Affordable hospitality degrees will be essential to the student who is wanting to excel in the hospitality industry. The educational requirements for those wanting to enter into the field will require at the minimum a certification and some work experience. People that possess good customer service skills including dealing with difficult customers are ideal for the industry. Other personal attributes include professionalism, confidence, and an open and welcoming personality.

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Students often learn many skills and take courses in subjects such as event management, business management, food servicing etc. The courses taken ultimately depend on the student’s specific area of interest. Here at Best Hospitality Degrees, we are interested in giving you information that will give you the best bang for your buck. This article will provide an extensive resource guide of the 20 best affordable hospitality degree programs.

Ranking Methodology

In order for a school to be considered for this ranking, it has to be accredited and has to appear in at least one of the following major rankings:

  • Hotelier
  • Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research

From among the schools that met this standard, we selected the 20 with the least expensive out-of-state undergraduate tuition.  The programs are presented in order of tuition cost, from the most expensive to least expensive.  We consider all these schools to be a tremendous value for Hospitality degree students seeking a high quality, affordable degree program.


#20. George Washington University

Master’s of Science in Tourism Administration

George Washington

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George Washington University School of Business is pleased to offer a Master of Tourism Administration degree. The degree program is offered by George Washington University in partnership with The International Institute of Tourism. The program is certified by the United Nations World Tourism organization. With so many international tourism associations and organizations that have headquarters in the D.C. area, this location is an ideal area to gain practical experience and networking within the industry. The program has been around for over 35 years and offers some international for-credit courses such as “International Consulting Experiences and Olympics Games-Behind the Scenes. Website

State of School: Washington, D.C.
Tuition: $45,780

Major Rankings

  • Journal of Hospitality #64

George Washington University (GW, GWU, or George Washington) is a private university located in the United States’ capital, Washington, D.C.. Established in 1821, as The Columbian College in the District of Columbia but was later changed to The George Washington University in honor of George Washington, the first President of the United States in 1904.

#19. Cornell University

Bachelor’s of Science in Hotel Adminstration


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These specialized programs offer students a track towards teaching and performing research in the hospitality industry. Students develop a broad-based knowledge of hospitality management and learn research methodology. All programs whether bachelor, master or Ph.D are housed under the School of Hotel Administration. The bachelor degree is designed as a business-management curriculum that provides a solid foundation in basic business and management functions and then includes electives that incorporates students’ specific interests and concentrations. Cornell prides its curriculum on a balanced approach to both practical and theory based education .All students are required to take a practice credit requirement. Website

State of School: New York
Tuition: $43,413

Major Ranking:

  • Hotelier # 7
  • Journal of Hospitality #2

Cornell University has been accredited since 1921 and the School of Hotel Administration was founded in 1922. The school held the first collegiate program in hospitality management. The university is a private Ivy league research institution.

#18. Michigan State University

Bachelor’s of Science in Hospitality Business

MSU brick entrance sign on Kalamazoo Street.

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The School of Hospitality Business, established in 1927 at Michigan State University, offers Students  a hospitality business bachelor of arts degree and four graduate degree programs in the hospitality industry. All these programs are a part of the Eli Broad College of Business and require internships to complete the programs. The degrees prepare students to enter into positions such as casino manager, corporate staff positions, consulting and more. Website

State of School: Michigan
Tuition: Out of State: $32,580, In State: $12,622

Major Ranking:

  • Journal of Hospitality #94

Michigan State University is located in East Lansing, Michigan. Recognized as one of the U.S top public schools, the university was established in 1855. The institution offers admissions on a rolling basis and was known for being the first land-grant institution. The school motto is “Advancing Knowledge, Transforming Lives.”

#17. Penn State University

Bachelor’s of Science in Hospitality Management


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For over 75 years, Penn State has been a leader in providing education to hospitality industry students with a wide variety of undergraduate, graduate, and international programs in the area.  The institution offers study abroad programs to give students “real-world” experience. Students can expect to take courses such as management dietetics, which is a course that prepares students to understand the management dynamics of food services, or commercial food operations specifically. Website

State of School: Pennsylvania
Tuition: Out of State: $28,746, In State: $16,444

Major Ranking:

  • Hotelier #5
  • Journal of Hospitality #4

Founded in 1855, this public institution has a threefold mission dedicated to teaching, research, and public service. With a total of 24 campuses, 17,00 faculty and staff and 100,000 students, the university prides itself on teaching students the real measure of success in improving the lives of others.

