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2023 Hospitality Management Degree Guide

Think of the most enjoyable experience you've ever had when staying at a hotel or eating at a restaurant. What made that specific time the best? Was it the great customer service, or the friendly environment? There are many factors that contribute to a hospitable experience. If this is something that greatly interests you, consider majoring in Hospitality Management.

A program in Hospitality Management prepares student to manage others and act as general managers and directors of hospitality operations on a system-wide basis. Students will acquire the knowledge to oversee business in both travel arrangements and promotion, and the condition of traveler facilities.

There are a few different concentrations within this major; they include Hotel/Motel Administration/Management, Tourism and Travel Service Management, Resort Management, Casino Management, Meeting and Event Planning, and Restaurant Management. While concentrating on this major, you will be taking courses in employee labor relations, hospitality finance, marketing, resort operations, hospitality law, and festival and event management. This major is typically offered at the associate's and bachelor's level.

Hospitality Management Degrees Remain Stable

#66 Most Popular Major
17.7k Degrees Awarded
-0.8% Increase in Graduates

Hospitality Management was the 66th most popular major in the 2020-2021 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 17,689 degrees in this year alone. This represents a small change of only -0.8% from the prior year's total of 17,830 hospitality degrees awarded.

Our 2023 Best Hospitality Management Schools ranking analyzes 353 of these schools to determine the best overall colleges for hospitality management students. Explore this or one of our many other custom hospitality rankings further below.

2023 Best Colleges for Hospitality Management
2023 Overall Best Hospitality Management Colleges >

Best Hospitality Management Schools by Degree

Associate Degrees in Hospitality Management
Bachelor's Degrees in Hospitality Management
Master's Degrees in Hospitality Management
Doctorate Degrees in Hospitality Management


Hospitality Management Degree Requirements

People skills are essential to success in this major. You will be working with people constantly and must be gracious and courteous when meeting requests and responding to complaints. A career in hospitality is bound to keep you on your toes with new problems and issues popping up every day. Creativity and the ability to make quick decisions will be necessary in solving these problems.

It may be helpful to learn a foreign language, as you may have interactions with international travelers. Gaining experience through internship or extra training is encouraged in order to determine which industry you'd like to enter into.

Hospitality Degree Program Entry Requirements

New students will need to have completed high school or a GED program and each school will have their own minimum GPA and SAT/ACT test requirements. Once you obtain your degree, additional hospitality certifications required to pursue a career in this field.

Hospitality Management Degree Types

There are various different levels of hospitality degrees. You can spend many years getting as high as a in hospitality management to something that takes less time like a . The time it takes to complete a hospitality degree varies depending on the program.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to hospitality, with approximately 37.8% of workers getting one. Find out other typical degree levels for hospitality workers below.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 34.1%
High School Diploma 25.6%
Some College Courses 10.2%
Doctoral Degree 7.9%
Master’s Degree 6.8%

Most workers in hospitality have at least a bachelor's degree. The chart below shows what degree level those who work in hospitality management have obtained.


The education level required is different depending on the hospitality career you are seeking.

Career Opportunities for A Degree In Hospitality Graduate

Average Number of Jobs
$35.9k Average Starting Salary
9% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

With a degree in Hospitality Management, graduates have the opportunity to enter into a variety of occupations. If you are interested in becoming a General Manager, you must first determine which industry you would like to enter into, whether it is travel, hotel, restaurant, etc. There is not a high demand for these managers, and individuals may arrive at these positions by climbing the ladder.

Graduates can also pursue a career as an Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations Manager. These managers develop, sell, and promote their client's products and services.

Solid Growth Projected for Hospitality Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your hospitality degree? Hospitality Management careers are expected to grow 8.8% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to hospitality management.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Managers 1,071,700 8.0%
Food Service Managers 336,400 9.0%
Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners 129,400 10.9%
Business Professors 123,000 18.0%
Lodging Managers 49,700 4.0%

Hospitality Degree Salary Potential

Hospitality Management graduates between 2017-2019 reported earning an average of $35,862 in the 2019-2020 timeframe. Earnings can range from as low as $12,708 to as high as $107,619. As you might expect, salaries for hospitality graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


High Paying Careers for Hospitality Majors

Salaries for hospitality management graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top highest paying careers hospitality grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Managers $115,590
Business Professors $103,330
Gaming Managers $85,260
Lodging Managers $62,270
Food Service Managers $58,960

Getting Your Hospitality Management Degree

With over 1,462 different hospitality degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased hospitality school rankings to help you with this.

Study Areas in Hospitality Management

Hospitality Management is one of 21 different types of Business, Management & Marketing programs to choose from.

Hospitality Concentrations

Major Annual Graduates
General Hospitality Administration/Management 10,606
Hotel/Motel Administration/Management 2,368
Tourism and Travel Services Management 1,303
Meeting and Event Planning 989
Restaurant/Food Services Management 944

View All Hospitality Concentrations >

Related Major Annual Graduates
Business Administration & Management 416,590
Accounting 99,265
Finance & Financial Management 57,778
General Business/Commerce 56,042
Marketing 52,916

View All Hospitality Related Majors >


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