Nikita Nath
Written By - Nikita Nath

Check MarkEdited By Gabriel D.

Check MarkReview & Contribution By Dr. Peter Cook

Hospitality Management is a field that involves managing resorts, hotels, and other tourist destinations. Hospitality Management is a diverse field that requires leadership, communication, logistical, and administrative skills to run properties that guests frequent. Hospitality Management Specialists ensure that the guests are comfortable during their stay by overseeing several departments like restaurants, event management, spa, concierges, conference rooms, front desk, room services, pools, and all other guest services. 

Getting a Master’s in Hospitality Management Online significantly enhances the chances of pursuing careers in the industry. This guide covers all aspects of obtaining an Online Master’s Degree in Hospitality Management and highlights the best available programs.

Online Master’s Degree in Hospitality Management

Table Of Contents

Featured Online Programs

Southern New Hampshire University

PROGRAM: Online Masters Degrees

Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with more than 3,000 on-campus students and over 60,000 online students, making us one of the fastest-growing universities in the country. Founded in 1932, we’ve been relentlessly reinventing higher education ever since and have gained national recognition for our dedication to helping students transform their lives and the lives of those around them.

We’re proud to provide affordable, accessible education that students can pursue on our 300-acre campus in Manchester, NH, over our innovative online platform or at our regional centers in Manchester, Nashua, Portsmouth and Salem, NH, and Brunswick, ME.

SNHU has earned the Best Buy and Best of Business – Best Online Degree awards and is consistently ranked as a top Military Friendly® School by G.I Jobs®.

The 10 Best & Most Affordable Master’s in Hospitality Management Online Programs

The cost of higher education in the U.S., including Construction Management programs, has risen significantly. Therefore, it’s essential for prospective students seeking online construction management programs to evaluate affordability and the potential return on investment carefully.  The OMC team has extensively researched various programs to present the most budget-friendly online Master’s in construction management degrees (for more information, read our methodology page). Here are the top 10 Online Master’s in Hospitality Management:

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College Name & AddressTuitionGraduation Rate
University of Central Florida
4000 Central Florida Blvd, Orlando, Florida 32816
University of North Texas
1501 W.Chestnut Ave., Denton, Texas 76203
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
4505 S Maryland Pky, Las Vegas, Nevada 89154
Purdue University
Hovde Hall of Administration, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907-2040
University of Houston
212 E. Cullen Building, Houston, Texas 77204-2018
Florida International University
11200 S. W. 8 Street, Miami, Florida 33199
University of Alabama
739 University Blvd, Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35487
University of New Orleans
2000 Lakeshore Drive, New Orleans, Louisiana 70148
University of Kentucky
South Limestone, Lexington, Kentucky 40506
Johnson & Wales University
8 Abbott Park Pl, Providence, Rhode Island 02903

Source – Integrated Post Secondary Education Data System & University Data
*Tuition rates are for in-state and per year. Program specific rates may apply.
**NA – data not available

What Master’s in Hospitality Management Online Programs Entail

Online Master’s in Hospitality Management programs provide a comprehensive education in the dynamic hospitality field. Students delve into advanced topics such as strategic management, marketing, financial analysis, and hospitality technology. The curriculum often includes case studies and real-world projects, fostering practical skills. Online platforms facilitate flexible learning, allowing professionals to balance work and study. Graduates are equipped to navigate the evolving hospitality industry, securing leadership roles in areas like hotel management, event planning, and tourism.

Curriculum and Skills You’ll Gain

The curriculum of an online master’s in hotel management typically adheres to a standardized structure featuring core courses, electives, and specialized offerings. Core components focus on key aspects of hotel management, providing in-depth knowledge of industry practices. Specialized courses may cover topics such as hospitality technology, revenue management, and guest services, ensuring students develop a comprehensive understanding of hotel operations and strategic management within the dynamic hospitality sector. Here are some courses commonly found in a master’s in hospitality management:

Hospitality and Tourism Global Issues

This course studies the evolution and growth of the global tourism and hospitality industry and the issues confronting the industry. Students learn about property management, global lodging management, trends, and overall leadership skills that will help them navigate through the industry.

Strategic Marketing in Hospitality and Tourism

This course teaches students how to market their hospitality businesses to a broader audience. Students learn about various demographics, trends, segmentation, competition analysis, etc.

Hospitality Law

This course exposes students to various legal aspects of managing Hospitality-related businesses. Liability is a big topic in the course, and students benefit from how liability issues work and how to mitigate them. Students also learn about rights and responsibilities, employment law, insurance law, etc.

