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Hospitality Management: What to Expect

The Hospitality Management program at the University of South Carolina is consistently ranked in the top 10 and provides undergraduate students with countless unique and highly sought after opportunities. Tourism is the #1 industry in South Carolina, which gives Hospitality Management majors at the University of South Carolina a wide array of internship opportunities. You will get a great deal of hands-on experience through at least two required internships. In your courses, you will develop important skills including analytical, communication, organization, time management, human resource management, service management, and technology skills. You will also develop technical skills in finance, accounting, marketing, and gain knowledge of specific subject matter such as restaurant management, club management, hotel management, and tourism management. As a Hospitality Management major, you will be able to experience a wide-range of learning techniques in your courses including hands-on labs, field trips, group projects, computer simulations, and event and festival planning. You will be able to take what you learn inside the classroom to the community by participating in internships, student clubs and organizations, volunteer opportunities, and study abroad. Hospitality Management majors may also choose to pursue a Concentration in Club Management.

The following courses fulfill some of the course requirements for a Bachelor of Science with a major in Hospitality Management:

  • Introduction to Hospitality Industry
  • Hotel Management
  • Quantity Food Production
  • Foundations of Tourism
  • Club Management
  • Hospitality Practicum
  • Functional Accounting I and II
  • Computer Applications in Business

Students wishing to pursue the Concentration in Club Management are required to complete 15 credit hours of course work including Club Management, Club Cuisine and Service, Advanced Club Management, and the Hospitality and Tourism Internship. A detailed list of degree requirements can be found in the Undergraduate Bulletin.

Enhancing your Experience

Study Abroad allows you to earn academic credits toward your USC degree while seeing the world! Overseas study can complement any academic program or major. Hospitality Management majors at USC have traveled all over the world including China, Costa Rica, and Italy. Students have even studied abroad on a cruise ship in the Caribbean! While studying abroad, you will learn research skills, tourism management, cultural sensitivity, and hospitality management. You will also learn a great deal about wine, food, and culture. You are encouraged to visit the Study Abroad Web site for more information on opportunities to broaden and extend your knowledge and perspectives.
Student Organizations can be instrumental in helping you adjust to life on campus and network within your field. The University of South Carolina has a family of nearly 300 student organizations. As a Hospitality Management major, you may want to get involved in the Club Management Association, Professional Convention Management Association, and the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality. Students must receive an invitation to join Eta Sigma Delta Honorary Society. Involvement in these organizations is a great way to network, meet new friends, develop leadership skills, and attend national conventions and other events. You can also seek out volunteer opportunities that relate to your major. Find a student organization on campus that interests you!
Graduate School is one of many possibilities following graduation. Many graduates go on to pursue graduate degrees in Hospitality, Tourism, Finance, Education, or Business Administration.
Distinguished Faculty can help enhance your overall academic experience while at the University. Ed Coon has been on the faculty for thirty years and has received the Teacher of the Year award multiple times. Dr. Cathy Gustafson teaches a Club Management certification course and has been awarded teacher of the year several times. Dr. Sandy Strick is also an outstanding faculty member who wrote one of the first textbooks in meetings and conventions. She is also a certified wine educator.
Departmental Scholarships may be awarded to outstanding entering freshmen or current students. The College of Hospitality, Retail, and Sport Management awards more than 35 scholarships each year.

Internship and Research Opportunities

Internships can be an important asset to your overall educational experience. Internship experiences often help you confirm your career interests, give you hands on experience in a professional setting, help build your resume, reinforce what you’ve learned in class and can often lead to full-time employment. Likewise, pursuing professional research opportunities as an undergraduate student can also help enrich your academic experience while at the University. As an undergraduate student, you can work closely with faculty research mentors and explore a discipline that interests you. Both internship and research opportunities help you build a competitive edge in the job market.

As a USC student you will have numerous resources at your disposal to assist you with locating internship and research opportunities. The USC Career Center is the central location at USC for assisting students with internship preparation and finding an internship. In addition, be sure to visit your academic department as many programs offer supplemental internship guidance specific to your major. The School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management employs an Internship Director to assist you with your search. The Office of Undergraduate Research assists all USC undergraduates by providing research and scholarly experiences in their chosen fields.

Hospitality Management majors at the University of South Carolina have had a wide range of exciting and unique internship opportunities. Students have interned at the Masters Golf Tournament, Walt Disney World, the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Kiawah Island, resorts and coffee groves in Brazil, boutique hotels in New York City, Alaskan resorts, and on a variety of cruise ships.

Career Opportunities

Hospitality Management majors have countless career opportunities and often pursue careers as restaurant managers, catering directors, hotel managers, human resources managers, private club managers, event planners, wedding planners, festival planners, meeting planners, directors of convention and visitors’ bureaus, chamber of commerce directors, and tourism managers. Many graduates also pursue careers in food sales and beverage distribution. The average salary for Hospitality Management majors five years after graduation starts at $40,000 and is often higher in major cities and resort areas. 

You can find more information about career options in the US Department of Laborís Occupational Outlook Handbook.

The USC Career Center offers numerous resources which provide more information about career opportunities for students in this major. Once admitted, a Career Development Coach is available to help you assess your interest areas, make decisions about your career path, and identify the experiences and skills that will help you accomplish your goals. Spur Connections will help you locate mentors from among USC alumni, employers and community members who can provide insights based on their careers and experiences. Early planning and preparation are keys to success.

Alumni Spotlight

Elizabeth Kornhoff’s experiences and degrees from the University landed her an exciting career as an Operations Manager at Candlewood Suites in North Charleston, S.C. Elizabeth received both her bachelor and master degrees from the School of Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management at USC. Elizabeth performs a wide-range of tasks from hosting and cooking for the Wednesday Night Guest Social to maintaining housekeeping, front desk, and maintenance. The Candlewood Suites in North Charleston was the first Candlewood Suites to open in South Carolina, which allowed Elizabeth to gain some unique insight. “I was able to help in the opening process. It was great to see what all goes into building and opening a hotel,” she said. While at USC, Elizabeth attended career fairs to help get her foot in the door to interview with companies. She encourages current students to be proactive, as well. “Start applying for jobs in advance before you graduate,” she said. 

About the School of Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management

The School of Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management (HRTM) at the University of South Carolina is accredited through Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration. Tourism is the #1 industry in the State of South Carolina, which benefits HRTM students at Carolina. It is one of just two Club Management Association of America certified programs and is one of only six universities offering Introduction to Master Sommelier Training. The school boasts excellent facilities including the McCutchen House Food Laboratory. The School of Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management offers a Bachelor of Science with a major in Hospitality Management, Bachelor of Science with a major in Tourism Management, a Masters of International Hospitality and Tourism Management, and a Doctor of Philosophy Degree (PhD) in Hospitality Management. The School of Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management is in the College of Hospitality, Retail, and Sport Management.

Points of Pride

  • The School of Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management has consistently ranked in the top 10 of undergraduate Hospitality Management programs.
  • We are accredited through Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration.
  • We are one of two four-year degree programs certified through The Club Management Association of America.

Additional Resources.
School of Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management Website
College of Hospitality, Retail, and Sport Management
University Career Center
Undergraduate Bulletin