School and Ranking Information
There are only three schools in the Birmingham, AL, area offering degrees in hospitality management. Based on rankings, graduation rates and degrees offered, the top three schools are the University of Alabama (UA) in Tuscaloosa, Jacksonville State University (JSU) in Jacksonville and Jefferson State Community College (JSCC) in Birmingham.
- Winner: UA is the top school in the area because it offers hospitality management programs at both the bachelor's and master's degree levels in addition to a specialty certificate. This school is nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report.
- Runner-Up #1: JSU offers a bachelor's degree program and is regionally ranked by U.S. News.
- Runner-Up #2: JSCC comes in third for hospitality programs in the area because it is located directly in Birmingham, and it offers certificate and associate degrees in the field.
School Comparison Chart
|Category||University of Alabama||Jacksonville State University||Jefferson State Community College|
|Rankings (2013)||#32 in Top National Public Schools*, #77 in Top National Universities*||#34 in Top Regional Public Schools - South*, #74 in Top Regional Universities - South*||N/A|
|Location||Tuscaloosa, AL, (59 miles from Birmingham)**||Jacksonville, AL (73 miles from Birmingham)**||Birmingham, AL***|
|School Type||4-year, public||4-year, public||2-year, public|
|Tuition & Fees (2012-2013)||$9,200 (in-state undergraduate), $22,950 (out-of-state undergraduate), $9,200 (in-state graduate), $22,950 (out-of state graduate)***||$6,360 (in-state undergraduate), $12,720 (out-of-state undergraduate)***||$4,200 (in-state undergraduate), $7,470 (out-of-state undergraduate)***|
|Hospitality Management Degree Levels Offered||Bachelor's and master's degrees and specialty certificates****||Bachelor's degrees****||Certificates and associate's degrees****|
|Hospitality Management Degrees Awarded (All Levels) in 2011-2012||111 (in restaurant/food services management)***||29 (in family and consumer sciences/human sciences, general)***||64 (in hospitality administration/management, general)***|
|Most Popular Hospitality Management Program (2011-2012)||Bachelor of Science in Human Environmental Sciences (111 awarded)***||Bachelor of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences (for all concentrations) (29 awarded)***||Less-than 1-year Certificate in Hotel/Motel Management (25 awarded)***|
|Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time)||66% (for 2005 entering class)***||32% (for 2005 entering class)***||12% (for 2008 entering class)***|
|Noteworthy||Offers online restaurant, hotel and meetings management bachelor's degree program in cooperation with GoArmyEd||Hosts chapter of Alpha Eta Epsilon honor society for family and consumer sciences majors in their junior and senior years||In cooperation with Boy Scouts of America, it offers a culinary explorer program for high school students with an interest in hospitality industry and culinary arts|
Sources: *U.S. News & World Report, **Travelmath, ***NCES College Navigator, ****Schools' websites
Winner: University of Alabama
- Regularly ranked by Kiplinger's in the top 100 public schools for affordable tuition and great academics
- In 2010, ranked #1 in the country for number of students named to USA Today's All-College Academic Team (10 students)
- In 2011, ranked at #2 in the nation for public universities having 181 National Merit Scholars in the incoming freshman class.
- Undergraduate students in the hospitality management program can complete an internship at approved hospitality centers around the world
Through the Department of Human Nutrition & Hospitality Management of the College of Human Environmental Sciences, UA offers a program leading to a Bachelor of Science in Human Environmental Sciences with a major in restaurant, hotel and meetings management (RHM). The 120-credit-hour program also includes either a 480-hour to 600-hour internship or a 1,000-hour practicum. As of 2013, 200 students were participating in the on-campus program and 170 were participating online. The school also offers the Executive Restaurant and Hospitality Management Program, which allows working professionals to earn a bachelor's degree on a part-time basis through a hybrid of course delivery systems.
A program leading to a Master of Science in RHM can consist of 24-30 credit hours, depending on whether or not the thesis option is chosen. Full-time supervisors of two or more employees can earn a credential as a Certified Hospitality Supervisor by completing an online course in either human resources management or hospitality employee supervision and sitting for the certification exam.
Runner-Up #1: Jacksonville State University
- According to U.S. News & World Report, acceptance rate at JSU in 2011 was 83.7%
- There are four scholarships available for undergraduates majoring in family and consumer sciences
- Hosts a student chapter of American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, open to family and consumer sciences majors
JSU offers a program leading to a Bachelor of Science in Family and Human Sciences with a concentration in culinary and hospitality management, through the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences. The curriculum includes such topics as marketing, food safety, nutrition, business management, culinary science and quantity food production. In addition, with faculty approval, students must complete a 6-credit-hour hospitality practicum that provides hands-on experience with culinary and tourism service. The program is designed to prepare students for eventual employment as managers in foodservice facilities at schools, hospitals and nursing homes.
Runner-Up #2: Jefferson State Community College
- Fitzgerald Student Center has laboratories for hospitality management
- All hotel/motel management students complete internships
- All students in hotel/motel management must complete a course dealing with the legal and social environment of business
The Hospitality/Culinary Management Department at JSCC offers several programs in hotel/motel management. The most popular program in the subject area is the 29-credit certificate program, which takes less than a year to complete. There is also a 41-credit certificate program. Students who want to earn an Associate in Applied Science take 67 credits, and the certificates may be earned in the process of completing the associate's degree requirements. All programs contain core subject courses such as management principles, front office operation, accounting and hospitality computer applications. In addition, all students are required to complete a 6-credit hour internship. Students in the associate's degree program must serve their internships over the space of two semesters. In addition to core courses, the associate's degree program includes general education courses. Students must achieve a 2.0 GPA to earn a certificate or degree from JSCC.