The 25 Best Online Master’s in Hospitality Management Degree Programs

The 25 Best Online Master’s in Hospitality Management Degree Programs

Over the past decade, the hospitality and tourism industry has grown rapidly. With this increase in demand, also comes an increase in the need for excellent managers who know the ins and outs of the hospitality industry. For that reason, many hospitality and tourism professionals are returning to school for a graduate degree, often to move up corporate ladder. That means the need for flexible online hospitality degree options has rapidly increased in recent years. For many people in the hospitality industry, a great graduate degree option is a Master’s in Hospitality Management.

For this ranking, we narrowed our focus to online degree programs because many graduate students in Hospitality Management already work full time in their field, as indicated by the design of most of the programs on this list. The results are the culmination of a multi-dimensional metric system, which uses data compiled from individual program sites and national data collection platforms. With that information in hand, we focused on three major objectives. First, we wanted to know whether or not the school’s tuition made it a viable choice for online students and how many students received financial aid. Second, we looked at whether the school offered flexible options to accommodate student needs, like fast-track options or multiple specialities. And finally, we wanted to determine the academic quality of the institutions we sampled. You can find a more thorough explanation of the methodology we used below.

Methodology:

  • Affordability (1/3):
    • (50%) the out-of-state (if applicable) tuition per credit hour rate.
    • (50%) the percentage of students receiving financial aid.
  • Flexibility and Accommodation (1/3):
    • (50%) minimum time until degree.
    • (50%) flexibility-enhancing components of program or school:accelerated courses, generous transfer policies, life experience for credit programs, self-paced learning, synchronous and asynchronous courses, many start dates.
  • Online Academic Quality(1/3):
    • (50%)the student-faculty ratio.
    • (50%) the percentage of graduate students at the institution studying partially or primarily online.
  • Data Sources: IPEDs Database and Eligible Schools.

1. Johnson & Wales University

Johnson & Wales University is a private, nonprofit, career-focused university with several campuses in the United States. Originally founded as a business school in 1914, today JWU offers a full range of degrees. With a little over 16,000 students, JWU also offers a variety of services to ensure students get the most out of their college education. Key to JWU’s success in education is its innovative approaches in combining industry-focused education with work experience and leadership opportunities. That means students leave JWU with a quality education and résumé-ready experiences. One of JWU best known programs that adopts such a model is its culinary program, which was inducted into the Culinary Hall of Fame in 2012.

JWU’s culinary program and many others trace their roots back to JWU’s founding as a business and hospitality school. Today it has the largest food service education programs in the world. JWU’s Master’s in Hospitality Management covers information like global hospitality and tourism issues, organizational behavior, and competitive strategies. Students apply course knowledge to real-world scenarios and projects, as well as learning from industry leaders. JWU also offers a lot of flexible options for their online hospitality studies, including a time-to-degree of only 15 months and 11 week courses. That means online students have the flexibility they need, but still get a world-class education in hospitality management.

2. Southeastern Oklahoma State University

Founded in 1909, Southeastern Oklahoma State University is a public institution in the Regional University System of Oklahoma. Today, Southeastern continues its original mission of providing an excellent academic experience that prepares students to be lifelong learners and responsible citizens. With a small student body of just over 4,000 students, Southeastern can offer individualized educational experiences to each of its students. That individualized education carries over to Southeastern’s many online degree offerings.

One of Southeastern’s online programs is a Master’s of Business Administration with an emphasis in Hospitality Marketing. This 100% online program focuses on topics like HR management, travel and tourism development, hotel operations, restaurants and food service administration, and marketing strategy. In addition to the flexibility taking classes online, Southeastern also helps students short their time-to-degree through offering multiple start dates year round. That means students can start the MBA in Hospitality Marketing at the time that works best for them.

3. Fort Hays State University

Fort Hays State University is a public university in Hays, Kansas. Originally, the school was located on the grounds of Fort Hays, a frontier military outpost that closed in 1889. Today, the campus is still located on a portion of former military land. With approximately 11,200 students, FHSU is the third largest institution governed by the Kansas Board of Regents. That size means FHSU can offer a wider variety of degrees, with more than 60 undergraduate and 19 graduate programs. FHSU also offers a range of 29 different online degrees through their “Virtual College.”

