University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee



Professional, academic accreditation awarded to USF School of Hospitality and Tourism Management

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The University of South Florida announced today that its School of Hospitality and Tourism Management within the Muma College of Business has received professional and academic accreditation from the Accreditation Commission of Programs in Hospitality Administration (ACPHA). 

The accreditation, approved by the ACPHA late last week, officially acknowledges the high academic and professional standards achieved by the school and affirms its standing among elite hospitality programs nationwide. 

“This valued recognition confirms that the programs offered through the school are innovative, relevant and result in graduates landing high-paying positions in this dynamic industry,” said Moez Limayem, dean of the Muma College of Business, which houses the school. “We could not be prouder of the gold-standard accreditation achieved by the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management.” 

The school, based at the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus, is already accredited through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, which accredits degree-granting higher education institutions – including USF – in 11 Southern states. 

Accreditation by the Oxford, Maryland,-based ACPHA represents an academic and professional accreditation specific to college-level hospitality management programs. 

Pat Moreo

Pat Moreo, EdD

Approval of the school’s application came after a lengthy and detailed review process that began two years ago and involved reporting and on-site visits by ACPHA evaluators, including the final visit in February. 

After a report was submitted to ACPHA commissioners who oversee the accrediting process, the school’s accredited status was announced in a July 23 “congratulatory” letter to Pat Moreo, professor and dean of the hospitality school. It was noted earlier in the review process that the school had met or exceeded 40 of the 41 ACPHA standards for accreditation. 

“This accreditation is particularly important for small programs such as ours because it assures students, employers and the hospitality industry as a whole that we are providing a top-level hospitality education to our students,” Moreo said. “It’s also important because it says that we are meeting and, in many cases, exceeding standards that are nationally recognized.” 

The school, home to about 155 students, offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in hospitality management. While based at the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus, its programs are offered at USF campuses in St. Petersburg and Tampa as well.

Moreo said he was especially gratified by the effort of faculty and staff to achieve the ACPHA accreditation. 

“Our staff and faculty go above and beyond, and being awarded this accreditation affirms first and foremost how much they care about our students as well as how much they care about delivering consistent high-quality programming day in and day out,” he said. 

Earlier this year, the online educational site ranked the hospitality management program as No. 3 in the nation, citing its breadth of programming, business partnerships and on-site facilities. 

Those facilities include the Culinary Innovation Laboratory, a student-operated café and the M3 Center for Hospitality Technology and Innovation, a separately endowed research center that hosts academic conferences and workshops globally and publishes several academic research journals and other publications. 

Additionally, the school regularly partners with top-level hospitality providers regionally to further enhance students’ education, including the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota and Resort at Longboat Key Club, among others.

“To say that I am proud of Dean Moreo and the faculty and staff of the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management for this tremendous achievement is an understatement,” said Karen Holbrook, regional chancellor for the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus. “They have continued to put the needs of students at the forefront, and now, after an exhaustive and thorough review by the prestigious Accreditation Commission of Programs in Hospitality Administration, their efforts are being recognized nationally. This is an outstanding achievement.” 

To learn more about the USF School of Hospitality & Tourism Management, visit

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