Economics of Travel and Tourism

In this course, students learn about the impact of economic policies, financial events that impact the hospitality industry, tax policies, etc. Students will also learn about revenue on investment, cost-benefit analysis, and how to measure growth.

Economic Development

Economic Development exposes students to fundamental economic development problems worldwide. This course also discusses how it could be rectified by changing the economic policies of the nations for better economic growth, along with analysis.

Business Statistics and Quantitative Analysis

One of the job duties of managers in the hospitality industry is to correctly forecast the demand and supply of resources. In this course, students are taught how to use quantitative methods to collect, analyze, and forecast all aspects of the business. Datapoints like seasonality and trends are critical factors, and students are exposed to analyzing data using these factors.

Leadership in Hospitality

The course teaches about contemporary theories, research, and practices of hospitality organizations. Students acquire the required skills to lead across various departments in multiple disciplines in hospitality settings. Topics include team dynamics, problem-solving, decision-making, and improved communication, which help students immensely in the travel industry when language issues are common.

Degree Types

In the field of hospitality management, various degree types cater to students’ diverse interests and career aspirations. From Master of Science to Master of Business Administration, each program offers a unique blend of academic rigor and practical application. These degrees equip students with essential skills to excel in the dynamic and competitive hospitality industry.

Master of Science in Hospitality Management

The Master of Science in Hospitality Management focuses on providing in-depth knowledge of the industry’s operational and strategic aspects. Students explore topics like revenue management, guest services, and sustainable practices. Graduates are prepared for leadership roles in hotels, resorts, event planning, and hospitality consulting.

Master of Management in Hospitality (MMH)

The Master of Management in Hospitality program emphasizes business management, specifically focusing on the hospitality sector. Students learn about financial management, marketing, and organizational leadership in hospitality. This degree prepares graduates for managerial roles in hotels, restaurants, and tourism-related businesses.

Master of International Hospitality and Tourism Management

The Master of International Hospitality and Tourism Management program equips students with the skills to thrive in the global hospitality and tourism industry. The curriculum covers international business, cultural understanding, and global marketing strategies. Graduates are well-suited for careers in multinational hotel chains, international tour operators, and destination management organizations.

MBA in Hospitality Management

The MBA in Hospitality Management provides a comprehensive business education focusing on the hospitality sector. Students gain expertise in finance, marketing, and strategic planning specifically tailored to the industry’s demands. This degree prepares graduates for executive positions and entrepreneurship opportunities in the hospitality domain.

What’s the Difference Between a Master’s in Hospitality Management and an MBA in Hospitality Management?

Many MBA programs offer a specialization in Hospitality Management; however, they differ significantly from a Master’s in Hospitality Management concerning their area of focus and curriculum. An MBA program emphasizes business aspects, like leadership and managerial skills, while the Hospitality Management concentration offers electives related to the field. In contrast, a Master’s in Hospitality program provides a comprehensive exploration of all aspects of Hospitality Management through dedicated courses.

Specializations for Hospitality Management Students

Hospitality Management students can explore various specializations that align with their career interests and goals. From hotel and resort management to event planning, restaurant management, tourism, and revenue management, these specializations offer focused knowledge and skills to excel in specific sectors of the dynamic hospitality industry. 

Choosing a specialization allows students to tailor their education and prepare for rewarding careers in their chosen field.  Some of the other focus areas and concentrations offered by select universities in the U.S. include:

Area of FocusTourism Management
DescriptionTourism management is a broad specialization that involves all aspects of earning business from people traveling away from their homes. This concentration includes business administration, marketing to attract tourists (either for private business or public services to promote tourism), taking care of tourists by facilitating food & stay, and managing entertainment for tourists. This multi-disciplinary field is attracting many students. Graduates work for cruise liners, resorts, or governmental agencies to attract tourists to particular regions.
Careers This Concentration Prepares ForTourism Managers, Destination Marketing Managers, and Travel Consultants. 
Area of FocusEvent Planning
DescriptionEvent Planning is a concentration where event planning professionals manage all aspects of professional meetings, conventions, trade shows, concerts, and even weddings. Managing an event might come across as simple coordination, but when the participant sizes are large, professionals can only handle this to provide a smooth experience for participants. Many corporations and resorts around the world hire professional event planners.
Careers This Concentration Prepares ForEvent Planners, Meeting Planners, Wedding Coordinators, and Convention Managers
Area of FocusRestaurant Management
DescriptionRestaurant Management is a concentration that involves business management with a customer-centric approach. Students learn about public relations, managing inventory, providing customer service, managing finances such as cash flow, marketing & sales, and managing day-to-day operations. Most graduates find careers in large hotel chains, bars, etc., as food service managers, hospitality managers, etc.
Careers This Concentration Prepares ForRestaurant Managers, Food and Beverage Directors, Hospitality Managers, and Catering Managers
Area of FocusLodging Management
DescriptionLodging management concentration deals with managing all logistics in a business where guests can stay. The work involves ensuring the guests have a pleasant stay in the establishment by facilitating clean rooms, housekeeping, décor, managing staff performing these duties, budgeting, etc. Some establishments get thousands of guests yearly, and a Lodging Manager must ensure that the facilities are well-maintained to cater to the guests 365 days a year in high-traffic circumstances.
Careers This Concentration Prepares ForLodging Managers, Hotel Operations Managers, Guest Services Managers, and Hospitality Logistics Coordinators

