RIT’s BS in hospitality and tourism management prepares you to become an innovative professional with a deep understanding of hospitality, business, technology, and service in order to deliver world-class experiences.
Undergraduate business programs in Western New York; 67th overall nationally. U.S. News & World Report, 2021
Overview for Hospitality and Tourism Management BS
Why Study Hospitality and Tourism Management at RIT
Industry Exposure and Connections: Travel to multiple industry conferences, trade shows, and events. Network with top executives and stay abreast of industry trends.
Global Hospitality Experience: Study for a semester or more at RIT Croatia, one of RIT’s global campuses, one of the most prominent tourist destinations in the Mediterranean Sea.
Engage with Faculty: Learn in small classrooms from our faculty experts who infuse their industry experience and the latest research into their courses.
Make Alumni Connections: Access our vast network of successful alumni, who work in a range of exciting hospitality career fields.
Career Experience: Gain hands-on career experience through cooperative education and internships.
The hospitality and tourism degree provides an in-depth understanding of the hospitality and tourism industry and prepares you to enter any segment of the industry, including sports and entertainment management, hospitality real estate, beverage management, hotel/resort management, travel management, food marketing and distribution, cruise line operations, resorts and spas, event management, and airline catering. You will also find success in many other industries where delivering top innovative services and experiences is a priority.
Excellence in Hospitality and Tourism Management
Designing and delivering exceptional customer experiences requires innovative professionals with a deep understanding of business, technology, and service. Our hospitality management program is global in scope and innovative in focus. We prepare you to become a manager, hospitality professional, or entrepreneur who will thrive in their career.
The Saunders’ Hospitality and Tourism Student Experience
In Saunders, we ditch the large college auditoriums and embrace learning in small classrooms in order to create meaningful connections among students and faculty. You will get to know your classmates and professors while enjoying the scale, resources, and vibrant student life of a large college campus. At Saunders:
Work hard/play hard: The rigor of a top-100 business program is met with opportunities to experience large events, enjoy fine dining, taste worldwide beverages, and visit world-class hotels.
Engage in opportunities for networking and mentoring: You will have opportunities to visit premier hospitality events including the Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS), The National Restaurant Show in Chicago, and the Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITECH), to name a few.
Industry meets Classroom: We host guest speakers form all aspects of the hospitality industry, including hotel general managers, corporate executives, restaurants and hotel owners; directors of sales, events, and catering; sports marketers; restaurant entrepreneurs; winemakers; and private club managers.
RIT’s Hospitality and Tourism Management Curriculum
RIT's hospitality and tourism management major includes a comprehensive core curriculum that provides you with a strong foundation in the core principles of hospitality, service management, and tourism operations. The hospitality management major gives you the opportunity to gain a wide set of skills which you can apply in any service industry. You may choose to specialize further though one of the hospitality minors:
Beverage Management Minor: Develop the knowledge needed to engage in beverage sales, marketing, and distribution as you taste worldwide beverages. Course work in this minor prepares you for careers in areas such as beverage sales, distribution, and management in both hotels and fine dining restaurants; procurement/purchasing management; bar, lounge, winery, or brewery owner/manager/entrepreneur; sommelier; cicerone; or beverage brand marketing manager and/or distributor.
Sports, Events, and Entertainment Management Minor: Delivery highly-effective experiences in the world of sports, events, and entertainment, and engage in careers as an sports/event venue sales manager; event manager for a hotel, sports venue, convention center, wedding venue, etc.; meeting planner for corporations, associations, or non-for-profit organizations; sports marketing manager; sports arena/facilities manager; private sports club manager; or sports analyst.
Real Estate in Hospitality Minor: From idea to opening day, you'll learn the tools and techniques to develop properties and make hospitality investment concepts real. You'll be well-prepared for a real estate career as a real estate associate, consultant, financial analyst, development analyst, brand analyst, asset manager, or brand manager.
