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Best 17 Online Master’s in Hospitality Management in 2021

March 24, 2021 | Staff Writers

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The blend of experience and an advanced degree in hospitality management makes for a perfect candidate for leadership roles in a global reaching multi-billion dollar industry, hospitality and tourism.  Many institutions now offer accredited online MS programs to meet the growing need for this MBA style education in hospitality.  The programs listed below are all accredited and available entirely online.  The matrix used to rank them includes the cost of the program, the student to faculty ratio, and the graduation rate.  These key pieces of information show the overall quality of the program and students’ success at completing the program and the return on the investment of earning an advanced degree.  

1. University of Central Florida

For those seeking to gain further education and skills in the field of Hospitality and Tourism, the master’s program at the University of Central Florida in hospitality and tourism is one of the best in the nation.  This program prepares students with advanced management and marketing skills that will enable them to solve complex problems that arise.  As this has become a global industry it is critical that professionals have cultural awareness and understanding of diversity within this field as they will work and collaborate with clients and business ventures across the globe.  UCF’s online master’s program is highly recognized and ranked among the best in the nation.  Students can choose between a thesis or a non-thesis track for their program.  

At A Glance

  • Location: Orlando, Florida
  • Tuition: $327 Per Credit Hour (Resident) $1,151 Per Credit Hour (Non-Resident)
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 30 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 75%

2. University of Kentucky

Whether you are a professional in the hospitality industry or seeking to make a career change, a MS in Retailing and Tourism at the University of Kentucky can help you reach the career goals you are seeking.  This particular degree is entirely online and offers two tracks depending on students’ career goals.  There is the hospitality and tourism management track that will provide students with the knowledge and skills to be promoted to leadership roles within that industry.  There is also the Merchandising, apparels and textiles track, this track is focused on retail entrepreneurship and business development.  Students can customize the degree with the elective they choose to take to meet their career goals.  There is a thesis and non thesis track.    

At A Glance

  • Location: Lexington, Kentucky
  • Tuition: $6,223
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 16 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 63%

3. Purdue University

Careers in hospitality and tourism are varied and span many different avenues, form hotel management, to tourism marketing, to restaurant management, having a degree that will prepare you  in the specialization of your career goals is critical.  At Purdue University students enrolled in the online MS in Hospitality and Tourism Management will find courses and tracks to lead them exactly where they want their career to go.  This is a degree program that has been designed for management that has had 3+ years of experience in their field and are ready to advance to the next level of leadership roles. Students learn to make critical evidence based decisions as they lead companies through evolving contexts as a global market.  

At A Glance

  • Location: West Lafayette, Indiana
  • Tuition: $697 Per Credit Hour (Resident)  $775 Per Credit Hour (Non-Resident)
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 13 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 76%

4. University of Alabama

If you are in the industry of hospitality and are seeking to move into leadership roles then the next step is to earn an advanced degree which will equip you with the knowledge and skills, a MS in Hospitality Management.  The University of Alabama offers a convenient and flexible online MS in Hospitality degree that provides students with expert faculty that have had years of experience in various niches within this multi-billion dollar industry as they earn an advanced degree.  Students will take courses in hospitality law, management, research methods, operations and more.  Prior to enrolling in graduate courses students need to take a few prerequisites if they have not already done so, those are statistical data analysis, food and beverage, and hotel operations.  This program is only 30 credit hours and will culminate in either a thesis or an elective track. 

At A Glance

  • Location: Tuscaloosa, Alabama
  • Tuition: $420 Per Credit Hour
  • Faculty to Student Ratio:20 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 68%

5. Arizona State University 

Arizona State University offers  Masters in Sustainable Tourism degrees entirely online.  This is a multidisciplinary degree that focuses on integrating all three pillars of sustainability into tourism theories and concepts.  As more hotels, airlines, and attraction companies aim to become more sustainable in their practices, this degree blends perfectly within the hospitality management and tourism management side as they look to the future to become more sustainable.  Core courses include sustainable thinking in tourism, sustainable food management in tourism, sustainable destination planning and management in tourism, among others.  

