B. Comm. Program

Programs Overview

Guelph offers Canada's pre-eminent program in hospitality management. Our faculty members, most with doctoral degrees in their fields, are at the forefront of innovation and research in the industry. At the same time, the School of Hospitality, Food & Tourism Management (HFTM) has strong industry ties through its advisory board, alumni, graduate programs, and its industry-sponsored research.

The School offers two specialized business majors - Tourism Management and Hotel & Food Administration, which also provides co-op study opportunities. Co-op study gives students exposure to the realities of the workplace and an opportunity to integrate academic theories with day-to-day business while being paid a salary to learn on-the-job. International study abroad opportunities in Australia, Austria, the United Kingdom, France, Hong Kong, Finland, Mexico and New Zealand provide students with international experience.

The Underlying Philosophy

The School of Hospitality, Food & Tourism Management (HFTM) is dedicated to preparing its students for management careers in the hospitality industry. Its mandate is: "to give students a broad exposure to the basic business disciplines (e.g. accounting and finance, marketing, organizational behaviour, statistics and economics) and a sound professional management education which prepares graduates for responsible positions in the accommodation, foodservice and tourism industries."

HFTM was not intended to be a training ground for young chefs or front-line hospitality staff. Instead, it aims to produce graduates who will become managers with an understanding of how to capitalize on opportunities, resolve problems and limitations of their facilities, manage service operations, market their facility and services to customers and develop excellent staff relations.

In addition to the University-wide learning objectives which form the basis of a liberal education, the School has identified five other major outcomes for its program. A graduate should develop:

  • An understanding of the economic, legal, technological, social and cultural milieu so as to appreciate the national as well as international environment in which the hospitality and tourism industry operates.
  • The substantive professional knowledge necessary for managers to function effectively in this field.
  • The necessary management skills and tools with which to apply that professional knowledge.
  • A critical mind that can analyze problems, adopt a systematic approach to decision-making and apply sensitivity to inter-personal issues.
  • A professional orientation that supports ethical conduct, professional upgrading and community awareness.

In order to realize these outcomes, the School for its part needs to provide:

  • A culture that truly values learning, promotes independent scholarship and deters mediocrity.
  • A well-designed curriculum that integrates liberal and professional studies as well as develops critical thinking.
  • Effective methods of delivering course material including adequate laboratory facilities, varied teaching methods and appropriate class sizes.
  • Competent faculty with appropriate academic and professional qualifications who have a manifest commitment to teaching.
  • A network of contacts with individuals, businesses, associations and government agencies that can contribute to the academic and work experiences of students as they progress through the program.

The Curriculum

Hotel and Food Administration Major

Hotel and Food Administration Co-op Major

Tourism Management

The program consists of three components which inter-relate. Each component has a specific objective, although there is obviously some overlap.

Liberal Education - These are foundation courses upon which professional studies will be developed. Since students study different subject areas in high school, the intention is also to introduce them to other disciplines and thereby ensure some "levelling" of exposure by the end of first year. 

Professional Knowledge and Skills - These courses constitute the core of the program and cover hospitality as well as business subjects. For the most part, these courses adopt a functional approach and have a unit-level or tactical management orientation. 

Conceptual Skill Development - These courses, although relatively few in number, are crucial to the overall program, because their aim is to sharpen problem-solving and decision-making skills through the use of the case teaching method. These courses also focus on strategic issues, usually in multi-unit operations and encourage a multi-disciplinary perspective.