Best Hospitality Management Programs

Best Hospitality Management Programs

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A hospitality management degree prepares graduates for a career in lodging management, restaurant management, and more.

Successful hospitality professionals enjoy helping others and bring an upbeat attitude to their job. In addition to strong customer service skills, hospitality management requires organizational and business training. A hospitality degree blends classroom learning with experiential training. Learners take courses on topics like hotel and restaurant management, tourism management, and hospitality budgeting. These courses help build the knowledge and skills required for leadership roles in the hospitality industry.

This guide ranks the best hospitality schools and includes information on different types of hospitality degrees and potential careers and salaries for graduates.

Top 10 Hospitality Management Programs 2020

#1 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL
#2 Florida State University Tallahassee, FL
#3 Florida International University Miami, FL
#4 Texas A & M University – College Station College Station, TX
#5 The University of West Florida Pensacola, FL
#6 Iowa State University Ames, IA
#7 California State University – Long Beach Long Beach, CA
#8 Auburn University Auburn, AL
#9 The University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, AL
#10 San Diego State University San Diego, CA

Choosing a Program

Prospective students should consider several factors when choosing a hospitality program, including school reputation, program length, and the total cost of a degree. Learners should also consider what type of degree their chosen career path requires and whether a program offers courses and concentrations aligned with their career goals. Our ranking of the best hospitality degrees, which includes hospitality programs at various degree levels, helps prospective students find the right program for their needs.

What Is a Degree in Hospitality?

A hospitality degree trains students in hospitality and tourism management. Depending on their career goals, prospective hospitality professionals can enroll in an undergraduate or graduate hospitality program. This section provides an overview of the different types of hospitality degrees.

Bachelor's in Hospitality Management Degree

A bachelor's degree in hospitality management meets the education requirements for many hospitality jobs, including lodging manager and food service manager. Students take courses on topics like hospitality sales, service excellence in the hospitality industry, and hospitality cost control.

Hospitality majors often complete an internship to gain professional experience. Some programs offer concentrations in areas like human resources management and hotel management; these options allow students to further customize their degree to match their career goals.

In addition to hospitality courses, hospitality bachelor's programs include general education courses on topics like communication, English, and math. These courses strengthen critical thinking and communication skills. Most bachelor's programs take four years of full-time study to complete.

Graduate Degrees for Hospitality Professionals

Some employers prefer to hire managers and executives with a graduate degree. Master's in hospitality students may focus on a topic like hospitality and tourism management or hotel and restaurant management.

While pursuing a hospitality master's degree, students complete courses on topics like operations management, leadership in the hospitality industry, and lodging management. Some programs offer specializations in an area like restaurant management or tourism management. Graduate hospitality programs typically combine classroom learning with hands-on experience through internships or practica. Most master's programs take two years of full-time study to complete.

A hospitality doctorate prepares graduates for academic and research positions and generally takes 3-5 years to complete. Applicants to hospitality graduate programs often need a bachelor's degree in hospitality management, business, or a related field.

Master's in Hospitality Management Degree Versus an MBA

Prospective graduate students should consider the value of a specialized master's in hospitality management versus an MBA with a hospitality management concentration. While both degrees prepare graduates for managerial roles in the hospitality industry, they offer different focuses.

A master's in hospitality management focuses exclusively on hospitality and tourism management, while an MBA incorporates general business classes in areas like finance, marketing, and accounting. Candidates considering management roles outside of hospitality and tourism may prefer the versatility of an MBA, while those planning careers in hospitality benefit from the specialized coursework of a master's in hospitality management.

Hospitality Management Jobs

Earning a degree in hospitality management prepares graduates for diverse roles, such as lodging manager, facility manager, and operations manager. Graduates may also assume higher administrative positions and top executive roles. The following list describes a few job opportunities for professionals with a hospitality management degree.

Administrative Services Managers

Median Salary: $96,940 Projected Job Growth: 6%


Administrative services managers oversee supportive services for an organization. They maintain facilities, supervise administrative personnel, and manage records. Also known as business office managers or facility managers, administrative services managers maintain safe and secure facilities for organizations.

