SRU’s MS in Hospitality and Tourism program approved by State System

Woman working at a hotel

June 25, 2018

HARRISBURG - Slippery Rock University's Master of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management degree was one of five new degree programs approved today by Karen Whitney, interim chancellor for Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education.

The program is the first master's degree in the discipline in the State System. According to organizers, the program was created in response to the "dynamic and increasingly complex environment in which hospitality and tourism businesses must operate, anticipated industry growth and related need for committed, well-educated management."

Pennsylvania data indicates a strong tourism industry market:
-Pennsylvania ranks ninth in the U.S. in tourism industry employment (U.S Travel Association, 2015).
-Restaurants, management of companies and lodging accommodations rank 1st, 6th and 26th respectively among the state's industries (Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry).
-Travel and tourism related economic activity supported more than 489,000 Pennsylvania jobs with a growth rate nearly twice that of all non-farm jobs in the state and generated $4.4 billion in state and local taxes and $4.5 billion in federal taxes in 2015 (Tourism Economics, 2016).

The other new degrees receiving approval included:

-Associate in Applied Science in Culinary Arts at Indiana University.
-Bachelor of Science in Public Relations at Kutztown University.
-Master of Science in Information Technology at Bloomsburg University.
-Educational Specialist in School Psychology at Indiana University.

"This latest round of program approvals further demonstrates the strides we have made as we move forward in redesigning the State System to be more agile and more responsive to the needs of our students and their future employers," said Whitney. "People ask me how our system redesign efforts are helping students, and all I have to do is point to this growing list of high-demand programs."


In January, the State System board of governors granted the chancellor the authority to approve new academic programs once they were submitted by the universities and reviewed by staff in the Office of the Chancellor. Previously, new programs had to be approved by the board, which meets regularly only four times a year.

The accelerated degree-approval process includes the same rigorous review necessary to ensure new programs meet all appropriate standards, including those set by professional organizations that establish accreditation criteria.

MEDIA CONTACT: Kenn Marshall | 717.720.4054 | kmarshall@passhe.edu