Jul 23, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog [Catalog goes into effect at the start of the Fall 2024 semester.] 
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog [Catalog goes into effect at the start of the Fall 2024 semester.]

About the Conrad N. Hilton College of Global Hospitality Leadership

Colleges  > Conrad N. Hilton College of Global Hospitality Leadership  > About the Conrad N. Hilton College of Global Hospitality Leadership

Contact Information

Office of the Dean 713-743-2607
Academic Services 713-743-2492
Internet Address uh.edu/hilton-college/

Dean: Dennis Reynolds, Ph.D., Cornell University 

Associate Dean of Academics: Mary Dawson, Ed.D., University of Houston

Associate Dean for Research & Graduate Studies: Ki-Joon Back, Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University

Senior Director of Development: Rick Galyean

General Manager, Hilton University of Houston: Brandon A. Parrino, M.A., Communication, University of Wyoming

Director - Undergraduate Academic Services: Jeremy L. Dafoe, B.S., University of Houston - Downtown

Director - Beverage Management Program: D. Christopher Taylor, Ph.D., Texas Tech University

Director- Career Development: Allison Hendricks, M.A., Communication Management, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Mission Statement

WE ARE CONRAD N. HILTON COLLEGE. WE ARE HOSPITALITY. WE ARE THE BEST in hospitality education and research as regarded globally by the academic and hospitality communities. We embrace and foster an environment that includes Community... Relevancy... Collaboration... Multiculturalism... Experiential Learning... Innovation... Integrity... Passion... THIS IS OUR MISSION.

The College and Facilities

The Conrad N. Hilton College of Global Hospitality Leadership at the University of Houston was established in 1969 by one of the most iconic names in the hospitality industry, Conrad N. Hilton. Consistently ranked as one of the top hospitality programs in the world, our students benefit in countless ways, including industry connections 50 years in the making. These connections lead us to host bi-annual job fairs, provide a wide range of internship opportunities, and foster connections within our well-placed network of more than 10,000 alumni (many of whom are in leadership positions and/or are located in more than 50 countries around the world). Hilton College offers a specialized business degree that prepares students for careers in the world’s top hotels, restaurants, resorts, casinos and clubs. With a job placement rate of 84 percent upon graduation, our students typically have their choice of job opportunities (in the United States and abroad) and always have a foundation for post-graduate work that breaks through the noise.

Hilton College shares the same building as its teaching hotel and has numerous classrooms, two computer labs, a Hospitality Analytics and Innovation Lab, a library and one of the largest hospitality archives in the world. It also has an Eric’s Club Center for Student Success, which, under one roof, houses any service students might need when navigating their college careers. Our College also features a student kitchen, a wine lab and several food science labs, such as the beverage and product evaluation labs. Additionally, Hilton College is home to a popular student-run coffee shop that, combined with its student lounge areas, gives students a “home away from home.” Many of our students especially enjoy studying and spending quality time with friends in these spaces.

In addition, Hilton College at the University of Houston is a teaching hotel where students apply theoretical learning to practical hands-on experiences. This equips our students with the experiential learning they will need to succeed in the industry. When the world is your classroom, learning takes place as accessibly as in a vineyard or a casino or even on the floor of a major industry trade show. Naturally then, annual trips to places like Napa Valley, Las Vegas, Chicago and New York City are part of our beloved hands-on experiential curriculum.

Hospitality Analytics and Innovation Lab

The dynamic Hospitality Analytics and Innovation Lab leads the charge in cutting-edge research, bringing together faculty, students and industry partners to explore data and business analytics for service innovation in the hospitality sector. With a bold approach, we dive into real-world datasets, fostering timely learning experiences for student success and driving knowledge creation through active research and industry consulting projects. Our mission at Hilton College extends to advancing the field and educating future hospitality professionals through engaging programs, like Excel Bootcamp, Visual Analytics in Tableau, Text Analytics, Webcrawling and Machine Learning. These ensure students are at the frontline of innovation in hospitality analytics. 