Graduation Timeline

Typical Timeline: 2 years

Credits to Completion: 30-36

The graduation timeline for a Master’s in Hospitality Management can vary based on individual circumstances and program requirements. Typically, the program can be completed within 12 to 24 months, with the number of credits required for completion varying among schools. Some institutions offer 100% online programs, allowing students to study at their own pace, while others may consider transfer credits or professional experience to expedite graduation. Additionally, some programs may include a thesis requirement as part of the graduation criteria. Students must review the specific requirements of their chosen program and work closely with academic advisors to plan their graduation timeline.

Accelerated Master’s in Hospitality Management Online Programs

Accelerated online master’s programs in hospitality offer a time-efficient pathway for professionals seeking to advance their careers in the dynamic hospitality industry. These programs are designed to be completed shorter than traditional master’s degrees, enabling students to quickly acquire specialized knowledge and leadership skills. With flexible online formats, students can balance their studies with work and other commitments while gaining valuable insights into the latest trends and practices in the hospitality sector. Before enrolling, students should conduct thorough research with the respective universities to determine whether they offer fast-track options for their online master’s in hospitality programs and ensure that the program aligns with their career goals and meets the necessary accreditation standards. Florida International University1 is an excellent example that offers an accelerated master’s in hospitality management online program.

Admission Requirements for Master’s in Hospitality Management Online Programs

Applicants to an online master’s in hospitality management degree must satisfy certain entrance requirements specific to the program offering school. Although these requirements might differ slightly from school to school, most schools need the following from the applicants:

Undergraduate Degree

Applicants must have earned an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution with a GPA of 3.0.


Applicants must submit transcripts from their undergraduate degree programs or related courses completed. Most schools typically want this submission in an unopened official transcript.


Most schools do not need a GRE or GMAT score for admission, but some do.

Some schools require 3-5 years of professional experience.


Applicants must submit three letters of recommendation. Letters should be written by other professionals, past teachers, past mentors, seniors, etc., and they should attest to the applicant’s professional skills and character.

Master’s in Hospitality Management Online No GRE Programs

Students balancing work and master’s programs may find GRE preparation time-consuming. The good news is that many Online Master’s in Hospitality Management programs don’t mandate GRE scores. For GRE-free programs and exam preparation information, visit the GRE Prep page. Verify the selected degree’s accreditation by advanced collegiate schools. Here are a couple of examples of Universities that don’t require GRE scores for admission to a Master’s in Hospitality Management:

Accredited Programs

Accreditation is essential when selecting an online school for a master’s in hospitality management. Various independent bodies accredit schools based on established standards. Accreditation bodies, such as the Council for Higher Education, play a crucial role. Several bodies issue accreditation for online master’s in hospitality management programs, ensuring the school and its programs meet high standards. If a university holds accreditation from these bodies, confidence in the program’s quality is assured:

Universities can often also be accredited by one of the six regional accreditation authorities, which are:

Explore the significance of accreditation, its impact, and the process in the Accreditation Guide.

Free Master’s in Hospitality Management Online Courses

Within Hospitality Management, students can access free courses to enhance their industry knowledge. These courses provide valuable insights into professional practices. It’s essential to be aware that certificates of completion from free courses may not carry the same recognition as accredited courses endorsed by organizations. Here is a list of free Hospitality Management courses:

CourseProvided byDescription
Hospitality7UdemyThis course introduces the hospitality business, covering basic industry special events and foundational skills. Students will learn about the hospitality industry’s history, main characteristics, and diverse cultural aspects. The course explores the relationship between hospitality and tourism, industry trends, and the necessary skills for a successful career. Additionally, students can explore specific industry segments through videos featuring hospitality professionals.
Management Foundations in the Hospitality Industry8CourseraThis course introduces key aspects of hospitality management, including motivation, leadership, communication, decision-making, and effective HR management. It explores topics like ethics, social responsibility, and managing consumer experiences in the hospitality industry, focusing on service-driven management principles.
Introduction to Hospitality Management Studies9AlisonThis free online hospitality management course offers insights into the hospitality and tourism sectors. Professionals working in hospitality or tourism interact with diverse individuals and collaborate with related industries. By course completion, participants gain clarity on the various career opportunities in the hospitality sector.

