What kind of Hospitality Management degree should you get?
Some schools offer hospitality management as a concentration within another degree program, but others provide more specific concentrations within a hospitality management degree. Students often choose to specialize in event management, hospitality marketing, or operations management.
Event management concentrations focus on the issues facing those who operate concerts, conventions, trade shows, and other events, as well as the venues that host them. Students in these programs focus down on the logistics of managing short-term events.
Hospitality marketing programs look at the ways hoteliers and restaurateurs reach out to their customers. These programs emphasize brand management and customer relationships.
Operations management takes a comprehensive approach, looking at brand management, logistics, cost control, and sales. Operations managers need to be comfortable with all elements of the business, cutting costs down to size and overseeing day-to-day work.
How much money do people make with a Master’s in Hospitality Management?
Hospitality management salaries fall around $50,000. Lodging managers draw salaries of about $53,000 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Event planners come in a little lower, typically pulling in a salary under $50,000.
While salaries are similar, expected growth rates in the field differ significantly. Hotel management positions should grow at a rate of about 4 percent through 2026, significantly lower than the national average. Event planning, however, is projected to grow at a rate of 11 percent for the same period, leading to thousands of new positions.
What can you do with a Master’s in Hospitality Management?
Hospitality management professionals work in hotels, restaurants, and non-profit organizations.
- Lodgings – Lodging managers oversee the day-to-day operations of a hotel, motel, or other similar business. They manage relationships with guests, coordinate with local events, and deal with logistical issues.
- Restaurants – Restaurant owners and managers oversee the work done in food service establishments. This work can include interacting with customers, making sure the restaurant is well-stocked, and training new employees.
- Non-Profit Organizations – Non-profit organizations often need event managers to handle fundraisers, awards galas, and other events. They coordinate with hotels, convention centers, suppliers, and other organizations to make sure the event has all necessary supplies and goes smoothly.
What are the requirements for an online master’s in hospitality management degree?
- Undergraduate work – Applicants must usually have an undergraduate degree. Students should expect to submit transcripts from each college or university they attended while getting this degree.
- Letters of recommendation – Not all schools will expect a letter of recommendation for hospitality management degrees, but some will. Plan to have at least two recommenders for the application process.
- Standardized tests – Common tests for graduate hospitality management students include the GMAT and the GRE. Students will often need to take at least one of these to enter.
- Application fees – While some schools offer free applications, others will charge an application fee. This fee will usually be less than $100.
See our rankings methodology page.
University of Central Florida
College Choice Score: 100
Average Net Price: $15,533
The University of Central Florida is a large public research university located in Orlando, Florida. A relatively young and innovative institution, the school 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. In fact, students can now pursue an online M.S. in Hospitality and Tourism Management.
As a student of the Rosen College of Hospitality Management, you’ll learn from UCF’s diverse, international faculty and interact and connect with industry partners and peers. You’ll broaden your knowledge of the industry and sharpen your management skills. Courses may include:
- Financial Analysis of Hospitality Enterprises
- Critical Issues in Hospitality Human Resources
- Managing Hospitality and Guest Services Organizations
UCF’s M.S. in Hospitality and Tourism Management is a 33-credit program that can be completed in person, online, or a combination of both. The curriculum is comprised of 18 credits of core coursework and 15 credits of either electives or a thesis option. Ideal candidates for UCF’s program have an undergraduate degree in hospitality, business management, or a related discipline as well as experience working in the hospitality industry.
University of Nevada-Las Vegas
College Choice Score: 98.97
Average Net Price: $11,432
Founded in 1957, the University of Nevada-Las Vegas is a public research university that prioritizes diversity, high scholarship, and strong community. UNLV also values affordability, with its students having lower debt upon graduation than the national average. Now, students can save even more by earning their degrees online. Check out UNLV’s William F. Harrah College of Hospitality for a Master of Hospitality Administration (M.H.A.) degree.
UNLV’s online Master of Hospitality Administration (MHA) is a 30-credit program that teaches students the theories behind hospitality and human resource management The program is made up of five major courses, four electives, and a professional paper. The college also hosts three major conferences:
- Regional CHRIE Conference
- Graduate Student Research Conference in Hospitality and Tourism
- International Council on Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education (ICHRIE)
All courses are offered online and students typically complete the program in 18 to 24 months, though the degree can be completed in as little as one year.
