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Information on Graduate Degree Programs in Restaurant Management

Majors Overview June 12, 2015

This article talks about graduate degree programs in restaurant management and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, and certification and continuing education choices.

Information on Restaurant Management Programs

Students enrolled in master’s and doctoral programs in hotel and restaurant management gain the finance, business, and management skills they would need in running restaurants and other services. Courses related to management, including restaurant development, may be featured in master’s level programs, in addition to a thesis project requirement. Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree in business or a similar discipline.

Program graduates may seek occupations as assistant hotel or restaurant managers. Doctoral level programs teach students about hospitality business funding and strategies. Graduates may pursue career titles such as entrepreneur or professor. Schools often require applicants for admission to have relevant work experience and bachelor’s degrees. Program graduates may pursue voluntary professional certification offered by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. Relevant experience and passage of written tests will qualify individuals for certification.

Master’s Programs in Hotel and Restaurant Management

Students enrolled in Master of Science (M.S.), and Master of Arts (M.A.) programs in Hotel and Restaurant Management study the marketing, financial, legal and human resource aspects of running hospitality businesses. Students learn about conducting research on restaurant management topics to analyze successful business models; statistics is also in many courses. Students in many programs are required to complete an in-depth research project or a thesis before they can successfully end the program.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree in fields like finance or business. Students will have a better understanding of several topic areas included in the curriculum of a hotel and restaurant management master’s degree program. Some students enrolled in the program may have had prior work experience in the hospitality industry.


The emphasis of program coursework is on the business skills necessary for successfully running hospitality services. Students learn about setting budgets, planning menus, managing employees and developing business ideas. More theoretical aspects of restaurant management are also covered, including courses on organizational psychology and research design. Core coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Strategic restaurant management
•Food systems management
•Hospitality service management
•Restaurant development
•Hospitality financial management

Career Choices

Program graduates may choose to pursue one of the many advanced positions in the hospitality industry. Graduates may often have to settle for entry-level careers before moving up to management positions. They may choose from possible career options such as:

•Hotel assistant manager
•Hospitality associate
•Restaurant assistant manager

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Programs in Hotel and Restaurant Management

The emphasis of coursework in Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs in Hotel and Restaurant Management is on the theoretical skills necessary for operating service-oriented institutions. Students also learn about analyzing economic trends aimed at marketing and managing their businesses. Original research assignments are often completed by students as part of the program coursework.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree in an area such as business, dietetics, or hotel and restaurant management. Incoming students to many Ph.D. programs are required to have at least a year of work experience in the field.


Coursework in a Ph.D. program discusses the social and economic trends that change the hospitality and restaurant industry. Students also gain the marketing and operational leadership skills necessary for ensuring the successful running of businesses. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Hospitality funding
•Beverage management
•Restaurant branding
•Hospitality business strategy
•Food production and menu planning

Career Choices

Ph.D. program graduates can seek careers in academia or occupations in the field involving the application of their skills. They may choose from possible job options such as:

•Restaurant manager
•Hospitality professor

Certification and Continuing Education Choices

Program graduates may seek professional certification offered via the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. Completion of relevant work experience and relevant coursework and passage of a written test are required to earn the Foodservice Management Professional (FMP) credential.

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