Mt. Rushmore



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.


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
  • 605 Internship Hours (12 Credits) The “605” Internship Experience
    • Learn & Earn Model "Get Paid While Going to School"
    • 600 Hours within an internship + 5 Exploration Experiences
  • 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. 

Find Your Career

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



Class of '97

» 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

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.