Online MBA in Hospitality Management Programs

A master of business administration (MBA) program that focuses on hospitality management consists of a core curriculum that covers practical business subjects, similar to most accredited MBA programs. These subjects include finance, information technology, human resources, management theory, and accounting. Outside of these fundamental business courses, students also take targeted hospitality classes such as hotel management, restaurant management, tourism management, and event planning.

Also, students can choose to specialize in sub-sectors of the hospitality industry (e.g., hotel management). Students may have the option to partake in internships, which complement coursework in practical ways and add valuable on-the-job experience.

For students interested in hospitality management who want to further their studies to go beyond a bachelor’s degree, an MBA is a great option. The hospitality industry comprises many connected businesses and sectors, each offering an extensive range of products and services. With an MBA, graduates can find employment in industries like leisure and recreation, spa and wellness, food and beverage, hotels, tourism, and event planning. MBA degree holders have an advantage over other professionals thanks to their expanded skill base, making them more attractive to larger companies and significant enterprises. Cruise lines, hotel chains, and casinos, in particular, are looking for advanced training in their new hires.

Students who obtain an MBA degree in hospitality management can move into new leadership positions such as hotel manager, restaurant manager, director of food and beverage, resort general manager, casino manager, and hospitality information systems manager, as well as business-focused roles such as gaming consultant, financial consultant, and marketing strategy consultant.

The leisure and hospitality industry has one of the highest rates of job openings in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In October 2022, the BLS reported that job openings in the leisure and hospitality sector accounted for 23.1 percent of all new jobs from 2021 to 2023. While it’s true this sector nearly collapsed in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the BLS shows one in four leisure and hospitality jobs were recovered from 2020 to 2021. What’s more, employment in leisure and hospitality grew by 96,000 new jobs in September 2023.

There are all sorts of MBA programs in hospitality management, available on campus, online, and as a hybrid of both. This guide lists and details distance-based MBA in hospitality management programs and profiles outstanding faculty members from schools that offer these types of programs.

Featured Online MBA in Hospitality Management Programs

The Carson College of Business at Washington State offers an online MBA degree with five tracks: general, marketing, finance, international business, and hospitality business management. This program is ranked among the best online MBA programs in the U.S. by the U.S. News and World Report and is ideal for students who are looking to learn at their own pace or work part- or full-time while enrolled.

Students who opt for the hospitality business management concentration learn about business operations in the hospitality sector through courses in service management; international tourism strategy and planning; and hospitality operations analysis. The school’s concentrations are also each available as a standalone nine-credit MBA certificate. The foundational portion of the program includes classes in operations management, business law, financial and managerial accounting, marketing, economics, finance, and data analysis.

The school also offers an optional international field study, where MBA students can travel to Prague in the Czech Republic for a week-long residency to learn about some of the world’s fastest-growing economies. A GMAT is required for admission, but this may be waived for those who exceed the minimum MBA admission requirements.

Location: Pullman, Washington
Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB International); Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
Format: Online with an optional international one-week residency
Expected Time to Completion: 22 to 29 months
Estimated Tuition: $876 per credit

Florida Atlantic University’s online MBA offers several concentration options in hospitality and tourism management; finance; international business; health administration; business analytics; operations management; management information systems; accounting; and marketing. Ranking among the best programs in the nation by US News & World Report, this 100 percent online program allows students to access courses from any location and at any time through recorded online lectures, discussions, chats, and presentations. The program is taught by the same faculty members and involves the same curriculum as the University’s campus-based programs.

Consisting of 40 to 46 credits, the hospitality and tourism management concentration prepares graduates to become service industry leaders ready to join the thriving regional, global, and local hospitality network.

Designed to be completed in 16 to 23 months, the program’s core curriculum includes courses such as financial accounting concepts; financial management; global environment of management; advanced analysis of accounting data; operations management; and global business strategy. Courses in the specialization include contemporary issues in hospitality marketing; strategies for excellence in guest service management; meetings and events management; and directed independent study (DIS) in hospitality management.

