An online bachelor's degree in hospitality management prepares graduates to work throughout the tourism, food service, event planning, or hotel industries. Coursework readies learners to organize logistics, handle daily operations, and oversee finances in both management and administrative positions within these fields.
A 2018 report from the U.S. Travel Association — a nonprofit organization for the travel and tourism industry — shows that U.S. domestic travel grew by 1.9% in 2018. This increase in travel is expected to create a greater demand for jobs in the industry. More specifically, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that the job outlook for lodging managers and food service managers will grow by 4% and 9%, respectively, over the next decade. Plus, the number of meeting, convention and event planners could increase faster than average in the same time period, with the BLS projected job growth at 11%.
An online bachelor of hospitality management allows students to complete coursework when most convenient, and to work around personal or professional responsibilities. This guide outlines everything you need to know about pursuing an online hospitality degree, including information about accreditation, courses, career paths, and salary potential.
The Most Affordable Online Bachelor's in Hospitality Management Degree Programs
Affordable Online Bachelor's in Hospitality Management Degree Program Ranking Guidelines:
We selected online hospitality management programs based on the quality of the program, the types of online classes offered in hospitality management, the faculty, rankings, awards, and reputation — including the school's reputation for effectively providing quality online degree programs.
1. University of Utah
Salt Lake City, Utah
Located in Salt Lake City, Utah, the U is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state. From its origins as the University of Deseret in 1850 to its current status as a space-grant institution, the U continues to meet the needs of students through 17 schools and colleges.
The U offers an online bachelor's degree in parks, recreation, and tourism with a concentration in sustainable tourism and hospitality management. The program comprises 42 credit hours of core coursework in parks, recreation, and tourism; nine credit hours of sustainable tourism and hospitality management courses; and 15 credit hours of elective focus area requirements.
Core parks, recreation, and tourism classes build foundational knowledge of management, programming and leadership, and computer applications as they relate to the field. Students explore wilderness recreation, liability and risk management, and evaluation of parks, recreation, and tourism while learning about leisure behavior and human diversity.
Sustainable tourism and hospitality management coursework focuses on electronic marketing in the field and protected area management as it relates to sustainable tourism. Electives allow learners to further focus their expertise in an aspect of the tourism and hospitality industry that meets their personal needs and professional goals. Focus areas include sustainable tourism management, hospitality management, and tourism enterprise and management. The curriculum includes an internship to build practical knowledge and skills as well as an option to earn a hospitality operations certificate.
The University of Utah is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
2. California State University – East Bay
As one of the 23 institutions within the California State University System, Cal State East Bay sit on a main campus in Hayward, California, with additional locations in Oakland and Concord. Cal State East Bay provides educational programs through four academic colleges and serves nearly 16,000 learners annually.
Cal State East Bay offers an online bachelor's degree in hospitality and tourism management that builds foundational knowledge and skills applicable to entry-level positions in the hotel industry, food service, event management, and tourism. Students can choose from a plethora of specializations such as event planning, food and beverage, and a lodging, club management, and resort concentration.
Hospitality foundation courses include an introduction to hospitality, recreation, and tourism; finance; and professional preparation in the field. Students study marketing, data-driven decision making, and leadership in hospitality, recreation, and tourism while exploring managerial aspects of food and beverage, lodging, and tourism careers. Other courses emphasize working with diverse populations and build essential communication skills that can be applied during the required internship.
Students who choose a concentration in event planning and management complete courses that emphasize design and management as they relate to special events as well as courses on event leadership, wedding planning, and the philosophy of leisure. The food and beverage concentration introduces students to aspects of food and culture as well as information on wine, beer, and spirits. Students also study menu planning, cost control, and purchasing. The lodging, club management, and resort concentration builds the advanced managerial skills needed to work within resorts and clubs and facilitate lodging alternatives.
California State University, East Bay is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
3. Southern Oregon University
Established as Ashland Academy in 1872, SOU briefly closed its doors during the 1890s only to emerge as a state-funded institution at the turn of the century. SOU occupies a main campus in Ashland, Oregon, with additional educational programs in Medford and online. Through three colleges and schools, SOU provides academic programs to more than 6,000 learners each year.
The bachelor's degree in hospitality management functions as a degree-completion program, so applicants must complete general education and major prerequisites for admission. Students benefit from Oregon Block Transfer Degree agreements and transfer agreements with institutions in Oregon and Washington and can also receive transfer credit for educational experience obtained through military service.
Business classes explore principles of microeconomics and macroeconomics while building foundational knowledge of statistics, accounting, and business computer applications. Students also study business communication, marketing, and management while completing 24 credit hours of hospitality and tourism management coursework.
Required hospitality and tourism management classes emphasize lodging operations, event management, and food and beverage management. Students complete coursework in sustainable tourism with elective options in cost and management accounting, retail management, and creative entrepreneurship.
A required internship serves as a capstone and gives students the opportunity to demonstrate degree competencies. Through 120 hours in the workplace, students work under the supervision of a hospitality management professional.
Southern Oregon University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
4. Eastern New Mexico University
Portales, New Mexico
Based in Portales, New Mexico, ENMU spans five academic colleges across additional campuses in Roswell and Ruidoso. As a federally designated Hispanic-serving institution, ENMU also holds membership with the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities. Hosting over 6,000 students, ENMU functions as the largest comprehensive university in the region.
ENMU offers an online bachelor's degree in hospitality management that prepares students for careers in food service, lodging, event planning, and tourism with public and private organizations. The curriculum comprises 38 hours of business foundation coursework. Students study financial and managerial accounting while exploring principles of economics, management, marketing, and finance. Computer applications, data analysis, and statistics classes accompany courses in business law and ethics.