One of the 100% online degree programs offered through FHSU’s Virtual College is an MBA with a concentration in Tourism and Hospitality Management. In addition to the core MBA courses in finance, marketing, and business administration, students also choose hospitality management-related electives on topics like tourism, hospitality marketing, service operations, convention and event management, and resort management. With such variety of electives, students can design a curriculum that best suits their career goals. In addition to specializing the coursework as needed, students also have flexible options in taking courses that could allow them to complete their degree in as little as 18 months or as long as three years.

4. University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Founded in 1898, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette is a public, research university in Louisiana. It is also the largest school in the University of Louisiana System and the second largest school in the state. With over 19,000 students, UL can offer a lot of options for its students. That includes offering a range of online degree options that has led to UL being constantly recognized as a leader in online and continuing education in the nation.

One of UL’s online degree programs includes a MBA with a concentration in Hospitality Management. The program includes topics on event logistics, international business logistics, organizational theory, hospitality management, and hospitality marketing. Students have the flexibility of online courses, as well as a short time-to-degree design with program completion possible in as little as 15 months. Not only does UL consider a busy student’s need for flexible course options, but the school also works hard to bring down the cost of education by participating in the Open Educational Resources initiative. That means that tuition for the MBA in Hospitality Management includes all course materials, including books and other electronically available resources.

5. Widener University

Widener University is a private university in Pennsylvania. Founded in 1821 as the Bullock School for Boys, Widener underwent several organizational changes, including into a Military school, before becoming Widener University in 1972. Today, Widener has nearly 6,500 students enrolled anywhere between the associates and doctoral level. Due to its small size, Widener can provide individualized education to each of its students while still offering the range of degree options available at a large institution. That commitment to quality education shows in a recent survey of Widener seniors that revealed that 90% rated their overall Widener experience as excellent.

Widener offers a range of fully online degree programs, one of which is a Master’s Degree in Hospitality & Tourism. Widener’s program prepares students for leadership roles in global hospitality, the tourism industry, and strategic management. Part of the program’s success comes from a curriculum designed to ensure students apply research to several professional development opportunities through the program’s ongoing relationship with more than 40 hospitality and tourism corporations. Students in the online master’s degree program take courses in hospitality operation management, tourism systems, hospitality analytics, global hospitality industry, and special event management. With a lot of different elective options, students can design a degree that works best for their career needs.

6. Antioch University Online

Antioch University Online is the online portion of Antioch University. AU is a non-profit, private university with multiple campuses in the United States. Notably, AU does not use an A-F grading system, but rather uses a system of narrative evaluation to assess their students. That innovative grading system is part of AU’s overall mission to provide learner-centered education that empowers students to advance social, economic, and environmental justice. With more than 4,000 students, AU offers individual educational support to each of its students while still offering the variety of a large university.

One of AU Online’s offerings includes an MBA in Sustainable Tourism. The program is designed for students interested in entering the tourism and hospitality industry, specifically to work in environmental centers and state or national parks. For this online master’s degree, AU partners with the University College of Tourism and Ecology in Poland. As such, students gain a global perspective to sustainably hospitality programs, engage in cross-cultural interaction, and experience global sustainability trends within the hospitality industry. AU’s online MBA allows students to take 7 week long classes, which means students can complete their degree in 20 months.

  • MBA in Sustainable Tourism
  • Avg. Out-of-State Tuition per credit hour: $650
  • Percentage of Graduate Students Studying Primarily Online: 100%

7. Colorado State University

Colorado State University is a public research university in Fort Collins, CO and the flagship university of the Colorado State University System. With more than 37,000 students, CSU can offer the type of flexibility students needs, especially online. As a Tier 1 research university that is committed to investing more and more in research, students can be sure that their professors are some of the best in their fields. That commitment to providing quality education carries over to CSU’s online programs.

One fully online master’s program offered by CSU is the Master’s in Tourism Management. The degree is designed to strengthen students’ understanding of business management, the hospitality industry’s best practices, and the social and environmental impacts of global tourism. In addition to taking courses in sustainable tourism, nature-based tourism, and global tourism policy, CSU students can also earn a Ski Area Management Certificate. The Master’s in Tourism Management program also offers a lot of flexibility, allowing students to complete their online degrees in as little as 9 months.