Eric’s Club Center For Student Success

Our newly renovated Eric’s Club Center for Student Success is a “one-stop shop” with all the resources students will need to succeed throughout their college career. From application to graduation and academic advising to career counseling, our staff in recruitment & enrollment, undergraduate academic services and career development have you covered… And our concierge desk at the center’s entrance will make these student success resources even more convenient to access. 

Cougar Grounds

One of the biggest perks of being a student at Hilton College is hanging out at our student-run coffeehouse, Cougar Grounds. In fact, since our “Cougar-istas” started serving up the BEST gourmet coffee, smoothies and deluxe teas in 2008, the quality and originality of our menu has become so popular campus-wide that Cougar Grounds outgrew its original home. Recently, our coffeehouse relocated, doubled in size and now occupies a premium spot next to our new Eric’s Club Center for Student Success. With the vibe of an independent, urban coffeehouse, Cougar Grounds offers single-origin coffee from local roasters and, of course, vegan options. It also serves as a laboratory for an entrepreneurship class in small business operations. Hospitality is always brewing at Cougar Grounds. And yes, we sure do hire students to staff and manage this business!

Spec’s Beverage & Food Appreciation Laboratory

Only a few universities in the country have dedicated facilities to research and evaluate wine - our “Spec’s Wine Lab” is the only one of its kind between the U.S. coasts. With seating for up to 65, our lab features individual sinks, natural light and back-lit white boards to evaluate wine color, as well as wine-holding stations so wines stay in the correct order for tastings. Its multi-purpose design also allows for sensory evaluation of food and other beverages, like distilled spirits and coffee. Hilton College is a leader in beverage management and if this is what you want to study, our Spec’s Wine Lab provides the ideal setting. Our wine appreciation classes, industry training, special event tastings and cooking demonstrations are also held here. Cheers!!

Sysco Student Kitchen

After a recent “extreme makeover,” our student instruction kitchen lab debuted as the Sysco Student Kitchen. This renovation is pretty amazing! The space features four state-of-the-art cooking stations, giving it the functionality of an exhibition kitchen and top-of-the-line commercial appliances. Monitors above each station allow students to receive lectures simultaneously - and remotely - from anywhere in the world. Overhead cameras can also broadcast live events from the kitchen to multiple venues, including our hotel ballrooms. This technology also allows our instructors to broadcast more demonstrations to any number of places concurrently for any variety of special events, including cooking demos from guest chefs. Bon appétit! 

Fred Parks Wine Cellar

The Fred Parks Wine Cellar is a state-of-the-art wine cellar and teaching laboratory dedicated to promoting knowledge of the wine industry among hospitality management students. The wine cellar contains an impressive collection of rare and collectible wines featuring more than 1,000 bottles from the early 1900s to contemporary vintages.

One of the goals of the wine cellar is to become an international resource center and a world repository for research, education and training in the study of wine and spirits.

In the spring of 2007, the Fred Parks Boardroom opened to extend this mission. In addition to displaying some of these wines, this room serves as the fine-dining venue for the University and provides our students another opportunity to exhibit their skills and creativity.

Massad Family Library Research Center

The Massad Family Library Research Center offers contemporary study space, six computer workstations and three private group-study rooms equipped with the latest technology. There is also an adjoining computer lab and a wealth of hospitality-related resources, including an extensive array of cookbooks from around the world. Large graphic panels of the library’s name and images of Conrad Hilton are incorporated into the space to striking effect. 

Hospitality Industry Archives

Hilton College maintains the largest hospitality industry archives in the world.  The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation supported our recent renovation and expansion. A highlight is the new Barron Hilton Reading Room, which is dedicated to business papers and career memorabilia of hotel icon Barron Hilton. Consisting of more than 5,000 linear feet of a wide-ranging collection of corporate papers, historical documents, photographs, menus, film and memorabilia that attracts scholars, educators, hospitality-industry professionals and media outlets from around the world. Collections include Hilton Hotels, Brinker International, Marriott International, Howard Johnson, Westin Hotels and Best Western International, along with several smaller collections from individual hospitality leaders.

