Online MBA in Hospitality Management

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Experienced hospitality management professionals ensure that guests enjoy themselves. These professionals provide excellent customer service, mentor less senior staff members, and oversee events. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that lodging managers earn a median salary of $56,670 per year. Meeting, convention, and event planners earn a median of $51,560 annually.

Aspiring lodging managers often need every advantage to secure a fulfilling career, as the BLS projects the field to contract 12% from 2019-2029. Hospitality management programs help students gain in-demand knowledge and skills, preparing learners for entry-level positions and helping experienced professionals become more competitive for high-level roles.

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Top 10 Programs for Hospitality Management

? This represents the average net price of attendance for full-time students as gathered by the National Center for Education Statistics. Individual costs may vary. Costs per credit hour may also vary by program or degree.
Rank School Avg Net Price ? This represents the average net price of attendance for full-time students as gathered by the National Center for Education Statistics. Individual costs may vary. Costs per credit hour may also vary by program or degree.
1 Dakota Wesleyan University $23550
2 University of South Dakota $4164
3 South Dakota State University $4164
4 Presentation College $17500
5 Northern State University $3993
6 Dakota State University $3993
7 South Dakota School of Mines and Technology $4170
8 Black Hills State University $3993


  • Is an MBA in hospitality management worth it?

    An MBA in hospitality management may qualify graduates for management-level positions and raises. Master’s students often specialize in an area such as food service, event planning, or casino management.

  • Is hospitality management a good career?

    Careers in the field can be fulfilling and rewarding. Successful hospitality management professionals typically have a passion for meeting individuals’ needs and ensuring that guests leave satisfied.

  • How long does it take to get an MBA in hospitality management?

    Hospitality management degree programs typically require about two years to complete. Some programs offer accelerated 18-month tracks, while others give part-time students additional time to graduate.

  • What kinds of jobs can I get with a hospitality management degree?

    Positions in the hospitality management field include food service manager, event planner, and destination marketing manager. Students often explore these and other job opportunities while earning their hospitality management degree online.

Why Get a Degree in Hospitality Management?

Hospitality management programs generally feature career-focused curricula covering business fundamentals and hospitality best practices. An MBA in the field may qualify graduates for a raise or promotion. Other benefits include improved employability in the competitive job market and up-to-date information on industry trends.

Online learning features many advantages, such as the ability to attend an out-of-state school without relocating. Many online MBA in hospitality management programs offer asynchronous curricula that appeal to busy learners. These programs allow degree-seekers to view lectures and complete coursework around other responsibilities. Many students in asynchronous programs continue working while earning their degree.

Online Guide to Accredited Colleges and Universities

How Much Does a Hospitality Management Degree Cost?

Degree-seekers can save money on their degree by choosing an in-state public university. These schools typically charge in-state students the most competitive tuition rates. However, some public universities charge all online learners the same tuition rates, regardless of residency status. Prospective students should also consider the cost of textbooks and fees.

Online learning features many potential financial benefits, no matter which school learners select. Students earning an online hospitality management degree do not usually pay for on-campus housing or meals. Some schools also waive facilities fees for online degree-seekers.

Students can further reduce their financial burden by selecting a school with generous institutional and departmental financial aid opportunities. Learners may qualify for grants and scholarships. Institutions may also offer reduced tuition rates to veterans, active-duty service members, and alumni. Some awards may require a separate application.

Calculating the Cost of a College Degree

Applicants can determine a degree’s affordability using the free calculation tool below. Users input their expected tuition costs, income, financial aid, and expenses. The software uses this information to determine how much the user can contribute per month. A result lower than the cost of tuition and fees indicates the need for additional financial aid, such as scholarships or grants.

College Affordability Calculator

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

How Much Do Hospitality Management Majors Make?

Employer and State

A hospitality manager’s salary depends on their employer and state. According to the BLS, lodging managers who work for hotel or motel chains earn a median salary slightly higher than colleagues employed by recreational camps. Workers in the District of Columbia, Colorado, and New Jersey earn median salaries about $40,000-$60,000 higher than the median for the profession. However, the cost of living in these states may exceed the national average.

Job Title

Job title also impacts earning potential. General and revenue managers often earn higher salaries than front office or convention services managers. Professionals can also increase their salary potential by gaining on-the-job experience.