At A Glance

  • Location: Tempe, Arizona
  • Tuition: $10,432 Per Year 
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 20 to 1
  • Financial Aid:  Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 67%

6. Florida International University

A masters of science in hospitality management is the equivalent of an MBA for the hospitality business.  At Florida International University students can enroll in the MS in Hospitality online and gain reputable education and skills for managing companies that are in the multi billion dollar industry of hospitality.  This program will provide students with advanced skills in analytics, management, and critical thinking.  Courses within this program include finance, marketing, global law, as well as methods for leadership for multinational companies.  Hospitality and tourism is a large industry to be part of, having an advanced degree will help propel professionals to roles of leadership and promotion as they are equipped to lead.  

At A Glance

  • Location: Miami, Florida
  • Tuition:$24,750
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 25 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 72%

7. University of Houston

At the University of Houston students can customize their online MS Hospitality Management degree through the courses they choose to take in earning teh degree.  Whether students are seeking to change their role in the industry and become leaders or whether students are making a career change altogether the MS in hospitality will give them the knowledge and skills they need to succeed.  Areas that students can concentrate in include finance, human resources, food & beverage, revenue management, hotels, events, and more.  This degree program takes more students approximately two years to complete, but they can accelerate that if they desire to.  This program also requires a thesis for completion.  

At A Glance

  • Location: Houston, Texas
  • Tuition: $334 Per Credit Hour (Resident) $843 Per Credit Hour (Non-Resident)
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 23 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 59%

8. Johnson and Wales University

At Johnson and Wales University online students of the MS in hospitality management degree will find a high respectable program that not only prepares them on a general level but also allows for students to customize their education to fit their career goals. The core courses that students will participate in will provide them with critical thinking and analytical skills in financial management, marketing, and organizational behavior.  It is through the elective courses that students will have the opportunity to customize their degree to gain certifications in areas that are specific to their career goals. Experienced instructors will connect theory with application throughout the program.  Students can expect to complete the degree in two years.    

At A Glance

  • Location: Providence, Rhode Island
  • Tuition: $786 Per Credit Hour
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 16 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 55.8%

9. Colorado State University

Colorado State University offers an online masters in tourism management degree that is designed to provide professionals with the necessary management, critical thinking, and analytical skills necessary to make tourism a profitable and enjoyable experience for both the tourists and the communities they visit.  As a multi-billion dollar industry it is critical that those managing and making crucial decisions have the research and evidence to help them make informed decisions.  Students can also earn a Ski Area Management Certificate if that is an area that interests them in their career.    

At A Glance

  • Location: Fort Collins, Colorado
  • Tuition: $749 Per Credit Hour
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 14 to 1
  • Financial Aid:  Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 67%

10. Slippery Rock University

With many facets, the hospitality industry evolves quickly and staying ahead of the curve is crucial to being successful in this field, having a MS in hospitality and tourism management provides professionals with the tools they need when they need them.  Students of Slippery Rock University gain skills in critical thinking, analytics, and making evidence based decisions.  Courses focus on the business side of hotels, food & beverage, resorts, and events. To complete the degree student will participate in a capstone project of their choice in creating a business plan, feasibility study, internship, or conduction a consulting ro research project.     

At A Glance

  • Location: Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania
  • Tuition:$516 Per Credit Hour
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 19 to 1
  • Financial Aid:  Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 68%

11. University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Moving up the proverbial ladder in one of the largest industries in the world might seem daunting, but earning an MBA in Hospitality makes it achievable in just 15 months.  The University of Louisiana at Lafayette offers a unique MBA in Hospitality that prepares industry professionals to become leaders across a wide array of areas such as restaurants, hotels, theme parks and more. Hospitality is the business of people and learning how to analyze, and solve problems specific to your industry ensures you can take care of the people that drive your business.   Students gain knowledge in financial management, expansion feasibility, analytics, marketing, and more.  

