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Degree Overview: Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Degree in Hospitality Management

Majors Overview March 12, 2014

Students will be taught the skills necessary for entry-level managerial careers in several types of hospitality venues when they take a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree program in Hospitality Management. The programs will cover human resources and culinary topics, finance, marketing and sales, as well as focus on the different operational challenges of venues.

B.A. Programs in Hospitality Management

Students enrolled in Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Degree Programs in Hospitality Management are taught about operating a hospitality-oriented business, such as a casino, restaurant or hotel. A broad curriculum is provided in the majority of programs, including specialties such as entrepreneurship, casino management, food and beverage operations, conference and trade show planning, and lodging and facilities management. More liberal arts classes are usually included in B.A. programs than in Bachelor of Science programs.

While it takes four years of study to complete these programs, schools also offer accelerated 2-year programs to suit the needs of students with an associate’s degree. Schools also offer online program options, in addition to opportunities to study abroad. Schools expect students to take part in an internship or management trainee program. Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.


Coursework may include general business courses, such as accounting, computers, organizational behavior, marketing, and business law, as well as general management subject areas, such as human resources management and the legal aspects of the hospitality business. Core hospitality coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Catering management
•Wine appreciation
•Convention management
•Dining room service
•Services marketing
•Food and beverage controls
•Special events marketing
•Aesthetic awareness
•Hospitality facilities management
•Security and loss prevention

Career Choices

Those who complete hospitality management bachelor’s degree programs can seek entry-level careers in many areas of the tourism, travel, food and beverage, and lodging industries. Students may be able to secure occupations in a particular company or venue, thanks to the internships they participated in during the program. They may choose from entry-level management positions such as:

•Lodging manager
•Meeting and convention planner
•Food service manager
•Catering manager
•Sales manager

Continuing Education Choices

Beyond a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management, an individual may seek continued education by pursuing an advanced degree, such as a master’s in international hospitality management or hospitality management.

Work experience can lead to career advancements within large hospitality chains. Many organizations offer voluntary professional certification options; these include the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute, an organization that offers certification options in maintenance, revenue management, security, front office, human resources, food and beverage, sales and housekeeping. A designation can be earned by an individual who meets a series of experience and education requirements.

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