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Hospitality management is a multifaceted field with different management roles. Hotels, entertainment venues, restaurants, and casinos all make use of hospitality managers in various capacities. A manager can be in charge of rooms and room services, hotel bookings, drinks and bar management, event operations, and more. Many of the skills needed for these types of roles can be learned on the job, but taking an online degree in hospitality management can make a good manager into a great manager. The better a manager is at handling the various aspects of their role, the better they perform.

Online hospitality management degrees offer the same kind of education that’s provided in an on-campus setting. Students are taught the skills they need to handle their roles as a manager in a hospitality organization. Online hospitality management degrees have curriculums with a generic or specific focus and help students learn more about what’s expected from them as a manager and the types of challenges they’ll face in their career. An online degree in hospitality management allows a student to learn and work at the same time, giving them the opportunity to apply their new skills on the job.

Methodology: Ranking the Best Online Hospitality Management Degrees

To rank the best online hospitality management degrees in the US, Bachelor’s Degree Center editors searched for accredited, trusted institutions offering hospitality management programs fully online or in hybrid format. We then ranked programs according to a combination of Alumni Salary, Student Reviews, and Tuition Cost, for the perfect balance of quality and value.

1. Washington State University

Washington State University’s Hospitality Business Management BA program is one of the best online hospitality management degrees available in the country today. Students who work through this program are not only prepared to provide excellent service to customers – they’re also prepared to work with stakeholders in the organization, providing solutions to complex management problems.

One of the most exciting parts of an education at Washington State is the School’s focus on international learning. Many students in the Hospitality Business Management program complete their internship and work requirements abroad, allowing them to learn culinary and hospitality techniques from around the world.

What We Like: Graduates of WSU’s Hospitality Business Management program are well prepared to enter the career world, and WSU provides two events for soon to be graduates to connect with leaders in the hospitality industry.

Degree: Hospitality Business Management, BA

2. University of Massachusetts – Amherst

Known as one of the best online hospitality management degrees, University of Massachusetts – Amherst’s Hospitality and Tourism Management BS program is an excellent option for students who want to excel in the business and management side of the service industry. This undergraduate program trains students in the areas of lodging operations, event management, revenue management, hospitality law, and more.

The Hospitality and Tourism Management, BS program offers students several specialties that allow them to graduate as leaders in their fields. These specialties include convention sales, gaming and social policy, beverage management, club management, and special event management.

What We Like: The University of Massachusetts – Amherst encourages students to get involved with leaders in the hospitality industry right away through networking and internship opportunities. This means that students graduate with connections in place to get top jobs in the industry.

Degree: Hospitality and Tourism Management, BS

3. California State University, East Bay

California State University, Easy Bay’s Hospitality and Tourism Management BS is known as one of the best online hospitality management degrees available in the United States today. The program’s graduates are ready for entry-level supervisory and management positions in the hospitality industry. The program doesn’t just get students ready to serve customers – it gets them ready to lead others in the industry.

Students at California State rave about the school’s amazing alumni network. In California (and across the United States) alums don’t have to look far to find others with connections to the school. This can be huge in finding a job post-graduation. Students also love the faculty’s clear dedication toward getting students prepared for the workplace. Students report that faculty members truly care about students as individuals, and they never feel like they’re just a number.

What We Like: Cal State East Bay was recently ranked as the #40 school in the country for return on investment. Students get their money’s worth with a Cal State degree – and the research proves it.

Degree: Hospitality and Tourism Management, BS

4. University of Missouri

The University of Missouri is known for having one of the best online hospitality management degrees with Mizzou Online’s Hospitality Management BS program. The program is completely online and provides students with the hands-on experience that they need to be standouts in the hospitality field.

Mizzou Online’s Hospitality Management, BS program allows students to expand their range of skills beyond typical hospitality management skills. The program puts a heavy emphasis on HR management, hospitality law, and leadership development. Students emerge ready to take on leadership responsibilities. Mizzou understands that for most people, good leadership doesn’t come naturally – it’s a skill that must be learned. The school works hard to ensure that all of it’s students are prepared to be leaders in their field.

What We Like: Mizzou Online loves helping students get their education, and is offering a 10% tuition discount for military veterans, community college graduates, military service members, and their dependents.

Degree: Hospitality Management, BS

5. University of Central Florida

The University of Central Florida’s Hospitality Management BS is one of the best online hospitality management degrees available in the Unite States today. The program is designed for professionals who are already working in the service industry, meaning students get the opportunity to interact with others who are already experienced in hospitality.

The Rosen College of Hospitality Management at the University of Central Florida is known for producing up and comers in the hospitality industry. The school’s placement in Orlando makes it a hot spot for people who are ready to take the tourism industry by storm. Internship opportunities are endless in the Orlando area, and students will enjoy getting to experience interaction with a variety of institutions and guests during the time that they’re earning their degree.

