Hospitality management degree programs are a growing industry with programs all over the country. Students who pursue hospitality management programs will have the opportunity of becoming strong leaders. They also are developing the skills to contribute to the hospitality industry. The skills students develop preparing for this business are diverse and transferable to many career paths. In hospitality management programs, graduates will be ready to have a management career. Those include the hotel and resort lodging, dining, event planning, professional athletics, theme parks, cruise lines, and casinos.
Since the industry is expanding, there are several universities students can choose to earn a hospitality management degree. We put together a list of the best online hospitality management degree programs in the country to help you find the best fit. Without further ado…
Here are the Best
Hospitality Management Degree Programs
1. Cornell University
Cornell University prides itself on teaching students about so much more than just hotels. Students learn about finance, marketing, real estate, and operations. Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration is the only Ivy League business-management program to offer a degree in hospitality which prepares students to be successful business leaders around the world.
The SHA includes 14 different academic disciplines including Entrepreneurship, Food and Beverage Management, Information Systems, and Services Marketing. Students also have the opportunity to further their educational experience through study abroad programs in more than 40 countries, the Management Internship Program, and the Hotel-Leadership Development program hosted at the Statler Hotel on campus. Over a thousand job opportunities are shared with students through the career office each year.
2. Michigan State University
The School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State has been around for nine decades and is known for being the original hospitality program in the nation. A hospitality degree from Michigan State prepares students for a job in several fields including hotel operations, hospitality real estate, hotel sales, and more.
Undergraduate students are required to complete two paid internships before graduation and have the option of completing a minor in Hospitality Business Real Investment Management. Students who want to further their education through graduate work can choose from four degrees including; a master’s in Food Service Business Management, a master’s in Hospitality Business Management, a Secondary Concentration in Hospitality Business in the MBA program, or a Graduation Specialization in Hospitality Business.
3. University of Houston
The Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston offers four different degrees in the industry including a Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management, Master of Science in Hospitality Management, Master of Science in Global Hospitality Business and Ph.D. in Hospitality Administration. The Hotel and Restaurant Management program offers national and international internships and study abroad opportunities.
Students in the master’s program work with two of the school’s partners in Europe and Asia, which help students understand how the industry works globally. Students will also work on a customized capstone project and enjoy business trips to New York, Paris, and Macau.
4. University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Students at UNLV can specialize in gaming management, meetings and conventions, professional golf management, and restaurant management. Additionally, students study food sanitation, cost control, financial and managerial accounting, and operations and strategic management. Students can customize 22 credits of their degree to pursue their interests. Throughout their studies, students participate in an internship, capstone classes, and work experience in the industry before graduation.
5. Fairleigh Dickinson University
The School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Fairleigh Dickinson University is the oldest of its type in the New York Metropolitan area. The school offers five different hospitality programs in Hotel and Restaurant Management, Specialization in Hospitality for Adult Students, Hospitality Management Studies, and Service Innovation and Leadership. The school has two different campuses in Northern New Jersey and an additional five remote campuses for the convenience of students. The school offers over 2,000 internship opportunities for their students each year and has an extensive network of alumni to help place students in the career field.
6. Washington State University
At Washington State University, the Carson College of Business offers a degree in Hospitality Business Management. Upon graduation, students will have worked about 1,000 hours in the hospitality industry. WSU’s instructors strive to help students gain skills in operations, sales, revenues, service, event planning, and consulting. Also, students attend two events in which the school connects its students with employers in the hospitality industry.
WSU’s program typically ranks among the top 5% of 170 similar programs in the country. In addition to the Pullman campus, students can earn this degree at a few other locations including Everett, Vancouver, the Tri-Cities, and Switzerland.
7. Pennsylvania State University
The School of Hospitality Management at Pennsylvania State University allows students to specialize in particular disciplines within the program including entrepreneurship/innovations, finance/accounting, food and beverage management, human resource management, sales, marketing and social media, and gaming and casino management.
