Online Master’s Programs in Hospitality Management

October 12, 2021

reviewed by ACO Rankings Team
Online Master’s Programs in Hospitality Management

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Earning a Hospitality Management Degree

Hospitality managers oversee the operations of hotels, resorts, casinos, restaurants, and other event facilities. At its core, hospitality management focuses on the guest experience, ensuring that patrons feel welcome and comfortable.

A master's in hospitality management prepares graduates for advanced management positions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that lodging managers earn an annual median salary of $54,430, but top managers in the hospitality field can earn six-figure salaries.

This guide ranks the best online master's in hospitality management programs for 2021. It also covers other important information for prospective students, such as common courses and scholarship opportunities for hospitality management students.

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Top 10 Online Master’s In Hospitality Management Programs

#1 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL
#2 Florida International University Miami, FL
#3 University of North Texas Denton, TX
#4 University of Nevada-Las Vegas Las Vegas, NV
#5 Johnson & Wales University-Online Providence, RI

Frequently Asked Questions Surrounding Hospitality Management

true What kinds of jobs can you get with a hospitality management degree?

Hospitality management graduates can pursue management positions in industries like travel and tourism, event planning, hotels and lodging, and food service.

true How long does it take to get a hospitality management degree?

Full-time students typically complete a master's in hospitality management degree in 1-2 years.

true How much money can you make with a hospitality management degree?

Annual salaries for hospitality management graduates range from $54,430 for hotel managers to six figures for top managers.

true What does a hotel manager do all day?

Hotel managers oversee the administrative functions of hotels, including budgeting, employee hiring, and general management. They also direct other employees to ensure hotels operate efficiently.

Why Get a Degree in Hospitality Management?

Master's in hospitality management programs build advanced skills in general business and hospitality. These programs prepare students for rewarding roles in diverse industries. Graduates often pursue mid- to upper-level management positions. They work as managers for major hospitality corporations in industries including tourism and travel, casinos, event management, hotels and lodging, and restaurants.

How Much Does a Hospitality Management Degree Cost?

Tuition rates for master's in hospitality management programs vary by school, enrollment status, and delivery format. In general, public schools offer more affordable tuition than private schools. Some public schools also offer in-state tuition rates to online students regardless of where they live. On average, graduate students pay around $30,000-$40,000 for a master's degree.

Colleges commonly offer reduced tuition rates to online students. Additionally, online students can avoid many of the expenses that on-campus students incur, such as housing and commuting costs. Online learning also enables students to complete coursework at home, which can reduce childcare expenses.

Online programs commonly cater to working students, offering flexible course scheduling. Many students can maintain full-time employment while in school.

Break down your current financial situation, and receive a college tuition estimate you can afford to pay.

How Much Do Hospitality Management Majors Make?

Hospitality management graduates can pursue careers in fields such as travel and tourism, food service, hotels and lodging, and event management. Lodging managers make a median annual salary of $54,430, according to the BLS. In the event management field, meeting, convention, and event planners earn an annual median salary of $50,600, while administrative services and facilities managers earn an annual median salary of $96,940.

Master's in hospitality management graduates can also pursue upper-management positions in marketing, training development, human resources, and other key departments for hospitality companies. These positions typically provide high salaries. For example, human resources managers earn an annual median salary of $116,720, while training and development managers earn an annual median salary of $113,350.

Courses in Hospitality Management

Hospitality management master's degrees touch on business fundamentals, including marketing, economics, finance, and business law. Learners also study advanced hospitality management topics, such as hospitality service administration. Students often demonstrate their skills through a major final project, such as a capstone or a thesis.

Courses vary by program, but this list highlights three courses commonly found in master's in hospitality management programs.

Certifications and Licensure for Hospitality Management

Hospitality management professionals can obtain certifications to demonstrate mastery of key industry skills and improve their career prospects. Certifications serve hospitality professionals at all stages of their career. This list highlights three popular hospitality certifications.

Demonstrating management and leadership skills, this credential typically serves managers with at least two years of professional hospitality experience. However, applicants with a college degree need only one year of experience to qualify for this certification. This certification qualifies recipients to deliver hospitality training on safety procedures, job skills, and hospitality policy. Applicants must submit a current resume, job description, education history, and current certifications. Applicants must also pass a proctored exam. This certification serves hospitality professionals focused on guest room or meeting space sales. Applicants need at least six months of relevant hospitality experience or a college degree.

Scholarships for Hospitality Management

Master's in hospitality management students looking to reduce their college tuition expenses can apply for various scholarships. Offering financial assistance that recipients never need to repay, these scholarships serve students pursuing hospitality programs.

Scholarship Amount Who Can Apply

Doc Cohen Franchising Scholarship

$1,500 The International Franchise Association offers this scholarship to students enrolled in hospitality or food service programs. Applicants must submit a 10-page business plan on a franchise concept they would like to own.