8. Schiller International University

Schiller International University is a for profit, private university with several campuses around the world. Originally, Schiller was founded in 1964 as a study-abroad program for Americans in West Germany. Since then, the school has expanded its educational offerings and locations to be a more comprehensive higher educational institution. In addition to offer associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees at their multiple campuses, Schiller also offers a wide variety of degrees through their online programs.

One of Schiller’s many online degree programs is its MBA in International Hospitality and Tourism Management. The online program is designed for students and professionals in the fields of business, hotel and restaurant management, and tourism. The program’s curriculum focuses on teaching students to analyze and interpret global issues facing hospitality managers, the relationship between hospitality operations and the environment, how to develop multicultural sensitivity, create strategic plans for hospitality enterprises, and demonstrate solid business acumen. Schiller also offers flexible options for their students that helps to shorten the time-to-degree to as little as 15 months.

9. University of Alabama

The University of Alabama is a public research university and the flagship institution in the University of Alabama System. As a flagship university, Alabama has the resources to offer a wide variety of educational opportunities to their students and to make the innovative moves necessary to create unique experiences. The University of Alabama is consistently ranked as one of the top 50 public universities in the nation, which means that even their online students can be confident in the quality of their education.

One of Alabama’s online degree programs is a Master’s in Human Environmental Sciences (Restaurant & Hospitality Management). This online master’s program is designed to prepare students to enter fields like convention and event planning, food service management, hotel and tourism travel, and other hospitality industry careers. Students take courses in hospitality law, hospitality management, hospitality leadership, and financial management. With additional options toward flexibility, students can also finish their degree in as little as 15 months.

10. Florida International University

Florida International University is a public research university in the Miami area. As one of Florida’s primary research university’s, FIU serves its large student body of over 55,000 with high quality education. Its size and resources, means that FIU can offer a variety of degree options, both on campus and online. Since its founding in 1943, FIU has stayed true to its mission of providing studies with high-quality teaching, state-of-the-art research and creative activity, and collaborative engagement with diverse local and global communities.

Part of maintaining its educational mission is through offering a range of degree programs online. One of FIU Online’s programs includes a Master’s in Hospitality Management. The program is constantly rated as one of the best hospitality and tourism programs in the nation, with over 1500 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in programs at FIU’s Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. For a Master’s in Hospitality Management, students take classes in hospitality enterprise technology, global hospitality issues, revenue management, and organizational behavior. The Master’s program allows for a lot of flexibility, with multiple start dates and fully online coursework, students can finish their degree in as little as 12 months.

11. Temple University

Temple University is a doctoral university in Philadelphia. Founded in 1884 by a Baptist minister to educate working class citizens, Temple University continues that commitment today. With more than 39,000 students, Temple can offer a wide variety of degree programs. Temple offers more than 400 degree programs across 17 different schools, which means student have the freedom to explore their interests while still getting a quality, individualized educational experience. Temple’s commitment to quality education that serves busy students carries over to their online degree programs.

One of Temple’s online degree programs is a Master’s in Travel and Tourism. The program is designed for students looking to pivot from one career track into another. Possible hospitality careers include convention bureaus, destination marketing organizations, tourism attractions, and convention centers. Hospitality courses include: tourism in the 21st century, tourism analytics, destination marketing, and risk management. With a lot of flexible options, Temple’s hospitality students can finish their 100% online master’s program in as little as 13 months. Students can also earn additional certificates in destination management, tourism analytics, and global tourism. Between short time-to-degree options and additional certificates, Temple’s students can customize their degree to best meet their career goals.

12. University of New Orleans

The University of New Orleans, often referred to as UNO, is a public research university in New Orleans. Founded in 1958, UNO today has nearly 8,500 students. With its medium student size and membership in the University of Louisiana System, UNO can offer a wide variety of degrees and resources to its students while maintaining the individualized educational attention of a small university. Part of what makes UNO a great educational choice for many students is its commitment to serving students of all income levels. In fact, UNO ranked 3rd in the nation for providing equal access to higher education for students from all income levels.

