Best Online Master’s in Hospitality and Tourism Degree Programs

Best Online Master’s in Hospitality and Tourism Degree Programs

Find top-ranked online master’s in hospitality and tourism degree programs for students who wish to improve their earning potential, improve their opportunities for advancement, or deepen their knowledge in an area of specialization within the broader hospitality field.

The master’s degree in hospitality is an advanced degree for students or professionals with an interest in executive leadership in the hospitality, tourism, or luxury sectors. Students who pursue a master’s degree in hospitality will study subjects like global tourism, resorts and environmental law, financial reporting in hospitality, and more. Undergraduates who transition into this program may significantly improve their earning potential and candidacy for leadership roles while working professionals can improve their potential for career advancement.

This advanced degree can be completed either in-person or online. However, if your program requires a master’s thesis, you may be expected to meet in person with an advisor, or to defend your findings before a committee. Most students will completed this 30 to 50-credit program in roughly two years and will qualify to work as administrators and executive leaders for hotel chains, restaurant groups, resorts, cruise companies, and much more.

Frequently Asked Questions About Hospitality and Tourism Degrees

A master’s degree in hospitality and tourism is ideal for those who wish to improve their earning potential, improve their opportunities for advancement, or deepen their knowledge in an area of specialization within the broader hospitality field. Although students in this program may work in a variety of fields, ranging from the food industry to lodging to business, many hospitality and tourism graduate programs allow students to customize their courses to fit their future goals.

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The roughly 30-45 required credits, available both online and on campus, typically take about two to three years to complete.

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Students will take classes on strategic leadership, social media and marketing, customer experience management, and tourism development, and can opt for either a thesis or non-thesis option.

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Graduates will qualify to work in leadership roles such as restaurant general managers, hotel managers, and banquet directors.

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Best Online master's in Hospitality and Tourism Degree Programs
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How do we determine the best online hospitality and tourism master's degree programs?

Methodology

Pursuing your degree online doesn’t mean you need to settle for an inferior school. Today, most universities and colleges offer online degrees, and many respected schools are seeing significant growth in their numbers of online students.

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why influence — i.e., the academic impact of faculty and alumni associated with a school — gets at the heart of what is truly best in education. The combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers is the best indicator of academic excellence. For our online degree rankings, we focus on the academic influence of faculty and alumni in the specific disciplines we’re ranking.

If you are serious about finding the best online colleges, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching, and whether their graduates themselves are advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence. Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Influence, as measured by our InfluenceRanking engine, provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

Ranking: Best Online Master’s in Hospitality and Tourism Degree Programs

  1. #1

    University of Southern California

    Los Angeles , CA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $62K

    Acceptance

    16%

    Graduation

    92%

    Student body

    40K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1445/32

    Online Degrees

    MS in Hospitality and Tourism
    • Required Credits: 24
    • Completion time: 1-2 years
    • Format: Online
  2. Online Degrees

    MBA in Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • Hospitality
    • Required Credits: 36-42
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    MS in Hospitality Management
    • Required Credits: 30-33
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  3. #8

    University of North Texas

    Denton , TX
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    84%

    Graduation

    57%

    Student body

    35K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1155/24

    Online Degrees

    MS in Hospitality Management
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
  4. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    81%

    Graduation

    44%

    Student body

    26K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1140/22

    Online Degrees

    EMHA in Hospitality Management

    Concentrations

    • Hospitality Management
    • Gaming Management
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  5. #10

    Roosevelt University

    Chicago , IL

    Tuition + fees

    $31K

    Acceptance

    77%

    Graduation

    42%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1120/24

    Online Degrees

    MBA in Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • Accounting
    • Accounting Forensics
    • Finance
    • Hospitality and Tourism Management
    • Human Resource Management
    • Information Systems
    • International Business
    • Management
    • Marketing
    • Real Estate
    • Social Entrepreneurship
    • Training And Development
    • Required Credits: 33
    • Completion time: 1 Year
    • Format: Online
  6. #11

    Lynn University

    Boca Raton , FL

    Tuition + fees

    $41K

    Acceptance

    79%

    Graduation

    59%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1075/23

    Online Degrees

    MBA in Hospitality Management
    • Required Credits: 37
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  7. Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    65%

    Graduation

    54%

    Student body

    6K

    Online Degrees

    MS in Family and Consumer Science

    Concentrations

    • Child and Family Studies
    • Fashion Merchandising
    • Dietetics
    • Food and Nutrition
    • Hospitality and Food Service Managemeent
    • Family and Consumer Sciences Education
    • Gerontology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
  8. #13

