Program Overview

Staying in hotels, dining out, exploring new places – they are some of life's greatest pleasures. They also make up a multi-billion dollar industry. It is crucial that guests have a good experience. UW-Stout's hotel, restaurant and tourism management major gives you the skills you need to make it happen. If you're interested in travel or tourism, then this is the major for you.

Choosing the right program is critical to your success in this competitive industry. UW-Stout houses one of the largest hotel, restaurant and tourism management programs in the world. Graduates furnish the managerial talent needed by resorts, hotels, restaurants, private clubs, government tourism agencies and convention bureaus.

Your academic and career success, self growth and leadership development are the goals of the Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management program. Faculty and staff are highly skilled, caring individuals. They are committed to providing you with a quality education, through personal attention and by helping you develop the personal and professional skills that will give you a competitive edge.

Rewarding Careers

This professional area is one of the most exciting fields available to people who are interested in hospitality and tourism. You'll be prepared to assume leadership positions in:

  • Club Management
  • Financial Management
  • Health Care
  • Hotel Management
  • Casino Management
  • Human Resource Management
  • Convention and Meeting Planning
  • Property Management
  • Restaurant Management
  • Sales and Marketing Management
  • Tourism Management

Learning Experiences

Courses in the program are split into two areas: general education and professional studies. Instructional methods include both classroom and laboratory experiences. Classroom experiences provide you with a theoretical foundation. Laboratory experiences allow you to apply what you have learned.

Enjoying Student Life

The campus learning environment includes a wide variety of activities. Intramural sports, social clubs, sororities and fraternities, honor societies and professional organizations are all available. The six student professional organizations related to the Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management program are:

  • Club Managers of America Association (CMAA)
  • Property Management Association (PMA)
  • Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association (HSMAI)
  • Restaurant and Tavern Management Association (RTMA)
  • Stout Special Events Society (SSES)
  • Wisconsin Hotel and Lodging Association (WH&LA)

Studying and Traveling Abroad

In order to give you a broader experience of the tourism industry, programs have been developed to let you learn in other countries. Many international programs allow you to gain valuable work experiences in addition to classroom instruction. You may also immerse yourself in the culture by living with a host family and traveling throughout the area. UW-Stout has hospitality study abroad programs in Spain, Australia, and the Netherlands. See the International Education website for more information.

Experiencing the Professional World

The Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management program has developed more than 100 agreements with different businesses to provide internships, co-ops and other job-related experiences for UW-Stout students. Participating companies include leading hotels, restaurants, amusement parks and food industries. Internships are also available with tourism bureaus, chambers of commerce, and convention and meeting planning bureaus.

Getting Ready

It is never too early to prepare for a career within the hospitality and tourism industry. You can begin by developing professional experiences within the industry. Become involved by:

  • Joining the local restaurant or hotel association.
  • Attending professional shows and conferences.
  • Interviewing industry professionals.
  • Spending a day with an industry professional.
  • Finding a summer job in the hospitality industry.

Entry Positions

The number and variety of companies recruiting graduates continues to increase. Most corporations or companies place graduates in management positions. The amount of training that a new manager will receive is dependent on the complexity of the organization and on the skills of the individual. Other graduates may elect to pursue sales careers or become entrepreneurs. Your success is based on your ability.

The average starting salary of the 2015–16 graduate was $37,000. As you advance within a hospitality and tourism company, your salary will increase depending on the level of responsibility. Many of our graduates have become general and executive directors of large corporations and are managing millions of dollars.