Business core classes emphasize production and operations management along with business strategy and policy. Learners explore marketing management, managerial behavior, and business research in anticipation of hospitality management classes.
Through 19 credit hours of hospitality management core classes in convention and event management, hotel and club management, and food operations management, students gain knowledge and skills applicable to careers throughout the hospitality industry. Students also gain insight into tourism development and service marketing while studying ServSafe food handling standards put forward by the National Restaurant Association.
Online students benefit from ENMU's Golden Student Success Center, which provides online databases, journal articles, and electronic books. ENMU also offers online tutoring assistance and an online writing center.
Eastern New Mexico University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
5. Florida International University
Miami, Floridainstitutions within the State University System of Florida. FIU offers more than 100 undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees as the second-largest university in Florida.
Offered through the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management, the online bachelor's degree in hospitality management comprises 120 credit hours broken into 60 credit hours of general education and lower division coursework along with 60 credit hours of program classes.
As part of program coursework requirements, learners take 36 credit hours of hospitality core classes including introductory commercial food production, restaurant management, and lodging operations control. Students study hospitality industry law, hospitality marketing strategy, and hospitality facilities environmental systems to gain a holistic understanding of the industry. Courses in revenue management, financial analysis, and accounting precede an internship in hospitality and tourism.
Students also choose 12 credit hours of concentration classes in one of five areas. Those who specialize in business management study beverage fundamentals, brewing science, and the business of wine. In the culinary and restaurant management concentration, students complete classes in purchasing and menu planning, food service systems, and foodservice trends. The hotel and lodging specialization emphasizes property management, service organization management, and group business sales and services.
Event management students learn about convention, trade show, and convention management with additional classes in events marketing. The travel and tourism management specialization builds understanding of sustainable tourism practice, tour production and distribution, and tourism destination marketing.
Florida International University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The hospitality and tourism program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration (ACPHA).
6. Fort Hays State University
Founded at the site of a former army post in 1902, FHSU grew from an initial class of 57 students to a current enrollment of more than 15,000. The third-largest institution administered by the Kansas Board of Regents, FHSU sits on 200 acres in Hays, Kansas, and offers undergraduate and graduate programs through five academic colleges.
The online bachelor of science in tourism and hospitality management at FHSU trains students to work within the travel and tourism industry as convention and meeting managers, cruise directors, and event planners. The 120-credit hour curriculum comprises 24 credit hours of business core classes, 21 credit hours of tourism and hospitality coursework, and 12 credit hours of concentration requirements.
Business core classes such as accounting, management, human resources, and marketing build fundamental knowledge and skills applicable to tourism and hospitality settings. Students also complete courses in tourism and hospitality marketing, service operations management, and management information systems as they gain comprehensive understanding of the tourism and hospitality industry. An international hospitality class accompanies classes in leadership concepts, and all students complete an industry internship to demonstrate and apply degree knowledge and skills.
Various concentrations are available to further cater the degree to a student's interests and desired career path. The hospitality operations concentration emphasizes meetings, conventions, and events management with additional classes in hotel and restaurant management, food and beverage management, and casino management. Events management specialization courses focus on catering and special events, facilities management and space design, and hospitality and convention sales. The health and wellness tourism operations concentration explores aspects of spa facility and destination management and medical tourism.
Fort Hays State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
7. East Carolina University
Greenville, North Carolina
Established as a teacher training school in 1907 in Greenville, North Carolina, ECU now occupies six properties in the region. ECU offers undergraduate and graduate programs through 10 schools and colleges to nearly 30,000 students each year.
Through the College of Business, students can complete an online bachelor's degree in hospitality management with a specialization in convention and special events management, food and beverage management, or lodging management. The bachelor's comprises 45 credit hours of common hospitality core classes, 24 credit hours of business administration classes, and 18 credit hours of concentration coursework. Hospitality core classes provide holistic understanding of the hospitality industry by building competencies in multicultural management, hospitality services, hospitality information systems, and hospitality finance and accounting.
Students who pursue the convention and special events concentration take classes in producing meetings, events, and conventions; meeting, event, and convention planning; and convention sales. The food and beverage management concentration emphasizes wine and beverage planning and cost controls alongside advanced food production and service management lectures and labs. The lodging management concentration focuses on lodging revenue, facilities, and human resource matters.
All students complete an externship during the second year of the program with an internship during the final year. The externship provides supervised experience at an approved site to build a working knowledge of the hospitality service industry, while the internship aligns closely with personal interests and professional goals in a managerial setting.
East Carolina University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
8. University of Wisconsin – Stout
Located in Menomonie, Wisconsin, UW-Stout is named for founder James Huff Stout and traces its origins to 1891. Now home to more than 9,000 students, UW-Stout provides career-focused, comprehensive polytechnic programs to undergraduate and graduate students.
The 120-credit online bachelor's in hotel, restaurant, and tourism management comprises 40 credits of general education, 68 credits of professional studies, and 12 credits of professional electives.
Within the professional studies requirements are 30 credits covering operations management. Students study principles of food service operations and tourism alongside managerial skills applicable to customer service, hospitality facilities, and foodservice production. Additional classes cover topics such as club management, wine and spirits, development of tourism attractions, and security and risk management for the hospitality industry.
Another portion of the professional studies core includes 21 credits covering financial and revenue management. Classes include hospitality sales, marketing, finance, and cost controls. The remaining 15 credits address organizational management and offers classes such as hospitality industry law and liability, hospitality employee relations, and hospitality diversity management.
