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.

Featured Online Schools

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.

See list of schools

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.

See list of schools

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 $$ $$

Our Methodology

Here at TheBestSchools.org, we take the trust and welfare of our readers very seriously. When making our school and program rankings, our top priority is ensuring that our readers get accurate, unbiased information that can help them make informed decisions about online education. That's why we've developed a rigorous ranking methodology that keeps the needs of our readers front and center.

Our proprietary, multi-criteria ranking algorithm analyzes key data indicators — as collected by the federal government — for each school or program. What data we use depends on the focus of each specific ranking, but in all cases, our ranking methodology is impartial: Schools cannot buy better rankings at TBS.

While specific criteria under consideration can vary by ranking, there are a few data points that we value most highly. They are affordability, academic quality, and online enrollment. Below, we break down our algorithm to help you understand what you're getting when you use one of our rankings.

  • Academics
  • Affordability
  • Online Enrollment

Data Sources

The data used in TBS rankings comes primarily from the federal government, and much of it is provided by the schools themselves. We aggregate and analyze this data to build our rankings.

The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is our primary source. Its data comes from annual surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Every college, university, or technical school with access to federal financial aid must participate in these surveys, which include questions about enrollment, graduation rates, finances, and faculty qualifications. This is publicly available data, which you can access yourself through the College Navigator.

Additionally, because we value a personal touch and the professional experience of our staff and Academic Advisory Board, we vet all results and adjust rankings as necessary based on our collected knowledge of schools and degree programs. Depending on the ranking, we may obtain additional input from AcademicInfluence.com, subject matter experts, prior TBS ranking lists, or other sources we deem relevant to a particular ranking.

Breakdown of Our Rankings Methodology

About Our Ranking Factors

Here at TBS, we value what you value: quality education, affordability, and the accessibility of online education. These factors guide all of our program rankings.

Each of these factors are further broken down into weighted subfactors. For example, retention rates are weighted more heavily than availability of program options because they are a better indicator of student success.

We chose the following factors for our rankings because of their influence on learning experiences and graduate outcomes. However, students should always balance our rankings against their personal priorities. For instance, a learner who needs a fully online program may prioritize online flexibility more than our rankings do. Our rankings are designed to help you make a decision — not to make a decision for you.

Academics - 75%
Affordability - 15%
Online Enrollment - 10%

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

($+ / $$)

ASBA BSBA 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

($+---$$$)

BS MS
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

($$)

AAS BBA MS
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

($$ / $$+)

AABA BBA MBA
Credits required: 60 120 36
Program cost: $$ $$ $$+

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

($$)

AS BS MBA
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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