William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration

MS in Hotel Administration Admission Requirements

Please note that a crucial requirement of the MS program is one year of full-time managerial level experience in some field in the hospitality industry (for example: assistant restaurant manager, meeting planner, manager of front desk operations, assistant housekeeping manager, special events manager, casino floor manager, etc). Our definition of a person in a management position is one who is responsible for hiring, supervising, and training other employees.

As an alternative, you may be considered for admission to the program if you have the equivalent of three years of full-time front line experience (for example: host/hostess, front desk clerk, tour operator, bartender, dealer, waiter, flight attendant, etc). Our definition of a front line employee is one who performs work in a non-supervisory capacity. Part-time or short-term industry experience and internships can be combined to fulfill this requirement. If you are not sure if your previous employment would be acceptable, please contact us. Information regarding your employment history should be included on your resume.

The curriculum is designed to build on your personal experience within the many facets of the hospitality industry. Classes are highly interactive and participation in class discussions is an important component of instruction. Students are expected to have a thorough knowledge of their area of interest prior to taking classes. Our goal is to make you think more critically, conduct research that is applicable to the hospitality industry, and to prepare you for career advancement in your chosen field.

Non-degree Seeking Students

If you have an undergraduate degree and wish to enroll in graduate studies for professional advancement or personal fulfillment, you can do so without formally applying or being admitted to the Graduate College. Information is available online. Non-degree seeking students will NOT qualify for an I-20/F-1 Visa. If you would like to start classes prior to being formally admitted to our MS program this is an option to consider. For example, if you meet all the requirements of the Harrah Hotel College but have not taken the GMAT or GRE you can enroll in up to 15 credits of graduate classes before applying for full graduate student status. Please note that if you enroll as a non-degree seeking student and you do not meet the college requirements (for example you do poorly on the GMAT and do not meet the minimum score) then any coursework you have completed will not be counted toward the MS degree. You must be officially admitted to the Graduate College and Harrah Hotel College Graduate Studies Program for coursework to be accepted.

Applicants must satisfy the following admission requirements of the Graduate College and the Harrah Hotel College.

  1. A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution.
  2. A minimum overall GPA of 2.75 on a 4.00 scale, or 3.00 in the last two years of study.
  3. A minimum of one year of full-time work experience in a management/supervisory capacity in the hospitality industry, or three years of full-time, front-line experience.
  4. Official GRE or GMAT test results sent directly from ETS. The GRE department code is 4208. Applicant must make a minimum score of 1150 or 50th percentile with at least 35% on the verbal portion. The GMAT department code is ZSC 3739. Applicant must make a minimum score of 550 with at least 25% on the verbal portion.
  5. Proof of English proficiency: if English is not your native language and you did not receive your baccalaureate degree from a school where English was the language of instruction, you must complete one of the language tests listed below with the minimum score indicated or above:
    • TOEFL
      • Paper-based Test – 550 (minimum writing score – 58)
      • Computer-based Test – 213 (minimum writing score – 24)
      • Internet-based Test – 80 (minimum writing score – 21, minimum speaking score – 21)
    • Michigan Test – 85% (minimum scores: 40 out of 50 speaking; 40 out of 50 writing)
    • IELTS – 7
    • Pearson English Language Test - 65
    Unofficial scores may be submitted with your online application, but official scores must be sent directly from the testing center to the Graduate College to complete your application.
  6. Evaluation of all foreign credentials, or those transcripts from educational institutions outside the United States. When ordering a foreign credential evaluation, please be sure that the grade point average (GPA) is calculated and included in the evaluation. Foreign credentials must be evaluated on a course-by-course basis by one of the NACES-approved agencies listed below:

    Official evaluations to be sent from the evaluating agency to both the Graduate College and the Harrah Hotel College Graduate Studies Office.

The following information to be submitted electronically to the Graduate College with your application:

  1. Completed online application found in the upper right-hand column of the Graduate College home page.
  2. Unofficial transcripts from all post-secondary schools attended may be uploaded to the online application. However, official transcripts sent directly from the educational institution(s) are required by the Graduate College and the Harrah Hotel College Graduate Studies Program for your application to be complete.
  3. A brief essay of approximately 500 words outlining your career goals and how your hospitality employment background has prepared you for graduate study.
  4. Résumé with employer references. (Required: one year of full-time experience in management in the hospitality industry or a minimum of three years of consecutive full-time, entry-level experience in hospitality.) The resume should clearly indicate job titles, place and date of employment and specific job responsibilities.
  5. Two Letters of Recommendation: You may upload contact information (name, address, phone, email) for a current or former employer and a college faculty member able to evaluate your potential for success in a graduate program (two recommendations required). If you are no longer in touch with faculty members, two contact names from employers will suffice. Your contacts will be sent an email with information on how to complete the online recommendation or where to mail a submission. NOTE: You may skip this section on the application and have your recommenders mail their letters directly to the Hotel Graduate Studies Office at the address below.
  6. Submission of the application fee.

The following information must be sent directly to the Harrah Hotel College Graduate Studies Program Office:

  1. Official test results for either the GRE (department code 4208) or the GMAT (dept code ZSC 3739) sent directly from ETS.
  2. Official copies of all transcripts sent directly from the educational institution
  3. Two letters of recommendation (if you did not choose to enter contact information in the
    “Recommendation” section of the online application)
  4. Evaluation of Foreign Credentials (see #6 above)

Note: We will accept email submissions of the essay, resume and recommendation letters. However, recommendation letters must be emailed directly from the employer/professor, not forwarded by the applicant.

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