The 10 Most Prestigious Hospitality Management Departments in the World

The 10 Most Prestigious Hospitality Management Departments in the World

Over the past decade, the hospitality and tourism industry has flourished. With this increase in demand, also comes an increase in the need for innovative programs in higher education that are advancing the hospitality field while establishing curriculum that best serves hospitality students. As technology allows for the world to become even more connected, and improves transportation methods, making travelling easier and more affordable, the hospitality industry and its educators have had to adapt. Many of the schools that made our ranking take such changes in hospitality into account by developing international internship programs, new curriculum on sustainability, and expanding courses to cover more than standard hotel, resort, and restaurants to also include festivals, transportation, and sports. As a result many of these schools are key recruiting stops for many hospitality companies.

For this ranking, we considered schools with hospitality schools and departments that stand out as leaders in the field, that influence the international hospitality industry through their graduates and research, and that will continue to shape the hospitality industry moving forward. This ranking’s 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 several major objectives. First, we wanted to know the school’s reputation according to both researchers and employers in the hospitality industry. Since the hospitality industry relies heavily on international business, we also looked at how highly international students rated their experiences and support, as well as the percentage of international programs at the school. You can find a more thorough explanation of the methodology we used below.


  • Academic Reputation: A numeric ranking based on a survey of researchers in the hospitality and tourism field who were asked to rank the academic prestige of other institutions with programs in their field.
  • Employer Reputation: A numeric ranking based on a survey of employers who were asked to identify domestic and international institutions they consider excellent for recruitmenting graduates.
  • International Student Score: A measure of how highly international students at the school rated their experiences and support.
  • Percentage of International Students:The percentage of international students within the entire student body.

1.) The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University is a public university in Hong Kong. Also known as PolyU, the university was founded in 1937 and became a full university in 1994. PolyU is a true international university, with a global network of more than 440 institutions in 47 countries. With an enrollment of over 32,000 students, PolyU has a lot of options for students to explore their interests, including 220 undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs. As such, PolyU is the largest state funded institute of higher ed in the nation. Not only does Poly U have a lot to offer its students, including connections with other institutions across the world, but the institution and many of its individual schools are constantly ranked as some of the best in the world.

One such school is the School of Hotel and Tourism Management. PolyU’s School of Hotel and Tourism Management offers a variety of degree options, including 6 bachelors, 4 masters, and 2 doctoral programs. Degree areas range from International Hospitality Management, to Global Hospitality Business, to Hotel and Tourism Management. Besides crafting industry-based curriculum, the School of Hotel and Tourism Management has received many international accolades, including: the 2002 International Society of travel and Tourism Educators Institutional Achievement Award, the 2012 McCool Breakthrough Award by the International Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education, and consistent top 5 rankings by global tourism education and higher education organizations. A critical part of the school’s place as a global destination for hospitality management education is due to its dedication to research, including producing 4 scholarly journals, establishing Hotel ICON–the school’s own hotel that allows for faculty and students to gain experience and conduct research, and developing and hosting 6 different international forums on tourism and hospitality.

2.) Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne

Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne is a hospitality management school in Switzerland. EHL was founded in 1893 as a result of Switzerland’s tourism boom in the late 19th century, making it the oldest and first hotel school in the world. That long history means EHL understands the changes undergone in the hospitality industry, and can better project where their field is going in the future. Today, EHL is consistently recognized as one of the best hospitality schools in the world. The school has more than 2,890 students from over 119 countries. With a small student body and an educational focus on hospitality management, EHL students can be sure that they receive individualized education from top faculty in the field.

EHL prepares its students through 5 programs at several educational levels. Students can earn a bachelor’s in International Hospitality Management, or master’s degrees in Global Hospitality Business, a MBA in Hospitality, an Executive MBA in Hospitality Administration, or a master’s in Culinary Arts. Part of EHL’s success comes from their innovative curriculum. At both the bachelor’s and master’s levels students take part in immersion programs within the hospitality industry. For instance, bachelor’s students take part in a preparatory program that includes work experience across operational tasks, concluding in a 6 month internship that students complete before starting their formal study. At the end of their study, students complete Student Business Projects, which pairs groups of students with hospitality companies to draft solutions to a company’s problem. By book-ending the program with immersion in the hospitality industry students can better apply their studies to their work, and gain invaluable contacts as they start their careers in hospitality management.

  • Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne
  • Academic Reputation Score: 92.1
  • Employer Reputation Score: 100
  • International Students from 119 nations
  • Percentage of International Students: 97%

3.) Les Roches International School of Hotel Management

Les Roches International School of Hotel Management, also known as Les Roches Global Hospitality Education, is a private hospitality school in Switzerland. It was the first hospitality school in Switzerland to offer all courses in English, making it an ideal location for international education. The school offers undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate degrees in hospitality management within international settings, often including internships and degree program trips to international locations. With 2,700 students, Les Roches offers individualized education experiences to each of each students along with industry-proven curriculum.

