What is Hospitality Management?
Hospitality management is the business of making guests and customers feel welcome and comfortable. Industries that rely on hospitality management professionals include tourism, event planning, hotels, and restaurants; virtually anything involving paying guests.
Hospitality management positions require interpersonal skills like employee management and customer service. If you don’t consider yourself a ‘people person,’ an online hospitality management degree probably isn’t your best bet. Hospitality managers should also have a strong grasp of business practices such as accounting, labor costs, project management, and leadership.
What can you do with a Hospitality Management Degree?
Many employees in the hospitality and tourism industry find themselves working in exotic locations, traveling frequently, and enjoying a strong work/life balance. The wide range of available occupations means there are options for all personalities.
Common job titles in the hospitality industry include:
- Hotel and Lodging Manager
- Food and Beverage Supervisor
- Director of Maintenance
- Event Coordinator
- Executive Chef
- Director of Hotel Operations
- Banquet Manager
- Director of Food Services
High paying jobs are available, but they require extensive experience and high levels of education. According to Payscale, event coordinators earn around $40,000, while hotel general managers and banquet directors can achieve six figure salaries. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that lodging managers earn an average salary of $46,810.
The Top Online Hospitality Management Programs
|Rank||School Name||School Logo||City||Cost||Address & Contact Info||School Links||Acclaim for Online Programs||School Description|
|1||Florida International University||Miami||$$$$$||11200 S. W. 8 Street|
Miami, FL 33199
FIU was founded in 1965 in Miami, Florida, as a public research university. The school founded its online branch, FIU Online, in 1998, becoming one of the first universities in the world to offer distance learning programs. Today, FIU serves more than 50,000 students annually and offers 27 fully online degree programs and certificates.
FIU is one of the top hospitality management schools in the country and offers an online bachelor's of science in hospitality management degree. This hotel management degree online allows students to specialize in one of six different areas: restaurant/food service management, beverage management, event management, culinary management, hotel/lodging management, or travel/tourism management. Students must also complete 12 credits of electives, which can cover topics such as the business of wine to planning meetings and conventions. Applicants must provide high school transcripts and official SAT or ACT scores to be considered.
|2||East Carolina University||Greenville||$$$$$||East 5th Street|
Greenville, NC 27858-4353
ECU offers an online bachelor's of science in hospitality management as a degree completion program. This online hotel management degree is designed for students who have already completed their first two years of college coursework and who are interested in a career in hospitality management. This program includes 45 credits of hospitality core courses, a 24-credit minor in business administration, and an 18-credit hospitality core. Students must also choose one of three concentrations: food and beverage management, lodging management, or conventions and special events management.
Students must earn a minimum grade of "C-" on all hospitality management courses throughout the program. Those who also wish to earn an MBA with a hospitality management option can enroll in ECU's accelerated dual-degree program. This option allows students to earn their bachelor's degree in four years and the MBA in two semesters plus summer study. ECU offers distance learners a variety of resources, including an online library, online tutoring, online writing center, and academic advisers.
|3||University of South Carolina||Columbia||$$$$$||Columbia-Campus|
Columbia, SC 29208
USC offers an online bachelor's of science in hospitality management as a degree completion program through the school's Palmetto College. This 120-credit online hotel management degree is ideal for students who have completed 45-60 credits of previous college coursework. The hotel, restaurant, and tourism industry is South Carolina's largest sector, which makes USC a great option for hospitality business students who want to make professional connections within the industry.
Students choose a concentration in a field that best fits their interests, such as tourism, hotels, or food. The curriculum includes courses on a variety of topics, such as hotel management, principles of food service sanitation, hospitality marketing sales, hospitality financial management, and more. Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 throughout the program to graduate. Students can complete the program in just two years of full-time study. USC is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
|4||University of Massachusetts - Amherst||Amherst||$$$$$||374 Whitmore Building 181 Presidents Drive|
Amherst, MA 01003
The University of Massachusetts Amherst offers an hotel management degree online through the Isenberg School of Management. This program prepares students to become leaders in the hospitality industry through experiential learning labs and an emphasis on internships. Required coursework in this program is split into three categories: 10-12 general education courses, seven Isenberg School of Management core courses, and 14 major specific courses. Students enroll in a variety of hotel management courses online on topics such as hospitality and tourism, special events management, casino management, and more. UMass Amherst offers distance learners a variety of resources, including academic advisers and 24/7 UMassOnline Help Desk access. The UMassOnline Help Desk is available to help students with any technical support they may need and can be contacted by phone, email, or by using Live Chat. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and at least 27 transferable credits to be considered.
|5||Northern Arizona University||Flagstaff||$$$$$||1900 S. Knoles Dr, Babbitt Administrative Center|
Flagstaff, AZ 86011-4132
NAU offers more than 80 bachelor's and master's degrees online, including a bachelor's degree in hotel and restaurant management. Students enroll in a variety of hotel management courses online, including hospitality law, concepts in management, corporate finance for hospitality managers, and hospitality marketing. They must also complete 1200 hours of hands-on work at a hospitality-related business before graduating.