As part of their elective coursework, students can focus on golf enterprise management, property management, or international hospitality. Students also complete two cooperative education experiences within an approved industry setting.
The University of Wisconsin Stout is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The hotel, restaurant, and tourism management degree is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration (ACPHA).
9. Northern Arizona University
NAU boasts a student-centered philosophy that has endured since the university got its start 120 years ago. Today, NAU comprises over 20 campus locations throughout the state as well as online and serves more than 30,000 students each year. The university's main campus in Flagstaff offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate programs.
The W.A. Franke College of Business at NAU offers an online bachelor of science in hotel and restaurant management that prepares students for entry-level positions in a variety of hospitality settings including clubs, spas, food service, and lodging. The program comprises 120 credit hours of classes covering topics such as hospitality administration and business. Students also complete 15 credit hours within a concentration area and a supervised internship.
Business classes emphasize foundational principles and practice in accounting, economics, management, and information systems. Hospitality administration coursework in restaurant operations management, kitchen operations, and hotel operations and management build holistic understanding of operations and departments within the hospitality industry.
The curriculum also includes coursework in sustainability management for hotels to introduce students to environmental and sustainable practices that relate to housekeeping, engineering, and tourism. Classes in human resources and organizational behavior build communication skills applicable throughout the hospitality industry, and a hospitality leadership and ethics course provides students an overview on theoretical and practical aspects of leadership and ethical processes in the field. Additional degree requirements include two semesters of a foreign language and a minimum of 1,200 hours of relevant employment.
Northern Arizona University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The hotel and restaurant management degree is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration (ACPHA).
10. Troy University
Founded in 1887 as a teacher's college, Troy took the lead in open educational resource availability in Alabama in 2017, offering textbooks online to benefit thousands of students. Troy currently offers over 70 undergraduate and graduate programs to upwards of 18,000 students.
Troy's online bachelor's degree in hospitality, sport, and tourism management offers students the opportunity to specialise in hospitality management and prepares students for careers as gaming supervisors, food service professionals, lodging managers, and event planners. Students complete 120 credit hours of general education, major, and concentration coursework. Hospitality, sport, and tourism management core classes emphasize research methods, leadership principles, and revenue generation in the field. Students also study leisure in society, marketing, and participate in a seminar in hospitality, sport, and tourism management. The seminar serves as a capstone course, allowing students to demonstrate degree competencies while exploring trends, career paths, and current topics in the discipline.
Twenty-one hours of coursework in hospitality management explore tourism management, hotel management, hospitality services, and current issues in hospitality. The hospitality services class addresses working with the public in a variety of settings such as gaming, country clubs, events, and lodging. Students will also complete two internships as part of the hospitality management program under the supervision of a hospitality professional.
Troy University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
11. North Carolina Central University
Durham, North Carolina
Established in 1910, NCCU became part of the University of North Carolina System in 1972. NCCU's campus in Durham, North Carolina, sits on the National Register of Historic Places. The institution offers academic programs through seven schools and colleges and holds membership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.
The 120-credit online bachelor's in hospitality and tourism administration comprises coursework in business, lodging, food service, and event planning to build administrative skills applicable to the field. Business coursework includes 24 credit hours of foundational classes in accounting, business computer applications, and business communications. Required hospitality and tourism administration classes explore topics such as tourism and travel, cost control for hospitality operations, hospitality law and ethics, and hospitality marketing. A hospitality leadership class focuses on theories and applications of leadership through research and experiential learning exercises.
Managerial courses in hospitality lodging, food production and service, human resources, and finance prepare students to work in departments and programs throughout the hospitality and tourism industries. The hospitality and tourism administration curriculum also includes an internship students complete while simultaneously attending a program seminar. Through weekly case studies, internship reports, and portfolio submission, students complete 500 hours of the 1,000 practical hours required for the degree. Prior to enrolling in the internship, students must complete 500 hours of documented work experience.
North Carolina Central University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The bachelor's in hospitality and tourism administration is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration (ACPHA).
12. Missouri State University
Founded in 1905, MSU changed its name from Southwest Missouri State University to its current moniker in 1985. Located in Springfield, Missouri, MSU also offers educational programs at sites in Mountain Grove and West Plains. Nearly 24,000 students enroll in undergraduate and graduate degrees provided through MSU's 10 academic divisions.
Designed for students who have an associate in hospitality management or culinary arts, the online bachelor's in hospitality leadership comprises 120 credit hours. Hospitality leadership courses include introductory classes in hospitality leadership, lodging management, marketing, and accounting. Students also complete coursework in analyzing financial performance in hospitality operations, hospitality human resource development, and hospitality law. Classes in principles of food preparation, safety and sanitation, and food and beverage management prepare students to work within the food service industry; students also have the option to obtain a food and beverage operations certificate.
Elective classes including cultural cuisine, banquet operations, and destination development allow students to explore aspects of the hospitality industry that meet their professional goals. Additional course options such as restaurant management, casino operations, and special event planning prepare students for an internship in the hospitality industry. A practical field experience provides students with 300 hours of work in a hotel, restaurant, country club, convention center, or comparable facility.
Missouri State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The bachelor's in hospitality leadership is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration (ACPHA).
13. University of Missouri
As one of four institutions within the University of Missouri System, Mizzou holds distinction as the first public university west of the Mississippi River. Founded in 1839, Mizzou sits on more than 1,200 acres in Columbia, Missouri. With 22 academic schools and colleges, MIzzou offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs to nearly 31,000 each year.
Offered through the College of Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources, the online bachelor's degree in hospitality management comprises 120 credit hours and blends business, hospitality, and concentration coursework for future and current hospitality professionals.
