Top Hospitality Management Degrees 2024

Aaron Perkowitz
by
Updated April 15, 2024
Edited by
Hospitality management degrees teach an assortment of skills, including accounting, management, and marketing. Discover popular courses and careers with our guide.

Are you ready to discover your college program?

The hospitality industry covers economic output related to hotels, restaurants, cruises, and more. The Business Research Company projects the hospitality sector’s global market size will grow to almost $5 trillion in 2024. Earning a hospitality management degree can help workers qualify for careers in this field.

The hospitality industry attracts workers with its large size, fast growth, and variety of jobs. Some roles require specialized skills, including accounting, marketing, and planning. Consequently, pursuing a degree in hospitality management can build these skills for aspiring professionals, giving graduates a competitive advantage when pursuing specific roles or advancement opportunities.

Prospective students who wish to pursue a degree or career in hospitality management can review this page to discover degree benefits, admission requirements, and career opportunities.

Popular Online Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

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Best Hospitality Management Programs

#1 Top Hospitality Management Degrees 2024

Florida State University

  • Location-markerTallahassee, FL
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$5,616
  • Out-of-state$18,746
  • Retention Rate94%
  • Acceptance Rate25%
  • Students Enrolled44,134
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment58%
  • AccreditationYes
#2 Top Hospitality Management Degrees 2024

Brigham Young University-Hawaii

  • Location-markerLaie, HI
  • 4 year
  • Campus
Average Tuition
  • In-State$6,068
  • Out-of-state$6,068
  • Retention Rate62%
  • Acceptance Rate88%
  • Students Enrolled2,893
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment39%
  • AccreditationYes
#3 Top Hospitality Management Degrees 2024

University of South Florida

  • Location-markerTampa, FL
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$4,559
  • Out-of-state$15,473
  • Retention Rate90%
  • Acceptance Rate49%
  • Students Enrolled49,708
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment66%
  • AccreditationYes
#4 Top Hospitality Management Degrees 2024

San Diego State University

  • Location-markerSan Diego, CA
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$5,742
  • Out-of-state$17,622
  • Retention Rate89%
  • Acceptance Rate39%
  • Students Enrolled36,591
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment64%
  • AccreditationYes
#5 Top Hospitality Management Degrees 2024

Boston University

  • Location-markerBoston, MA
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$58,560
  • Out-of-state$58,560
  • Retention Rate94%
  • Acceptance Rate14%
  • Students Enrolled36,718
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment15%
  • AccreditationYes
#6 Top Hospitality Management Degrees 2024

California State University-Long Beach

  • Location-markerLong Beach, CA
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$5,742
  • Out-of-state$17,622
  • Retention Rate87%
  • Acceptance Rate47%
  • Students Enrolled40,190
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment87%
  • AccreditationYes
#7 Top Hospitality Management Degrees 2024

University of Mississippi

  • Location-markerUniversity, MS
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$9,072
  • Out-of-state$26,292
  • Retention Rate89%
  • Acceptance Rate97%
  • Students Enrolled22,081
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment55%
  • AccreditationYes
#8 Top Hospitality Management Degrees 2024

College of the Ozarks

  • Location-markerPoint Lookout, MO
  • 4 year
  • Campus
Average Tuition
  • In-State$19,500
  • Out-of-state$19,500
  • Retention Rate81%
  • Acceptance Rate21%
  • Students Enrolled1,479
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment0%
  • AccreditationYes
#9 Top Hospitality Management Degrees 2024

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

  • Location-markerBlacksburg, VA
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$11,751
  • Out-of-state$30,829
  • Retention Rate91%
  • Acceptance Rate57%
  • Students Enrolled38,365
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment57%
  • AccreditationYes
#10 Top Hospitality Management Degrees 2024

St. Augustine College

  • Location-markerChicago, IL
  • 4 year
  • Campus
Average Tuition
  • In-State$11,720
  • Out-of-state$11,720
  • Retention Rate67%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled737
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment0%
  • AccreditationYes

Why Get a Hospitality Management Bachelor’s Degree?

