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Top School in Philadelphia for Travel Agent Education

Students interested in studying hospitality management in Philadelphia, PA, have only a few schools to choose from. Read about the top local schools' degree programs, tuition and ranking info to find the right one for you.

School and Ranking Information

There are about nine schools offering tourism and hospitality management programs within a 25-mile radius of downtown Philadelphia, and aspiring travel agents have options that include community colleges and a mix of public and private universities. Based upon school rankings and program offerings, the top three schools for tourism and hospitality management programs in the Philadelphia area are:

  • Winner: Temple University places first as it had the highest number of tourism and hospitality management graduates in 2011-2022 among area schools. Temple offers bachelor's, master's, and Ph.D. hospitality-related programs and has the widest variety of academic majors in the field. The school is highly ranked nationally by U.S. News & World Report in several areas, including business.
  • Runner Up #1: Widener University, in Chester, offers both bachelor's and master's programs in hospitality management, both on campus and online. Well ranked by U.S. News & World Report and industry groups, Widener takes second place for its multiple co-ops, internships and opportunities for hands-on industry experience.

boasts an excellent placement rate for its graduates.

  • Runner Up #2: Drexel University places third in this survey, as it graduated fewer students in this field than Temple or Widener in 2011. U.S. News & World Report ranks Drexel highly, and the school offers hands-on co-op experience and global internship options to its students. Bachelor's, master's, and combined degree programs are available in hospitality management.

School Comparison Chart

Category Temple University Widener University Drexel University
Ranking(s) 125th for National Universities*, 60th for Top Public Schools, nationwide*, 56th for Best Undergraduate Business Programs, nationwide* 189th for National Universities* 83rd for National Universities*, 87th for Best Undergraduate Business Programs, nationwide*
Location Philadelphia, PA Chester, PA (19 miles from Philadelphia) Philadelphia, PA
School Type 4-year, public 4-year, private not-for-profit 4-year, private not-for-profit
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013) $13,596 (in-state), $23,422 (out-of-state)** $36,382** $36,090**
Hospitality Management Degree Levels Offered Bachelor's, master's and Ph.D. degrees** Bachelor's and master's degrees** Bachelor's and master's (online) degrees**
Hospitality Management Degrees (all levels) Awarded in 2011-2012 90** 43** 3**
Most Popular Hospitality Management Program in 2011-2012 Bachelor's degree (81 awarded)** Bachelor's degree (34 awarded)** Bachelor's degree (3 awarded)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) for 2005 Entering Class 68%** 54%** 68%**
Noteworthy Students may earn a Ph.D. in Business Administration, which includes concentrations in sport and tourism Paid co-op experience and industry affiliations Co-op experience in sectors of the global travel and tourism industry is combined with on-the-job experience, including at the school's restaurant/laboratory.

Sources: *U.S. News & World Report, **NCES College Navigator

Winner: Temple University

  • School of Tourism and Hospitality Management (STHM) has 21 tenured faculty members and 8 adjunct faculty members
  • Temple had a 67% acceptance rate for 2012-2013, according to NCES figures
  • In 2011, hospitality management program was part of Temple's most popular major, business, management, marketing, and related support services, according to U.S. News & World Report

Temple's STHM offers a comprehensive education, including learning from experience and classroom instruction. Students in STHM's Bachelor Of Science (B.S.) in Tourism and Hospitality Management program complete core courses addressing legal, marketing, financial, and sales current issues. Other course selections cover global tourism development, and technologies used for travel reservation, marketing, operation, and management systems. Electives and executive certificate programs allow students to further concentrate on tourism planning, destination management, and event marketing.

At the graduate level, the 36-credit Master of Tourism and Hospitality Management program prepares graduates for entry to the tourism industry, providing coursework dealing with legal and service marketing concerns in the tourism industry. The one doctoral program is a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Business Administration, with concentration in tourism and sport. The school's National Laboratory for Tourism & eCommerce, combined with executive education and internship programs, prepare students for employment in tourism and hospitality.

Runner-Up #1: Widener University

  • The Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Education ranks the school's hospitality management program among the top 20 programs nationwide
  • Widener has an overall student-faculty ratio of 12:1
  • Cooperative education offers 1,400 hours of industry experience, combining on-the-job paid work with leadership development seminars

Widener's School of Hospitality Management is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration. Undergraduate students interested in careers in travel or tourism-related business may pursue a B.S. degree emphasizing experiential learning and hands-on experience. The school incorporates co-op and industry fieldwork worth 15 credits and participation in a global hospitality leadership program.

The Global Leadership Program allows qualified students to complete extra-academic and curricular work, including study-abroad, community service projects, and international activities. Those interested in further tourism education, or a change in career, can earn a Master of Science (M.S.) degree, which requires completing 30 credit hours and either a thesis or monograph. Tourism electives include coursework focused on timeshare and lodging management analysis. The school claims that students often graduate with multiple job offers.

Runner-Up #2: Drexel University

  • 3rd for U.S. News & World Report's 2012 Up-and-Coming schools among National Universities
  • Three-year cohort default rate is 9.8 percentage points lower than and nearly one-quarter of the national average
  • Cooperative education program sends students to over 1,200 worldwide employers

Drexel University offers a B.S. in Hospitality Management, with concentrations in travel and tourism, hotel administration, gaming and resort management, or food and beverage management. The travel and tourism concentration gives international tourism business insight, including its economics, cultural tourism, and current events. A Bachelor of Science/MBA accelerated program is available for those pursuing hospitality management disciplines. The Master of Science in Hospitality Management is a 2-year online graduate program, with two concentrations in global tourism and gaming and casino management. The global tourism concentration includes marketing analysis of U.S. and international resorts and destinations, and alternative study into eco-tourism. Philadelphia dining businesses and hotels partners with the school. There are also study abroad opportunities, such as at Drexel's London facility. On-campus work programs over one semester gives students hand-on experience at the 'Academic Bistro', the school's student-run restaurant or learning laboratory.


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