One way UNO ensures it can research students of all income levels is through offering a variety of online programs, such as their Master’s in Hospitality & Tourism Management. Students take courses in Technology for Hospitality and Tourism Management, Hospitality Operations Analysis, Tourism Destination Development, and Strategic Management. The program is designed to advance the careers of hospitality and tourism industry executives and can be completed in one year. UNO’s hospitality Master’s program has a 95% job placement rate and includes internships at organizations like the Disney College Program, New Orleans Convention Bureau, and Marriott, Hyatt, and Sheraton hotels.

13. Husson University

Founded in 1898 as the Shaw School of Business, Husson University grew over time to offer a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees. Today, Husson is a private university in Maine. With approximately 3,500 students, Husson provides individualized educational experiences to each of its students. To ensure that individualized educational mission is met, Husson focuses on experiential learning and global engagement. Those values can be seen in each of Husson’s 80 undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees.

One of Husson’s 80 degree programs includes a 100% online MBA with a concentration in Hospitality and Tourism Management. Husson’s MBA program is designed for working professionals and offers flexible options like enrolling full-time or part-time, and including a 2 year time-to-degree plan for part-time students. The program focuses on developing existing business skills, like financial management, tourism operations, hospitality marketing, and hospitality communication. With many flexible options and multiple concentrations, Hussons MBA program allows students to design a degree that best suits their career goals.

14. Virginia International University

Established in 1998, Virginia International University is a private, non-profit institution in Fairfax, Virginia. With under 2,000 students, VIU offers the individualized attention of a small school, but through its eight school divisions, has the variety of degree options of a larger university. Since its founding, VIU has pursued its mission to provide quality education through supporting the intellectual curiosity of its students within a global setting. That mission is represented through the 21 different online degrees at the undergraduate and graduate level offered by VIU.

One of VIU’s online degree programs includes a Master’s in Business Administration with a concentration in Hospitality and Tourism Management. The Hospitality concentration prepares students to be competitive leaders in the hospitality and tourism industry. The program takes an innovative curriculum approach through combining seminars, tours, practical experience, and internships in the hospitality industry. As such students take classes in hospitality marketing, human resources, hospitality & tourism information technology, event planning, and accounting. Students leave VIU’s program ready for careers in food service management, event planning, tourism destinations and hospitality attractions, as well as environmentally sustainable hospitality ventures.

15. University of Nevada-Las Vegas

Founded in 1957, the University of Nevada-Las Vegas is a public research university in Las Vegas. The university is nationally recognized as a research-intensive university and houses the state’s only dental and law schools. With a student body of nearly 30,000, UNLV offers a wide variety of academic programs for their students to explore. As a research-intensive university, UNLV also has a lot of resources on which students can draw to achieve their career goals. Of UNLV’s 350+ degree programs, the school offers more than 200 undergraduate and graduate online courses and a dozen fully online degree programs.

One of UNLV’s most recognized colleges is the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration, which is consistently ranked as one of the top hospitality programs in the nation, largely due to its proximity to the Las Vegas Strip. Harrah College offers a Master’s in Hospitality Administration in a 100% online format. Students learn the function of human resource management, executive decision making in the hospitality industry, hospitality marketing strategies, research methods, and hospitality-specific problems solving. UNLV’s master’s program also offers a lot of flexibility for students, with 5 eight-week sessions and multiple start dates. That means that while the average degree completion is 18-24 months, students can accelerate their coursework to complete the degree in as little as one year.

16. Lynn University

Lynn University was founded in 1962 in Boca Raton, Florida. Initially, Lynn was founded as a women’s junior college affiliated with the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary. Over the years, the school underwent multiple changes, including moving to a secular, co-educational institution, several name changes, and finally the change to a four-year college with master’s programs. Today, Lynn has a total enrollment of 2,100, with nearly a quarter of those students coming from outside the U.S. With a small but diverse student body, Lynn offers individual attention to each of its students.

One of Lynn’s 10 graduate degree programs includes a 100% online MBA in Hospitality Management. Hospitality students take courses in food service administration, resort development, hospitality service management, and general business administration courses. Lynn’s hospitality degree program prepares students to work in the fields of event planning, food service, resort management, and hospitality. To ensure all online students have access to the technological tools necessary for their degree, Lynn offers iPads to all online MBA students. With that level of commitment, Lynn works hard to ensure the success of each of its graduates.