How to Pay for Your Online Degree

Online Master’s in Hospitality Management, just like other graduate programs, can get expensive. Many organizations offer various kinds of financial aid, scholarships, and assistance for online master’s students. 

Here are some funding options students can opt for:


Internships provide invaluable hands-on experience, allowing individuals to apply academic knowledge in real-world settings. These opportunities enhance skills, build professional networks, and offer insights into specific industries, contributing to personal and career development.

Student Loans

Student loans are financial aid for education, providing funds for tuition, books, and living expenses. While enabling access to higher education, they require repayment, often with interest, after graduation, impacting long-term financial planning.

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate assistantships offer students financial support and valuable experience. In exchange for stipends or tuition waivers, graduate assistants assist faculty with research, teaching, or administrative tasks, enriching their academic journey.

See the Best Financial Aid Guide to learn more about financial aid and paying for online master’s programs in economics using FAFSA and other sources.


Scholarships are financial awards for students based on academic achievements, talents, or specific criteria. Unlike loans, they don’t require repayment, making education more accessible. Scholarships reduce financial burdens, empowering students to pursue their academic goals and invest in their future without debt constraints.

Several institutions offer scholarships, awards, financial aid, and other forms of assistance to online master’s students in hospitality management. Here are some of those organizations:

ScholarshipNEWH Scholarships10
DescriptionNEWH, Inc. provides several scholarships through their regional chapters across the US. The scholarships are offered annually, and the amount varies from chapter to chapter. The scholarships are awarded to the students within the region where the chapter is offering the scholarship. The deadline also varies based on the regional chapters. 
Application DeadlineVaries
ScholarshipIllinois Restaurant Association Educational Foundation Scholarship11
DescriptionThe Illinois Restaurant Association offers scholarships to Illinois residents pursuing culinary arts and hospitality management degrees. To date, the association has awarded over $3 million in scholarships to deserving students in these fields.
Application DeadlineTBA
ScholarshipNational Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) Scholarships12
DescriptionThe National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) provides scholarships to students pursuing restaurant and food service management degrees. These scholarships aim to support aspiring professionals in the hospitality industry, including various areas of specialization within the restaurant sector.
Award/Amount$2500 to $10,000
Application DeadlineTBA

Please be cautious about scholarship scams and verify the legitimacy of any offers received.

Career Paths and Average Salaries for Hospitality Management Graduates

While many jobs in hospitality management do not require a graduate degree, having a graduate degree in hospitality management accelerates professional growth. An online master’s degree in hospitality management helps them apply for senior roles in this industry and provides a better opportunity to grow careers within it. Here are some career titles and salaries that hospitality management graduates have seen.

OccupationMedian Annual SalaryJob Growth (up to 2032)Job Description
Food Service Managers13$61,3100% (little or no change)Food Service Managers are professionals responsible for overseeing the daily operations of establishments such as restaurants, cafeterias, and food service facilities. They manage staff, coordinate food preparation, meet quality and safety standards, handle customer service, and manage budgets. With strong leadership and organizational skills, they play a crucial role in delivering a smooth and efficient dining experience for customers.
Hotel General Manager14$116,800No Data AvailableThe Hotel General Manager’s primary responsibility is to optimize operational efficiency and profitability. This includes overseeing all aspects of the hotel property, from operations and staffing to ensuring customer satisfaction. Additionally, they are responsible for property maintenance and appearance and closely monitor operating costs, budgets, and forecasts. A bachelor’s degree may be required for this position, and the Hotel General Manager typically reports to top management while leading teams of subordinate managers and professionals in larger groups of moderate complexity.
Lodging Manager15$61,9107% ( faster than average)Lodging Managers oversee the daily operations of lodging establishments, such as hotels, motels, resorts, or bed and breakfasts. They manage staff, coordinate guest services, ensure compliance with safety and quality standards, handle reservations and check-ins, and monitor financial performance. With strong leadership and hospitality skills, they play a crucial role in delivering exceptional guest experiences and maintaining the overall success of the lodging facility.
Hospitality Sales Manager16$63,781No Data AvailableThe Hospitality Services Manager participates in designated trade shows, fosters client relationships, and represents Freemotion professionally. They proactively generate new group business by qualifying leads, making sales calls, organizing blitzes, utilizing business periodicals, the internet, and attending industry events and tradeshows. Additionally, they exhibit leadership by promptly and effectively executing specific assignments.

