The school, based out of University of South Florida’s Sarasota-Manatee campus, met or exceeded nearly all of the standards set by a national accrediting body.

The School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at the University of South Florida, which is based at USF’s Sarasota-Manatee campus, received official accreditation earlier this month from one of the nation’s top bodies overseeing hospitality programs.


After a two-year application and review process, the Accreditation Commission of Programs in Hospitality Administration notified USF on July 23 that the program had met or exceeded 40 of the 41 ACPHA standards, according to a press release from the university.


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Pat Moreo, professor and dean of the hospitality school, said the recognition reinforces the message to potential students that USF’s program will rigorously prepare them for the industry.


"This accreditation is particularly important for small programs such as ours because it assures students, employers and the 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 offers both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in hospitality management. Students can get hands-on experience through partnerships with the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota, the Resort at Longboat Key and the Culinary Innovation Laboratory, a student-run café in Lakewood Ranch.


The school, part of USF’s Muma College of Business, has 155 students. The program is based out of the Sarasota-Manatee campus, but courses are offered in St. Petersburg and Tampa as well. Earlier this year, the online educational site Study.com ranked the hospitality management program as No. 3 in the nation.