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Hospitality and Tourism Management MS

Program overview

The hospitality and tourism management program prepares students to step into numerous mid-level hospitality and tourism management and government policy positions. The program is focused on hospitality business planning, branding, economic management, and development of quality processes, to deliver exceptional leadership within many service and corporate settings and at post-secondary academic institutions.


The program introduces major concepts associated with all aspects of hospitality, tourism, and business management, whether they are applied specifically to the hospitality-tourism industry or the wider service industry. Among the general concepts investigated are hospitality business development and marketing quality. Electives allow in depth study in specialized areas of hospitality manangement, such as resorts and attractions, travel and tourism, conventions and events, technology, and human resource development.

Students must complete a minimum of 30 semester credit hours. The curriculum is a combination of required core courses in hospitality and tourism management and elective courses chosen by the student to meet career interests and objectives. Students complete a graduate project or a comprehensive exam. A thesis option is available with approval. Course offerings generally are scheduled for evenings or via online learning to facilitate part-time students.

Core courses

Core courses explore essential hospitality and tourism business issues such as teamwork, strategic organizational change, financial and service performance metrics, development and marketing of resorts and attractions, and branding. Each course not only introduces the service philosophy, but also examines the real differences in hospitality-service management outcomes necessitated by the adoption of a new service paradigm.

Project/Capstone/Thesis options

Students must successfully complete a graduate project or comprehensive exam as a culminating experience allowing for demonstration of competencies in theory and applications 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.

Hospitality and tourism management, MS degree, typical course sequence

CourseSem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
HSPT-700 Research Methods 3
HSPT-702 Graduate Writing Strategies 3
SERQ-710 Evolving Contexts In Service 3
HSPT-730 Strategic Hospitality And Tourism Branding 3
HSPT-740 Economic Performance Analysis for Hospitality and Tourism 3
HSPT-750 Processes and Assessment of Hospitality and Tourism Industries 3
  Electives 9
  Graduate Project* 3
Total Semester Credit Hours 30

* Typically, students complete a capstone project as a culminating experience for the program. However, with department approval, students may complete a thesis or a comprehensive exam. For those who select the exam, students are required to also complete one additional 3 semester credit hour elective course. Students who complete a thesis take 6 semester credit hours of electives instead of 9.


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.

Admission requirements

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

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. 

Additional information

Part time study

The program may be completed on a full- or part-time basis. The length of time required to earn the degree varies according to the studentís undergraduate preparation and the number of graduate courses taken per semester.

Career Outcomes

Job Titles

Hotel General Manager, Convention Service Manager, Director of Food Services, Cash Operations Manager


Oversee finance, human resources, and information management; supervise food service operation; event planning

Recent Employers

Marriott, H.J. Heinz, College of St. Catherine

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