  • checkJob Stability: Hospitality has seen stable growth in the last few decades, COVID-19 impacts aside. Graduates of top hospitality management programs may stand out among peers. These individuals can pursue entry-level management jobs and careers at growing international corporations.
  • checkVersatile Skills: Hospitality management degrees teach a variety of skills, including accounting, sales, marketing, and leadership. These competencies have applications in a wide array of roles and industries.
  • checkDiverse Career Paths: The hospitality industry spans an array of subfields, including hotel management, event planning, and international conferences. Gaining a foundation of hospitality management knowledge can help graduates pursue multiple kinds of jobs.

What to Expect From a Hospitality Management Degree

Hospitality management degree programs help prepare students for leadership roles in the field. Learners study topics like finance, operations, and human resources to understand how large corporations work internally and what they require to continue running.

Bachelor’s programs in hospitality management usually consist of 120 credits, which full-time learners can complete in four years. Some schools offer generalized degrees, while others offer concentration options so enrollees can specialize in subfields like gaming, event design, or human resource management. Programs may include hands-on experience like internships.

Applicants should ensure their prospective learning institution holds accreditation — acknowledgement from an accreditation agency that the school meets standards of academic excellence. In addition to institutional accreditation, hospitality management degrees can hold programmatic accreditation from agencies like the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration. This designation verifies that a program’s curriculum adequately prepares graduates for careers in the field.

Degree, Concentration, and Format Options

Hospitality management degrees may come in bachelor of arts (BA) or bachelor of science (BS) formats. BA programs usually focus more heavily on humanities concepts, while BS degrees typically emphasize technical concepts. In addition to programs called “hospitality management,” these degrees use names like:

Some hospitality management degrees may specialize learners’ knowledge toward specific industry sectors. While researching programs, prospective students should ensure programs align with their career goals.

Schools may also offer accelerated bachelor’s/master’s combined programs that allow learners to earn two degrees more quickly — typically in five years. Often, these programs require learners to take graduate-level courses during their third or fourth years of study, and these classes often count toward both the bachelor’s and master’s degree requirements. These options can help students save time and money.

Admissions Process

Each hospitality management program maintains its own admission requirements. Often, students have to submit materials like:

  • An online form with an application fee
  • High school diploma or equivalent with official high school transcripts
  • Admission essay
  • ACT or SAT scores

Possible prerequisites include:

  • Minimum 3.0 high school GPA
  • Previous relevant work experience

All students must submit an application, usually through the school’s website or Common App. Common App provides a single application that learners can submit to over 1,000 cooperating schools.

Popular Hospitality Management Undergraduate Courses

Hospitality management curricula vary by school; prospective enrollees can investigate each program’s courses before applying. Learners usually take a combination of general education, major-specific, and elective courses. Attendees may complete a capstone project to synthesize their knowledge, tackling theoretical issues or working as consultants to solve real-world issues. We explore popular hospitality management courses below.

  • checkIntroduction to Hospitality: This class explores the hospitality industry’s history, trends, and organizational structures. Enrollees learn about management, accounting, maintenance, and engineering. The course may also discuss potential career paths and strategies to help professionals succeed.
  • checkHotel Operations: The hotel industry is a crucial piece of the hospitality sector. Consequently, many programs include a class dedicated to teaching the operations, finances, and management of hotels. Students learn about the various staff who run hotels, including front desk, housekeeping, and kitchen workers.
  • checkRevenue Management: Revenue management courses discuss the importance of revenue maximization and forecasting. Attendees learn to utilize pricing, discounts, capacity management, and duration control to achieve revenue goals.
  • checkAdvanced Wines: Students pursuing food service specializations can take courses about wines of the world, learning about wine types and pairings as well as the history and geography of wine production. As these classes often include hands-on experience sampling wines, learners need to be of legal drinking age to enroll.

How Much Do Hospitality Management Bachelor’s Programs Cost?

The price of hospitality management degrees ranges widely. Some schools charge as low as $2,500 for annual tuition, while others charge more than $50,000 per year. Factors that impact tuition include public or private school status, institutional prestige, and student state residency. Attendees should also budget for additional costs like school fees, books, and the cost of living.

