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Tourism is a critical part of the state economy and has led many higher education facilities to offer hospitality degrees in California. In fact, in 2012 alone, more than 215 million people visited California, and 77.5 percent of vacationers were residents of the state. California is the third largest state, with only Alaska and Texas having a larger area. Because of its large size, California offers a wide variety of activities that appeal to young and old alike, from all areas of the world. Here is a list of some great colleges and universities where you can obtain a Hospitality Degree.

City College of San Francisco

Founded in 1935, City College of San Francisco is one of the most vibrant locations in the Bay area. It is the education destination of choice for many students, not only in the area, but from around the world as well. Today, it is one of the nation’s largest public colleges, living up to its strong academic reputation for a dedicated faculty and excellent facilities. The high educational standards of the college provide students with an education that helps them achieve their career goals with a competitive edge at an affordable price.

Associate Degree in Travel and Tourism

The Associate Degree in Travel and Tourism at City College of San Francisco is a two-year degree that emphasizes the Travel and Tourism industry. Students choose a concentration in Marketing, Management or Destination Development, and curriculum includes information on industry vocabulary, tour and cruise brochure design, as well as common business practices. Students also learn airline computer operations, how airfare is constructed, how to create group sales pricing, as well as interest tour development. All courses included practical training with information about global tourist destinations.

Contact Information

JoAnn Derrick
Travel and Tourism Coordinator
City College of San Francisco
50 Phelan Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94112
Telephone: 415-334-5400

Sacramento State University

Sacramento State University was founded in 1947 as Sacramento State College. The school sits on 300 acres with lush landscaping and miles of trails designed for biking, walking or jogging along the American River Parkway. The school is very proud of their “green” reputation, with areas of the campus certified LEED Gold for environmental standards. In addition, the California Smart Grid Center is housed on the campus and they develop technological solutions for peak power demands for local utility companies.

The campus serves more than 28,000 students, and 98 percent of the faculty holds the highest degrees possible in their field. Over 6,500 degrees are awarded each year in 58 undergraduate and 41 master’s degree programs. More than half of the students at Sacramento State join at least one of the many student organizations, and more than 5,000 are involved in the intramural sports program.

Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration Bachelor of Science Degree

The Bachelor of Science in Recreation Administration develops skills in students that allow them to manage people, programs and events related to the recreational setting. This includes working with city parks programs, state or national parklands, hotels, forests, beaches and other hospitality related industries. The Sacramento area offers many opportunities for students to supplement the classroom training with internships and employment options.

Students choose from one of three concentrations:

• Community Recreation Management
• Park and Recreation Resource Management
• Commercial Recreation, Tourism and Hospitality Management

Students must compile and maintain an assessment portfolio, which includes a collection of individual assignments that demonstrate their competency in their chosen concentration. A grade of “C” or better is required in all upper division courses.

Graduate Program

The Graduate Program leads to a Master of Science degree in Recreation administration. Students are provided individual counseling in order to develop a specialized course of study. The program is flexible, and the core program objectives help students learn to identify problems, develop methods of problem-solving and create succinct, detailed reports regarding those problems. Students must have a Bachelor’s Degree in Recreation Administration, maintain a 2.75 GPA overall, as well as a 3.0 GPA in the major, provide a detailed resume along with three letters of recommendation, and a writing sample.

Contact Information

Greg Shaw, Department Chair
Geraldine Nicholson, Administrative Support Coordinator
Solano Hall 4000
6000 J Street
Sacramento CA 95819
Telephone: 916-278=6752

San Diego State University

San Diego State University is the oldest and largest higher education institution in the San Diego area. The school began as the San Diego Normal School, dedicated to the education of teachers. The school had humble beginnings as seven faculty taught 91 students in rooms located over a drugstore until the official campus was built on Park Boulevard. The school became the San Diego State Teachers College in 1921, offering a four-year degree that was controlled by the California State Board of Education.

In 1931, the university moved to a new campus with seven Mission-style buildings surrounding a common area. That common area is still known as the Main Quad. Four years later, programs were expanded beyond teacher education, and the name of the facility was changed to San Diego State College.

