Hospitality and Tourism Management Master of science degree

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Overview

Learn to analyze, evaluate, and apply hospitality and tourism data from diverse sources in this dynamic hospitality program.


Draw conclusions about models and theories associated with hospitality and tourism in a global environment; and analyze, evaluate, and apply hospitality and tourism data from diverse sources in this dynamic degree program. With a master’s degree in hospitality and tourism management, you’ll be prepared for multiple mid-level service management and training director positions as you create and present new hospitality and tourism services through effective interpersonal, oral, and written communication. Graduates are ready to step into multiple service management and training director positions.

The MS degree in hospitality and tourism management 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 also provides research-oriented training in the theory and methodologies pertaining to hospitality and tourism to prepare graduates for advanced study at the doctoral level. 

Plan of study

The 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 semester. To earn the MS degree, students must complete a minimum of 30 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. 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.

Electives

Elective courses provide students with an opportunity to individualize their graduate program in line with their career and professional interests, and are available in areas such as resorts and attractions, travel and tourism, conventions and events, technology, and human resource development, to name a few. With the approval of the department chair or program director students are allowed to take a selection of elective courses from outside the program. Courses may be taken from the service leadership and innovation program, the human resource development program, and Saunders College of Business. Students are cautioned to observe course prerequisites in their selections.

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.

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 it must be approved and students must secure a faculty mentor.

Industries


  • Hotels and Accommodation

  • Food and Beverage

  • Human Resources

  • Tourism

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Curriculum

Hospitality and Tourism Management (capstone project option), MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
GRCS-701
Research Methods
This is an introductory graduate-level survey course on research design/methods and analysis. The course provides a broad overview of the process and practices of research in applied contexts. Content includes principles and techniques of research design, sampling, data collection, and analysis including the nature of evidence, types of research, defining research questions, sampling techniques, data collection, data analysis, issues concerning human subjects and research ethics, and challenges associated with conducting research in real-world contexts. The analysis component of the course provides an understanding of statistical methodology used to collect and interpret data found in research as well as how to read and interpret data collection instruments.
3
GRCS-702
Principles of Research Communications
Conducting research requires language skills to express the research concept, explain methodology and summarize the results. This course will focus on written communication skills including critical thinking, scholarly writing skills and the ability to synthesize research results to draw conclusions. Key to this course is the establishment of a defensible argument through which the student explains, convinces and establishes boundaries for the research subject. The focus of this course is to have students learn the mechanics of research writing and at the conclusion of the course to have generated elements of their final research thesis or capstone which can be used as a basis for further work with their home department or thesis/capstone faculty advisor.
3
HSPT-730
Strategic Hospitality & Tourism Branding
This class will concentrate on how the differences between product and service branding and marketing apply to travel destinations and tourist services such as lodging and recreational activities. Specific emphasis will be placed on the branding and marketing of tourism suppliers. Special attention will also be paid to promoting destinations as they move through their life cycle. The role of experiences in the marketing system will be covered from both the destination and supplier perspective.
3
HSPT-740
Economic Performance Analysis for Hospitality & Tourism
Applications of economic analysis to hospitality and tourism including estimation and prediction of demand and supply, valuation, determination of regional economic impacts, and use of economic analysis in management, marketing, and policy decisions.
3
HSPT-750
Strategic Processes and Assessment of Hospitality and Tourism Industries
This class will apply customer relationship management methods to hospitality and tourism industries in order to develop new service experiences and maintain the economic viability of others. A review of the quality models and strategies available for maintaining hospitality and tourism competitiveness will be covered. The use of the six sigma quality improvement process will be applied to hospitality industries.
3
SERQ-710
Service Design Fundamentals
Service design is a holistic design process. It uses skills from a variety of disciplines (design, management and process engineering) to develop models to create new services or to improve existing services in the most efficient and effective manner possible. The emphasis of the process is to provide value to the customer; as a service differentiator or create unique experiences for the customer. Service design uses methods and tools from a variety of disciplines to assist with the analysis and creation of enhanced systems. These tools include; mapping, blueprinting, analysis of customer behavior, market analysis, service marketing, and service recovery. The outcome of this course is to provide students with the fundamentals of service design thinking to allow them to lead the efforts of systematic design in a variety of disciplines.
3
 