In addition to earning a hospitality management degree, professionals can pursue industry certifications to qualify for raises and promotions. Private organizations and agencies award certifications to talented and experienced workers in the field. Learners pursuing an MBA in hospitality management can speak with a career advisor about certifications relevant to their interests.

Courses in Hospitality Management

Students earning their hospitality management degree online prepare to make decisions that impact an entire organization. They also learn to apply communication skills when working with guests and staff to analyze and resolve problems. Degree-seekers gain these skills while completing core MBA courses and hospitality electives. Graduation requirements may include a capstone course during the final semester.

The following sample curriculum features three courses students commonly take while earning an MBA with a hospitality concentration. Students should research each prospective program’s requirements, as curricula can impact graduates’ career opportunities. Learners can also note each program’s alumni outcomes to determine how the program prepares students for careers.

  • Corporate Social Responsibility

    A business impacts not only employees and customers but also the wider community. Students in this course examine these effects by researching academic literature, exploring the relationship between businesses and society, and studying various economic systems. Learners also prepare to determine the social responsibilities of a business based on the goods or services it offers.

  • Experience, Adventure, and Education Tourism

    Degree-seekers in this class gain an understanding of why people travel. Coursework emphasizes the differences between individual travel and tour groups. Learners also examine the importance of hands-on activities and safety best practices. Advanced topics may include specialized travel experiences, such as ecotourism and culinary tourism. Learners also explore how international destinations attract visitors.

  • Information Technology in Hospitality and Tourism

    Lodging managers and event planners use various software suites to book guests’ rooms, manage budgets, coordinate employees’ work schedules, and keep data secure. This course helps students master IT fundamentals and develop relevant problem-solving skills. Coursework covers online marketing techniques, cybersecurity, and data analytics.

Certifications and Licensure for Hospitality Management

Individuals can obtain professional certification to demonstrate mastery of one or more in-demand skills. Typical certification requirements include a degree and professional experience, completion of a short course, and a passing exam score. Some organizations award certifications only to members, and renewal requirements may include professional development courses.

Certified Rooms Division Executive

Managers overseeing front-office hotel staff can pursue this certification. Candidates need at least one year of management experience and must pass an exam. Members of the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute receive a discount. Professionals renew the certification every five years, a process which requires a fee and documentation.

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Certified Special Events Professional

The International Live Events Association developed this credential in 1993 to help experienced event planners advance professionally. Candidates with a hospitality management degree need only three years of experience. The association provides an exam preparation guide and practice exams. Applicants can retake the exam for an additional fee.

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Certified Venue Executive

The International Association of Venue Managers awards this certification to members with at least seven years of experience. Applicants must submit an essay, take a written exam, and participate in an interview. Professionals qualify for certification renewal every three years by taking continuing education courses, performing community service, or publishing research in an industry journal.

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Scholarships for Hospitality Management

Private scholarships often help MBA in hospitality management degree-seekers avoid long-term student debt. Online learners in the field can research and apply for scholarships such as those below. The following list features scholarship programs accepting applications in 2021. Students should review the latest application requirements and deadlines before applying.

  • AfterCollege Business Student Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: AfterCollege awards this competitive scholarship to degree-seekers majoring in a business-related field. Application requirements include a minimum 3.0 GPA and a 200-word essay discussing the candidate’s professional goals.

    Amount: $500

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  • AKA Graduate Scholarships

    Who Can Apply: Alpha Kappa Alpha awards merit-based and need-based awards to full-time graduate students. Applicants must meet minimum GPA requirements, and degree-seekers with a history of community service receive preference.

    Amount: Varies

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  • AAAA Scholarships

    Who Can Apply: Members of the Army Aviation Association of America and dependents of members can apply for these scholarships. Applicants must be attending an accredited college or university and must submit official transcripts, an essay, and a recommendation letter. The association uses an April 30 application deadline.

    Amount: Varies

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Online MBA in Hospitality Management Programs 2021

See Our Rankings Methodology
  1. Dakota Wesleyan University

    Mitchell, SD



  2. University of South Dakota

    Vermillion, SD



  3. South Dakota State University

    Brookings, SD



  4. Presentation College

    Aberdeen, SD



  5. Northern State University

    Aberdeen, SD



  6. Dakota State University

    Madison, SD



  7. South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

    Rapid City, SD



  8. Black Hills State University

    Spearfish, SD



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