As a city that attracts tourists - almost 58 million in 2018, according to the Chicago Tribune - Chicago may be an ideal place to earn a master's degree in hospitality management. A master's degree in the field can give students the skills they need to work in industries like food, lodging and event management.
Chicago Universities With Master's Degrees in Hospitality Management
Roosevelt University in Chicago offers a Master of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management program as part of its Heller College of Business. It's a 30-credit program that can be completed in about two years of full-time study and less than three years if part time. It has classes during the evenings, so it's possible for working professionals to participate. Core courses cover management theory and practice, research methods, organizational development and industry trends. Students also take elective classes and a seminar about the food, lodging, meeting and event management industries. The program also places a focus on service learning, and throughout the degree program students will work with a charitable partner to put what they learn to use in the real world. Finally, a research thesis or project is required to graduate. The university also offers an executive master's program in this area, which consists of the same coursework as the regular program except that it is online and designed for people who already have at least three years of experience in the field.
DePaul University offers two master's degree programs that cover the hospitality industry. One is a Master of Science (MS) in Hospitality Leadership and Operational Performance and the other is a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in Hospitality Leadership. Both are part of the university's Kellstadt Graduate School of Business. The MS program consists of 48 credits earned through 12 courses. This courses cover topics such as service technology, strategy and operational performance, industry research analysis, marketing, and the guest and employee experience.
The MBA program requires 72 credits, with half dedicated to general business strategy like financial management, analytics and more. Sixteen credits are dedicated to the hospitality management concentration. Students choose from the core courses that make up the MS hospitality program. The remaining credits can be used for electives or another concentration. The program can be completed full time, with classes during the day, or part time, with classes at night.
Program Admission Requirements
Generally, admission requirements for an MBA will be more intense than for an MS in this field. For example, DePaul asks for GRE scores for its MBA program, but not for the MS program. Students applying to these programs should already have a bachelor's degree and can expect to submit their transcripts, a resume, an essay or personal statement about why they want to complete the program, and possibly letters of recommendation. Previous coursework or professional experience in the field is not required.
Overall, students seeking to complete hospitality management degrees in Chicago have a few different options, depending if they want to stick to the specifics of the field or also gain a broader understanding of business strategy. These programs allow students to gain the business and management skills needed to be innovative hospitality leaders.