitality curriculum delivers a full-service 60 credit hour program online in as little as eight weeks for a quicker entry into the civilian workforce. Active military, Reservists, and National Guard members can unlock further savings on fees and course materials only offered at this school. 72% of their graduates earn their degrees without any student loan debt!
- Tuition & Fees: $7,324
- Student to Faculty Ratio: 21
15. Bryant & Stratton College – Online Associate in Applied Science in Hospitality Management (3 points)
Bryant & Stratton’s comprehensive AAS Degree will assist students in gaining strong business management skills with a focus on the hospitality sectors. They’ll be equipped to handle the complexities that commonly come in the hospitality industry, including social, legal and ethical issues in the business, facilitate management decisions, and examine restaurant and event planning venues to be fit for serving customers.
- Tuition & Fees: $14,834
- Student to Faculty Ratio: 29
Our Ranking Methodology
We ranked each college by the estimated tuition and fees, and then the student to faculty ratio from the websites of each college. All tuition data was calculated by in-state tuition rates according to the academic semester year, which is defined by the average of two semesters according to the calculations implemented. All score data is sourced from the specific campuses mentioned above rather than the parent school as it applies. We gave each school two categories of scores based on the lowest amounts of annual tuition and fees followed by the student to faculty ratio. The subcategory scores then were combined to reflect the total final scoring as shown above.
Not Sure About Your Ranking?
If you are employed at any of the following colleges and find something that needs attention, contact us at Best Value Schools anytime. We strive to present the most accurate data in our rankings to the best of our ability. For students who are interested in pursuing an Associate Degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management or a similar type of career in the hospitality field, feel free to get started in your search today at Best Value Schools. Learning gainful skills in this vibrant and dynamic field begins with a high-value college degree. It’s time to invest more in the future of your career!