Twenty-two hours of core hospitality management classes emphasize fundamentals of the hospitality industry. Students study hospitality law, service management, hospitality sales and marketing, and human resources in the field. Through a professional development seminar and internship, students gain insights and experience within the hospitality industry.
Students can specialize in subsets of hospitality such as conference and events management, food and beverage management, lodging management, or sports venue management. Focus area classes like managing food service businesses require on-campus residencies.
Applicants who transfer from a school within the University of Missouri System or have an accredited associate degree from an accredited Missouri community college benefit from the Mizzou Reverse Transfer program. Transfer students must have a minimum 2.5 GPA for admission. Mizzou offers discounted tuition to community college graduates, veterans, and military service members and their dependents.
University of Missouri is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
14. SUNY College of Technology at Delhi
Delhi, New York
With over 60 undergraduate and graduate programs provided through three academic divisions, SUNY Delhi has expanded from a farming school to a comprehensive technology college. Established in 1913, SUNY Delhi now serves as one of eight technology colleges within the University of New York System. SUNY Delhi, located in Delhi, New York, offers more than 3,000 learners a 15-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.
The online bachelor's in hotel and restaurant management at SUNY Delhi incorporates coursework in leadership, finance, and hospitality management. For admission to the program, learners must hold an associate degree from an accredited institution with a minimum 2.0 GPA. Applicants must also complete pathway courses including financial accounting and hospitality marketing.
SUNY Delhi's hotel and restaurant management degree emphasizes advanced knowledge and skills applicable to the hospitality profession. Students study hotel maintenance and engineering, classical cuisine, purchasing for the hospitality industry, and international business management alongside classes in argumentation and debate and organizational behavior.
A course in training and development for the hospitality industry emphasizes critical thinking and analytical skills needed for administrative and leadership positions within the field. Classes in meeting and convention management, hotel and resort operations, and commercial kitchen layout and equipment give students insights into subsets of the hospitality industry.
The program also includes an internship and work experience requirements during which students develop working relationships within the hospitality industry. Students may participate in the Walt Disney College Program, working at Walt Disney World in Florida while earning credit toward their degree.
SUNY Delhi is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
15. Granite State College
Concord, New Hampshire
GSC, as one of four institutions within the University System of New Hampshire, focuses on providing convenient, affordable educational programs to working adults. Based in Concord, New Hampshire, GSC offers academic programs from seven locations around the state and online. GSC also partners with the Community College System of New Hampshire to facilitate transfer pathways for students.
Applicants to the online service and hospitality management bachelor's degree at GSC must hold an associate degree in hospitality services, tourism, or a related field. Professional licensure, certifications, and trainings may also be taken into consideration for admission.
The service and hospitality management curriculum integrates foundation coursework in management, accounting, and organizational behavior with classes in marketing and communications. Students complete classes in hotel and restaurant management; food service systems and control; sustainable tourism; or event, meeting, and conference management depending on which subset of service and hospitality they pursue as a career.
The hotel and restaurant management course introduces students to theories, principles, and techniques needed in hotel and restaurant settings. Food service coursework emphasizes menu development, costs and pricing, and best practices in food service management. Sustainable tourism coursework explores environmental, economic, and social considerations related to hospitality. Classes in events, meetings, and conference management highlight logistical aspects of facility management, regulatory compliance, contract negotiation, and hospitality scheduling.
An applied studies in management integrative course serves as a cumulative capstone experience. During the class, students synthesize degree knowledge by applying managerial theories to an approved project. They conduct research in an area of service and hospitality management based on their personal and professional goals.
Granite State College is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).
16. Madonna University
Founded in 1937 by the Felician Central Convent in Livonia, Michigan, MU offers academic programs infused with Franciscan and Catholic values. With more than 130 undergraduate and graduate degrees, MU integrates career preparation and educational excellence with its dedication to peace and justice, education through truth and service, and a reverence for creation.
MU's online bachelor's in hospitality and tourism prepares students for careers including hotel managers, conference and event planners, cruise line event and tourism manager, and resort supervisor. Students complete 40 credit hours of major courses to gain practical knowledge and skills with an internship to apply degree competencies during a supervised professional work experience.
Hospitality and tourism management classes include consumer behavior, visual merchandising, and retail management. The consumer behavior course explores psychological and social aspects of advertising, public relations, and mass media, and the visual merchandising class focuses on best practices for presentation of goods and services through exhibits and promotions.
Learners also complete classes in lodging management, club management, and meeting and event management to learn how to plan, develop, and implement programs and practices within various hospitality settings.
Within the curriculum, MU offers a class in hospitality architecture and interior design during which students analyze tourism properties structures and presentation by looking closely at branding, furnishings, and related aspects of set up and design. Similarly, facility design and event management coursework pays specific attention to design and management of sports and event facilities, assessing participant-centered and spectator-centered aspects of both.
Madonna University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
17. Norfolk State University
Established in 1935, NSU began as a unit of Virginia State University. After becoming an autonomous institution in 1942, NSU moved to its current campus in Norfolk, Virginia, during the 1950s. Currently, NSU provides academic programs to more than 5,000 students and holds membership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and the Virginia High-Tech Partnership.
NSU's online bachelor's in tourism and hospitality comprises 121 credit hours, and students complete the cohort-based curriculum in four years. General education coursework accompanies introductory classes in economic principles, sanitation practices, managerial accounting, and business and entrepreneurship. Students study the legal environment for business and business communications while simultaneously learning about computer applications in hospitality, corporate finance, and front office management.
