Hospitality Management Colleges and Universities in Colorado

There are six schools within Colorado that have hospitality management programs. Read an overview of five of these schools' programs, requirements and tuition info and find out which school is the right one for you.

Essential Information

Colorado is a major tourist destination, and a number of its educational institutions reflect this by offering hospitality management studies. Individuals in the state who wish to pursue studies in hospitality management can find relevant programs at five schools.

Educational offerings include certificate, associate's degree and bachelor's degree programs, and many of these allow students to specialize in a particular area of focus. Programs may be presented in an online format, depending on the school. Students of some programs can gain hands-on experience by working in culinary laboratories. The following programs are offered at 2- and 4-year colleges and universities in Colorado:

  • Business Administration with a Resort Management emphasis
  • Hospitality Operations
  • Restaurant Management
  • Culinary Management
  • Hospitality, Tourism and Events
  • Food and Beverage Management
  • Hotel Operations
  • Hospitality and Culinary Arts Management

Colorado Mountain College

Located in Glenwood Springs, Colorado Mountain College is a public institution that offers a certificate program in hospitality operations, as well as an associate's degree program in resort management and a bachelor's degree program in business administration with an emphasis on resort management. Students may also choose from certificate or degree programs in restaurant or culinary management.

The hospitality operations certificate program takes about one year to complete and is offered entirely online. Students in this program learn about cost control, office procedures, marketing and sales. Graduates of this program are considered qualified for entry-level supervisory jobs in the field.

Individuals in the associate's degree program in resort management complete the same types of hospitality courses that are found in the certificate program, including front office procedures, accounting and housekeeping management, but they also take courses in business communication, business statistics, hospitality law and composition. The bachelor's degree program in business administration with an emphasis in resort management also provides a strong business foundation while giving the student a broad understanding of the hospitality industry.

Certificate programs in restaurant management and culinary management provide students with the skills and knowledge necessary to begin careers as kitchen managers, restaurant owners or banquet managers. Students in these programs gain hands-on experience as well as classroom training in management, marketing, purchasing, supervision, food safety and nutrition. Credits earned in the certificate programs can be applied toward an associate's degree in restaurant management.

In addition to these programs, Colorado Mountain College also offers a number of related programs, such as spa management and ski area operations.

Emily Griffith Technical College

Denver-based Emily Griffith Technical College was established in 1916 and has been providing career training programs ever since. The culinary arts certificate program prepares students to find employment as cooks, chefs, kitchen managers or caterers and features hospitality-focused coursework. Students in the program complete coursework in food safety, menu planning, dining room management, supervision in the hospitality field, purchasing and cost control. Additionally, students are required to complete an internship. Emily Griffith's 12th Street Deli provides a real-world environment at the school for students to hone their culinary arts skills.

Front Range Community College

Front Range Community College is the largest community college in the state. The college offers four certificate programs in different areas of hospitality and an associate's degree program in hospitality and culinary arts management. Although the college's main campus is located in Westminster, all of the hospitality programs are offered at the Larimer campus.

Front Range Community College offers certificate programs that cover culinary arts, restaurant management, event planning coordination or hotel operations. Each program requires coursework specific to the area of specialization within the hospitality field; the programs range from 24 to 26 credits and take about two semesters to complete. Examples of courses that a student may take in these programs include hotel sales, advanced food preparation, human resources management and convention management.

The associate's degree program in hospitality and culinary arts management prepares students for entry-level management positions in the hospitality field and features coursework in service management, food preparation, cost control, nutrition, accounting, computer applications and composition. Participants in the program can select from one of four areas of concentration: advanced culinary arts, restaurant management, hotel management or special events planning. Depending on which area of focus is selected, the programs may require 61 to 64 credits of coursework. Students can earn ServSafe certification while in the program, in addition to various certifications offered by the National Restaurant Association.

Metropolitan State College of Denver

Metropolitan State College, with three campuses in the Denver area, offers a hospitality management degree and several certificates from the Department of Hospitality, Tourism and Events. The school also gives students a chance to get experience in the field through the SpringHill Suites, which are jointly operated by the Hospitality Learning Center and Marriott.

Certificate programs at Metropolitan State College provide students with the skills they need to transition into a career within the hospitality management industry. Students must have a bachelor's degree to enter the certificate programs, and they may choose from certificates in beverage management, events management, hotel management, restaurant management or tourism management. The school also offers minors in the same five concentrations.

Students in the bachelor's degree program in hospitality, tourism and events must choose between concentrations in hotel management, restaurant management, tourism management and event and meeting management. The hotel management concentration focuses on operations and management within the lodging industry. The restaurant management specialization provides training for a career in the food service industry. Students who choose the concentration in tourism management learn planning, marketing and selling skills as they relate to the tourism industry. Finally, students who wish to study event and meeting management learn how to successfully coordinate meetings, events and conferences. All of the concentration areas require students to complete 1,200 hours of practical experience and become certified in CPR and first aid.

University of Denver

Located in Denver, the University of Denver was founded in 1864. Through its Daniels College of Business, the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management offers a Bachelor of Business Administration in Hospitality Management degree program.

Students in the hospitality management bachelor's program take core business management courses and specialized courses in hospitality management. Practical training is provided through the school's hands-on culinary lab, 2,800 square foot kitchen, beverage management center and 170-person dining hall; students must accrue 1,000 hours of professional experience in order to graduate. Coursework includes business law, economics, marketing, hospitality course management, food and beverage management, restaurant operations, revenue management and event sales. Available areas of concentration include lodging and resort operations, hospitality sales and marketing as well as restaurant/food and beverage management. Students in the program are required to spend one quarter studying abroad and must demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Hospitality Management Programs Available Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)
Colorado Mountain College Four-year, primarily associate's; public; remote town Certificates of Occupational Proficiency in Hospitality Operations, Restaurant Management or Culinary Management,
Associate of Applied Science in Resort Management or Restaurant Management
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis on resort management
$1,556 in-district; $2,756 in-state; $9,140 out-of-state*
Emily Griffith Technical College Less-than-two-year; public; large city Culinary Arts Certificate $7,660 for program**
Front Range Community College Two-year; public; large suburb Culinarian Certificate,
Event Planning Certificate,
Restaurant Management Certificate,
Hotel Management Certificate,
Associate of Applied Science in Hospitality and Culinary Arts Management
$3,527 in-state; $13,244 out-of-state*
Metropolitan State University of Denver Four-year; public; large city Beverage Management Certificate,
Event and Meeting Management Certificate,
Hotel Management Certificate,
Restaurant Management Certificate,
Tourism Management Certificate,
Bachelor of Arts in Hospitality, Tourism and Events
$6,420 in-state; $20,057 out-of-state*
University of Denver Four-year; private, not-for-profit; large city Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Hospitality Management $44,178*

Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics, **Emily Griffith Technical College.


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