Top Online MBA Programs in Hospitality Management

Updated November 14, 2022

A degree in hospitality management can lead to a number of successful careers. Learn about top online programs, scholarships, professional organizations, and more.

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The hospitality industry includes lodging, restaurants, resorts, and other destination-based and service-providing areas of work. Between 2020 and 2030, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects an increase in employment for several hospitality-related jobs, including food service manager (15%), lodging manager (9%), and meeting, convention, and event planner (18%). However, other jobs, such as travel agent, are projected to decrease.

Earning a top online MBA sets you apart from other candidates in the competitive world of hospitality management. However, choosing the best hospitality management MBA can be a daunting endeavor.

Read on for more information regarding MBA careers and how to choose the best online MBA in hospitality management.

Top Online MBA Programs in Hospitality Management
School At a Glance By the Numbers
1. Florida Atlantic University | Boca Raton, Florida
  • MBA in hospitality and tourism management
  • 40-46 credits
  • Tuition: $800/credit
  • Admission Rate: 63%
  • Graduation Rate: 50%
2. Johnson & Wales University | Providence, RI
  • MBA in hospitality
  • 113 credits
  • Tuition: $817/credit
  • Admission Rate: 41%
3. University of Louisiana at Lafayette | Lafayette, Louisiana
  • MBA, hospitality specialization
  • 33 credits
  • Tuition: $480/credit
  • Admission Rate: 68%
  • Graduation Rate: 51%
4. Fort Hays State University | Hays, Kansas
  • MBA, tourism and hospitality management specialization
  • 33 credits
  • Tuition: $350/credit
  • Admission Rate: 91%
  • Graduation Rate: 43%
5. Lakeland University | Plymouth, Wisconsin
  • MBA, field work
  • 36 credits
  • Tuition: $708/credit
  • Admission Rate: 78%
  • Graduation Rate: 48%

Go to full ranking

What Is an MBA in Hospitality Management?

MBA in hospitality management programs focus on the hospitality industry, featuring coursework in general business, as well as hospitality management and operations. Students develop their hospitality skills while gaining abilities in finance, operations, and leadership. Graduates of master's in hospitality management programs earn positions in administration and management. They also become entrepreneurs in the hospitality industry, operating their own lodging and travel businesses.

Why Should You Get an Online MBA in Hospitality Management?

Master’s in hospitality management online programs offer the kind of flexibility working professionals need. Classes typically follow an asynchronous format, meaning learners don't have to attend scheduled classes. Some programs require internships but allow students to complete them with their current employers.

An MBA in hospitality management provides an education that uniquely addresses challenges in the hospitality industry. Students learn to analyze and prepare for the cyclical financial nature of tourism, provide thorough training in a high-turnover industry, and market to diverse audiences in a rapidly shifting landscape. Skilled hospitality planners enjoy increasing demand as companies shift to remote employment with regular in-person corporate events. Innovative MBA graduates also benefit from opportunities in sustainable tourism.

The top MBA programs help graduates to secure competitive positions and improve their salary prospects. Salaries vary depending on employer and location. Luxury hotels and full-service resorts, for instance, offer lucrative job opportunities.

Online MBA Programs for You

Grow your career, leadership, and business acumen with an accredited online MBA program.

What Can You Do With an MBA in Hospitality Management?

Hotel Manager

Hotel managers oversee day-to-day hotel operations, including staff supervision and customer satisfaction. They manage maintenance and conduct inspections of rooms and grounds. Hotel managers must typically meet financial goals and review bookkeeping and cash flow predictions. They should possess customer service, operations management, and accounting skills. Salaries for hotel managers typically range from $35,000-$60,000 per year, depending on experience, location, and employer.

Director of Sales, Hotels/Hospitality

Sales directors plan, organize, and manage hotel sales activities. They must meet sales goals, obtain new business, and maintain ongoing client relationships. Directors of sales oversee room and facility rentals and may provide event management. They focus on maximizing profits and sales volume for their hotels. Sales directors benefit from skills in sales management, customer relationship management, and contract negotiation. Directors earn an average annual salary around $63,000.

Travel Coordinator

Commonly known as travel agents, travel coordinators schedule and plan vacations and business trips for individuals, families, and organizations. They work with clients to assess their needs and make arrangements for transportation, lodging, and experiences at their destination. Coordinators develop familiarity with foreign travel requirements to simplify the process for travelers. They may maintain financial records and perform data entry, as well. As such, they should boast organizational skills and experience with spreadsheet software. Travel coordinators earn an average annual salary of $41,000.