17. University of Houston

The University of Houston is a top tier research university and flagship school in the University of Houston system. Founded in 1927, UH is now the third largest university in Texas with nearly 43,000 students. That means UH offers a lot of degree options for their students to explore.With more than 280 degrees across 14 different colleges, students can be sure to find the program that works for them. That includes online degree programs. UH offers 16 fully online master’s programs and over 300 courses from 50 different programs.

One of UH’s online degree programs is their Executive Master’s in Hospitality Management. The degree is housed in the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, one of the top hospitality programs in the nation. The hospitality master’s program is designed to help students refine their professional skills, get an edge in hospitality management, and expand their leadership potential. Part of the degree requires students to gain hands-on experience through an industry-based research project on current issues in hospitality. With flexibly options, students can complete the degree in as little as 1 year.

18. Washington State University

Washington State University is a public research university in Pullman, Washington. Founded in 1890, WSU today has an enrollment just shy of 30,000. As such it is the second largest institution in the state. With that kind of size, WSU can offer a lot of degree options and career resources to each of its students. In 2012, WSU launched its online campus, WSU Online, that offers 23 different bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Many of the same resources available to on-campus students are available to online students as well, like an online student government, free online tutoring services, and Global Connection online events to form relationships with other WSU alumni and students.

One of WSU Online’s programs is a MBA with a concentration in Hospitality Business Management. In addition to the foundational MBA courses, hospitality students take courses in service management, international tourism, and hospitality operations. Students leave the program knowing how to conduct hospitality business analysis, identify relevant hospitality data sources and technology, identify and evaluate ethical, global, and societal implications of hospitality organizations, and ready to enter leadership roles in the hospitality industry.

19. University of Central Florida

The University of Central Florida is a metropolitan public research university in Orlando, Florida. Founded in 1963, UCF was initially designed to provide personnel support to a growing U.S. space program. Today, UCF’s academic scope and size has significantly expanded. With a student population of over 64,000, UCF is the largest university in the nation by undergraduate enrollment and by enrollment at a single campus. That kind of size means, UCF has a lot of degree options and resources for its students to utilize. Those options include a variety of online programs.

One of UCF’s online degree programs is a Master’s in Hospitality and Tourism Management. The degree is housed in the Rosen College of Hospitality Management, which consistently ranks as one of the top hospitality management schools in the nation. The master’s program is designed for students already working in the hospitality industry and looking for advanced training to broaden their knowledge of hospitality and tourism industries, sharpen their management skills, and incorporate their professional experiences into their degree path. Graduates readily enter careers like convention manager, hotel general manager, restaurant general manager, as well as other managerial positions in the hospitality and tourism industry.

20. Purdue University

Founded in 1869, Purdue University is a public research university in West Lafayette, Indiana. Today, Purdue boasts an enrollment over 40,000 and offers more than 200 undergraduate majors, nearly 70 masters, doctoral, and professional degrees. With those kinds of options, Purdue students can explore their interests and find a degree that fits their career goals. One of those options includes pursuing a degree online. Currently, Purdue offers 19 fully online master’s degrees, as well as a number of graduate certificates, associate’s degrees, and professional development programs.

One of Purdue’s online degree programs is a Master’s in Hospitality and Tourism Management. The degree is designed to help existing hospitality managers rise to higher positions in the industry. As such, hospitality students take courses in hospitality and tourism leadership, travel and tourism economics, advanced hospitality accounting, hospitality business law, and hospitality marketing. Through experiential learning and practical application, including the completion of a capstone project, hospitality students can use the knowledge gained from Purdue’s master’s program immediately to advance their career.

21. University of North Texas

The University of North Texas is a public research university in Denton, Texas. Founded in 1890 as a teacher’s college, UNT today is comprised of ten colleges, two schools, an early admissions program for exception high-school students, and a library system. With nearly 38,000 students UNT has a lot of options for students from 101 bachelor’s, 82 master’s, and 38 doctoral degree. That means UNT students have the freedom to explore their interests and find a program that bests suits their career goals. Part of allowing students the ability to explore their interests in an educational environment that best suits their needs includes offering over 25 degree programs and 18 certificates fully online.