Classes in organizational behavior, marketing, and tourism and hospitality management accompany a cases in hospitality management course during which students look closely at examples and issues within the industry. NSU's program also emphasizes dining room and beverage management; food, beverage, and labor cost control; and purchasing for the hospitality industry.
Elective classes in fair and amusement park administration, multicultural management in the hospitality industry, and international tourism allow students to pursue areas within hospitality that meet their personal interests and professional goals.
Students participate in a work experience during their final year with a senior project during the last semester. The senior project affords students the opportunity to research and explore an aspect of the hospitality industry of their choosing while demonstrating degree competence and managerial knowledge.
Norfolk State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
18. Coastal Carolina University
Conway, South Carolina
CCU, founded as a junior college in 1954, transitioned to a branch of the College of Charleston soon after and became an independent community college in 1958. Recognized as an autonomous institution in 1993, CCU serves more than 10,000 learners from its main campus in Conway, South Carolina, and online each year.
The online hospitality, resort, and tourism management bachelor's degree at CCU, offered through the E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration, comprises 120 credit hours. Students complete between 38-40 core curriculum requirements with additional foundation coursework in business ethics, enterprise business applications, business communication, and business mathematics.
Business core classes include managerial accounting, financial accounting, economics, and marketing. Learners also study strategic management, resort operations management, and the legal environment of business alongside 21 credit hours of major courses. Required major classes in guest services, quality process management, and food and business management accompany a seminar in resort tourism planning during which students explore the relationships among the tourist demand, tourism goods and services, and tourism host communities.
CCU's curriculum allows students to complete classes geared toward their individual interests and goals. Learners can take classes in the economics of tourism or revenue management. They can also study conventions and event management, real estate finance and investment, and applied tourism research. An optional resort management training course provides students the opportunity to learn and apply management systems used within hospitality and tourism organizations through a supervised work experience.
Coastal Carolina University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools and Business (AACSB).
19. Washington State University
As Washington's first land-grant university, WSU traces its origins to 1890. Located in Pullman, Washington, WSU also serves learners from campuses in Spokane, Richland (Tri-Cities), Everett, Vancouver, and online. WSU provides more than 30,000 students undergraduate and graduate programs through twelve academic schools and colleges.
WSU offers 12 online undergraduate degrees including an online bachelor's in hospitality business management. Through the Carson College of Business, students complete 27 credit hours of business core classes in management, finance, marketing, and communications. Twenty-five credit hours of hospitality business management classes accompany elective and international experience requirements.
Hospitality business management courses include hospitality systems, foodservice systems and control, and hospitality leadership and organization behavior. Students study operational analysis, personnel and human resource management, and service operations management with an industry experience course to apply degree knowledge within a hospitality setting.
Six credit hours of international experience prepares students to work within a global marketplace. Students complete the international experience requirement through study abroad and international internships or through approved coursework.
All hospitality business management courses are seven weeks. Throughout the program, students complete 1,000 hours of paid work within the hospitality industry, making connections and building networks within the field. Learners also benefit from assistance in internship and graduate placements through the Culver Hospitality Relations Manager within the Culver College of Business.
Washington State University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). The Carson College of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools and Business (AACSB).
20. University of South Carolina – Columbia
Columbia, South Carolina
UofSC, based in Columbia, South Carolina, began as South Carolina College in 1801. Now the flagship institution within the University of South Carolina System, UofSC cooperates with seven satellite campuses throughout the state to serve nearly 50,000 annually.
Applicants to the online bachelor of science in hospitality management must have completed 45-60 credit hours of previous college coursework to apply. The program comprises 120 credit hours, 57 of which include major requirements students complete online.
Major classes in hotel management, tourism, and club management introduce students to problems, issues, and concerns within areas of the hospitality industry. Learners also study hospitality financial management; hospitality marketing sales; hospitality management strategies; and hotel, restaurant, and travel law to gain a comprehensive understanding of hospitality and tourism as a profession.
UofSC's program incorporates a series of coursework in food service designed to build knowledge and skills of food production, handling, and purchasing. The quantity food production class tracks the movement of food through preparation and storage, menu planning, and presentation. Principles of food service sanitation focuses on the business and regulatory practices used within a food service environment, and management by menu explores economic, linguistic, and cultural aspects of menus within the hospitality industry.
Students participate in a supervised practicum and a hospitality management internship during the program as well. The former introduces students to a practical hospitality industry setting, whereas the latter requires learners to work at the supervisory level within a hospitality management company.
The University of South Carolina is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
21. The University of Alabama
UA opened its doors in 1831 as Alabama's first public university. With a main campus in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, UA now serves as the flagship institution within the University of Alabama System. UA offers undergraduate and graduate programs through 13 academic divisions and serves nearly 40,000 learners each year.
The online bachelor's in hospitality management at UA comprises 120 credit hours. Students complete 50 hours of hospitality management courses such as introduction to meetings and events, hospitality accounting, and principles of food preparation. Classes in hospitality employee supervision and management, hospitality computer systems, and managing quality in the hospitality industry accompany specialized classes in specific subsets of the field. These courses prepare students to complete coursework from one of three concentration areas.
The degree concentration in food and beverage management emphasizes managing catering operations, food and beverage service management, and food and beverage controls. The hotel and lodging degree track focuses on issues specific to hotel and lodging settings, and the meetings and event concentration includes classes in event marketing, trade show management, and risk management for meetings and events.
UA's program also includes an internship during which students participate in a minimum of 600 hours of practical work experience. Students work full time alongside a hospitality professional at an approved location to gain insights the field. A senior seminar provides a forum for students to discuss current trends and issues in hotel, restaurant, and convention management.
