Restaurant Management Graduate Program Options

Students interested in studying restaurant management can find master's and doctorate degree programs in hotel and restaurant management. Master's programs focus on business management areas of the hospitality industry like finance and marketing, while doctorate programs mainly deal with theoretical concepts and trends in the industry.

Essential Information

Applicants who hold a bachelor's degree in restaurant management or a related field like business and finance can gain admission to hotel and restaurant management graduate degree programs. Some master's programs may require professional work experience, while many Ph.D. programs require incoming students to have at least a year of work experience in the field. Most master's and doctoral degree programs require students to complete a thesis or an in-depth research project prior to graduation. Graduates of these programs programs may seek voluntary, professional certification from the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation.

  • Program Levels in Restaurant Management: Master's degrees, Ph.D. Degrees
  • Restaurant Management Program Fields: Hospitality and Restaurant Management
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree in a related field, professional work experience
  • Other Requirements: Thesis or research project

Master's Degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management

Master of Arts (M.A.) and Master of Science (M.S.) programs in hotel and restaurant management discuss the financial, human resource, marketing and legal aspects of management topics to learn about successful business models, and many programs also include statistics courses. Students learn to set budgets, plan menus, manage employees and develop business ideas. Programs also cover more theoretical aspects of restaurant management, offering courses on research design and organizational psychology. Courses in the following topics are usually included:

  • Restaurant development
  • Hospitality service management
  • Strategic restaurant management
  • Hospitality financial management
  • Food systems management

Doctor of Philosophy in Hotel and Restaurant Management

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs in hotel and restaurant management emphasize the theoretical skills used to operate service-oriented institutions. Students learn to analyze economic trends to help market and manage their businesses, and often complete original research assignments as part of their coursework. Enrollees also study the operational leadership and marketing skills used to ensure that businesses succeed. Subjects covered include:

  • Hospitality business strategy
  • Restaurant branding
  • Hospitality funding
  • Food production and menu planning
  • Beverage management

Popular Career Options

People who earn a master's degree in hotel and restaurant management qualify for several advanced positions in the hospitality industry. Graduates often need to work in entry-level positions before advancing to management. Ph.D. graduates can work in academia, or they can apply their skills in the field. Graduates sometimes open and operate their own restaurants or hotels. The following are common career options:

  • Hospitality associate
  • Restaurant assistant manager
  • Hotel assistant manager
  • Hospitality professor
  • Entrepreneur
  • Restaurant manager

Certification and Continuing Education Information

Some food service professionals earn voluntary certification through the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. The standards for earning the Foodservice Management Professional (FMP) certification include passing a written test, having relevant work experience and completing relevant coursework.

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