UF Certificate in U.S. Resort and Destination Management 

The Academic Exchange Experience program will require students to take four courses for a total of twelve academic credits. Three of these classes will be taught by University of Florida professors either on campus or online and the fourth course will be taught in coordination with UF and The Disney Institute at Walt Disney World® Resort.

The following is a list of required courses, each followed by their respective course descriptions:


HFT 3253

Summer - 3 credits

This course is designed to provide students with an in-depth managerial examination of a full service lodging firm including each major operating and support departments. This course exposes students to the unique characteristics of managing and operating a service-based lodging product that is delivered by a diverse employee profile and received by an equally diverse consumer profile. The objective of the course is for the student to become familiar with the lodging industry and current principles and management practices of lodging properties.

The course will focus specifically on the integration of the hotel front office with other rooms division operating departments, such as housekeeping, reservations, bell desk/valet, concierge and transportation departments. The front office is the number one profit center of most lodging businesses and successful properties will coordinate the activities of the rooms division with sales/marketing, food and beverage, accounting, safety and security, engineering, and human resource departments of the property.

LEI 4905

Summer - 3 credits

This course on resort and destination development provides students with an in-depth introduction and application of the concepts, theories and practices involved in planning and managing of resort tourism destinations. The course also provides students with the opportunity to develop a resort destination concept similar to that of the offerings found at Walt Disney World and understand the role that key tourism assets such as resorts and attractions play in a tourism-based destination. Beginning with the resort and destination concepts and theory, the course covers the planning, development, management, marketing, financial and service delivery aspects of destinations and their resorts as important drivers of tourism in the U.S.

LEI 3360

Fall - 3 credits


This course is designed to introduce the students an overview of one of the world’s largest industries: hospitality industry. The course covers the wide world of hospitality management by covering trend, organization, and operations of hospitality industry which including restaurant; lodging; travel and tourism; recreation and leisure; meeting, conventions and exhibition; managed service; gaming industry; and special event. This course prepares students for the tomorrow’s hospitality management career with lectures, in-class discussions, case studies, assignments, and exams.

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UF will provide all students with their own email account and access to all of UF’s instructional (Canvas), technological, and student resources. Internet access and a computer are necessary to complete coursework for the duration of the program. Both are available at the Disney Learning Center and computer labs at the apartment complexes where you will live for the duration of the program. Laptops are also available for purchase at the University of Florida campus bookstore.

Via completion of the certificate program, students will earn twelve academic credits from the University of Florida that will transfer back to the home university and apply towards graduation requirements. Be sure to discuss which courses in which you should enroll (you have four choices for one course) and how the credits will apply in regards to your degree. We recommend that you set up a meeting with the Disney Program Liaison and/or academic advisor at your university.

Interested students apply and interview with both UF and Walt Disney World staff and should confirm the transfer credits with their home institution. Upon acceptance into the program, students will be responsible for obtaining an I-20 (or DS-2019) Certificate of Eligibility from the University of Florida, paying the $180 SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) fee, and having all official documentation when crossing the border to/from the United States.