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This semester, students can pursue more specialized degrees in the College of Health & Human Performance

UF’s new Department of Tourism, Hospitality and Event Management and Department of Sport Management were established in August and opened to students this semester. The previous department, Tourism, Recreation and Sport Management, split up to create the two new departments, said Doug DeMichele, master lecturer, internship coordinator and undergraduate coordinator of the Department of Sport Management.

“One of the goals of the program is for the students to benefit from this,” DeMichele said. “The future looks really good for our students.”

DeMichele also said the goal of the departments is to help UF rise to the top five of the U.S. News & World Report national public university ranking. 

Brijesh Thapa, a professor and undergraduate coordinator for the Department of Tourism, Hospitality and Event Management said this new department is important because the industry is growing, especially in Florida, and students will gain experience through internships, field trips and guest speakers. 

“There’s a need to get more graduates out in terms of meeting the demands of the industry,” Thapa said. “There’s quite a lot of jobs out there in the marketplace.” 

Sport Management offers many career paths as well, including work as athletic directors or in fitness centers, DeMichele said. These career paths can lead to jobs with institutions such as NASCAR or USGA.

The Department of Tourism, Hospitality and Event Management offer: a bachelor's degree in tourism, event and recreation management, on-campus and online master’s degrees in tourism and recreation management, a Ph.D. in recreation, parks and tourism and a minor in event management. 

The Department of Sport Management offers a bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree in sport management and a certificate in Sport Management.

Both departments are currently searching for program chairs, and hope to have one by July 1. 

Nicole Abis, a 22-year-old UF event management senior, said the department split allowed professors to specify different industries where students want to work. Abis also likes the smaller class sizes and the ability to build better relationships with her professors.

“The industry is so wide, there’s so many different events,” Abis said. “I think it’s important that in our undergrad we can get as specific as possible.”