The hospitality and tourism industry is booming and is one of the world’s largest industries supporting over 7 million job positions in the United States alone. If you are a people person, enjoy helping others, planning events and are interested in the business end of the hotel, event, and tourism industry, then a specialized degree in this field is for you. Many colleges offer degrees specific to hospitality and tourism, whereas others offer a business core with a concentration in the field.
There is a vast opportunity for you in hospitality and tourism….ever see yourself managing a cruise ship or a casino? Or, maybe, you’d love to manage the food service of a vacation ski lodge in the mountains? Or, even become an event planner that hosts thousands of people at a time? There is a lot of excitement to be had in the travel industry and a bachelor’s degree can put you right in the middle of it!
In order to obtain the best of the best in hospitality and tourism degree programs, we compared schools producing top status from academic and journalistic resources. In addition, we searched for actual student ratings of the schools as a whole, in terms of educational quality and experiences. Schools are ranked simply as our top ten picks among online Bachelor of Hospitality and Tourism degree programs. They are not ranked in a specific order; however, they do focus on the following criteria:
- Student’s satisfaction according to retention rates no lower than 50%,
- Prepares students for an entry-level job in Hospitality and Tourism,
- Offering the most concentrations in Food & Beverage, Lodging and Event Planning within the field of Hospitality and Tourism,
- 100% online availability, offering flexibility and convenience,
- Prepares students for advancement with a focus on Management in the field of Hospitality and Tourism,
- Ease of Transfer Course Credits,
- Financial Aid options through Grants, Scholarships and Military Discounts, Work Programs,
- Proper Online Distance Learning Accreditation.
If you would like to learn more, please see our Methodology page.
Columbia Southern University
Online BSBA in Hospitality and Tourism
Location: Orange Beach, Alabama
- DETC – Distance Education and Training Council
Columbia Southern University’s BSBA with concentrations in Hospitality and Tourism is designed to give you a base in business administration with the focus on the areas of lodging, tourism, food service and recreation-related industries on a global scale. Whether you are looking to enter the field or enhance your existing skills in your current position, this program will give you the edge you need to have a successful career in the hospitality and tourism industries.
120 credit hours are required to graduate with a BSBA in Hospitality and Tourism with 60 of those being general credits. You will delve into business law, principles of marketing, business ethics, to name just a few, in order to get your base business administrations skills needed and your focus will lead you to courses such as Facilities Management and Design, Accounting and Resort Management in Hospitality and Tourism, again, to name a few. The expected rate in which to graduate with this degree is five years.
LEARN MORE ABOUT COLUMBIA SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY’S BSBA IN HOSPITALITY AND TOURISM MANAGEMENT DEGREE PROGRAM
University of Massachusetts
Online BS in Hospitality and Tourism Management
Location: Amherst, Massachusetts
- New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
Obtaining a Bachelor of Science Degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Isenberg School of Management will prepare you for a career as an expert in the hotel, restaurant and entertainment industry. With this unique program, you will gain real-world, hands-on experience under your belt, such as participating in internships, projects, and experimental learning labs.
You may choose a concentration in Food and Beverage, Lodging, Casinos and Club Management, Tourism and Convention and Events. Enjoy courses in Hotel Operations, Hospitality Personnel Management, and Food Production Management to name a few. The Hospitality and Tourism Management Department holds a Career Day each year with over 50 firms participating. Many graduates of the program, which is accredited by the accreditation commission in Hospitality Administration, are recruited by industry leaders, such as Hyatt and Marriott.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS’ ONLINE BACHELOR’S OF HOSPITALITY AND TOURISM MANAGEMENT
East Carolina University Online
Online BS in Hospitality Management
Location: Greenville, North Carolina
- Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
The School of Hospitality Leadership program, founded in 1987, is now the largest hospitality department of its kind in North Carolina and, in addition, is one of the largest in the Southeastern US.
