• Find a bachelor's degree

    Bachelors Degree Center is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

If you’re looking for cheap hospitality management schools, you’re not alone. Many students who are interested in getting their degree in hospitality management are looking for an inexpensive option that allows them to complete school without having to take out large loans. There are many options for an affordable hospitality management degree.

One of the best ways to save money and find a cheap hospitality management school is to seek out low-cost public colleges. Public colleges receive funding from the state and are often priced far below private colleges. Many public colleges also have generous scholarship and grant programs that can help you through your education. Community colleges are another great option. A community college offers two years of programming. You have the option of taking classes for the two years to earn your associate’s degree, or you can transfer your two years of credits to a four-year school to work toward your bachelor’s degree. Both options save cash and provide you with an excellent hospitality management education.

Methodology: How We Ranked the Most Affordable Hospitality Management Programs

To rank the most affordable hospitality management degree programs, Bachelor’s Degree Center focused on accredited, trustworthy institutions. However, for putting the ranking into order, one factor matters – tuition cost, as reported to IPEDS.

1. Oklahoma State University

The Hospitality and Tourism Management program at Oklahoma State University is a well-rounded bachelor’s of science program that covers topics including food and beverage management, tourism, event planning, and lodging management. The affordable hospitality management program puts students into the classroom, and state-of-the-art labs, and offers internships and study abroad opportunities. A majority of graduates find themselves employed or moving onto continuing education within 3 months of completing their schooling.

Oklahoma State University is part of the state university system and prides itself on its Western heritage. The school began as a land-grant mission with the goal of offering education for all comers. OSU focuses on offering quality teaching, outreach efforts in the community and various types of research programs. It bills itself as America’s Healthiest Campus due to its emphasis on personal fitness and mental wellness and helps make it one of the cheap hospitality management schools with its quality amenities.

Degree: Business Administration, BS

Hospitality and Tourism Management – Oklahoma State University

2. California State University, Long Beach

California State University, Long Beach offers a hospitality management program that helps students prepare for employment in the hotel and lodging, restaurant, and foodservice industries. Some of the coursework includes learning about food preparation, legal issues as they relate to hospitality, financial accounting, and beverage management. All students have to complete 800 hours of work experience and an internship. Students earn a bachelor of science degree upon completion of the program, and the program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration (ACPHA).

California State University – Long Beach is a public university and the third-largest campus in the state university system. It’s a highly sought-after school, but only accepts less than 30% of applicants every year. The university is also home to the largest Physics Department in the state. CSULB has three liberal arts colleges and five vocational colleges offering a total of 81 baccalaureate degrees. It’s also considered one of the cheap hospitality management schools and has the lowest tuition in the state university system.

Degree: Hospitality Management, BS

California State University, Long Beach Hospitality Management, BS

3. Western Kentucky University

Western Kentucky University offers a Hospitality Management and Dietetics program with a concentration in hotel, restaurant, and tourism management through its Applied Human Sciences Department. Some of the classes offered include food science, commercial food preparation, professional ethics, and menu planning and purchasing. The affordable hospitality management program is considered a comprehensive major and has no requirements for minor studies. WKU is considered one of the cheap hospitality management schools and offers excellent value for its tuition costs.

WKU is located in Bowling Green, Kentucky and is noted for its location at the top of a hill. Students who attend the university are known as “Hilltoppers”. The university offers a wide range of educational opportunities with a total of 80 majors and 70 minors for students to choose from. It also offers graduate degrees in the sciences, business, and arts.

Degree: Hospitality Management, BS

Western Kentucky University Hospitality Management, BS

4. Buffalo State University (SUNY)

The Hospitality Administration bachelor’s degree program at Buffalo State features three different course concentrations that include restaurant and institutional management, culinary arts, and hotel tourism management. All concentrations share the same core and elective classes in hospitality management and require 400 hours of work experience related to the concentration of choice. The courses are designed to prepare students for employment in the hospitality industry and the school is one of the cheap hospitality management schools that offers a quality education.

Buffalo State SUNY is part of the public university system in the state of New York. It is also one of the cheap hospitality management schools that offer a quality education without the price tag for in-state students. The school has a 68% admission rate for first-time applicants and class sizes average less than 40 students. Originally founded as a medical school, Buffalo State has expanded to offer degrees in the arts and sciences, humanities, medical, and professional fields as well as being the only state university In New York to offer a law degree.