    Columbia College

    Columbia , SC

    Tuition + fees

    $21K

    Acceptance

    97%

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    1K

    Online Degrees

    MBA in Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • General Business
    • Hospitality Management
    • Insurance
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: 1 year
    • Format: Online
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Find the Best Online MBA Programs in Each State

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Online Degree Frequently Asked Questions

If this is your first time taking an online course, the experience may require some adjustment. While you’ll generally learn the same content and take the same exams as your on-campus peers, the medium will likely require you to manage much of this experience independently. You’ll be accountable for your own time management, your ability to harness the technology at your fingertips, and your ability to focus on the lectures, lessons, and assignments at hand. This means you’ll need to create a suitable workspace for yourself, maintain a realistic schedule, and take it upon yourself to build relationships with your instructors and classmates. With online college, your goal is to find a balance between independence and engagement.

No. The only part of online education that’s easier is actually getting there. Taking the commute out of the equation means getting to class should be a lot more manageable. But that’s where it ends. In general, your online courses will incorporate the very same materials, concepts, and testing methods as would a traditional classroom.

And in many cases, you’ll even have the same instructors as your on-campus counterparts. In fact, if you are adjusting to the experience of independent learning or working with remote learning technology for the first time, online college may even be a little more challenging for you. For a few insights on how to manage this new experience, check out our 10 Tips for Adjusting to School Online.

Accreditation is especially important when it comes to online college. This is because the online education landscape is a mix of highly-reputable institutions and less-than-reputable for-profit schools. Accreditation gives you the power to differentiate between the two. Accreditation is a stamp of approval from an independent accrediting agency which indicates that a college or university is meeting standards of quality, credibility, and currency. School-wide accreditation falls into two major categories: regional and national accreditation. Regional accreditors generally hold jurisdiction only over schools in the states comprising their region, whereas national accreditors hold jurisdiction over schools in all states. Regional accreditation is widely regarded as a more rigorous standard of quality and credibility than national accreditation.

Attending a college or university which is not regionally accredited could limit your opportunities. When seeking an online education, we strongly recommend that students opt for regionally accredited schools. Regional accreditation ensures eligibility for federal loans and grants, ensures your college credits can be transferred between schools, and ensures that your degree credits can be accepted if you wish to earn an advanced degree.

As long as your online college degree is regionally accredited, you should have little difficulty transferring most of your credits or credentials to another regionally accredited undergraduate school. Every school carries its own standards and procedures for granting a transfer. In many cases, you will be required to navigate a bureaucracy in which some of your credits will be transferred and others will be jettisoned. However, provided that you have attended an online school with the proper regional accreditation, you should have plenty of options for transfer.

In most cases, as long you graduate from a well-regarded, regionally-accredited online college, prospective employers won’t look sideways at your degree. In fact, unless you attend an exclusively online college or university, there will likely be no specific indicator on your degree, transcript or resume differentiating your school from its brick-and-mortar counterpart. This means that your employer will likely only differentiate between an online and in-person degree if you mention this distinction.

While some employers may express concern about making the adjustment from online education to in-person workplace collaboration, many other employers will view your online degree as evidence of valuable 21st Century professional skills such as independence, self-motivation, time management, and tech savvy.

If you are a student who thrives on the dynamic energy of in-person discussion, who requires the physical surroundings of a classroom to feel engaged, or who considers the social aspects of education to be of equal importance to the actual content of your courses, online education will require some adjustment.

While there is much that can be supplanted or simulated through the online medium, some students may find that there is nothing which can replace the conversation, collaboration, and motivation that occur in an actual classroom setting. As you make the adjustment to online education, one of the biggest challenges you will likely face is overcoming this difference in order to the get the most out of your classes. Fortunately, we’ve got some great Tips for Online Education Beginners.

The advantages of online classes are many. First and foremost, online courses give you the freedom and flexibility to attend class from anywhere that works for you, whether you’re at home, in a coffee shop, or in a quiet conference room at work. In many cases, you’ll also enjoy the convenience of asynchronous learning opportunities—educational experiences that you can complete on your own schedule. This may include pre-taped lectures, ongoing chat-board discussions, and 24/7 access to digital materials. And of course, just as there are some learners who prefer the energy of a live classroom, there are those who learn best when working in their own personal space, free from distractions. If this sounds like you, you might find the solitude of online learning to be a major advantage.

Resources for Prospective Grad Students