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USF introduces online options, accelerated one-year master’s degree in hospitality

The University of South Florida Muma College of Business is now offering online course options plus an accelerated one-year program to help international students and those with busy schedules earn a master’s degree in hospitality management.

The changes, some of which began this semester, will enable students to attend classes in person, stream lectures through live video conferencing or view recorded sessions to keep up with classes.

Additionally, hospitality management students enrolling for the fall term can opt for a traditional two-year master’s degree program or a new accelerated one-year program.

cihan cobanoglu

Cihan Cobanoglu, professor

“All of these changes are about providing flexibility to our students,” hospitality Professor Cihan Cobanoglu said. “We recognize that students are busy and that sometimes it’s difficult to juggle school, work and family obligations. These changes are designed to help students find a clearer path to advance their career.”

Changes to traditional in-person instruction began in spring 2020 when colleges and universities nationwide turned to online course delivery in response to COVID-19. As some in-person classes resumed this year at USF, accompanied by physical distancing and other protocols, the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, which is part of the Muma College of Business, began offering a mix of in-person and online classes to provide greater flexibility to busy students.

“We saw that this hybrid approach could be especially helpful to international students who are constricted by time-zone differences and to local students who work and might have a difficult time getting to campus,” said Assistant Professor Trishna G. Mistry, who teaches a master’s degree class in human resources management. “Plus, for students who prefer to attend classes in person, they can continue to do that as well.”

trishna mistry

Trishna G. Mistry, assistant professor

Mistry teaches day and evening classes on the Tampa campus as well as on the Sarasota-Manatee campus, where the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management is based. The hospitality master’s program is offered on all three of the university’s campuses.

While her daytime lectures remain popular with local, traditional students, her evening classes draw a mix of international students and those who work locally during the day.

About half of her students attend class through live video conferencing, which allows the students to ask questions, engage in discussions and take quizzes. Students who miss a lecture can go online to view a recorded session or retrieve assignments, tests and other materials.

Like the hybrid instructional methods, the accelerated, one-year master’s program represents another option for busy students. Classes are offered through the fall, spring and summer.

“And if students prefer the other option, the traditional two-year, in-person degree program, they can choose that one,” he said. “This is about providing options to students and helping students to move forward in their careers.”

For more about the master’s degree in hospitality management, visit https://www.usf.edu/business/graduate/masters/hospitality-management/.

To learn more about the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus, visit www.sarasotamanatee.usf.edu.

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