Degree: Hospitality Administration, BS

Hospitality Administration – Buffalo State University

5. California State Polytechnic University Pomona

California State Polytechnic University, or CalPolyPomona for short, offers a BS in Hospitality Management program that combines general education with business and hospitality courses. The affordable hospitality management program focuses on teaching students practical knowledge in the hospitality field as well as preparing them for management roles. All students are required to complete a minimum of 800 hours of professional work as part of their degree. CalPolyPomona is one of the cheap hospitality management schools for in-state students.

CalPolyPomona is one of two polytechnic universities in the state university system and offers bachelor’s in 94 majors and 39 master’s degrees. The school has a strong agricultural school component owing to its merger with the University of California, W.K. Kellogg Institute in 1949. The Collins College of Hospitality Management at CalPolyPomona has earned high rankings for its graduate program, job placement rate, and quality of education. It’s also the fourth largest hospitality management college in the United States.

Degree: Hospitality Management, BS

California State Polytechnic University BS in Hospitality Management

6. Ferris State University

The Hospitality Management Program at Ferris State University features a business curriculum and a focus on learning how to manage service operations. The internship aspect of the program includes internships at locations that include Walt Disney World Resorts, Marriott Hotels, and Mackinac Island Resorts. Students are required to spend at least 400 hours on the job as part of their internship. The course is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). Ferris State’s program is among the cheap hospitality management schools in the U.S.

Ferris State University, located in Big Rapids, Michigan, is a technical research school that offers education in the arts and sciences, business, medical, and engineering fields. The school is part of the Michigan state university system and is the ninth-largest campus in the state. Despite its size, Ferris maintains a student-faculty ratio of 16:1 and employs teachers who are professionals in their field. The university also maintains a strong athletic program with its basketball team winning the NCAA Division II national championship in 2018.

Degree: Hospitality Management, BS

Hospitality Management Program – Ferris State University

7. Metropolitan State University of Denver

The Hotel Management major at Metropolitan State University of Denver is offered through MSU Denver’s School of Hospitality, Events and Tourism. The affordable hospitality management program provides academic education and skills development in areas that include human resources, front desk service, hospitality accounting, beverage management, and housekeeping. Students learn in a live lab setting at the SpringHill Suites by Marriott Denver Downtown and get to practice their skills in a commercial setting while earning class credits. MSU Denver’s program offerings makes it one of the cheap hospitality management schools.

Metropolitan State University of Denver is ranked at #5 of most innovative universities in the West by U.S. News and World Report. The school features an Individualized Degree Program that enables students to propose a major or minor that meets their educational needs and goals in the event the school doesn’t offer a fitting curriculum. Over 80% of graduates from MSU Denver stay in Colorado and enhance the state’s workforce.

Degree: Hotel Management Major, BS

Hotel Management BS – Metropolitan State University

8. Appalachian State University

Appalachian State University offers a BSBA program in Hospitality and Tourism Management. The course prepares students for careers in hotel and lodging, resort and conference centers, commercial foodservice facilities, and more. Classes are led by instructors with experience working for major organizations in the hospitality industry. Students get to learn from experts currently working in the industry and further their understanding of their chosen profession. Appalachian State University is worth looking at when searching for cheap hospitality management schools.

Appalachian State University is part of the North Carolina state university system and is located in Boone, N.C. Founded in 1899 as a teacher’s school, the university grew over the years to offer a diverse range of degrees and a quality education in a remote part of the state. The university is committed to global learning and features exchange programs for business students to learn abroad. U.S. News and World Report ranks Appalachian State University at #6 on their Regional Universities South list.

Degree: Hospitality and Tourism Management, BSBA

Appalachian State University Hospitality and Tourism Management, BSBA

9. Iowa State University

The hospitality management major at Iowa State University is a world-renown program and was recently ranked at 15 out of 100 hospitality and tourism programs by the Journal of Hospitality and Journalism Research. Students learn both in the classroom and lab settings including the Joan Bice Underwood Tearoom, a 100-seat dining facility. ISU is not one of the cheap hospitality management schools, but the program is highly ranked and students get excellent employment opportunities as a result.

