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  • Writer's pictureNancy Griffin

Boston University School of Hospitality Administration Adds Senior Living Track to Master's Program

Updated: Jun 2, 2021

Boston University School of Hospitality Administration (BUSHA) is adding a senior living concentration to the Master of Management in Hospitality Program. Launching this fall, the one-year degree offers a core hospitality and leadership program, with specialty classes directed towards the business and operations of seniors housing with a focus on management skills. BU SHA is looking to recruit students from senior living corporations, and is offering a tuition match for cohorts.

Leora Lanz, IHSC Faculty Chair of Boston University School of Hospitality Administration, along with BU SHA graduate Serena Lipton, Analyst in Seniors Housing Valuation Advisory at JLL, championed the senior living track. Both women are passionate about the burgeoning senior living market.

“My background is in the lodging and tourism sectors, but based on personal experience, I do have a passion for the enhancement and evolution of the senior living business,” says Lanz. “When a handful of students came into our undergraduate program with a desire to pursue senior living, we realized that many of the aspects of hospitality translate into the senior living sector. It intersects hospitality and healthcare: from operations, to real estate development, to the guest/resident experience. It just makes sense. Our Master’s program is young, beginning our fifth year this September, and we are excited to continue the growth of our program. So we put together an initial set of classes based on our research. We're dipping our toe in the water now, and look forward to taking a deeper dive.”

The one-year Master’s program takes place on-campus in the classroom, beginning in the fall semester. The core curriculum includes classes on leadership, branding and marketing, operations, and financial management. In the Spring, students take electives like real estate development, revenue management, digital marketing, and entrepreneurship, or the senior living concentration courses: Operations, Economics of Senior Living and Monitoring the Resident Experience. Students can also take electives in the School of Public Health and School of Social Work.

Serena made the choice to pursue a senior living more than ten years ago. “The hospitality aspect was secondary for me. I studied hospitality because it closely aligned to senior living and seniors housing, so I enrolled in BU SHA as an undergrad. I chose a major in hospitality administration and hoped to minor in gerontology. The hospitality aspect proved to be most important. I saw the parallels in my first job out of school, underwriting seniors housing portfolios and single asset entities. I still use what we learned at BU SHA everyday; the only differences are adjustments for care. The concentration in senior living is important to give students the tools they need to succeed in this growing industry.”

BU SHA is currently accepting applications for the Master’s program through the summer. With the current labor shortage, it is ideal for attracting and retaining much-needed talent. “This program is for recent graduates, to folks 20 years out of school,” adds Lanz. “We are actively looking to work with senior living companies to sponsor employees and perhaps work part-time and go to school part time. The course load and classes are flexible. We are looking to build long-term industry relationships. The senior living field is an altruistic, purpose-driven field, so growing leaders is especially exciting.

To get more information on applying for the BU SHA MMH program, visit the website or email Leora at



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