The Cornell Nolan School’s Hotel Administration degree requirements ensure students graduate prepared to be leaders within the hospitality industry.

Suggested Core Curriculum Timeline

A four-year schedule for a powerful start and maximum flexibility

Our suggested core curriculum schedule allows you to complete two-thirds of your major requirements in your first two years. Giving you a thorough overview of hospitality, this timeline allows you to quickly determine your specific interests, making your internships more relevant to your career plans. Here is a typical schedule (see Courses of Study for the most recent course descriptions):

SHA Degree Requirements Infographic
Year 1: In your first year, you will be immersed in core major requirements, providing a solid foundation. Year 2: Fulfill a large portion of your required courses, with time for electives, during your second year. Year 3: In addition to the requirements below, this year you should take the opportunity to study abroad, pursue your HADM Specialization, or explore a minor. Year 4: In this most flexible year, explore your interests through a wide variety of options.
HADM 1150: Organizational Behavior and Leadership Skills HADM 2021: Critical Thinking and Mathematical Modeling in Operations HADM 3870: Business and Hospitality Law HADM 4410: Strategy
HADM 1210: Financial Accounting HADM 2210: Managerial Accounting HADM 3650: Persuasive Business Communication for Hospitality Leaders
HADM 1350: Introduction to Hotel Operations HADM 2220: Finance HADM Specialization Electives HADM Specialization Electives
HADM 1361: Principles of Food and Beverage Operations Management HADM 2221: Principles of Real Estate Distribution Electives Distribution Electives
HADM 1410: Microeconomics for the Service Industry HADM 2430: Marketing Management for Services Free Electives Free Electives
HADM 1650: Business Writing for Hospitality Professionals HADM 2560: Fundamentals of Hospitality Development and Management
HADM 1740: Business Computing

HADM 2011: Quantitative Analysis

HADM 2810: Human Resources Management

HADM 2351: Restaurant Management

Required first-year writing seminar Distribution Electives
HADM 1199: Hotelie LaunchPad

HADM 1910: Distinguished Lectures in Hospitality Management

Rigorous Coursework Plus Hands-on Field Experience

What are the requirements for hotel management at the Nolan School?

Bachelor’s degree candidates in the Cornell Nolan hotel administration program study all aspects of the business of hospitality, developing the requisite knowledge and skills for leadership in the world’s largest industry. You’ll complete a minimum of 120 classroom credits plus a minimum of 800 hours of work in the field. Your credits come from the following:

icon person holding a book icon

Are You a Current Student?

If you matriculated before Fall 2022, your requirements are slightly different from those described on this page. Here’s the path back to information on Degree Requirements in our Current Students section.

Current Students 



Nolan School courses are designed to provide you with strong foundational business knowledge and skills, as well as industry-specific expertise. We provide a rich variety of hotel school courses to develop your capabilities and satisfy your career interests.


HADM Specialization and Distribution Electives

Choose electives from inside and outside the Nolan School to take advantage of Cornell’s amazing breadth and depth of knowledge.

two students working at a podium at a dinner partyHADM Specialization Electives

Focus on your specific interests within hospitality through Nolan School-specific (HADM) electives. You have the option to complete a specialization or the Real Estate elective minor. All coursework must be taken for a letter grade (unless offered only with an S/U option).

Aerial view of the Cornell campus during fall

Distribution Electives

Explore your career interests through electives offered within the greater context of Cornell’s many schools. Choose from more than 4,000 courses offered by Cornell’s other six undergraduate schools and colleges.

Students photographed through the glass door at The Statler Hotel while they work

Practice Credit

You’ll fulfill at least 800 hours of valuable work experience directly relevant to your career — to gain hands-on experience directly in the industry. Student work opportunities are available at The Statler Hotel or Taverna Banfi. Working or volunteering in various capacities during Hotel Ezra Cornell HEC  weekend can also contribute to your practice credit requirements.



Minors and Specializations

Choose from the Nolan School Minor in Real Estate, more than 70 Cornell minors, or Nolan School specializations. For more information on the various Cornell minors, visit Undergraduate Minors under the Cornell University Fields of Study. As a note, students must follow the requirements of their matriculation term. Students matriculated before Fall 2022 will complete concentrations instead of specializations.

Two students in formal attire walking

Experiential Learning Opportunities

Enhance your Nolan School experience even further with extended academic opportunities, which let you pursue your passions in even greater depth. These optional components complement your degree and enhance your time at Cornell. The experiences include study abroad opportunities, the Hotel Leadership Development Program (HDLP), Statler Hotel Work Experience, Culinary Institute of America (CIA) Alliance, Establishment (Esb.), Hotel Ezra Cornell (HEC), Undergraduate Research Opportunities, and the Dean’s Distinguished Lecture Series (DDLS).



Academic Advising

At the Nolan School, you have comprehensive resources for advising including the Office of Student Services, Faculty Advising, and Career Advising. Our faculty and professional academic advisors help you with choosing coursework, degree audits, and transferring credits, among other items. Students needing academic accommodations can connect with the Academic Accommodations Manager to ensure their needs are met. Lastly, Career Advising provides career guidance including access to internships and posted jobs.


Common Degree Requirements & Curriculum FAQs

Start Your Nolan School Journey Today

Your hospitality management education opens up a world of possibilities in a rewarding, fulfilling industry that’s constantly growing. Take the first step by applying today.