Technology and Hospitality: No Better Place than RIT
Among the biggest evolutions in the hospitality field is the impact of technology on the guest experience, food service and delivery, and more. Technology, along with data analytics, is driving how resorts, restaurants, theme parks, and cruise lines are interacting with guests and managing their expectations. From apps that help plan and manage guest experiences, to wearables that unlock guest room doors, to online check-in and food ordering, today’s hospitality professionals must be knowledgeable of how the latest technology is being used to improve the guest experience.
One of the most unique benefits of RIT’s hospitality and tourism management major is the collaboration between the program and RIT’s high-tech majors in computing and engineering. The latest innovations in hospitality – mobile reservations and check-in for hotels and flights, contactless ordering and restaurant kiosks, and more – are occurring at the interesting of these dynamic disciplines, and you have a front row seat to collaborating on the design and development of the next innovations in hospitality.
Hospitality and Tourism Management Study Abroad Programs
We develop global professionals for global careers. The hospitality and tourism management major offers numerous opportunities for both short- and long-term study abroad. Additionally, our curriculum prepares you for the challenges of operating in a global industry by developing your knowledge of cross-cultural customer interactions, languages, and business practices of multinational corporations.
The BS in hospitality and tourism management is also offered at RIT Croatia, one of RIT’s global campuses. Located in Dubrovnik, Croatia, RIT Croatia is in the center of one of the most prominent tourist destinations in the Mediterranean Sea. You have the option to complete a:
A 10-day study experience
Semester-long study abroad experience
Both of these opportunities enable you to learn about the hospitality and tourism challenges and opportunities in Croatia as you study international hotel and resort management.
Furthering Your Education in Hospital and Tourism Management
+1 MBA Early Acceptance Pathway: Successful RIT applicants who are offered admission into the BS degree in hospitality and tourism management as an incoming first-year student may also be offered conditional early acceptance into the +1 MBA Early Acceptance Pathway. This option enables you to earn both your BS degree and an MBA in as little as five years of study. Learn how the +1 MBA Early Acceptance Pathway can help you add a competitive advantage to your studies.
+1 MBA: Students who enroll in a qualifying undergraduate degree have the opportunity to add an MBA to their bachelor’s degree after their first year of study, depending on their program. Learn how the +1 MBA can accelerate your learning and position you for success.
Continue your studies at RIT with our MS degree in hospitality business management, where you can continue to advance your hospitality management skills with a master’s degree focused on cutting-edge analytics and technology skills, positioning you to pursue leadership positions. This master’s degree also enables you to develop a secondary focus in a range of areas, including finance, digital marketing, entrepreneurship, human resources, supply chain management, or data management.
Act Sooner. Know Earlier.
First-year students can apply Early Decision by Jan. 1 to get an admissions and financial aid estimate by mid-January.
What’s different about an RIT education? It’s the career experience you gain by completing cooperative education and internships with top companies in every single industry. You’ll earn more than a degree. You’ll gain real-world career experience that sets you apart. It’s exposure–early and often–to a variety of professional work environments, career paths, and industries.
Co-ops take your knowledge and turn it into know-how. Business co-ops provide hands-on experience that enables you to apply your knowledge of business, management, finance, accounting, and related fields in professional settings. You'll make valuable connections between course work and real-world applications as you build a network of professional contacts.
Students in the hospitality management degree are required to complete a combined 1,200 hours of practical cooperative education experience with classroom theory. In co-op placements, students work directly in the hospitality industry in a variety of positions and organizations. Co-op is usually completed in the summer following the freshman and sophomore years and during any semester in the junior and senior years, except the final semester of the senior year, when students are required to be in residence on campus. Co-op is planned, monitored, and evaluated by the student, the co-op counselor, the faculty adviser, and the employing firm.
Careers in Hospitality and Tourism
Graduates of RIT's hospitality and tourism degree are prepared for outstanding career opportunities in a range of positions within hospitality and across all industries. Our alumni are employed at diverse firms such as Amazon, D3, Hello!, Hyatt Regency, Marriott, and more. Our Hospitality Advisory Board helps students prepare for their careers by ensuring the curriculum is continuously updated to meet employers needs while providing networking and mentorship opportunities.