#16. Purdue University

Bachelor’s of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management


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The Hospitality and Tourism management program at Purdue allows students to apply analytical and quantitative skills by analyzing and formulating business decisions. The School is housed under the College of Health and Human Sciences. Student services are also free of charge to all incoming students and alumni in effort to help secure employment upon completion of degree. Website

State of School: Indiana
Tuition: Out of State: $28,702, In State: $9,900

Major Ranking:

  • Journal of Hospitality #7

Purdue has four regional campuses and a main campus located in West Lafayette, Indiana. With such rich history and unique Purdue traditions, this institution was founded in 1865 and is home to the “Big Bass Drum” known as the world’s largest drum.

#15. University of Massachusetts

Bachelor’s of Science in Hospitality of Tourism Management


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The Hospitality and Tourism management program at the university has been historically regarded as one of the oldest hospitality programs in the world. The program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration and offers students a unique specification track including lodging management, tourism convention, event management, club management, and more. Website

State of School: Massachusetts
Tuition:  Out of State: $26,150, In State: $11,966

Major Ranking:

  • Journal of Hospitality #30

This university is a proud institution on the basis of tradition and producing students that are unconventional thinkers. The school, established in 1863,  has continued to earn national awards of excellence.

#14. Virginia Tech University

Bachelor’s of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management


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Virginia Tech’s Hospitality and Tourism Management programs concentrate on the applications of business concepts and strategies to hospitality and tourism management. Virginia Tech offers three graduate degrees at the Blacksburg, Pamplin, and Northern Virginia Campus.  These degrees include a Master of Science,Ph.D.  of Science, and a  Master of Business Administration. The Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management is one of the six departments in the Pamplin College of Business. It is a tier one recruiting school for many of the major hospitality corporations including Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, Sodexo and more.

State of School: Virginia
Tuition: Out of State: $25,915, In State: $10,923

Major Ranking:

  • Journal of Hospitality #6

Virginia Tech recently ranked 25th among national public universities in the U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges 2014.” The institution, which was founded in 1872,  takes pride in its measures of excellence.

#13. Washington State University

Bachelor’s of Science in Hospitality and Business Management


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Washington State University’s Hospitality Business Management program started in 1932. Students who study at School of Hospitality and Business management will be expected to complete a 1,000-hour industry requirement that must also meet an employer evaluation score of 80% or better.  Students will also learn to solve complex leadership problems,  evaluate a hospitality operation, and gain a deeper understanding of different business operations. Website

State of School: Washington
Tuition: Out of State: $25,382, In State: $12,300

Major Ranking:

  • Journal of Hospitality #11

With seven major departments at the institution, Washington State University is able to focus on its students by offering smaller classes and individualized attention. The Carson Center for Student success is a key factor in their work and the center’s four focuses include: academic advising, careers and involvement, international experience, and scholarships.

#12. Temple University

Bachelor’s of Science in Tourism and Hospitality Management


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Temple University has been quoted as the largest and most comprehensive school for tourism and hospitality management in the Philadelphia region. Temple is recognized for being the home of  the National Laboratory for Tourism & eCommerce, which “works with industry partners to help them achieve long-term success and sustainability” (NLTeC).  The school of tourism and hospitality management also has an internship program that requires all students to pursue at least two intensive internship experiences before graduation. Website

State of School: Pennsylvania
Tuition: Out of State: $23,422, In State: $13,596

Major Ranking:

  • Journal of Hospitality #24

Temple University was founded in 1844 by Dr. Russell Conwell. The university is intentional about the well being of its students and frequently implements new programming and curriculum to enhance overall student balance of life, work and school.

#11. Georgia State University

Bachelor’s of Science in Hospitality Administration


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Named in honor of the founder of the Days Inn Hotel Company, the Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality Administration, which  sits within the J. Mack Robinson College of Business, is the oldest and largest program of its kind in the state of Georgia. Their programs are committed to developing students for leadership roles within the hospitality industry.  Students can expect emphasis on hands-on experience in addition to their studies. Website

State of School: Georgia
Tuition: Out of State: $22,725, In State: $8,157

Major Ranking:

  • Hotelier #19

Founded in 1913, and home of the panthers and the pounce mascot, Georgia State University is a public research university located in downtown Atlanta, Georgia.    The Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality Administration was also ranked among the top 25 hospitality programs in the nation by The Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Education.