Lodging Manager

Lodging managers work in a variety of settings, including independent establishments and national hotel chains. They may serve as general managers, overseeing all operations, or specialize as revenue managers or convention services managers. These professionals ensure a positive experience for guests, and they may provide registration services. Managers engage in marketing to help their businesses meet revenue goals. Business, customer service, and leadership skills prove crucial for successful lodging managers. They earn a median salary of $53,390 annually.

Hospitality Manager

Hospitality managers oversee the customer service or front-of-house staff at hotels, restaurants, and resorts. They ensure customers and guests enjoy their experience, developing ongoing clientele for their establishments. Managers may hire employees and train staff to follow all corporate guidelines. They also take care of bookkeeping. Hospitality managers earn an average salary of $49,000. Individuals with operations, training, and people management skills may earn above-average wages.

Online MBA in Hospitality Management Curriculum

Top online MBA in hospitality management programs offer curricula in business and hospitality management. These classes cover finance, marketing, and leadership. Curricula vary, however, so check with prospective schools to make sure their offerings align with your educational goals.

  • Hospitality and Hotel Leadership

    These classes examine the unique challenges of hospitality leadership, including risk mitigation, industry corporatization, and high turnover rates. Students learn to analyze, evaluate, assess, and implement leadership strategies.
  • Tourism and Hospitality Marketing

    Students develop general and specific marketing skills for the hospitality industry. Topics include positioning travel destinations in a global market, assessing supply and demand, and marketing service quality.
  • Financial Management

    Online MBA in hospitality management students complete projects specific to the hospitality field. Topics include accounting procedures, financial analysis and planning, and budgetary and cash flow projections.

How to Choose the Right Online MBA in Hospitality Management Program

Applicants should consider a variety of factors when choosing the best master’s in hospitality management degree. While similar, different degrees cover slightly different material. An MBA in hospitality management provides an education in business administration with a focus on hospitality-oriented enterprises. A master’s in hospitality and tourism, by contrast, offers a generalist curriculum in the tourism industry. Degrees in parks and recreation management focus on recreational facilities, parks, and resorts.

Prospective students must also consider whether they can attend full time or part time. Some programs best suit part-time attendance, offering flexible curricula, while others require learners to attend full-time. Enrollment status may impact cost, as well. Many schools offer discounted tuition for full-time students.

Tuition rates vary widely, so applicants should research their prospective schools' tuition rates, student fees, and scholarship options. They should also check for regional and programmatic accreditation.

Location plays an important role, as well, particularly regarding local business partnerships. Students aiming to work at a specific company should attend a school that partners with that business, helping to get their foot in the door. They should also consider any extracurricular graduation requirements, such as an internship or thesis, and whether these requirements suit their schedule and priorities.

Scholarships for Hospitality Management MBA Programs

Most students need financial aid to attend college. Universities, private foundations, professional associations, and businesses offer a variety of scholarship opportunities. See below a list of five scholarships for students earning master’s degrees in hospitality management.

Banks Brown Graduate Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Students enrolled full time or part time in graduate hospitality programs may apply. The scholarship also accepts graduate applicants who possess an undergraduate hospitality degree or four years of employment in the hospitality industry. Candidates must demonstrate a minimum 3.0 GPA.

Amount: $5,000

Apply for Scholarship

HSMAI Foundation Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Current students in hospitality management programs with hospitality work experience may apply. Applicants must have an interest in hospitality sales and marketing and be involved with the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International.

Amount: Varies

Apply for Scholarship

Mary Elizabeth Lockwood Beneventi MBA Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Applicants must attend university full time and major in business administration. They should hold a 3.25 minimum GPA. The Daughters of the American Revolution awards this scholarship; membership is not required.

Amount: $2,000

Apply for Scholarship

Rama Scholarship for the American Dream

Who Can Apply: Students enrolled in participating schools may receive nomination for this award. Candidates must major in hospitality management and hold a minimum 2.5 GPA. Asian-Indian and other minority students receive preference.

Amount: $500-3,000

Apply for Scholarship

Forté MBA Fellowship

Who Can Apply: Women applying to MBA programs at participating universities qualify for this fellowship. Selected fellows boast an average 3.6 GPA, 695 GMAT score, and five years of work experience.

Amount: Varies

Apply for Scholarship

Online MBA Programs for You

Grow your career, leadership, and business acumen with an accredited online MBA program.

Professional Organizations for Hospitality Management

Professional associations serve as a hub for networking opportunities and professional development. They may serve the broad hospitality industry or certain fields. These organizations provide resources for students to learn about current trends and issues in the field. Students pursuing careers in hospitality management benefit from mentorship opportunities and specialized education, as well. Many associations offer private scholarships to student members.

