Hospitality and Tourism

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We invite you to become part of the Hospitality and Tourism (HT) Program at Western Carolina University. At WCU we concentrate on business education, and offer both a B.S. degree and a minor that focus on hospitality and tourism in an AACSB-accredited College of Business. Our high quality faculty with terminal degrees and a wealth of industry experience offer you a personalized education in a small class-size setting. What can you do with a Hospitality and Tourism degree? Dynamic career paths await you in hotel and restaurant management; private club and resort management; tourism planning and development; cruise lines and casino operations; meeting, convention, and event management; and many other areas.

Beginning Fall 2016, WCU will be offering the Hospitality and Tourism degree program in Asheville in addition to our Cullowhee-based program. With classes at our Biltmore Park instructional site, the Asheville-based program is designed for working professionals who have previously earned an associates degree or completed a portion of their undergraduate liberal studies requirements. The curriculum covers management, marketing, operations, finance and more, all with a focus on applications in the hospitality and tourism industry. For more information on the Asheville-based program, complete the form on this page, and we will have an enrollment coordinator contact you. Or, apply now for admission by completing WCU's transfer application.

Transfer Application for Asheville-based Program

The B.S. in Hospitality and Tourism requires 120 total hours: 42 Liberal Studies hours, 36 Business Core hours, 54 major hours and 24-30 general elective hours, depending on Liberal Studies courses completed. Students may select various interest areas, e.g., digital marketing, sales management, general marketing, by carefully choosing their electives in consultation with their academic adviser.

Major Requirements
54 hours in the major
Liberal Studies: 42 hours
Liberal Studies Program Requirements

Hospitality & Tourism Minor Students who wish to receive a Minor in Hospitality & Tourism must complete 18 hours of study.

Students who wish to finish their Hospitality & Tourism degree in eight semesters can follow a prescribed program of study.

The hospitality and tourism industry is one of the most dynamic employment and career fields available. Its employment base is the largest of any industry in the private sector, ranking higher than the agriculture sector or the automobile, electronics, steel, and textile industries combined. It is comprised of many varied segments, including: accommodations, resorts, clubs, attractions, transportation services, restaurants, tour operators/travel agents, retail establishments, and entertainment venues. The employment outlook is excellent for graduates of hospitality and tourism programs.

The ownership of hospitality and tourism businesses has become increasingly dominated by large national and multinational corporations. This has increased the demand for managers with a formal education in hospitality and tourism. It is predicted that promotions and increased responsibility will occur more quickly in the hospitality and tourism industry than in other fields of employment. Starting salaries compare favorably with those in other business-related occupations. There are many opportunities for advancement to multiunit management or corporate-level staff in major companies.

If you are seeking a people-oriented profession with opportunities for advancement, salary growth, and high levels of personal satisfaction then this field is for you--dynamic and cutting edge with a personal touch.  

Career opportunities include management in a variety of settings such as: 

  • Hotels
  • Restaurants
  • Resorts
  • Club
  • Casinos
  • Cruise ships
  • Travel and tourism
  • Fast-food operations
  • Convention and meeting planning
  • Marketing and sales
  • State parks
  • Tourism events
  • Other attractions

Internships

There are numerous internship opportunities for students. In some cases internships are established through a faculty member in the student's major. Oftentimes students find part-time jobs in an area related to their field of study. When this happens, students should discuss with their academic advisor the possibility of receiving college credit. Generally, three hours of general elective credit can be earned for a minimum of 200 hours of experience.

Advantages

  • Three (possibly more) hours of course credit which counts as a general elective towards your degree.
  • Compensation
  • Relevant entry-level experience
  • Ability to make a more informed career decision and to be ahead of peers who do not have experience in the field
  • Future contacts and references/networking opportunities

How to Apply and Prepare

  • Visit WCU Career Services and obtain information about resumes, job searches, and interviewing.
  • Attend Career Services seminar on Resume Writing and schedule an appointment with Career Services for resume assistance.
  • Attend Interviewing Skills and Job Search Seminars
  • Become involved in the appropriate student organizations
  • Attend Career Fairs and Meet-the-Firms Night
  • Once you accept an internship offer, with permission from your academic advisor register for the internship course to obtain three hours of elective credit. All students must keep a work log, submit a written report and make a short presentation to faculty and students about their work.

Student Clubs & Organizations

Participating in student clubs and organizations is a great way to enhance your educational experience and also looks good on your resume. 

Eta Delta Sigma is an international honor society for Hospitality and Tourism students. Administered by the International Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institution Education (I-CHRIE), EDS provides a network to unite outstanding students for campus activities, fundraisers and volunteer programs. If students meet the academic requirements, they can join when they are in their upper level coursework. Contact Dr. Carroll Brown, cabrown@wcu.edu.

WCU-CMAA, a chartered chapter of CMAA national, offers education, networking, and professional development opportunities to students interested in the club industry. WCU-CMAA members are encouraged to attend the national CMAA World Conference on Club Management and regional Carolinas CMAA educational meetings. Many club members have obtained internships and full time employment through these networking opportunities. Contact Dr. Angela Sebby, agsebby@wcu.edu.

WCU’s Hospitality and Tourism Association is a group for students interested in careers in the hospitality and tourism industry. HTA promotes knowledge and awareness of the industry and provides networking opportunities for students. Members have the opportunity to attend hospitality and tourism conferences at the state and national levels, such as the American Hotel and Lodging Conference in New York City and the National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago. Contact Dr. Carroll Brown, cabrown@wcu.edu.

 

 

Study Abroad

Study Abroad programs are a great way to expand your horizons and at the same time earn college credit toward the completion of your academic program. If you want to gain international experience and exposure and a distinguishing edge in today's competitive job market, then studying abroad is for you. Academically, studying abroad is not only a fun way to earn credits, but it also exposes you to different teaching methods and perspectives on academic topics.

Western's Study Abroad opportunities are designed for both undergraduate and graduate students. These opportunities consist of programs that are one semester or an entire academic year, or even just for the summer. Each program has its own distinctions and prerequisites. Learn more about these opportunities.

Hospitality and Tourism Faculty
Steve Morse Ph.D.; Associate Professor and
Director of the Hospitality & Tourism Program
Carroll Brown  Ph.D.; Associate Professor
Angela Sebby  Ph.D.; Assistant Professor
Eva Smith  Ph.D.; Assistant Professor
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