The 20 Best Hospitality Programs in the United States

Top Hospitality SchoolsThe hospitality industry is enormous and provides an array of rewarding management positions in restaurants, lodging, event planning, theme parks, resort clubs, cruise lines, casinos, and even professional athletics. Some sports teams, for instance, look for individuals with a hospitality management degree to make travel and living arrangements for its athletes.

There are plenty of opportunities for advancement in the diverse and dynamic hospitality industry, especially for those with a degree in hospitality management. If you’re upbeat and energetic, have leadership abilities, and enjoy helping others, the global hospitality industry is worth seriously considering.

As there are a large number of hospitality-management bachelor’s degree programs to choose from, it’s not easy selecting a school. We’ve thoroughly evaluated the top schools. We base our rankings on academic quality, awards, reputation, rankings, facilities, and internship opportunities.

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Cornell University#1 Cornell University, School of Hotel Administration

The school is ranked #1 in the world by the Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research.

The bachelor’s degree in hotel administration covers all aspects of hospitality management. Students work 800 hours in a hospitality-related field. Valuable internships are available.

Students can spend a semester or a year studying abroad. Students can also gain experience working at the Statler Hotel.

Michigan State University#2 Michigan State University, School of Hospitality Business

The school is ranked #3 in the world by the Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research.

It’s one of the oldest schools in the field and provides one of the top hospitality programs in the nation. Internships are available throughout the world. Every student is required to complete 400 hours in a Level I Internship and 400 hours in a Level II Internship.

A specialization in hospitality-business real estate and development is available. Recruiters from the nation’s top hospitality companies visit the school every year.

University of Nevada#3 University of Nevada at Las Vegas, William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration

Las Vegas serves as one of the world’s largest hospitality and tourism laboratories. The school provides valuable internships and mentors. The hospitality-management bachelor’s-degree program provides a broad educational approach to a career in the hospitality industry.

Students can select a concentration in gaming management, meetings and conventions, professional golf management, or restaurant management.

The school is ranked #4 in the world by the Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research.

Fairleigh Dickinson University#4 Fairleigh Dickinson University, International School of Hospitality and Tourism Management

Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) has one of the nation’s oldest hospitality programs. The program has been rated by Princeton Review‘s “Gourman Report” as one of the top-15, four-year hospitality management programs out of more than 200 in the United States. The BA in Individualized Studies (BAIS) program allows students to specialize in hospitality management. Students study the basic hospitality curriculum.

The International School of Hospitality and Tourism Management provides easy access to New York City and Atlantic City, the center of the world’s largest hospitality market. Students have opportunities to gain important hands-on training provided by affiliated hotel/restaurant/conference center properties and numerous clubs in the New York City and Atlantic City areas. Students are expected to gain 1,200 hours of diverse work experience.

Every year the International School of Hospitality and Tourism Management offers over 2,000 internship and career-track positions. The school has a network of more than 3,000 alumni in hospitality and tourism leadership positions across the world.

Virginia Tech#5 Virginia Tech, Pamplin College of Business, Dept. of Hospitality and Tourism Management

The Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business is consistently ranked among the world’s top-10 hospitality-tourism-and-management programs. The department is regarded as a tier-one recruiting school for many of the top hospitality corporations in the United States, including Hilton, Marriott, Sodexo, and many others.

Students take a comprehensive set of core business courses. The program includes 400 hours of internship and professional experience. Students work on-campus for the Virginia Tech Dining Services, the Inn at Virginia Tech, or the Virginia-Tech-owned, historic Hotel Roanoke.

The staff includes former presidents and vice-presidents of major hospitality corporations, former hotel and resort general managers, and world-renowned scholars.

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University of Massachusetts#6 University of Massachusetts Amherst, Isenberg School of Management, Dept. of Hospitality and Tourism Management

The Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management at UMass-Amherst’s Isenberg School of Management provides one of the world’s oldest and best hospitality programs.

Princeton Review‘s Gourman Report has ranked the program #4 among the more than 200 four-year hospitality management programs in the country. It has also been consistently included in the top 20 in the world by independent international ranking organizations.