Additionally, these professionals may oversee renovation projects, monitor a facility's grounds, and manage operations and maintenance for a facility. The education requirements for administrative services managers vary by organization, but most positions require a bachelor's degree in an area like business, facility management, or hospitality management.

Lodging Managers

Median Salary: $54,430 Projected Job Growth: -12%


Lodging managers oversee operations for hotels, motels, resorts, and other lodging establishments. They ensure an establishment operates at a profit and runs efficiently. Lodging managers also enforce company standards for guest services and housekeeping, interact with guests, monitor a facility's budget, and hire and train staff members.

Lodging management professionals may hold several job titles, including general manager, revenue manager, front office manager, and convention service manager. Many lodging managers hold a bachelor's degree in hospitality management and several years of professional experience.

Top Executives

Median Salary: $104,690 Projected Job Growth: 4%


Top executives oversee operational activities for a business or organization. They manage an organization's budget, consult with executives and board members about general operations, and appoint managers. Top executives may hold titles such as general manager, operations manager, chief executive officer, and chief operating officer.

Education and training requirements for top executives vary by position and industry. Most roles require at least a bachelor's degree, though some companies prefer candidates with a master's degree.

Best Hospitality Management Programs

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4

Texas A & M University – College Station 

College Station, TX Apply Now

About this school

Texas A&M offers a certificate in hospitality management through its recreation, park, and tourism sciences department. Although not a degree program, Texas A&M builds their 15-credit curriculum around fundamentals like tourism marketing, management of hospitality and recreation organizations, and hotel operations.

Students earn this certificate in addition to graduate or undergraduate studies at Texas A&M, or they can apply as non-degree seeking students. The program requires a minimum 2.0 GPA for admission.

Graduation Rate
82%
Percent Receiving Loans
32%
Online Enrollment
8%
5

The University of West Florida 

Pensacola, FL Apply Now

About this school

UWF offers a bachelor of science in global hospitality and tourism management with specializations in guest experience management or revenue management in predictive analytics.

Courses in financial analysis and revenue optimization, global management insights, and front-office operations anchor the 120-credit curriculum. To graduate, students must maintain a 2.5 GPA in all UWF courses and complete 800 hours of work experience.

Applicants must submit official transcripts and standardized test scores. The program requires a minimum GPA of 2.0, but does not specify a test score minimum.

Graduation Rate
44%
Percent Receiving Loans
64%
Online Enrollment
63%
6

Iowa State University 

Ames, IA Apply Now

About this school

A public university, ISU offers a bachelor of science in hospitality management. Courses in entrepreneurship and human science, amusement park administration, and creativity on demand highlight the program's extensive elective options. Internships, work experience, and a 100-seat dining facility lab provide students with the necessary real-world experience.

Graduation requires the completion of 123 credits, including hands-on work experience.

Applicants must submit official transcripts and ACT or SAT scores. The program doesn't specify minimum scores, as ISU calculates admission eligibility based on a customized formula called the "Regents Admission Index" (RAI).

Graduation Rate
75%
Percent Receiving Loans
49%
Online Enrollment
22%
7

California State University – Long Beach 

Long Beach, CA Apply Now

About this school

A public university, CSULB offers a bachelor of science in hospitality management through the College of Health and Human Services. CSULB's 120-credit hospitality degree boasts certification from the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration (ACPHA) and a 92% professional placement rate.

To graduate, students must complete 120 credits, an internship, and 800 hours of real-world practice in the hospitality industry.

Graduates of California high schools must submit official transcripts showing a minimum GPA of 2.5, along with achieving a 3200 on a customized achievement calculator, the CSULB Index. Graduates from non-California high schools must demonstrate a 3.0 GPA, along with a 3500 CSULB index.

Graduation Rate
69%
Percent Receiving Loans
32%
Online Enrollment
29%
8

Auburn University 

Auburn, AL Apply Now

About this school

Auburn offers a bachelor of science in hospitality management rooted in business administration and real-world experience. Students earn a minor in business throughout the 123-credit program and can choose further concentrations in culinary science, event management, and hotel and restaurant management.

