WSU’s Barton School launches undergraduate hospitality major

The W. Frank Barton School of Business at Wichita State University is launching a Bachelor of Business Administration in Hospitality. The program will begin in fall 2024 with applications now open for interested students. It was developed in response to growing local and national employment needs in the industry.

“The hospitality industry employs 15 million people and is on track to add another 500,000 jobs by the end of this year,” said Michelle Korsmo, president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association. “The hospitality major at the Barton School of Business could make important contributions to our industry’s talent development by preparing graduates to efficiently lead operations, ensure superb customer experiences, and operate financially sound enterprises.”

The Barton School’s new hospitality program will incorporate innovative curriculum with an emphasis on entrepreneurship. As part of the program, students will engage in real-world projects and internships, thanks to our strong partnerships with local and global hospitality organizations. Our industry aligned curriculum includes topics such as Human Resource Management, Customer Experience and Entrepreneurial Finance that are specific to the industry. Hospitality students will have access to other enrichment experiences including interactions with industry leaders and executives, company visits, shadowing opportunities and guest speakers.

“I have been in the hospitality industry for my entire career, experiencing everything from fast casual to upscale dining,” said Scott Redler, co-founder of Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers. “I have a degree in Restaurant and Hotel Management, and it benefited me greatly as our industry is always changing to exceed the expectations of our guests. As it did for me, studying the hospitality industry in a classroom and experiential setting is a great advantage. Creating a bachelor’s degree in hospitality will not only support the expanding hospitality industry in southcentral Kansas, but also prepare students for the workforce across the country.”

“We want to continue to expand the options we offer to current and prospective students,” said Dr. Larisa Genin, dean of the Barton School. “Exposing them to new areas of interest and industries may spark a new passion and give students a chance to bloom into their full potential.”

“We’re always exploring ways for Wichita State to broaden its academic horizons, providing students with enriching opportunities that align with the growing needs of the global workforce,” said Dr. Shirley Lefever, provost and executive vice president at Wichita State University. “Our hospitality major exemplifies how WSU can positively impact both our students and the community as a whole.”

Learn more about the hospitality major and how to enroll 

About Wichita State University

Wichita State University is Kansas' only urban public research university, enrolling more than 23,000 students between its main campus and WSU Tech, including students from every state in the U.S. and more than 100 countries. Wichita State and WSU Tech are recognized for being student centered and innovation driven.

Located in the largest city in the state with one of the highest concentrations in the United States of jobs involving science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), Wichita State University provides uniquely distinctive and innovative pathways of applied learning, applied research and career opportunities for all of our students.

The Innovation Campus, which is a physical extension of the Wichita State University main campus, is one of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing research/innovation parks, encompassing over 120 acres and is home to a number of global companies and organizations.

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