The 20 Best Online Master’s in Hospitality Management

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Hospitality and tourism is a trillion dollar industry with hundreds of thousands of jobs created around the world annually. Expansion is particularly explosive in sectors of tourism and hospitality abroad. As tourism businesses expand into new exotic locations and countries, new hotels and resorts are developed, and the demand increases for experienced managers to oversee these operations. 

With this in mind, an international business background is commonly required for upper-level employment in international tourism agencies. And even to work in the industry domestically, management positions are reserved for professionals who have specialized backgrounds in business management. 

Given the specialized requirements of high-end positions in the job market, it can be tremendously difficult for professionals to work their way up the professional ladder without the proper degree to back them up. A Master’s of Hospitality Management is designed specifically for this purpose–to position students to take on the upper-level and most lucrative jobs in the hospitality and tourism industry. 

  1. Florida State University

Florida State University (FSU) has produced industry-leading professionals in the hospitality and tourism space. The FSU Dedman College of Hospitality is designed specifically to prepare students to not only excel as professionals, but to thrive as industry leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs. Dedman College of Hospitality offers various undergraduate and graduate degree paths that confer a different focus or specialization–each of which consistently rank among the best of their kind. 

The College however, offers one graduate level program–a fully online Master’s of Entrepreneurship in Hospitality Management. Offered through a collaboration between the Dedman College of Hospitality and the College of Entrepreneurship, the program is designed to cultivate students’ capacity of innovative thinking and strategic business strategizing. 

Students will build toward expertise by progressing in the following areas of coursework:

  • Accounting and Finance for Entrepreneurs
  • Ethics in Management
  • Strategy Formulation
  • Foundation in Entrepreneurship and Leadership
  • Hospitality Colloquium
  • Entrepreneurial Lodging
  • Legal Environment of Hospitality and Tourism Operations
  • Marketing Strategy

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  1. The University of Alabama

Whether for its popular sports programs, its massive network of research facilities, or its robust degree offerings, University of Alabama (UA) is a well known name in higher education. Through the online degree programs offered by College of Continuing Education, UA reaches more students than ever before. These programs are designed to jumpstart students’ careers in flexible yet academically rigorous programs that can be completed by full-time workers and first-time college students alike. 

The UA College of Continuing Education offers a Master of Science in Hospitality Management that is designed for students coming from one of two backgrounds: students coming from a bachelor’s program who look to specialize in hospitality career, or professionals coming from the hospitality industry who look to build the necessary expertise to take on managerial roles and upper-level employment. 

Students will progress through a thesis or non-thesis track of business-oriented curriculum that prepares them for positions of management. Specifically, students will delve deeply into the following areas of coursework: 

  • Research Method
  • Leadership in the Hospitality Industry
  • Hospitality Law
  • Management in the Hospitality Industry
  • RHM 596 Seminar in Hospitality Management
  • Financial Management and Hospitality Operations
  • Special Problems in Hospitality Management

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  1. Florida International University

Florida International University (FIU) is a prestigious institution that has driven industry-changing innovation in higher education. For FIU the word ‘international’ is not just marketing slang but a core pillar of the University’s aspirations. Where applicable FIU incorporates global awareness, international business studies, and worldwide internships. This statement is particularly true in the case of FIU’s Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. 

In 2006, FIU unveiled the first American Hospitality and Tourism School in China. Today students can take advantage of this resource to facilitate Chinese business networking opportunities as well as internships–specifically with the Marriott in Tianjin, China. Through the Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management students can earn one of two Master’s degrees. 

Specifically, students can enroll either in the Master of Science in Hospitality Management or in the Executive Master of Science in Hospitality Management. The former will be the most common choice for students enrolling after completing a bachelor’s degree and can be completed entirely online in just one year. The executive program however, is designed for students who have demonstrated success working in the hospitality industry and can be completed in just 10 months entirely online. 

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  1. Purdue University

Purdue University is a name associated with academic prestige and pedigree, a reputation conferred by its tremendously talented faculty who work at the forefront of their respective specialties. Faculty leverage their expertise and inside-knowledge of industries to position students to capitalize on market needs and opportunities after graduation. With the development of its online degree programs, more students are able to benefit from Purdue’s high standard of education. 

