BS in Hospitality & Communication

The Hospitality & Communication major is a bachelor of science program offered by the School of Hospitality Administration (SHA), in collaboration with the College of Communication (COM). SHA has recognized that there is a growing need for hospitality professionals to possess expertise in communication and its disciplines: public relations; advertising; TV, radio, and film; and media production. The program in Hospitality & Communication is intended to offer a synergistic approach to respond to a growing demand for hospitality professionals with detailed knowledge of modern communication techniques. These two educational fields are intrinsically connected, as well-honed communication skills are especially critical to success in the hospitality industry. The focused program of study will offer students a comprehensive foundation in the lodging and restaurant sectors while also honing the communication skills necessary for careers involving creative and strategic marketing.

Learning Outcomes

  • Describe the segments (e.g., lodging, food service, events, etc.), history, icons, market leaders, lexicon, and service elements of the hospitality industry.
  • Apply skills and knowledge in the core functional areas (e.g., finance/accounting, operations, human resources, and marketing) of hospitality management.
  • Demonstrate understanding of hospitality as a system comprising the core functional areas (e.g., finance/accounting, operations, human resources, and marketing).
  • Develop interpersonal skills: communication, team-building, leadership, and cultural diversity awareness.
  • Understand marketing communications campaign strategy, content development, media planning, and consumer insight within the hospitality arena.
  • Learn and apply communication tools for hospitality companies in key areas, including content marketing, social media, and social campaign development.


All BU undergraduate students, including both entering first-year and transfer students, will pursue coursework in the BU Hub, the University’s general education program that is integrated into the entire undergraduate experience. BU Hub requirements can be satisfied in a number of ways, including coursework in and beyond the major as well as through cocurricular activities. Students majoring in Hospitality and Communication will ordinarily, through coursework in the major, satisfy some BU Hub requirements in Philosophical, Aesthetic, and Historical Interpretation; Scientific and Social Inquiry; Quantitative Reasoning; Diversity, Civic Engagement, and Global Citizenship; Communication; and the Intellectual Toolkit. Remaining BU Hub requirements will be satisfied by selecting from a wide range of available courses outside the major or, in some cases, cocurricular experiences.

Degree Requirements

A candidate for the degree must earn 128 credits in BU Hub, major, and elective courses. In addition, 800 hours of on-the-job experience are required. This experience is divided between two separate 400-hour experiences and may be completed at any time during the degree program. An international experience is also required.

Major Requirements

Foundational Courses (24 credits)

  • CAS EC 101 Introductory Microeconomic Analysis
  • CAS EC 102 Introductory Macroeconomic Analysis
  • CAS MA 113 Elementary Statistics or CAS MA 115 Statistics I
  • CAS MA 119 Applied Mathematics for Personal Finance Sciences
  • Two semesters of a second language

SHA Core Courses (24 credits)

  • SHA HF 100 Introduction to the Hospitality Industry (4 cr)
  • SHA HF 210 Financial Accounting for the Hospitality Industry (4 cr)
  • SHA HF 220 Food & Beverage Management (4 cr)
  • SHA HF 260 Hospitality Marketing Principles (4 cr)
  • SHA HF 270 Lodging Operations and Technology (4 cr)
  • SHA HF 375 Meetings & Conventions (4 cr)

SHA Elective Courses (12 credits)

Students are required to complete a total of 12 credits of hospitality electives. Please see the most up-to-date offering of electives on the school curriculum website. Hospitality electives are offered in 1-, 2-, or 4-credit courses. When selecting the electives, students should consider their career objectives and personal interests. It is important to make sure that you have completed any prerequisite courses before registering for hospitality electives. Information on prerequisites can be found in the course descriptions.

COM Core Courses (16 credits)

Students may not start taking COM courses until their sophomore year.
More than one COM Core course may be taken at a time.

  • COM CM 215 Principles and Practices of Public Relations (4 cr)
  • COM CM 217 Introduction to Advertising (4 cr)
  • COM CM 331 Writing for Communication (4 cr)

And choose one of:

  • COM CM 442 Business Fundamentals for Public Relations OR
  • COM CM 448 International Public Relations OR
  • COM CM 513 Investor Relations OR
  • COM CM 539 Health Campaigns

COM Electives (16 credits)

Choose one course from each pair:

COM CM 417 Fundamentals of Creative Development (4 cr)
COM CM 441 Media Strategies and Management (4 cr)


COM CM 313 Corporate Public Relations (4 cr)
COM CM 419 Advertising Management (4 cr)


COM CM 412 Consumer Insight & Account Planning (4 cr)
COM CM 443 Digital Media and PR (4 cr)


COM CM 416 Strategic Brand Solutions (4 cr)
COM CM 522 Crisis Communication (4 cr)

General Electives (28 credits or more if necessary to reach 128 total credits)

Students are required to fulfill their remaining academic credit requirements as well as any remaining BU Hub requirements through elective coursework at any college within the University. Elective courses should be selected by the student to complement and broaden the student’s background. Students who are considering studying abroad through any of Boston University’s Study Abroad programs should save some of their electives for the semester in which they plan to study abroad. Additionally, students interested in minoring in another school or subject at the University should utilize their elective allotment for that purpose. Physical Education and ROTC courses do not count toward degree credit.

Work Experience (0 credits)

In addition to regular coursework, students complete a field placement requirement: two 400-hour, noncredit work experiences. The purpose of each work experience is to help the students make connections in the field as well as gain the kind of experience that will allow them to obtain meaningful employment after graduation. Note: At least one of these internships must take place, with approval, within the hospitality industry.

International Experience (0 credits)

All SHA students are required to demonstrate significant exposure to a culture outside of their home country. For many students, this experience involves participating in a Boston University Study Abroad program either during a semester or summer. For others, it may involve specifically designed coursework completed at the University. Students are NOT eligible to apply for a study abroad program unless they have completed at least one 400-hour work experience.