What We Like: The University of Central Florida is ranked by The Princeton Review and Kiplinger as a best value university, and has also been ranked by Forbes as one of the most affordable colleges in the United States.

Degree: Hospitality Management, BS

6. University of South Carolina – Columbia

The University of South Carolina Hospitality Management BS is one of the best online hospitality management degrees in the Southern United States. Students in the program are able to pursue their areas of interest, including restaurant management, hotel management, or general tourism.

A part of the Palmetto College of USC, the Hospitality Management, BS works hard to keep students in South Carolina after they graduate. The program provides support to students, helping them to find jobs in the bustling tourism economy of SC.

What We Like: The program is proud to accommodate working students, and encourages students who are currently working full time to talk with a program advisor about they can make the program work with their busy schedule.

Degree: Hospitality Management, BS

7. University of Alabama

Recognized as one of the best online hospitality management degrees in the world, the Hospitality Management BS program at the University of Alabama combines a robust online education with a stellar internship experience to provide students with the best of both worlds: online education to learn on their own time, plus real life experience to get the resume boosters that employers want.

Students who complete the Hospitality Management, BS program are well prepared to work in several hospitality industries, including hotels, food management, resort management, golf club management, tourism, and more. Students emerge from the program not just as hospitality experts, but as leaders in their field.

What We Like: CEO World magazine recently ranked the Hospitality Management, BS degree at the University of Alabama as the 18th best hotel and management school in the world.

Degree: Hospitality Management, BS

8. University of Wisconsin – Stout

The Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management BS at the University of Wisconsin – Stout is widely regarded for producing industry leaders in hospitality and tourism. Known as one of the best online hospitality management degrees in the Midwest, the completely online program provides students with the information and skills they need to be successful leaders in hotels, food service, club management, and other aspects of hospitality and tourism.

Not only do students get full support from the U of W’s renowned faculty, they also get support from adult student services coordinators. These professionals understand the unique challenges that people who work full time can face when the go back to school, and they’re there to provide the support that students need to be successful while completing an online degree program.

What We Like: UW-Stout has more than 100 agreements with hospitality and tourism management companies around the world to provide students with top of the line opportunities.

Degree: Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management, BS

9. East Carolina University

East Carolina University’s Hospitality Management BS is one of the best online hospitality management degrees in the South. The program gives students the professional experience and practical knowledge they need to emerge as leaders in the hospitality and tourism fields.

East Carolina University is affiliated with many well-respected tourism organizations, including World Tourism Organization, American Hotel & Lodging Association, Meeting Professionals International, and more. These connections allow students to create the networking relationships needed to be successful in the tourism industry.

What We Like: East Carolina University puts on a School of Hospitality Leadership Luncheon multiple times each year, allowing students to practice their hospitality skills in an upscale dining environment with their peers and faculty at the university.

Degree: Hospitality Management, BS

10. Northern Arizona University

Northern Arizona University’s Hotel and Restaurant Management BS is offered within the W.A. Franke College of Business. This nationally accredited program is regarded as one of the best online hospitality management degrees. Students in the program focus on guest services, food preparation, and sales.

Students in this program get to choose from 35 elective courses, allowing them to create a degree program personalized to their interests. Students can use their electives to create a program that prepares them to earn a certificate in a certain area of hospitality management.

What We Like: Northern Arizona University’s state of the art Arizona Hospitality Research and Resource Center was created to help students earning hospitality degrees excel in a real world environment.

Degree: Hotel and Restaurant Management, BS

11. Fort Hays State University

Fort Hays State University’s Hospitality and Tourism Management BS is one of the best online hospitality management degrees. The program works to both provide students with the skills they need to succeed in hospitality and the leadership skills they need to succeed in any service environment. Students get to focus heavily on marketing skills, making them experts in attracting people to tourism organizations.

Fort Hays State is one of the few hospitality management programs that puts a heavy focus on social media marketing, making students effective marketing leaders in the digital world. This often sought after skills places students at the top of the list when it comes to jobs that require marketing and advertising.

What We Like: Unlike many hospitality programs in the United States, Fort Hays requires a core set of business classes, preparing students to be leaders in their field.

Degree: Hospitality and Tourism Management, BS

12. Madonna University

Known as one of the best online hospitality management degrees, the Hospitality and Tourism Management BS program at Madonna University sets students up to be leaders in guest services and entertainment. The program emphasizes leadership skills and staying on top of the latest trends in the hospitality industry.

Graduates of the program are employed by Disney World, Disneyland, MGM Grand, the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, the Darden Restaurant Chain, and more. Students who graduate from Madonna University are connected with a unique and powerful network of Madonna alumni.

What We Like: Madonna University puts a special emphasis on working with students who have earned a two year degree from a community college to come to Madonna to finish their education.

