Preparing hotelies to lead: An outstanding educational experience that readies you for success.
Combining essential classroom instruction with practical hands-on experience, our bachelor’s degree is designed to uniquely prepare you for career success. We combine a firm foundation of business knowledge with a focus on the global, diverse, and thriving hospitality industry — and add the flexibility to shape your learning around your interests and career goals.
Nolan School Undergraduate Program Highlights
An educational experience that encompasses all hospitality touchstones.
Benefit from our expertise in everything hospitality — from travel and accommodation to entertainment and recreation. You’ll be immersed in coursework focused on property, restaurant, corporate, and consulting. In addition, you can opt for a hospitality leadership concentration, or choose from a wide range of hospitality-focused opportunities, to gain the knowledge and skills for your career in hospitality management, operations, financial or brand analysis, market intelligence, business development, or auditing.
We teach you the financial and transactional side of hospitality — a requisite for success. Our coursework includes commercial, residential, and hospitality-focused real estate. You can also minor in real estate or choose a specialization. You’ll graduate with a strong foundation for your career in acquisitions, investments, banking, operations, capital markets, or financial analysis.
Financial expertise is crucial in today’s environment, so you’ll study investment banking, financial analysis, asset management and private equity, and private wealth management. You’ll be prepared to excel in career paths including investment banking analysis, financial analysis and business underwriting, asset management, or private wealth management.
Ever-evolving technology is integral to all facets of hospitality, from e-commerce to smart properties. Your Cornell Peter and Stephanie Nolan School of Hotel Administration experience will make you adept at harnessing data to guide strategic decisions and confident in using the latest technology to power your organization. Whether you aspire to work in financial planning and analysis, hospitality growth and expansion, client strategy, software solutions, customer success, e-commerce, or product or business consulting, the Cornell Nolan School will ensure you’re at the top of the field.
Nolan School Degree Requirements and Curriculum
At the Nolan School, we help you develop hospitality leadership with a thorough business management foundation and an emphasis on the service industry. You gain crucial knowledge and skill sets through our focused core curriculum and specializations. Additionally, there’s flexibility to pursue your interests through electives from Cornell’s vast array of liberal arts courses.
What Are the Degree Requirements?
Our bachelor’s program degree requirements include at least 120 classroom credits. These credits come from the Nolan School core, HADM electives, and other electives, plus 800 hours of work in the field. The practice credit field work is often completed during a student’s summer. During the semester, most students take four or five courses per semester — a schedule that typically allows time for clubs, sports, and other activities.
Nolan School Core Curriculum
The core courses at the Nolan School immerse you in the business of hospitality, giving you essential exposure to organizational behavior, accounting, microeconomics, food service management, strategic management, human resources, technology, real estate, and business communications. Our 18 core courses (plus optional specializations or the real estate minor), are all centered around service excellence in hospitality, are designed to help you gain crucial knowledge and valuable skills.
Enhance your Nolan School experience even further with extended academic opportunities, which let you pursue your passions in even greater depth. These complementary experiences are an optional way to support your Nolan School degree.
Advance your leadership skills through this series of paid positions of increasing responsibility and certification levels as you learn to operate The Statler Hotel, Cornell’s legendary teaching hotel hospitality establishment.
Cornell is home to The Statler Hotel, the world’s premier learning facility for hospitality professionals. Your work here can include everything from housekeeping and reservations to sales and accounting — and can count toward a portion of the 800 minimum required hours of industry work experience.
Take advantage of the collaborative degree program that the Nolan School has with the CIA. Nolan School students can pursue an associate’s degree at the world-renowned CIA in Hyde Park, New York, while completing their Nolan School bachelor’s, and graduate with two degrees — plus incredible culinary arts and business skills — in only four years.
Hospitality is global by nature, and this program gives you a great platform to explore new cultures and experience the world firsthand. This program usually occurs during a students’ junior year (transfer students may be eligible).
Our student-run restaurant provides exceptional on-the-job training in areas ranging from personnel training and management to customer relations in a live setting. Students manage both the kitchen and front of house, developing the menu and delivering great service to members of the Cornell community and the general public.
Students develop their project management skills as they plan and operate a three-day industry conference with speakers, entertainment, and food and beverage service. Students handle all aspects of the event — now in its 97th year — including marketing, IT, and sales.
Minors (open to all Cornell undergraduates) and specializations (available only to Nolan School students) are an opportunity to focus on your specific interests. Choose from the Nolan School minor in real estate, more than 70 Cornell minors, or Nolan School specializations.
The average, and recommended, course load is 15 credits per semester. Students typically take between 2-4 HADM Core classes per semester and 1-3 elective classes.
Students are pre-enrolled into 1000-level and 2000-level core classes by our registrar team until all are completed. These 1000-level and 2000-level core classes are completed in what we call “core blocks,” comprised of 3-4 lower-level core classes taken concurrently in a given semester. Faculty diligently structured these core blocks for multiple reasons:
To balance workload across semesters
To balance exam schedules and major deliverables
To allow for smaller class sizes
To develop strong inter-student relationships
Learn More about Our Application Process
At the Nolan School, we’re looking for bright, talented, hardworking candidates who have a passion for service to share with our beloved Hotelie community. If that describes you, start your application today.