Les Roches offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in hospitality management, specifically focused on the international hospitality industry. 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. That immersive educational model is not unique to Les Roches’ MBA either. In their Bachelor’s in Global Hospitality Management program, students are required to complete 2 internships, one in a service position and one in a hospitality management position. Students also choose between 4 specialization options so that they leave their degree with work experience in multiple hospitality positions and with additional knowledge according to their chosen career.

4.) The University of Queensland

The University of Queensland is a research university in Queensland, Australia. Founded in 1909, UQ is one of Australia’s oldest universities. With over 100 research institutes and centres, two Nobel laureates, and internationally known leaders in acting, performance, and business, UQ is one of the world’s leading institutes of higher education. In fact, UQ is consistently ranked in the top 100 universities in the world by multiple international rankings, and in the top 5 universities in Australia. Through the combination of its internationally recognized reputation and the heavily awarded research output of its faculty, UQ ensures it offers educational experiences of the highest quality to each of its 51,000 students.

One of UQ’s internationally recognized schools is their Business School. The school offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees, as well as graduate certificates and a doctoral degree. Students can study business management, commerce, international hotel & tourism management, finance, economics, global management, and tourism leadership. At the bachelor’s level, students can specialize in Event, Hospitality, or Tourism Management. Students also have the chance to take advantage of UQ’s Disney Cultural Exchange program which offers paid internships to UQ students and recent graduates at the Walt Disney World® Resort in Orlando. Master’s students have multiple options in specializing across the hospitality industry at management, marketing, and development levels. Graduate students also partake in work integrated learning projects that provides students with professional experience with leading hotels, resorts, restaurants, and festivals in the hospitality industry.

  • School of Business
  • Academic Reputation Score: 72.5
  • Employer Reputation Score: 61.2
  • International Student Score: 87.3
  • Percentage of International Students: 44%

5.) University of Surrey

The University of Surrey was founded in 1966. Located in Guildford, Surrey, in the southeast of England, the University of Surrey is a public research university known for its specialities in science, engineering, medicine, and business. With an enrollment of 15,000 students, the university can offer a lot of options to its students. When combined with a graduate employment rate of 96.9%, that means students can be sure that they are receiving a quality education recognized by recruiters and employers around the world. In addition to be ranked as a top university by multiple international ranking systems, the University of Surrey has also received additional awards recognizing its excellence in research and education, including multiple Queen’s Anniversary Prizes, field specific prizes, and nearly 40 faculty and staff fellows of royal academies in their fields.

One of the University of Surrey’s several outstanding schools is the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. The school consistently ranks in the top five in international university rankings. Much of that success can be attributed to the innovative approaches the school takes to hospitality management education. Students can earn bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in subjects like international hospitality management, air transport management, and international events management, as well as professional certificates in social media and hotel revenue management. Students often take advantage of Surrey’s Professional Training placement program which places students with companies and industry leaders in order to gain experience before they graduate. Students are also surrounded by faculty and research initiatives in topics like sustainability in the hospitality industry, digital technology in hospitality and tourism, and remaining competitive in today’s market.

  • School of Hospitality Management
  • Academic Reputation Score: 83.9
  • Employer Reputation Score: 40.9
  • International Student Score: 98.7
  • Percentage of International Students: 40%

6.) Cornell University

Established in 1865, Cornell University is a private Ivy League research university in upstate New York. Today, Cornell counts among its faculty and student alumni: 34 Marshall Scholars, 29 Rhodes Scholars, 29 Truman Scholars, 7 Gates Scholars, and 46 Nobel laureates. Cornell’s nearly 22,000 students can be sure to find a degree that interests them across the university’s 14 schools, and that their education comes from some of the best scholars in their fields. That quality is confirmed by consistent top 30 rankings in national and global ranking systems, with some of Cornell’s individual programs being ranked first in the world.

One of Cornell’s internationally recognized schools is the Hotel School within the SC Johnson College of Business. The Hotel School offers a bachelor’s degree in Hotel Administration and three graduate programs in hospitality management, real estate, and hotel administration. At the undergraduate level, students earn practice credit through accruing hours working in the hospitality industry in order to complete their degree. Those practice credits, in addition to Cornell’s Management Intern Program and Hotel Leadership Development Program mean students finish their degrees with a lot of experience in hospitality and great contacts with industry leaders. At the graduate level, students can take advantage of Master Classes, or 3 day immersion seminars on-location with major players in the hospitality industry. Students of any level benefit from the expertise of Cornell’s faculty, who work hard to advance the field through Cornell’s 5 institutes for hospitality research.