A B.S. in Hospitality Management with concentrations in food and beverage management, meeting and convention management and/or lodging management, will open many doors for you. With a food and beverage management concentration, careers can start in the kitchen, dining room, beverage area, or all three combined, not to mention, students graduating from East Carolina University Online are often recruited by industry leaders, such as Red Lobster and ARAMARK.
An ever-growing industry is the Meeting and Convention Management field. You may become a special event coordinator, conference service manager, or a convention sales professional hired on by private clubs, convention hotels, and many others.
Career opportunities in the lodging industry are abundant and open doors from worldwide entrepreneurship opportunities to corporate entities like Hilton, Marriott and many others. You will gain access to all aspects of the lodging field including front desk, sales, housekeeping, and maintenance.
At ECU, all Hospitality Leadership majors must complete an externship (after their sophomore year) and an internship (prior to their senior year). ECU’s goal is to “educate and train our students to be the next generation of leaders in the hospitality and tourism industry.”, according to their website.
LEARN MORE ABOUT EAST CAROLINA UNIVERSITY ONLINE’S BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN HOSPITALITY MANAGEMENT
Schiller International University
Location: Largo, Florida
- Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools
Schiller International University received its accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, a non-profit education corporation recognized by the United States Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. SIU’s International Hospitality and Tourism Management degree program is designed to accommodate the needs of those individuals with a passion for travel and interaction with people from all over the world.
Internship opportunities are available for purposes of learning real-world practices in the service areas of hotels and resorts, restaurants, convention and visitors bureaus, and local tourism promotion agencies, such as the Chamber of Commerce.
LEARN MORE ABOUT SCHILLER INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE INTERNATIONAL HOSPITALITY AND TOURISM MANAGEMENT MBA
Online BS in Hospitality Management
Location: Louisville, Kentucky
Sullivan University is a private institution of higher learning dedicated to providing educational enrichment opportunities for the intellectual, social and professional development of its students. The institution offers career-focused curricula with increasing rigor from the certificate through diploma, associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree levels. Throughout those curricula, the university seeks to promote the development of critical thinking, effective verbal and written communication, computer literacy, and teamwork as well as an appreciation for life-long learning, cultural diversity and the expression of professionalism in all activities. At the graduate level, the university also seeks to promote a culture of research.
The Sullivan University faculty, staff and administration believe qualified individuals should have the opportunity to pursue formal academic training at the institution of their choice. As a SACSCOC accredited university in Kentucky, we welcome those students who seek such educational challenges. The university provides a student-centered learning environment that facilitates students’ identification of their life goals and the means to achieve those goals. The university promotes a culture of teaching excellence throughout the institution which is augmented by a culture of research at the graduate level, and it also encourages faculty, students, administration and staff to participate in service activities and projects that enhance the quality of life in the local and surrounding communities. Upon completion of a program, the university provides employment assistance to graduates.
- Sullivan University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Sullivan University.
LEARN MORE ABOUT SULLIVAN UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN HOSPITALITY MAANGEMENT
Robert Morris University
Online BSBA: Hospitality and Tourism
Location: Moon Township, Pennsylvania
- Middle States Commission on Higher Education
- AACSB International-The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
A BSBA with a concentration in Hospitality and Tourism will guide you through the world of business and travel landing you in positions with hotels, restaurants, airlines, hospitals, cruise lines, parks and many more. RMU boasts a 92 percent job placement rate for its graduates and the program ranks as one of the best 12 programs among all schools in the nation.
You will take courses in Meeting and Convention Management, Food and Beverage Operations, Executive Development and Supervision to name a few. Forty-two core credits are required, 30 business foundation course credits, 21 credits in the Hospitality/Tourism major itself, and 27 business and non-business electives for a total of 120 credits required to graduate.
LEARN MORE ABOUT ROBERT MORRIS UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE BACHELOR’S IN HOSPITALITY AND TOURISM MANAGEMENT
University of the Southwest
Online BBA in Hospitality Management
Location: Hobbs, New Mexico
- North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
In the time it takes to complete 120 credit hours, you will be holding a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Hospitality Management from the University of the Southwest. Learn core fundamentals in the business arena while focusing on the administrative and managerial roles needed in hotels, trade-shows, food service, tourism companies and the like.
