UF Adds Tourism, Event & Recreation Management, Bachelor of Science Degree to UF Online Offerings

GAINESVILLE, FL – Future Gators now have yet another option to earn their UF bachelor’s degree.

Starting in 2020, the University of Florida brings the total number of online UF bachelor’s degrees available via UF Online to 22, one of the largest collections of online bachelor’s offerings in the country. UF Online’s learning community now exceeds 4,000 students, with over 2,000 alumni already graduates of UF via this more flexible format. Led by the faculty in the UF College of Health and Human Performance, this new offering is a fully online Bachelor of Science degree in Tourism, Event and Recreation Management (TERM), the first online offering of its kind in the entire State of Florida University system.

Those interested in pursuing this new offering can apply for admission by February 3, 2020, and once admitted, start their online classes in Summer 2020. Online students have the option to take classes part-time or full-time while enjoying a 40% reduced tuition and fees rate compared to their campus peers. Each admitted UF Online student also receives a dedicated academic advisor to work with them each step of the way through to graduation.

“We want to see our Gators succeed via UF Online. The University of Florida is a top 10 public university that also offers UF Online, the #5 online bachelor’s program in the country. No other University is top 10 in both such U.S. News Rankings, demonstrating that UF’s commitment to strong academics and versatile educational pathways go hand in hand. Student success is core to what we do, and we’re thrilled to continue to expand access to UF college degree programs with this new Bachelor’s in Tourism, Event and Recreation Management,” says Evangeline Tsibris Cummings, Assistant Provost and Director of UF Online.

In a first for the State University System of Florida, this new online degree will be the only online Bachelor of Science in Tourism, Event and Recreation Management offered from across Florida’s 12 public, four-year universities. By leveraging the versatile online format, Gators will be able to earn a valuable UF degree while enjoying the flexibility they need in their busy lives.

Dr. Christopher Janelle, Professor and Associate Dean for Academics and Student Affairs at the UF College of Health and Human Performance, says the College is delighted to offer this highly regarded undergraduate degree through UF Online. “The College is steadfastly committed to the accessibility and excellence of our academic programs. UF Online offers a pathway of opportunity for those who are unable to access our residential programs, but keen to learn about the tourism, event, and hospitality industries, or advance their career options and opportunities through a UF degree.”

Dr. Lori Pennington-Gray, Professor and Director of the Eric Friedheim Tourism Institute, emphasizes that “students can look forward to industry experts teaching critical tools and content to help advance careers and provide foundational knowledge to enter a dynamic, evolving field.”

Throughout this program, students will focus on learning the managerial side of hospitality, as compared to other programs that focus on teaching technical skills. The curriculum teaches students how to lead teams and make business decisions relevant to the industry. Professional core courses cover topics such as entrepreneurship, event management, research methods, and more.

Students must choose a specialization in either Event Management or Tourism and Hospitality Management, which focuses on a curriculum specific to these career interest areas. “Those who specialize in Event Management will develop competencies in administration and management of commercial and entrepreneurial event service businesses, as well as conference and special event planning, promotion, sponsorship, and financial management.” Dr. Janelle goes on to mention that the specialization in Tourism and Hospitality Management “will provide training in administration and management of destination management organizations, tour operations, public recreation, and hospitality enterprises, such as hotels, resorts, attractions, and cruises.”

To increase employment opportunities after graduation, students will gain in-person job experience that counts as credit towards their degree. Graduates typically go into management careers at hotels, cruise lines, theme parks, restaurants, convention centers, and other leadership roles in the events and tourism industries.

Dr. Brijesh Thapa, Undergraduate Coordinator and Professor, states that a few of the key aspects that set this online major apart from other institutions include: “faculty with national and international expertise, interacting with industry leaders through the Eric Friedheim Tourism Institute, and an opportunity to pursue minor and dual-degrees at UF.”

Employers Paying Tuition and Fees: Disney Aspire

Additionally, some Gators may attend for free. Through the UF Online Employer Pathways Program and the generous support from employers such as The Walt Disney Company, tens of thousands of U.S. employees are eligible to have their tuition and fees paid by their employer for this and other UF Online majors once students qualify for admission. Hourly employees of The Walt Disney Company – of which there are 60,000 in Florida – are eligible to earn this new online TERM degree at no cost to them, as part of the Disney Aspire program. “The College of Health and Human Performance’s commitment to access has been boosted by UF Online’s partnership with Guild Education that helps UF facilitate the enrollment in degree-based programs for the employees of The Walt Disney Company, among many other companies,” Dr. Janelle adds.

The application deadline for the Summer 2020 semester is February 3, 2020. To apply, visit the UF Online application page. To learn more about this new UF Online Tourism, Event and Recreation Management major, visit the degree page.

The University of Florida is the No. 7 public university in the country as ranked by U.S. News & World Report in 2019. The UF Online pathway earned the No. 5 rank in the country in the U.S. News & World Report 2019 rankings of online programs. Students can select from more than 20 UF majors and 8 minors taught by UF faculty from across 13 colleges. UF Online students also work with a dedicated academic advisor to design their own academic pathway and schedule each term. Degree programs are continually being added. Visit ufonline.ufl.edu to learn more.