Hospitality Management Schools and Colleges: How to Choose

Hospitality management programs are offered at both undergraduate and graduate levels. Choosing a school and degree program depends on the student's career goals, the school's reputation and the amount of real-world experience it offers.

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Students can find a large variety of hospitality management programs at the associate, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree levels. Programs are available through the business and hospitality departments of many community colleges and universities.

10 Hospitality Management Schools

These schools offer hospitality management programs at the undergraduate and graduate degree levels.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Undergraduate Tuition and Fees 2015-2016*
University of Nevada-Las Vegas Las Vegas, NV 4-year, public Bachelor's $6,943 in-state, $20,853 out-of-state
Auburn University Auburn, AL 4-year, public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $10,424 in-state, $28,040 out-of-state
Rutgers University-Camden Camden, NJ 4-year, public Bachelor's $14,000 in-state, $28,890 out-of-state
Boston University Boston, MA 4-year, private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's $48,436
Purdue University-Calumet Campus Hammond, IN 4-year, public Certificate, Bachelor's $6,868 in-state, $15,516 out-of-state
California State Polytechnic University-Pomona Pomona, CA 4-year, public Bachelor's, Master's $7,016 in-state, $18,176 out-of-state
Michigan State University East Lansing, MI 4-year, public Certificate, Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $13,560 in-state, $36,360 out-of-state
Fairleigh Dickinson University Madison, NJ 4-year, private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's $39,092
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Blacksburg, CA 4-year, public Bachelor's, Master's, Graduate certificate $12,485 in-state, $29,129 out-of-state
University of Massachusetts-Amherst Boston, MA 4-year, public Certificate, Bachelor's, Doctoral $48,436

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

School Selection Criteria

Students should keep these things in mind when choosing a school:

  • If you want to specialize, consider schools that offer a specific area of study within the hospitality field, like restaurant management, special event planning or international hotel operations.
  • Look for schools that offer flexible schedules for working students. Bachelor's and master's degree programs in hospitality management are offered full-time, but can also be found through distance learning opportunities and part-time studies that cater specifically to working professionals.
  • Consider finding schools affiliated with local and international hotels or schools that offer internships that enable students to step outside the classroom and put learned practices to work.
  • Students may want to consider schools that have a high rate of graduate placement in the workforce.

Associate Degree Programs

Associate degree programs in hospitality management require 60-70 credit hours of general education and hospitality-specific courses. These programs usually require an internship.

Bachelor's Degree Programs

A 4-year bachelor's degree program contains general education courses, as well as hospitality electives. A few hospitality management majors may include concentrations within the program. Courses may focus on hotel management, restaurant management or both. Most programs require students to complete an internship at a hotel or related facility.

Master's Degree Programs

Master's degree programs in hospitality management focus on providing instruction in the planning and management of hotels and resorts. To graduate, students are required to prepare a thesis or research project in a specific area within the field of study.

Doctor of Philosophy Programs

Doctoral degree programs in hospitality management are generally intended for students interested in a career in academia. These programs often contain coursework focusing on research, theory and leadership. Hospitality management may be included as a specific area of focus for a larger management program.

Prospective hospitality management students should consider a programs's specialities and internship opportunities when deciding on a school to attend. Other considerations include program length and graduate placement.

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