News outlets such as the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, as well as historians, authors and scholars, all have relied on these archives to provide a rich, thorough history of the industry. The archives have contributed to books on hotel history, scholarly articles and news reports. Even producers of the Emmy-winning television show “Mad Men,” which is set in the 1960s, the Ron Howard movie “Rush” and the Steven Spielberg movie “Bridge of Spies” have turned to the College’s archives for research.

Computer Labs

Hilton College has two computer labs, one of which is adjacent to the Massad Family Library Research Center and Hospitality Archives. A total of 54 computer workstations are available exclusively for Hilton College students. All of these are equipped with the current hospitality industry software, creating a real-time experiential learning environment.

Hilton University of Houston

We have our own hotel! In fact, we are the only hospitality program in the world where students can work - and take classes - in an internationally branded full-service hotel. Nearly 70 percent of the Hilton University of Houston employees are students. Our Hilton hotel offers rotational internships that provide real-world experience in guest services, hotel operations, housekeeping, banquets, sales and events, and even revenue management.

Built in 1975, the Hilton University of Houston completed a renovation and expansion, including the opening of a new five-story, 70-room guest tower with a striking glass and steel façade in February 2023. Alongside the renovated guest rooms in the existing legacy tower, the expansion adheres to cutting-edge Hilton brand standards, integrating the latest hotel technology. With the aim of providing additional hotel rooms for University of Houston functions. Renovations to the lobby include an open form with a kiosk-based design for guest check-in, as implemented to reflect industry trends. The two towers are connected by a sky bridge and share an elevator bank in the centennial tower, offering a state-of-the-art, full-service hotel experience.

Click here for current room rates and/or to make a reservation at the Hilton University of Houston, or call 866-327-1161.

To book an event, call the sales office at 832-531-6303 or 832-531- 6300.

Eric’s Restaurant, located just off the Hilton University of Houston lobby, is open seven days a week serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Featuring casual dining, Eric’s is also a popular spot to meet for happy hour. Bar service is available from 4 to 11 p.m. with food service ending at 10 p.m. For reservations, please call 713-743-2512 or reserve your table online via Open Table.

Scholarships and Awards

A number of competitive scholarships and awards are funded by Hilton College and the hospitality industry. Applications are available each year from October 1 through January 31 for the following academic year. Applications are only available online.

For information, write:

University of Houston
Conrad N. Hilton College of Global Hospitality Leadership
Attn: Scholarships
4450 University Dr., Room CSS 104-D
Houston, Texas 77204-3028

Student Organizations

Participation in our industry-focused student organizations is one of the best ways for students to network, gain valuable leadership skills, make lifelong friends and give back to the community. And it’s fun! These organizations can be the gateway to internships, jobs and scholarships. Each semester, Hilton College holds a Student Organization Fair, where students can meet student organization officers and learn more about the activities within each chapter. Students can join one groups, two group or however many their heart desires. GET INVOLVED. The connections make doors open!

  • Club Managers Association of America (CMAA)
  • Conrad N. Hilton College Ambassadors
  • Eta Sigma Delta International Hospitality Management Society
  • Graduate Student Association (GSA)
  • Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals - Cougar Chapter (HFTP-CC)
  • Hotel & Lodging Association of Greater Houston - UH Chapter
  • National Association for Catering and Events - Houston Student Chapter (NACE)
  • National Society of Minorities in Hospitality - Cougar Chapter (NSMH-CC)
  • Texas Restaurant Association - Cougar Chapter (TRACC)

Our World-renowned Faculty 

JéAnna L. Abbott, Ki-Joon Back, Stephen C. Barth, Carl A. Boger Jr., Cathy Cheatham, Aaron Corsi, Mary Dawson, Agnes L. DeFranco, Simone P. Doudna, Jason Draper, Katie Ginapp, Priyanko Guchait, Reba Haskell, Tucker Johnson, Erin Kenyan, Jaewook Kim, Yoon Koh, Minwoo Lee, Tiffany Legendre, Ningqao Li, Juan M. Madera, Cristian Morosan, Mohamed E. Mohamed, Dustin Maneethi, Jay Neal, Dennis Reynolds, Minjung Shin, Sujata Sirsat, D. Christopher Taylor