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Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management Major Guide for 2016-2017

What is Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management

This major prepares you for work in entry-level management at a hotel, resort, restaurant, meeting and event planning company, convention center, or country club. This could be anywhere in the world, as these companies are in virtually every city and vacation area in the world – many in very beautiful places! You could start in a wide variety of positions, including front office, culinary, marketing, sales, or meeting services. Later you may move into human resources, or food and beverage management. Perhaps you will be a club manager, help run a resort complex, oversee multiple hotels or restaurants as part of a management company, or work in a convention center in a major metropolitan city. Maybe you are more research-oriented and prefer to work for a hotel chain or tourism bureau analyzing the current market demands for customer services. You can also choose to further your education by pursuing your graduate degree in consumer sciences and/or business.

For further information:
Travel Industry of America:
National Restaurant Association:
American Hotel and Lodging Association:

Career Opportunities in Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management

Hospitality, tourism, lodging, and meeting planning are among the largest and fastest growing industries in the nation. In Tennessee, major attractions such as the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Dollywood, and Nashville’s Opryland have made tourism the state’s second largest industry. As travel and leisure activities increase, the demand for professionals with management expertise in the restaurant and food service industry is also increasing. Opportunities in Tennessee, the Southeast, and throughout the world are outstanding and offer great variety, good starting salaries, and rapid advancement.

For further information:
Hospitality Careers:

Salary Trends in Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management

Salary can vary based on education, experience, geographic location and specific position. For the most up to date salary information in various related careers, please refer to the following links: – Occupational Outlook Handbook – Career Services Final Destination Survey  – 2014-15 Results

High School Preparation

High school students should follow a normal college preparatory curriculum. This major includes a minor in Business Administration; it is important to take a variety of college preparatory mathematics courses to develop the mathematical skills necessary to be successful in this major.  Pre-calculus and Calculus are particularly helpful preparatory courses.  In addition, it is very important to gain as much practical experience in a hospitality business as possible.

How to Major in Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management

Entering freshmen students may declare Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism as their major at Orientation.  During the first year at UT, HRT students should contact the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences Office of Student Services at 865-974-8194 for advising.  Current students interested in changing their major to HRT should also first consult with an EHHS advisor.  Following the completion of 30 hours and a minimum 2.3 GPA, HRT students will be assigned to and work directly with a HRT faculty advisor.

Requirements for Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management

Cumulative GPA of 2.3 or higher out of a possible 4.0, for at least 30 semester hours.

  • Grade of “C” or better in the following courses:
    All Retail & Consumer Sciences courses
    All Hotel and Restaurant Administration courses
  • Completion of English 101-102 and Math 125.
  • Complete 300 hours of hospitality-related work experience (post-secondary) that must be approved by the Internship Coordinator.

*For graduation, students must earn a “C” or better in all Retail & Consumer Sciences and Hotel Restaurant, and Tourism courses.

Special Programs, Co-ops, and Internships

Experiential and problem-based learning approaches are integrated into the curriculum to develop students’ critical thinking and decision-making skills. The program has strong relationships with many industry leaders who are always eager to participate in student experiences such as job shadowing and company visits, which are incorporated into many of our courses. An internship is required of all students, and a second internship is strongly recommended. The first is typically undertaken during the summer after the junior year, and gives the student an overview of working with a company and the culture of that company. A second internship can be taken during the student’s final semester and is designed to be fulfilled through a company’s management training program.

Highlights of Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management

Our strategic partnerships with key hospitality businesses will give a student in the program a competitive advantage for employment opportunities.
Examples of companies where internships were recently completed:
Gaylord Opryland, Marriott, Hyatt, Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton, Georgia State Park, Blackberry Farm, O’Charley’s, Ruby Tuesday, Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, Walt Disney World, Knoxville Tourism and Sports Commission, Fox Den Country Club, UT Conference Center, Hilton

Recent internship locations have included:
Hilton Head, Costa Rica, Hawaii, Vail, Grand Teton, Destin, Orlando, Miami, New York City, Chicago, Las Vegas, Amelia Island

Ready for the World

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, offers study abroad programs in Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia, South America, and North America. Program lengths vary from mini-term trips to the entire academic year, and students may choose to fulfill general education requirements, study a foreign language, or take courses within their majors.  In addition, UTK offers students opportunities for international internships.

Study abroad options certainly exist for HRT majors!  Possibilities include (but are not limited to) studying tourism industry operations in the Netherlands, supervision in the hospitality industry in Indonesia, Scandinavian tourism management in Sweden, international food and beverage management in Australia, or strategic hospitality marketing in Peru.  Additionally, the Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management department regularly schedules international and domestic study tours that combine professional appointments and cultural visits. Recent faculty-led trips have been taken to Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia, New York City, and Chicago.

Consult an academic advisor early in your academic career about the best time for you to study abroad as well as what courses you may need to take. For more information about program options, the application process, and how to finance study abroad, please visit the Programs Abroad Office website.  Learn more about UT’s Ready for the World initiative to help students gain the international and intercultural knowledge they need to succeed in today’s world.


Experience Learning

Experience Learning LogoExperience Learning is a bold new initiative with the goal of transforming the educational student experience at the University of Tennessee. Over a five-year period, UT will transform our culture to give students more opportunities to be involved in civic engagement, solve complex real-world problems, and contribute to the welfare of their communities as part of their regular course work.

The purpose of Experience Learning is to help students apply the knowledge, skills, and values learned in the classroom to real-world challenges. Experience Learning also seeks to engage student learning through direct experience and intense reflection to increase knowledge, acquire lifelong learning and problem-solving skills, and elucidate values.

Learn more about Experience Learning.

Academic Plan and Milestones

Following an academic plan will help students stay on track to graduate in four years. Beginning with first-time, first-year, full-time, degree-seeking students entering in the Fall 2013 semester and later and transfer students beginning Fall 2015 and later, UT has implemented Universal Tracking (uTrack), an academic monitoring system designed to help students stay on track for timely graduation. In order to remain on track, students must complete the minimum requirements for each tracking semester, known as milestones. Milestones may include successful completion of specified courses and/or attainment of a minimum GPA.

To see a sample academic plan and milestones for this major, click here.

For More Information

Dean Aaser, M.S.
Department of Retail, Hospitality, and Tourism Management
1215 W. Cumberland Ave.
111-E Jessie Harris Building
Knoxville, TN 37996-1911
Phone: 865-974-6240


The information on this page should be considered general information only. For more specific information on this and other programs refer to the UT catalog or contact the department and/or college directly.

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