Certifications and Licensing for Hospitality Management Graduates

Hospitality management is a dynamic field that demands staying current with the latest trends and best practices. Acquiring relevant certifications and licensing can boost the credibility and marketability of hospitality management graduates. Here are a few certifications that can enhance the skill set of professionals in the hospitality management industry.

Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA)17

The Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA) is a prestigious certification offered by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI). This certification is designed for hospitality professionals seeking to enhance their careers in hotel management. CHA validates the individual’s knowledge and skills in hotel-specific areas, showcasing their expertise and dedication to the industry. It is a valuable credential for those aspiring to advance their careers in the hotel management sector.

Certified Professional in Catering and Events (CPCE)18

The Certified Professional in Catering and Events (CPCE) is a respected certification provided by the National Association for Catering and Events (NACE). Geared towards catering and events industry professionals, CPCE validates expertise in planning, executing, and managing successful events. Holding this certification demonstrates a high level of proficiency in the field and enhances career opportunities in the dynamic world of catering and events management.

Certified Restaurant Manager (CRM)19

The ServSuccess Certified Restaurant Manager (CRM) Exam, developed in collaboration with the restaurant industry, validates critical competencies for professionals overseeing staff, processes, and budgets. The exam emphasizes essential management skills, including financial performance, cost control, employee hiring and training, performance management, safety, regulations, and marketing planning. This certification is particularly beneficial for managers reporting to the General Manager or above, showcasing their leadership expertise to present and potential employers.

Additional Resources for Students

Acquiring an Online Master’s Degree in Hospitality Management not only enhances one’s knowledge in the field and improves career prospects but also emphasizes the significance of networking within the industry. By connecting with other professionals, individuals can significantly boost their domain knowledge and career opportunities while gaining valuable insights into the intricacies of the hospitality sector. To achieve these benefits, here are some recommended resources:

  • The Lodging Conference 20: The Lodging Conference is one of the largest conferences for professionals in hospitality management. At these conferences, attendees will meet top hotel industry executives, attend many speaking and interactive sessions, network with other professionals, and learn about their experiences.
  • Green Hotels Association 21: Green Hotels Association is a conglomerate of hotels that adopt policies of less carbon footprint at their businesses. This association member receives ways to reduce the carbon footprint and save operations costs, including utility bills, laundry costs, etc.
  • Network of Executive Women in Hospitality (NEWH)22 : NEWH is a women’s hospitality industry network that provides a platform for women to network with other professional women in the hospitality industry. NEWH organizes many association events such as seminars, trade meetings, bulletins, etc. NEWH also provides scholarships and promotes education in the hospitality field, and it is an organization from which women in the hospitality industry can significantly benefit.
  • American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA)23: AHLA is an association that represents the voice of the hotel industry and its professionals. AHLA’s mission is to provide indispensable resources serving, supporting, and advocating for the American Hospitality Industry. AHLA provides its members with a job board that helps them look for new opportunities within the hospitality industry.
  • Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP)24: Established in 1952, Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) is an international nonprofit association headquartered in Austin, Texas, USA, and offices in the UK, The Netherlands, and Dubai. As the premier representative for finance and technology in the hospitality industry, HFTP offers solutions through expert networks, research, certification programs, and well-organized events like HITEC, addressing pressing issues efficiently.

FAQs About Master’s in Hospitality Management Online Programs

Which is better: a Master’s in Hospitality Management or an MBA in Hospitality Management?

Both a Master’s in Hospitality Management and an MBA in Hospitality Management can be valuable, but the better choice depends on career goals and individual preferences. A Master’s in Hospitality Management provides specialized knowledge and skills tailored to the hospitality industry, while an MBA offers a broader business foundation. Consider the desired career path and specific learning objectives to decide.

What are the highest-paying jobs in hospitality management?

Will obtaining certifications and a Master’s in Hospitality Management help you get a higher salary?

How do Online Master’s in Hospitality Management Programs differ from traditional on-campus programs?

How do I choose the best Online Master’s in Hospitality Management program for my career goals?

Can I work while pursuing an Online Master’s in Hospitality Management?

Is a Master’s in Hospitality Management worth it?