Best Hospitality Management Degrees

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Advance your future with a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management—and gain an edge on a global, leading-edge industry.

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If you’re looking for a career that is fast-paced, engaging, and rarely boring, the hospitality industry might be calling your name. And while entry-level jobs in the hospitality industry don’t usually require a bachelor’s degree—if you want to thrive in the industry and move into positions of leadership, a Bachelor’s in Hospitality Management is a great way to get started.

Hospitality Management programs tend to be a challenging blend of business fundamentals and hands-on experience—giving you a good grounding for a career in the field. Whatever your goals are, a good Hospitality Management program will give you skills that you can apply in a variety of settings.

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Top 10 Best Hospitality Management Degrees

Rank School Location
1 Cornell University Ithaca, NY
2 Michigan State University East Lansing, MI
3 University of Massachusetts Amherst Amherst, MA
4 Virginia Tech Blacksburg, VA
5 University of Houston Houston, TX
6 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL
7 University of Nevada, Las Vegas Las Vegas, NV
8 NYU School of Professional Studies New York, NY
9 Washington State University Pullman, WA
10 Pennsylvania State University University Park, PA

What kind of Hospitality Management degree should you get?

This is the big question. Depending on your ultimate career goals, there are hospitality management programs that emphasize a variety of aspects of the industry—from the business end to food and nutrition. Look closely at college websites to get a good sense of the program emphasis.

This ranking is for campus-based programs, but if you don’t want to take a break from your current job—or if moving away to attend school full time isn’t an option—there are plenty of online programs worth looking at.

Online degrees from accredited colleges are convenient, flexible, and often affordable—and they’ll be taken seriously by employers. If that sounds good to you, check out our ranking of Best Online Hospitality Management Degrees.

How much money do people make with a Hospitality Management degree?

The hospitality industry encompasses a vast array of career opportunities. And your bachelor’s degree—combined with extensive work experience—will open doors for positions that would otherwise be closed to you.

The company you work for, your level of education, and your work experience will to a large extent determine your salary. But here are some median salaries for holders of a bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management, according to Payscale.com:

  • Restaurant Manager: $43,537
  • General Manager, Hotel: $62,081
  • Event Coordinator: $39,170
  • Event Manager: $48,318

What can you do with a degree in Hospitality Management?

What can’t you do? Earning a degree in Hospitality Management will prepare you for a huge range of management careers in the hospitality-tourism industry. Whether your interests lie in event planning, lodging, food, accounting—or the myriad other areas you can delve into—your degree will give you both broad-based knowledge and specific skills that you can apply in a variety of settings.

  • Special event management
  • Hospitality real estate
  • Hospitality human resources
  • Hospitality information technology and social media
  • Hospitality marketing and sales

What are the requirements for a bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management?

The requirements for your degree will depend largely on the program you enroll in. To declare a major in hospitality management, some schools will require students to complete their lower level courses first. And more competitive programs may even have GPA or work experience requirements.

If you’re transferring from a community college, you should consult the college’s online transfer guides and the Undergraduate Catalog for detailed information. And an academic counselor or advisor can help to review your degree plan and keep you on track for graduation.

What are the best Hospitality Management degrees?

There are lots of Hospitality Management programs out there. So what makes a good program? In order to give you the best chance of success in your future career, the best hospitality management programs will require extensive internships and hands-on work experiences—as well as chances to network and build professional relationships.

To compile our College Choice ranking of the best Hospitality Management degrees, we compiled data that reflects both academic excellence and return on investment. We look at the school’s reputation, tuition costs, and early career earnings of graduates—and all schools on our rankings are regionally accredited. Our sources include sites like U.S. News and World Report, the National Center for Educational Statistics, Payscale, and metadata aggregation of student review sites.

We hope this helps you find a great Hospitality Management program!

Rankings

See our rankings methodology page.

  1. Cornell University
    Location

    Ithaca, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    At the top of our list is Cornell University, which is both a private Ivy League university and a partner of the State University of New York. Located in the college town of Ithaca, Cornell ranks among the best national universities in the country. And among their several prestigious colleges, the AACSB-accredited Johnson College of Business also ranks among the top 20 nationally (U.S. News and World Report).

    Program Features

    The Hotel School at Cornell’s Johnson College of Business offers a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management. The program immerses students in the major from the beginning, and delivers a comprehensive understanding of the hospitality industry. Core courses address all of the aspects of running a business, and the huge variety of electives provide breadth to the degree program. Core topics include:

    • Operations
    • Finance and Accounting; Real Estate Development
    • Management Communication
    • Management and Organizational Behavior; Human Resource Management

    Notables

    Cornell University’s B.S. in Hotel Administration degree is comprised of both traditional coursework and the experiential Practice Credit (800 hours of work in the field). A unique feature of Cornell’s program is their “inverted” curriculum. Unlike most programs, students complete two-thirds of the courses in the H.M. major in the first two years—this allows students to determine early on where their interests lie so they can focus study and work experience on those areas.