The University of Alabama is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
22. University of Massachusetts – Amherst
UMass Amherst, located in Amherst, Massachusetts, serves as the flagship institution of the Commonwealth and of the University of Massachusetts System. Founded in 1963, UMass Amherst offers nearly 200 undergraduate and graduate programs through nine schools and colleges.
Offered through the Isenberg School of Management, UMass's online bachelor's in hospitality and tourism management incorporates 120 credit hours of general education, business, and major coursework. Business core classes emphasize principles of financial and managerial accounting, fundamentals of marketing, elementary statistics, and management communications.
Students complete 19 credit hours of required hospitality and tourism coursework. Management classes in lodging operations, food service, restaurant operations, and human resources train students to work as leaders and administrators within the hospitality industry. Additional courses in financial decision-making in hospitality, hospitality and tourism law, and service experience management accompany a work experience practicum. During the work experience practicum, students participate in 400 hours of work within the hospitality and tourism industry.
Elective hospitality and tourism classes such as casino management; meeting, convention, and exposition management; and entertainment management allow students to explore areas within hospitality that meet their professional goals. The casino management class looks closely at casino game operations, credit and casino accounting, and marketing core gaming products. The entertainment management class emphasizes business of film, television, radio, and comparable areas in the context of branding, publicity, artist management, and merchandising.
University of Massachusetts Amherst is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). The bachelor's in hospitality and tourism management is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration (ACPHA).
23. University of the Southwest
Hobbs, New Mexico
Chartered as Hobbs Baptist College in 1956, USW transitioned from a two-year college to a four-year institution two years later. In 1962, USW moved to its current location in Hobbs, New Mexico, as a nondenominational liberal arts institution. USW serves a regional area that encompasses roughly 21,000 square miles in southeastern New Mexico and West Texas. USW hosts over 1,000 students and offers more than 60 undergraduate and graduate programs.
USW offers an online bachelor's degree in hospitality management comprising curriculum that emphasizes business fundamentals and focused managerial and administrative courses. Business classes train students in theories, principles, and practices of accounting, marketing, business law, and human resources. USW's curriculum comprises classes in service marketing, effective organizational teams, and diversity management as they relate to the hospitality industry.
Through specialized hospitality management coursework, students gain insight into hotel management, tourism company operations, and tradeshow and convention hosting. The program also prepares students to work in food service and related subsets of hospitality service.
Students study concepts and issues related to hospitality services, exploring trends and operational logistics while building skills related to customer service, organizational design, and process management. The hospitality industry financial management course focuses on financial techniques needed to improve organizational cost-effectiveness in the hotel, restaurant, and tourism sectors. Food service management coursework highlights food and product selection, preparation and handling, and the equipment needed to provide successful service within the hospitality industry.
University of the Southwest is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The College of Business Administration is a member of the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE).
24. Charleston Southern University
Charleston, South Carolina
Chartered in 1960, CSU opened as the Baptist College of Charleston four years later. Located on 300 acres in Charleston, South Carolina, CSU offers more than 65 undergraduate and graduate programs from its main campus and online. With over 3,400 students, CSU remains dedicated to providing educational opportunities infused with Christian principles and faith.
CSU's online bachelor's in organizational management with a concentration in hospitality and tourism management comprises 125 credit hours. Students complete 47 credit hours of liberal arts coursework with 51 hours of major classes.
The curriculum includes business classes in principles of accounting, economics, and management with additional courses in business law, communications, and policy. Students explore organizational behavior for the hospitality industry while building marketing, planning and development, and financial skills related to the field.
CSU's online economics of tourism class incorporates contemporary economic theory and analysis to facilitate understanding in the financial basis of tourism as a whole. Students explore business models and strategies and their applicability to the tourism industry as it continues to change. The case studies in hospitality and tourism course allows learners to apply skills, knowledge, and understanding to specific operational situations, logistical issues, and real-world scenarios they may face as hospitality industry professionals. Applicants can transfer up to 68 credit hours into the hospitality and tourism management program at CSU.
Charleston Southern University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
25. University of South Carolina – Beaufort
Bluffton, South Carolina
With a main campus in Bluffton, South Carolina, USCB also serves students from locations in Beaufort and Hilton Head Island. USCB serves as one of three senior campuses within the University of South Carolina System, offering undergraduate programs to more than 2,000 learners.
USCB's online bachelor's in hospitality management incorporates practical knowledge and research skills to prepare students for leadership and managerial roles in the hospitality industry. For admission to the program, learners must hold an associates degree in the field or have completed 45-60 credit hours of college coursework.
Major coursework comprises 57 credit hours of business and hospitality management classes. Students study hotel management, tourism, and hospitality financial management alongside courses in club management, hospitality marketing sales, and hospitality law.
The program includes a course sequence on food service management to build competencies in food preparation, procurement, and presentation. A class in quantity food production tracks the movement of food from storage to customer, while the principles of food service sanitation focuses on business and regulatory practices within a food service environment. A course on management by menu emphasizes analysis, pricing, and mechanics of menu production.
Students complete a practicum and an internship during the online hospitality management program. During the practicum, students work full-time within the hospitality industry under direct supervision. The internship affords students the opportunity to work in a supervisory capacity in hospitality management over the course of a minimum of 400 work hours.
The University of South Carolina Beaufort is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The bachelor of science in hospitality management is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration (ACPHA).
The Advantages of an Hospitality Management Education
Individuals who want to begin working as soon as possible can pursue an associate degree instead of a bachelor's degree. Many hotels and restaurants hire people with high school diplomas or two-year degrees to work in service positions. After gaining a few years of experience, they may earn promotions to more senior or management roles.