NEWH Scholarships

Varies EWH offers several scholarships to students pursuing academic programs in hospitality. Many scholarships include paid travel to award ceremonies and other industry events.

Helen Brett Scholarship

Up to $5,000 The International Association of Exhibitions and Events offers this scholarship to students pursuing academic programs related to events management. Applicants must submit a short essay, a current resume, and two recommendation letters.

Online Master's In Hospitality Management Programs 2021

University of Central Florida View School Profile Orlando, FL $13016

One of Florida's major public colleges, Orlando-based UCF offers a top-ranked master's in hospitality management. Available fully online, the program emphasizes industry knowledge, management skills, and experiential learning opportunities. The program also offers a dual-degree option for students enrolled in UCF's medical program.

Enrollees complete a minimum of 33 credits, with both thesis and non-thesis options available. The thesis track serves learners interested in academic and research perspectives on hospitality management, while the non-thesis track offers a managerial focus. Common courses in both tracks include lodging management operations and data analysis in hospitality and tourism.

Applicants of all academic backgrounds may apply. However, students without a hospitality or business administration background may need to complete several prerequisite courses before beginning the graduate curriculum. Typical prerequisites include guest services management, hospitality industry managerial accounting, and strategic management in the hospitality industry. UCF may not offer all prerequisite courses online.

Florida International University View School Profile Miami, FL $9180

Miami-based FIU hosts one of Florida's best hospitality management master's degrees. Offered through the esteemed Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, FIU's master of science in hospitality management functions like a master of business administration for the hospitality industry. Students benefit from FIU's proximity and close connections to the hospitality and tourism industry in Florida, the Carribean, and Latin America.

The program's 33-credit curriculum includes courses such as hospitality enterprise technology, contemporary global issues in hospitality, and organizational behavior in the hospitality industry. Students also complete a three-credit practicum that applies course learning to professional hospitality practice.

FIU's hospitality management program offers a flexible, fully online format that enables enrollees to learn at their own pace. The program features multiple annual start dates. Most full-time students graduate in 12 months. Learners do not need a background in hospitality to apply.

University of North Texas View School Profile Denton, TX $12600

Located in Denton (about 45 miles northwest of Dallas), UNT offers a master of science in hospitality management available fully online. This integrated program focuses on management strategies for hospitality experiences, products, and services in an increasingly global market. Students gain broadly applicable knowledge of the hospitality industry, including strategic planning, growth and competitive strategies, and research methods.

The master's in hospitality management includes a minimum of 36 credits, with both thesis and non-thesis options available. Both program tracks include core business courses, hospitality management courses, electives, and research courses. Thesis candidates complete fewer hospitality management courses along with six credits of independent thesis work, where they research a contemporary issue in hospitality management.

Students can pursue several funding sources, including academic scholarships and student assistant positions. Enrollees who receive student assistantships also qualify for out-of-state tuition waivers, enabling them to pay the reduced in-state tuition rate.

University of Nevada-Las Vegas View School Profile Las Vegas, NV $11693

One of Nevada's top public colleges, UNLV offers an executive master of hospitality administration available entirely online. This flexible, self-paced program serves working professionals with at least three years of hospitality industry management experience. UNLV offers two concentration options: hospitality management and gaming management.

Candidates in either track complete a minimum of 30 credits, divided among core courses, electives, and a culminating experience. Core courses emphasize broad knowledge in human resources, financial analysis, and marketing. Enrollees also complete electives that build specialized knowledge in topics such as casino operations, food services management, and tourism dynamics.

Learners complete a capstone project for the gaming track and either a capstone or hospitality entrepreneurship project for the hospitality track. The capstone project takes the form of a research paper into a current problem or issue in hospitality management, while the entrepreneurship project explores strategies for starting a new business venture.

Johnson & Wales University-Online View School Profile Providence, RI Unconfirmed

A private college based in Providence, Rhode Island, JWU offers a top-ranked, fully online master's in hospitality management. Highlighting the global dimensions of tourism and hospitality management, the program prepares students to lead organizations, address operational challenges, and apply research to strategic planning. Most candidates complete the program in two years.

JWU's 33-credit master of science in hospitality management includes 24 credits of core courses and nine credits of electives. The program core builds basic knowledge of the hospitality industry, including organizational behavior, competitive strategies, and hospitality and tourism global issues. Electives explore specialized topics such as franchising and licensing, event leadership and planning, and experience and adventure tourism.

As part of the general curriculum, all candidates complete a culminating capstone project. Applying course learning to real-life management practice, the capstone requires students to complete an independent research project that addresses a significant issue in hospitality management and tourism.

Reese Lopez is a freelance writer with over a decade of experience in the education field. After earning his BA in English from Evergreen State College, he worked as an English language instructor and tutor before joining Affordable Colleges Online. Reese lives in Portland, Oregon, where he also writes fiction and performs in the local music scene.

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AffordableCollegesOnline.org 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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