Research Insights: Food tourism, a life satisfaction factor
Food tourism contributes to long-term life satisfaction and sense of well-being
Hospitality and Tourism Management, BS degree, typical course sequence
Sem. Cr. Hrs.
An introduction to the way in which corporations report their financial performance to interested stakeholders such as investors and creditors. Coverage of the accounting cycle, generally accepted accounting principles, and analytical tools help students become informed users of financial statements. (This course is available to RIT degree-seeking undergraduate students.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
Introduction to the use of accounting information by managers within a business. Explores the value of accounting information for the planning and controlling of operations, assessing the cost of a product/service, evaluating the performance of managers, and strategic decision making. (Prerequisites: ACCT-110 or NACC-205 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
Data Literacy, Analytics, and Decision Making (General Education)
This course serves as an introduction to the uses (and potential misuses) of data in a wide variety of social settings, including the exploration of contemporary techniques to analyze such data. Data acquisition, cleansing, management, analysis, and visualization will be addressed through hands-on projects. Project work will include contemporary social problems addressed using a dynamic set of resources and technologies. An emphasis will be placed on how insights gleaned from data analysis can be used to guide individual and group decision-making scenarios. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
Principles of Microeconomics (General Education – Global Perspective)
Microeconomics studies the workings of individual markets. That is, it examines the interaction of the demanders of goods and services with the suppliers of those goods and services. It explores how the behavior of consumers (demanders), the behavior of producers (suppliers), and the level of market competition influence market outcomes. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
Principles of Macroeconomics (General Education)
Macroeconomics studies aggregate economic behavior. The course begins by presenting the production possibilities model. This is followed by a discussion of basic macroeconomic concepts including inflation, unemployment, and economic growth and fluctuations. The next topic is national income accounting, which is the measurement of macroeconomic variables. The latter part of the course focuses on the development of one or more macroeconomic models, a discussion of the role of money in the macroeconomy, the aggregate supply-aggregate demand framework, and other topics the individual instructor may choose. (Prerequisites: ECON-101 or completion of one (1) 400 or 500 level ECON course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
Global Business Environment (General Education)
Being an informed global citizen requires an understanding of the global business environment. Organizations critical to the development of the global business environment include for-profit businesses, non-profits, governmental, non-governmental, and supranational agencies. This course introduces students to the interdependent relationships between organizations and the global business environment. A holistic approach is used to examine the diverse economic, political, legal, cultural, and financial systems that influence both organizations and the global business environment. (This course is available to RIT degree-seeking undergraduate students.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
Applied Calculus (General Education)
This course is an introduction to the study of differential and integral calculus, including the study of functions and graphs, limits, continuity, the derivative, derivative formulas, applications of derivatives, the definite integral, the fundamental theorem of calculus, basic techniques of integral approximation, exponential and logarithmic functions, basic techniques of integration, an introduction to differential equations, and geometric series. Applications in business, management sciences, and life sciences will be included with an emphasis on manipulative skills. (Prerequisite: C- or better in MATH-101, MATH-111, MATH-131, NMTH-260, NMTH-272 or NMTH-275 or Math Placement Exam score greater than or equal to 45.) Lecture 4 (Fall, Spring).
Information Systems & Technology
To be successful in our globally-networked business environment, contemporary management professionals must have a strong grounding in the principles of information and information technology. This course provides an introduction to the field of management information systems (MIS), including the tools and techniques for managing information and information technologies within organizations. We place a particular emphasis on the nature of systems, the role of information in business processes, the management of data, and the planning of MIS design projects. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
Business 1: Introduction to Business Communication, Planning & Analysis
This is the first of a two-course sequence, 4 credit year long experience, comprising the freshman-integrated experience. In Business 1, students will be introduced to the key functional areas of business, discuss current factors, events, and trends that impact business, build professional, personal leadership, communication, and teamwork skills, and evaluate business decisions, and the business plan process. By understanding the key functions of business and analyzing business decisions in Business 1, students will be able to then develop their own business ideas in Business 2. Lecture 3 (Fall).