American Hotel and Lodging Association

AHLA serves, supports, and advocates for the hospitality industry. It represents over 27,000 members and 80% of all franchise hotels. Student members receive discounts from the educational institute, access to scholarships, and placement in AHLA’s resume database.

Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals

HFTP provides solutions for financial and technology professionals through peer support, professional development, and a unique search engine. The association offers free membership to students, who can also take advantage of certification programs.

Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International

A worldwide network of sales, marketing, and revenue management professionals, HSMAI focuses on education and advocacy. Student members may access mentoring, scholarship opportunities, and an expanded curriculum.

Professional Convention Management Association

PCMA serves event managers and suppliers, focusing on social and economic transformation. Students may join for free to access educational and networking opportunities and scholarships.

Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education

CHRIE, an international collegiate association, works to improve hospitality and tourism education. Membership is open to graduate students, educators, and executives. Benefits include professional development, journals, and research opportunities.

The Top 5 Online MBAs in Hospitality Management

Our ranking highlights five of the top online MBAs in hospitality management for 2022. The link below provides information about how we rank schools.

#1 Top Online MBA Programs in Hospitality Management

Florida Atlantic University

  • Boca Raton, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

A major public college based in Boca Raton, FAU enrolls more than 30,000 students annually. The school maintains campuses throughout southeast Florida, along with a large distance education program.

MBA in Hospitality and Tourism Management

FAU's online MBA in hospitality and tourism management program prepares students to manage resorts, hotels, and restaurants. The curriculum features general business classes and specialized hospitality courses.

Students complete four specialization courses on topics related to hospitality operations and guest services management strategies. Courses may explore marketing management, service operations management, and event planning. Degree-seekers can complete an independent study course with faculty approval.

FAU offers most courses online, including core MBA courses. However, some specialization courses are only available on campus. Learners can contact an advisor for details about online course availability.

FAU's Affordability

All online learners at FAU pay in-state tuition rates, regardless of location. This makes the school's MBA program an affordable choice for out-of-state and international students. FAU also offers several fellowships and scholarships for graduate students.

Program at a Glance

  • School Type: Public
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC, AACSB
  • Tuition: $800/credit
  • Required Credits: 40-46
  • Program Length: 16-23 months
  • Delivery Format: 100% online (asynchronous)
  • Admissions
    • Process: Apply online and submit a resume, transcripts, and two letters of recommendation
    • GPA: 3.0 recommended
    • Standardized Tests: Not required
Average Tuition
In-state
$2,522
Out-of-state
$14,374
Retention Rate
81%
Admission Rate
63%
Students Enrolled
30,061
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
49% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#2 Top Online MBA Programs in Hospitality Management

Johnson & Wales University-Online

  • Providence, RI
  • 4 years
  • Online

A private college based in Providence, Rhode Island, JWU enrolls about 8,600 students annually. The school also operates a campus in Charlotte, North Carolina, and a major distance education program.

MBA in Hospitality

JWU's fully online MBA in hospitality offers flexibility for working professionals. The program requires no campus visits, making it ideal for learners who need to balance school with a full-time career.

MBA candidates complete core business courses and hospitality electives. The core curriculum explores financial management, business leadership, and strategic marketing. The hospitality concentration features classes in event operations, franchising and licensing, and organizational behavior in the hospitality industry.

An MBA capstone project requires students to apply classroom knowledge to business case studies.

JWU's Affordability

JWU maintains corporate partnerships with many prominent businesses, which may offer tuition discounts for employees. MBA candidates can also research tuition reimbursement programs from their employer.

Program at a Glance

  • School Type: Private
  • Accreditation: NECHE, AACSB
  • Tuition: $817/credit
  • Required Credits: 36-42 credits
  • Program Length: Two years
  • Delivery Format: 100% online (synchronous and asynchronous)
  • Admissions
    • Process: Apply online and submit a resume or CV, transcripts, a statement of purpose, and two letters of recommendation
    • GPA: 2.85 minimum
    • Standardized Tests: GRE or GMAT required with less than a 2.85 GPA
    • Cost: Free
Average Tuition
In-state
$13,365
Out-of-state
$13,365
Retention Rate
25%
Admission Rate
41%
Students Enrolled
1,752
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
Not provided
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education

#3 Top Online MBA Programs in Hospitality Management

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

  • Lafayette, LA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

A major public university, UL Lafayette serves more than 16,000 students annually through campus and online courses. The school offers a wide selection of online and hybrid undergraduate and graduate programs.