Electives
6
Second Year
HSPT-797
Capstone Project in Hospitality and Tourism
This course is practical, project-based approach to a more traditional master's thesis. Students in the course will design and develop a project which reflects a viable option for an existing or putative organization. After a review of essential project management and planning skills as well as financial skills, the student designs and develops the project with continual review and feedback from the supervising faculty.
3
 
Elective
3
Total Semester Credit Hours
30

Hospitality and Tourism Management (comprehensive exam option), MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
GRCS-701
Research Methods
This is an introductory graduate-level survey course on research design/methods and analysis. The course provides a broad overview of the process and practices of research in applied contexts. Content includes principles and techniques of research design, sampling, data collection, and analysis including the nature of evidence, types of research, defining research questions, sampling techniques, data collection, data analysis, issues concerning human subjects and research ethics, and challenges associated with conducting research in real-world contexts. The analysis component of the course provides an understanding of statistical methodology used to collect and interpret data found in research as well as how to read and interpret data collection instruments.
3
HSPT-730
Strategic Hospitality & Tourism Branding
This class will concentrate on how the differences between product and service branding and marketing apply to travel destinations and tourist services such as lodging and recreational activities. Specific emphasis will be placed on the branding and marketing of tourism suppliers. Special attention will also be paid to promoting destinations as they move through their life cycle. The role of experiences in the marketing system will be covered from both the destination and supplier perspective.
3
HSPT-740
Economic Performance Analysis for Hospitality & Tourism
Applications of economic analysis to hospitality and tourism including estimation and prediction of demand and supply, valuation, determination of regional economic impacts, and use of economic analysis in management, marketing, and policy decisions.
3
HSPT-750
Strategic Processes and Assessment of Hospitality and Tourism Industries
This class will apply customer relationship management methods to hospitality and tourism industries in order to develop new service experiences and maintain the economic viability of others. A review of the quality models and strategies available for maintaining hospitality and tourism competitiveness will be covered. The use of the six sigma quality improvement process will be applied to hospitality industries.
3
HSPT-795
Comprehensive Examination
A written comprehensive exam is one of the non-thesis methodologies for completion of the MS degree. Students will demonstrate a fundamental knowledge of the theories and foundation principles. This course will include a review of the main concepts of each of the core subjects and at the conclusion of the course the student will take a written examination and must receive a passing grade of at least 80 percent to be successful. Students will have one additional opportunity to pass this examination if their initial attempt results in a failing grade. (This course will be taken with not less than 16 hours of course work remaining to complete the program, completion of core courses, and the student should be currently enrolled in the program. Possess a GPA of 3.0 or higher; no outstanding incomplete grades, nor can the student be on academic/disciplinary probation)
0
SERQ-710
Service Design Fundamentals
Service design is a holistic design process. It uses skills from a variety of disciplines (design, management and process engineering) to develop models to create new services or to improve existing services in the most efficient and effective manner possible. The emphasis of the process is to provide value to the customer; as a service differentiator or create unique experiences for the customer. Service design uses methods and tools from a variety of disciplines to assist with the analysis and creation of enhanced systems. These tools include; mapping, blueprinting, analysis of customer behavior, market analysis, service marketing, and service recovery. The outcome of this course is to provide students with the fundamentals of service design thinking to allow them to lead the efforts of systematic design in a variety of disciplines.
3
 