In addition to receiving need-based financial aid from the university, there are specific scholarships available for hospitality students. Independent institutions such as the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation (AHLA), U.S. Travel Association, and the California Restaurant Association offer scholarships.
Florida International University
College Choice Score: 98.04
Average Net Price: $12,966
Established in 1965, Florida International University is Miami’s first and only public research university. The university is currently ranked as the third best online college in the state of Florida by Affordable Colleges Online. Students interested in the hospitality industry should definitely check out FIU’s Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management. The school even offers an online Master of Science in Hospitality Management.
This fully-online 12-month program requires students to complete 33 credits. Required courses may include:
- Marketing Management
- Hospitality Law Seminar
- Hospitality Enterprise Technology
- Contemporary Global Issues in the Hospitality Industry
- Globalization and Competitive Methods of Multinational Hospitality Companies
Students can also choose from a few different specializations, including Revenue Management and Real Estate Development. For those with at least five years in the hospitality industry already, the school offers a 10-month Executive M.S. in Hospitality Management.
FIU’s Hospitality Management program is nationally recognized, being voted one of the Top 10 Hospitality Programs by industry employers and among the Top 20 Most Affordable Hospitality Degrees by Best Hospitality Degrees. The Chaplin School awards about $700,000 in scholarships to students annually. FIU alumni, corporate partners, and veterans are eligible for a $2,250 scholarship as well.
College Choice Score: 97.28
Average Net Price: $11,693
Located in Lafayette, Indiana, Purdue University is a public research university that is consistently ranked among the top universities in the United States. Founded in 1869, Purdue is now made up of over 10 schools and colleges, many of which are very highly ranked. This includes IUPUI’s School of Physical Education and Tourism Management. Now, students can earn an online Master of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management (HTM) at Purdue.
IUPUI’s M.S. in Hospitality and Tourism Management is a one-of-a-kind program comprised of 34 credits. You’ll receive essential training in many key areas. Courses may include:
- Economics of Travel and Tourism
- Leadership in Hospitality and Tourism
- Business Statistics and Quantitative Analysis
- Advanced Service Management for Hospitality and Tourism
While a thesis is not mandatory, all students are expected to complete a capstone course in order to receive their degree. Most students earn their degree within two years of starting the program.
In order to pursue this degree, prospective students should note that a hospitality background is strongly encouraged. However, applicants from related industries will be considered. All applicants must have a minimum of three to five years of full-time professional experience and managerial experience is preferred.
Johnson & Wales University
College Choice Score: 96.47
Average Net Price: $8,871
Founded in 1914, Johnson & Wales University stands strong behind the hope of helping students fulfill their professional goals. The university began offering online courses in 2008 to further support a wider variety of students. JWU-Online is also very affordable, with more than 90% of its students receiving some sort of financial aid. Now, students can pursue an Online Master’s of Science in Hospitality Management at Johnson & Wales.
Through the university’s relationship with the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI), students will be able to apply the program knowledge to various industry-relevant professional certifications. Courses may include:
- Corporate Social Responsibility
- Event Operations and Risk Management
- Strategic Marketing in Service Dominant Logic
- Organizational Behavior in the Hospitality Industry
- Research Methodology & Data Analysis in the Hospitality Industry
Students in this program can typically complete the degree within 15 months. Each course lasts 11 weeks and all courses are taught by industry leaders and scholars.
Johnson & Wales University has been ranked among the Best Value Schools and Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News and World Report. Some potential hospitality jobs that a graduate of this program can enter are revenue management, design and execution strategies, or financial analysis.
University of North Texas
College Choice Score: 94.99
Average Net Price: $10,424
Located near Dallas in the city of Denton, TX, the University of North Texas is a public research university that is home to mascot Scrappy the Eagle. The university’s College of Merchandising, Hospitality, and Tourism has been ranked among the Top 50 Hospitality and Management Schools in the World. Now, students can obtain a Master of Science in Hospitality Management or a dual M.S. and Master of Business Administration degree completely online.
UNT’s hospitality curriculum provides a solid academic foundation combined with extensive training in hospitality business skills, and the use of technology. Students must complete 36 credit-hours to earn their degree. Courses may include:
- Consumer Theory
- Promotional Strategies
- Restaurant Development
- Managing Customer Experience
Online students may choose whether they’d like to complete a thesis or not.
UNT’s M.S. in Hospitality Management can be completed on a full-time or part-time basis. The program includes field experiences, and you’ll be able to choose between a thesis project or a non-thesis research project as a master’s capstone. If you’re looking for a program that prepares you for either managerial roles in the industry or an academic career, this might be a good fit for you.
