Hospitality & Tourism Degrees and 25 Notable Online Programs

| TBS Staff

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Hospitality, Travel, and Tourism degrees cover a lot of ground. Everywhere you see people helping consumers, you are witnessing the hospitality industry at work.

But, who's in charge of things ranging from restaurant and hotel operations, to planning travel accommodations for sports clubs? With a degree in hospitality and tourism, it could be you!

A degree in hospitality and tourism can propel you past years of grunt work you might have to do without a degree. By joining the hospitality and tourism sector, you'll be joining a nearly 8 million-job-strong industry, and with a degree you can stand out and find yourself prepared for better job opportunities.

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Skip to list of schools or to associate, bachelor, or master degree information.

Tourism and hospitality management jobs:

Associate (Travel Agent) Bachelor's (Lodging Manager) Master's (Event Planner)
Pay range (2012): $19k--$57k $29k--$89k $26.5k--$79k
Median pay (2012): $34,600 $46,810 $45,810
U.S. jobs in 2010: 82,800 51,400 71,600
Job growth forecast 2010-20: 10% 8% 44%
Projected U.S. jobs, 2020: 91,080 55,500 103,100

There is considerable overlap between associate, bachelor, and master degree-related careers. See below for more details. The pay ranges stated above correspond to the particular jobs mentioned, not the degree.

Job opportunities for hospitality and tourism degree graduates:

An online associate degree in hospitality management and tourism:

Associate degrees in hospitality and tourism can cover management skills, culinary skills, general food and beverage knowledge, and the ins and outs of travel and tourism. With an associate in hospitality and tourism, graduates will be prepared for entry-level management positions in lodging, food & beverage, and the tourism industry.

Consider an online associate degree in hospitality management if you want to secure hospitality management jobs without continuing on to a bachelor's degree.

AA (Associate of Arts) and AS (Associate of Science) prepare you primarily for bachelor degree completion. This option allows you to work and save money on your way to a bachelors degree. With 4-year bachelor degrees becoming more mainstream, many schools are recommending that online associate degree in hospitality management graduates pursue bachelor degrees.

An Associate in Business Administration is a good alternative. A business administration associate degree will give you more general business knowledge. This may be helpful depending on your plans for a subsequent degree because it could grant you more flexibility.

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The bachelor's degree in hospitality and tourism:

Hospitality and tourism bachelor's degrees grow evermore important to those wanting to compete for managerial positions in the industry. Industry executives seek bachelor degree graduates due to their training and skillets. A prime example: most full-service hotels now require management applicants to have bachelor's degrees.

Online hospitality management degrees and tourism degrees at the bachelor's level are often business administration degrees custom made for the hospitality, travel, and tourism industry. Program curriculums cover industry standards and practices, and focus on management, meeting and even planning, travel and tourism management, purchasing fundamentals, marketing, and more.

BS and BBA degrees with Hospitality and Tourism concentrations (Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Business Administration) rule the field, but a general BBA is a wise choice as well, although with a general BBA, you may not learn particular nuances of the hospitality and tourism industry.

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The master's degree in hospitality and tourism:

Master degrees in hospitality and tourism usually take the form of MS (Master of Science) or MBA (Master of Business Administration) degree programs. Graduate work is becoming more sought after by larger corporations who want in-house travel coordinators, event directors, and meeting planning executives.

In hospitality and tourism, graduate degrees will make you a more attractive candidate for almost any job, and more importantly, for those higher ranking positions that demand more business knowledge. Businesspeople like to talk to businesspeople. Online hospitality management degrees at the master's level give you ability to understand complex executive concerns and speak the language businesspeople prefer.

25 Notable Online Hospitality and Tourism Degree Programs:

(25 programs at 14 schools; arranged alphabetically. Consult our Cost Index ($$+) to compare prices.)

Click any name for details Associate Bachelor's Master's
Campbellsville U $+ $$ $$
DeVry U $$+
East Carolina U $ / $$+ $+ / $$+
Florida International U $+ / $$+ $$ / $$$
Fort Hays State U $ $+
Monroe College $$ $$ $$
Purdue U Global $$+
Robert Morris U $$+
Strayer U $$ $$ $$+
Sullivan U $$ $$ $$
Tompkins Cortland CC $ / $+
UMass $$
U of the Southwest $$ $$

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Citations: For a broader account of our ranking methodology, especially as it relates to's underlying educational philosophy and, in other ranking articles, looks beyond academic excellence (as here) to such factors as return on investment or incidental benefit, see our article "Ranking Methodology: How We Rank Schools at TBS." Reputation of schools and degree programs can at least in part be gauged through the school or department's publishing activity, citations, and desirability. At, we keep track of such social and peer validation: "Making Sense of College Rankings." For nuts-and-bolts information about colleges and universities, we look to the National Center for Education Statistics and especially its College Navigator. Insofar as salary and inflation data are relevant to a ranking, we look to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Finally, nothing beats contacting schools and degree programs directly, which our researchers often do, with the result that all the entries in this article should be considered as belonging to this citation!

2.-4. Campbellsville University
Online ASBA, BSBA, and MBA

($+ / $$)

Credits required: 62 125 36
Program costs: $+ $$ $$

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5. DeVry University
Online BS with Hospitality Management concentration


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6.-7. East Carolina University
Online BS or MBA in Hospitality Management

($ residents / $$+ non-residents)

Bachelor's MBA
Credits required: 126 54 (33 for business majors)
Program cost: $ residents / $$+ non-residents $+ residents / $$+ non-residents

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8.-9. Florida International University
Online BS and MS in Hospitality Management


Credits required: 120 33
Program cost: $+ residents / $$+ non-residents $$ residents / $$$ non-residents

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10.-11. Fort Hays State University
Online BSBA in Tourism & Hospitality Management and MBA in Hospitality Management

($ / $+)

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12.-14. Monroe College
Online AAS, BBA, and MS in Hospitality Management


Credits required: 60 120 36
Program cost: $$ $$ $$

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15. Purdue University Global
Online AASBA with Hospitality Management concentration


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16. Robert Morris University
Online BSBA Hospitality & Tourism Management


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17.-19. Strayer University
Online AABA, BBA, & MBA with Hospitality Management concentration

($$ / $$+)

Credits required: 60 120 36
Program cost: $$ $$ $$+

20.-22. Sullivan University
Online AS, BS, and MBA in Hospitality Studies


Credits required: 72 120 48
Program cost: $$ $$ $$

23. Tompkins Cortland Community College
Online AAS in Hotel & Restaurant Management

($ in-state / $+ out-of-state)

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24. UMass Amherst
Online BS in Hospitality & Tourism Management


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25. University of the Southwest
Online MBA in Hospitality Management, and BBA


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