Just a few months before his assassination, President John F. Kennedy gave the commencement speech and received the first honorary degree from San Diego State. In the 1970s, the college gained university status, becoming San Diego State University.

Hospitality and Tourism Management Degrees

San Diego State University, through the L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality Management offers bachelor’s level degrees in hospitality and tourism with four different focuses:

• Hotel Management
• Meetings & Events
• Restaurant Management
• Tribal Gaming

The programs are tailored to meet both the needs of the industry and the student with a practical, yet innovative, curriculum. The programs emphasize the operations and management of hotels, events, restaurants and tribal gaming. Students are required to complete two internships in order to complete their degree. San Diego State assists students in obtaining part-time and summer employment during the school year, as well as assistance in obtaining full-time employment after graduation.

Master of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management

San Diego State began offering a master’s level degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management in 2012. The team leading the program includes executives in the restaurant industry, as well as leaders in marketing, finance and technology. It is designed to provide real-world skills that will help propel students further in their career. The majority of the program is delivered online, although there are on-campus requirements as the degree progresses. Students are assigned a mentor for the entire program and create their own Leadership Development Plan. Students are also required to design and execute a project for their current organization that highly impacts their standing. Students must submit an application and resume before meeting with the program director in order to be accepted into the program.

Contact Information

L. Robert Payne
School of Hospitality & Tourism Management
San Diego State University
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92162-4514
Telephone: 619-594-5110

San Francisco State University

Like many colleges in the United States, San Francisco State University began as the San Francisco Normal School, dedicated to training teachers. The original school offered a two-year teaching degree and was the first to require a high school diploma for students to be admitted. In 1901, the first graduating class, consisting of all women, accepted degrees. The first man was accepted to the school in 1904.

In 1930, the school began offering four-year degrees, and the first master’s degrees were offered in 1949. In 1972, the college gained university status, becoming San Diego State University. The school is accredited by Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities under the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. The academic calendar is from August to December and late January through May. The college does offer a summer semester as well.

Hospitality and Tourism Management

San Francisco State University offers a Bachelor of Science Degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management designed to develop leaders in the hospitality and tourism profession. The program includes fundamentals of business and hospitality management, as well as hotel operation, restaurant, catering, conventions, and more related to the hospitality industry. The university also provides on-campus training through the Vista Room, which is managed and operated by students. In addition to the Bachelor of Science degree, students may choose to minor in hospitality and tourism management. There is also a certificate program available that provides the basis for entry-level positions in the industry.

Contact Information

Linda Oubre
Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management
1600 Holloway Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94132
Telephone: 415-338-6087

San Jose State University

San Jose State University offers a faculty that is on the cutting edge of research to student with a passion for discovery. The school was founded in 1856 as Minns’ Evening Normal School, and is the oldest institution of higher learning in California. Founded by George Washington Minns, who was born in Boston in 1813, the Minns Evening Normal School eventually became the California State Normal School. George Minns graduated from Harvard College and obtained a law degree from the Howard Dane Law School at Harvard. Minns practiced law for a while in Massachusetts before moving to California during the Gold Rush. As the rush ended, Minns lost his law practice and began teaching at the Union Grammar School, the first high school in California, where he eventually became principal.

Today, San Jose State University sits on 154 acres in downtown San Jose, offering 134 bachelor and master degrees in 100 concentrations. There are over 31,000 students enrolled, with 56 percent of undergraduates between the ages of 20 and 24. The majority of graduate students are between the ages of 25 and 29, with 41 percent of those enrolled falling into that age group. Of the undergraduate population, 78 percent attend full-time, while only 36 percent of graduate students attend full-time.

Hospitality Management

Learning hospitality management in the heart of the Silicon Valley is a benefit to choosing San Jose State for a bachelor’s degree. With world renowned technical companies surrounding the college, as well as the close proximity of the campus to a thriving metropolitan location, national and international visitors travel to the area annually. The hospitality program at San Jose State focuses on developing students into professionals in the field to meet the growing need for high-quality employees in the hospitality management industry. The program incorporates academics with hands-on experience in order to prepare students for future employment. Graduates of the program have found employment as hotel, resort and restaurant general managers, as well as concierges, event planners and convention coordinators.