Purdue Online offers a Master of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management. Purdue has been recognized for offering the #1 Master’s and Doctoral Degree Programs for hospitality management education in the Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Education. Graduates of these programs can leverage the high level of prestige for higher levels of competitiveness in the job market. 

One reason for the excellence of these programs is the commitment to research-centric studies. Students will explore the ins and outs current industry statistics, market interactions, and employer needs. So upon graduation students will have the complete tool kit needed to excel as professionals and leaders. 

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  1. University of Central Florida

The University of Central Florida (UCF) offers more than 200 hundred degree programs that are designed to represent the real-world needs of the job market. The Rosen College of Hospitality Management is positioned in the #1 tourist destination in America, Florida. The College leverages this position to tap into global tourism networks and professional connections, so that students can find professional opportunities and internship opportunities both at home and abroad. 

Specifically the College offers a Master of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management that can be completed entirely online. The program is taught by international faculty who bring different backgrounds and specialties to the conversation. Students of the program can choose between a thesis or non-thesis option. 

The thesis track is meant for students who wish to establish a specialization or niche area of expertise. The non-thesis track is meant for students who are not quite sure or ready to establish a specific focus, and as such will spend more time covering foundational concepts more comprehensively. 

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  1. San Diego State University

San Diego State University (SDSU) has evolved in recent years to accommodate the rising demand for degree programs to accommodate working adults. Specifically, SDSU’s College of Extended Studies mentions in its mission statement that 34 million American adults hold college course credits but do not hold the relative certification. SDSU’s online degree programs are designed to accommodate adult professionals and working students who wish to work toward professional advancement amidst even the busiest of schedules. 

SDSU’s L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality & Tourism Management is designed for mid-level managers with five to fifteen years of experience, who wish to advance to the next level of leadership–that is, as a general manager, director, CEO, or hospitality company executive. Specifically the School offers a Master’s of Hospitality Management that can be completed entirely online. 

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  1. University of Houston

The University of Houston (UH) boasts a storied history of innovating in the distance education space, stretching back as far as 1953 when the University founded the nation’s first educational TV station. Today UH leverages an extensive catalogue of online degree programs to accommodate both busy professionals and working students who wish to work toward professional advancement amidst even the most demanding schedules. 

UH offers a unique graduate hospitality program that is designed to groom students for upper-echelon positions in the job market. Specifically, students can earn an Executive Master of Hospitality Management (M.H.M). The ‘executive’ designation refers to the focus of curriculum on the upper-end challenges and concerns of management and executive leadership in the hospitality industry. 

While the program accepts students from various backgrounds with various levels of professional experience, the program curriculum is tailored to meet a student’s individual level of preparedness and aptitude. The program leverages its various corporate partnerships to customize curriculums for mid-level and senior leaders. This allows the program to simultaneously accept novice leaders and veteran leaders alike. 

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  1. Arizona State University

Arizona State University (ASU) is one of the largest institutions of online higher education in the world. To date the alumni body consists of a whopping 500,000 professionals and academics. Students looking for efficient and affordable online degree programs taught by academic scholars with industry clout will find ASU to be a seductive option. 

Specifically ASU offers a Master of Sustainable Tourism (MST) which uniquely positions the hospitality curriculum in the context of environmental, economic, and societal considerations. The United States Agency for International Development has supported more than 123 sustainable tourism projects in 72 countries.

The program positions students to capitalize on market opportunities in this same vein–working as managers with sustainability expertise, as industry consultants, or sustainability research experts. As such students can expect a research-oriented curriculum, designed to prepare students for a profession that is essentially a blending of research sustainability science and hospitality management. 

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  1. Monroe College

Monroe College offers a host of student-centric policies and services to ensure that online students graduate with the same grooming and support as their on-campus counterparts. Students have unfettered access to 24/7 online tutoring; program advisors help students make the best choices in navigating degree programs; and Monroe is recognized as one of the ‘best value’ colleges in the country. 

Monroe College’s King Graduate School employs a research and project focus in curriculums that facilitates the skill-building that is so attractive to employers. Monroe offers an MBA program designed to prepare students to accell as managers in the hospitality industry. While the curriculum does not directly focus on the hospitality industry, students are free to establish this specialization through the freedom and flexibility of electives, research projects, and thesis work. 

