Atlanta-Area Restaurant Business Management Schools
This article looks at three schools in the Atlanta area offering hospitality degree programs that include restaurant management courses and specializations, none more than 30 miles from downtown, and the programs they provide. Information about each institution, including tuition, student population and the percentage of students who graduate on time, is spotlighted in a format that makes comparison easy for prospective students.
- At Atlanta Technical College, about three miles south of downtown Atlanta, hospitality students can earn an associate's degree in hotel/restaurant/tourism management.
- Located in the heart of downtown Atlanta, Georgia State University offers bachelor's and master's degree programs in hospitality that include courses in restaurant management. The university also offers a minor in hospitality administration.
- Gwinnett Technical College, 28 miles from downtown in a northeast Atlanta suburb, has an associate's degree program that covers all facets of the hospitality industry.
Comparison of Schools
There are many factors to consider when choosing a college, and the following table highlights some of the most important information for prospective students.
|Atlanta Technical College||Georgia State University||Gwinnett Technical College|
|School Type||2-year, public||4-year, public||2-year, public|
|Total Enrollment (2019)||3,797*||35,041*||9,539*|
|Campus Setting||Large city||Large city||Large suburb|
|Tuition & Fees (2019-2020)||$3,084, in-state; $5,484, out-of-state*||$9,286, in-state; $24,517, out-of-state*||$3,236, in-state; $5,636, out-of-state*|
|% of Beginning Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2018-2019)||94%*||93%*||78%*|
|Acceptance Rate (2019)||N/A - Open admissions*||76%*||N/A - Open admissions*|
|Retention Rate (2018-2019)||58% for full-time students*||82% for full-time students*||62% for full-time students*|
|Graduation Rate||39% (students began in Fall 2016)*||55% (students began in Fall 2013)*||37% (students began in Fall 2016)*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator.
Atlanta Technical College
Hotel/restaurant/tourism management majors at Atlanta Technical College can take general education courses and receive occupational training as they prepare for a career in the hospitality industry. In addition to the AAS program, the school offers hotel/restaurant/tourism management diploma and restaurant manager certificate programs.
Associate of Applied Science in Hotel/Restaurant/Tourism Management
This program requires the completion of 63 credit hours, including general education courses in language arts, math and the humanities. Many of the technical courses, such as food and beverage management, are specific to restaurant management, while others, such as hospitality marketing and law, stress skills that can be applied to several types of management positions. An internship is required. To start the program, students must be at least 16 years old and hold a high school diploma or GED certificate. Students also need to pass entrance exams in English, math and reading.
Georgia State University
Georgia State University (GSU) is located in the heart of Atlanta's hotel and restaurant district, and students enrolled at GSU's Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality Administration have the opportunity to gain real-world experience while pursuing their degrees. The school also offers a post-baccalaureate certificate program in hospitality administration.
Bachelor of Business Administration in Hospitality Administration
The BBA program requires 121 credit hours, and students must take hospitality courses that give them a foundation in all aspects of the industry. These courses include the principles of food production and a food production lab, as well as event management and food/restaurant management. All students pursuing the BBA in Hospitality Administration must show industry work experience to graduate.
Hospitality Administration Minor
The minor in hospitality administration requires students to complete five hospitality courses, one of which is an industry overview course. Students who are interested in restaurant management can choose courses in food service.
Master of Global Hospitality Management
In this one-year program, students can earn a master's degree. Classes are held at GSU's Buckhead Center in Atlanta twice per week. The program consists of ten courses that cover several aspects of the global hospitality industry, including trends in food service. Students can develop skills in research and complete a project. A bachelor's degree is required for admission, and hospitality industry experience is preferred, but not necessary.
Gwinnett Technical College
Gwinnett Technical College's hospitality degree program requires general education courses, as well as classes related to the hospitality industry. Students also can earn a diploma in hotel, restaurant and tourism management.
Associate of Applied Science in Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management
This is a 62-credit program that requires at least six semesters to complete. Students must earn 15 hours in general education courses like math, natural science and communication. Technical courses make up the remaining 47 hours of instruction and explore topics in food and beverage management, event planning, hospitality law and hotel operations management. An internship is required.