Bachelor’s in Hospitality Management Degrees & Schools Guide

Bachelor's Degree in Hospitality Management Career Options & Salary

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Overview of a Bachelor’s in Hospitality Management

If managing a resort or ritzy hotel sounds like your dream job, then a career in hospitality management could be perfect for you. it also covers other areas such as restaurant management, spa management, convention and event planning, and a host of other jobs. The programs you’ll find vary from school to school, but with some research you can find the school and degree that suits your needs. Many of these programs are also available online, allowing you to attend and earn this degree from anywhere in the country, even if you’re already working and just looking to improve your educational resume so that you can advance your career.

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  • More Money - As a hospitality worker with a bachelor’s degree, you’re set to make more money than someone without a degree, even if they have years of experience. That’s because hospitality management has a large focus on formal training. Experience counts, but when it is combined with a formal education a worker can significantly increase their chances of landing better jobs and making more money.
  • More Opportunities for Management Positions - Although it is not impossible to get into management without a degree, the education makes it easier. Those who study at a college or university have the opportunity to make connections in the hospitality field that can help them land lucrative jobs when they’ve completed their education.
  • Hiring Managers Come to You - Students enrolled in major hospitality programs at schools in the United States will attend job fairs and conventions and be mentored by some of the most influential executives.


  • Debt - Going to school cost money and many, if not most, students do so with the help of student loans. Although decent money can be earned working in hospitality management, your first few years of working will be for lower pay and you’ll have student loans to contend with.
  • Balancing Act - If you are currently working in hospitality or are thinking of switching careers to hospitality management, juggling school and work can be demanding. Hospitality management often requires long work days, and that can make fitting school and homework into the mix a challenge. It’s not impossible, but it is something that should be considered.

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Certificate Vs. Bachelor’s

There are several programs that offer certificates in Hospitality Management and they can help a worker gain extra skills and perhaps make them look more attractive to potential employers. Those enrolled in certificate programs will take the following courses:

  • Intro to Hotel Revenue Management
  • Team Building
  • Building Guest Loyalty
  • Understanding Financial Statements

But as helpful as certificates and certifications look, they still pale in comparison to attaining a formal education culminating in a degree in hospitality management. Many opportunities for work are based on the appearance of your resume. Having a management team that consists of college graduates looks better than a team made up of certificate holders, even if those people come with years of experience. A bachelor’s degree makes you more attractive to potential employers and if you intend to attain an upper level management position, the degree is practically a requirement.

What Hospitality Management Bachelor’s Degrees are Available?

Most bachelor degrees in hospitality management are of the Bachelor of Science variety, but a few are Bachelor of Arts. Also, some degrees are standalone programs while others are part of the business department, and different parts of hospitality management can be specializations. For example, one school might offer a BA in Hospitality Management, while another school might offer a Bachelor of Science in Business with a concentration in Hospitality Management. How the program is designated depends on the school, but both designations result in an education in hospitality management that will help you land a job.

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements to enter a four-year hospitality program can vary per school but certain elements are universal.

  • A high school diploma or GED is required to apply to accredited colleges and universities.
  • Research the schools that have the programs that interest you and note their requirements for admission. You might be required to take the SAT or ACT as part of the admission process. You might also need volunteer hours, or some other community service requirement.
  • You’ll want to make sure the college has regional accreditation so your degree is recognized.
  • If required, declare your major as hospitality management and apply for entrance into the program. Not all schools require this, but if it is necessary, it normally occurs during your second year of college.
  • Pass all required courses and graduate. You’ll need to maintain at least a 2.0 GPA (or more depending on the school) to graduate.

How long does it take to earn a Hospitality Management Bachelor’s?

Earning a four-year degree in hospitality management generally takes the same amount of time as other four-year degrees. Most students complete their degrees in four or five years, while others need less time because they take heavier course loads or attend summer school. Others can only go to school part-time and it can take them five years or more to graduate. If a student opts to study abroad or take on an internship, this can add time (an additional semester or two) to their program. But the curriculum itself is generally structured to be completed in four years.

Potential Careers in Hospitality Management with a Bachelor’s

Hospitality management is an umbrella term used to describe a variety of management positions that exist in the hospitality field. Although is it a profession of its own, there are other positions that coexist with the same desired end result.

