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What Are the Core Courses of a Hospitality Degree?

Individuals who earn a hospitality degree have many career paths to choose from. Continue reading to learn more about different types of hospitality degree programs and typical core courses, and get some general career information.

Core Courses of a Hospitality Degree

Hospitality curricula typically vary due to the range of concentration options offered. Generally, the core curriculum for most schools would include some version of the following courses:

  • Accommodations
  • Restaurant operations/food and beverage
  • Entertainment and recreation management
  • Tourism
  • Event management
  • Organizational behavior
  • Strategic management
  • Hospitality information technology
  • Financial management
  • Feasibility studies

Important Facts About a Degree in Hospitality

Prerequisites Credit may be granted for optional industry certifications (associate's level)
Field experience (master's level)
Online Availability Fully online (associate's, bachelor's, master's)
Possible Careers Hotel front desk clerk
Convention or event planner
Continuing Education Students and graduates could also pursue optional training for certification; some programs prepare students for beverage or planner certification

Hospitality Degree Programs Overview

Hospitality degree programs are available at the associate's, bachelor's and master's degree levels. Since hospitality is such a broad field, schools often offer specializations, including hotel management, restaurant management, tourism management, event management, business management and technical management.

Individuals who hold an undergraduate degree can find entry-level work and sometimes even management positions, though a bachelor's degree is increasingly preferred over an associate's degree by employers. Graduate programs in hospitality management may be offered through Master of Business Administration programs or Master of Science programs, and they can prepare students to become administrators, consultants and entrepreneurs.

Programs emphasize creative problem solving, communication abilities and interpersonal skills, and many institutions offer students an opportunity to gain real-world experience through internships and study abroad programs. Graduates of hospitality management programs have the knowledge base, critical thinking skills and communication proficiency to work in hotels, resorts, casinos, cruise lines and food service companies.

Career Information

Graduating from a hospitality degree program can lead to a range of careers, like resort management, event planning and tourism management. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) publishes detailed career profiles for common jobs in the country, including a few that fall in the hospitality industry.

Per the BLS, an average increase of 9% in food service management positions is expected for the 2016-2026 decade, and lodging managers jobs are expected to grow by 4% during that same decade. Candidates who hold a degree in hospitality management should stand out among job applicants, especially for positions at affluent establishments. As of 2018, food service managers earned a median wage of $54,240, and lodging managers earned a median salary of $53,390 .