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Whether working at the Four Seasons or a beloved local restaurant, creating a welcoming, professional, and memorable occasion is the highest priority for hospitality professionals. Learning the tricks of the trade alongside valuable business skills like financial management and marketing can serve professionals in this field looking to take their careers to the next level.
Earning an online bachelor's in hotel and restaurant management signals to prospective employers a high level of commitment to the discipline and specialized training. Read on to learn about common classes found in these programs and available jobs for graduates.
What Are the Best Online Bachelor's in Hotel and Restaurant Management Programs? Here Are Our Top 5:
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|1||Florida International University||Miami, FL|
|2||The University of Alabama||Tuscaloosa, AL|
|3||Johnson & Wales University||Providence, RI|
|4||Texas Tech University||Lubbock, TX|
|5||University of Missouri||Columbia, MO|
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Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our Ranking Methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.
2020 Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Hotel and Restaurant Management Programs
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Florida International University
|Miami, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 58%||
FIU serves about 58,000 students each year through various programs, including an online bachelor of science in hospitality management. Students can complete all of the program's coursework online through the Canvas platform or take some courses at FIU's Miami campus.
The program's 120-credit curriculum covers topics like commercial food production, lodging operations control, and hospitality analytics and revenue management. Learners can pursue a complementary minor such as hotel management or restaurant/food service management. Students round out the program by completing at least 500 hours of practical industry training.
Applicants must submit ACT or SAT scores. FIU also offers a dual-degree track that enables learners to obtain a bachelor's and master's in five years.
The University of Alabama
|Tuscaloosa, AL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 72%||
UA powers distance education through its Bama By Distance program, which uses the Blackboard Learn platform. Undergraduate students can enroll in UA's fully online bachelor of science in hospitality management program. Throughout the program's 120-credit curriculum, students gain the skills needed to pursue careers in convention sales and marketing, food service management, and the hotel and resort industry.
Program coursework includes principles of food preparation, catering management and quantity food, and employee recruitment and supervision. Students also delve into managerial accounting and computer information systems. Participants also complete a 500-hour internship.
Applicants need a minimum 2.0 GPA. Individuals who graduated from high school at least four years before applying do not need to submit ACT/SAT scores. UA provides a variety of financial aid, including scholarships specifically for distance learners.
Johnson & Wales University
|Providence, RI||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 72%||
Based in Providence, Rhode Island, JWU serves over 7,300 students, many of whom study online. JWU's undergraduate offerings include an online bachelor's degree in hospitality management. Distance learners in this program use the Blackboard platform to access 11-week, asynchronous classes. Participants may graduate in under four years.
Major courses include strategic marketing, operations analysis, and dynamics of tourism and sustainability. Students also learn to manage the hotel guest experience, focusing on industry standards and quality control. Learners gain hands-on skills by completing an internship, and they can also expand their education by pursuing a human resource management minor.
JWU offers four yearly start dates. Program applicants need at least two years of full-time work experience after graduating from high school.
Texas Tech University
|Lubbock, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 60%||
TTU is a public research institution that delivers over 300 academic programs. Undergraduate students can earn an online bachelor's degree in hotel and restaurant management. This degree completion program targets students who already hold an associate of applied sciences degree, and participants can graduate in two years.
Online courses cover topics like personnel management, marketing and sales, and strategic purchasing practices. Students complete 1,200 hours of hands-on work experience through labs and internships. They personalize their curriculum with 36 elective credits, choosing from advanced courses like wine tourism and lodging operations. The program delivers coursework asynchronously through the Blackboard platform.
TTU's bachelor's in hotel and restaurant management program is accredited by the Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration.
University of Missouri
|Columbia, MO||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 69%||
Mizzou serves about 30,000 students through more than 300 academic programs, including a fully online bachelor of science in hospitality management that emphasizes hands-on business skill development. Requiring 120 credits, the curriculum consists of classes like hospitality law and strategic management.
Students take advanced courses in their chosen specialty area, selecting from options like food and beverage management, conference and events management, and lodging management. Learners can also pursue a sport venue management track, learning to coordinate facilities maintenance and oversee live entertainment events. Students in all tracks must complete an internship.
Mizzou offers spring, fall, and summer start dates. First-year applicants must meet minimum ACT or SAT score requirements that scale based on their high school GPA and class rank. Transfer applicants must have a 2.5 GPA or higher.
What Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Hotel and Restaurant Management Program?
Pursuing a bachelor's in hotel and restaurant management makes sense for individuals who enjoy working with others and are passionate about food, travel, or tourism.
Pursuing a bachelor's in hotel and restaurant management makes sense for individuals who enjoy working with others and are passionate about food, travel, or tourism. Working in this field can make for many late nights and long shifts, so prospective students should consider the long-term scheduling implications before taking the plunge.
The majority of online bachelor's in hotel and restaurant management programs require four years of full-time study and consist of approximately 120 credits. Part-time students usually need six years to graduate.
While most of the curriculum focuses on general education and core hospitality topics, some programs also offer the opportunity to develop specialized knowledge. Concentration options often include hotel and lodging management, beverage management, and meetings and event management.
