The 5 Best Associate’s in Hospitality Management Online

Updated July 30, 2021 | Staff

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the hospitality industry is projected to grow faster than average in coming years, adding both wage and salary employment opportunities across the country. Although a college degree is not required for entry-level positions in this field, an online associate’s degree in hospitality management can give workers a competitive edge when attempting to secure advanced positions as a hotel, casino, and restaurant managers. Such a degree also paves the way to further study in bachelor’s degree programs in hospitality.

For more general information regarding distance learning, visit our ranking for the top online colleges to learn more.

Not only do professionals in the Hospitality Management field need fundamental business knowledge, but they also need a knowledge base of the various sectors of the hospitality industry such as hotel & lodging, restaurant, and tourism. And because this industry is service-based, practitioners of this field also need sound interpersonal skills in order to manage teams or customer service issues. Thus, many programs in hospitality offer comprehensive programs that blend business, management, hospitality, and service-based coursework. In this ranking, we explore the top 5 online Associates degrees in Hospitality Management.

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Rating and Ranking Methodology
Tuition Points:

  • Under $25,000—1 point
  • Under $20,000—2 points
  • Under $15,000—3 points
  • Under $10,000—4 points
  • Under $7,500—5 points

Customization Options

  • Format Customizations (e.g. Hybrid/Online, Full-time/Part-Time, Accelerated, Degree Completion, etc.)—1 Point Per Customization Option
  • Content Customizations (e.g. Minors, Concentrations, Specializations, etc.)—1 Point Per Customization Option (5-point cap)

Wow Factor

  • 1 point awarded for each unique feature or program that “wowed” us

Ranking the Top Associate’s in Hospitality Management Degrees Online

To compile this ranking, our editors began with an initial pool of over 35 online Associate’s Degrees in Hospitality Management programs offered by colleges across the US. We then narrowed the pool to include only those schools that were below $25,000 (out-of-state) tuition per year. Finally, we applied the rating and ranking methodology above, and the result was the ranking you see below of the top 5 online programs for an Associate's degree in Hospitality Management. We used affordability to break any ties, listing the more affordable program higher in the ranking.

#1 Genesee Community College

Online Associate of Applied Science in Tourism and Hospitality Management

Website | Points: 9

Genesee Community College offers a unique take on their hospitality program, which results in an online Associate of Applied Science in Tourism and Hospitality Management degree. After completing general education requirements, students will get a real-world, hands-on experience through the Event Planning Course, where students plan a real event for over 1,500 people. In addition, students can participate in a travel club that allows opportunities for students to plan trips to gain planning experience. GCC also has a partnership with Walt Disney World Resorts, which provides internship opportunities for students enrolled in this program. Lastly, students will receive AAA Apollo Training, a truly unique benefit, which will enable students to begin careers with rental car agencies, airlines, or travel agencies.

Out-of-State Tuition: $5,180

#2 Delgado Community College

Online Associate of Applied Science in Hospitality Management

Website | Points: 9

Though the division of Business and Technology, Delgado Community College offers an online Associate of Applied Science in Hospitality Management. The curriculum provides a thorough analysis of the material by combining rigorous academic online instruction with real-world applications. Within the program are 6 concentrations including Restaurant Management, Hotel and Lodging Management, Tourism Management, Beverage Management, Meeting and Event Management, and Catering Management. This degree could be best suited for the student who is already clear about what hospitality path he or she desires to take. After taking general education requirements, students will take classes exploring the basic fundamentals of hospitality such as Introduction to Hospitality Industry, Hospitality Law, and Hospitality Marketing. Next, students will engage in specified courses related to their desired concentration.

Out-of-State Tuition: $8,368

#3 American Public University

Online Associate’s Degree in Hospitality Management

Website | Points: 8

American Public University offers a completely online associates degree in hospitality management. Students in this program enjoy flexibility and relevant curriculum designed and taught by industry experts. The curriculum primarily focuses on food service but is broad enough that individuals who want to enter a different hospitality subfield can still find use in it, especially if they are using this program as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Topics studied in this associate degree in hospitality program include food safety, hospitality operation processes, and marketing. A concentration in Restaurant Operations is available.

Out-of-State Tuition: $6,880

#4 Central Texas College

Applied Science Associate’s degree in Hospitality Management

Website | Points: 7

Central Texas College offers an online Applied Science Associate’s degree in Hospitality Management with 2 available specializations: Food & Beverage Management and Hotel Management. This degree path might be best suited for students who desire careers in the restaurant and/or hotel facets of the hospitality industry. Sample courses in the Food & Beverage concentration include Principles of Food & Beverage Operations, Beverage Management, and Dining Room Service. Coursework for the Hotel Management concentration include Guest Room Management, Front Office Procedures, and Sanitation & Safety. In either case, both programs are 60-credit hours and culminate to a final project and an internship for a real-world application of the curriculum theory.

Out-of-State Tuition: $7,050

#5 Saint Louis Community College

Online Associate of Applied Science in Hospitality Management

Website | Points: 7

Saint Louis Community College offers a 65-credit hour Associate of Applied Science online degree in Hospitality Management. Fundamental curriculum will focus on the main facets of hospitality including travel & tourism, hotel, restaurant, and event planning. More specifically, students can expect to take required major courses like Procurement in the Hospitality Industry, Bar & Beverage Management, Foodservice Management Lab, and Supervision & Leadership in the Hospitality Industry.

Out-of-State Tuition: $6,435


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