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This major helps provide preparation for management positions in hotels, restaurants, institutions, and other hospitality organizations. The program is designed to give the student a broad general education and a strong management and problem-solving orientation balanced with the requisite technical skills, all of which are essential for career progression to upper-management positions in the hospitality professions. The program also helps prepare students for graduate study.

This option helps prepare students for management positions in any segment of the hospitality industry, including hotels, restaurants, institutional or non-commercial operations, clubs, resorts, and casinos. The management focus helps provide students with the analytical, interpersonal, and organizational skills necessary to effectively function as hospitality professionals.

Note:  Transfer credits from other institutions can be used to fulfill some HM course requirements. Decisions regarding transfer credits, if not already approved by the university and applied automatically, rest with the Professor-in-Charge of the Undergraduate Program (in consultation with course faculty). 


Part 1: CORE icon-olus-circle

The core curriculum consists of 49 HM credits. Most courses are 3-credits, yet some are 1- or 2-credit courses. Courses need to be taken in sequence, which means that students need to have completed certain course prerequisites before they are able to enroll in a subsequent course. 

Please check the  Penn State bulletin at or contact our academic advisors, Ms. Nada Madrid at or Mr. Jeff Heim at to verify whether you have completed the correct course pre-requisites before you attempt to enroll in a course. The Penn State registration system will automatically remove students from courses if they do not have the appropriate pre-requisites and will prevent students from registering for a course without the proper pre-requisites.

There are 23 HM credits (eight courses) in the core curriculum where a grade of “C” or better is required. This means that a final grade of D is not sufficient for a student to pass the course or for the course to count as a completed pre-requisite for another course. These courses are HM 101, 230, 235, 242, 265W, 272, 280, and 350.

Part 2: MAJOR ELECTIVES icon-olus-circle

The elective curriculum consists of numerous HM-prefixed courses that are offered on a rotational basis to accommodate students’ interests and needs. Students need to complete a minimum of 28 elective credits as part of their degree plan. Up to 4 credits of world language can be accepted in HM Major Electives, but the HM curriculum does not require students to complete any world language course(s).


Penn State and the School of Hospitality Management partner to offer the Entrepreneurship and Innovation (ENTI) 18-credit minor. Three courses are required: MGMT 215, ENGR 310, and ENGR/IST/MGMT 425. Students choose an additional 9 credits within a “cluster, and Hospitality Management is one such cluster and students can choose from the following courses: HM 382, HM 407, HM 435, HM 482, HM 485 and HM 488. Students must take HM 484. 
Additional information can be found here:


The School of Hospitality Management and the Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management (RPTM) offer a joint 15-credit certificate in Meeting and Events Management. Hospitality Management students complete these five courses: HM 101, HM 242, HM 384, HM 485, and a 3-credit on-campus internship, HM 395C.
Additional information can be found here:  /shm/undergraduate/undergraduate-meeting-and-events-management-certificate-memc

Suggested Academic Plans

Semester-by-semester academic plans recommend, in table form, the courses students might schedule each semester as they pursue a particular degree. These tables serve several University purposes and assist multiple constituencies: students, advisers, departments, deans, registrars, admissions officers, and family members. The plans:

  • Identify normal academic progress and course offerings needed, and reveal course sequencing;
  • Assist students and advisers in planning students' schedules both short-term and long-range, registrars and departments in planning course offerings, and registrars and deans in determining when students should change campus;
  • Help prospective students and their families to anticipate the academic workload and courses needed to earn a degree and students to anticipate when courses will be offered in order to appropriately schedule prerequisites;
  • Serve as tools to help advisers learn the curriculum.

Semester scheduling recommendations for all baccalaureate majors can also be found in the University Bulletin.

Prerequisite Policy

Requests for exceptions to prerequisite requirements are to be submitted in writing using this form.   Any questions or problems regarding prerequisite requirements or exceptions can be discussed with the Academic Advisers in the School of Hospitality Management. Decisions on prerequisite exceptions are made by the Professor-in-Charge of the Undergraduate Program after consultation with the advisers and the faculty member involved.

The School of Hospitality Management
The Pennsylvania State University
201 Mateer Building
University Park, PA 16802 | 814-865-1853

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