#10. University of Central Florida

Bachelor’s of Science in Hospitality Management


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Expertise is at your fingertips at the Rosen College of Hospitality Management. They offer three undergraduate,  three graduate, and two minor programs.  Each program is designed to  give students the professional business foundations to obtain a leading edge over the competition.  Their Event Management, Bachelor of Science program is  the first of its kind in the U.S. and offers a complete curriculum for event management education.  The graduate programs offer a thesis and non-thesis option. Website

State of School: Florida
Tuition: Out of State: $22,345, In State: $6,247

Major Ranking:

  • Journal of Hospitality #10

The University of Florida is a major institution, having been ranked as the second-largest in the U.S. at one point in time. The school offers 183 bachelor’s degrees and is in a prime location, Orlando Florida, for the hospitality industry.  The school is located within minutes of the world’s top-rated attractions, resorts, restaurants, and convention spaces.

#9. Florida State University

Bachelor’s of Science in Hospitality


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With nearly a 100% graduate placement rate, this school is idea for security of securing a position after graduation. The university prides itself on getting results and career preparation.  Dedman School of Hospitality prepares its students with the knowledge, experience, and the contacts that are necessary to have a successful hospitality management career.  In addition to the innovative faculty at Dedman, Students will also have internship, recruitment, and networking opportunities.  This school even has a unique Major in PGA Golf Management. Website

State of School: Florida
Tuition: Out of State: $21,570, In State: $6,402

Major Ranking:

  • Journal of Hospitality #33

Florida State University is a space-grant and sea-grant public research university located in Tallahassee, Florida.  FSU has more than 40,000 students who work and study with a diverse faculty that includes a Nobel Laureate, three active members of the National Academy of Sciences, two active members of the National Academy of Engineering, two active members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, two Pulitzer Prize winners, 11 active Guggenheim Fellowship recipients, and over 30 Fulbright Scholars.

#8. University of Nevada – Las Vegas

Bachelor’s of Science in Hotel Administration


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The William F. Harrarh College of Hotel Administration offers students multiple disciplines in the hospitality industry. With a focus on hotel management as a specialization, this institution is ideal for those seeking that specific degree.  According to UNLV’s Academic Impact, “The William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration is consistently ranked as one of the country’s top two college hospitality programs”.  Their Academic Impact also states that their hospitality faculty has written over 30 books that are used in the hospitality industry today. Website

State of School: Nevada
Tuition: Out of State: $20,615, In State: $6,705

Major Ranking:

  • Hotelier #9
  • Journal of Hospitality #3

Situated in area that has close to 150,000 rooms and growing, Las Vegas is considered a hospitality wonderland with it’s more than 36 million visitors per year.  The William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration partners it’s students with these organizations to provide not only an education, but also real life working experiences.   The University of Nevada-Las Vegas, also ranks number 11 for its graduate programs by the U.S. News and World Report.

#7. Kansas State University

Bachelor’s of Science in Hospitality Management and Dietetics


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Kansas State’s hospitality programs are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration (ACPHA). The programs place emphasis on integrating theory, experience and research. Kansas State offers a bachelor, master, and Doctor program in Hospitality Administration. Their programs include research opportunities in food service, food safety, lodging, event and meeting management, and dietetics education. Website

State of School: Kansas
Tuition: Out of State: $20,146, In State: $8,047

Major Ranking:

  • Journal of Hospitality #14

Kansas State Universities Department of Hospitality Management and Dietetics is one of the oldest departments in the College of Human Ecology, and was organized in 1922 as the Department of Institutional Economics.  The schools mission is to prepare their students to be leaders in the hospitality fields by “integrating theory, experience and research”.   Kansas State is the oldest public university and is located specifically in Manhattan, Kansas.

#6. Iowa State University

Bachelor’s of Science in Hospitality Management


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Students have access to learning labs, and unlimited scholarship opportunities all while learning essential principles of managing a variety of hospitality organizations. In addition, students also learn development expertise such as some accounting and finance, human resources, and marketing specific to the industry. CHS offers a four year program in Hospitality Management and four graduate programs that include a Hospitality Management Master of Science and a Hospitality Management Doctor of Philosophy. Website

State of School: Iowa
Tuition: Out of State: $19,838, In State: $7,726

Major Ranking:

  • Journal of Hospitality #15

Iowa State has 100 majors and 800 student clubs and organizations. The mission of CHS is ” To develop leaders in practice, education, and research for the food service and lodging industries”. Their programs are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration (ACPHA), the accrediting agency for hospitality education programs.

