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The top hospitality schools in the world 2018

Posted by Andrea Aguilar on Oct 19, 2018 4:00:00 PM
Andrea Aguilar

There are thousands of universities across the world, many with outstanding reputations. However, not all schools are made equal. There are some schools like Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, or Stanford that people dream of attending. Yet, these schools would not be the ideal place to attend if you are someone who is interested in studying hospitality management.

If you think you’ve got what it takes for this industry keep reading!


Choosing to study hospitality management doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to attend one of the most prestigious to gain a solid education. You should choose whatever school works for you. However, if you are looking for a school that is recognized for its reputation academically and professionally, then the schools selected by QS World University Rankings should be highly considered.

We’ve cracked open the books and done some study to highlight the top 20 universities to study hospitality management at the undergraduate level for 2018 in each region of the world (see the full list here). Not surprisingly, both the USA and Europe go head to head with the most reputable universities to choose from.

Disclaimer: Antarctica and Africa do not currently have any universities that rank for hospitality management. Moreover, these are only a few highlights, visit the website for detailed info.

North America

  1. University of Nevada - Las Vegas
  • Close to the Las Vegas strip.
  • Recruitment from major hospitality brands with a high employment rate after graduation.
  • Membership to an elite alumni group.
  1. Cornell - New York
  • World-class faculty and industry experts.
  • Management professionals from leading brands attend their programs.
  • Different types of programs offered to match the needs of hotel executives.
  1. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • Students required to take on field studies/internships.
  • 94% placement rate after graduation.
  • Networking opportunities, teaching student’s professionalism.
  1. Pennsylvania State University
  • Study abroad opportunities.
  • Opportunity for gaming and casino management.
  • Onsite cafe for students to work and test their hospitality management skills for themed events.
  1. Purdue University - Indiana
  • The School provides research to corporations, communities, and organizations, worldwide.
  • Two foodservice labs with a full kitchen where students learn hospitality systems and processes.
  • Active Career center that helps students gain work during school and after graduation.
  1. Texas A&M University
  • Under the category of recreation, park, and tourism sciences.
  • Certificate only offered.
  • Focus on sustainability and cultural tolerance.
  1. University of Waterloo - Canada
  • Mentored by leading experts.
  • A huge network of employers.
  • Earn while you learn program - make money while applying theories to practice.
  1. Michigan State University
  • Two paid internships are required.
  • Taught by well-known innovative faculty members.
  • Includes visits from leaders in the industry.

Latin America

This region of the world only had one that made the list and it wasn’t currently in the top 20.

  1. Universidad Externado de Colombia
  • Simulation of real operations and administrative, tourist and hotel management.
  • Emphasis on sustainable development.
  • Option to create a business plan and have the possibility to start your own business.


  1. Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne - Switzerland
  • Reputable university.
  • Restaurant on site to learn the art of fine dining.
  • Many students go on to start their own businesses.
  1. University of Surrey - United Kingdom
  • Partnerships with leaders within the Hospitality, Tourism, and Events sectors.
  • Great track record of employability in students after graduation.
  • Restaurant on site for student training.
  1. Glion Institute of Higher Education - Switzerland
  • Visits from leading brands and industry experts.
  • Exciting internships with prestigious companies.
  • Number one in employer reputation.
  1. Les Roches Global Hospitality Education - Switzerland
  • Three campuses in different locations.
  • Nurturers entrepreneurial talent.
  • Focus on experiential learning.
  1. Swiss Hotel Management School - Switzerland
  • Focuses on “learning by doing.”
  • Paid internships.
  • Hosts and exclusive recruitment forum.
  1. Bournemouth University - United Kingdom
  • Ability to shape your curriculum.
  • Work placement in year three either in the UK or abroad.
  • High employability after graduation.
  1. Hotel and Tourism Management Institute - Switzerland
  • International brands come on campus to recruit new talent.
  • Connections to some of the best hospitality companies worldwide.
  • Highly prides themselves on corporate social responsibility to their students, stakeholders, and the local community.
  1. International Management Institute - Switzerland
  • Student employability is their top priority.
  • Small classes and personal coaching.
  • Sustainability and fresh food focused.
  1. Oxford Brookes University - United Kingdom
  • Bacchus mentoring program - be mentored by someone in the industry.
  • Hosts a prestigious awards gala honoring outstanding alumni with industry leaders in attendance.
  • Challenges students by offering experiential learning methods.


  1. The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
  • Student-operated restaurant.
  • Vinoteca lab - for wine appreciation, food and wine pairing, creative mixology and coffee art.
  • Field trips for first-hand experience of hotel operations, tourist attractions, holiday cruises, theme parks, and conferences.


  1. Griffith University - Australia
  • Access to internships with the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation, the organizing body of GC2018, and its key stakeholders.
  • Guest speakers and industry contact in Queensland.
  • Experience working for a real company in destinations around the world.
  1. The University of Queensland - Australia
  • Final year, industry placement required.
  • Academics that challenge your thinking.
  • The only university to be recognized by the United Nations World Tourism Organization.

Almost every University on this list offers similar benefits to studying at their school. With so many options to choose from, the next step would be to narrow down your search and find alumni from your preferred schools. You will then be able to ask questions to help you choose the school that is right for you. Good luck in your search, we all look forward to welcoming you to this amazing industry!


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Did you know that Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Cornell's Statler Hotel all use Typsy?

Join these leaders in education, sign up to Typsy today and get the first 10-days free!


Andrea_Aguiller_bio_pic_2018 Andrea Aguilar earned her master’s degree in International Hospitality, Event, and Tourism Management from Oxford Brookes University. She has since left to start her own hospitality business called Preshift Hospitality that focuses on employee engagement in the hospitality industry.


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Topics: Hospitality career tips, Schools