Professional Electives
15
Total Semester Credit Hours
30

Hospitality and Tourism Management (thesis option), MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
GRCS-701
Research Methods
This is an introductory graduate-level survey course on research design/methods and analysis. The course provides a broad overview of the process and practices of research in applied contexts. Content includes principles and techniques of research design, sampling, data collection, and analysis including the nature of evidence, types of research, defining research questions, sampling techniques, data collection, data analysis, issues concerning human subjects and research ethics, and challenges associated with conducting research in real-world contexts. The analysis component of the course provides an understanding of statistical methodology used to collect and interpret data found in research as well as how to read and interpret data collection instruments.
3
GRCS-702
Principles of Research Communications
Conducting research requires language skills to express the research concept, explain methodology and summarize the results. This course will focus on written communication skills including critical thinking, scholarly writing skills and the ability to synthesize research results to draw conclusions. Key to this course is the establishment of a defensible argument through which the student explains, convinces and establishes boundaries for the research subject. The focus of this course is to have students learn the mechanics of research writing and at the conclusion of the course to have generated elements of their final research thesis or capstone which can be used as a basis for further work with their home department or thesis/capstone faculty advisor.
3
SERQ-710
Service Design Fundamentals
Service design is a holistic design process. It uses skills from a variety of disciplines (design, management and process engineering) to develop models to create new services or to improve existing services in the most efficient and effective manner possible. The emphasis of the process is to provide value to the customer; as a service differentiator or create unique experiences for the customer. Service design uses methods and tools from a variety of disciplines to assist with the analysis and creation of enhanced systems. These tools include; mapping, blueprinting, analysis of customer behavior, market analysis, service marketing, and service recovery. The outcome of this course is to provide students with the fundamentals of service design thinking to allow them to lead the efforts of systematic design in a variety of disciplines.
3
HSPT-730
Strategic Hospitality & Tourism Branding
This class will concentrate on how the differences between product and service branding and marketing apply to travel destinations and tourist services such as lodging and recreational activities. Specific emphasis will be placed on the branding and marketing of tourism suppliers. Special attention will also be paid to promoting destinations as they move through their life cycle. The role of experiences in the marketing system will be covered from both the destination and supplier perspective.
3
HSPT-740
Economic Performance Analysis for Hospitality & Tourism
Applications of economic analysis to hospitality and tourism including estimation and prediction of demand and supply, valuation, determination of regional economic impacts, and use of economic analysis in management, marketing, and policy decisions.
3
HSPT-750
Strategic Processes and Assessment of Hospitality and Tourism Industries
This class will apply customer relationship management methods to hospitality and tourism industries in order to develop new service experiences and maintain the economic viability of others. A review of the quality models and strategies available for maintaining hospitality and tourism competitiveness will be covered. The use of the six sigma quality improvement process will be applied to hospitality industries.
3
 
Electives
6
Second Year
HSPT-790
Research Thesis
A thesis is based on experimental evidence obtained by the candidate in an appropriate topic demonstrating the extension of theory into practice. A written proposal which is defended and authorized by the faculty adviser/committee followed by a formal written thesis and oral presentation of findings are required. Typically the candidate will have completed research methods, data analysis, and graduate writing strategies prior to enrolling in this course and will start the thesis process as soon as they have completed these courses to allow them to finish the thesis when they have finished their coursework. The candidate must obtain the approval of their graduate adviser who will guide the thesis before registering for this course.
6
Total Semester Credit Hours
30

 

Admission Requirements

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

  • Complete a graduate application.
  • Hold a baccalaureate degree (or equivalent) from an accredited university or college.
  • Submit official transcripts (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work.
  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (or equivalent). Foundation course work with a GPA of 3.0 or higher (if required).
  • Submit a current resume or curriculum vitae.
  • Submit two professional letters of recommendation
  • International applicants whose native language is not English must submit scores from the TOEFL or IELTS exams. A minimum score of 88 on the TOEFL or 6.5 on the IELTS exams is required (requirements on sub-scores on each component of the TOEFL or IELTS may also apply). The English language test score requirement is waived for native speakers of English or for those submitting transcripts from degrees earned at American institutions.
  • After a review by the program chair, applicants whose prior undergraduate work has been in areas other than hospitality or tourism may be required to complete additional courses. Students may choose elective courses with the approval of the program director.

 

Learn about admissions and financial aid 

Additional Info

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 student’s undergraduate preparation and the number of graduate courses taken per semester.