Jun 17, 2024  
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog

Hospitality Management, M.S.

Muma College of Business  
Department: School of Hospitality and Tourism Management 


The Master of Science in Hospitality Management will educate students to use strategic development techniques in a variety of private, public and institutional sectors of hospitality environments. Graduates of this program will go on to play a vital role in addressing the changes and challenges in the hospitality industry within our region, state, nation and world. An effective hospitality leader must possess a wide range of strategic and conceptual skills. Our program is designed to foster strong analytical skills, technological abilities, effective communication and logical ethical approaches to the hospitality industry and academia. Due to applied nature of the hospitality and tourism industry, the master’s program requires an internship to apply knowledge learned from the coursework to real-world situations.  In addition to the internship, case studies, experiential learning, research projects, and presentations are utilized, along with the more traditional lecture-discussion approach.

Students graduating with this degree will be attractive to corporate offices of hospitality businesses. They will focus on strategic decision-making in the development of hospitality models within the areas of organizational effectiveness, finance, marketing, technology of hospitality ventures and the expanded use of the Internet to improve and expand customer service. Taking advantage of USF’s location in Tampa Bay as a major tourism attraction in the USA, the School has created an internship program which literally utilizes the hotels, resorts, restaurants, clubs, airlines, travel agencies, and cruise lines as practice labs for students.  For the international students, opportunities on campus will be utilized.

Admission Information

Must meet University Admission and English Proficiency requirements as well as requirements for admission to the major, listed below.
  • GRE/GMAT Preferred.
  • A current resume with employer references which includes at least one of the following: one year of full-time experience in a management capacity in the hospitality industry or in a related industry, a minimum of one year of full-time teaching experience in a hospitality management program, or two years of full-time entry level experience in hospitality or in a related industry.
  • A brief essay of approximately 1000 words describing
    • The applicant’s background
    • Future career goals
    • Reasons for pursuing a hospitality graduate degree
    • How a MS in Hospitality Management degree can help the candidate reach their career goals.
  • Two letters of recommendation: at least one from a college faculty member and the other may be from a former employer or a person able to evaluate the applicant’s potential for success in a graduate degree program.
  • A virtual interview with the Graduate Program Coordinator and/or the Dean may be required.

Curriculum Requirements

Total Minimum hours - 30

  • Core - 18 Credit Hours
  • Electives - 9 Credit Hours
  • Work Experience
  • Internship - 3 Credit Hours

Electives (9 Credit Hours)

Any graduate level elective courses can be chosen in consultation with the Graduate Director.  These electives also include the HMG 6908 Independent Study .

Graduate Work Experience

Graduate students must complete 1300 hours of hospitality practical experience unless prior experience warrants a waiver of this requirement (see advisor for information).  Students are required to complete 1000 hours of hospitality related practical work experience as a prerequisite for the three credit Graduate Internship (HMG 6946). The internship course requires 300 hours of practical experience. Work experience documentation is required for a waiver of the hour requirement. If the candidate provides documentation of 1300 hours of work experience of management level work, the requirement may be waived. 

During year one, practical experience can be fulfilled by on-campus or off-campus work experiences.  During year two, students enroll in the Graduate Internship (HMG 6946) course and are placed in an internship facilitated and managed by the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management’s Internship Coordinator. International students are allowed to work on-campus during their first year of study. These students should discuss their options with their advisor.

Graduate Internship (3 Credit Hours)

Comprehensive Exam

In place of the Comprehensive Exam, students complete a portfolio through experiential learning taken as part of the cumulation of Graduate Internship course. The requirement for a comprehensive exam is satisfied by the successful completion of their internship and a reflective essay (5000 words). This essay will assess students’ general knowledge, understanding and skills, and ability to synthesize and apply critical components of hospitality management from their coursework to real-world problems and situations. Students must address the following questions in their reflective essays.

1.    Considering your goals and aspirations as articulated in the essay you wrote for admission to the program, how has your experience in the program affected those goals? For example, have your goals changed or been refined? Did the program and internship meet your expectations or take you in a new direction? 

2.    Drawing upon content from your experiences in the internship and a minimum of two courses, describe three core concepts, readings, or theories from your degree program that influenced your perspective on your chosen field. Please provide specifics about the courses you draw upon (including course name and instructor name) and incorporate at least ten readings from your chosen courses into your essay.

3.    Apply the core concepts/readings/theories discussed in question two. In your response, identify a specific problem or issue that you have experienced/observed and articulate how those conceptual resources would help to meaningfully address the problem/issue. You will have to analyze the problem, collect relevant data and draw logical conclusions.