  • The Hotel School
  • Academic Reputation Score: 72.8
  • Employer Reputation Score: 56.7
  • International Student Score: 79.2
  • Percentage of International Students: 61%

7.) Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU)

The Nanyang Technological University, or NTU, is a comprehensive research university in Singapore. NTU ranks among the world’s best universities and is consistently ranked as one of the best universities in Asia. With over 33,000 students and 8 colleges and schools, NTU has a lot of options to offer its students. When paired with the school’s international acclaim, students can be sure that they are receiving a high quality education. In addition to its individual schools, NTU also hosts several research institutions in the fields of education, international studies, engineering, and business.

One of NTU’s internationally recognized schools is the Nanyang Business School. NBS is one of the world’s largest business schools, with more than 160 professors from more than 20 countries, covering over 30 languages. That means that not only are NBS students getting one of the best business educations in the world, but they are being taught by a diverse faculty that draw on a wide range of experiences. NBS offers several degrees specifically designed for the hospitality industry, including an Executive MBA in Hospitality Management, and leadership development programs, including a Management Development Programme in Asian Hospitality. Students in these programs complete hospitality industry consultancy projects and partake in several immersion programs with industry leaders in the United States.

  • Nanyang Business School
  • Academic Reputation Score: 63.1
  • Employer Reputation Score: 66.3
  • International Student Score: 88.2
  • Percentage of International Students: 46%

7.) 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. Hospitality students have the option to take a generalist approach to their studies or concentrate in gaming management, meeting & events management, restaurant management, or PGA golf management. In addition to being located in one of the world’s hospitality centers, students also have the advantage of taking classes from faculty producing research about hospitality loyalty programs, booking trends, hospitality in healthcare, and in many other topics that advance the hospitality field.

9.) Monash University

Monash University is an Australian public research university in Melbourne. Founded in 1958, Monash University today has nearly 74,000 students across 11 campuses and academies. A university of that size has a lot of options for its students to explore. Since Monash consistently ranks in the top 100 universities in the world, that also means students can be sure they are receiving a high quality education. Part of that quality comes from the dedication of faculty to produce research. Monash faculty produce over 3,000 research publications each year, and the university is home to over 120 research centers and institutes.

One of Monash’s leading programs is their Graduate Tourism Program that offers two master’s degrees in tourism or international sustainable tourism management. The Master of Tourism is Australia’s longest-running, industry focused graduate tourism program. Students enrolled in the International Sustainable Tourism Management program take the same core hospitality courses as the Master of Tourism, but with special courses designed around issues of sustainability in emerging and advanced economies. Part of the success of Monash’s Graduate Tourism Program comes from their experiential learning curriculum achieved through their International Field Schools. Students interact with industry leaders, as well as take trips to key tourism locations in Australia, as well as international hospitality-oriented trips to Fiji or Vietnam, and complete international internships in places like Sweden, Estonia, or Latvia.

  • Graduate Tourism Program
  • Academic Reputation Score: 66.5
  • Employer Reputation Score: 56.2
  • International Student Score: 97.7
  • Percentage of International Students: 43%

10.) University of Florida

The University of Florida, also known simply as Florida, is a public research university in Gainesville, Florida. Founded in 1853 as the East Florida Seminary, the University of Florida relocated to its present location in 1866 and adopted its present name in 1909. With nearly 55,000 students, Florida has a lot of degree options to offer across its 16 academic colleges and more than 150 research centers and institutes. Florida has consistently been recognized as a leader in education in the nation, including being ranked as one of the top 10 public universities in the nation. A lot of that recognition comes from the research output of Florida’s faculty and graduate students, like being 7th in the nation for all private and public universities in terms of the total number of patents awarded.

One of Florida’s internationally recognized programs is their Department of Tourism, Recreation & Sport Management. Students and faculty in the department study the impact of the hospitality industry, recreation activities, professional and amateur sports, ecotourism, as well as those industries effects on resource infrastructure. For instance, the department’s faculty are activity involved in forwarding the hospitality field through 2 research institutes housed in the department: the Eric Friedheim Tourism Institute and the Tourism Crisis Management Initiative. The department offers 6 degree options ranging from bachelor’s to doctoral degrees in sports and hospitality management. The department also requires its students to partake in a 13 week internship to gain work experience and create contacts within the hospitality industry. Internship partners includes many major players in the hospitality industry like Disney Destination Resorts, The Kennedy Center, and other major resorts, museums, and event locations.