Retailing and Tourism Management

The Department of Retailing and Tourism Management is committed to excellence as it prepares students for various managerial level positions in increasingly diverse and growing market segments.  Our department offers students two separate pathways for degree focus, at an undergraduate and graduate level: Merchandising, Apparel, and Textiles or Hospitality Management and Tourism.

Our goal is to blend creativity and business components to provide students with the most current application of technology and professional strategies used in service industries. Our curriculum is composed of instruction and hands-on interactions, with strong emphasis in business practices and decision-making skills.

Stories from our students to you!


“After researching the major, Merchandising, Apparel, and Textiles, I came to find out it is a very rare major for a four year university.  The University of Kentucky is one of very few schools in the nation that offer a degree in Merchandising, Apparel, and Textiles, also known as Fashion Merchandising.

My favorite experience as a Merchandising, Apparel, and Textiles student was the educational trip to New York City with 20 other students. I received a scholarship from the School of Human Environmental Sciences, which without I would not have been able to go! The trip was during New York’s Fashion Week, so we were able to see a show and go backstage. It’s memory I will cherish forever.”  --Katie Longarzo—2014 MAT Graduate 



Anna Grace McDermott“Hospitality has always been an important aspect of my life.  Whether it is with friends or strangers, it has always been a staple in my relationships with others.  I did not come to the University of Kentucky as a Hospitality Management and Tourism Major—actually; I didn't even know that the major existed!  I came to UK as a pre-medicine student and after some time realized that was not the direction that I wanted to take with my future.  I wanted to serve others within the business field with a special expertise of friendliness and warmth. 

I learned about the Hospitality Management and Tourism major through a friend at UK, and after doing some research of my own, realized I have just been introduced to my dream major.  I changed the direction of my college career from pre-med to HMT by switching my major the summer going into junior year at UK.  With the help of advisors who extensively cared about my education, I was able to figure out how I could still graduate on time in May 2014 and still take part in all the courses that I wanted to.  Through my two years within the HMT program, I have established relationships with both students and teachers that will leave a lasting impact on me for a lifetime.”   --Anna Grace McDermott – 2014 HMT Graduate


MAT Club Fashion ShowDegree Concentrations:

Merchandising, Apparel, and Textiles

The Merchandising, Apparel, and Textiles program develops graduates who are consumer and technology focused. Students study concepts and develop skills necessary for understanding consumer and market trends, retailing and buying strategies, and industry structures that facilitate the development, sourcing, marketing, and merchandising of consumer goods and services in the domestic and international marketplace. Students also complete an industry related internship focused on applying classroom knowledge to real-world experiences.


Hospitality Management and Tourism


The Hospitality Management and Tourism program allows students to acquire the specialized knowledge needed for careers in hospitality and tourism industries. The degree integrates marketing strategies, communications, and financial management through a curriculum focused on management of facilities and operations that provide hospitality and tourism services to the public.  Students also complete an industry related internship focused on applying classroom knowledge to real-world experiences.