University of Houston
College Choice Score: 94.43
Average Net Price: $15,571
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 school offers numerous nationally ranked programs through its 14 academic colleges. The Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management offers high-quality specialized degree programs for hospitality management. In fact, students can now earn an Executive Master in Hospitality Management (MHM) completely online.
The Executive MHM online program is made up of 30 credit hours and is designed to be completed in one year. Students will learn business, management, and research courses as well as hospitality-specific material. Courses may include:
- Hospitality Marketing Analysis
- Pricing and Revenue Management
- Innovative Hospitality Technologies
- Strategic Decisions Making in the Hospitality Industry
- Hospitality Financial Assets and Planning Management
All students are required to complete an industry-based research project that relates to current issues in a hospitality environment.
It’s no surprise UH’s Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management has been ranked among the Top 10 Best Hospitality Degree Programs in the U.S. The school also offers an on-campus Master of Science in Hospitality Management. For a truly global experience, students can opt to earn a Master of Science in Global Hospitality Business degree; however this degree is only offered on-campus, not online.
The University of Alabama
College Choice Score: 90.16
Average Net Price: $20,133
Located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, this university was founded in 1831 and is now home to over 37,000 students. Ranked 51st in the nation among Public Universities by U.S. News & World Report, the University of Alabama has produced a total of 15 Rhodes Scholars, 16 Truman Scholars, 32 Hollings Scholars and 11 Boren Scholars. Now, students can pursue an online Master of Science in Human Environmental Sciences with an area of study in Restaurant & Hospitality Management.
The RHM program at UA is a long-established program with alumni serving in a variety of hospitality management positions throughout the country. Students must complete 30 credit hours and courses may include:
- Hospitality Law
- Leadership in the Hospitality Industry
- Strategic Management in the Hospitality Industry
- Financial Management and Hospitality Operations
Students may choose between a thesis or a non-thesis track.
The University of Alabama has been ranked 18th in the Top 50 Hospitality and Hotel Management Schools in the World by CEOWORLD Magazine. With applicants accepted year round and tuition at just $375 per credit hour, it’s easy to see why so many choose this online hospitality program.
University of New Orleans
College Choice Score: 87.44
Average Net Price: $9,428
Home to mascots Pierre the Pirate and Lafitte the Alligator, the University of New Orleans is a public research university located in New Orleans, Louisiana. With a total enrollment of over 6,000 students, this university strives to create the leaders of tomorrow. If you’re interested in hospitality, this may be the perfect school for you. The university now offers a Master of Science in Executive Online Hotel & Tourism Management.
This online degree is offered through the university’s Lester E. Kabacoff School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Administration. Students in this program will complete a condensed 12-month online curriculum that consists of just 10 classes. Courses may include:
- Survey of the Hospitality and Tourism Industry
- Change Management for Hospitality and Tourism
- Technology for Hospitality and Tourism Management
- Special Topics in Hospitality and Tourism Management
- Hospitality and Tourism Finance and Revenue Management
- Marketing Applications for the Hospitality and Tourism Industry
Prospective students should note that this program is designed for working professionals who have experience in the hospitality industry.
Online students have the same access to financial aid options as all other students at the University of New Orleans. Students are required to maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) in order to receive student financial aid. A 3.0 grade point average and adequate percentage completion during the program is required to receive financial aid.
College Choice Score: 84.71
Average Net Price: $27,418
Home to mascot Fala the Laker, Roosevelt University is a private university located in Chicago, Illinois. The school boasts a diverse student body, highly-ranked programs, and a generous transfer policy for incoming students. The Manfred Steinfeld School of Hospitality and Tourism Management is one of the nation’s best. Students can now pursue a fully online Executive Master of Hospitality & Tourism Management.
This fully online program can be completed in just one year from anywhere in the world. The curriculum focuses on seven core areas of study, including:
- Financial Analysis
- Tourism Administration
- Training and Development
- Corporate Social Responsibility
- Leadership/Management and Human Resources
Graduates of this program typically go on to lead careers at prestigious hotels, restaurants, meeting facilities, associations, tourism offices, and more.
Roosevelt University is home to Chicago’s only executive master of hospitality and tourism management. Named in honor of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, this university has been ranked as one of the best Regional Universities in the Midwest by U.S. News and World Report.