Tourism and Hospitality Management


About Tourism and Hospitality Management

Prepare for a career in the worldwide tourism industry.

Build your future at the intersection of business and tourism with PennWest California’s interdisciplinary tourism and hospitality management degree.

This innovative program gives you a solid foundation in business principles, plus industry-specific hospitality and tourism management skills that can take you anywhere in the world.

PennWest California’s tourism and hospitality program is delivered in a hybrid (on-campus/online) or 100% online format. You’ll learn business basics such as accounting, economics, finance, management, marketing and more, while a broad selection of tourism and hospitality courses provide a theoretical framework and equip you to master the service practices essential to success in this dynamic field.

Completing the required 120-hour internship and minor field of study means you’ll graduate with a wealth of experience and an academic portfolio tailored to your interests and abilities. You can expect to finish this bachelor’s degree program in eight semesters, or four academic years.

Why choose a hospitality and tourism degree?

The hospitality and tourism industry offers a wide variety of job opportunities. More than 1 in 10 jobs worldwide are supported by tourism, and the travel industry is ranked No. 7 among the top private industry sectors in the United States.

Tourism is Pennsylvania’s second-largest industry and one of the state Department of Community and Economic Development’s six “key industries” for investment and growth.

Even with the shock event of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, the leisure, tourism and hospitality industry is among the fastest-growing in the world.

PennWest California’s program prepares graduates for positions at exciting locations such as attractions, airlines and airports, casinos, convention centers, country clubs, cruise ships, entertainment venues, cultural sites, hotels and resorts, museums, state and national parks, sports stadiums, theme parks and more.


Flexible delivery: Tourism and hospitality management students have the option to complete their program in a hybrid (on-campus/online) format or 100% online. This flexibility makes it easier to fit higher education into your busy schedule.

Required internship: This program requires a 120-hour industry placement that gives you firsthand experience and helps you develop a professional network. Positions are often paid, and can be remote, in-person or hybrid.

Select your minor: The tourism and hospitality concentration requires you to choose a minor program of study. This personalizes your degree and can broaden your knowledge base in a discipline such as psychology, communication, marketing, recreation or sport management.

Accredited program: PennWest California’s interdisciplinary studies in business and commerce degree is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, an assurance of quality in business-focused education.


Learn about applying


1 in 9 
Number of jobs that are part of the tourism and hospitality “supersector” of the U.S. economy.
Number of semesters required to complete the tourism and hospitality management concentration.


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Degree Benefits

The program’s coursework builds skills in business, communication and critical thinking that are applicable to a wide range of careers and employment settings. Courses in commercial recreation, events, hospitality and tourism management are among those that strengthen transferable skills, and the program’s focus on exceptional service provides a competitive edge for future professionals. Love to travel? Tourism and hospitality management majors have opportunities to attend professional conferences, intern outside the region and study abroad.

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Graduate Outcomes

Leisure and hospitality is an economic supersector of global size and scale, so jobs are not limited by location. Graduates of PennWest California’s undergraduate tourism degree program have found employment with Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, Disney cruises and theme parks, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Expedia Group, Hershey Entertainment and Resorts, Hilton International, MGM Resorts International, Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, Rivers Casino, Six Flags Entertainment Corp., Southwest Airlines, Top Golf Sports Entertainment, Viking River Cruises, Visit Pittsburgh and many others.



Tourism and Hospitality Management
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Faculty Expertise

Dr. Susan Ryan oversees the B.A. in Geography's concentration in tourism, hospitality and event studies. She is also the director of the PennWest California Tourism Research Center, a state-of-the-art facility within the Department of Earth Sciences that's equipped to provide custom tourism research for tourism planning and development initiatives. Dr. Ryan has directed a variety of research projects throughout Canada and the United States, with an emphasis on sustainable tourism development in Pennsylvania.

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What Job Can You Get With a Hospitality Management Degree?

This program’s interdisciplinary focus prepares students to meet contemporary tourism and hospitality management challenges in a business setting. Graduates are equipped for jobs such as adventure tourism specialist, attractions strategist, brand manager, travel copy writer, contracts coordinator, corporate travel manager, destination promotions director, digital and social media strategist, or venue manager.


Course Credits
General Education Courses 40 or 41
Building a Sense of Community
UNI 100 First-Year Seminar
ENG 101  English Composition I
Public Speaking
CDC 101  Public Speaking
Mathematics and Quantitative Literacy
MAT 181  College Algebra
Health and Wellness
REC 165  Introduction to Recreation and Leisure  OR  REC 195  Leisure and Wellness Recreation
Technological Literacy
MIS 201  Management Info Systems
PHI 115  Logic and Language (or other humanities with adviser approval)
Fine Arts
Any Fine Arts Course
Natural Sciences
Any Natural Sciences Course
3 or 4
Social Sciences
PSY 100  General Psychology 
Ethics and Multicultural Awareness Emphasis Course
GEO 100  Intro to Geography
General Education Options
  • ENG 211  Business Writing I  OR  ENG 102  Composition II
  • MAT 225  Business Statistics 
  • BUS 281  Management Science I
Business Core Courses 30
ACC 200  Financial Accounting 3
ACC 321  Managerial Accounting 3
BUS 242  Business Law I 3
BUS 381  Management Science I 3
BUS 499  Integrated Strategic Capstone
ECO 201  Principles of Microeconomics 3
ECO 202  Principles of Macroeconomics 3
FIN 301  Financial Management 3
MGT 300  Principles of Management 3
MKT 300  Principles of Marketing 3
Required Tourism and Hospitality Management Concentration Courses
TOU 101  Introduction to Tourism Studies 3
TOU 102  Hospitality Industry and Operations 3
TOU 330  Meeting Expos, Events and Conv. Operations 3
TOU 350  Hotels, Resorts and Lodging 3
TOU 400  Impacts and Sustainability of Tourism 3
TOU 460  Comprehensive Tourism Planning 3
Related Tourism and Hospitality Management Electives 9
Select three courses from the following (not all are available online):
  • TOU 205  World Cities/Geography of Tourism
  • TOU 277  Casinos and Gaming Entertainment
  • REC 374  Commercial Recreation Management
  • TOU 385  Dark Tourism and Extreme Topics
  • TOU 450  Research Methods for Tourism Studies
  • Any 300-level or above BUS, GEO, MGT, MKT, REC or TOU courses not already required or included above  
Required Minor/Certificate* 12 
Students must select a minor or certificate. Additional information is listed below.  12 (min.)
Free Electives 10 or 11
Total 120

Additional requirements, not counted toward the General Education requirements, include:

  • Special Experience Course (1 course required): ECO 460 Global Economic Perspectives OR TOU 380 Dark Tourism
  • Writing-Intensive Component Courses (2 courses required): BUS 499 Integrated Strategic Capstone AND TOU 460 Comprehensive Tourism Planning
  • Laboratory Course (1 course required): BUS 381 Management Science II

Required Minor/Certificate: Students cannot have more than 9 credits in the major also count toward their minor. Students must select from one of the following minors: Management; Economics; Event Planning and Management; Geo-Business; or another business minor. Students may select a different minor or a certificate, with the approval of their adviser. "Free Electives" may be fulfilled with courses required for the minor.

The management, economics and other business minors are 21 credits; however, 9 of these credits are required in the “Business Core Courses” above. The tourism studies minor is 18 credits; however, 6 credits are completed in the "Tourism and Hospitality Management Concentration Courses" and 3 credits are available in the "Tourism and Hospitality Management Electives."

Program Note: Students who complete dual degrees or dual majors do not have to complete a minor or certificate.