Develop world class graduate students to identify, analyze and respond, in an informed sense, to the dynamic nature of the global hospitality and tourism field through excellence in teaching, research and applied outreach.



The Department of Nutrition, Dietetics, and Hospitality Management, a unit in the College of Human Sciences, offers graduate studies leading to a Master's degree with option in Hotel and Restaurant Management, HRMT. The Master of Science (M.S.) degree is designed to provide advanced education for the rapidly evolving hospitality field. Students have a choice of two study tracks: the on-campus thesis or non-thesis program (non-thesis also offered in distance education format). The M.S. degree requires a minimum of 30 semester hours for the thesis track and 33 for non-thesis. The principle difference between the two programs is the emphasis on primary research. The thesis track aims to develop the necessary skills to perform high level, timely and relevant research aimed to rejuvenate existing hospitality thinking and practice. The non-thesis track is designed mainly for individuals interested in combining current work life with the need for educational advancement. Non-thesis requirements include completion of a primary research project relevant to the student's direct business environment.

Both Master's tracks offer an interesting blend of theoretical and applied courses created to keep students abreast of current management thinking and practice. Particular emphasis is placed on the concepts of workplace diversity, informed decision-making and management in a global context.

MS Program Learning Outcomes

A student who graduates with a thesis-track Master’s degree will:

1. Demonstrate a coherent understanding of the main theoretical foundations of hospitality and tourism fields through synthesis across courses and experiences.
2. Analyze and compare the relative merits of alternative research methods and statistical techniques when designing a research project.
3. Develop innovative, data-supported, theoretically sound research project related to a specific area within the hospitality and tourism fields.
4. Engage in various instructional experiences and develop teaching skills needed for instructional positions in the hospitality and tourism fields and/or advancement toward a terminal degree.
5. Communicate professionally and effectively in written and oral formats relevant to the hospitality and tourism fields.

A student who graduates with non-thesis track Master’s degree will:

1. Use theoretical tools and concepts to implement problem solving in an industry setting.
2. Assess and use appropriate data analytics tools, statistical techniques and yield management knowledge for decision making in an industry setting.
3. Produce a written report addressing industry-based problem.
4. Make a professional and academic oral presentation to a learned audience.



The Department of Nutrition, Dietetics & Hospitality Management, a unit in the College of Human Sciences, offers graduate studies leading to a doctoral degree with an option in Hotel and Restaurant Management, HRMT. The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program is offered to students interested in developing research skills beyond the Master's level and is focused on an academically oriented career. The PhD program places a strong emphasis on methodology and the scientific process and equips students with the skill set necessary to make significant contributions in the chosen research field.

PhD students are provided one-on-one research supervision at the graduate faculty level and unique insight into the corporate inner-workings of Ithaka Hospitality Partners, the HRMT program's delivery partner. Doctoral students are encouraged to interact with the Ithaka Hospitality Partners senior leadership team and to identify other possible research partnerships, in order to develop projects that are ground-breaking and theoretically challenging from an applied perspective.

Program Goal 1:
Research. To prepare students to be effective researchers in the hospitality and tourism fields.
Outcomes: HRMT Ph.D. students will be able to

a. Develop a high level of theoretical expertise in the hospitality and tourism fields by generating research questions that clearly advances the literature and their specific areas of specialty.
b. Build up rigorous methodological competencies appropriate to hospitality and tourism fields and student’s specific area of specialty.
c. Apply novel research methods/approaches to solve emerging problems in the hospitality and tourism fields.
d. Develop knowledge and skills to successfully secure grants and funding to support research.
e. Communicate their research clearly and professionally in both written and oral forms appropriate to the hospitality and tourism fields.

Program Goal 2:
Teaching. To prepare students to be effective educators in the hospitality and tourism fields.
Outcomes: HRMT Ph.D. students will be able to

a. Foster the understanding of hospitality and tourism knowledge for others (e.g., students) through demonstrated pedagogical knowledge.
b. Integrate research findings into classroom teaching, especially those related to student’s academic interests.
c. Synthesize feedback gathered from various sources (student, self-evaluation, peers, supervising faculty members, etc.) to continuously enhance teaching effectiveness.
d. Create a teaching portfolio that documents and assesses student’s teaching abilities and experiences for future employment.

Program Goal 3:
Professional Development. To enable students to develop as successful professionals and be attractive to employers for highly competitive positions in academic institutions, professional organizations, industry, and government.
Outcomes: HRMT Ph.D. students will

a. Earn professional certifications related to the various segments of the hospitality and tourism fields, offered by the department or by outside entities.
b. Be involved during their graduate program in preparing for leadership roles and responsibilities they will assume throughout their future careers.
c. Participate in professional organizations, becoming members and attending meetings.
d. Enhance their professional bases through internships and other industry practical experiences.


For additional information about the HRMT Graduate Program, visit the Resources page or email:

Dr. Baker Ayoun
HRMT Graduate Programs Officer
Department of Nutrition, Dietetics, & Hospitality Management
328 Spidle Hall
Auburn, AL 36849-5605