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Differences Between Master’s Degree Programs in Hospitality Management and Master’s Degree Programs in Hotel & Restaurant Management

Majors Overview June 7, 2015

While the hospitality field considers hotel and restaurant management joint or independent specialties, there are usually differences between a degree program in hotel and restaurant management and one in hospitality at the graduate level.

Master’s Programs in Hospitality

Schools offer master’s level, general hospitality degrees as a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) in Hospitality Management. Coursework for business students who opt for a hospitality management specialization track is similar to the coursework offered in all MBA programs. Though different schools may offer different courses, coursework commonly covers subjects such as finance, accounting, marketing, management, and business statistics. Managers within the hospitality field would also benefit from completing these courses. They can gain a broad range of skills that are applicable not only to hotels and restaurants, but also to travel, hospitality, and tourism fields.


In-depth aspects of the tourism industry are explored by each of these subjects; these aspects teach students how to staff, organize and plan an event. The history and future of these subjects may also be studied to gain an understanding of the direction in which the hospitality industry is heading and the ways in which students can advance within the industry. The program enjoys popularity among individuals seeking to become entrepreneurs. Core coursework may include a survey of hospital management, in addition to:

•Global business
•Hotel and restaurant management
•Tourism trends
•Event planning and management

Master’s Programs in Hotel & Restaurant Management

Students may not take as much time to earn a master’s degree in hotel and restaurant management as they may take to complete an MBA in Hospitality Management, though similar courses are in both. In this program, themes of lodging are connected with those of food service; for instance, students are taught about preparing for catered seminars within the meeting facilities or convention hall of the hotel.


Area-specific hospitality skills may be in the program coursework. For instance, near Las Vegas or Atlantic City, the primary focus of electives may be on gaming operations and casino management that are usually involved with hotel operations. Students also learn about legal issues related to hotels and restaurants on the federal and state levels, including inspections management principles and safety regulations. Importantly, they learn to perform leadership duties at these places of business, including client relations, staff selection, and maintaining a balance between facilities, service, and food.

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