The tourism and hospitality industry is a gigantic enterprise in the United States, and now is a great time to consider an online tourism and hospitality degree.

Think about the number of times in your life that you've eaten in a restaurant, stayed at a hotel, visited a famous attraction, gone to a wine tasting… It's easy to see just how much of a need there is for highly trained restaurant owners, hotel managers, amusement park operators, event planners, etc! There are myriad economical options for students who want to obtain a bachelor's degree in Tourism and Hospitality, including a wealth of online programs.

Check out our list below of the top 10 cheap online programs for Tourism and Hospitality majors. In determining the list, we first researched all the schools that offer B.S. or B.A. degrees in tourism, hospitality, or a related field, and then eliminated all but those that offer their programs through distance education. Of the remaining schools, the 10 with the cheapest tuition rates are listed below, from the cheapest (Columbia Southern) to the slightly more expensive (National American).

Cheap Online Tourism and Hospitality Degree Program Ranking

1. Columbia Southern University

Online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Hospitality & Tourism

Tuition: $4,895/yr

Approved by the Distance Education and Training Council, Columbia Southern University offers an affordable hospitality and tourism degree online.

Image Source

With yearly tuition clocking in at less than $5,000, CSU's Bachelor's in Business Administration, Hospitality Management does not merely seem like a deal; it actually is! Not only does this BSBA program prepare its students for a wide variety of careers within the tourism industry – lodging, food service, tourism – but its curriculum is geared toward providing a holistic set of skills in the form of minors, including accounting, marketing ethics, business law and more. Whether you are just embarking on a career in the tourism industry or a professional looking to enhance your credentials, CSU has a comprehensive online tourism and hospitality degree program for you. All CSU programs are approved by the Distance Education and Training Council, a nationally recognized accreditation agency.

2. American Public University

Online Bachelor of Arts in Hospitality Management

Tuition: $6,400/yr

American Public University offers a cheap hospitality and tourism degree online for students who don't have the time to attend in person classes.

In the gargantuan $690 billion restaurant industry, 8 out of 10 restaurant owners start their career at entry-level positions. Students completing a B.A. in Hospitality Management from ACBSP-accredited APU typically have an interest in owning a restaurant or managing a lodging/vacation destination, a career goal well served by the program's intensive curriculum offering four concentrations: food service, lodging, event planning, and tourism. Not only are online tourism and hospitality degree graduates equipped with practical, logistical business management skills via core credits such as food sanitation and accounting, but they also gain a deep understanding of the global concepts in hospitality marketing, law, revenue management, and strategic planning. Financing options through grants, scholarships, federal and private loans, and institutional financing plans are available to mitigate the already affordable tuition.

3. Granite State College

Service and Hospitality Management (B.S.) Online

Tuition: $7,065/yr (In-state) $7,305/yr (Out-of-state)

Granite State University offers a flexible and affordable online hospitality degree accessible from any computer with access to a WiFi network or internet.

Image Source

If you're a working professional who is looking to enhance your business and leadership skills in hospitality management through a program that provides maximum flexibility, then a B.S. in Service and Hospitality Management from GSC may be your ticket to success. Ranked the #1 least expensive college in New England, the school is accredited by the New England Association of Colleges and is affiliated with the university system of NH. Core curriculum courses emphasize interpersonal communication, public relations, marketing, and project management, delivered via flexible evening, online, hybrid, and weekend class platforms. The school grants financial aid based on a calculation of "financial need" through federal and state grants, scholarships, part-time employment, waivers and educational loans.

4. Troy University

Hospitality, Sport, and Tourism Management Major Online

Tuition: $7,392/yr

Troy University has a online tourism degree that helps students work towards a career in hotels, restaurants, entertainment channels, and so on.

Image Source

Troy University's B.S in Hospitality, Sports and Tourism Management (HSTM) attributes its success to an exceptional fundamental curriculum complemented by plenty of exposure to professionals in the field and relevant internships. The online tourism and hospitality undergraduate program offers three undergrad concentrations: Hospitality Management, for careers in hotels, restaurants, entertainment channels; COSMA-accredited Sports Management, for careers in professional sport teams or retail management, facilities direction, sports compliance; and Tourism Management. The strong sports management concentration has led to alumni positions at several prestigious intercollegiate teams as well as at YMCAs and fitness departments all over the country.

5. Fort Hays State University

Bachelor of Science in Tourism and Hospitality Management Online

Tuition: $4,358/yr (In-state) $12,821/yr (Out-of-state)

Work towards a hospitality and tourism degree online at Fort Hays University. All classes are taught online at affordable rates.

Image Source

Catering to a rapidly growing interest in the $1.3-trillion tourism industry, FHSU offers a B.S. in Tourism and Hospitality Management with focus on a business-centered core curriculum supplemented by specialty oriented majors. Concentrations are offered in Hospitality Operations, Event Management, and an uncommon Wellness Facilities Operations. FHSU is rapidly expanding its program with international affiliations as well as by partnering with community colleges in order to strengthen its already stellar placement rate of 95% at graduation. The school boasts a robust financial aid program with opportunities for assistance ranging from scholarships to grants to military education benefits.