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  1. University of Louisiana – Lafayette 

The University of Louisiana – Lafayette employs a unique strategy in its graduate level education programs for aspiring managers. All of its management-based programs are housed under the AACSB-accredited B.I. Moody III School of Business Administration. The School is designed to value students’ time and most programs can be completed in as little as 15 months. Program curriculum is informed by the most current industry research and corporate best practices.

Specifically, the B.I. Moody III School of Business Administration offers a MBA in Hospitality Management that can be completed entirely online in as little as 15 months. The total tuition cost is around $12,800, making it one of the most affordable MBA programs on the market. 

The affordability of the program is not gained at the expense of academic rigor. Students of the program will build the necessary knowledge and skills to obtain employment in the following sectors of the hospitality industry: 

  • Guest Experience Manager
  • Hotel Director
  • Global Development Manager
  • Tourism Coordinator
  • Director of Sales and Marketing
  • Director of Financial Planning

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  1. University of Nevada – Las Vegas 

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) is a thriving urban research institution that has leveraged its explosive growth in expansion in the digital learning space. Its online degree programs are defined by research-centric curriculums that are designed to represent the real-world needs of the job market and industry trends. 

UNLV offers a fully online Master of Hospitality Administration (M.H.A.) that is completed at a self-paced schedule. The program is designed specifically for hospitality professionals who wish to advance to upper positions of leadership and management. 

The dynamic curriculum provides students with a host of choices and research opportunities that facilitate the building of specializations and focused skill sets. Students will conclude their time in the program in choosing between an entrepreneurial project or a professional paper that represents the student’s chosen professional focus. 

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  1. University of North Texas

The University of North Texas (UNT) is a member of the National Council of Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA), an organization founded to ensure a high standard of education. This standard of academics represents a core pillar of UNT’s philosophy of education, that is, students at UNT can be sure that their degree program is being held to a high standard of excellence. 

The UNT College of Merchandising, Hospitality & Tourism offers a fully online Master’s of Science in Hospitality Management. The program consists of 36 credit hours and comes with a price tag of about $16,300 for Texas residents. Tuition rates will vary for students from other states. 

A defining characteristic of this program is its commitment to global awareness and to cultivating a sound foundation in international business considerations. Graduates of this program will be dynamically business-minded professionals ready to take on roles of management and leadership in the hospitality industry. 

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  1. Auburn University

Auburn University (AU) is a large public institution of higher education whose name conferrs academic clout and professional preparedness to its alumni. AU’s College of Human Sciences houses a catalogue of various degree programs that all hold one thing in common–they look to create a sense of global awareness and humanistic responsibility. At the College of Human Sciences, students will learn how to leverage professional roles of their career path to enact positive change in the world around them. 

The AU College of Human Sciences offers both an on-campus option and a fully online Master of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management, HRMT. The on-campus track involves a thesis track which comprises a total 30 credits. The online program track forgoes the thesis option in favor of more comprehensive coursework totalling at 33 credits. 

Students of the program will develop skills in assessing and addressing specific problems faced by the industry. As such students will become experts of conducting marketing research and analysis, and will learn to employ their managerial skills to implement responsive strategies in a given organization. 

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  1. Colorado State University

Colorado State University (CSU) is consistently recognized for its top-tier degree programs and world class faculty. CSU offers flexible online degree programs that accommodate working professionals, adult learners, and others with demanding schedules that make traditional on-campus programs untenable. 

CSU Offers a fully online Master of Tourism Management (M.T.M.) that builds a foundational knowledge of business practice as well as the specific challenges and factors most central to the tourism industry. The program curriculum is designed to train students to view tourism organizations as business ventures defined by financial forces and variables, so that upon graduation students will be able to lead tourism businesses to financial success. 

CSU’s M.T.M. program is unique in that it allows an opportunity for students to specialize in ski area tourism. Given CSU’s proximity to the ski-capital of America, students who choose this track will engage with CSU’s professional network and corporate partners who are leaders of the ski-tourism industry in Colorado.

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  1. Temple University

Temple University is a school built around the mission of turning students into innovators and creative thinkers. Temple’s degree programs challenge the status quo and emphasize out-of-the-box critical thinking. By building skills of creative problem solving, graduates of Temple University are able to tackle a host of challenges–not just those typical to the chosen degree or career path. 