Degree: Hospitality and Tourism Management, BS

13. University of the Southwest

Known as one of the best online hospitality management degrees in the Southwest, the Hospitality Management BBA program sets students up to excel. Students learn online from world class faculty, allowing them to continue advancing in their hospitality careers while also working to further their education.

Students at University of the Southwest are encouraged to work on personal development and furthering their faith while also furthering this education. This emphasis on personal improvement is a great way for students to develop the confidence they need to be leaders in the workplace.

What We Like: Southwest prides itself on providing flexibility for students, and allows for the creation of a custom schedule to meet individual needs.

Degree: Hospitality Management, BBA

14. SUNY College of Technology at Delhi

The Hotel and Restaurant Management BBA at SUNY College of Technology at Delhi is one of the best online hospitality management degrees available to students in the Northeast. Students focus on food service management, leadership, law, finance, lodging, and more. The program is designed for professionals who want to go beyond a typical career in hospitality and advance to management level.

The program is offered completely online, making it perfect for busy professionals who want to continue working hard to apply the skills they’re learning in class to real world scenarios. Class sizes are small, making it easy to access faculty with questions or concerns.

What We Like: The Resnick Academic Achievement Center is a little known benefit of attending classes at SUNY College of Technology at Delhi. At Resnick, students can access the tutoring and academic help they need to be successful in earning their degree.

Degree: Hotel and Restaurant Management, BBA

15. Everglades University

One of the best online hospitality management degrees in the Southeast, Everglades University’s Hospitality Management BS positions students to become leaders in the industries of hospitality and tourism. The program focuses on providing a well rounded education that teaches students to analyze and think critically, constantly searching for ways to improve techniques and processes in the hospitality field.

Located in Boca Raton, students at Everglades University have the opportunity to get hands on experience from several area resorts and businesses. This allows students to network and develop the relationships necessary to become successful in Florida’s bustling tourism industry.

What We Like: Everglades University teaches students to use the business software they’ll need to be leaders in management, making graduates of this program especially well prepared to immediately start working in a leadership position upon graduation.

Degree: Hospitality Management, BS

Is Hospitality Management a Good Career?

The world of hospitality management is a high stress and fast-paced one. A manager needs to be nimble, flexible, and quick to make decisions when the pressure is high, but also be able to make long-term forecasts and decisions that affect the organization as a whole. Having a degree in hospitality management offers the opportunity to learn about and build upon these skills, but getting said degree can take years. Someone who’s already working in the hospitality industry may not be able to take the time to attend a university campus. That’s where an online degree in hospitality management comes in.

Hospitality management as a career is not for everyone, but it’s a good career for individuals who like to work in a fast-paced environment that keeps them on their toes. Some challenges are the same from day to day, but the ever-changing nature of the hospitality industry means there’s always a new problem or issue to resolve. It’s also an opportunity to meet new people, work in multi-national organizations, and there’s lots of opportunities for career advancement. The skills learned from hospitality management as a career also transfer into other industries if there’s ever a desire to make a career change.

Many people in the industry feel that the skills needed to be a good hospitality manager are learned on the job. It leaves many asking “is a degree in hospitality management worth it?” The answer to the question is “yes, a degree is worth it.” Someone who wants to eventually manage a bar or restaurant needs to have reasonable understanding of scheduling, communication with staff and customers, can competently oversee a kitchen and make sure the staff are adhering to safety standards, and make decisions on restocking supplies. The argument can be made that a lot of these duties are instinctual, but getting a degree in hospitality management can refine those instincts.

The hospitality industry is primarily a service industry that is based around managing guest and/or customer expectations. Managers need to be able to perform their duties at their desk and be able to walk out onto the floor and resolve a customer issue at a moment’s notice. They also have to be able to report to upper management in a clear and concise fashion. It’s a lot of work for one person to do, but many of the duties are made easier through education. Those who are working in the industry already, or want to start their hospitality management career from a strong position will benefit from taking an online hospitality management degree program.

How Much Can I Make in Hospitality Management?

Salaries for hospitality management vary from position to position, but the median salary in hospitality management is $53,390 per year or $25.67 per hour according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, salaries for hospitality management can go higher depending on the position, experience, and type of work required of a manager. Someone who works at a single restaurant location might find themselves at the lower end of the hospitality management range while someone who is working at a large venue or is responsible for a large property can find themselves at the higher end of the range of hospitality management salaries.

As previously mentioned, the field of hospitality management has many different roles. The skills learned working in a hospitality venue can transfer to roles that support the hospitality industry. Someone with experience as a hospitality manager may be able to spin their skills to work as a project manager in a related field and earn more than the average salary in hospitality management. Hospitality management salaries may be above average due to the precise nature of the boutique hotel, but may also be more demanding of a position. Hospitality management and tourism salary averages vary from role to role, but its earning potential is good and makes getting into hospitality management as a career a solid choice.

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