To graduate, students must earn at least a 2.2 GPA and complete 600 hours of work experience plus a 400-hour internship to implement their coursework through practical experience.

Applicants must submit official transcripts and can choose to submit test scores, writing samples, or other materials as part of Auburn's holistic application process.

Graduation Rate
78%
Percent Receiving Loans
32%
Online Enrollment
23%
9

The University of Alabama 

Tuscaloosa, AL Apply Now

About this school

UA offers a bachelor of science in hospitality management through the College of Human Environmental Sciences. The 120-credit program offers optional concentrations in sports and entertainment, food and beverage, hotel and lodging, and meetings/events. Courses in catering, marketing, and law shape well-rounded graduates who possess a broad business background for hospitality.

To graduate, students must complete a 500-hour work practicum in the hospitality field.

Applicants must submit official transcripts, but the program does not specify a minimum GPA or require test scores through 2021.

Graduation Rate
72%
Percent Receiving Loans
39%
Online Enrollment
39%
10

San Diego State University 

San Diego, CA Apply Now

About this school

A four-year, public university in California, SDSU offers a bachelor of science in hospitality and tourism management. SDSU's 120 credit program hosts concentrations in hotel management, restaurant management, and tribal gaming and encourages international experiences for all its students.

Students must complete 400 hours of hospitality experience and maintain a 3.0 GPA to enter the upper division of hospitality courses, where they will complete two paid internships. Hotel management students must also complete an international experience.

Applicants must submit official transcripts, with preference given to students who have already started taking college credit in their chosen discipline. The program does not specify a minimum GPA and test scores are not required through 2021.

Graduation Rate
74%
Percent Receiving Loans
28%
Online Enrollment
47%
11

University of Nebraska – Lincoln 

Lincoln, NE Apply Now

About this school

A four-year public university, UNL offers a bachelor of arts in hospitality, restaurant, and tourism management. Students choose one of six areas of emphasis, including club management, event management, and food and beverage.

To graduate, students must complete three different internship courses for over 700 hours of hands-on experience. These experiences can take place at major venues or events around the world.

Applicants must submit transcripts demonstrating their rank in the top half of their high school class. Transfer students must have a minimum GPA of 2.0.

Graduation Rate
69%
Percent Receiving Loans
41%
Online Enrollment
45%
12

University of Wisconsin – Stout 

Menomonie, WI Apply Now

About this school

A public university, UW-Stout offers a bachelor of science in restaurant and tourism management. Courses in customer analytics, lodging systems, and risk management ground the 120-credit program. A broad set of electives and experience in club management can help students prepare for a career in country club or venue management.

To graduate, students must achieve a 2.75 GPA and three professional electives in golf enterprise management, property management, or an international experience.

Applicants are considered on a holistic basis. Test scores do not need to be submitted for 2021 applications, and the program does not specify a minimum GPA.

Graduation Rate
58%
Percent Receiving Loans
59%
Online Enrollment
48%
13

Kansas State University 

Manhattan, KS Apply Now

About this school

K-State offers a bachelor of science in hospitality management at its beautiful Olathe campus.

The 120-credit program features courses in revenue management, hospitality law, accounting, finance, and marketing. Students take their first 60 credits through K-State's community college partners, with the remaining 60 completed at their Olathe campus in a hybrid format.

Local partnerships in the greater Kansas City area offer students ample opportunities to harmonize theory and practice and reach their 900 hours of required work experience for graduation.

Applicants must submit official transcripts demonstrating a minimum GPA of 2.0. ACT scores are also required, with no specified minimum.

Graduation Rate
64%
Percent Receiving Loans
46%
Online Enrollment
25%
14

University of Houston 

Houston, TX Apply Now

About this school

Located in the heart of Texas, UH offers a bachelor of science in hospitality management. UH's 120-credit program allows students to choose courses in food service, lodging, and safety and sanitation, among others.