The program offers on-campus and an online bachelor’s-degree programs. It allows students to choose a concentration such as casino management, club management, food-and-beverage management, lodging management, or tourism-convention-and-event management.

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Pennsylvania State University#7 Pennsylvania State University, School of Hospitality Management

In Penn State’s School of Hospitality Management, students gain 1,000 hours of real-world experience. Over 100 companies visit the campus to recruit students enrolled in the School’s varioius programs.

The hotel, restaurant, and institutional management bachelor’s-degree program offers a hotel-restaurant-and-institutional-management option and a management-dietetics option.

The School has a network of international academic partnerships and opportunities for students. It is ranked #5 in the world by the Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research.

Washington State University#8 Washington State University, School of Hospitality Business Management

Washington State’s School of Hospitality Business Management offers a bachelor’s degree in hospitality business management that is the third-oldest in the country, and is consistently rated in the top 5 percent of similar programs around the country.

The BA in hospitality business management offers specialized instruction in the major managerial, organizational, service, financial, and technical issues relative to operations in the hospitality industry.

The program provides hands-on instruction and real-world experience, including an internship. The School is also well known for the high quality of its research.

University of Central Florida#9 University of Central Florida, Rosen College of Hospitality Management

UCF’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management is located in Orlando, Florida, one of the world’s premier tourist destinations.

Rosen College’s hospitality-management bachelor’s-degree program provides specializations in subjects such as theme-park-and-attraction management and golf-and-club management.

The Rosen College has valuable industry connections.

Iowa State University#10 Iowa State University, College of Human Sciences, Dept. of Apparel, Events, and Hospitality Management (AESHM)

Iowa State is well known for hospitality management. The College of Human Sciences’ AESHM department has a major in hospitality management that is well known for its excellence in research.

The program has been ranked #15 among the world’s top 100 hospitality and tourism programs, according to the Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research.

Students obtain internships with some of the biggest names in hospitalit,y such as Marriott, Embassy Suites, and the Walt Disney Company.

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Purdue University Hospitality & Tourism Management Unit#11 Purdue University, College of Health and Human Sciences, Hospitality & Tourism Management Unit

The Hospitality & Tourism Management Unit of Purdue’s College of Health and Human Sciences is recognized as one of the top programs of its kind.

The program provides for a 400-hour hospitality-and-tourism-management internship. It also has a strong core of management classes and two instructional labs, which reinforce what the students learn in class.

The program is a top provider of hospitality-and-tourism research to communities, corporations, and organizations worldwide.

Northern Arizona University Restaurant Management#12 Northern Arizona University, W.A. Franke College of Business, School of Hotel & Restaurant Management

The School of Hotel & Restaurant Management in Northern Arizona’s Franke College of Business provides a restaurant-management bachelor’s degree and an international-hospitality-management bachelor’s degree.

Students in the international-hospitality program are required to study abroad for one semester.

The school provides internships with some of the top companies in the hospitality industry. Students must work 1,200 hours in a hospitality establishment.

Kansas State University Department of Hospitality Management and Dietetics#13 Kansas State University, College of Human Ecology, Dept. of Hospitality Management and Dietetics

The Department of Hospitality Managemet and Dietetics in Kansas State’s College of Human Ecology offers a B.S. degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management.

The program combines theory-based instruction with practical experience, including an internship with a professional affiliate.

Students have a variety of internships to choose from, and altogether acquire 1,000 hours of work experience.

University of Houston#14 University of Houston, Conrad N. Hilton College

The University of Houston’s Conrad N. Hilton College is known for its experimental learning programs.

The hotel-and-restaurant-management bachelor’s-degree program provides domestic and international internships, as well as a study-abroad program.

Students can participate in the Leadership Program at the Hilton University of Houston, the college’s teaching hotel.

The faculty and staff of Hilton College have extensive career connections.

Oklahoma State University, School of Hotel & Restaurant Administration#15 Oklahoma State University, School of Hotel & Restaurant Administration

The program in OSU’s School of Hotel & Restaurant Adminsitration includes laboratory practices, supervised industry work experience,s and internships.