The school encourages students to work closely with their professors to select which elective classes will help students develop skills that meet their passions. The school also partners with several international programs in Italy, Spain, France, Hong Kong, Australia, and the Netherlands. Additionally, Penn State offers on-campus internships which will prepare students to participate in the industry upon graduation actively.
8. Oklahoma State University
The School of Hotel and Restaurant Administration at Oklahoma State University is unique in that it operates two restaurants and additional learning labs at local hotels. The school hosts an event called Hospitality Days in which students can connect with over 40 hospitality companies and future employers.
After completing the program, students will have finished over 800 hours of hands-on work in the hospitality industry, preparing them to work in the field. Domestic or international internships offer to Oklahoma State students, in addition to a learning experience in Switzerland.
9. Virginia Tech University
The Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Virginia Tech in the business school has a graduate placement rate of 86%. Virginia Tech’s experienced faculty ensure students will gain skills in accounting, marketing, revenue management, business information technology, and social media.
Every student in the undergraduate program is required to complete an internship which will prepare them to work in the field. The school offers three graduate certificates including; International Hospitality and Tourism Strategy, Entrepreneurship in HTM, and HTM Business Analytics & Revenue Management, which complete online. Also, the school offers one of the few Ph.D. programs in Hospitality and Tourism Management in the country.
10. Drexel University
The Center for Hospitality and Sports Management at Drexel University offers five undergraduate, and four graduate programs, in three different departments. These departments include; Culinary Arts and Food Science, Hospitality and Tourism Management, and Sports Management. Students gain hands-on experience with six months of full-time employment in the industry.
Students can also earn a business minor in business administration, marketing, or entrepreneurship. Drexel partners with over 20 organizations and companies who have a mutual interest in training and preparing students for success in the hospitality industry.
11. University of Wisconsin
Students have the choice of earning a bachelor’s degree in Golf Enterprise Management, Hotel, Restaurant & Tourism Management, or Real Estate Property Management at the University of Wisconsin. The school also offers a master’s degree in Hospitality Strategy. The Stout School of Hospitality Leadership requires students to complete 320 hours of work experience in the hospitality industry, which gives them a sharp advantage upon graduation.
Students also gain hands-on experience working for two of the University restaurant’s, the Corner III-Cedar Cafe, and the Rendezvous Restaurant. With plenty of hands-on experience offered to students, Wisconsin is proud to place on average 90 percent of their students in the industry after graduation.
12. Northern Arizona University
Northern Arizona offers internship opportunities with renowned companies like Marriott, Hyatt, and the Four Seasons. Students are required to earn 1,200 hours in the hospitality industry to graduate. The University provides another chance for students to study outside the classroom through a five-week study abroad in Europe. More than 75% of Northern Arizona’s faculty have earned doctoral degrees in the hospitality industry.
13. University of Alabama
The Restaurant, Hotel, and Meetings Management (RHM) Program at the University of Alabama allows students who are working part-time to complete their degree by combining on-campus learning with prior learning and independent study. Students who graduate from this program are better prepared to work as managers and executives of restaurants, hotels, convention centers, commercial & healthcare food services, and also to contract individually with independent corporations.
Students are required to complete 500 hours at an internship in the hospitality industry and must choose a discipline within the program to specialize in: meetings/events, hotel/lodging, or restaurant/food & beverage.
14. University of Massachusetts
The Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts offers several degrees including an on-campus, or an online bachelor’s degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management, certificates in Meeting and Event Management, Casino Management, and even a Ph.D. in HTM.
Students who graduate from this program are prepared to work as a human resource manager, hotel or casino manager, event planner, cruise director, tour manager, or marketing professional. Students engage with over 70 companies during the HTM Career Days event, and through other exchange programs in Europe and Australia.
