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Hospitality, Tourism and Event Management (B.S.)

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The mission of the hospitality, tourism and event management program is to develop visionary leaders and successful professionals in the hospitality, tourism and event industry. The program provides a comprehensive and challenging curriculum that includes courses in general education, business, hospitality, tourism and event management, combined with relevant operational and management experience under the supervision and guidance of industry professionals and program faculty.


At the conclusion of the program, students will be able to:

  1. Identify and apply the knowledge and skills necessary for hospitality and tourism operations.
  2. Develop and integrate a core set of business skills necessary to successfully operate a hospitality and tourism organization.
  3. Demonstrate competence in the communication skills necessary for hospitality and tourism management.
  4. Formulate business decisions in hospitality and tourism management.
  5. Evaluate leadership principles necessary in the diverse and global hospitality and tourism industry.

With a Bachelor of Science in hospitality, tourism and event management from South Dakota State University, the hospitality, tourism and event industry is yours to conquer. We are dedicated to making the hospitality, tourism and event management program at SDSU one of the leading professional management-related programs in the Midwest.


Since Winter of 2016, the hospitality, tourism and event management program has held professional accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration (ACPHA) for its educational quality and for upholding nationally recognized standards in the hospitality profession.

The hospitality, tourism and event management program had a 50% retention rate for the 2020-2021 academic year, and 75% of our students were employed in the hospitality industry or a related field upon graduation and 25% of our students were continuing their education. In the academic years of 2019-2020, 2018-2019 and 2017-18, retention rates were 100%, 71.4% and 57.1% respectively. While the hospitality industry continued to have jobs available in the hospitality field for any student searching, students in hospitality, tourism and event management learn numerous transferrable skills and are sought-after for, and excel in, positions in a wide variety of industries. Given that, 94.12% and 88% of our students were employed in the hospitality industry or related field in 2019-2020 and 2018-2019 respectively. In 2017-18, 13.33% of our students were continuing their education and 66.67% were employed in the hospitality industry or a related field.

Program Overview

This specialized business degree prepares you for leadership roles in the dynamic, service-oriented hospitality industry. Traditional business courses in accounting, economics and law are complemented by hospitality marketing, meeting/event management, lodging management, hospitality facilities management, food and beverage management and international tourism. All of these courses help to give you a solid foundation required for any number of hospitality specialties.

Some of the many areas you can focus your career within hospitality management:

  • Bar and beverage management
  • Casino management
  • Club management
  • Cruise management
  • Event management
  • Hotel management
  • Resort management
  • Restaurant management
  • Tourism management
  • Venue management
  • Sport coordinator
  • Healthcare hospitality

We stress experiential learning in our program. If you plan to successfully lead, manage or direct others in the industry you must have industry experience. Our goal is for each of our graduates to be qualified for an intro-level management job (or management training position) upon graduation. As former managers in the hospitality industry we realize that gaining industry experience is an important part of our degree requirement.

All undergraduates must complete two internships, accumulating more than 500 hours of work experience in two distinct areas of hospitality. These two experiences provide a great opportunity to explore different and unique facets of the industry, and to expand your knowledge and discover your ideal career path. Whether on campus or off campus, part time or full time, job or internship, you can choose the work experience that best suits your schedule and interests.

With this degree in hand, you'll have a wealth of career options both in South Dakota and throughout the United States and will be well-prepared for post-graduate studies if you choose to continue your education. Additionally, our faculty brings significant industry experience to the classroom, adding a unique dimension that you just won't find with a general business education.

Special Events

Throughout the fall/spring, students participate in learning experiences with the hospitality club and in their courses. Some of the upcoming experiences that students will be participating in:

Additional Information

Meet the Faculty & Staff