BA in Tourism and Hospitality
The Bachelor of Arts in Tourism and Hospitality is an interdisciplinary degree designed to prepare and develop future leaders to creatively think and problem solve within the tourism and hospitality management field through applied, real world learning experiences.
The 39-credit major provides a solid and comprehensive academic foundation for all students, both experienced professionals and those new to the field. It draws upon the social and natural sciences, recreation, business, and planning disciplines to provide an integrated understanding of hospitality management and tourism as a global industry and source of economic, environmental and social change. Graduates of the BA in Tourism and Hospitality bring to their careers and the community an understanding of the local, regional, and global implications of the sector, including its impact on communities and places and its prominent role in cultural contact, exchange, and learning as well as a strong hospitality skill set, developed through hands-on, industry-based, project learning.
The Specific Learning Goals of the Tourism & Hospitality Major are:
- Students will understand the local and global implications of tourism and the role tourism plays in the economy, communities, nature, and culture as well as foster the ability to apply this knowledge to real word industry issues, policy, planning, and destination development. (Sustainable Tourism Innovation and Development Concentration)
- Students will develop a strong hospitality management skill set focused on professional practices through hands-on work in collaboration with the Maine Tourism Industry. (Hospitality Management concentration)
- Students will be prepared for future leadership roles in the global tourism and hospitality industry developed through hands-on, industry-engaged, real world learning.
To accomplish this students may select one or both specialized concentrations:
- Hospitality Management
- Sustainable Tourism Innovation & Development
Students complement these concentrations with electives drawn from a number of disciplines, travel courses, and a capstone experience that allows them to apply their knowledge to a real-world setting or problem. The degree curriculum emphasizes hands-on learning in the classroom and practical knowledge, with faculty from several departments within USM, as well as industry professionals, preparing students to engage directly in this sector in a variety of possible career pathways.
The BA in Tourism and Hospitality includes seven required courses including a culminating Capstone class and a four-course concentration. Students may complete an additional two classes or the additional concentration to meet the minimum 39 credits for the major. Students must earn a minimum GPA in the major of 2.0, and a grade of C- or better in all major courses. Students may apply a maximum of nine (9) credit hours of internships, independent studies, and travel classes toward the major. Unless specific articulation agreements have been developed with an institution, students may also apply up to 18 credits of transfer courses from other institutions toward the BA. All students must meet with their advisors before registering for courses each semester.
All TAH majors must complete these required courses:
- TAH 101 Introduction to Tourism & Hospitality
- TAH 150 Professional Practices Immersion in Tourism & Hospitality
- TAH 221 Hospitality Management
- TAH 241 Sustainable Tourism Development
- TAH 301 Global Issues in Travel & Tourism
- TAH 409 Capstone (includes at least a 150 hr internship or relevant industry work experience requirement for a 3 credit capstone. If student takes this for 6 credits, it means student only has to do one 3-credit elective instead of two)
- TAH 415 Trends and Innovation in Tourism and Hospitality
Each student must complete at least one four-course concentration to develop knowledge and proficiency in an area that reflects his or her interests and career goals. If student chooses to complete the second concentration, student is not required to complete the 2 electives for the major. Students may also complete a TAH certificate in event planning and tourism development.
The following are general descriptions and requirements of the two concentrations. Course descriptions for TAH classes are found in the Course Descriptions section. Descriptions for non-TAH classes in each concentration can be found in the descriptions of those programs.
A) Hospitality Management (12 credits)
The learning goals for students in this concentration is that they will develop a strong hospitality management skill set focused on professional practices through hands-on work in collaboration with the Maine Tourism Industry. Students will be prepared for future leadership roles in the global tourism and hospitality industry developed through hands-on, industry-engaged, real world learning.
TAH 222 Food and Beverage Management
TAH 321 Lodging Operations & Systems
TAH 422 Hospitality Law and HR
TAH 424 Hospitality Financial Management
B) Sustainable Tourism Innovation & Development (12 credits)
The learning goals for students in this concentration is that they will understand the local and global implications of tourism and the role tourism plays in the economy, communities, nature, and culture as well as foster the ability to apply this knowledge to real word industry issues, policy, planning and destination development. Students will be prepared for future leadership roles in the global tourism and hospitality industry developed through hands-on, industry-engaged, real world learning.
