Hotel, Resort and Tourism Management

Earn a degree in Hotel, Resort and Tourism Management at Paul Smith’s College to further your path toward the perfect job or career.

The hospitality management industry has a broad horizon, providing hospitality students the opportunity to pursue interests both in and out of the classroom as they prepare for careers in hospitality.

  • Join Paul Smith’s Chapter of DECA, an international collegiate club for leaders in Management, Marketing, Hospitality & Finance. Members plan and execute multiple campus-wide traditions and sponsor site visits, fundraisers, recruitment efforts and trips to the Annual DECA Conference
  • Take a Course Outside Your Major by tapping into Paul Smith’s diverse program offerings.  Explore Maple Syrup Production, Dendrology, Mycology, Beer Brewing or Improv Comedy.
  •  Experience the Great Outdoors by taking advantage of the unsurpassed rugged beauty of the campus. There are endless opportunities for camping, fishing, hiking, canoeing, and other outdoor sports. #smittypix
  • Earn a Creative Minor to Complement your Bachelor’s Degree like Maple Products & Production, Sustainable Communities or Environmental Communications.  Or earn the Craft Beer Studies & Management Minor to become a Beer Sampler for Saranac Brewery like Sean McCann ’17.

We believe that Hospitality is more than a “type” of business, it’s a “way” of doing business. Because this belief informs the way we teach, train and prepare our graduates, they have long been sought by prestigious properties around the globe. The combination of experiential education and this philosophy provides graduates with marketability and promoteability within the world of Hospitality as well as transferability across careers and industries. Our hospitality degrees prepare students for the long haul.

Key Facts
  • B.S. Degree.
  • 122 credit hours (minimum) required.
    • 31+ credits must be in liberal arts and sciences.
    • 43 credits must be in 300/400 level courses.
  • 800 hours of industry work experience required.
    • 200 hours (minimum) required at each internship site.
    • This is non-credit bearing and there is no tuition fee.
Career Options

Our Hospitality graduates have gone on to become:

  • General Manager, New York Yacht Club – NYC
  • Revenue Analyst With Hilton Corporate – Houston, TX
  • Restaurant Owner – Lake Placid, NY
  • Special Events Manager – Savannah, GA
  • Beverage Manager, Ritz Carlton – Bachelor Gulch, CO
  • Private Club Manager – Buffalo, NY
  • Vice President, Disneyland – Anaheim, CA
  • Social Media Director – Maui, HI
  • Craft Beer Brewer – Lake Placid, NY
  • Event Director – City Of Caribou, ME
  • Membership Advisor – Marriott Vacations, Singapore
  • Crew Member – Norwegian Cruise Lines
  • Director of Sales & Marketing – Nashville, TN
  • Hotel Inspector with AAA Travel
  • There Are Literally Hundreds More
Program Objectives

At the end of the program students will be able to:

  • Critical Thinking and Leadership Skills
    • Make rational, logical and creative decisions to confront a variety of challenges
    • Understand, analyze and synthesize data derived from management information systems to address management challenges in the areas of marketing, guest services, cost control, and human resource management
    • Convert financial data and operational reports into action plans
    • Plan and conduct group meetings with agenda, outcome goals and post meeting analysis
    • Demonstrate the ability to plan, organize and execute a multi-faceted business project
  • Management and Communication Skills
    • Human Resource Management
      • Have the ability to apply several approaches in the supervision, training and management of employees
      • Understand the industry’s inherent cultural diversity and the variety of issues related to managing a multicultural workforce and providing service for an international clientele
    • Financial Management
      • Understand basic accounting practices and be able to apply industry-specific math applications to actual case studies and develop pricing strategies
      • Apply cost control concepts to develop appropriate systems for the day to- day management and operation of lodging or food service operations
      • Convert financial data and operational reports into action plans
    • Service Delivery Management
      • Utilize management skills for the development, delivery and evaluation of quality guest services
      • Demonstrate knowledge and application of ethical and socially responsible practices
    • Strategic Planning and Management
      • Identify the steps involved in developing a strategic plan and apply management practices necessary to implement and evaluate the success of the plan
    • Marketing
      • Research and develop a fundamental marketing plan and integrate basic marketing principles into management decisions
      • Apply advertising, promotional and direct sales techniques to the marketing of tourism products and special events
    • Communication
      • Develop and stage high-quality oral presentations to groups, integrating the use of presentation software
      • Express thoughts and opinions clearly through written and oral communication. Apply active listening skills
  • Technical knowledge and skills
    • Industry Background, History & Trends
      • Describe the history and traditions of the hospitality industry, and survey the full range of available career opportunities
      • Recognize current and emerging industry trends
    • Guest Relations
      • Demonstrate knowledge of guest psychology and professional guest service skills that are required during all phases of the guest cycle
      • Apply knowledge of all functional areas involved in the delivery of exceptional guest service
    • Food Services
      • Demonstrate the proper usage and care of common kitchen & dining room equipment
      • Apply knowledge of basic food preparation as it relates to planning, scheduling, production and management
      • Apply knowledge of proper sanitation & safety procedures for food service and lodging applications
  • Life skills and work ethic
    • Understand and model the purpose, value and rewards of hard work
    • Understand and have the ability to present an appropriate appearance and decorum in a variety of professional settings ranging from interviews to presentations in the workplace
    • Exhibit self-confidence, initiative and the ability to function effectively as a member of a work group
    • Apply academic theories learned in the classroom with real, hands-on learning opportunities within the hospitality industry
Required Courses

Program Planning Guide »


  • Hospitality Futures
    • Signature Course – Students apply current events to the hospitality industry, predicting future outcomes
  • Field Studies in Hospitality
    • Signature Course – Students work with a Faculty member to complete a management level project for a regional hospitality organization
  • Cultural Enology
    • Signature Course – Students study wine from a cultural and sensory perspective, multiple tastings are featured
  • Hospitality Business Simulation
    • Signature Course – Students use the same business simulation program as major hotel companies like Hilton, Marriot & Intercontinental
  • Hotel, Resort & Tourism Orientation
  • First Year Seminar
  • Language Sequence in Spanish or French
  • Financial Decision Making
  • Hotel Accounting
  • Financial Accounting


  • History of the World in 6 Glasses
    • Signature Course – Students study the historical, cultural and economic impacts of wine, beer, spirits, coffee, tea and Coca-Cola; multiple tastings are featured
  • Gerontology
  • Shattering Gender Stereotypes


  • Intro to Food & Beverage Service Techniques
    • Signature Course – Students work in the on-campus St Regis Café, a farm-to-table restaurant serving 5 days a week
  • New Media Tools
    • Signature Course – Students study Social Media platforms as a way to attract and retain guests
  • Principles of Marketing
  • Principles of Management
  • Dining Room & Kitchen Management
  • Baking Retail Experience


  • Recreation & Resort Marketing & Management
    • Signature Course – Students study the world of resorts, giving special attention the eco-travel and sustainable tourism
  • Destination Dynamics
    • Signature Course – Students study tourist destinations and the complexities that make them succeed and fail
  • Major Event & Festival Planning
    • Signature Course – Students take event planning to the next level, planning for 1000+ attendees
  • The Business of Beer
    • Signature Course – Students study beer as an integral component in the world of hospitality; multiple tastings are featured
  • Creating & Communicating Value
    • Signature Course – Students analyze and synthesize product benefits to present in a Shark Tank style environment
  • Semester in Residency
    • Signature Course – Students spend a full semester working and studying with a partner organization; nationwide opportunities
  • Advertising & Promotion
  • The Family Enterprise
  • Business Ethics & Decision Making
  • Facilities Planning & Environmental Management

More information (College Catalog) »


Paul Smith's receives five Best Colleges distinctions, including the No. 1 ranking for Most Innovative Schools. Continue reading »

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