Students gain 800 hours of hands-on work experience in a domestic or international internship. The program features an international, hospitality learning experience in Switzerland.

The annual career fair is typically visited by more than 35 hospitality companies.

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Georgia State University#16 Georgia State University, J. Mack Robinson College of Business, Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality

The Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality in Georgia State’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business is ranked among the nation’s top 25 hospitality programs, according to the Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research. 

The School provides a program leading to the bachelor of business administration in hospitality. The school provides a mentoring program. Students are prepared to enter the hospitality industry as a manager. Located in downtown Atlanta among world-class hotels, restaurants and venues, the School offers real-world learning beyond the classroom.

The School has numerous industry partnerships, connecting faculty members and students to important learning opportunities. The classes often participate in high-level projects with popular industry brands, providing excellent learning and networking opportunities.

Drexel University#17 Drexel University, School of Technology and Professional Studies, Hospitality Management, Culinary Arts, and Food Science Program

According to the Gourman Report, Drexel’s hospitality-management program, which is housed in the School of Technology and Professional Studies, is typically ranked in the top tenth percentile of national programs. Philadelphia serves as the learning lab for the program.

The Program offers concentrations in gaming and resort management, food and beverage management, travel and tourism, and hotel administration. Students select a business minor in business administration, entrepreneurship, or marketing.

Students receive valuable on-the-job training during six months of full-time employment. The Academic Bistro is Drexel’s student-run restaurant/learning laboratory.

Students have the opportunity to study abroad at Drexel’s London campus, and also have access to hundreds of partnering hotels and dining establishments.

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University of Denver#18 University of Denver, Daniels College of Business, Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management

The Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management in the University of Denver’s Daniels School of Business offers a bachelor’s of science in business administration in hospitality management.

The School trains students for all aspects of the hospitality and tourism business. Concentrations are available in hospitality sales & marketing, lodging/resort operations, and restaurant/F&B management. All students study abroad for a full quarter and have a language requirement, two things highly valued by industry.

The instructors have advanced degrees and extensive industry experience. The students have plenty of opportunities to gain real-world experience in Denver’s world-class resorts and establishments.

Every year, more than 40 companies recruit at the school.

California State Polytechnic University at Pomona, Collins College of Hospitality Management#19 California State Polytechnic University at Pomona, Collins College of Hospitality Management

Cal Poly Pomona’s Collins College of Hospitality Management is consistently ranked among the nation’s premier management programs.

All students in the bachelor’s hospitality-management program have an opportunity to oversee the Restaurant at Kellogg Ranch, the College’s fine-dining restaurant. A new facility is under construction that will ensure that students will have the option of working at either the on-campus hotel or the on-campus restaurant.

Students select an emphasis in hotel/resort management, restaurant management, and/or club management. Student gain 800 hours of work experience in hospitality-related employment before they graduate.

Johnson & Wales University#20 Johnson & Wales University, Hospitality College

Johnson & Wales University’s Hospitality College offers a collection of bachelor’s-degree programs, including a travel-tourism-and-hopitality-management program. J&W Hospitality Colleges are located in Providence, RI, North Miami, FL, Denver, CO, and Charlotte, NC.

Internships are available at a broad range of sites. Students can take an international internship and study abroad in Costa Rica, Australia, South Africa, England, Switzerland, and Spain.

Students also have real-world projects with real clients.

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TOP INTERNATIONAL HOSPITALITY PROGRAMS:

Hong Kong Polytechnic University's School of Hotel and Tourism ManagementThe Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s School of Hotel and Tourism Management is ranked #2 in the World by the Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research.

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The University of SurreyThe University of Surrey, located in the United Kingdom, is ranked #1 for hospitality and tourism in The Times Good University Guide and has been ranked #8 in the world by the Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research.

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he Glion Institute of Higher EducationThe Glion Institute of Higher Education, located in Switzerland, was placed among the top three hospitality management programs in the world for an international career in 2007 by Taylor Nelson Sofres.

 

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