To graduate, students need 1,000 hours of hands-on experience in a hospitality environment.

Applicants must submit official transcripts showing class rank. UH no longer requires standardized test scores. To declare the hospitality management major, students must have a UH GPA of 2.85.

Graduation Rate
59%
Percent Receiving Loans
39%
Online Enrollment
40%
15

University of North Texas 

Denton, TX Apply Now

About this school

A four-year, public university, UNT offers a bachelor of science in hospitality management.

The 120-credit program focuses on general business acumen and hospitality leadership. Courses on hospitality accounting, hotel operations, and hospitality business strategy highlight a curriculum rich in opportunities to focus on global markets and recent industry developments.

To graduate, students must complete 500 work hours and a 300-hour internship in the hospitality industry.

Applicants must submit official transcripts and test scores to gain admission to UNT. Students can then declare the hospitality major after completing 45 credits and earning a 2.0 GPA at UNT.

Graduation Rate
53%
Percent Receiving Loans
50%
Online Enrollment
46%
16

California State Polytechnic University – Pomona 

Pomona, CA Apply Now

About this school

Located on a 1,438-acre campus just east of Los Angeles, Cal Poly Pomona offers a bachelor of science in hospitality management.

The 180-unit program requires students to work at least 800 hours in the hospitality industry before graduation. Curriculum highlights include courses on managerial accounting, strategic leadership, and hospitality sales/marketing. Because units may be achieved in quarters or semesters, Cal Poly Pomona students can graduate in 4 years.

Applicants must submit official transcripts showing a 2.5 minimum GPA for California residents, and a 3.0 minimum GPA for non-residents. Cal Poly Pomona suspended the SAT/ACT requirement for 2021 admissions.

Graduation Rate
71%
Percent Receiving Loans
32%
Online Enrollment
39%
17

Southeast Missouri State University 

Cape Girardeau, MO Apply Now

About this school

A public university in Cape Girardeau, SEMO offers a bachelor of science in hospitality management.

Through 120 credits of coursework, students earn ServSafe certification and build competencies in meeting and event management, economic problems and policies, and lodging operation. Other highlights at SEMO include professional partnerships with Walt Disney, Marriott Hotels, St. Louis Zoo, and Texas Roadhouse.

Applicants must submit official transcripts demonstrating a 2.75 minimum GPA; ACT and SAT are optional, with no minimum specified.

Graduation Rate
49%
Percent Receiving Loans
45%
Online Enrollment
45%
18

Texas Tech University 

Lubbock, TX Apply Now

About this school

Founded in 1923, Texas Tech offers a bachelor of science in restaurant, hotel, and institutional management.

The 120-credit program includes courses in consumer behavior, marketing, and leadership, and even offers a concentration in hospitality education for those wanting to teach culinary or hospitality skills at the secondary school level.

To graduate, students must complete 1,200 hours of hands-on work experience, which can be partially completed in Texas Tech classrooms at four-star hotels and fine dining experiences. Of the 1,200 required hours, 400 must be completed off campus.

Applicants must submit official transcripts, with no minimum GPA specified. SAT and ACT are optional for 2021.

Graduation Rate
59%
Percent Receiving Loans
45%
Online Enrollment
50%
19

Northwestern State University of Louisiana 

Natchitoches, LA Apply Now

About this school

Located in Natchitoches, NSU offers a bachelor of science in hospitality management and tourism.

The 120-credit curriculum fuses the disciplines of business management and culinary arts, with special emphasis on how hospitality workers can build both organization and creativity into their chosen vocation. Optional concentrations include hospitality services, culinary arts, and travel/tourism.

Applicants must submit official transcripts along with SAT/ACT scores, and the program does not specify minimums scores.

Graduation Rate
45%
Percent Receiving Loans
63%
Online Enrollment
81%
20

West Virginia University 

Morgantown, WV Apply Now

About this school

A public university nestled in the mountains, WVU offers a bachelor of science of business administration in hospitality and tourism management.