#5. East Carolina University

Bachelor’s of Science in Hospitality Leadership


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Housed under the School of Hospitality Leadership, the hospitality management program offers a wide range of opportunities including career opportunities as management trainees, events and conventions specialist while studying the industry. These programs include a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management with concentrations in Conventions and Special Events, Food and Beverage, and Lodging.  You can also obtain a Minor in Hospitality Management and a MBA with Hospitality Management Certificate.  Website

State of School: North Carolina
Tuition: Out of State: $19,683, In State: $5,869

Major Ranking:

  • Journal of Hospitality #67

The university motto that “Tomorrow starts here” is exemplified in its curriculum and dedication to its students.  The School of Hospitality Leadership was established in 1987 and is now the largest hospitality department of its kind in North Carolina and one of the largest in the Southeastern United States, with an enrollment of over 450 students.

#4.  Oklahoma State University

Bachelor’s of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Administration

architecture; campus; edmon low; library; sunrise; spring; hero

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The school of Hotel and Restaurant  is known as a program of distinction for 75 years. It prepares its students for careers in hospitality with teaching, laboratory practices, and supervised industry work experiences and internships. They also provide “hands on” learning to bridge between the classroom and professional practice in the field. USO offer a undergraduate and graduate programs with a variety of professional electives. Website

State of School: Oklahoma
Tuition: Out of State: $19,457, In State: $7,442

Major Ranking:

  • Journal of Hospitality #8

Founded in 1890 under the Morill Act, this university is an institution that is distinguished by a its strong research orientation, focused academic goals, and commitment to excellence.  Oklahoma State University was listed by the Princeton Review as one of 120 “Best Western Colleges” for 2011, and as one of 50 “Best Value Colleges – Public” for 2010.

#3. Florida International University

Bachelor’s of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management


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The Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Florida International University integrates on-line student resources into their curriculum. This makes it easier to manage and balance work life and school life for those non-traditional students. The institution offers hospitality scholarships and seeks students who are enthusiastic about taking a variety of focused courses to help them maximize their hospitality degree. Website

State of School: Florida
Tuition: Out of State: $18,816, In State: $6,417

Major Ranking:

  • Journal of Hospitality #25

Florida International University, located in Miami, Florida, is the city’s first and only public research institution that offers bachelor’s, masters and doctoral degrees. The school is home to various on-line courses across the country and has over 200,000 alumni, in which more than half live in and work in South Florida.

#2. University of Houston

Bachelor’s of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management


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Known as the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, the programs house under this department offer exceptional opportunities to students interested this industry. With a focus on teaching relevant and useful curriculum, the program ensures that its students are able to immediately apply what they have learned into the industry at any level of position. Interesting courses include hospitality technology, hotel marketing New York style, wine appreciation and more. Website

State of School: Texas
Tuition: Out of State: $16,518, In State: $8,094

Major Ranking:

  • Journal of Hospitality #16

The University of Houston is Texas’s third-largest university in the Houston university system. The school’s motto is “In Time.” It is a state research university that was established in 1927 and has over 3,000 staff. Located in an urban area, the university offers over 300 degree programs and has 12 academic colleges.

#1. Northern Arizona University

Bachelor’s of Science in Hotel & Restaurant Management


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The School of Hotel and Restaurant Management at Northern Arizona University is among one the top schools that holds the accreditation from the Commission for Programs in Hospitality Management. The program provides its students with preparation for a an industry that is constantly emerging. Students can expect hospitality career fairs, and various events throughout the school year to engage students in networking and expanding their opportunities to gain practical experience in the field. Website

State of School: Arizona
Tuition: $9,272

Major Ranking:

  • Journal of Hospitality #22

Northern Arizona University prides itself on taking your investment in higher education seriously as its tuition is one of the lowest in the nation. It is a public university located in Flagstaff, Arizona with a motto of “The Difference that Matters.” Established in 1899, this university located in a small town offers its Flagstaff undergraduate students the same tuition amount for all four years.


As society evolves, the hospitality industry will expand in creative ways to provide customers with exceptional experience. Content marketing, social media, and quick updates on the services provided nowadays will increase industry lead innovation. Therefore, it will be more important than ever, in the upcoming years, for individuals interested in the hospitality management industry to possess the proper education necessary to succeed. Take advantage of the affordable hospitality degrees mentioned above and get started today!

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