Contact Information

San Jose State University
One Washington Square
San Jose, CA 95192
Telephone: 408-924-1000

Santa Barbara City College

Santa Barbara City College was established in 1909 and has been ranked as the number one community college in the country. The school was established by the Santa Barbara High School District, but it was discontinued after World War I. Eventually, the degrees offered by the original college were taken over by the Santa Barbara State Normal School, which eventually became the University of California, Santa Barbara.

In 1946, the school was reorganized by the SBHSD and named the Santa Barbara Junior College. It was given its current name in July 1959. That same year, the college moved to its current location on the Santa Barbara Mesa, which was the former location of the University of California, Santa Barbara. Today, the campus sits on a 74-acre bluff with views of the harbor and Pacific Ocean.

Associate in Science: Hospitality

Offered through the School of Culinary Arts and Hotel Management, students develop skills and competencies in the hospitality industry to earn an Associate in Science degree. The program offers two different associate degrees:

• Culinary Arts
• Hospitality

Students develop measurable outcomes by learning industry standards in the classroom setting and in a realistic work environment. Students are trained by working at various locations on campus, such as the cafeteria, purchasing and catering departments. The work experience opens students up to additional opportunities in the industry as they are able to demonstrate hands-on knowledge to future employers.

Contact Information

Culinary Arts & Hotel Management
Santa Barbara City College
721 Cliff Drive
Santa Barbara, CA 93109
Telephone: 805-730-4450

Travel University International

Travel University International is the only hospitality focused school in Southern California. Located in San Diego, the campus is only 15 minutes away from shopping, the city library, stadiums and beaches. It is accredited by the Department of Education at both the federal and state level. School programs are accredited by the American Hotel and Lodging Association, San Diego Convention Center, San Diego World Trade Centre and many more travel related organizations or industries. The college offers day, evening and weekend classes with a field-experienced staff that exhibit academic and professional achievements.

Master of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management

The Master of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management degree at Travel University International combines practical experience with classroom theory that allows students to obtain knowledge, skills and techniques necessary to succeed in the hospitality industry. TUI works with local hotels, cruise lines and other hospitality businesses in the area to create externships for students that provide them with on-the-job training. Each student is provided a structured training experience that is normally not available to students. The degree program consists of 48-quarter units that include 16-quarterunits in prerequisites and 32-quarter units in core classes. The program lasts for one-and-one-half academic years. To be admitted to the program, students must have earned a bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale. Students who hold a bachelor’s degree in something other than a hospitality management major may be required to complete a series of preparatory courses.

Contact Information

Travel University International
Headquarters/Main Campus
3625 Ruffin Road, Suite 204
San Diego, CA 92123
Telephone: 858-292-9755

University of San Francisco

The University of San Francisco was founded as a Jesuit church and school by Anthony Maraschi, an Italian immigrant. With $11,500 he borrowed, Maraschi built on sand dunes located on Market Street. At the time, there was no city surrounding the school, but today a thriving, diverse city surrounds the campus.

Originally, the school was known as St. Ignatius Academy, opening its doors to three students in 1854. By 1858, there were 65 students attending the school, and charter was granted by the State of California in 1859. In 1880, the college moved to Van Ness Avenue, holding classes in the building that is now the Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall. After the Great Earthquake in 1906, the college used temporary quarters in what was known as the “shirt factory,” which now houses a clinic for St. Mary’s Medical Center.

In 1914, after acquiring property at the corner of Fulton Street and Parker Avenue, the Jesuits built the current church and a Liberal Arts building was constructed just east of the new location of St. Ignatius, renamed St. Ignatius College. At the school’s Diamond Jubilee celebration in 1930, at the request of alumni groups, the college became the University of San Francisco.

