University of North Texas

UNT Insider | March 2012 issue | School of Merchandising and Hospitality Management becomes College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism

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School of Merchandising and Hospitality Management becomes College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism

From a UNT News Service press release

Students in a professional kitchen setting

Hospitality management students working in the newly renovated Marriott Culinary Lab at UNT.

UNT's School of Merchandising and Hospitality Management has become the UNT College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism, reflecting the growth of majors and programs in the college and the college's success and relevance in educating students for the globalization of the hospitality, retail and tourism industries.

The new college is organized into the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management and the Department of Merchandising and Digital Retailing. The college offers bachelor's degrees with majors in digital retailing, home furnishings merchandising, hospitality management and merchandising, and master's degrees in hospitality management, international sustainable tourism and merchandising. More than 1,500 students were enrolled in the college during the fall 2011 semester, a 51 percent increase in six years.

Judith Forney, dean of the college, says the reorganization of the school into a college increases its name recognition and raises the visibility of the college's diverse degree programs and departments.

Domestic science courses, the precursor to hospital management courses, have been taught at UNT since 1911. The first School of Home Economics was established in 1941. The school was renamed the School of Human Resource Management in 1986 and the School of Merchandising and Hospitality Management in 1992.

The school's accomplishments during over the past 70 years include:

  • The first hospitality management program in the nation to be accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration, beginning in 1991.
  • The nation's first master's degree in merchandising that is entirely taught on the Internet. The online degree began in 1999.
  • The nation's first and only undergraduate degree in digital retailing, an interdisciplinary degree designed to develop students' competencies in merchandising processes, consumer segments, design architecture, analytic skills and computer skills.
  • A master's degree in international sustainable tourism that is the first of its kind in the U.S. During the two-year program, students take courses at both UNT and at CATIE-International Education and Research Center in Turrialba, Costa Rica, and conduct research in Costa Rica to be prepared for management and leadership positions in sustainable tourism. The first students in the program will graduate this May.

Nancy Kolsti with UNT News Service can be reached at

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March 2012

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