15. University of Denver
The Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management at the University of Denver is one of the few hospitality programs offered in a college of business. Students earning a bachelor’s degree choose one of three disciplines to study: Lodging/Resort Operations, Hospitality Sales & Marketing, Restaurant/F&B Management.
Students gain hands-on experience working at Beans, an on-campus coffee shop, and planning significant events at the University’s conference centers. All students are required to earn 1,000 hours of work experience in the hospitality industry upon graduation. The Knowbel School requires students to complete a semester studying abroad at an international university or college and to demonstrate proficiency in a second language.
16. Johnson and Wales University
Johnson and Wales University has a School of Hospitality that offers several hospitality degrees, including; Baking, Pastry Arts & Food Service Management, Culinary Arts & Food Service Management, Hotel & Lodging Management, Restaurant, Food & Beverage Management, Sports/Entertainment/Events Management, and Tourism & Hospitality Management.
Several of these degrees are available at JWU’s campuses in Providence, Miami, Denver, Charlotte, and even online. The school offers study abroad programs in Europe, Africa, and Australia. Class sizes at JWU are small, and students will have an opportunity to work closely with their professors who are very experienced in the hospitality industry.
Since all university locations immerse in hospitality hubs, students have local internship opportunities and can choose to seek after international hospitality internships, to prepare them for their careers.
17. California State Polytechnic University
The Collins College of Hospitality Management at the California State Polytechnic is the most significant and oldest hospitality program in the state of California. Students have the opportunity to operate and manage The Restaurant at Kellogg Ranch, which overlooks the hills of Pomona.
The school invites industry leaders to speak, and connect with the students throughout the year. Students also have the opportunity to study abroad in Italy or Costa Rica.
The program requires students to complete 800 hours of work experience upon graduation. Counselors at the school help equal internship opportunities to fulfill this requirement, with industry-leading companies like Disney.
18. Kansas State University
The Department of Hospitality at Kansas State is the only school to offer undergraduate, and graduate programs in hospitality management. Students earning a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management also select one of three disciplines to focus their studies in foodservice & restaurant management, lodging management, or convention meeting & event management.
Kansas State also prides itself in requiring students to take business administration & communications, humanities, and quantitative studies classes to prepare them to be professionals in the industry.
The school offers a master’s degree in Hospitality & Dietetics Administration to prepare students for jobs as managers, educators, and researchers in foodservice and hospitality. Students can join faculty-led study abroad trips and participate in international culinary workshops to prepare for global work.
19. Kendall College
The Hospitality Management program at Kendall College in Chicago offers several disciplines for students to concentrate their education experience on specific interests. These concentrations include Asset Management, Beverage Management, Hotel/Lodging Management, Meeting, Incentive, Convention and Exhibition, Restaurant/Food & Beverage Management, Sports Management, and Sustainable Management in Hospitality & Tourism.
Kendall’s faculty brings many years of experience in the industry to the classroom. Students have the opportunity to put classroom knowledge to use by hosting five-course meals in the school’s dining room. They are conducting beverage management at a brewery and practicing housekeeping skills at the Hyatt. After completing two required internships, and a capstone project, students can prepare to graduate and enter the hospitality industry as professionals.
20. Florida State University
The Dedman School of Hospitality at Florida State reports a nearly 100% job placement rate upon graduation and has prepared students for the hospitality industry for the last 70 years. The program offers a bachelor’s degree in Global Club Management, Hospitality Management, and PGA Golf Management; a minor in Hospitality Management, and a Master of Business Administration in Hospitality & Tourism Management. Students can attain internship opportunities in London, Scotland, and Switzerland.
The list draws from the best hospitality management programs around the country. The combination of job placement, faculty experience, the success of graduates in their fields, number of programs, graduation rate, options for financial aid and overall quality of program based on student feedback determines each school’s evaluation and rank.
We invite schools featured on our list or not highlighted to reach out for possible inclusion in an updated version of our best hospitality management programs in the U.S. We’re continually looking to recognize top-tier institutions.