Best Online Hospitality Management Degrees

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If you’re anything like me, you’ve had both very good and very bad experiences in hotels.

Those bad experiences can ruin a long-expected vacation or make stressful business travel even worse. But when a hotel is run by professional staff who love what they do and pay attention to every detail, it can turn even the shortest overnight stop on a road trip into a cherished memory.

Those hotel management professionals are part of a steadily growing industry with jobs available across the country. But as the largest travel industry website recently noted, finding well-trained people to fill those jobs is a constant challenge. Dan Peltier writes,

Many hoteliers have said there’s a talent gap in the hospitality industry and that hotels are missing key skills needed to help them create an enjoyable, twenty-first century guest experience. [Recent] job numbers prove hoteliers are responding to demand but time will tell if these new jobs are helping create a more skilled workforce.

The job numbers Peltier mentions are indeed impressive, with an average of 27,000 hospitality jobs created in the US during every month of 2016. The American Hotel and Lodging Association, the primary trade association for the industry, agrees: “We’re encouraged that our industry continues to be a driving force in creating jobs and offering long-term careers, advancing community development and boosting economic communities.” Overall, the U.S. hospitality industry provides 15.5 million jobs to the economy, of which 15.1 million are in hotels.

Starting salaries for typical graduates with a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management are relatively modest. However, your pay can increase substantially with experience. According to Payscale.com, hospitality management graduates begin at an average of $40,500 per year, reaching $60,200 by mid-career. Of course, the managers of five-star luxury hotels may be paid much more than that, and those working for national hotel chains have the potential to move into executive positions as well. If working as a hotel general manager or sales manager isn’t for you, other positions for graduates include event coordinator, restaurant manager, casino manager, cruise director, or manager in the travel and tourism divisions of local and state governments.

Top 10 Best Online Hospitality Management Degrees

Rank School Location
1 University of Florida Gainesville, FL
2 Florida International University Miami, FL
3 Webster University Saint Louis, MO
4 University of Minnesota Crookston, MN
5 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL
6 The University of Memphis Memphis, TN
7 Appalachian State University Boone, NC
8 The University of Arizona Tucson, AZ
9 Mississippi College Clinton, MS
10 California Baptist University Riverside, CA
Advertisement CollegeChoice.net 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.

Recommended Management Degrees

What are the best online bachelor’s in hospitality management?

If you’re a good problem-solver and communicator who enjoys working with a diverse range of people, a career in hospitality management may be right for you. Some hotel jobs are open to those with an associate’s degree or even a high school diploma with the right experience. But a bachelor’s degree will jump-start your career by giving you the qualifications for higher-paying jobs with more responsibility. It can also be the right choice for hotel and restaurant employees who want to move into management roles. Ready to take the next step without disrupting your current job or your family? Check out our ranking of the top 25 accredited online bachelor’s programs in hospitality management. The methodology for our ranking is based on reputation for excellence as measured by U.S. News & World Report, student-to-faculty ratio, admission rates, and return on investment, which is a measure of net price versus the expected early career salary of graduates.

Rankings

See our rankings methodology page.

  1. University of Florida
    Location

    Gainesville, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Located in Gainesville, Florida, the University of Florida is ranked among the ten best public universities in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. Total enrollment is over 52,000. Students choose from more than 300 academic programs, many of them available online. U.S. News and World Report ranks UF Online No. 12 in the nation for online bachelor’s degrees. One online option is a BS in Telecommunication Media and Society.

    Program Features

    UF’s online Bachelor of Science in Telecommunication Media and Society provides a strong foundation in media skills. Students study both traditional and digital media and their impact on society. The 124-credit degree focuses on marketing and distribution, media regulations, and the theories, methods, and techniques used to produce and distribute audio and video messages and programs. Courses include:

    • Introduction to Media and Communications
    • Writing Fundamentals for Communicators
    • Sight, Sound, and Motion
    • Media and Society
    • Law of Mass Communication

    Notables

    UF’s Department of Telecommunication consistently ranks among the top five in the United States. Graduates work in international communications, marketing, research and media campaigning. The program also equips students with excellent communication and analytical skills for graduate study or law school.

  2. Florida International University
    Location

    Miami, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    A public research university in Miami, Florida, Florida International University enrolls nearly 54,000 students and offers over 190 degree programs. It’s ranked among the top 100 public universities nationwide by U.S. News and World Report. FIU serves a diverse community of students through high-quality on campus and online programs.Online programs are highly interactive and include a BA in Communication Arts.