Hospitality Management

Situated in one of the top tourist areas of California, the University of San Francisco is a perfect setting to study Hospitality Management. The program offers small class sizes and the internships offered to student provide hands-on experience. The curriculum was co-created with hotel, restaurant and meeting industry professionals in order to product graduates who meet the needs of the industry. Students must take a total of 28 units in the area of Hospitality Management and obtain a minimum of 800 hours of professional work experience in the field. Students are required to take business courses as well, with the entire program requiring 128 units along with the work experience.

Contact Information

University of San Francisco
2130 Fulton Street
Lone Mountain 107
San Francisco, CA 94117-1045
Telephone: 415-422-6416

West Los Angeles College

West Los Angeles College opened its doors in 1969 and is one of nine campuses in the Los Angeles Community College District. There are approximately 10,000 students enrolled at the college, attending classes in both traditional and online formats. The campus, known as the “Campus in the Hills,” is a 70-acre area that overlooks Culver City, Marina del Rey and Greater West Los Angeles. From the highest points on campus, the Pacific Ocean can be seen on a clear day. There are 110 full-time faculty and more than 300 part-time faculty.

More than 60 percent of graduates transfer to four-year colleges after graduation, and several former students are now faculty members on campus. NFL Hall of Fame inductee, Warren Moon, is a graduate of West Los Angeles College.

Hospitality Associate Degrees

The Hospitality Associate Degree from West Los Angeles College is designed for vocational education and workforce training. The curriculum may not transfer specifically to a four-year college or institution. Any student who plans to transfer their Associate in Hospitality to a four-year degree should work with a counselor in order to establish transfer credits.

Students are prepared to enter the hospitality industry at an entry-level. Positions in hotels, resorts, convention centers and other hospitality related venues are available to those who successfully complete the program. Students take courses such as Hotel Front Office operations, sales, marketing and others related to the hospitality industry.

In addition to the Hospitality Associate Degree, students may choose to earn a Certificate of Achievement in Event and Convention Planning from West Los Angeles. This program offers courses in hospitality law, convention and meeting planning, as well as other subjects relate to hospitality management. There is also a Certificate of Achievement in Front Desk and Back Office Operations, as well as Sales and Marketing.

Contact Information

West Los Angeles College
9000 Overland Avenue
Culver City, CA 90230
Phone: 310-287-4200

Victor Valley College

Victor Valley College is located in Victorville, California, and was created by a vote of the public in 1960. The first classes at the college were held at Victor Valley High School until construction on a separate campus began on 253 acres in 1963. The new campus opened to students in 1965. In 2012, Victor Valley College opened a satellite campus in Apple Valley, and a second satellite campus in West Hesperia opened in 2014. There are almost 40 areas of study available at Victor Valley, and the college issues Associates Degrees as a junior college. The campus sits on the southern edge of the Mojave Desert, directly south of Spring Valley Lake. The San Bernardino and Los Angeles Mountain ranges are approximately 15 miles away from the campus. A steep hill in the center of the campus provides a natural separation for what is known as the Upper and Lower campuses. The Upper Campus is built around a man-made lake, while the Lower Campus borders the Mojave Desert and Mojave Fish Hatchery.

Associate in Science Degree: Restaurant Management

Students who have completed the Restaurant Management Certificate at Victor Valley may continue their education toward an Associate Degree in Restaurant Management. These courses do not normally transfer toward Bachelor’s Degree programs, although those that do transfer will apply to degrees in Restaurant, Hospitality or Hotel Management Programs. For students who intend to transfer to four-year programs, it is important to discuss which classes will transfer with a counselor. The California Culinary Academy iin San Francisco or the Culinary Institute of America in New York accepts many of the credits from Victor Valley’s Hospitality Associate’s Degree program.

Students must maintain a GPA of 2.0 or higher in all degree-applicable courses and complete at least 12 units at the college. Courses required include general education classes such as Natural Science, Behavioral Science, Humanities, Math and English. There is also a physical education requirement for the degree.

Contact Information

Victor Valley College
18422 Bear Valley Road
Victorville, CA 92395
Telephone: 760-245-4271

Other California Schools that offer Hospitality Degrees:

Hospitality Degrees in California (A-C)

Hospitality Degrees in California (D-P)