MBA with a Concentration in Hospitality Management

UL Lafayette's online MBA program offers accelerated and part-time enrollment options. Degree-seekers take accelerated eight-week courses, and most students enroll in two courses at a time.

The curriculum includes core business courses and hospitality specialization classes. Hospitality coursework explores international business and feasibility studies in hospitality and tourism. The MBA program does not require a thesis.

The program admits applicants with unrelated undergraduate degrees. However, students without business experience may need to complete up to four foundational courses. These one-credit courses help learners develop knowledge in areas such as accounting, economics, and finance.

UL Lafayette's Affordability

Online learners pay a flat tuition rate, regardless of location. This makes UL Lafayette's online MBA program an affordable choice for out-of-state students. Accelerated enrollment can help learners graduate more quickly and save on tuition.

Program at a Glance

  • School Type: Public
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC, AACSB
  • Tuition: $480/credit hour
  • Required Credits: 33 credit hours
  • Program Length: 15 months
  • Delivery Format: 100% online (synchronous and asynchronous)
  • Admissions
    • Process: Apply online and submit transcripts (may need to submit a resume and letters of recommendation, depending on GPA and professional experience)
    • GPA: 2.5 minimum
    • Standardized Tests: GMAT required (waived with acceptable GPA or professional experience)
    • Cost: $25
Average Tuition
In-state
$5,407
Out-of-state
$19,135
Retention Rate
76%
Admission Rate
68%
Students Enrolled
16,933
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
39% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#4 Top Online MBA Programs in Hospitality Management

Fort Hays State University

  • Hays, KS
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Based in Hays, Kansas, FHSU ranks among the largest public colleges in the state. The university serves more than 14,000 students annually. The school's distance education program enrolls students throughout the country.

MBA, Tourism, and Hospitality Management Concentration

FHSU's online MBA program requires core coursework in advanced business concepts. Classes explore managerial accounting, marketing management, and corporate finance. The program's flexible format is ideal for working professionals.

MBA candidates can pursue a concentration in tourism and hospitality management. Learners choose three electives from a variety of hospitality classes. Course options include tourism and hospitality marketing, service operations, and hotel and resort management.

FHSU delivers all MBA classes fully online and requires no campus visits. The program offers rolling admissions and several start dates throughout the year.

FHSU's Affordability

All online MBA students pay the same affordable tuition rate, regardless of state residency. Graduate students can pursue financial aid options including grants and scholarships.

Program at a Glance

  • School Type: Public
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Tuition: $350/credit hour
  • Required Credits: 33 credit hours
  • Program Length: 12-36 months
  • Delivery Format: 100% online (asynchronous)
  • Admissions
    • Process: Apply online and submit a resume, transcripts, a statement of purpose, and two letters of recommendation
    • GPA: 2.5 minimum
    • Standardized Tests: Not required
    • Cost: $40
Average Tuition
In-state
$3,990
Out-of-state
$14,070
Retention Rate
74%
Admission Rate
91%
Students Enrolled
15,908
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
55% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#5 Top Online MBA Programs in Hospitality Management

Lakeland University

  • Plymouth, WI
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

A private college affiliated with the United Church of Christ, LU serves about 2,500 students. LU enrolls learners from its main campus in Plymouth, Wisconsin, and through fully online and hybrid programs.

MBA with a Concentration in Hospitality Management

LU's online MBA program features a business core that introduces key management topics. Topics include managerial accounting, organizational effectiveness, and legal and regulatory business environments.

The hospitality concentration emphasizes hands-on learning and professional experience. Rather than electives, the concentration requires a cooperative education experience. Participants work 25-40 hours per week at an approved hospitality business. At the end of each semester, learners deliver a presentation on their experience.

To pursue the hospitality management concentration, degree-seekers must enroll in the cooperative learning course during their first semester.

LU's Affordability

A private institution, LU offers the same tuition rate to all online students regardless of state residency. The MBA program's flexible online format allows learners to work full time while earning their degree.

Program at a Glance

  • School Type: Private
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Tuition: $708/credit
  • Required Credits: 36 credits
  • Program Length: 24 months
  • Delivery Format: 100% online (synchronous and asynchronous) or hybrid (online and on campus)
  • Admissions
    • Process: Apply online and submit a resume, transcripts, a statement of purpose, and three letters of recommendation
    • GPA: 2.75 minimum
    • Standardized Tests: GMAT
    • Cost: $35
Average Tuition
In-state
$28,576
Out-of-state
$28,576
Retention Rate
61%
Admission Rate
78%
Students Enrolled
2,511
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
41% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

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