    Program Features

    FIU’s BA in Communication Arts is a 120-credit program. Students explore the core principles of business and interpersonal communication, group dynamics, and the art of persuasion. It’s an excellent option for students wanting to improve their communication and speaking skills for a wide range of careers. You’ll take courses such as:

    • Advanced Public Speaking
    • Business and Professional Communication
    • Interpersonal Communication
    • Artistic Expression in a Global Society
    • Social Media’s Impact on Communication

    Notables

    FIU Online provides students with a personal success coach who provides one-on-one guidance throughout the program. Interactive technology enables students to watch lectures, receive real-time feedback from professors, and collaborate on projects with classmates. Graduates are prepared for communication-driven careers in highly diverse fields.

  3. Webster University
    Location

    Saint Louis, MO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Webster University is a private nonprofit liberal arts university with its home campus in St. Louis, Missouri. Founded in 1915, Webster now has campuses throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. The worldwide institution also offers a robust online learning environment and is recognized for its diversity, inclusion, and value. U.S. News and World Report ranks it in the top tier of regional Midwest universities. WU offers an online BA in Media Communications.

    Program Features

    Students in the Bachelor of Arts in Media Communications program take courses in media theory, writing, and production. They also select a 12-hour concentration in the School of Communications. During junior year, students must pass a portfolio review. The 128-credit program consists of courses like:

    • Introduction to Media Production
    • Media Literacy
    • The Law and the Media
    • Introduction to Media Writing or Fundamentals of Reporting
    • Ethics in the Media

    Notables

    Concentrations are offered in Media Communications, Film Studies, Public Relations, Advertising, Animation, Games and Game Design, Interactive Media, Journalism, Photography, Scriptwriting, Sports Communications, and Film, TV, and Video Production. Students are also required to complete a thesis or a capstone course/internship.

  4. University of Minnesota
    Location

    Crookston, MN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Founded in 1851, the University of Minnesota is a public research university and the state’s flagship. The main campus is in Minneapolis, with another just three miles away in St. Paul. UM currently serves over 47,000 students and is recognized for providing an affordable education delivered by world-class faculty. The University of Minnesota offers flexible learning options like evening and online courses. Among the university’s online options is a BS in Communication.

    Program Features

    The 120-credit Bachelor of Science in Communication emphasizes communication theory and practice. Students hone their presentation, writing, and interpersonal skills. They choose from three areas of emphasis: Communication Studies, Writing, or Organizational Communication/Public Relations. The program is highly affordable, and financial aid is available. In this program, you’ll take courses such as:

    • Communication Technology Trends
    • Human Relationships and Leadership
    • Persuasion
    • Business and Professional Speaking
    • Social and Behavioral Science Research Methods

    Notables

    Graduates find or create jobs in almost any field, including business and technical writing, editing, public relations, corporate communication, media relations, management, political campaigns, marketing, publications work, sports information, and more.

  5. University of Central Florida
    Location

    Orlando, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Based in Orlando, Florida, the University of Central Florida is one of the largest universities in the nation. UCF enrolls more than 68,000 students, who choose from over 220 degree programs. The public research university is a leader in both value and workforce preparation. The College of Sciences is the largest of UCF’s 13 colleges and features programs in communication, journalism, and social and behavioral sciences. The college offers an online BA in Communication and Conflict.

    Program Features

    UCF’s 120-credit Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Conflict focuses on the interaction of communication and conflict at all levels from the interpersonal to the intercultural. With a strong emphasis on real-world application and experiential learning, students prepare for careers in arbitration, mediation, human resources and management, and much more. Courses include:

    • Communication Theories of Interpersonal Conflict
    • Conflict Communication Research Methods
    • Conflict and Communication Context
    • Electronic Media, Technology, & Society
    • Crisis Communication

    Notables

    Students are required to complete a one-credit internship at the end of the program. The degree can be completed in as little as two years full-time. It also provides excellent preparation for graduate studies in law, management, and communication. UCF Online students are supported by a Success Coach from admission to graduation. Programs are designed and taught by the same faculty who teach on-campus courses.

  6. The University of Memphis
    Location

    Memphis, TN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Memphis is a public research university in Memphis, Tennessee. It was founded in 1912 and enrolls over 21,000 students. The university’s core values include student success, access, inclusion, and diversity. U of M offers a guaranteed tuition plan, a tuition cap, and uniform tuition rates. Through U of M Global, the school brings accredited, nationally ranked online degree programs to students wherever they are. One online program is a BA in Communication.

