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USFSM to offer accelerated master’s degree in hospitality

By: Rich Shopes

Posted: June 05, 2018

SARASOTA, Fla. (June 05, 2018)USF Sarasota-Manatee is offering hospitality students an opportunity to earn their master’s degree in one year.

Under a program set to launch this fall, students in USFSM’s College of Hospitality & Tourism Leadership will be given an option to pursue their master’s degree while still enrolled as undergraduates. Called the “4+1 Accelerated Master’s Program,” the new initiative is designed to allow hospitality management students to take upper-level graduate courses while seniors, then, after graduation, register as graduate students to complete their master’s degrees in one year.

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Dr. Faizan Ali

“This is a new program that is designed to offer our hospitality students a world-class education while at the same time saving them both time and money,” said Dr. Faizan Ali, an assistant professor who oversees the 4+1 program. “These students will be able to obtain their master’s degree in half the time and enter the job market better qualified and better educated than many of their contemporaries.” 

Under the program’s guidelines, only high-achieving students can apply. Admission is limited to undergraduate students with 90 completed credit hours and an overall 3.3 Grade Point Average (3.5 GPA in hospitality courses).

Students accepted into the program must choose between a thesis or internship track. Under the thesis track, students must complete a 50-70 page thesis under the supervision of an advisor and a thesis committee. Those who choose the internship track must intern at a hospitality business for 300 hours. Students with 1,000 hours of work-study experience may seek an exemption to the thesis and internship requirements.

As an added convenience, graduate students may opt for “distance-live learning,” a blend of in-person and online instruction that offers students the option to attend classes at the USFSM campus in Sarasota or watch the sessions in real-time on their computer, interacting with classmates and instructors, or they can view recorded sessions later at home.

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Dr. Patrick Moreo

“Students who pursue the 4+1 combined degree will get the best of both worlds,” said Dr. Pat Moreo, dean of the College of Hospitality & Tourism Leadership. “They will obtain a valuable education as they study for their Bachelor of Science degree, but since they are pursuing their MS simultaneously during the last year of their undergraduate studies, they also will deepen their knowledge of hospitality management. For example, they can go more deeply into hospitality marketing, operations, human resources, accounting or information technology to name a few areas. What an opportunity.”

For more information about the 4+1 Accelerated Master’s Program, contact Dr. Ali at

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