Business 2: Business Planning and Professional Development
This course, the second in the First-year Business 4 Credit Experience, applies business and technology tools to create a modified business plan. Supported by guest speakers on a variety of professional development topics, along with student and professional mentors, students in this project-centered course use the Business Model Canvas innovation tool and learn to identify and communicate the nine key elements of a business model. Students will complete a team project that outlines the business case for a new product or service to address a selected challenge or opportunity. Student teams present a business case in both a one-page document and a 10-minute presentation pitch. (Prerequisites: MGMT-101 or MGMT-150 or equivalent course.) Lecture 1 (Fall, Spring).
RIT 365: RIT Connections
RIT 365 students participate in experiential learning opportunities designed to launch them into their career at RIT, support them in making multiple and varied connections across the university, and immerse them in processes of competency development. Students will plan for and reflect on their first-year experiences, receive feedback, and develop a personal plan for future action in order to develop foundational self-awareness and recognize broad-based professional competencies. (This class is restricted to incoming 1st year or global campus students.) Lecture 1 (Fall, Spring).
General Education – First Year Writing (WI)
Principles of Food Production and Service
Principles of Food Production and Service is a basic course covering food preparation methods, quality standards, food presentation, professionalism in food preparation and service, sanitation and safety processes in commercial kitchens, kitchen and restaurant organization and roles, and food service styles. Students completing this course should be able to function effectively in a kitchen or restaurant environment; including demonstrating professional appearance and behaviors; and knowledge of food preparation techniques, effective food presentation, food safety and sanitation practices, appropriate service styles, teamwork, and cleanup practices. Students are expected to achieve their required co-curricular requirement – the ServSafe Manager certification – by the end of this course. Lec/Lab 6 (Fall).
Hospitality and Tourism Management Fundamentals
Hospitality and tourism industry is one of the largest industries in the world. This introductory course provides students with an overview of hospitality industry and segments of travel and tourism. Students are introduced to career opportunities and skills needed to succeed in the specific hospitality and tourism fields. Students examine the growth and development of industry segments and their distinguishing characteristics, current issues and trends. Students will learn about the interdependence of the various industry players and the roles of these diverse participants within the industry. The concepts and practices of hospitality management are examined and discussed. Lecture 3 (Fall).
Lodging Operations Analytics and Management
This class includes an overview of hotel management from its opening to continuing operations. It focuses on the integrated functions of the front office, housekeeping, engineering, security, food & beverage, human resources, and accounting, as well as considering their roles individually. Students will apply revenue management principles (e.g., capacity management, duration control, demand and revenue forecasting), costing (e.g., budgeting, marginal costing, standard costing and variance analysis, labor accounting, balanced scorecard) and interpret hospitality financial statements (uniform system of accounts for lodging and restaurants) to understand and manage organizational performance. The course addresses foundational metrics and definitions used by the hotel industry and provides an opportunity to complete a certification exam (CHIA: Certification in Hotel Industry Analytics) by STR through the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute. Lecture 3 (Spring).
Food and Beverage Management
This course will provide the student with the knowledge needed for the effective management of food service operations. Students will identify trends in the food and beverage industry, learn food and beverage management principles and understand how providing exceptional guest service can maximize profits in the hospitality industry. Topics will include food and beverage purchasing, inventory, costing, service styles, financial controls, menu design, sanitation, safety, ethics, food service automation, hardware and software, legal concerns, equipment selection, and service innovations in the design and layout of food establishments. Lecture 3 (Spring).