Learners can also help pay for their hospitality management degree with financial aid like:

  • Scholarships: Awardees receive merit-, need-, or demographic-based funds that do not require repayment
  • Fellowships: Like scholarships, fellowships do not require repayment
  • Grants: Grants are often need-based and do not require repayment
  • Loans: Public and private lenders offer student loans, which require repayment with interest

The links below provide additional information on student loans and scholarships.

Should You Get Your Degree Online?

Prospective hospitality management degree enrollees may consider online programs. Distance education degrees are usually more flexible than on-campus programs because they include asynchronous learning opportunities with no set meeting times. Attendees of the best online hospitality management programs can attend any program without moving across the country.

In contrast, on-campus programs also offer their own benefits, including the ability to more easily network with students, professors, and alumni. In-person degrees feature more rigid learning structures, which some learners may prefer. On-campus attendees can also participate in extracurriculars and student clubs. Regardless of degree type, both in-person and online programs provide high educational quality.

Hospitality Management Jobs and Salaries

Hospitality management bachelor’s degree-holders can pursue entry-level leadership roles in industries like lodging, restaurants, and event planning. Professionals may obtain new skills or strengthen existing ones as they gain work experience.

Individuals can also enroll in a master’s program to further specialize their knowledge and pursue more advanced roles, including hotel revenue manager, cruise director, and corporate controller.

We explore common hospitality management careers below.

Lodging Manager

Lodging managers work in hotels, motels, and resorts. They ensure that guests have a comfortable experience. Managers direct internal activities to keep the accommodation running smoothly and profitably. These professionals may have a variety of duties, including inspecting the building’s cleanliness, monitoring staff, and reviewing revenue.

  • Job Outlook (2022-32): +7%
  • 2022 Median Annual Salary: $61,910

Source: BLS


Food Service Manager

Food service managers oversee the routine operations of restaurants. Managers organize staff to optimize efficiency and ensure patrons promptly receive their orders. Restaurant managers may also hire staff, inspect equipment, and oversee food preparation.

  • Job Outlook (2022-32): +0%
  • 2022 Median Annual Salary: $61,310

Source: BLS


Event Planner

Event planners arrange weddings, conventions, and corporate events by choosing locations, handling logistics, and working with vendors. Planners discuss event details with customers, including budgets, food, and accommodation choices.

  • Job Outlook (2022-32): +8%
  • 2022 Median Annual Salary: $52,560

Source: BLS

Selecting the Right Undergraduate Program

Many schools across the U.S. offer programs in hospitality management, each with their own curriculum, concentrations, and flexibility level. Students should explore each program’s details to find degrees that match their needs. The list below covers important considerations when choosing a school.

  • Program Length: Most bachelor’s programs require four years of full-time study, but schools may offer accelerated degrees that take less time. Some institutions offer combined bachelor’s/master’s programs that grant students two degrees in five years.
  • Concentrations: The hospitality industry has many subfields. Applicants with specific career goals should ensure programs offer specializations or coursework that aligns with these aspirations.
  • Partnerships: Investigate each program’s partnerships. Some schools may connect students with local organizations, including hotels and event planning companies, for internships and other hands-on opportunities.
  • Alumni Network: Students can use alumni networks to make internship, job, and mentor connections. Active alumni groups may provide additional networking opportunities through online meetings and in-person events.

Common Questions About Hospitality Management Degrees

Like any field, hospitality management can prove challenging. Individuals who enjoy learning different subjects or obtaining versatile skills in accounting, management, and marketing may thrive in this field.

The tuition for a bachelor’s in hospitality management can range from $2,500 to $50,000 per year. Prospective learners should explore the cost of each program before applying.

Yes, multiple hospitality management degrees offer fully online programs. Classes may run asynchronously, allowing students to study and complete assignments at their own pace. Online programs provide the same degrees as their in-person counterparts.

Individuals with a passion for hospitality management may find a degree in the field worth the time and cost investments. Hospitality management professionals with a degree can often qualify for a wider array of careers, including advanced roles.

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