Location: Boca Raton, Florida
Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB International); Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
Format: Online
Expected Time to Completion: 16 to 23 months
Estimated Tuition: $800 per credit

FHSU’s online MBA program offers a concentration in tourism and hospitality management. Students learn about the principles, practices, and trends of the tourism and hospitality industry, as well as the fundamentals of the business world. The program consists of 33 credits with an additional four foundation courses (12 credits) for students without an undergraduate degree. Students who have graduated from this program have landed at large corporations such as Walmart, Koch Industries, IBM, and GE, as well as governmental and non-profit organizations such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Kansas Department of Commerce, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

Students take eight classes to complete their core coursework in areas such as advanced managerial accounting; marketing management; information systems for management; managerial economics; advanced corporate finance; and strategic management. For those in the tourism and hospitality management track, classes include principles and practices in tourism and hospitality management; tourism and hospitality marketing; service operations; meetings, conventions, and event management; hotel and resort management; and international hospitality.

In the online program, students can connect with classmates and professors across many platforms, including online discussion boards, Skype, WebX, YouTube, Blackboard, and Google Docs. Applicants must submit a current resume, official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate coursework, two letters of recommendation, and a personal statement.

Location: Hays, Kansas
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges
Format: Online
Expected Time to Completion: 12 months for full-time students and three years for part-time students
Estimated Tuition: $375 per credit

Lynn University offers an online MBA program in hospitality for students wishing to go on to work in event planning, food service, lodging and resort management, and hospitality. The program is designed for professionals to progress into management and business positions as they will learn about successful financial protocols and reporting practices through real-world case studies.

Lynn’s program is unique because of its many different specializations. Apart from the hospitality management specialization, the university offers ten different concentration options, including aviation management; entrepreneurial management; financial valuation and investment management; healthcare management; human resource management; international business; leadership and management; marketing; media management; and sports management. The GMAT or GRE is not required for admittance into the program. This is a 37-credit MBA program that can be completed in as little as one year and comprises 22 credits for foundation courses, nine specialization credits, and six elective credits.

All students enrolled at Lynn receive an iPad that provides various educational resources and related apps. Students within the online program must check in with their professor daily and be available for scheduled online discussions with faculty or fellow students.

Core courses include leadership and management of organizations; business modeling; marketing management in a global economy; managerial accounting; and operations management. The hospitality specialization includes courses such as food service administration; resort development and management; and service management.

Location: Boca Raton, Florida
Accreditation: International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE); Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
Format: Online
Expected Time to Completion: Full-time (12 months); part-time (24 months)
Estimated Tuition: $750 per credit
5 University of New Hampshire, Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics

UNH’s Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics offers an online MBA program where students complete coursework online, at one of the school’s two campuses (in Durham and Manchester), or as a hybrid of both. Students enrolled in the part-time evening, and online MBA program can specialize in one of six fields, including hospitality management.

The weekday classes are held in the evenings, and the online courses are asynchronous so that students can continue to work full- or part-time while enrolled in the program. The program is structured into five eight-week terms with nine core courses and seven electives. The online MBA core curriculum integrates managerial and leadership courses, including classes such as managing yourself & leading others; accounting/financial reporting, budgeting, and analysis; leveraging technology for competitive advantage; managing operations; data-driven decisions; economics of competition; and creating winning strategies.

In the hospitality management program (only available part-time and online), students can gain the tools necessary for career advancement in the industry. They take courses in human resource management; hospitality operations and financial metrics; hospitality asset and financial management; and hospitality revenue management and pricing strategies. Students master these concepts through class discussions, cases, and projects. The program comprises 48 credits.

GMAT test scores are optional. Applicants may provide their GRE or GMAT scores to supplement their application or to be considered for department assistantships and scholarships.

Location: Durham and Manchester, New Hampshire
Accreditation: AACSB International; New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
Format: Online
Expected Time to Completion: 18 to 42 months
Estimated Tuition: NH residents ($800 per credit); out-of-state residents ($910 per credit)

Admission Requirements for Online MBA Programs in Hospitality Management

There are many application requirements for online MBA programs in hospitality management. Below are some common requirements derived from the programs above:

  • Completion of prerequisite courses
  • A competitive GPA from a bachelor’s degree in a related field
  • A GMAT score; GMAT scores may be waived under certain conditions
  • Personal statement of goals and objectives
  • Multiple letters of recommendation
  • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally-accredited college or university
  • Admission essays
  • Relevant work experience
  • The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) for international students


Accreditation means a particular school or program offers a curriculum that abides by established standards in a discipline. A third-party accreditation agency performs the accreditation process. Several accrediting organizations are common for hospitality programs.