At A Glance

  • Location: Lafayette, Louisiana
  • Tuition: $12,800 Program Cost
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 20 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 44%

12. University of Nevada Las Vegas

Taking your career to the next level is closer than you may realize, with an advanced degree in hospitality management and experience in the industry places professionals in a position of leadership.  The online Master of Hospitality Administration at the University of Las Vegas provides a top ranked education from expert faculty members that have years of experience in the hospitality industry, gaming industry, and food and beverage industry.  This degree program is online and allows for working professionals to continue their professional endeavors while they advance their degree.  There are two tracks students can enroll in, the hospitality management or the gaming management track, both provide unique marketing and financial management courses specific to that track.  

At A Glance

  • Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Tuition: $297 Per Credit Hour
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 20 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 40%

13. University of Mississippi

A MS in Hospitality Management is the equivalent of an MBA for the hospitality industry, which is a multi-billion dollar, global industry.  Whether students are seeking advancement within their current career or making a career change they will learn necessary skills in critical thinking, analytics, and research based decision making that will make their goals a reality.  Areas of hospitality include but are not limited to lodging, food services, and event planning.  Students will be able to complete their coursework entirely online within one to two years at the University of Mississippi.  

At A Glance

  • Location: Oxford, Mississippi
  • Tuition: $8,370
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 16 to 1
  • Financial Aid:  Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 59%

14. George Washington University

At George Washington University students in the hospitality management program will find a multidisciplinary approach with an emphasis of hotel management.  The program was originally founded on principles of service and hospitality for consumers while they are away from home.  It has since expanded to focus not only on that area but also on development.  The development aspect hospitality management involves market analysis, studies on feasibility, and asset management.  With three start dates throughout the year students can begin when it fits their schedule.  

At A Glance

  • Location: Washington D.C.
  • Tuition: Contact School
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 13 to 1
  • Financial Aid:  Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 84%

15. University of North Texas

Those seeking to earn advanced degrees within the hospitality sector of businesses are individuals that have a broader perspective of the industry and understand the global nature of the industry.  Those seeking to earn an MS in hospitality can do so online at the University of North Texas. Having a global perspective in a global industry is crucial and having the education and skills to make research based decisions within that industry will promote individuals into leadership roles.  The online program available at UNT can be completed in as little as one year with only 12 courses, 36 credit hours to complete.  These courses prepare students to know how to market their industries in a global context, communicate effectively, plan strategically, and evaluate growth.  

At A Glance

  • Location: Denton, Texas
  • Tuition: $16,300 Program Cost Resident
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 24 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 64%

16. Roosevelt University

Roosevelt University has been training professionals within the hospitality field for decades right at the heart of Chicago.  When Roosevelt saw the need to offer the dame high quality MS in Hospitality and Tourism degree online they designed an engaging and quality program available to anyone regardless of where they live.  Students can begin the program during three start dates throughout the year.  They will learn critical thinking skills, leadership skills, analytical skills, how to communicate effectively in a global market and more. The faculty has years of experience in the hospitality and tourism industry from hotel management to sporting events, to catering, to large event planning.  Students in the area have opportunities for internships as well.  

At A Glance

  • Location: Chicago, Illinois
  • Tuition: $960 Per Credit Hour
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 11 to 1 
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 61%

17. University of New Orleans

The MS in Hospitality program at the University of New Orleans is designed for executive hospitality managers that have experience within the field and are seeking to advance their career quickly through a rigorous one year program.  This degree is available entirely online and is designed to complete all 30 credit hours in one year with each start date the first of June.  Courses include hospitality and tourism management, tourism destination development, operations analysis, research development, and more.  Through these courses students will gain the necessary critical thinking and analytical skills to gain leadership roles and solve complex problems that arise within their industry.  

At A Glance

  • Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Tuition: Contact School
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 20 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 35%

Points Methodology

  • Cost: Under $15K Entire Program  Points:  5
  •  Between $15K and $25K Entire Program Points:  3
  •  Above $25K Entire Program Points:  1
  • Faculty to Student Ratio:  10 to 1 Points:  5
  • Between 10 and 20 to 1  Points:  3
  • Above 20 to 1  Points:  1
  • Graduation Rate: Above 70%  Points:  5
  • Between 50% and 70%  Points:  3
  • Below 50%  Points:  1
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