William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration

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The William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration offers graduate and undergraduate degrees in hospitality management at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). Named after William F. Harrah, the founder of Harrah's Entertainment, the school is highly ranked in national and international surveys of hospitality programs. In 2017, the college was ranked number one in the world for hospitality and leisure by QS World University Rankings.

The Harrah Hotel College partners with major hospitality brands around the world to provide students with opportunities for industry engagement. Each year, an average of 150 hospitality executives participate in the college’s student mentor program, approximately 600 students participate in internships, and 100 hospitality organizations visit campus to recruit students into full-time professional positions.

Located 1.5 miles from the Las Vegas Strip, UNLV is an urban campus with second most diverse student body in the nation. Of UNLV’s nearly 30,000 students, an average of 2,500 students are enrolled in the Harrah Hotel College, 22% of which are international students. Of the college’s 15,000 alumni, 50% reside outside of Las Vegas. Notable alumni include Guy Fieri, William Hornbuckle, Randall Cunningham, and George Maloof.

Since 1974, the college has been involved in a world-known annual wine and food event known as UNLVino, which serves to generate scholarships for students of the college. With the support of long-time co-sponsor Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits, UNLVino has branched out into three separate concepts events, attracting thousands of attendees.


UNLV's hotel management program began in 1967, when the school was called Nevada Southern University. By 1969, the program had become the College of Hotel Administration, and in 1989 the college was officially named for William F. Harrah, in recognition of a $5 million gift from his widow.[1]

In 2007, the college received a $2.5 million gift from Caesar's Entertainment, which in 2005 had been acquired by Harrah’s Entertainment, toward the construction of a hospitality-focused academic building on the UNLV campus. Fundraising for the building subsequently stalled due to a nationwide economic downturn.

In 2013-14, the Harrah Hotel College revived the long-delayed project and began fundraising for Hospitality Hall—a 93,500 square feet academic facility with some 10 classroom spaces, a café, meeting and event space, and a 2,800 square-foot learning kitchen. Joining Caesar’s as Hospitality Hall “Founders” were Las Vegas Sands, Konami Gaming, MGM Resorts International, Boyd Gaming Corporation, Stations Casinos, J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation, and the Engelstad Family Foundation. Founders’ gifts, along with additional industry partner donations, have helped the Harrah Hotel College move closer to its private funding goal. Matching funds by the State of Nevada have allowed construction activities to move forward. The building is expected to open in spring of 2018.


Degree programs[edit]

  • B.S. in Hotel Administration
  • M.H.A. or Master of Hospitality Administration
  • M.S. in Hotel Administration
  • Dual MBA/MS in Hotel Administration/Business Administration
  • Ph.D. in Hospitality Administration


External links[edit]