Tourism Hospitality Management at BHSU


Do you love the outdoors, travel and enriching peoples' lives? If yes, then earning an Associates degree in Tourism & Hospitality Management at BHSU is exactly what you are looking for.

Graduates from the tourism and hospitality management program enter careers that include: travel guide, concierge, travel coordinator, restaurant manager, event planner, hotel manager, tour guide. With a degree in tourism and hospitality management, you will enter into one of the most exciting and engaging fields.

Study in A program that utilizes the local tourism & Hospitality industry as its classroom!

The Tourism & Hospitality Management program is specifically designed to give students first hand experience, relevant on the job training and the direct connection with local tourism and hospitality employers that will lead to future jobs and careers in the region. 

  • 61 Credits – 4 semesters
  • 4 Core Competencies:
    • Lodging Management
    • Restaurant Management
    • Tourism Management
    • Meetings, Conventions and Event Planning Management
  • The “605” Internship Experience: 
    • 600 Hours (12 credits) of internships + 5 Exploration Experiences
    • Learn & Earn Model "Get Paid While Going to School"
  • 50% Applied Learning/Experiential Learning
  • Course rotation: Summer, Fall, Spring & Summer
  • 4-year Bachelors in Tourism & Hospitality Management is also available. 
  • A behind the scenes look into one of South Dakota's top industries. 

Program Partners


On Dec. 20, 1939, Black Hills & Badlands Tourism Association (BH&B) set out on a mission to solidify the Black Hills and Badlands region as a destination with so much to see and do that you just had to make a weekend out of it. That's why for the past 80 years BH&B has been dedicated to promoting the Black Hills and Badlands region—for the benefit of the communities we serve, our members and visitors.

BH&B’s board-approved strategic marketing plans increase visitor numbers, trip duration and visitor sales. These efforts ensure a healthy future for BH&B and the visitor industry as a whole.

We’re proud to be South Dakota’s oldest, largest and most vibrant private-sector tourism association. Together, our unified voice strengthens the tourism industry and maintains it as a driving economic force for our region.


Located in the Black Hills of western South Dakota, Liv Hospitality, LLC is an independent, professional hospitality management company featuring award-winning properties near some of the most captivating vacation destinations in the country.

From the largest indoor waterpark in the Dakotas to full-service gaming resorts, Liv Hotel Group specializes in the development, ownership, marketing, and management of over a dozen Black Hills hotels, resort properties, restaurants, gaming establishments, and bars in Rapid City and Deadwood, S.D.

Holiday Inn Spearfish Convention Center is in the perfect location with all your necessities and local attractions nearby. Our hotel shuttle will take you to downtown Spearfish for an afternoon of local shopping and restaurants. Experience the best of South Dakota’s Craft Beer scene with our local breweries; each with their own distinct brand and flavors. Outdoor enthusiasts love to explore DC Booth Historic Fish Hatchery, snowmobile in Black Hills National Forest or ski at Terry Peak. With convenient access to Interstate 90, it is easy to navigate to destinations all over the Black Hills. Day trips to Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse Memorial are guest favorites, as is visiting the mysterious Devils Tower. Corporate guests find it easy to work thanks to free wireless internet and a 24-hour Business Center. If you are looking to host a meeting or event, the sales team at the Holiday Inn Spearfish Convention Center would love to assist you with all your planning needs.


Visit Rapid City was organized in July 1971. John Kolb was the first Executive Director Visit Rapid City and John Derby was the first elected chairman of Visit Rapid City. After the flood of 1972, Visit Rapid City was a great supporter of the new civic center and the first convention signed for Rapid City Civic Center was the National Association of County Agricultural Agents.

Visit Rapid City is an award-winning, internationally recognized destination marketing organization and has been an integral part of Black Hills tourism, promoting events such as the first Farmer’s Market in 1982, “Good Morning America” broadcasting live from Mt. Rushmore in 1986, the new “Great Faces, Great Places” Tourism Theme revealed in Pierre in 1990, the premiere of Dances with Wolves in Rapid City in 1990, President Bush dedicating Mt. Rushmore’s 50th Anniversary in 1991 and hosting the first annual Travel Writers Convention in 1993. Visit Rapid City celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2011 which coincided with the new Main Street Square opening in downtown Rapid City.

Visit Spearfish, Inc. is a private, non-profit destination marketing organization whose purpose is to attract visitors from outside of the local trade area, with an emphasis on travelers who require overnight stays in Spearfish.

More specifically, Visit Spearfish markets the tourism industry in Spearfish to individuals, families, and large groups to increase the local economy by returning those revenues to other local retail and service businesses. 

*Current students, please refer to the DegreeWorks Dashboard in MyBHSU to confirm your major requirements.

Tourism & Hospitality - Associate's Degree: 2-YEAR PLAN
The Required Core is highly recommended to be taken as listed. This will allow you to fulfill your General Education Requirements for the University and progress through the Associate Program efficiently.