However, a bachelor's degree usually jump starts a graduate's career, as they may begin working in management or administrative roles right away. Plus, bachelor's degree-holders usually receive comparatively higher salaries than people with lower qualifications. They can find jobs as managers at hotels, event planning businesses, casinos, catering services, and restaurants.
The chart below compares the average salary for professionals with associate degrees versus master's degrees. The next section also details what hospitality graduates can expect from their careers and salaries over time.
Average Salary by Degree Level
|Degree Level||Average Salary|
|Associate Degree in Hospitality Management||$44,000|
|Bachelor's Degree in Hospitality Management||$49,000|
Hospitality Management Degree Salary Information
An online bachelor's degree in hospitality management prepares students for several career paths and fields. Many graduates work at hotels and restaurants, but they can find opportunities at several other businesses and establishments, such as tourism boards for cities, festivals, travel agencies; event planning services; casinos; and cruise ships. Graduates may also create businesses that offer tourist experiences, like wine tours, art classes, or culinary courses. They could also run bed and breakfasts. The list below outlines some of the most common occupations for hospitality majors.
- Lodging Manager
- Lodging managers work in administrative positions at hotels, motels, hostels, bed and breakfast establishments, and other places where people stay when they travel. These managers make sure their establishments run efficiently, respond to customer feedback and complaints, and manage staff. They also oversee all financial issues, including allocating funds to different departments and approving expenditures. Many job postings require a bachelor's degree in hospitality management or a related field.
- Food Service Manager
- Food service managers work in restaurants and other places that serve food, like hotels, cruise ships, or casinos. They are tasked with making sure customers feel satisfied with the food and drink quality, as well as the level of service. They hire, fire, and promote staff, and make sure workers follow food safety standards. Many employers now prefer candidates with bachelor's degrees.
- Meeting, Convention, or Event Planner
- These professionals organize all sorts of events, like conventions and professional meetings. They may also coordinate private events such as weddings. They tailor each event according to a customer's needs. Planners sort out all of the logistics for the event, including scheduling, location, and catering.
- Restaurant Owner
- A restaurant owner supervises managers and oversees all high-level aspects of their business. Sometimes these professionals actually establish their own restaurant, which involves creating a business plan, applying for loans, and creating the entire establishment. They also manage money matters, ensuring that their restaurant turns a profit. A bachelor's degree can equip business owners to keep their establishments profitable.
- Advertising, Promotions, or Marketing Manager
- In the hospitality industry, these managers can work for several different companies: hotels, restaurants, tourism boards, sports teams, or museums. The professionals create marketing and advertising campaigns to bring more customers to their establishment. They may also negotiate contracts and conduct market research. This job requires at least a bachelor's degree.
Salary by Experience Level for Hospitality Management Careers
|Food Service Manager||$42,997||$43,212||$43,540||$45,439|
Choosing an Online Hospitality Management Degree Program
Before enrolling in an online bachelor's degree, students should set aside enough time to thoroughly research each program. They should outline the factors most important to them, like tuition costs or specific concentration or course offerings. They also need to keep in mind that in-state programs typically count as a student's most affordable option. The list below explores other important factors to consider when researching potential online bachelor's degrees in hospitality management.
- Program Cost: Think of your education as an investment. Consider whether the tuition cost of the program can pay off with more work opportunities and higher satisfactory salaries. Look into all of your available financial aid opportunities as well. Federal loans, scholarships, grants, and work-study opportunities can help offset tuition costs.
- Transfer Policies: Many colleges — especially those with online programs — offer generous transfer policies. Students can sometimes bring 60 or more credits, which lets them graduate much more quickly. In addition, some universities hold agreements or partnerships with community or junior colleges, allowing them to transfer credits seamlessly.
- School Size and Type: Even with online programs, the size and type of college matters. Private schools tend to charge more for tuition rates, but they may offer smaller class sizes. This means professors may feel more inclined to give students personal attention through email or virtual conferencing. Public schools usually come with cheaper price tags and much larger class sizes.
- Program Length: A typical bachelor's degree lasts four years. However, online programs usually offer accelerated options that allow students to finish within three years — or even sooner. Part-time and full-time enrollment affects a student's completion time, as well. Part-time students who work or attend to other responsibilities may take longer to earn their degree.
- On-Campus Requirements: Even if students pursue their bachelor of hospitality management online, programs may require on-campus components too. Sometimes distance learners must visit campus for an orientation at the beginning of the degree. More commonly, the degree includes an internship or supervised work experience requirement, which means students work at a company or organization on-site near their home.
Accreditation for Online Hospitality Management Degrees
One of the most important factors when choosing an online bachelor's degree in hospitality management is a school's accreditation. Accreditation ensures that students receive a quality education, and it guarantees that graduates are well-prepared for future professions. The federal Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation provide oversight into the accreditation process.
Prospective students should look for schools with either regional or national accreditation. Regional agencies evaluate institutions within a certain geographical area, like the Middle States or New England Commissions on Higher Education. Considered less prestigious but still valuable, national agencies offer accreditation for schools all over the country. Well-known national accreditation agencies include the Distance Education Accrediting Commission and the Accrediting Commision of Career Schools and Colleges.
Students should also consider whether their hospitality management degree possesses programmatic accreditation. These accreditation agencies focus on evaluating degrees within a specific field. The Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration (ACPHA) accredits about 70 hospitality management programs throughout the country. Other degrees may boast accreditation from business accreditation agencies, like the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.
