Hospitality & Tourism Management
MS in Hospitality & Tourism Management

Graduates of the MS program in hospitality-tourism management are well prepared to step into numerous mid-level service management and training director positions. The program is focused on service and innovation, as well as leadership functions within many service and corporate settings and at post-secondary academic institutions.

The hospitality-tourism management program may be taken on a full- or part-time basis. The length of time required to earn a degree varies according to the student's undergraduate preparation and the number of graduate courses taken per quarter. To earn the MS degree, all students must take a minimum of 48 quarter credit hours, 36 of which must be registered through RIT. For full-time students, the program requires a minimum of four quarters of study at the graduate level. Part-time students generally will require seven or eight quarters of study at the graduate level.

The curriculum is a combination of a required core in service management plus concentration courses. It also contains elective courses appropriate for the candidate's background and interests, and either a research thesis or a graduate research project. Course offerings generally are scheduled for evenings or weekends, and also are available online to facilitate part-time students.


The curriculum for the MS in hospitality-tourism management introduces the major concepts associated with all aspects of service management, whether they are applied specifically to the hospitality-tourism industry or the wider service industry. This commonality becomes even more evident when the nature of the concepts is depicted. Among the general concepts investigated are service strategy formulation and service delivery alignment (understanding and co-creating customer value, innovation and creativity, service leadership, service design implementation, and metrics development), customer-focused research (understanding what customers value, building service environments, and change in service organizations), and human resource issues and capital development (human capital strategies and metrics for evaluation).

Elective courses provide students with an opportunity to individualize their graduate program in line with their career and professional interests. With the approval of the department chair, students are allowed to take a selection of elective courses from outside the hospitality and tourism management program. Courses may be taken from the service leadership and innovation program, the human resource development program and the E. Philip Saunders College of Business. Students are cautioned to observe course prerequisites in their selections.

Of the 6 semester credit hours of electives, students are relatively free to select courses that they feel best meet their needs. All elective courses must be graduate-level. If previous course work exists, students may request a transfer of credits. A limited number of credit hours may be taken as independent study or practicum courses.

Students must successfully complete a graduate project or comprehensive exam as a culminating experience allowing for demonstration of competencies for theory and application material for the discipline. Students work with the program adviser and/or program faculty to determine a topic for the graduate project and must arrange a faculty mentor for the project. The comprehensive exam option is open to all students. Students may request the thesis option, but must be approved and have secured a faculty mentor.

To be considered for admission to the MS program in hospitality-tourism management, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution,
  • Submit official transcripts (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work,
  • Have a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Foundation course work with a GPA of 3.0 or higher (if required),
  • Submit two professional recommendations,
  • Submit a current resume, and
  • Complete a graduate application.
  • International applicants whose native language is not English must submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). A minimum score of 80 (Internet-based) is required. International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores will be accepted in place of the TOEFL. A minimum score of 6.5 is required. All international students will take the Michigan Test of English Proficiency upon arrival. A prescribed program in English and a reduced program course load may be required.

After a review by the program chair, applicants whose prior undergraduate work has been in areas other than hospitality-tourism may be required to complete additional courses. Students may choose elective courses with the approval of the program.