5 Universities Offering Free Hospitality Management Education Online

See our list of the top free online hospitality and service management courses. Learn about what courses are available, what topics they cover and whether you can use them to get college credit.

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Online Hospitality Management Courses for Credit

A number of courses in general, business or hospitality management are available online for students who want to enter the hospitality or service management industry. However, these courses generally don't provide a path to credit. Students looking for options that do prepare them to earn alternative forms of credit or award a certificate might consider some of the low-cost options at Study.com. When students work their way through the courses, they can ultimately work towards earning credit.

There is a course called Hotel Management Training, that is filled with numerous hospitality management topics. Resources such as lesson quizzes, transcripts and videos can help students master the information in the courses. Some of the chapters include:

Another course that students can look into is Study.com's Business 101: Principles of Management course, which offers the following topics and much more:

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Free Online Non-Credited Hospitality and Service Management Courses

The free courses below might include lectures, readings and exams. Students taking these classes should note that no grading is offered, classes are taken at the student's own pace and academic credit is not awarded for completion of courses.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MIT offers several free graduate-level courses, which are related to service management and were originally offered in the MIT Sloan School of Management. All of the non-credit courses include lectures, homework assignments and recommended readings; some of the readings are included on the site, but others are in textbooks that students may voluntarily purchase separately. All the course materials can be viewed on the site or downloaded in a .ZIP file.

  • Advanced Managerial Communication teaches students how to develop the interpersonal skills of successful managers, including decision-making and working on teams.
  • Management of Services: Concepts, Design and Delivery focuses on management of hospitality and service organizations. The assignments highlight case studies that include McDonald's, Southwest Airlines and Amazon.
  • Management of Supply Networks for Products and Services teaches students about such topics as service encounters and guarantees, call centers, customer retention and customer satisfaction. Students are asked to analyze and write about service organizations such as Ritz Carlton and Merrill Lynch.

Stanford University

Stanford University offers free video lecture series through its Entrepreneurship Corner. The lectures have no credit value and don't include homework assignments, readings or exams. The series can be downloaded as a video file or viewed on the website.

  • What Great Leaders Do is a lecture series from Bob Sutton, a professor at Stanford, who uncovers important leadership skills, such as the hallmarks of great bosses, power and accepting defeat. This series can also be downloaded as an audio file.

Cornell University

Cornell offers a series of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), one of which focuses on hospitality management. It is not offered every semester, so students should check the program site to confirm that it is currently available.

  • Introduction to Global Hospitality Management is one of Cornell's many MOOCs and teaches students about fundamental concepts related to the management of hospitality services on a global scale. Course topics include asset management, strategic planning, real estate, and e-commerce.

University of California - Irvine

UC-Irvine's Division of Continuing Studies provides several non-credit courses, free of charge, through the university's OpenCourseWare (OCW) web site.

  • Introduction to Spa & Hospitality Operations allows students to understand how current professionals manage spas as they learn about concepts such as marketing, licensures, compensation models, and business planning.

St. Petersburg College

Students interested in enrolling at the associate of science program at St. Petersburg College can take advantage of an innovative scholarship program that provides free classes. Funded through a partnership with the Pinellas County Hotel/Motel Association, the school's Foundation Scholarship ensures that a student's first 3-credit Hospitality & Tourism course will be offered free of charge.

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