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Online Hotel Management Undergraduate Degree Programs

Read about associate's and bachelor's degree programs in hotel management that may be completed partially through online study, as well as certificate programs. Find out what you'd learn in these programs, and explore some common course topics. Review the job outlook and salary potential for managers in the hospitality industry.

What Undergraduate Degrees are Available in Hotel Management?

You can earn an associate's or bachelor's degree in hotel management. Degrees are also sometimes called hospitality management, although some hospitality management programs cover a variety of hospitality industries, including tourism, casino administration and restaurant management.

The primary difference between an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree is the length and depth of study. An associate's degree consists of general education courses, as well as some specialized courses in hotel management, while a bachelor's degree offers the opportunity for more advanced study in hotel management. Associate's degrees can often be completed as part of a transfer program that allows students to apply earned credits towards a bachelor's degree.

Degree Options Associate's or bachelor's degree in hotel management or hospitality management
Prerequisites High school diploma or GED for associate's or bachelor's; ACT or SAT scores, letters of recommendation and personal essay for bachelor's
Online Availability Associate's online degree programs may require some on-campus classes; 100% online bachelor's degree programs are available
Skills Learned General business skills, essential skills for running a hospitality business
Common Courses Conference and meeting management, hospitality sales and marketing, advanced hotel management, leadership and quality assurance, training and development in hospitality
Median Salary (2018) $53,390 (for all lodging managers

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What are the Educational Prerequisites?

You'll have to have at least a high school diploma or GED to be considered for admission to either degree. For bachelor's degree, you may also need to submit ACT or SAT scores, letters of recommendation and a personal essay.

Can I Earn this Degree Online?

Yes, you can earn associate's degrees and bachelor's degrees in hotel management online. However, associate's degrees that are available entirely online are rare and may require you to attend some classes on-campus. Bachelor's programs offered entirely online are more common, as are online certificate programs. Associate's programs will generally take 1-2 years to complete. Bachelor's degrees will take 3-4 years to complete and may require a final exam or capstone project.

What Will I Learn?

You'll learn the essential skills of running a hospitality business, including budgeting, targeted hiring, customer service, special program management and employee training. Additionally, you'll learn general business skills like accounting, human resources management, sales, marketing and risk management. Many programs focus on personal professional development as well, training you in skills such as leadership, decision making and management. You may also learn about industry-standard technologies, like customer relationship management programs, accounting software and human resources applications.

What Classes Will I Take?

Coursework is mostly didactic, although most programs also require internships to be completed as part of the curriculum. Here are some classes common to undergraduate degrees in hotel management:

  • Hospitality sales and marketing
  • Advanced hotel management
  • Conference and meeting management
  • Training and development in hospitality
  • Leadership and quality assurance

What is the Job Outlook?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted an average growth in employment for lodging managers between 2016 and 2026 (www.bls.gov). Growth in this profession could be limited due to a smaller number of available management positions as hotels streamline operations and reduce staff. The median annual salary for lodging managers in 2018 was $53,390. Salaries varied in the same year according to industry; those working in the office administrative services industry earned a mean salary of $77,980, while managers working in RV (Recreational Vehicle) parks and recreational sites earned a mean salary of $52,030 a year.