Temple University offers two separate online graduate degree options for those interested in the tourism and hospitality industry. The first is a standard Master of Science in Hospitality Management, which delivers a curriculum based on the foundational concepts of hospitality and tourism organizations. The second option is a Master of Science in Tourism and Travel, which delivers a curriculum more focused on industry trends and statistics in the tourism industry. 

In other words, the tourism and travel program is more focused on research and independent study–making it an excellent option for professionals who may not want to take on traditional management responsibilities in the workplace. In either program students will benefit from faculty who are plugged into the industry and who provide a host of student-development services, such as resume critiquing and professional counseling.

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  1. George Washington University

The George Washington University School of Business has maintained a global presence of business leadership for nearly 100 years. The GW School of Business houses internationally recognized faculty who have demonstrated real-world success in their industry of focus. The School’s forward-thinking curriculum positions students to capitalize in current and future market opportunities as well as the needs of employers. 

 The GW School of Business has expanded its reach to more students through its online degree offerings. Among these is a fully online Master of Tourism Administration that positions students to take on high-end roles of management and leadership in the tourism industry. 

Students of the Master of Tourism Administration will not only learn from world-class faculty, but will also benefit from the program’s guest-teaching program where industry-leading professionals who tool their insider knowledge to jumpstart students’ careers. 

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  1. Louisiana State University – Shreveport

Louisiana State University – Shreveport is a proud member of the Louisiana State University System that distinguishes itself by providing top-tier degree program options for a fraction of the cost of comparable programs. These programs do not sacrifice quality for affordability–students will learn from expert faculty, 80% of which hold the highest degree in their field. 

LSU Shreveport offers hospitality professionals two graduate level degree paths housed in a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program. Specifically, students can choose between a MBA with a Hospitality and Casino Management Concentration, or an MBA with a Hospitality and Casino Management Specialization. 

Students interested in entering the casino industry will be hard-pressed to find a better option. Students who graduate from this program will be perfectly positioned to take on management positions in the hospitality and casino management industry. 

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  1. University of New Orleans

The University of New Orleans (UNO) College of Business Administration is an internationally recognized school of academic excellence and measurable professional advancement. The College of Business Administration consistently ranks among the industry’s best with its degree programs brandishing various metrics of impressive success. 

Of most relevance to this ranking is the metric relating to the Online Executive Master of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management. Specifically, an astonishing 100% of graduates of this program are employed in their industry by the time of graduation. This speaks to the program’s success in cultivating the skills and knowledge that are most valued by employers. 

Students will build specialization by progressing through coursework in the following areas: 

  • Survey of the Hospitality & Tourism Industry
  • Special Topics in Hospitality & Tourism Management
  • Marketing Applications for the Hospitality & Tourism Industry
  • Hospitality & Tourism Finance & Revenue Management
  • Tourism Destination Development
  • Technology for Hospitality & Tourism Management
  • Hospitality & Tourism Operations Analysis
  • Change Management for Hospitality & Tourism
  • Hospitality & Tourism Research Methods
  • Hospitality & Tourism Industry Strategic Management 

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  1. University of Kentucky

The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment provides students with a career-focused, research-informed curriculum that is designed to facilitate industry knowledge and market understanding. This positions students to accel in the job market by capitalizing on industry-wide opportunities and employer needs. 

Specifically the College’s Department of Retailing and Tourism Management offers students two graduate level degree options in hospitality and tourism–a Master of Science in Merchandising, Apparel, and Textiles, and a Master of Science in Hospitality Management and Tourism. 

Regardless of the program path, students will benefit from expert faculty who facilitate professional development. Specifically, faculty will assist students in lining up internship opportunities that are most aligned with a student’s unique career goals and professional aspirations. 

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  1. Schiller International University

Schiller International University is a global force in online education and services students from more than 130 countries. What distinguishes Schiller is its student-centric services and consumer-friendly practices. Foremost among which is the ‘try it and see’ model where students can choose to make a single partial payment to try one course, or two try a group of four within a specific major-path to ensure it is the correct path. 

Schiller International University offers an MBA in Hospitality and Tourism Management that can be completed entirely online. A distinguishing element of this program is its commitment to a curriculum that embodies global business awareness and international tourism trends. 

Students of the program will progress through coursework that emphasizes the foundational concepts of advanced business administration and hospitality management. Options for specialization are offered through a catalogue of electives and research projects. 

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