Top School in Houston for a Restaurant Management Degree

Sep 16, 2022

School and Ranking Information

There are about five schools within 25 miles of Houston, TX, for studying restaurant and culinary management, including both public and private for-profit institutions. Based on rankings, program offerings and graduation rates, the top three schools in the area are ranked as follows:

  • Winner: The University of Houston was ranked in the top 200 schools in the nation in 2022 by U.S. News & World Report. This university's Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management offers undergraduate and graduate programs for prospective culinary managers.
  • Runner-Up #1: Houston Community College (HCC) offers certificates and associate's degrees in hotel and restaurant management and has a higher graduation rate than the second runner-up.
  • Runner-Up #2: San Jacinto College (SJC) offers certificate and associate's degrees in hotel and restaurant management. It is also the furthest away from Houston, placing it in the second-runner-up slot.

School Comparison Chart

Category University of Houston Houston Community College San Jacinto College
Ranking Tied for 182nd among national universities in 2022* N/A N/A
Location Houston, TX Houston, TX Pasadena, TX (12.8 miles from Houston)
School Type 4-year, public 2-year, public 2-year, public
Undergraduate Tuition (2021-2022) $9,699 (in-state), $21,891 (out-of-state)** $2,040 (in-district), $4,344 (in-state), $5,460 (out-of-state)** $1,872 (in-district), $3,240 (in-state), $5,040 (out-of-state)**
Restaurant/Culinary Management Program Levels Offered Bachelor's and master's degrees Certificates; associate's degrees Certificates; associate's degrees
Restaurant/Culinary Management Certificates and Degrees Awarded (All Levels) in 2020-2021 290 (all hospitality programs)** 15** 7**
Most Popular Restaurant/Culinary Management Program in 2020-2021 Bachelor's in hotel/motel administration/management (230 awarded)** Associate's in hotel/motel administration/management (15 awarded)** Certificate in restaurant, culinary and catering management/manager (7 awarded)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal program time) 62% (for 2015 entering class)** 17% (for 2018 entering class)** 28% (for 2018 entering class)**
Noteworthy Ranked 22nd among schools granting undergraduate and graduate degrees to Hispanic students* Ranked 6th among colleges and universities for Hispanic student enrollment* Ranked 22nd among colleges and universities for enrolling Hispanic students*

Sources: *U.S. News & World Report, **NCES College Navigator, ***Hispanic Outlook.

Winner: University of Houston

  • An on-campus Hilton Hotel serves as the learning laboratory for students enrolled in hospitality programs, including culinary management
  • Joint Master of Science and Master of Business Administration degree offered by the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management
  • Students host 350 guests at an annual 'Gourmet Night'

Students seeking bachelor's degrees in culinary management can major in hotel and restaurant management at Hilton College at the University of Houston. In order to graduate, students complete 48 credits of general education core courses along with 51 credits of major courses. Additional requirements include nine credits in an area of specialization (these include restaurant and catering management), 12 credits of electives, 600 hours of work experience, and a 3-credit capstone course. Students pursuing a graduate degree have the option of completing a 36-credit-hour master's program with or without a thesis. A joint program with the university's college of business enables students to earn an MS/MBA in three years.

Runner-Up #1: Houston Community College

  • HCC has the largest adult education program in Texas
  • The restaurant management program prepares students for ServSafe certification

Houston Community College's 1-year certificate and 2-year Associate of Applied Science programs prepare students for entry-level positions in the restaurant management field. These programs have a strong focus on the front-line skills and knowledge necessary to be an effective manager. The 30-credit certificate program covers the fundamentals of restaurant management: safety and sanitation, food production, efficiency and controls, and purchasing. To obtain the 72-credit AAS, students take courses in these areas, as well as in general education, accounting, and finance over five semesters, including one summer session. Both programs include a cooperative education experience.

Runner-Up #2: San Jacinto College

  • SJC offers courses in a variety of time frames, including 16-, 12-, and 8-week sessions
  • Restaurant management programs take place on SJC's Central Campus in Pasadena, TX

San Jacinto College offers a 3-semester certificate of technology (42 credits) and a 2-year Associate of Applied Science degree in restaurant management (63 credits). The requirements are very similar to those of HCC: foundational courses in prep, purchasing, safety and sanitation, efficiency, and controls. In addition, the AAS degree program requires general education coursework and additional courses in math and accounting. There is a key difference, however, in the certificate programs offered by the two colleges. At SJC, the 42-credit certificate curriculum includes three electives, and students can choose from topics like international cuisine, baking and advanced pastries.

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