Given the hands-on nature of hotel and restaurant management jobs, many degrees also include an internship component. These semester-long experiences allow degree-seekers to shadow and learn from experienced hospitality professionals before leaving school.
Prospective students may encounter hotel and restaurant programs offered as a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science. The BA typically requires a foreign language component, making it a great fit for those seeking international roles. The BS tends to focus more on business topics.
Still Looking for the Right Fit? Discover Similar Programs.
What Courses Will I Take in an Online Bachelor's in Hotel and Restaurant Management Program?
Coursework for online bachelor's in hotel and restaurant management programs familiarizes learners with every step of the hospitality process, from online bookings to repeat guests. Each school will offer its own unique curriculum, but the following section highlights several common classes.
- Hospitality Industry Foundations
Typically taken in the first year of studies, this course looks at the many different careers within the hospitality industry while also covering historic and contemporary trends. Students also consider how economic forces influence both hotels and restaurants.
- Dining Room Service
This course covers many core topics related to dining rooms, including food and beverage operations, food presentation techniques, reservation systems, and design plans. The class often culminates in a dining room service presentation by students.
- Food Service Sanitation
Whether working in a hotel, restaurant, or resort, understanding the laws and regulations governing food sanitation is critical. This course reviews how food should be handled and processed to prevent foodborne illness.
- Guest Relations
Designed for future hotel managers, concierges, and other hospitality staff, this course looks at how to deliver a quality guest experience. With an eye toward leadership, the course also covers how to evaluate and train staff and measure the effectiveness of guest policies.
- Restaurant Revenue Management
Restaurant managers must carefully oversee the money that comes in and out of the restaurant if they hope to turn a profit. This course looks at some of the theories and techniques around food and beverage costs, labor management, and returns on investment.
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What Can I Do With an Online Bachelor's in Hotel and Restaurant Management Degree?
Earning an online bachelor's in hotel and restaurant management qualifies graduates to take on many rewarding jobs in multiple settings. Whether working as the manager of a luxury resort in Cabo San Lucas or overseeing the opening of a funky neighborhood diner in SoHo, earning this degree signals to prospective employers a seriousness and dedication to the field.
Roles in hospitality can pay solid salaries, especially in management. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that lodging managers earned a median annual salary of $54,430 in 2019 and food service managers earned a median annual salary of $55,320.
More than 12 million employees worked in the restaurant industry in the U.S. in 2020. This industry offers many opportunities for advancement and growth; around 90% of restaurant managers and 80% of restaurant owners started out in entry-level positions. While restaurants were negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the industry is expected to bounce back.
Pursuing a career in accommodations affords graduates of an online bachelor's in hotel and restaurant management program the opportunity to work in many different settings. Some may feel drawn towards quaint bed and breakfast locales, while others may want to work for multinational luxury hotel chains.
Travel is a significant component of the hospitality industry. Working as a travel consultant or planner allows graduates to help individuals arrange all the components of their trip, including lodging, meals, and transportation.
Many towns and cities across the world rely on tourism to fuel their economics. By working as a tourism professional, graduates have the chance to educate visitors about a unique location, help them discover the best spots in town, make recommendations on where to stay and eat, and create travel plans for visitors.
Many larger hotels maintain event spaces to host events like school reunions, corporate retreats, weddings, and conferences. Working in the event side of the hospitality industry often means juggling both lodging and food and beverage responsibilities while also ensuring event spaces are set up correctly, technical needs are met, and organizers receive the support needed to pull off a great event.
Hotel and Restaurant Management Not for You? Check Out These Related Careers.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bachelor's in Hotel and Restaurant Management Programs
- Is a bachelor's in hotel and restaurant management worth it?
The hotel and restaurant industries typically have not required individuals to possess a four-year degree to move up the ranks, but this has started to change. Earning a bachelor's in hotel and restaurant management demonstrates to employers your commitment to continued education. Evaluate program costs and reach out to industry professionals to discuss which qualifications are valued in the field to determine whether a bachelor's is worth it for you.
- What can I do with a bachelor's in hotel and restaurant management?
An online bachelor's in hotel and restaurant management can open the doors to multiple careers in several different areas of the industry. Graduates can find work as beverage managers or hotel event planners, among other jobs.
- Are hotel and restaurant management majors in demand?
While the COVID-19 pandemic has temporarily put a damper on in-person dining and travel, these sectors may begin to recover as vaccines become more widely available. The BLS projects 8% job growth for event planners between 2019 and 2029.
- How much money can I make with a bachelor's in hotel and restaurant management?
Many jobs within the hospitality industry pay in the neighborhood of $50,000. According to the BLS, lodging managers earned a median salary of $54,430 in 2019, while food service managers made $55,320 per year and meeting, convention, and event planners earned $50,600.
- What are the highest paying jobs with a bachelor's in hotel and restaurant management?
Salary potential in the hospitality industry depends on location, education, experience, and the specific employer. Sales professionals in the field typically bring home high salaries. According to the BLS, sales managers earned a median annual salary of $126,640 in 2019.