  2. Michigan State University
    Location

    East Lansing, MI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Located in the city of East Lansing, MI, Michigan State University is a large public research university that ranks among the top 100 national universities in the country. MSU’s programs frequently rank among the best in the nation—and the school’s AACSB-accredited Eli Broad School of Business has been a pioneer in the area of hospitality business.

    Program Features

    Michigan State University’s School of Hospitality Business (independent within the Broad School of Business) offers a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Business. As a student, you’ll learn from both renowned, innovative faculty and visiting leaders who are experts in the field. And you’ll be equipped with both theoretical and practical, hands-on experiences for real-world situations. The curriculum blends three areas of study:

    • Integrative Studies
    • Business
    • Hospitality

    Notables

    Michigan State University’s B.S. in Hospitality Business is a 120-credit program which blends core courses and electives. In addition to the hospitality business courses, students can immerse themselves in a language, study abroad, or take an international course. And to ensure that graduates are prepared for employment, there are two required paid internships that form an essential part of the degree program.

  3. University of Massachusetts Amherst
    Location

    Amherst, MA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Located in the college town of Amherst, Massachusetts, The University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass) is a public research university and the flagship of the University of Massachusetts system. The largest public university in New England, UMass ranks among the top 100 national universities and is home to the top-ranked Isenberg School of Management.

    Program Features

    The Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst offers a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management. This is a multidisciplinary program that translates students’ passion for food, travel, and people into a rewarding management career—you’ll gain expertise, commitment, and real-world skills. Some of the many topics students encounter include:

    • Food and Beverage Management
    • Service Experience Management
    • Lodging Operations
    • Casino Management

    Notables

    UMass Amherst’s B.S. in Hospitality and Tourism Management is a 120-credit program that blends foundational business classes with coursework that stimulates real-world business experiences. From core courses like Marriott Meals (in which students manage the restaurant with student employees) to study abroad / internship experiences in Switzerland—UMass Amherst’s program ensures you’ll be job-ready on graduation.

  4. Virginia Tech
    Location

    Blacksburg, VA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Generally referred to as Virginia Tech, Virginia Polytechnic and State University is a public research university located in Blacksburg, VA (which itself has the reputation for being one of the best college towns in the South). Virginia Tech has a longstanding reputation as a research powerhouse and ranks among the top 100 national universities in the country (U.S. News and World Report).

    Program Features

    Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business offers a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management that prepares students for leadership in one of the world’s largest industries. As a student, you’ll encounter a balance of industry-focused educational opportunities with directed work experiences—with special emphasis placed on developing analytical, decision-making, leadership and communications skills. Courses include:

    • Introduction to International Business
    • Hospitality Sales
    • Travel and Tourism Management

    Notables

    Virginia Tech’s B.S. in Hospitality and Tourism Management features a flexible curriculum which allows students to pursue specific areas of emphasis. These areas include hospitality operations, global tourism experiences, restaurant and food management, meetings and events, and club and resort management. And if you’re interested in Real Estate, there is a dual degree program which will prepare you for the field of asset management or hotel brokerage.

  5. University of Houston
    Location

    Houston, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Located in Houston, TX, the University of Houston is a major public research university and the flagship institution of the University of Houston System. The University sits on a sprawling campus in southeast Houston, and offers numerous nationally ranked programs through its 14 academic colleges. The Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management offers high-quality specialized degree programs for hospitality management.

    Program Features

    The University of Houston’s Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management offers a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management that will give you specialized business education. You’ll learn from highly experienced faculty and a curriculum that is comprehensive, current, and applicable. And you can tailor the degree to your own interests through an area of emphasis. Some options include:

    • Lodging and Management
    • Restaurant Management
    • Catering Management
    • Sales and Marketing Management

    Notables

    The University of Houston’s B.S. in Hospitality Management is comprised of both traditional coursework and 600 hours of industry-related work experience. If you know you’ll want to complete a master’s degree, UH offers a 4+1 option which allows students to complete both a bachelor’s and master’s in five years. And the University has articulation agreements with over 70 community colleges and schools to make credit transfer as seamless as possible.

  6. University of Central Florida
    Location

    Orlando, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Located in the tourism epi-center of Orlando, Florida, the University of Central Florida is a large public research university. The University is young, innovative, and offers a plethora of highly regarded programs. Among these, the pioneering Rosen College of Hospitality Management offers one of the most technologically advanced facilities for Hospitality Management in the U.S.