    Program Features

    U of M’s Bachelor of Arts in Communication with a specialization in Communication Studies focuses on five key areas: analysis and critical thinking, knowledge, ethics, mediated communication, and performance. Students learn to produce messages for varying purposes, audiences, and contexts through courses like:

    • Media and Info Literacy
    • Rhetoric/Civic Controversy
    • Communication Ethics
    • Communication Research Methods
    • Theories of Persuasion

    Notables

    Students choose three courses from one of three focus areas: Professional & Relational Communication, Rhetoric & Public Advocacy, or Media & Culture. All students complete a senior capstone course that includes a portfolio and a capstone research project. Students must maintain a cumulative 2.0 GPA for all courses completed in the major.

  7. Appalachian State University
    Location

    Boone, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Located in Boone, North Carolina, Appalachian State University is a public university that was founded as a teacher’s college in 1899. Today, ASU enrolls more than 19,000 students and offers over 150 degree programs. It is nationally ranked by both U.S. News and World Report and Princeton Review. In addition, ASU’s online programs are ranked among the nation’s best by U.S. News and World Report. One of these exceptional programs is a BS in Communication.

    Program Features

    In the Bachelor of Science in Communication, Advertising program at ASU, students explore topics like brand communications, advertising copy and design, media planning, international retailing, and sales management. Students gain the skills needed for effective marketing and selling, including the ability to create compelling and measurable social media campaigns. Students take courses such as:

    • Foundations of Advertising
    • Social Media Strategies
    • Advertising Campaigns
    • Professional Ethics in Advertising
    • Copywriting for Advertising

    Notables

    Graduates go on to careers as marketing specialists, advertising managers, market researchers, media buyers, and more. During the program, students must engage with social media. This includes creating and managing LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts and posting content on topics directed by course instructors.

  8. The University of Arizona
    Location

    Tucson, AZ

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Founded in 1885, the University of Arizona is a nationally ranked public research university in Tucson, Arizona. It’s ranked among the nation’s top 50 public universities by U.S. News and World Report and enrolls about 45,000 students. It’s known for providing excellent value, quality career preparation, and innovative research. U.S. News and World Report also ranks UA’s online bachelor’s programs in the top 30 nationally. One of these programs is a BA in Communication.

    Program Features

    The online Bachelor of Arts in Communication centers on the scientific study of communication, including its processes and effects. The major does not focus on specific skills training. It provides a broad understanding of social influence and persuasion, interpersonal communication, and the impact of new media and information technologies. This knowledge can be applied to a wide range of academic and career interests. Courses include:

    • Introduction to Study of Communication
    • Introduction to Communication Theory
    • Research Methods
    • Introduction to Stats for Social Sciences

    Notables

    Incoming students should select “Communication” as their intended major on the University of Arizona application. Current students must attend a major information session to declare the major.

  9. Mississippi College
    Location

    Clinton, MS

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Mississippi College is a private Baptist college in Clinton, Mississippi. Founded in 1826, the college is the oldest in Mississippi and the second oldest Baptist-affiliated college in the nation. With an enrollment of over 5,000 students, it’s also Mississippi’s largest private university. Mississippi College is known for its academic excellence, affordable price, and commitment to providing a Christ-centered education. The school offers an online BA in Communication.

    Program Features

    The Bachelor of Arts in Communication program offers several concentrations, including Generalist, Interpersonal and Public Communication, Journalism, Mass Media, Political Communication, Public Relations, and Sport Media. All students complete the University Core, Introduction to Theatre, and 6-12 hours of Modern Languages. Communication core courses include:

    • Communication Research
    • Public Speaking
    • Communication Law
    • Public Relations
    • Journalism I

    Notables

    In total, the BA in Communication program requires 130 semester hours. The wide range of concentrations allows students to customize the program according to their academic and career goals. All students also receive an introduction to graphics software and are required to complete a program portfolio.

  10. California Baptist University
    Location

    Riverside, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    A private liberal arts university in Riverside, California, California Baptist University is one of the nation’s top Christian colleges. CBU enrolls over 10,000 students and has been named one of the nation’s best regional universities by U.S. News and World Report. The school provides a Christ-centered education that blends academics with spiritual and social development opportunities. CBU offers an online BA in Communication Studies.

    Program Features

    CBU’s Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies can be completed in an average of 16 months. It’s intended to equip working professionals with the skills to create, develop, and deliver presentations. Graduates will be prepared to lead others, think critically and creatively, and make effective decisions. In this program, you’ll take courses like:

    • Oral Communication
    • Media and Society
    • Interpersonal Communication
    • Rhetoric and Persuasion
    • Communication Principles for Leadership

    Notables

    Graduates work as public relations specialists, communication specialists, media specialists, and more. They demonstrate creativity, confidence, and competence through written and verbal communication principles and practices.

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Advertisement CollegeChoice.net 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.

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