University of Florida

Practicum and Professional Paper

Students are required to complete a 6-credit practicum or professional paper.


Practicum (LEI 6944)

The practicum provides students with an opportunity to engage in professional settings to enhance academic learning and employment readiness upon graduation. Experiential learning helps students to bridge the gap between course materials and real-world settings, furthering both academic and applied/business skills.

Course Objectives

The practicum enables students to:

  1. Apply the knowledge and skills attained in the academic setting to practical issues in the
    workplace.
  2. Contribute significantly to the activities at the practicum site.
  3. Complete a project under the direction of the practicum supervisor.
  4. Gain awareness of organizational and administrative structures, strategies, and procedures.
  5. Accept constructive feedback to improve performance.
  6. Exhibit effective oral and written communication skills.
  7. Demonstrate professional behavior and work successfully with site employees.

Practicum Requirements

Students are required to complete 48 clock hours for each credit hour. If the number of hours completed is greater or less than the credit hour requirement for which you are registered, you CANNOT retroactively add or drop credit hours. Practicum hours may not commence until the student is registered for LEI 6944 and the first day of the semester begins.

Practicum Site Requirements

Students are responsible to make arrangements at approved practicum sites relative to their specialization and agree upon the:

  1. Duties and responsibilities associated with practicum
  2. Requirement to work physically on site
  3. Supervisor who works closely with the student throughout the duration of the practicum
  4. 10 goals to be accomplished during the practicum
  5. Work schedule and total number of hours of work
  6. Requirement to copy the site supervisor on every biweekly log
  7. Completion of mid-term and final evaluations
  8. Expectations associated with the final project

Practicum proposals must be completed and submitted to your advisor for review 30 days prior to the start of the term in which you plan to complete the practicum. The Practicum Guide and proposal form can be found here.


Professional Paper (LEI 6905)

Through this culminating experience, students will complete a professional paper derived from a real-world hospitality/tourism management industry-related issue. Examples of appropriate professional paper topics include, but are not limited to, developing a marketing plan for a hospitality/tourism organization, analyzing secondary data to address an issue for an HBM organization or the industry, and working with an organizational client to address a client-identified issue.

Students will develop a project scope based on the selected issue. Students will apply strategic decision-making principles, skills, and knowledge, as well as addressing areas of concern for formulating and implementing their recommended strategies. In addition, students will need to integrate their knowledge across courses. For example, students may incorporate management, marketing, human resources, and financial recommendations to address the selected issue.

The professional paper should be 30-50 pages in length and double-spaced with academic references (12-point font). Use of headers and subheaders is highly recommended. Use of tables and figures is also highly recommended and should be included within the page limit.

Students will work with their faculty advisor on the professional paper.

Helpful Tips

The professional paper should benefit the student’s professional growth, as well as leadership and management abilities. Students are encouraged to start thinking about the topic of their professional paper by the completion of their first semester in the master’s program.

Appropriate Professional Paper Topics

  • Analysis of secondary data to understand the impact of travel bans on the hospitality/tourism industry
  • Development of a 10-year tourism development plan for a city
  • Development of a business plan for a new tour company
  • Development of a destination crisis management plan for a DMO
  • Development of a marketing plan for a hotel or resort
  • Social media analysis of Orlando theme park attendance by visitors from different countries
  • Content analysis of newspaper publications on the Olympic Games
  • Spatial pattern of social media discussion of the 2016 Beijing hotel attack
  • Mapping tourist mobility in Florida

Professional paper proposals must be submitted to your advisor for review 30 days prior to the start of the term in which you plan to complete the paper.

Request Information

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