Retail, Hospitality, and Tourism Management

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Retail, Hospitality, and Tourism Management prepares professionals at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The undergraduate degree program integrates experimental and problem-based learning approaches into the curriculum to develop students’ critical thinking and decision-making skills. Degree options and directed internships allow students to gain sufficient specialization and practical experience to be immediately productive in entry-level management positions in their chosen fields.

The graduate program focuses on building and applying research skills to advance the fields of hospitality management, tourism and retail management, merchandising, and related consumer services.

The mission of the Department of Retail, Hospitality, and Tourism Management (RHTM) is to provide nationally and internationally recognized interdisciplinary programs that prepare professionals and serve organizations in the public and private sectors through teaching, research, and technology transfer.

RHTM is a strong, productive team based on respect, honest, and integrity. We listen actively to others in a constructive and open manner.

The major in retail and consumer sciences provides you with a thorough knowledge of the retailing industry, complemented by business principles and theories related to providing goods and services to consumers. You will gain sufficient specialization and professional experience to be immediately productive in an entry-level management position in the ever-changing, fast-paced world of retailing. You could begin your career as a retail manager, assistant buyer, planner, allocator, product development manager, or sales representative for a manufacturer or service company. Your options are plentiful with good starting salaries and rapid advancement.

The hotel, restaurant, and tourism management major prepares you for work in entry, mid-level, and upper-level management positions at a hotel, resort, restaurant, meeting- or event-planning company, convention center, or country club. Your job could be anywhere in the world, as these companies are in virtually every city and vacation area. You could start in a wide variety of positions, including front office, culinary, marketing, sales, or meeting services.  Later you may move to human resources or food and beverage management. Perhaps you will be a club manager, help run a resort complex, or oversee multiple hotels or restaurants as part of a management company. You have many career and professional options in this major that can provide good starting salaries and rapid advancement.

The doctoral program in retail, hospitality, and tourism management prepares you with advanced academic experiences in research and teaching that may not be easily obtained in other programs. You will be well trained in developing research ideas, conceptualization and theoretical development, research design, and statistical analyses through coursework and working with highly qualified faculty members. These experiences will equip you with knowledge, skill sets, and the confidence necessary to become an academic leader in the fields of retail, hospitality, or tourism management. Like many of our graduates, you can expect to secure a position at a quality university or research organization and become successful in research and scholarship.


A Note from Ann Fairhurst, Department Head

Welcome to the Department of Retail, Hospitality, and Tourism Management (RHTM). This website will introduce you to the courses in hotel, restaurant, and tourism management; retail and consumer sciences; our research; and our graduate program. You can also explore the experiential learning opportunities outside the classroom that provide our majors with industry experience, networking events, exposure to the global environment, and service-learning projects within our community. I hope you enjoy learning about RHTM,  and please contact us if you have any questions.



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Knoxville, Tennessee 37996 | 865-974-1000
The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.