Iowa State University was founded as the Iowa Agricultural College and Model Farm in 1858 and was coeducational since classes first began in 1868. Its original charter included the teaching of liberal and practical subjects and covered a broad range of topics ranging from training farmers for their career to various engineering degrees. Now the school has colleges that include agriculture and life sciences, design, engineering, business, and veterinary medicine.

Degree: Hospitality Management, BS

Iowa State University Hospitality Management, BS

10. Purdue University

Purdue University’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management offers a bachelor of science in hospitality and tourism management. The program has core requirements in hospitality and management, a competency component, and electives. Its curriculum introduces students to topics such as introductions to management of various types of hospitality industries, human resources, laws regarding hospitality, and accounting. The cost of tuition at Purdue means it’s not one of the cheap hospitality management schools for students in or out of state.

Purdue University is located in West Lafayette, Indiana, and is part of the Indiana state university system. Over 200 undergraduate majors are offered and there are more than 70 masters and doctoral programs offered by the university. It’s ranked #57 in National Universities by U.S. News and World Reports for its quality academic and athletic programs. Purdue’s basketball team, the Perdue Boilermakers, compete in the NCAA Division I and is part of the Big Ten Conference.

Degree: Hospitality and Tourism Management, BS

Purdue University Hospitality and Tourism Management, BS

Will I Make More with a Degree in Hospitality Management?

When you’re pursuing your degree, it’s smart to think about your hospitality degree salary after you graduate. If you’re in the beginning stages of researching degree programs, you’re probably wondering, “how much do hospitality management majors make?” Your hospitality degree salary can depend on several factors, including your place of employment, your previous work experience, your performance in school as you earn your degree, the cost of living in your area, and more.

The salary for hospitality management degree, on average, is $38,000 per year straight out of college. Experience makes this number go up significantly. The salary for hospitality management degree for people who have between one and nine years of experience ranges from $41,000 to $51,000. Hospitality majors salaries can also depend heavily upon work performance, so it’s important to always put your best foot forward at work, even after you earn your degree. In the fast-paced world of hospitality, customer service and attitude can factor heavily into being favored for a raise or promotion.

Whether you’ve been working in the service industry for years or if working in hospitality is a new venture for you, you’ll quickly find that experience matters. Knowing the ins and outs and nuances of your business is invaluable. No degree or certification can take the place of experience. Taking on additional shifts, listening to people who have worked at your place of employment for years, and taking constructive criticism from your supervisor are all important pieces of moving up the career ladder in hospitality.

Hospitality majors salaries can be low to start but can grow quickly over time. If you’re wondering how much do hospitality management majors make, remember that these numbers are just averages. The actual starting salary that you make after you earn your degree may be much higher or lower than what is listed here.

If you’re already working in the hospitality industry, ask your employer if they’re willing to reimburse any of your tuition costs. Many employers have programs for their employees to make it free or less expensive to go back to school. Your employer may have some requirements to go along with this program, such as an agreement that you’ll continue to work at their organization for a number of years after you earn your degree, or that you maintain a certain grade point average in order to keep receiving funds. You’ll also want to look into local scholarship and grant programs that may apply to any special interest groups that apply to you.

Will a Certification in Hospitality Management Help Me on the Job Market?

When you’re working to earn your certification in hospitality management, it’s normal to wonder whether you’ll make more money after you finish your certificate. Many people find that they’re eligible for a wider set of jobs after they complete their certification in hospitality management, many of which are higher paying than jobs that do not require a certificate.

Earning your hospitality management certification online can be a great way to continue making and saving money while earning your certification. Most students who earn their hospitality management certification online work while also going to school. This can help set you up to take some time off to job search after graduation if you desire.

If you’re interested in learning more about whether hospitality management certification programs are a good fit for you, talk with your employer about the best way to move forward at your job. While some employers love the experience and education that a hospitality management certification program provides, others prefer that you further your education while also furthering your on the job experience. Learning what your employer expects is an important piece of ensuring that you’re doing the right things to move forward in your career.

Related Rankings: 

15 Best Online Bachelor’s in Hospitality Management

10 Fastest Online Bachelor’s in Hospitality Management