5 Universities Offering Free Hospitality Management Education Online
See our list of the top free online hospitality and service management courses. Learn about what courses are available, what topics they cover and whether you can use them to get college credit.
Online Hospitality and Service Management Courses for Credit
A number of courses in general, business or hospitality management are available online for students who want to enter the hospitality or service management industry. However, these courses generally don't provide a path to credit. Students looking for options that do prepare them to earn alternative forms of credit might consider courses that charge a fee in exchange for access to online resources.
Education Portal offers this type of learning via its short, engaging online video lessons and corresponding self-assessment quizzes. Students also have access to free transcripts for the video lessons. These resources can prepare students to earn real college credit. Students can get in-depth knowledge of managerial roles and the business industry through Education Portal's Business 101: Principles of Management course, which offers the following topics and much more:
- Management Basics - Study top, low-level and middle managers' roles and find out about the four functions of management.
- Organizing in Business Management - Topics include organizational design, mechanistic business structures, authority approaches and traditional and contemporary designs.
- Leading in Organizations - Examine the differences between leadership and management and how the two work together. Get details on different leadership styles.
- Strategic Management and Managerial Decision Making - Subjects covered here include how the decision making process works in an organization and what factors impact a manager's ability to make decisions.
- International Management and Contemporary Issues - Find out how management works in a global business environment and learn how to manage a diverse workforce.
Free Online Non-Credited Hospitality and Service Management Courses
The free courses below might include lectures, readings and exams. Students taking these classes should note that no grading is offered, classes are taken at the student's own pace and academic credit is not awarded for completion of courses.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Advanced Managerial Communication
- Management of Services: Concepts, Design and Delivery
- Management of Supply Networks for Products and Services
MIT offers several free graduate-level courses, which are related to service management and were originally offered in the MIT Sloan School of Management. All of the non-credit courses include lectures, homework assignments and recommended readings; some of the readings are included on the site, but others are in textbooks that students may voluntarily purchase separately. All the course materials can be viewed on the site or downloaded in a .ZIP file.
Students in the Advanced Managerial Communication course learn how to develop the interpersonal skills of successful managers, including decision-making and working on teams. The Management of Services: Concepts, Design and Delivery course focuses on management of hospitality and service organizations. The assignments highlight case studies that include McDonald's, Southwest Airlines and Amazon.
The course in Management of Supply Networks for Products and Services teaches students about such topics as service encounters and guarantees, call centers, customer retention and customer satisfaction. Students are asked to analyze and write about service organizations such as Ritz Carlton and Merrill Lynch.
Stanford University offers free video lecture series through its Entrepreneurship Corner. The lectures have no credit value and don't include homework assignments, readings or exams. The series can be downloaded as a video file or viewed on the website.
The video series, High Tech, High Touch was presented by the creator of JetBlue Airways, David Neeleman. As the founder of several hospitality and service organizations, Neeleman discusses organizational culture and values, the customer experience and execution of strategy. What Great Leaders Do is a lecture series from Bob Sutton, a professor at Stanford, who uncovers important leadership skills, such as the hallmarks of great bosses, power and accepting defeat. This series can also be downloaded as an audio file.
University of California - Irvine
Students taking the free Introduction to Spa and Hospitality Operations course from UC - Irvine learn how to run a hospitality service by studying such topics as spa operations, generating revenue and employee compensation. Each lesson includes chapters with reading content, an audio lesson summary and a homework assignment. The class forum for discussion is not included and no credit is awarded for completion of the course.
University of Southern Queensland
The free course, Introduction to Tourism, at University of Southern Queensland takes students on a tour of the industry with content that highlights tourism history, segmentation, economic issues, environmental sustainability and the future of the industry. Each module includes key learning concepts, a keyword list, as well as assessments and past exams that students can complete.