As an introductory course in managing and leading organizations, this course provides an overview of human behavior in organizations at the individual, group, and organizational level with an emphasis on enhancing organizational effectiveness. Topics include: individual differences, work teams, motivation, communication, leadership, conflict resolution, organizational culture, and organizational change. (This class is restricted to undergraduate students with at least 2nd year standing.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
Principles of Marketing
An introduction to the field of marketing, stressing its role in the organization and society. Emphasis is on determining customer needs and wants and how the marketer can satisfy those needs through the controllable marketing variables of product, price, promotion and distribution. (This class is restricted to undergraduate students with at least 2nd year standing.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
Foundations of Nutrition Sciences
This is an introductory course in nutritional science concepts and application to current nutrition issues. This course covers the study of specific nutrients and their functions, the development of dietary standards and guides and how these standards are applied throughout the lifecycle. Students learn to analyze their own diets and develop strategies to make any necessary dietary changes for a lifetime of good health. Current health and nutrition problems and nutrition misinformation will be discussed. Online sections are asynchronous. Students are assessed by learning activities such as: weekly quizzes and discussion boards, homework assignments, and a final diet analysis project. In person sections are synchronous lectures and class discussions. Students are assessed by learning activities such as: exams, homework, assignments and final project analysis. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
Careers in Business
This course consists of a series of workshops designed to introduce business students to the skills needed to be successful in job and coop searches and applications to graduate schools. Students will establish their career goals, create material (e.g., resume, cover letter), and acquire skills needed to achieve these goals. (AL2,3,4-DegS) Lecture 8 (Fall, Spring).
Introduction to Statistics I (General Education – Mathematical Perspective A)
This course introduces statistical methods of extracting meaning from data, and basic inferential statistics. Topics covered include data and data integrity, exploratory data analysis, data visualization, numeric summary measures, the normal distribution, sampling distributions, confidence intervals, and hypothesis testing. The emphasis of the course is on statistical thinking rather than computation. Statistical software is used. (Prerequisites: Any 100 level MATH course, or NMTH-260 or NMTH-272 or NMTH-275 or (NMTH-250 with a C- or better) or a Math Placement Exam score of at least 35.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
General Education – Natural Science Inquiry Perspective
General Education – Elective
An introduction to communication contexts and processes emphasizing both conceptual and practical dimensions. Participants engage in public speaking, small group problem solving and leadership, and writing exercises while acquiring theoretical background appropriate to understanding these skills. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
A survey of operations and supply chain management that relates to both service- and goods- producing organizations. Topics include operations and supply chain strategies; ethical behavior; forecasting; product and service design, including innovation and sustainability; capacity and inventory management; lean operations; managing projects; quality assurance; global supply chains; and the impacts of technology. (Prerequisites: STAT-145 or MATH-251 or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
Basic course in financial management. Covers business organization, time value of money, valuation of securities, capital budgeting decision rules, risk-return relation, Capital Asset Pricing Model, financial ratios, global finance, and working capital management. (Prerequisites: (ECON-101 or ECON-201) and ACCT-110 and (STAT-145 or STAT-251 or CQAS-251 or MATH-251 or MATH-252 or STAT-205) or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
Customer Experience Management
The overall objectives of this course are twofold. This course first examines the development, management, and improvement of service delivery systems used by service organizations (i.e., hotels, restaurants, travel agencies, and health care) on the supply side through the lens of quality management. Secondly, the course examines customer requirements on the demand side by focusing upon how customer experience design shapes customers’ thoughts, actions, and decision processes. Students will learn techniques used for diagnosis, measurement, and continuous improvement of successful customer experience. There are three major sections in this course. Section 1 focuses on understanding the paradigm of customer experience, identifying the drivers of customer satisfaction, formulating strategies to optimize the customer experience, and managing service operations through the development of a service blueprint. Section 2 focuses on the role of exponential technologies, such as artificial intelligence, robotics, augmented reality, virtual reality, and data analytics, in creating exceptional customer experiences. Section 3 discusses the creation of exceptional luxury customer experiences, incorporating technology, and describing how brands go beyond traditional branding frameworks to create luxury experiences. Lecture 3 (Fall).
Restaurant and Event Management
Students guided by the instructor will manage Henry’s, a restaurant operating during the semester and open to the public. Management skills emphasized will include menu development, costing, forecasting, marketing, food production, customer service, and plate presentation. Students will use these skills to deliver quality service maintaining food safety and cost standards. Students will also learn how to execute discrete events. (Prerequisites: HSPT-335 and HSPT-375 or equivalent courses.) Lec/Lab 12 (Fall).