Hospitality Management Concentrations
Depending on the school, your hospitality management bachelor's degree online may offer several concentrations. Students who want to focus on a certain career path — like working in restaurant management or planning events — may find value in one of the emphasis areas listed below.
The sports industry often goes hand-in-hand with hospitality, travel, and tourism. Fans go to new cities — or even different countries — to watch their favorite sports team play. A concentration in sports management includes courses on planning sporting events and sports marketing. Students also learn to manage sporting facilities and ticket sales.
- Careers this concentration prepares for: Game day or event coordinator; athletic director; facilities manager; operations manager; team public relations manager
A concentration in restaurant or food and beverage management prepares graduates to work in administrative and leadership positions at food establishments. In addition to everyday operations, customer service, menu creation, and marketing, specialization courses may teach students how to start their own restaurant business.
- Careers this concentration prepares for: Restaurant manager; business owner
Students interested in working in administrative positions at hotels, hostels, or other lodging options should consider a concentration in hotel management. This specialization trains learners to use the latest property management software and hospitality information systems. Students also learn about accounting, data analysis, and operations specific to hotels and lodging facilities.
- Careers this concentration prepares for: Hotel manager; hotel owner; resort manager
This emphasis area dives into the specifics of working in the tourism industry. Learners explore how tourism contributes to economic development at the local and national levels. They take courses on tourism marketing, sales, and sustainability. The curriculum also covers tourism trends, such as food and wine trips, eco and nature tourism, and adventure travel.
- Careers this concentration prepares for: Tourism marketing manager; travel or tour organizer; travel agent
An event planning or event management concentration teaches students to organize different affairs, like conferences, festivals, exhibitions, and trade shows. Courses focus on the logistics of event planning, including scheduling, catering, and organizing technology needs. Learners also study event marketing and problem-solving for unexpected circumstances.
- Careers this concentration prepares for: Special event manager; wedding planner
How Long Does It Take to Get a Degree in Hospitality Management?
Full-time students usually complete a traditional 120-credit, on-campus bachelor's degree in four years. Most online bachelor's degrees in hospitality management are similar; however, distance learners can sometimes finish their degree faster. Many universities set up their programs so that students can take courses at an accelerated pace, allowing them to finish their degree in 2-3 years. In addition, degree completion programs accept students who already possess an associate degree or a considerable number of credits. These degrees usually take 1-2 years to complete.
Alternatively, some distance learners may have significant work or personal responsibilities, making it difficult to take courses on a full-time basis. Most colleges allow distance learners to take fewer credits, and students may even take one course a semester. However, students who enroll part-time may need to spend an extra year or two earning their degrees.
Courses in an Online Bachelor's in Hospitality Management Program
Guest Service Management
This course focuses on service-related work in restaurants and hotels. Students learn to enhance value for guests and build guest loyalty. They study how front office operations can respond to guest requests and issues, and how to manage guests in dining settings as well.
Food and Beverage Management
A large part of this course covers cost control systems, with students learning about inventory, cost analysis, and profit and loss statements. The course may also explore other topics, like how to properly store and serve various foods and alcoholic beverages, as well as proper food and alcohol pairings.
Students in this course learn the essential components to analyze operational and financial effectiveness in hospitality settings. Topics may include filling out daily balance sheets, forecasting demand for products and services, target marketing, and profit/cost margins. This course also may go over regulations affecting the food and beverage industry.
Learners analyze marketing in the hospitality industry. They learn the fundamental components to marketing, like market research and competitive analysis. The course also covers how to market to a specific target audience, product and image development, and public relations. Learners may also study contemporary marketing strategies, through social media and advertising through influencers.
Event Planning and Management
This course trains students how to organize meetings, conventions, festivals, and other events. Learners study everything from pre-planning, budget and agenda preparation, negotiating contracts, and marketing. The course examines how events such as festivals and conventions can increase the value of a hotel and have an economic impact on a city.
Paying for Your Online Bachelor's in Hospitality Management Degree Program
After gaining admittance to an online bachelor's program in hospitality management, students must consider how they will fund their degree. Fortunately, degree-seekers can explore many financial aid opportunities to help offset costs.
Learners who need financial assistance must complete the FAFSA to receive loans and grants. Additionally, students can apply for work-study opportunities or scholarships, including the ones listed below, to earn additional funding for college.
Scholarships for Accounting Students
Who Can Apply: Students majoring in transportation, tourism, or travel at a junior college or four-year university can apply. Applicants need a minimum 3.4 GPA from an accredited college. They must submit an essay about their passion for their major.
Amount: Two $5,000 scholarships
Who Can Apply: Undergraduates enrolled in an online bachelor's degree in hospitality management can apply for this scholarship awarded through the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation. Applicants need to be working at least 20 hours per week at an American Hotel & Lodging Association hotel or be a dependent of an employee. Candidates also need a strong academic record and work experience.
Who Can Apply: This scholarship benefits 12 students enrolled in two- and four-year hospitality programs. Offered through the American Hotel Foundation since 1996, this scholarship helps students at any year in their bachelor program. Applicants must submit an online application.
Who Can Apply: Since 2014, this scholarship offered through the Professional Reps has helped full-time college students enrolled in foodservice and bachelor of hospitality management online programs. The fund offers a first-place prize of $2,500 and a second-place prize of $1,000. Applicants need a minimum 2.5 GPA.
Who Can Apply: Ethnic minority students pursuing a career in hotel management can apply to this scholarship established by Hyatt Hotels in 1988. Candidates must take a full course load of 12 credits. Applicants must be United States citizens in their junior or senior year at an accredited college.