    Program Features

    The University of Central Florida’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management offers a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management. Students learn from UCF’s diverse, international faculty and a comprehensive curriculum that covers the entire spectrum of the hospitality industry. You’ll gain a well-rounded education and be prepared for a variety of career possibilities. Students choose from one of four tracks:

    • Golf and Club Management Track
    • Professional Tennis Management Track
    • Lodging Management Track
    • Theme Park and Attraction Management Track

    Notables

    The University of Central Florida’s B.S. in Hospitality Management combines a solid Hospitality Management core with internships, general studies, and courses specific to your chosen track. Students get plenty of hands-on experience, as well as the opportunity to network through industry-related student organizations. And you’ll be job-ready—over 90% of students graduating from the program have full-time jobs when they finish.

  7. University of Nevada, Las Vegas
    Location

    Las Vegas, NV

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Ideally located in one of the renowned tourist hubs of the nation, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas is a public research university set just a couple miles east of the Las Vegas strip. The school offers an array of research opportunities for its highly diverse student population. UNLV is home to a renowned College of Hospitality, which teaches students the art, science, and business of hospitality.

    Program Features

    UNLV’s Harrah College of Hospitality offers a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management which will give you a broad educational foundation for a career in the hospitality industry. The curriculum offers a mix of management theories and practical operational skills—knowledge that will be applicable to any segment of the industry that you land in. Students choose from four concentrations:

    • Gaming Management
    • Meetings and Events
    • PGA Golf Management
    • Restaurant Management

    Notables

    The University of Nevada, Las Vegas’ B.S. in Hospitality Management is comprised of core Hospitality Management courses (including human resources management, hospitality law, and food service operations) and 22 credits of electives. And all students gain extensive hands-on experience through internships, a capstone project, and industry work experience. And in Las Vegas, you’ll have no shortage of places to apply your new skills.

  8. NYU School of Professional Studies
    Location

    New York, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Located in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City, New York University ranks among the top national universities in the country. The University is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities and is the largest private university in the country. And the School of Professional studies makes a range of highly lauded professionally oriented degrees—like Hospitality Management—accessible to all students.

    Program Features

    NYU’s School of Professional Studies offers a Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Tourism Management that will get you ready to succeed in one of the fastest growing economic sectors. The program combines liberal arts studies with industry-specific business classes and in-depth industry knowledge. Students gain a competitive edge in the global hospitality industry through leading-edge concentrations like:

    • Event Management
    • Hotel Development
    • Marketing and Revenue Management
    • Organizations and Operations
    • Tourism Development

    Notables

    NYU School of Professional Studies’ B.S. in Hotel and Tourism Management covers essential topics like hospitality finance, sales and marketing, revenue management, special event planning, destination development, and food and beverage operations. And the program takes full advantage of all New York has to offer—through site visits, industry events, and guest speakers—as well as extensive internships.

  9. Washington State University
    Location

    Pullman, WA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Washington State University (WSU) is a public research university located in the city of Pullman, in eastern Washington state. With a high commitment to research and public service, WSU students receive a strong educational foundation in an engaged learning environment. And the School of Hospitality Business Management consistently ranks among the top five percent of similar programs in the nation.

    Program Features

    WSU’s School of Hospitality Business Management offers a Bachelor of Arts in Hospitality Business Management with specialized instruction in the operation of hospitality-industry businesses. Top industry leaders teach innovative courses—and students learn theoretical and applied methods, as well as interpersonal skills and strategies for leadership and teamwork. Courses include:

    • Professional Development
    • Lodging Systems and Procedures
    • Career Management
    • Foodservice Systems and Control

    Notables

    Washington State University’s B.A. in Hospitality Business Management is available at both the Pullman campus and at several of their regional centers (including online through their Global Campus and at the Cesar Ritz College in Switzerland). It’s worth noting that the Pullman Campus H.B.M. major is a competitive program with limited enrollments—and you’ll need to complete a number of prerequisites and maintain a good GPA to be admitted as a business major.

  10. Pennsylvania State University
    Location

    University Park, PA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Located in University Park, PA, Pennsylvania State University is a flagship public research university known colloquially as one of the “public ivies.” Among the University’s much-lauded graduate colleges is the College of Health and Human Development, the home of Penn State’s School of Hospitality Management.

    Program Features

    Penn State’s School of Hospitality Management offers a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management that will prepare you for a management career in a variety of hospitality venues. You’ll get the best of both general studies courses as well as Hospitality Management components—so that you graduate with a broad general education and strong management skills. Courses include:

    • Introduction to Management in the Hospitality Industry
    • Hospitality Pre-Professional Development Seminar
    • Hotel and Restaurant Marketing and Merchandising

    Notables

    Penn State’s B.S. in Hospitality Management offers significant flexibility in program structure. Students can either choose a general emphasis in hospitality, or they may choose courses that offer an emphasis in restaurant management, hotel management, or institutional management. Concentrations are also possible—in areas such as financial management, human resource management, marketing, or hospitality management information systems.

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