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Nicknamed “the Heart of Dixie,” this state offers tourists a taste of true southern hospitality by recruiting and retaining premium hospitality professionals who are looking for options for obtaining hospitality degrees in Alabama. Alabama is known for its miles of waterways, pristine beaches on the Gulf of Mexico, and its national title winning college football teams. With tourism as one of the leading industries in this state, a degree in the hospitality industry could lead to a lucrative and rewarding career here. The following colleges and descriptions give details on some of the more prominent hospitality programs offered within the state. 

Auburn University

Department of Nutrition, Dietetics, and Hospitality Management within the College of Human Sciences

From its formation in 1852 to today, Auburn University has become one of the largest universities in the southern United States, offering more than 140 degree options across the spectrum of arts and applied sciences and at various degree levels. The department of nutrition, dietetics, and hospitality management offers degrees designed to prepare students to address both health and social needs on a global as well as local scale. The department’s vision and mission includes striving to be nationally recognized as a leader in fields of both nutrition and hospitality, with department faculty continuously seeking new ways to innovate and adjust course offerings in order to stay relevant.

Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management

With tourism playing a prominent part in the state’s overall economy, the Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management degree is geared toward preparing leaders in the fields of hotel management and food and beverage management. With both academic and practical coursework involved, graduates are prepared to work in the tourism industry both globally and locally. Courses include an emphasis on service excellence, cultural diversity, social and ethical responsibilities, combined with coursework that also meets the requirements for a minor degree in business. Graduates with this degree can easily find that they are in demand in health-related and food industry fields, as well as the premium service industries. By combining nutrition and dietetics within the same department, graduates may also have the option of gaining professional skills that will serve them well should they seek positions in specific areas of government, business, or education after obtaining this degree.

Contact Information

328 Spidle Hall
Auburn, AL 36849

Columbia Southern University

College of Business

Columbia Southern University is a completely online university that offers accredited online degree at the levels of associate, bachelor, master, and doctoral, as well as certification programs in various areas and subjects. Being entirely online, the degree programs are geared more toward providing the flexibility for working professionals seeking to further their education and increase their marketability. In particular, the College of Business encompasses not only the Associate of Business degree but also a variety of Bachelor and Master degrees and concentrated certificate programs in several areas, including the hospitality and tourism fields.

Associate of Applied Science in Business

The Associate of Applied Science in Business degree is not specifically geared toward the hospitality and tourism industry, but is rather designed for providing general entry-level business management skills and for furthering those skills in individuals already working in the business world. However, this degree can be tailored specifically toward the hospitality and tourism industry by filling the required 21 elective slots, out of 60 total credit hours needed, with those courses specified as part of the undergraduate Hospitality and Tourism Certificate program. These courses include accounting, facilities management, marketing, legal aspects, and resort management and operation, all specifically for the hospitality and tourism fields. Graduates of this degree program would be prepared with not only a general knowledge of business but with specific knowledge of business management within the hospitality and tourism industries. The Associate of Applied Science in Business degree is also a valid stepping stone to more advanced and specialized business degrees.

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Hospitality and Tourism

This degree prepares candidates for a wide array of premium positions in a variety of hospitality and tourism professions, including lodging, food and beverage service, and recreation. It requires a total of 120 credit hours and is generally expected to take about five years to complete, but integrates technology and leadership into the program as well as specific case studies of the hospitality industry on a global scale. Because the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Hospitality and Tourism degree also includes courses on general principles of business, such as accounting, marketing, business law, and business ethics, graduates gain the confidence to handle all business aspects of their chosen hospitality or tourism career, as well as aspects specific to the industry, making them well placed for both entry level positions and advanced management positions, locally and globally.

Contact Information

21982 University Lane
Orange Beach, AL 36561

Jefferson State Community College

The Culinary & Hospitality Institute

Located in the Greater Birmingham area, Jefferson State Community College is an accredited two-year college that offers more than 120 university transfer programs, various options in 20 career programs, and numerous certification programs. Students can choose to study at any one of several locations or online at their convenience. In addition to the overall accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and the Schools Commission on Colleges, the Culinary & Hospitality Institute programs and internships are accredited by The American Culinary Federation Accrediting Commission.