  • Hospitality Manager
    A hospitality manager oversees the employees that serve and accommodate patrons and guests of the establishments. This could be a hotel, spa, restaurant, or other business that serves the public. The hospitality manager is responsible for hiring, scheduling, bookkeeping, and other duties required to keep things running smoothly and guest happy.
    Median Income: $47,000
  • Events Manager
    It takes a lot of manpower to plan and successfully execute an event, and the event manager oversees all of it. From hiring the right people to helping work the event; ensuring decorations, needed equipment, and materials are available; the event manager works to ensure the event goes off without a hitch. If there are issues, the event manager is tasked with finding a solution that works for everyone.
    Median Income: $51,000
  • Hotel Manager
    Hotels don’t run themselves. They have a lot of staff and departments that have to run smoothly for the entire hotel to run correctly. The hotel manager oversees all this. There could be several other managers such as front desk managers, hospitality managers, maintenance managers, etc. that all report to the hotel manager.
    Median Income: $48,000
  • Restaurant Manager
    The restaurant manager is in charge of the entire restaurant. This person oversees hiring and personnel issues, makes sure all orders that are needed to keep the restaurant functioning are made and delivered correctly, makes sure the financial statements are accurate, and takes care of scheduling and payroll. There may be shift managers and front and back end managers that report to the restaurant manager as well.
    Median Income: $45,000

Options to Advance

When it comes to the hospitality management field, getting an advanced degree such as an MBA could be helpful in the long run if you want to work in a corporate office of one of the major chain hotels, spas, etc. If you want to make it to the position of hotel manager, then a bachelor’s degree, along with experience and good reports about your work, should be sufficient. As with most professions, the more education you have, the more marketable you look to others but if you don’t intend to go the corporate route, attaining an advanced degree while working in a hotel could price you out of that coveted hotel manager position. Investigate a hospitality’s minimum education requirements and decide if getting an advance degree is the best option for you.

Best Bachelors of Science in Hospitality Management (BSHM) Programs

  • Virginia Tech, Pamplin College of Business, Dept. of Hospitality and Tourism Management
    Blacksburg, VA

    VA Tech offers a program in hospitality and tourism that provides hands on experience. Between the Virginia Tech Inn and other hotels in the area, students learn the ins and outs of running a hotel, restaurant, and resort. Students have the opportunity to intern abroad and can study a variety of elements in the hospitality field.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Bachelor of Science in Business with a concentration in Hospitality Management
  • University of Nevada at Las Vegas, William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration
    Las Vegas, NV

    UNLV is a great place to study hospitality management because there are plenty of options to learn. The college offers a programs that lets students intern at the local casinos, hotels, and restaurants and there is the option to study abroad as well. the school has laboratories that allow younger students to hone their skills in kitchen, hotel, and gaming labs. Students will also have a mentor who is an executive in hospitality management for one school year.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management
  • Cornell University, School of Hotel Administration
    Ithaca, NY

    This ivy league school was the first college to offer a degree in hospitality management. The program focuses heavily on the ins and outs of excellent customer service and hospitality skills. Students can intern at establishments both in the US and abroad, and study abroad programs are also available from as short as a few months to as long as an entire school year.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management
  • Michigan State University, Eli Broad College of Business, The School of Hospitality Business
    East Lansing, MI

    Students learn about proper hospitality management techniques and also gain a strong business education. Each year a large hospitality convention is held on campus which serves as a recruitment event for students looking for internships or jobs after graduation.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management
  • University of Central Florida, Rosen College of Hospitality Management
    Orlando, FL

    This university has built an entire campus and dedicated it to educating students in the proper ways of hospitality management. Along with plenty of hands-on training, students can also choose from internships from around the world. Also, some of the most important hotel and hospitality conventions and functions occur locally, so there are plenty of chances for students to make important network connections.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Bachelors of Science in Hospitality Management
    • Bachelors of Science in Event Management
    • Bachelors of Science in Restaurant and Food Services Management

Traditional Schools Offering a BS in Hospitality Management

  • Cornell University
    Ithaca, NY

    Offers all the coursework described above only in an online setting. Internships will need to be completed as normal and not online.

    Degrees Offered:

    • BS in Hospitality Management
  • Washington State University
    Pullman, WA

    Classes include Food Service Systems and Control, Hospitality Leadership and Organizational Behavior, Hospitality Systems, and Personnel and Human Resource Management.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Bachelors of Arts in Hospitality Business Management
  • Arizona State University
    Phoenix, AZ

    Classes offered include Food Advertising and Promotion, Food Product Innovation and Development, Food Supply Networks, Microeconomic Analysis of Food Markets.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Bachelors of Science in Business / Food Industry Management
  • Florida International University
    Miami, FL

    Courses offered include:

    • Hospitality Analytics
    • Revenue Management
    • Hospitality Industry Law
    • Hospitality Marketing Strategy
    • Restaurant Management

    Degrees Offered:

    BS Hospitality Management with specializations in:

    • Beverage Management
    • Culinary Management
    • Event Management
    • Hotel Lodging
    • Restaurant Management
  • University of Missouri
    Columbia, MO

    Courses offered include:

    • Advanced Lodging Management
    • Hospitality Law
    • Managing Food Services Resources
    • Strategic Management in the Hospitality Industry

    Degrees Offered:

    • Bachelors of Science in Hospitality Management

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