Students must complete all general education classes with a minimum GPA of 2.0 and maintain a minimum GPA of 2.5 in all major coursework to graduate. Distance learners at NAU have access to the same resources as on-campus students, including online access to the school's Cline Library, 24/7 IT support, and online tutoring on a variety of subjects. This program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration, an honor bestowed upon fewer than 20% of all hospitality programs.
|6||University of Wisconsin - Stout||Menomonie||$$$$$||712 S. Broadway St.|
Menomonie, WI 54751
UW-Stout is a four-year college that was founded in 1891 in Menomonie, Wisconsin. The school is a part of the University of Wisconsin System and serves more than 9,500 students each year. UW–Stout offers a variety of distance learning programs, including an hotel management degree online. UW-Stout's School of Hospitality is ranked in the top five in the nation and tenth in the world. This program boasts a 97% job placement rate in the hospitality industry among graduates.
The curriculum includes courses on a variety of topics, including financial accounting, principles of tourism, hospitality sales, and club management. The bachelor's of science in hotel, restaurant, and tourism management program has created over 100 agreements and relationships with various businesses, such as hotels, amusement parks, and chambers of commerce. This provides students with opportunities to gain hands-on experience through internship courses.
|7||University of Missouri - Columbia||Columbia||$$$$$||105 Jesse Hall|
Columbia, MO 65211
Mizzou is a public land-grant university that was founded in 1839 in Columbia, Missouri. Today, the school serves more than 16,000 student each year and offers more than 90 degree and certificate options. Mizzou offers an online hotel management degree through the College of Agriculture, Food, and Natural Sciences. Students choose a specialty area that best suits their interests from the following options: conference and events management, lodging management, sport venue management, or food and beverage management. The curriculum includes core courses on hospitality law, service management, hospitality sales and marketing, and more.
Distance learners have access to a variety of resources, including online tutoring, career center services, and academic advising. The school can offers online degree programs to students in all 50 states, although there are some exceptions. Therefore, online students at Mizzou should check the school's state authorization page to ensure that they are eligible for the program. Mizzou is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
|8||Concordia University - Saint Paul||Saint Paul||$$$$$||1282 Concordia Ave|
Saint Paul, MN 55104-5494
Concordia University, St. Paul offers over 15 distance learning programs, including a bachelor's of arts in hospitality management. This 40-credit hotel management degree online is offered through the school's College of Business and Technology and can be completed entirely online, with each course lasting seven weeks. The curriculum includes courses on a variety of topics, including the foundations of management, marketing, and customer service. These courses prepare students to become leaders in the hospitality and tourism industry. Students must also enroll in courses like new media literacy and social media to ensure that they are able to use both traditional communication channels and digital media sources. This mixture of strategies allows students to build the most effective marketing strategies for their companies. Concordia is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
|9||Fort Hays State University||Hays||$$$$$||600 Park St|
Hays, KS 67601-4099
Fort Hays State University boasts one of the best virtual colleges in the country, offering more than 40 online degree programs that are specifically designed for adult learners. The Virtual College at FHSU has offered online programs for more than 20 years and distance learners have access to a variety of resources, including academic advisers, access to free online tutoring, and a virtual college student advisory committee.
The 120-credit bachelor's of science in tourism and hospitality management is ideal for adult learners who want to break into the industry. This online hotel management degree includes a concentration in one of the three subjects areas: hospitality operations, events management, or health and wellness tourism. The curriculum includes core courses on a variety of topics, including tourism and hospitality marketing, business law, and service operations management. Graduates are prepared to become leaders in the hospitality industry.
|10||Granite State College||Concord||$$$$$||25 Hall Street|
Concord, NH 03301-3471
Granite State College offers an online bachelor's of science in service and hospitality management degree that is perfect for students who have already earned an associate degree in tourism, hospitality services, or a related field. Professional licensure, certifications, or training may serve as a foundation to this degree, with approval from the school's Academic Affairs department.