You are required to complete 60 general education credits, in addition to, 30 business major credits and 30 concentration credits which includes courses in Project Management, Food Service Management, Information Systems Management, Management in the Hospitality Industry, Financial Management (Hospitality Industry), Service Marketing, Managing Diversity and Human Resources, to name a few.
LEARN MORE ABOUT UNIVERSITY OF THE SOUTHWEST’S BACHELOR OF BUSINESS ADMINISTGRATION IN HOSPITALITY MANAGEMENT
Online BA in Hospitality Management
Location: Saint Paul, Minnesota
- North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
At Concordia University, you will learn the importance of customer service, marketing, and management in the field of Hospitality Management. 128 credit hours are required to graduate with a bachelor’s degree with 40 of those making up the BA in Hospitality Management. For those busy individuals looking for the flexibility of attending class on your own schedule, Concordia’s fully online program is a great option.
The program will prepare students to be effective leaders, managers, and supervisors in the gaming industry, hotels, resorts, restaurants, as well as, local and international attractions. It will also enhance the student’s knowledge of current problems and opportunities in the hospitality and tourism industry.
LEARN MORE ABOUT CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE BACHELOR OF ARTS IN HOSPITALITY MANAGEMENT
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How do I earn a Bachelor of Hospitality and Tourism degree? Is a program available through an online distance learning format?
Yes, if you need a degree program that caters to those who value their time, requires flexibility and would like a convenient learning experience, many online Bachelor of Hospitality and Tourism degree programs are readily available through a 100% online format. As you research possible online school options, make sure the program is regionally accredited, as well as, certified by the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration (ACPHA).
What will you learn? Typical coursework includes studies in tourism facilities management, tourism sales and marketing, and food service operations, as well as, hotel management, casino operations, special event planning, making travel arrangements, and therapeutic recreation. Also, you will focus on the administrative aspects of hospitality and how to effectively communicate with guests and employees. Hospitality and tourism law and ethics coursework will also be included and is very important in this field.
What can I do with an online bachelor’s degree in the field of Hospitality and Tourism?
There are many types of careers to pursue in the field of hospitality and tourism. In addition, there are several concentrations you may want to consider studying within your online Bachelor of Hospitality and Tourism degree program; however, most programs focus on four different areas. They are food and beverage, travel and tourism, lodging and recreation. Which one fits your personality and interests?
Possible job options to consider include a restaurant manager or chef, executive pastry chef or a hotel/resort manager. Have you considered putting your party planning skills to good use? Careers in convention and event planning are interesting and exciting. Want to help others plan their vacations? Travel agents are essential to the success of a family vacation or a romantic getaway. In addition, you may want to work at a major attraction or amusement park as a manager, or on a cruise ship as an activity’s director. The choice is yours!
Why should I earn an online degree in Hospitality and Tourism as opposed to attending a certificate course in Travel and Tourism?
Certificate programs are an excellent way to learn about the fundamentals of hospitality and tourism. They offer great means of obtaining skills for entry-level jobs in all areas of travel. But, do you want to delve deeper? If so, an online bachelor’s degree in hospitality and tourism is the way to go.
Rest assured, a vocational certificate is valuable and well-respected for a career in hospitality and is often the only job stipulation (besides a big smile and great attitude); however, for those vying for management positions, an online bachelor’s degree in this field will serve you well.
What’s next? If your career aspirations include more prominent goals, such as a top executive position in travel, hotel or recreational management, master’s degrees are also offered in hospitality and tourism. Doctoral degrees are available for those who would like to teach this topic at the university level.
Although a career in hospitality and tourism seems exciting and glamorous, it’s hard work! Catering to other’s needs can be challenging and stressful, but your online Bachelor of Hospitality and Tourism degree program will prepare you to serve others with skill and common courtesy. Perhaps, Mr. Disney said it best…
“Do what you do so well that they want to see it again and bring their friends.”
– Walt Disney