Community colleges, four-year universities and private online schools may all offer online training in hotel management. Undergraduate certificate and degree programs provide a foundation in this field for pursuit of entry-level careers, whereas graduate degree programs are usually geared towards experienced hospitality professionals looking for advanced training to move into higher-level positions. Most online programs that focus on hotel management lead to degrees in the larger category of hospitality and tourism management or hospitality administration. These degrees are available fully online and in hybrid format.
To be eligible for admission into some online undergraduate programs, students may only need a high school diploma or GED. Some bachelor's programs are designed for distance learners who already have an associate's degree or some college credits. Those interested in a distance learning graduate program must have a bachelor's degree and possibly a certain amount of relevant work experience.
Certificate in Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management
Taking about a year or so to complete, online certificate programs are available in hotel, restaurant and institutional management as well as hospitality management. Programs can range between 12-25 credits and are available to first-time students as well as degree holders seeking additional certifications. Students with college experience may be able to transfer previously earned credits.
Common online courses for a certificate program include the following:
- Hotel Administration
- Safety Standards for Food and Sanitation
- Marketing and Merchandising in the Hotel Industry
- Analysis of Quantity Food Production
Associate of Science in Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management
Interested individuals can earn a two-year Associate of Science in Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management online, which requires approximately 65 credits of study. The majority of hotel management studies are the same as those offered at the certificate level, with the addition of general education courses. Those interested in continuing their undergraduate education may be able to transfer to a related 4-year program, since some online schools have partnerships with other distance learning institutions.
The following classes are often included in an online associate degree program:
- Hospitality Cost Control and Purchasing
- Hotel Facilities Management
- Hospitality Finance and Accounting
- Business Writing
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Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management
Students can earn an online four-year Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management, which generally requires around 126 credits. Some schools allow undergraduates to concentrate in areas of study within the program, such as food and beverage, special events or hotels and accommodations.
In addition to general education coursework, common online bachelor's degree classes include the following:
- Laws and the Hotel Industry
- Hospitality Diversity Management
- Current Trends in Hotel Management
- Services Administration
- Amenities Management
Master of Science in Hospitality Management
Individuals interested in an online graduate degree program can earn a Master of Science in Hospitality Management, which typically requires between 30-36 credits and takes about two years to complete. Depending on the program, students may have to obtain their own proctor for exams; students can then mail completed exams for evaluation. Additionally, thesis options may be available.
Online master's degree classes include:
- Hospitality Strategic Planning
- Hospitality Operations
- Human Resources Administration
- Hospitality and Information Technology
Online Learning & Coursework
Distance learners wanting to study hotel management can find numerous fully-online programs, but some - especially at the undergraduate level - do require internships in local facilities to give students real-world experience in the field. Beyond such requirements, online students can log on to the school's virtual classroom environment to download lectures, assignments and other class materials when it fits their schedules, as long as they stick to due dates. Web conferencing, class chat rooms and message boards can be used for online discussions.
Hotel management programs are available fully online and through hybrid form at the certificate, associate's, bachelor's, and master's degree levels. Through possible internships and classroom work, students explore what it takes to manage hotels including financing, hospitality, tourism, and operations.