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Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management Program

Institutional Description

Western Kentucky University (WKU) is located in Bowling Green, KY, a small metropolitan area with a population of over 100,000. It is located in south central Kentucky and is approximately 110 miles south of Louisville, KY and 65 miles north of Nashville, TN. The 200-acre university campus is situated on a hill overlooking the city of Bowling Green, the campus being acclaimed as one of the most beautiful in the nation. The portion of campus known as College Heights commands an impressive view of the Barren River Valley. WKU has approximately 18,000 students enrolled to include students from all 50 states and 70 different countries. WKU, a state supported university, has established itself as a center for learning in the state where qualified students receive general and specialized higher education at the undergraduate and graduate levels.


Program Description

WKU's Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management (HRTM) Program offers a broad array of progressive courses positioning students to meet the challenges of the hospitality industry into the 21st century. Our program is designed to prepare students for leadership positions in hotels, resorts, clubs, restaurants, airline food service, hospitals, business and industry food service, convention centers, sports facilities, retirement facilities, arenas, vacation ownership, cruise lines, themes parks as well as meeting, convention, exposition, event, and wedding planning. In addition to both management and industry-specific courses, our program also stresses core concepts such as leadership, ethics, diversity and communication. Graduates are prepared to design and lead customer-driven service systems that address the needs of consumers throughout the hospitality industry.


Career Opportunities in Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management

The hospitality and tourism industry is the number one employer worldwide and number two in the United States. Examples of careers for the graduate of this program are: hotel manager, restaurant manager, food and beverage manager, director of catering, in-flight feeding director, front office manager, executive house-keeper, convention and meeting planner, wedding/event planner, owner/operator of hospitality operation, tourism director, etc.


Special Features

 The Hospitality and Dietetic Association provides opportunities for leadership and for unique educational opportunities that complement what is learned in our academic courses. The HRTM Program also enjoys a strong relationship with the hospitality industry in and around Kentucky so students easily find internship sites and employment after graduation. Several courses are taught over the Internet as well as in the classroom so students can easily accommodate their learning style and personal schedule.


Financial Aid & Scholarships Available

Scholarships are available from the Kentucky Restaurant Association, the Bowling Green Hotel/Motel Association, the Educational Foundation of the National Restaurant Association, as well as other local and national scholarships. The Department of Student Financial Assistance on campus is dedicated to assisting academically capable students with sufficient resources to enable them to meet their educational costs.


Admissions Information

Students who are accepted by Western Kentucky University are automatically accepted into the Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management Program. Graduates from accredited high schools may be admitted to the university with a high school GPA of 2.5 or above in a pre-college curriculum, or a minimum ACT composite score of 20 or SAT score of 930 (math + verbal) or above.


Required Courses

The listing of required courses for this program can be found here.


Graduation Requirements

For the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree, students must complete a minimum of 120 semester hours which includes 68 hours in the HRTM major, 45 hours of general education (liberal arts) courses, and the balance in unrestricted electives. The 68 hours in the major includes 6 semester hours of structured work experience in the form of practicums and internships. The university also requires that all students attain a minimum of a 2.0 GPA, both in the major and overall and a grade of "C" or better in all courses in the major, in order to graduate.

Accreditations achieved within the Applied Human Sciences Department

Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) - Nutrition & Dietetic Undergraduate and Graduate programs

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) - Early Childhood Education Associate Degree

National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) - Interior Design program


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 Last Modified 6/28/22