Students and alumni working at hotel, people dining in background

UofSC ranked among best hospitality and tourism management schools for 4th consecutive year

The University of South Carolina continues to support the state’s largest industry by preparing future leaders with one of the nation’s best hospitality and tourism management degree programs. For the fourth consecutive year, the university’s College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management is ranked among the top 10 schools in the country in hospitality and tourism management.

The ShanghaiRanking’s 2022 Global Ranking of Academic Subjects — Hospitality & Tourism Management places South Carolina No. 1 among Southeastern Conference universities, No. 9 in the U.S. and No. 18 worldwide.

The rankings, which include more than 250 U.S. programs and more than 500 worldwide, are based on research output and influence, international collaboration, research quality, international academic awards and a survey of more than 6,000 professors from 100 universities.

The University of South Carolina’s hospitality and tourism management program is led by its School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, which is part of the university’s College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management. The school offers bachelor’s degrees in hospitality management and tourism management, a master’s degree in international hospitality and tourism management, and a Ph.D. in hospitality management. It also provides degree areas of focus in food and beverage management, tourism management, hotel and resort management and meeting and event management, and a specialization in club management. 

“Our School of Hospitality and Tourism Management remains committed to providing a powerful learning arena where passionate students, inspiring teachers and industry leaders come together to move our field forward,” says College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management Interim Dean David Cardenas. “This year we have expanded and strengthened our faculty and partnerships to serve the school’s continued enrollment growth. As the industry continues to rebound from the pandemic, students graduating from one of the top 10 programs in the nation will be in great demand, and we’re confident that they’re going to continue to shine."


Education excellence

  • The School of Hospitality and Tourism Management is home to five research centers that drive industry innovation and economic growth.
  • The school has a range of international partnerships to support global industry education and research, including study abroad partnerships in Aruba and the Galapagos Islands. 
  • The curriculum combines a strong foundation in business fundamentals like accounting, marketing and management with specialized courses in a wide range of courses in industry disciplines such as event planning, tourism, food and beverage management, hotel operations and many more.
  • Students gain hands-on experience  through the school’s internship program, career development opportunities,  industry immersion and hands-on curriculum in the school’s J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Culinary Laboratory and McCutchen House restaurant management learning lab.
  • The school added Order of the Palmetto winner and noted ecotourism expert Tom Mullikin to its faculty in 2022 as a professor of practice in tourism management.
  • Faculty member Marketa Kubickova was named one of the Global 25 Most Influential Educators in Hospitality for 2021 by the International Hospitality Institute.
  • Faculty member Lori Pennington-Gray became the first UofSC faculty member to be named a Fellow of the Academy of Leisure Sciences in 2021, one of the highest academic honors in the tourism field.
  • Two students from the school are among only 12 nationwide in 2022 to receive the prestigious Joe Perdue Scholarship from the Club Management Association of America. South Carolina is the only university to have two recipients this year.
  • Students from the school have won the Statler Foundation’s competitive $25,000 Scholarship of Excellence in each of the past three years.
  • Recent graduates have accepted management and leadership positions with Marriott, Disney, E. & J. Gallo Winery, Augusta National Golf Club, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Expedia, Experience Columbia S.C., Sea Island Company,  the Grand Bohemian Lodge Greenville and Visit Greenville, among many others.


Industry impact

  • Tourism is South Carolina’s largest industry. In 2020, it brought $18.5 billion dollars to the state, generating $1.8 billion in state and local taxes.
  • Tourism and hospitality account for approximately 1 in 10 South Carolina jobs.
  • Hotel occupancy in South Carolina hit an average of 66.83% in the first quarter of 2022, up from 49.76% in the fourth quarter of 2021, showing strong and steady recovery from the pandemic.
  • A team of researchers from the department recently won a $144,000 grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to create and deliver three state-of-the-art online training courses to serve the needs of South Carolina businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector post-pandemic. 
  • Tourism and hospitality make up more than 8 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product.
  • The industry is the fifth-largest employer in the U.S.

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