One of UNT’s fully online degree programs includes a Master’s in Hospitality Management. The online master’s program is one of several degrees offered by the College of Merchandising, Hospitality, and Tourism. The college has seen a 51% increase in enrollment over the last 6 years, which means it has a lot more resources to offer its increasing student body. Hospitality master’s students take courses in strategic management in the hospitality industry, restaurant development, hotel operations, consumer theory, global tourism systems, and hospitality service excellence. UNT hospitality students finish the master’s program by entering careers as resort managers, restaurant managers, and teachers of hospitality management programs.

22. London School of Business and Finance

Founded in 2003, the London School of Business and Finance is a for-profit private business school in the UK. Today, it is one of England’s largest private colleges. LSBF offers master’s degrees in management, finance, and marketing; bachelor’s degrees in a range of business fields; as well as executive and corporate training programs. LSBF focuses on offering industry-focused programs that reflect global trends in business and finance. In that way, students can be sure that their education is always one step ahead.

One of LSBF’s online programs includes a MBA in Hospitality, Sport and Tourism Management. Students take courses via LSBF’s Study InterActive platform and are awarded degrees from the International Telematic University. Hospitality students take core MBA courses like finance, marketing, and management, but also take hospitality specific courses like hospitality sport and leisure management and global hospitality marketing. Students finish the online MBA program prepared for careers as hotel area managers, merchandising managers, and hospitality marketing coordinators.

23. California State University – East Bay

Founded in 1957, California State University – East Bay is a public university in Hayward, California. Today, CSU East Bay is part of the 23-campus California State University system, and offers 136 undergraduate and 60 graduate degrees. That means students have a lot of options to explore their interests. CSU East Bay is committed to serving their students through their mission are offering an academically rich and culturally relevant learning environment, which is evident as CSU East Bay’s status as the most ethnically diverse college in California.

One of CSU East Bay’s graduate degree programs is a Master’s in Recreation and Tourism. The program is designed to offer students an in-depth understanding of the rapidly changing world of recreation, hospitality, and tourism. Through completely online learning platforms, hospitality master’s students take courses in theories of leisure, hospitality staff supervision, advanced social justice, strategic leadership in hospitality leisure, and professional ethics. Students finish the program ready to enter the fields of hospitality, tourism, recreation, and recreation therapy.

24. Edinburgh Napier University

Edinburgh Napier University is a public university in Edinburgh, Scotland. Founded in 1964, the university today has 19,500 students both on-campus and online. Originally established as a technically college, the university has expanded and grown to include other degree programs, multiple campuses, and innovative educational practices. Edinburgh Napier has been awarded the the Queen’s Anniversary Prize twice for its advancements in education for sustainable timber engineering and for innovative student housing. Regardless of field, Edinburgh Napier works hard to pursue educational innovation, including through its online programs.

One of Edinburgh Napier’s online graduate programs includes an MBA in Tourism and Hospitality. The hospitality master’s program is designed for working students who want to expand their knowledge of hospitality management techniques or gain additional specializations within the tourism and hospitality industry. Hospitality students take courses in contemporary issues in hospitality, event management, hospitality marketing, and building high performance hospitality organizations. With several flexible options, students can shorten their time-to-degree to as little as 18 months or take as long as 2 years.

25. The Ostelea

The Ostelea School of Tourism & Hospitality is an international university focused on training leaders in hospitality and tourism industries. The Ostelea strives to educate students on sustainable social, economic, and cultural development of the hospitality industry through innovative educational practices. With campuses in Barcelona and Madrid, the Ostelea is a leader in global hospitality education. Part of that educational excellence comes from partnering with companies in the hospitality and tourism industries, including in transportation, hotels, leisure, sport, and hospitality services. That means that Ostelea students finish their degrees with connections to multiple companies in their chosen field.

One of the Ostelea’s online degree programs is a MBA in Hospitality and Tourism Management. The online program is conducted complete in English and designed for students with 5 years of professional experience. Students take classes in global markets, human resources management, hospitality business management, and hospitality internationalization. Students leave Ostelea’s online hospitality master’s program ready to be directors of hospitality companies, tourism and hospitality consultants, hotel directors, and operational managers for tourism companies, among others.