The Association of Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International) helps to promote and improve programs in business administration and management, as well as related courses like hospitality, human resources, and operations. It recognizes the importance of faculty research and secure knowledge foundations for students enrolled in various business programs. Over 900 business schools across more than 50 countries are accredited by AACSB.

The Higher Learning Commission, one of six CHEA-approved regional entities, accredits several colleges and universities throughout the country, with a mission of serving the common good through the assurance and advancement of the quality of higher learning. The HLC was founded in 1895 to provide accreditation to degree-granting postsecondary educational institutions that rely on peer reviews and relationships with the federal government and other organizations.

Lastly, because most students are interested in pursuing more advanced and professional hospitality management titles after graduation, some schools follow standards recognized by state or national hospitality organizations such as the American Hotel and Lodging Association, the National Tourism Association, and the National Restaurant Organization.

Professors to Know from Schools with Online MBA Programs in Hospitality Management

  • E. Hachemi Aliouche, PhD University of New Hampshire

    Dr. E. Hachemi Aliouche is the director of the Rosenberg International Franchise Center and a chair in franchising, and an associate professor in hospitality management at the University of New Hampshire. He has experience in management, entrepreneurship, consulting, and investment. Before becoming a professor, Dr. Aliouche spent more than 12 years in senior-level management positions as a controller, chief financial officer in strategic planning, corporate finance officer, and business development professional. He worked for industry leaders, such as AT&T and Lucent Technologies. His entrepreneurial experience comes from his time as the co-founder of a successful startup company and assisting to launch other startups.

    He teaches or has taught courses such as hospitality finance & development; independent analysis; hospitality asset and financial management; and international franchising. Dr. Aliouche received his doctorate in economics, a master's in economics, and a bachelor's in electrical engineering at the University of New Hampshire. He also completed a mini-MBA in finance from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

  • Ming-Hsiang Chen, PhD Washington State University

    Dr. Chen is a professor of hospitality business management in the School of Hospitality Business Management at Washington State University’s College of Business. Before coming to WSU, Dr. Chen was a professor of finance at the National Chung Cheng University in Taiwan. His current teaching areas include hospitality operational analysis, revenue management, travel and tourism, and financial management. His research focuses on hospitality finance, tourism economics, and corporate philanthropy.

    Dr. Chen has over 65 publications in leading tourism/hospitality and operations journals, such as Tourism Management, Annals of Tourism Research, European Journal of Operational Research, and International Journal of Hospitality Management. He completed his PhD in economics and an MBA with concentrations in finance, production, and operations management from Kansas State University.

  • Mary Martin, PhD Fort Hays State University

    As a professor of marketing at FHSU, Dr. Martin teaches or has taught courses in social media marketing; database marketing; social media marketing content and analytics; marketing management (MBA); and marketing strategy. She co-founded a strategic consulting firm in Charlotte, North Carolina, which specialized in creating marketing plans, marketing research, organizational strategy, business plans, and e-business seminars. Before that, she was the director of marketing for an aircraft interior decorative coatings company, where she developed web-driven and traditional marketing strategies for the company. Her current research interests include e-business, the effects of advertising on kids, and innovative teaching strategies.

    Dr. Martin has published her research in the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, the Journal of Advertising, Psychology and Marketing, and the Journal of E-Business. She received her doctorate from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and her undergraduate degree in advertising from Kansas State University. She also completed her MBA at Fort Hays State University.

Farheen Gani
Farheen Gani

Farheen Gani is an expert in online MBA programs, having covered MBA programs in computer science, economics, healthcare management, and fraud and forensics, among others, since 2018. She writes about healthcare, technology, education, and marketing. Her work has appeared on websites such as Tech in Asia and Foundr, as well as top SaaS blogs such as Zapier and InVision. You can connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter (@FarheenGani).