Hotel & Restaurant Management Degree – Paul Smith’s College

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

Hotel & Restaurant Management

Join an academic tradition that’s respected worldwide. Our graduates are sought by prestigious properties around the globe because of the hands-on education and training they receive. In fact, this tradition is even older than the college itself – hospitality has been a hallmark of Paul Smith’s since the property’s original operation as a top-quality resort hotel. Learn how to be an effective supervisor who can oversee a busy team while also making smart business decisions and delivering guest satisfaction:

  • Gain hands-on experience working in one of two on-campus restaurants or in nearby Lake Placid, a world-class resort destination
  • Develop a talent for handling customer relations with integrity, professionalism and teamwork
  • Understand the fundamentals of marketing, business plans and finance
  • Work directly with faculty and industry professionals on management-level projects
  • Develop a competitive edge through semesterlong study abroad opportunities in places such as Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Costa Rica and Ecuador

Students learn the skills and background to enter the field with a leg up on rapid professional development. This associate-degree program also provides a foundation for students who choose to pursue the hotel, resort and tourism management bachelor’s degree.

Key Facts
  • A.A.S. degree
  • 62 credit hours (minimum) required
    • one-third of credits must be in the liberal arts and sciences
  • 400 hours of industry work experience is required
    • 200 hours (minimum) required at each location
    • this is not credit-bearing and there is no tuition fee
Career Options
  • Corporate Events Coordinator
  • Property Manager
  • Hotel Sales
  • Front Office Manager
  • Restaurant Manager
  • Hotel/Resort Events Coordinator
  • Hotel Operations Consultant
  • Food and Beverage Management
  • Director of Housekeeping
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 data to address management challenges in the areas of marketing, guest services, cost control, and human resource management
    • Recognize and identify financial data and operational reports
    • Plan and conduct group meetings with agenda, outcome goals and post meeting analysis
  • Management and Communication Skills
    • Human Resource Management
      • 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
    • 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
    • Marketing
      • Research and develop a fundamental marketing plan and integrate basic marketing principles into management decisions
      • Develop 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
      • Recognize 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
Required Courses

Program Planning Guide »

  • First semester:  Financial Accounting I; Hotel, Resort and Tourism Industry Orientation
  • Second semester:  Front Office/Property Management; Intro to Food Production; Food Service Sanitation
  • Third or Fourth semester:  Nutrition; Dining Room and Kitchen Operations; Hotel Practicum; Hotel Accounting; Electives


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