The 120-credit hour program boasts a curriculum anchored by courses in social customer relationship management, revenue management, and organizational leadership. Regular experience in on-campus learning labs grounds students in industry experience. To graduate, students must complete six credits of an off-campus internship.

Applicants must submit official transcripts, showing a minimum GPA of 2.75, along with an ACT score of 19, an SAT Math score of 510, or an ALEKS score of 30.

Graduation Rate
60%
Percent Receiving Loans
50%
Online Enrollment
29%
21

Arkansas Tech University 

Russellville, AR Apply Now

About this school

A public university with over 10,000 students, ATU offers a bachelor of science in hospitality administration and event management.

The 120-credit program offers optional concentrations in event, food service, and lodging management. Courses in facilities management and design, strategic management, and legal aspects of hospitality provide a broad business base for students, and the food lab and dining room facilities offer hands-on experience too.

Applicants to ATU must submit official transcripts demonstrating a minimum 2.0 GPA and test scores with a minimum ACT score of 19 or minimum score SAT of 1010.

Graduation Rate
40%
Percent Receiving Loans
41%
Online Enrollment
47%
22

East Carolina University 

Greenville, NC Apply Now

About this school

A four-year university with more than 28,000 students, ECU offers a bachelor of science in hospitality management. Three concentrations — conventions/special events, food and beverage management, and lodging management — help students tailor the 120-credit program to their desired vocation in hospitality.

Courses such as menu planning, dimensions of tourism, and multicultural hospitality management all help students prepare for hospitality in the globalized market. To graduate, students must complete an externship and a 400-hour internship.

Applicants must submit official transcripts, but the program does not specify a minimum GPA or require test scores for the 2021 admission cycle.

Graduation Rate
65%
Percent Receiving Loans
55%
Online Enrollment
45%
23

University of South Alabama 

Mobile, AL Apply Now

About this school

A public university with nearly 14,000 students, USA offers a bachelor of science in hospitality and tourism management.

The 120-credit program offers students a broad business foundation with courses in hospitality and economics, sustainability and eco-tourism, and global hospitality management. To graduate, students must also complete a three-credit internship.

Applicants must submit official transcripts reflecting a 2.5 minimum GPA, a minimum ACT score of 19, or minimum SAT (critical reading and math) score of 990.

Graduation Rate
44%
Percent Receiving Loans
55%
Online Enrollment
48%
24

The University of Tennessee – Knoxville 

Knoxville, TN Apply Now

About this school

Founded in 1794, UT Knoxville offers a bachelor of science in retail, hospitality, and tourism management.

Over the required 120 credits, students can choose courses in hotel/resort operations, event planning/design, and financial management in hospitality. Students must complete 300 hours of hospitality work experience prior to progressing into the program as juniors, and then complete a second managerial internship to graduate.

Applicants must submit official transcripts, but the program does not specify a minimum GPA or require test scores.

Graduation Rate
73%
Percent Receiving Loans
42%
Online Enrollment
35%
25

College of the Ozarks 

Point Lookout, MO Apply Now

About this school

A private Christian liberal arts college, C of O offers a Bachelor of Arts or a bachelor of science in hotel and restaurant management.

Students who opt for a concentration in meeting and special event management will fulfill degree requirements for a bachelor of arts degree, while students in the general hotel and restaurant management program earn a bachelor of science degree.

Course highlights include baking and pastry, conventions and group business, and hospitality marketing and sales. Students gain hands-on experience in the state-of-the-art Keeter Center, an event, dining, and lodging facility.

Applicants must submit official transcripts demonstrating a 3.0 minimum GPA as well as test scores. For the ACT, C of O prefers a minimum score of 20; for the SAT, it prefers a minimum of 1030.

Graduation Rate
66%
Percent Receiving Loans
0%
Online Enrollment
0%
👏

End of list, bravo!

Ranking Methodology
Best Programs

Hospitality Management Programs Ranking Guidelines

We evaluated the top hospitality schools and programs based on academic quality, awards, reputation, independent evaluations, facilities, and internship opportunities.

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