HSPT Co-op (summer)
Career-related work experience. Employment within the food, hospitality or tourism service management industries is monitored by the International Hospitality and Service Management Program and the Office of Cooperative Education and Career Services. One co-operative work experience may be replaced by a study abroad semester. Coop work is designed for the student to experience progressive training on the job as related to the academic option. Freshmen begin co-op the summer following their first-year studies. Graduation requirement: 3 coops. Department permission is required. (Academic Level 1 thru 4, Degree Seeking students.) CO OP (Fall, Spring, Summer).
Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility (General Education – Ethical Perspective)
This course applies concepts of ethics to business at the macro level and at the micro level. At the macro level the course examines competing business ideologies exploring the ethical concerns of capitalism as well as the role of business in society. At the micro level the course examines the role of the manager in establishing an ethical climate with an emphasis on the development of ethical leadership in business organizations. The following topics are typically discussed: the stakeholder theory of the firm, corporate governance, marketing and advertising ethics, the rights and responsibilities of employees, product safety, ethical reasoning, business's responsibility to the environment, moving from a culture of compliance to a culture of integrity, and ethical leadership. (This class is restricted to undergraduate students with at least 2nd year standing.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
General Education – Mathematical Perspective B: STAT - 146 Introduction to Statistics II
This course is an elementary introduction to the topics of regression and analysis of variance. The statistical software package Minitab will be used to reinforce these techniques. The focus of this course is on business applications. This is a general introductory statistics course and is intended for a broad range of programs. (Prerequisites: STAT-145 or equivalent course.) Lecture 6 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
General Education – Immersion 1
Hospitality Project Planning and Development (WI-PR)
This course requires students to synthesize and build upon knowledge acquired in prior courses, engaging in a hospitality / tourism project. Students will draw upon existing available information, add to it their own research efforts, and consider various options before arriving at conclusions or solutions. Topics related to the strategic analysis of hospitality enterprises will be discussed. (Prerequisites: HSPT-315 and HSPT-335 or equivalent course and 4th year standing.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
A capstone course drawing upon major business functions—accounting, finance, marketing, operations management, and organizational theory and how strategic managers integrate functional theories and concepts to create competitive advantage. The course provides an integrated perspective of business organizations toward the achievement of enhanced profitability and a sustainable competitive advantage. Topics include the analysis of business environments, industry attractiveness, and competitive dynamics. Students learn how to formulate and implement effective business-level, corporate-level, and global strategies using theories, cases and a simulation. (Prerequisites: MGMT-215 and MKTG-230 and FINC-220 and DECS-310 or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
General Education – Immersion 2,3
General Education – Artistic Perspective
General Education – Social Perspective
General Education – Scientific Principles Perspective
Total Semester Credit Hours
Please see General Education Curriculum (GE) for more information.
(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.
Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information. Students completing bachelor's degrees are required to complete two different Wellness courses.
Admissions and Financial Aid
A strong performance in a college preparatory program is expected. This includes:
4 years of English
3 years of social studies and/or history
3 years of math is required and must include algebra, geometry, and algebra 2/trigonometry. Pre-calculus is preferred.
2-3 years of science
Transfer course recommendations without associate degree
Courses in economics, accounting, liberal arts, science, and mathematics
Appropriate associate degree programs for transfer
AS degree in accounting or business administration
100% of all incoming first-year and transfer students receive aid.
RIT’s personalized and comprehensive financial aid program includes scholarships, grants, loans, and campus employment programs. When all these are put to work, your actual cost may be much lower than the published estimated cost of attendance. Learn more about financial aid and scholarships
The business exploration program at Saunders College of Business is your opportunity to spend up to a year and a half taking fundamental business courses and meeting with faculty, staff, and career advisors before selecting from one of the college’s seven, nationally-ranked, business majors.
The hospitality and tourism management undergraduate degree from Saunders College of Business prepares innovative professionals with a deep understanding of hospitality, business, technology, and service to deliver world-class experiences.