Required Core - 33 hours

  • 3 ACCT 210 - Principles of Accounting I
  • 3 ECON 201 - Principles of Microeconomics *Gen Ed Requirement
  • 3 THM 100 - Introduction to Tourism & Hospitality Management
  • 3 THM 200 - Convention, Meetings, & Event Planning
  • 9 THM 296 - Internship (Take 3 credits, each semester for 3 semesters)
  • 3 THM 310 - Restaurant Management
  • 3 THM 320 - Lodging Management
  • 3 THM 494 - Final Internship (Final 3 credits in the 4th semester)

Required Core Electives – 6 credits

  • 3 THM 450 – Casino Management
  • 3 THM 480 - Tourism Planning and Development

Required Electives - Take two of the following:

  • 3 ACCT 211 - Principles of Accounting II
  • 3 MIS 205 - Advanced Computer Applications
  • 3 BADM 334 - Small Business Management
  • 3 BADM 360 - Organization and Management
  • 3 BADM 369 - Organizational Behavior & Theory
  • 3 BADM 370 - Marketing
  • 3 BADM 372 – Advertising
  • 3 HRM 460 – Human Resource Management
  • 3 BADM 494 - Personal Selling
  • 3 THM 492 – Special Topics

Associates Degree General Education Requirements - 18 semester hours

  • 3 ENGL 101 Composition I
  • 3 SPCM 101 Fundamentals of Speech
  • 3 MATH 114 College Algebra
  • Gen Ed - Natural Science - 3 semester hours + 1 Lab
  • Gen Ed - Arts & Humanities - 3 semester hours
  • Gen Ed Elective - Take one additional General Education course from Natural Science/Lab, Social Science, or Arts/Humanities. Must be from a different disciplinary prefix.

Credits are required to total 60 credits

Business Administration with a Tourism & Hospitality Management Specialization: 4-YEAR PLAN A minor is NOT required with a Business major. The Required Core and Specialization Credits are highly recommended to be taken as listed. This will allow you to fulfill your General Education Requirements for the University and progress through the Business Program efficiently.

Bachelor's Degree in Tourism & Hospitality Management Course Requirements

(4 Year plan)

Pre-Business Core - 24 semester hours

  • ACCT 210 - Principles of Accounting I
  • ACCT 211 - Principles of Accounting II
  • BADM 320 - Quantitative Decision Analysis
  • BADM 344 - Managerial Communications
  • ECON 201 - Principles of Microeconomics
  • ECON 202 - Principles of Macroeconomics
  • BADM 220 - Business Statistics
  • MIS 205 - Advanced Computer Applications

Business Core - 33 semester hours

  • 300/400 level ECON elective
  • BADM 310 - Business Finance
  • BADM 321 - Business Statistics II
  • BADM 350 - Legal Environment of Business
  • BADM 369 - Organizational Behavior & Theory
  • BADM 370 - Marketing
  • BADM 407 - International Business
  • BADM 425 - Production/Operations Management
  • BADM 457 - Business Ethics
  • BADM 482 - Business Policy and Strategy
  • MIS 325 - Management Information Systems

Specialization in Tourism and Hospitality Management - 18 semester hours

  • THM 100 - Introduction to Tourism & Hospitality Management
  • THM 200 - Convention, Meetings, & Event Planning
  • THM 294 - Internship
  • THM 310 - Restaurant Management
  • THM 320 - Lodging Management
  • THM 494 - Internship

Electives in Tourism and Hospitality Management - 6 semester hours

  • THM 450 - Casino Management
  • THM 480 - Tourism Planning & Development

Gen Ed Requirements - 30 semester hours

  • MATH - Gen Ed - Mathematics - 3 semester hours
  • Gen Ed - Social Science - 6 semester hours
  • Gen Ed - Art & Humanities - 6 semester hours
  • Gen Ed - Natural Science & Lab - 6-8 semester hours
  • ENGL 101 - Composition I
  • ENGL 201 - Composition II
  • SPCM 101 - Fundamentals of Speech
  • SPCM 215 - Public Speaking
  • SPCM 222 - Argumentation and Debate


A minor is NOT required with this major but electives are required to total 120 hours, of which 36 hours must be 300-400 level courses.


Employment opportunities include:
» Restaurant Manager
» Tour Guide
» Hotel General Manager
» Event Planner
» Attractions Director
» Dept. of Tourism Coordinator
» Casino Group Sales Manager
» Sales & Marketing Manager
» Small Business Owner
» Travel Agent

 Michelle Thomson

» M.A. in Tourism  
» Began her career in 1995, with positions at area hotels, the South Dakota Department of Tourism, and Rapid City Convention & Visitors Bureau 
» President/CEO at Black Hills & Badlands Tourism Industry since May 2014
» Earned Certified Travel Industry Specialist, Certified Tour Professional, and Certified Student Travel Industry Specialist designations
» Participated in Leadership Rapid City
» Currently serves on Rapid City Regional Airport Board of Directors and United Way of the Black Hills, Rapid City Cabinet


Student Organizations


Enactus is an international community of student leaders who use entrepreneurial action to solve problems and improve the world. Past projects by the BHSU team have included helping youth, the elderly, and the disabled.

Beta Gamma Sigma

Beta Gamma Sigma is the international honor society for AACSB accredited schools of business, whose mission is to encourage and honor academic excellence, to foster personal and professional excellence, and to advance the values of the Society. The top 10% of junior and senior business majors are invited to join this prestigious organization.

Travel and Tourism Club

The mission of the Travel and Tourism Club is to focus on exploring the tourism industry through trips around the Black Hills region and beyond. Other opportunities include job shadowing, guest speakers, and networking with professionals in tourism fields.

Jackets Investment Club

The Jackets Investment Club seeks to provide all students an opportunity to learn more about investing. The purpose of the club is to give members the opportunity to learn and practice new investment tools. Using real-world applications, students will strengthen their knowledge of economics, markets, and finance.


Develop valuable personal relationships in a small community with amazing faculty and staff while thriving in the outdoors of the Black Hills.