Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food & Environment

Retailing & Tourism Management


areas of concentration

Merchandising, Apparel & Textiles - or - Hospitality Management & Tourism



of elective coursework, allowing you to customize your degree



internship are required

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The graduate program in the Department of Retailing and Tourism Management is philosophically committed to the well-being of individuals in their immediate environment. The program is designed to meet individual student interests and career objectives.

After graduating, students have gone on to work in several different organizations and industries around the world! Click here to see where our alumni are impacting organizations and corporations in these service industries.

We groom our graduates to create a consumer experience that will make people want to come back... whether that is a hotel stay, dinner at a restaurant, or purchasing clothing or another product. Today it is about how fast the customer can get the product, the quality of the product or service, and what consumers experience throughout these transactions.

Dr. Vanessa Jackson

Chair of the Retailing and Tourism Management program

Master's Program Description

The graduate program leads to a Master of Science Retailing and Tourism Management with a formal option in HMT (Hospitality Management & Tourism) or MAT (Merchandising, Apparel and Textiles). The program is individualized to meet each student’s career interests using a combination of course work, independent study, and research experience. Coursework in RTM is selected to either the HMT (Hospitality Management & Tourism) or MAT (Merchandising, Apparel and Textiles) focus. 

Master's Application Requirements

  1. CV
  2. Personal Statement
    • In your personal statement, specify your interest in the Hospitality Management & Tourism option or the Merchandising, Apparel, & Textiles option of the Retailing and Tourism Management master’s program. Include a description of your career goals and how you believe a master’s in Retailing and Tourism Management will help you achieve these goals. Describe your work experience (paid or voluntary) related to either the Hospitality Management & Tourism option or the Merchandising, Apparel, & Textiles option. Discuss how your undergraduate degree (s) have prepared you for a master’s in Retailing and Tourism Management.
  3. Three letters of recommendation

Applicants must meet the Graduate School admission requirements.

The GRE is not required for admission to this program.

Application Deadlines

Spring: October 15

Fall: February 15

Our Students' Work...

To better understand the interests and areas of study available within the Retailing and Tourism Department, browse these recent dissertations and theses from our graduates:   

Profiling Social Media Tourist Using Literature During 2015-2019: Criminal Profiling Method
Jijun Chen. 2021

Apparel Sizing and Fit for Girls: Variation of Select Companies and Parent Opinions
Peggy Sowah, Ashia. 2020

An Evaluation of the Performance of Leggings Based on a Consumer Survey
Virginia Elizabeth Groppor. 2019

Clubs and Organizations

  • The Retailing, Tourism, and Management Club: The RTM Club is a student-run organization on University of Kentucky’s campus that helps to expose students to many aspects of the Merchandising and Hospitality industries. The club is centered on networking opportunities, artistic abilities, and real-life experiences. 


Our Research Areas

Choosing from the many specializations of our professors, students will find a variety of hands-on experiences to suit their interests. Faculty and researchers in the Retailing and Tourism Management Department manage laboratories focused on: 

Students interested in learning more about these research operations are encouraged to email the associated contact listed above. 

Highlighted Courses

  • HMT 580 Trend Analysis in the Hospitality Industry: The course is designed to acquaint the student with the major trends occurring in the hospitality industry and to develop analytical skills required to interpret them. Throughout the course, the student should be able to identify trends; their timing; the causal effects they have on organizations; the actual probability of their occurrence; and impact they will have on the organization. 
  • MAT 514 Retail Entrepreneurship:  Concepts of entrepreneurship within single ownership and other business organizations; development of a business plan; management of a small business, current issues, and problems. 
  • HMT 640 ADV Info Tech in Hospitatlity Industry: Implementation of large programming projects using object-oriented design techniques and software tools in a modern development environment. Software engineering topics to include life cycles, metrics, requirements specifications, design methodologies, validation and verification, testing, reliability, and project planning. 
  • MAT 510 Brand Management: Examination of the important issues in planning and evaluating brand strategies with special emphasis on exploring why brands are important, what they represent to consumers and what firms should do to manage them properly.