Hotel Management Major and Undergraduate Degree Program Information

A hotel management major can learn the duties and skills needed to serve in the hotel and hospitality industries through an undergraduate degree program. These programs allow students to develop an understanding of food service and hotel operations.

Essential Information

Students in hotel restaurant management programs will learn purchasing, event planning and hospitality practices, in addition to taking business-oriented courses, such as marketing and accounting. These programs may combine classroom lectures with hands-on practice, such as through internships, and make include study online options.

A high school diploma or GED, along with a 2.0 grade point average, is usually required for entry into the associate's degree program. A letter of recommendation should usually be included as well. Admission to the bachelor's degree program requires a high school diploma or GED and transcripts. Most colleges and universities also seek ACT/SAT scores, letters of recommendation and a minimum GPA of 2.5. Previous work experience in the hotel industry is often favorable.

Associate of Science in Hotel Management

The Associate of Science in Hotel Management program allows students to gain an entry-level understanding of the hospitality business while developing the leadership and problem-solving skills needed to excel in the industry. Besides introductory courses in the hospitality industry, students in this program take business-related classes. Students gain knowledge in all aspects of the field, ranging from accounting, marketing and advertising, to developing skills in menu planning, purchasing and other aspects of food service operations. The following courses help students develop the necessary skills needed for a career in hotel management:

  • Accounting
  • Hospitality
  • Foodservice and beverage operations
  • Marketing
  • Nutrition
  • Managerial finance

Bachelor of Science in Hotel Management

A bachelor's degree program in hotel management is geared toward those pursuing managerial or supervisory positions in the field. Students learn to supervise, manage inventory, work with vendors, develop marketing plans, oversee information technology options, set rates and manage employees. Group exercises and case studies offer hands-on experience. Graduating from a bachelor's degree program in hotel management prepares prospective managers to gain experience in everyday business operations, typically through required practice credits. These practice credits, also known as paid internships, are part of the course curriculum of the hotel management degree program. Most colleges require students to work a specific number of hours prior to graduation, usually at an affiliated establishment. In addition to the general education courses that students take, those enrolled in the bachelor's degree program learn more about standards and practices, the hospitality industry and the role of management. Courses include:

  • Marketing management
  • Labor relations
  • Convention and meeting planning
  • Hotel operations
  • Business and hospitality law
  • Purchasing

Popular Career Options

Due to the growth in the hospitality and tourism industry, hotel management majors are likely to find employment in a variety of supportive entry-level positions. Some of these positions include:

  • Assistant hotel manager
  • Event planner
  • Food and beverage manager

While many hotel management majors go on to positions as hotel managers, others gain employment in specialty areas such as event planning, catering, housekeeping and front desk management.

Well-trained hospitality professionals are in demand due to the rise of hotel construction and the increase of national and international travel. The bachelor's degree program prepares students for management positions throughout the hotel industry.

  • Catering manager
  • Sales director
  • Regional manager
  • Resort manager
  • Hotel manager

Continuing Education Information

Students with an A.S. in Hospitality Management may wish to continue their education by enrolling in a bachelor's degree in hospitality management program. Some employers require a bachelor's degree in hotel management to apply for certain positions.

To gain an upper-management position, a master's degree may be a good next step. An advanced degree can open up opportunities for international positions, corporate roles and eventually, ownership. The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute offers certification for hotel professionals who want to further their career. Professional certification is available for several roles, such as front desk manager, housekeeping manager, spa supervisor, laundry attendant and security officer.

The end goal of a hotel management degree program, at the associate's or bachelor's level, is to prepare students to successfully manage hospitality establishments. Students gain strong communication skills for working with both staff and customers, a knowledge of relevant labor and business laws, and general understanding of running a hotel.

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