6. University of South Alabama

USA Bachelor of Science Hospitality and Tourism Management Online

Tuition: $6,948/yr (In-state) $13,596/yr (Out-of-state)

The University of South Alabama offers a online hospitality degree for less than $6,000 a year (in-state).

Image Source

Located on the shores of Alabama's tourism industry on its Gulf coast, USA's B.S. in Hospitality and Tourism Management combines the traditional approach of imparting solid theoretical knowledge with experiential learning internships in the region and internationally. The online tourism and hospitality bachelor's degree program stands out from many because of its spotlight on sustainable ecotourism principles and practices, an important consideration for today's environmentally aware tourist. Several levels of financial aid are available to students based on test scores, GPA, and study area, with the largest of scholarships capable of covering the entire tuition at its maximum.

7. North Carolina Central University

Online Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree in Hospitality and Tourism Administration

Tuition: $5,526/yr (In-state) $16,099/yr (Out-of-state)

North Carolina Central University is a premium college that offers an affordable online tourism degree for students pursuing a career in hotels, flights, tourism, etc.

Image Source

The 4-year B.S. degree in Hospitality and Tourism Administration at NCCU is strongly focused on business principles in the first two years, followed by a more intensive specialty concentration during the final semesters. The accredited online tourism and hospitality degree curriculum covers everything from fitness and health courses to labor cost control and hospitality ethics, ensuring a well-rounded academic foundation bolstered by practical managerial skills. It's not surprising that the school boasts a job placement rate of 97-100% every year! NCCU's AACSB-accredited business school also offers several notable scholarships to its students to make an already affordable education even easier to acquire.

8. San Francisco State University

Online Bachelor of Science Degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management Program

Tuition: $6,450/yr (In-state) $17,610/yr (Out-of-state)

Being a top-notch school, San Francisco State University has an reliable hospitality and tourism degree online program for students on a budget.

Image Source

Long lauded as an acclaimed school with a highly diverse student population, SFSU's Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management offers an undergrad B.S. that is wide in scope and deep in understanding. The affordable online tourism and hospitality degree program consists of core courses with a solid business base interspersed with emphasis areas in interesting specializations such as Hotel Convention Service, California's Wine Culture, and Destination Resorts. The school offers financial aid based on "financial need" in the form of scholarships, grants (Pell Grant), work-study programs and parent loans. The school also scores highly on student satisfaction in terms of its location and local leisure opportunities with only a 9% transfer-out rate. If top-notch, flexible education in the bay area is your priority, SFSU merits serious consideration.

9. California State University – East Bay

B.S. in Hospitality and Tourism Online

Tuition: $6,550/yr (In-state) $17,710/yr (Out-of-state)

Ranked as one of the Top 25 Online Schools in the country, Cal State – East Bay has a superb and affordable hospitality and tourism degree (bachelors) online that's accessible from any computer.

Image Source

The Guide to Online Schools ranked Cal State East Bay as one of top 25 online schools in the country. Combine that with an outstanding online business school ranking and an "excellent value" by The Best Colleges and you have a program that is popular among freshmen and professionals alike. A B.S. in Hospitality and Tourism from CSUEB promises a flexible, intensive program with excellent career prospects both nationally and abroad. Affordable online tourism and hospitality degree courses range from an esoteric Philosophy of Leisure to a grounded Fiscal Leadership, and everything in between. Electives in unconventional areas of wellness, global tourism, and outdoor living along with a sizeable financial aid package of $100 million via grants and scholarships rounds out an affordable education from one of the prime schools in the area.

10. National American University

Business Administration – Tourism and Hospitality Management – Bachelor of Science Degree Online

Tuition: $12,500/yr (on average)

Pursuing a career in restaurants, travel, etc. is made simple at the National American University because it offers a hospitality and tourism degree online program at affordable rates.

Image Source

Academic flexibility, professor qualification, and tuition assistance are the pivotal points on which students agree that NAU excels. The B.S. Tourism and Hospitality Management is accredited by the International Academy for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE), an assurance of quality, reputation, and best practices in business education. The tuition, highest on this list but low among private universities, is further mitigated by multiple financial aid options in the form of grants, scholarships, work study, and low-interest loan programs funded federally, privately, and at the state level. Another plus for professional students is that they can earn up to 50% of credit hours through non-traditional methods, including portfolio credit/work experience, military training, and evaluative corporate training certificates. The tourism industry is a competitive $1.5 trillion enterprise; are you prepared to make your mark on it by earning a cheap online tourism and hospitality degree?

See also: Top 10 Cheap Online Sports Management Degree Programs (Bachelor's) 2019 and Tourism and Hospitality Scholarships.


College Navigator – Facts at a Glance
Select USA

About the Author:

Iris Stone got her start in the industry when she began working as a freelance writer and researcher in 2011. Her freelance business soon took off and she now owns and operates a writing and editing firm that works with clients all across the country. Despite the time it takes to run a business she still does much of the writing herself, and her work has included a variety of content related to education policy, colleges and universities, academic programs, and graduates' careers. Check out her Google+ Profile.