Culinary & Hospitality Management

The Culinary & Hospitality Institute and its Management Department offer a degree with one of four options for concentrations, these being Culinary Apprentice, Foodservice/Culinary Management, Baking/Pastry, and Hotel/Motel Management. The Associate degree in Culinary & Hospitality Management, with its appropriate concentration, prepares students for a wide variety of positions, from the standard restaurant or hotel operations, to positions in healthcare institutions, schools, and larger commercial food service companies. In addition, credits obtained while gaining this degree can generally be transferred to a four-year institution should the student wish to further his or her studies beyond the level of Associate degree. Practical experience can be gained while working toward this degree through participation in the Institute’s bistro proVare, a classroom café run by students under the supervision of the school’s award winning resident chef. The café is located on the Shelby-Hoover campus on the ground floor of the Health Science Building.

Contact Information
Shelby-Hoover Campus
4600 Valleydale Road
Birmingham, AL 35242

Tuskegee University

Andrew F. Brimmer College of Business and Information Science, Management Department

The Andrew F. Brimmer College of Business and Information Science has as its primary goal the creation of responsible and well-informed graduates who can successfully compete in an increasingly global business marketplace. This particular college offers a choice of nine Bachelor of Science degrees, including a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management. Each degree offers coursework rich in technology and research, with the intent of making graduates more attractive to companies operating more and more on a technology-rich global scale. Management Department students are expected to also be responsible citizens and lifelong learners, representing and honoring Tuskegee’s historical traditions and mission.

Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management

The Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management degree prepares students for careers in all areas of hospitality, including food and beverage management, hotel or motel management, and recreational services. Students will take courses in both theory and application from professors and instructors with first-hand practical business experience, making the coursework more relevant to each student’s experiences. In addition to specific courses geared toward the hospitality industry, students will also take courses in communication skills, analytical skills, and information technology. Internships and co-ops are also part of the various management programs, providing for practical as well as classroom experiences. Many graduates of the various management programs found at Tuskegee University, including the Hospitality Management degree, find themselves recruited by Fortune 500 companies within their specific field following their graduations, providing ample opportunity for lucrative and rewarding careers.

Contact Information

1200 West Montgomery Road
Tuskegee Inst, AL 36088

University of Alabama

Department of Human Nutrition and Hospitality Management within the College of Human Environmental Sciences

The Department of Human Nutrition and Hospitality Management within the University of Alabama’s College of Human Environmental Sciences offers undergraduate programs leading to Bachelor degrees in areas of both food and nutrition and hospitality and restaurant management. It strives to stay at the forefront of research and new information regarding food and nutrition in order to help raise the quality of life throughout the community. For students who graduate with one of the select degrees from the College of Human Environmental Sciences, they have both a solid liberal arts degree and a strong professional foundation from studying at a school nationally recognized for academic excellence.

Bachelor of Science in Human Environmental Sciences, Restaurant, Hotel, and Meetings Management

This four-year degree prepares candidates for a wide variety of jobs and careers within the hospitality and tourism industries, including hotel management, restaurant management, and resort management. This type of degree is ideal for someone with strong customer service skills and a strong sense of personal accountability, someone who is also willing to work nontraditional hours more often than not. A graduate with this degree could expect to enter the workforce as a management trainee or supervisor, with excellent room for advancement within the field. Jobs that demand graduates with a Restaurant, Hotel, and Meetings Management degree include restaurants, commercial food service institutions, various lodging properties, cruise lines, convention centers, and more. In addition, the Bachelor of Science in Human Environmental Sciences, Restaurant, Hotel and Meetings Management degree is accredited by the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences.

Contact Information

College of Human Environmental Sciences
Doster Hall
729 Colonial Drive
Box 870158
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487

Regardless of degree level, all of the varied options for hospitality degrees in Alabama should ensure that there is a program for just about anyone. Since the hospitality industry generally requires a measure of flexibility in thinking and scheduling, the options for obtaining a degree for a career in this industry are also flexible in their approach and offerings.