This hotel management degree online emphasizes leadership, communication, and project management skills through courses like organizational behavior and managing diversity. The curriculum includes courses on a wide variety of topics, such as principles of management, financial accounting, organizational behavior, quality management, and more. Eighty-four percent of GSC students are transfer students. Distance learners at GSC have access to a variety of support services including free online tutoring, discounted software/hardware, and academic advising. This program is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
|11||North Carolina Central University||Durham||$$$$$||1801 Fayetteville Street|
Durham, NC 27707
NCCU is a public university that was founded in 1910 in Durham, North Carolina. Today, the school serves more than 9,500 students annually and offers a variety of distance learning programs, including an online hotel management degree. The 128-credit bachelor's of science in hospitality and tourism emphasizes managerial skills and core leadership competencies. Students enroll in a variety of hotel management courses online, such as hospitality management, lodging management and operations, hospitality law and ethics, event planning and management, introduction to travel and tourism, and more. Graduates are prepared to pursue entry-level positions in several areas of the hospitality industry, including lodging, food and beverage service, convention and visitors bureaus, event management, resorts, conference centers, cruise lines, and airlines. This program can be completed in four years of full-time study.
|12||Robert Morris University||Moon Township||$$$$$||6001 University Boulevard|
Moon Township, PA 15108-1189
Robert Morris University offers an online bachelor's of science in business administration with a concentration in hospitality and tourism management. This program is ideal for those who want to pursue a career in hospitality and tourism. This 120-credit online hotel management degree is split into categories, including a 57-credit business foundation, 21 credits of hospitality and tourism courses, and electives. Major concentration courses cover a variety of topics, including hospitality and tourism management, food and beverage operations, executive development, and meeting and convention management.
Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 throughout the program to graduate. Distance learners have access to a variety of resources, including career advisers, financial aid officers, and wellness counselors. Graduates have gone on to positions at hotels, restaurants, resorts, attractions, airlines, parks, cruise lines, hospitals, and more. Robert Morris is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
|13||SUNY College of Technology at Delhi||Delhi||$$$$$||2 Main Street|
Delhi, NY 13753-1100
SUNY College of Technology at Delhi offers an online bachelor's of business administration in hospitality management with a focus on hotel and resort management. The program is offered entirely online and is designed for working adults who want to pursue entry-level careers in the hospitality industry. This hotel management degree online is offered on a full-time or part-time basis. The online hospitality management program emphasizes both theory and practical experience. The curriculum includes courses on a variety of topics, such as individual behavior in organizations, purchasing for the hospitality industry, hospitality law, hotel and resort operations, and more. Students must complete a work experience in a position related to hospitality, which prepares them to become managerial leaders in the hospitality industry. Applicants must have an accredited associate degree in a related field with a minimum GPA of 2.3 to be considered. They must also have completed a variety of required courses and liberal arts and sciences courses.
|14||California State University - East Bay||Hayward||$$$$$||25800 Carlos Bee Blvd|
Hayward, CA 94542
California State University offers an online bachelor's of science in hospitality and tourism degree that is ideal for those who want to pursue entry-level roles in the hospitality industry. Past graduates are employed both locally, nationally, and internationally in fields such as restaurant food service, lodging, tourism/travel, and meetings and events. Online hotel management courses are taught by faculty members who are former hospitality industry professionals. The curriculum includes courses on a variety of topics, such as computers in hospitality and leisure, social justice in leisure and hospitality, business communication, lodging management, and more. Students must also complete a hospitality internship to gain hands-on experience in the hospitality industry. All online courses are offered through Blackboard. CSU is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
|15||Eastern New Mexico University||Portales||$$$$$||1500 S Ave K|
Portales, NM 88130
Eastern New Mexico University offers a variety of distance learning programs, including an online bachelor's of business administration with an emphasis in hospitality management. This program is ideal for students interested in pursuing a career in the hospitality or tourism industry. Graduates are prepared to pursue a variety of careers, such as business researcher, management analyst, finance officer, marketing manager, and more.
The curriculum includes general business courses on topics like marketing, finance, and accounting, as well as hospitality management courses on topics like food operations management and tourism development. Financial aid is available, including 29 scholarships that are offered through the school's College of Business. ENMU provides students with a variety of resources, including access to the library and a librarian through an online chat system, writing center for help writing college papers, and counseling programs. ENMU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Working in the Hospitality Industry
Finding your specific field of interest within the hospitality industry is essential to enjoying a successful career. With so many different niches available, narrowing your search down can be daunting. Consider the qualifiers: do you enjoy traveling or would you rather have a stable home life? Working on a cruise ship or an airline affords opportunities to travel and work outside a standard office environment, but it comes with a cost. Many traveling employees report high levels of stress. Hotel management offers a stable and secure alternative. Whichever area you choose, a career in hospitality management is guaranteed to be full of exciting moments.