Master of Science in Hospitality Management

Practical Work Experience

Student working at hotel desk

The Objective

Industry practical work experience is a tool to integrate classroom theory into practice.

Using the advantage of USF's location and partnerships in Tampa Bay, Master of Science students can work in a variety of hospitality and tourism companies while they are furthering their education.

Graduate Practical Work Experience

Graduate students must complete 1,300 hours of industry practical experience unless prior experience warrants a waiver of this requirement (see advisor for information). Students are required to complete 1,000 hours of hospitality or tourism-related practical work experience as a prerequisite for the three-credit Graduate Internship (HMG 6946). The internship course requires 300 hours of practical experience. Work experience documentation is required for a waiver of the hour requirement. If the candidate provides documentation of 1,300 hours of management-level work experience, the requirement may be waived.

Student setting up table for event

During year one, practical experience can be fulfilled by on-campus or off-campus work experiences. During year two, students enroll in the Graduate Internship (HMG 6946) course and are placed in an internship facilitated and managed by the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management's internship coordinator.

International students complete their practical experience during their first academic year through an on-campus placement and during their second year by placement with a hospitality and tourism company off-campus. These students should discuss their options with their advisor.

Important Steps

International students in F-1 status complete the practical experience through placement on-campus during their first academic year. After one academic year, students can be placed in hospitality and tourism companies off-campus.

Year One

During year one, in order to participate in the on-campus practical experience, international students need to:

  1. Complete New Student Immigration Check-in and enroll in courses for the semester.
  2. Receive confirmation of on-campus work placement from their Hospitality Management internship coordinator.
    NOTE: During the first two academic semesters (Fall and Spring), international students may only work 20 hours per week in on-campus jobs at the campus listed on their I-20.
  3. Receive a signed job offer letter.
  4. Complete the Social Security Letter eform in iStart to receive the required letter for an application for the Social Security Number (SSN).
  5. After receiving the above letter from Office of International Services, apply for a SSN at the local Social Security Office

Year Two

During year two, in order to participate in the Graduate Internship (HMG 6946), international students need to:

  1. Receive placement from their Hospitality Management internship coordinator.
  2. Collect a signed job letter from the organization providing the practical experience.
  3. If the experience is off-campus, they need to request Curricular Practical Training (CPT) authorization by going to iStart to complete the CPT application.

NOTE: students cannot work until they have the authorization on their I-20 from the Office of International Services.


All questions regarding SSN and CPT application can be directed to the Office of International Services by emailing