Management and hospitality combine with technology, computing, and data analytics to improve the guest experience and reshape the hospitality and tourism industry.
Outcome Rate of RIT Graduates
Median First-Year Salary of RIT Graduates
Undergraduate business programs in Western New York; 67th overall nationally. U.S. News & World Report, 2021
Lead restaurant operations at RIT’s 75-seat full-service, liquor-licensed, on campus restaurant, Henry’s
Participate in an immersive restaurant management experience at Henry’s Restaurant, RIT’s 75-seat full-service, liquor-licensed, on-campus restaurant, complete with wine collection and resident faculty sommelier.
Nearly 20 dining facilities on campus, RIT Inn and Conference Center, and the newly acquired Radisson Hotel offer world-class, off-campus, commercial facilities to gain hands-on management and hospitality experience.
Latest industry trends and technology taught by top faculty and industry practitioners with leadership from the Hospitality and Tourism Management Advisory Board
Build vast international connections and engage in one-of-a-kind opportunities, including international study at RIT’s global campuses (RIT China, RIT Croatia, RIT Dubai, and RIT Kosovo); co-ops at the world’s top hospitality companies and entertainment/travel destinations; and connect with a worldwide network of over 25,000 Saunders alumni.
The hospitality and tourism degree provides an in-depth understanding of the hospitality and tourism industry and prepares students to enter nearly any segment of the industry, including lodging, hotels, restaurants, casinos, cruise line operations, resorts and spas, event management, or airline catering.
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 hospitality professionals 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. Hospitality and tourism majors study the hospitality industry alongside students majoring in computing, information sciences, engineering, business, entrepreneurship, and more. This exposes students to diverse ideas from those studying in other majors. This powerful experience can help inform the senior capstone project, where students tackle a hospitality industry problem and propose an innovative solution.
Plan of Study
The hospitality and tourism management major includes a comprehensive core curriculum that lays a strong foundation in the core principles of hospitality, service management, and tourism operations. Students also develop an essential set of skills, operations analysis, project management, food safety, traditional and digital marketing, facilities management, strategic planning, information systems, real estate, and human resource management which are needed to successfully manage the operations of all types of hospitality careers that occur across all industry sectors.
Students can customize the major around their career aspirations and interests by creating a three-to-five course sequence from disciplines from across RIT’s nine colleges. This broadens their knowledge and expands their expertise. Courses in innovation, entrepreneurship, marketing, finance, packaging science, web design and development, and more expand upon the major's core courses and create opportunities for students to engage in hospitality and tourism management in new, exciting ways.
Students can elect to participate in an immersive management experience at Henry’s, a student-run, full-service, beverage-licensed restaurant located on campus and open to the public. Students learn essential principles and procedures for service management; quality in food production and presentation; sanitation; nutrition; menu planning and merchandising; purchasing; innovative food product development; and cost control.
Accelerated 4+1 MBA
An accelerated 4+1 MBA option is available to students enrolled in any of RIT’s undergraduate programs. RIT’s accelerated bachelor’s/master’s degrees can help you prepare for your future faster by enabling you to earn both a bachelor’s and an MBA in as little as five years of study.
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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.
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.
Curriculum for Hospitality and Tourism Management BS
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
This course serves as an introduction to business data, and contemporary analytics tools and techniques to analyze it. Data acquisition, cleansing, management, analysis and visualization will be addressed through hands-on projects. Project work will include contemporary business problems addressed using spreadsheets, programming and visualization tools. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
General Education – Global Perspective: Principles of Microeconomics
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).
General Education – Elective: Principles of Macroeconomics
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).
General Education – Elective: Global Business Environment
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).
General Education – Elective: Applied Calculus
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, Recitation 3 (Fall, Spring).
Business 1: Introduction to Business Communication, Planning & Analysis
This is the first of a two-course sequence comprising the freshman integrated experience. In Business 1 students will be introduced to the key functional areas of business, the evaluation of new business opportunities, and the business plan process. By applying the creative process, students will conceive new business ideas that will be developed in Business 2. (Co-requisite: MGIS-101 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
Business 2: Business Planning and Professional Development
This course, the second course in the First-year Business Sequence, applies technology tools to create well defined and complete business plans. Students will develop websites and other marketing and process tools to take their business concept outlined in Business 1 to a final business plan for review with an outside board. (Prerequisites: MGMT-101 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (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. 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. (Prerequisites: ACCT-110 and HSPT-225 or equivalent courses.) 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. (Prerequisite: HSPT-215 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
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, Recitation 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
Foundations of Nutritional Sciences
This is an introductory course in contemporary 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. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
Careers in Business
General Education – Mathematical Perspective A: Introduction to Statistics I
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. (Prerequisite: MATH-101 or MATH-111 or NMTH-260 or NMTH-272 or NMTH-275 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).
General Education – Ethical Perspective: Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility
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 – Immersions 1
Hospitality Project Planning and Development (WI-PR)
This course focuses on the processes in the development of hospitality projects. This course will introduce students to the process of developing hospitality projects (i.e., hotel, restaurant, resort, spa) by conducting site analyses and feasibility studies, distinguishing among ownership entities, recognizing differences among franchise and management company, identifying financing options, budgeting, scheduling, and planning operations. Students will interact with a hospitality-related organization to gain practice in conducting a consulting project. (Prerequisites: HSPT-315 and HSPT-335 or equivalent courses.) 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.
For all bachelor’s degree programs, a strong performance in a college preparatory program is expected. Generally, this includes 4 years of English, 3-4 years of mathematics, 2-3 years of science, and 3 years of social studies and/or history.
Specific math and science requirements and other recommendations
3 years of math required; pre-calculus recommended
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
RIT business students can expect major changes to Max Lowenthal Hall, home of Saunders College of Business, after the completion of a more than $20 million expansion and renovation project in fall 2023.
Ryan Brooks ’96 (food management) is the third-generation owner of the business that began as a poultry farm, providing fresh eggs and packaged meats to nearby stores. His grandparents dreamed of opening a restaurant, and in 1961, they adapted their catering business into what would become a recognized family-owned business—Brooks’ House of Bar-B-Q.