TAH 211 Tourism Entrepreneurship
TAH 312 Tour Planning and Development
TAH 432 Sustainable Tourism Policy and Planning
Choose 1 of the following courses:
TAH 261 Cultural Tourism
TAH 250 Nature Tourism
TAH 361 Local Food and Agritourism
TAH Major Electives (6 credits)
**choose 2 courses (each 3 credits) that student has not taken, at least 1 class in TAH and 1 at the 300 level or above **
TAH 224 Off-Site Catering
TAH 226 Wellness Tourism
TAH 228 Introduction to the Craft Beer Sector
TAH 264 Culinary Tourism
TAH 299 Topics in Tourism & Hospitality
TAH 302 Tourism Research Methods
TAH 305 Culture and Communication in the Travel Industry
TAH 307 Travel Class
TAH 309 Internship
TAH 311 Event Management
TAH 320 Green Meetings and Events
TAH 331 Sustainable Hospitality Management
TAH 399 Advanced Topics in Tourism & Hospitality
TAH 426 Beverage Operations
TAH 497 Independent Study in Tourism & Hospitality
TAH 499 Seminar in Tourism & Hospitality
(Students may use one related course from outside TAH, usually in GEO, ANT, BUS, ESP, REC as a major elective with faculty approval.)
Second Concentration and/or Electives
Students have the option of completing two TAH electives or a second concentration to complete the 39 credits toward the major (Note: completing both TAH concentrations will require more than the 39 minimum credits). If students choose the electives option, at least 1 class needs to be in TAH and 1 at the 300 level or above.
School of Business Credit Restrictions
The USM School of Business has limitations on the number of Business courses (including certain Economics courses) that non-Business majors may take. In general, non-business majors may take a maximum of 30 credit hours in ACC, BUS, FIN, and RMI courses, plus ECO 101, 102 and 310. Students completing concentrations in the Tourism and Hospitality program that use these courses would count them toward the 30-credit hour maximum. Students may also apply for admission into one minor in the School of Business and use up to one-third of the credits in their minors toward the Tourism and Hospitality major.
For all baccalaureate degrees at the University of Southern Maine, a minimum of 30 credits hours, including at least nine hours in the major, must be completed while matriculated in the school or college from which the degree is sought. A student may earn no more than six of these 30 credit hours at another campus of the University of Maine System. In addition, 30 of the final 45 credits of a student's degree program must normally be completed at USM.
For the best overall Financial Aid package, submit your USM application and complete your FAFSA by January 15. However, you can apply at any time. Undergraduate applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.
Admission to the program requires formal acceptance to USM, which is completed through the Admissions Office. The University of Southern Maine has defined measures of college readiness in writing and math, which are available on the USM website or through the Office of Admissions. All students must meet these measures before matriculating in this program. Full-time USM students should declare their major through the Student Success Center, which can provide them with the necessary forms and instructions. These forms are available in the TAH Program office.
USM TAH has articulation agreements with Southern Maine Community College, Eastern Maine Community College, York County Community College and Kennebec Valley Community College. Please review with your advisor upon acceptance.
TAH Articulation Agreement with Eastern Maine Community College (EMCC) (in the process of revision due to TAH curriculum redesign- check with your advisor for more information)
TAH Articulation Agreement with Kennebec Valley Community College (KVCC) (in the process of revision due to TAH curriculum redesign- check with your advisor for more information)
TAH Articulation Agreement with Southern Maine Community College (SMCC) (in the process of revision due to TAH curriculum redesign- check with your advisor for more information)
Culinary-TAH Articulation Agreement with Southern Maine Community College (SMCC) (in the process of revision due to TAH curriculum redesign- check with your advisor for more information)
Culinary-TAH Articulation Agreement with York County Community College (YCCC) (in the process of revision due to TAH curriculum redesign- check with your advisor for more information)
For those not in the USM Tourism and Hospitality program from an Articulation Agreement, certain SMCC courses may also be applied toward the major, including up to two approved courses toward their selected concentration(s) and/or electives up to a total of 21 credits toward the major. The remaining 18 or more credits in the major must be completed at USM. Any exceptions to these requirements may be made on an individual basis at the discretion of the program chair.
Prior Learning Assessment
The Office for Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) at USM believes that students should be rewarded for knowledge acquired outside the traditional classroom if it fulfills the academic criteria set forth and evaluated by the USM faculty. PLA is a process that builds a bridge between students' practical, applied learning experiences and their theoretical, college-level knowledge. There are several pathways across this bridge: testing options, credential reviews, military evaluations, and academic portfolio development, paving the way to academic credit where appropriate. Proof of competency rests with the student. Transcripts older than twenty years cannot be used for credit. For further details regarding credit options, students should contact the Office for Prior Learning Assessment at http://usm.maine.edu/pla .
The Tourism and Hospitality program supports the PLA process and works with students to identify and give credit for various professional and life experiences, including employment in the tourism and hospitality industry. In particular, the TAH program awards credit through the Academic Portfolio Assessment Program, based on a formal collection of evidence in support of a person's claim for college credit. To earn credit the student must prove understanding and learning competency in specific areas, subject to evaluation by appropriate faculty. The TAH program also uses Credential Review, which recognizes professional certifications, educational and training courses, and certain college-level experiential learning that has led to licenses, certificates, and/or credentials for organizations outside the University. Credit is assessed and given on a case-by-case basis. More information on these programs is available through the Office for Prior Learning Assessment.