The 10 Best Online Hospitality Management MBA Degree Programs

The 10 Best Online Hospitality Management MBA Degree Programs

The hospitality and tourism industry is flourishing. As a more people travel, whether for work or for pleasure, there is more demand for more highly skilled workers within the hospitality industry. This includes excellent managers who know both the hospitality industry and business principles like the back of their hand. For that reason, many hospitality and tourism professionals are returning to school for a graduate degree, often to move up corporate ladder. For many, a great graduate degree option is a Master’s of Business Administration with a focus in Hospitality Management. And, since many of those returning to school to get their Hospitality MBA’s already work in the industry, many schools have increased the flexibility of their degree programs to include online options that better meet their students’ needs.

For this ranking, we narrowed our focus to online degree programs because many MBA students already work full time in the hospitality industry, 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.


  • Affordability (1/3): 50% out-of-state tuition per credit hour and 50% percentage of students receiving financial aid
  • Flexibility and Accommodation (1/3): 50% time until degree and 50% flexibility-enhancing components
  • Online Academic Quality(1/3): 50% Student-Faculty Ratio and 50% Percentage of Grad Students Studying Primarily or Partially Online

1.) Johnson & Wales University

Johnson & Wales University is a private, nonprofit, career-focused university with campuses across the United States. Originally founded in 1914 as a business school, today JWU grants 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 educational success is its innovative approaches to 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. One of JWU’s online degree offerings includes a MBA with a concentration in Hospitality. This online hospitality master’s program is designed with an industry-specific curriculum tailored for students looking to enter hospitality management positions. Students take courses in hospitality and tourism global issues, franchising and licensing, and hospitality event leadership. JWU also offers a lot of flexible options to fit their students’ busy schedules like 11 week courses, hospitality industry leaders as faculty members, and a time-to-degree of only 18 months.

  • MBA – Hospitality
  • Avg. Out-of-State Tuition per Credit Hour: $481
  • Student to Faculty Ratio: 14-1

2.) Louisiana State University Shreveport

Louisiana State University is a public, nonprofit university in Baton Rouge. As Tier 1 Research Institute, LSU has been nationally recognized for its extensive research facilities and several of its graduate programs, including its business and education programs, both of which have fully available online degrees. With over 30,000 students, LSU has a lot of resources available to their students including a variety of online programs. LSU Online hosts three programs, the E.J College of Business, the College of Engineering, and the College of Human Sciences & Education. In total, that amounts to 10 certificate and graduate degrees from some of the nation’s top programs.

One of LSU Online’s programs includes a MBA with a concentration in Hospitality and Casino Management. The program is designed specifically for the gaming industry, and for students already employed within the hospitality industry. The curriculum for this concentration includes casino and resort management, hospitality and casino marketing, and quantitative methods, in addition to core business administration courses. Hospitality Management students leave LSU’s program ready for careers as casino managers, business development managers, directors of casinos or hotels, hospitality managers, and other management positions in the hospitality and gaming industry.

3.) 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 management, and hospitality marketing strategies. In addition to the flexibility of online courses, Southeastern also helps students shorten 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.

4.) University of Louisiana 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. Having a lot of degree options means that students are free to explore their interests, and also find a degree that fits their career goals. That includes offering a range of online degree options that has led to UL being consistently recognized as one of the nation’s leader in online and continuing education.

One of UL’s online degree programs includes a MBA with a concentration in Hospitality Management. In addition to core business administration courses, the program also includes topics on event logistics, international business management, organizational theory, hospitality management, and hospitality marketing. Students have the flexibility of online courses, as well as a short time-to-degree of 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 online MBA in Hospitality Management includes all course materials, including books and other electronically available resources.

5.) 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 comprehensive higher educational institution. In addition to offering associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees at their multiple campuses, Schiller also offers a wide variety of degrees through their online programs. That means students can get a global education, while maintaining the flexibility of online courses.

One of Schiller’s many online degree programs is its MBA in International Hospitality and Tourism Management. This fully 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 how 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 management acumen. Schiller also offers flexible options for their students that helps to shorten the time-to-degree to as little as 15 months. For students already employed in the hospitality industry, that means they can start moving up into management positions faster.

6.) Sullivan University

Sullivan University is a for-profit institution in Kentucky that offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in a variety of fields. With roughly 6,000 students, Sullivan is Kentucky’s largest private university. That means they can offer the type of one-on-one interactions of a small school, but still have the variety of resources and degree programs available at a larger school. Sullivan utilizes a “stair step” approach to its education programs. That means Sullivan’s curriculum is specifically designed for working students, as well as to help students already employed in their chosen career fields gain additional degrees that help them advance. Sullivan’s “stair step” approach also helps to shorten all of their students’ times to degrees.

One of Sullivan’s fully online programs includes an MBA with a concentration in Hospitality Management. Through Sullivan’s “stair step” approach, they offer a lot of flexible options that include an 18 month degree plan, 6 concentration options, and flexible online course options. In addition to core courses in business administration, hospitality management students take courses in event and tourism management, revenue management in hospitality, and restaurant brand management. Students leave Sullivan’s hospitality management program ready to start or advance their careers as hotel managers, resort event planners, restaurant managers, or many other management careers in the hospitality industry.

7.) 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, Husson’s MBA in Hospitality and Tourism Management program allows students to design a degree that best suits their career goals.

8.) 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 management students take courses in food service administration, resort development, hospitality service management, and general business administration courses. Lynn’s hospitality management 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.

9.) East Carolina University

East Carolina University is a public research university in Greenville, North Carolina. Founded in 1907, ECU was initially a teacher training school. Today, ECU is the third largest university in North Carolina with nearly 30,000 students. That means they have a lot of degree options for students to explore their interests and to find a degree that best suits their career goals. Degree options span ECU’s 9 undergraduate colleges, a graduate school, and 4 professional schools.

One of ECU’s many degree options includes an online MBA with a certificate in Hospitality Management. In addition to taking courses in business administration, hospitality management students also take courses in convention management, analysis of food service systems, hotel management, and current issues in hospitality management. ECU’s Hospitality Management curriculum prepares students for careers in food service, hotel management, convention and event planning, and hospitality marketing. With a time-to-degree of only 24 months, ECU Hospitality Management MBAs can start to quickly advance their career.

10.) Les Roches Global Hospitality Management Institute

Les Roches International School of Hotel Management, also known as Les Roches Global Hospitality Education, is a private hospitality school in Switzerland. The school offers undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate degrees in hospitality management within international settings. With 2,700 students, Les Roches offers individualized education experiences to each of each students along with industry proven curriculum.

One of Les Roches hospitality management degrees includes an MBA in Global Hospitality Management. The program is designed to be completed over 1 year and includes two industry immersive trips to Chicago and Shanghai to meet with hospitality leaders. Students also complete consultancy projects at top-tier hospitality businesses. Global Hospitality Management students take courses in strategic marketing for the hospitality industry, hospitality business planning, sustainable development in hospitality, luxury branding, and hospitality demand management.