Director's Message

HM: An Opportunity of a Lifetime

Although the hospitality program at James Madison University has been in existence since 1974, it wasn’t until June 2010 that it became a freestanding school.  At that point in time, the Hospitality and Tourism Michael O'Fallon PictureManagement program merged with the Sport and Recreation Management program, becoming what is now the School of Hospitality, Sport and Recreation Management.  After four years of solid education, our students now earn a bachelor’s of science degree.

As a student within our program, you will be challenged on many different levels.  First, you will be challenged intellectually.  Throughout your tenure at JMU, you will take 48 credit hours, 16 courses, of Hospitality Management related courses.  Once you graduate, you will have taken courses in Leadership, Culinary Arts, Ethical Decision-Making, Human Resources, Lodging, Event Management, Cost Control, and Hospitality Finance, to name a few.  In addition, you will earn a Business Minor from the nationally acclaimed College of Business at JMU.  Within the minor, you will take courses in Microeconomics, Computer Information Systems, Managerial and Financial Accounting, Marketing, Management, and Finance.  In its entirety, these courses will set you up to be a successful manager in the fast-paced hospitality industry.

Second, you will be challenged experientially.  Although we offer practical, hands-on, experience in the classroom, we also have a 1,000-hour work requirement.  This is completed through two courses, including a required 400-hour internship, prior to your senior year in the program.  Your experience will be critical, as we combine theory and practice in all of our courses.  Your work experience will not only assist you with your learning in the classroom, but will also give you an advantage when you are looking for your post-graduation job opportunity.

Finally, we will challenge you to learn more about yourself, and your strengths, as a manager in the industry.  Through our small class sizes (no larger than 40 your junior and senior year), we continually strive to: enhance your understanding of yourself by incorporating self-assessments; bring in industry professionals into the classroom who share “real world” situations; and, place you in a management position during your senior capstone experience.  Without question, you will be a stronger leader in the industry when you complete our degree in Hospitality Management.  After all, you are the future of the Hospitality industry.

I, as well as the rest of the Hospitality Management faculty, look forward to making your experience at James Madison University a positive one.  We build relationships with our students that last a lifetime.  As quoted from a leader of the hospitality industry, Mr. J. Willard Marriott, “Good timber does not grow with ease; the stronger the wind, the stronger the trees”.  Collectively, we will build a forest of the strongest trees in the nation.

Dr. Michael O'Fallon
Interim Director
School of Hospitality, Sport and Recreation Management
James Madison University
MSC 2305 Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807
Phone: 540/568-5168Fax: 540/568-4199/E-Mail: