Student feedback and industry experts helped shape a new senior living-centric program at Boston University that will launch this fall.

The School of Hospitality Administration is actively recruiting students for a new concentration in senior living in the Master of Management in Hospitality degree program. The concentration will extend the school’s reach into areas needing these skill sets, administrators said.

“The MMH concentration in senior living provides students the opportunity to bring the hospitality experience to the rapidly growing senior living and long-term care industries. This concentration is offered for job opportunities and to enable students who wish to pursue a field that is altruistic and socially responsible,” Dean Arun Upneja, Ph.D., said in a statement. “This is a field that cares for seniors today and tomorrow. Pursuing a career in senior living means doing well by doing good.”

MMH Chair Leora Halpern Lanz told McKnight’s Senior Living that the pandemic “catapulted” the need for the program.

“Several of our students in the past have moved into the field and eagerly and enthusiastically shared the parallels. I thought this was a no-brainer,” Lanz said. “Much research went into the coursework development and integration with other courses within the bigger Boston University to show the expansion of disciplines within senior living.”

Lanz said the program was crafted with the help of the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care. NIC Chief Economist Beth Burnham Mace educated program administrators on the industry and suggested helpful coursework. Mace also introduced Boston University to senior living industry executives and “those passionate about the business.”

“Her support and assistance, altruistically and genuinely, contributed greatly,” Lanz said. “We connected with so many new relationships who are as supportive and helpful.”

NIC also will serve as a resource for internships and scholarships for students.

The Boston University program joins others that have launched in recent years, including an assisted living / senior housing administration concentration at George Mason University, a Master of Arts degree in Senior Living Hospitality at the University of Southern California Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, an undergraduate senior living management major at Washington State University’s School of Hospitality Business Management under the Granger Cobb Institute for Senior Living, and an undergraduate degree in senior living management in University of Central Florida’s Rose College of Hospitality Management.

The Boston University senior living program will complement MMH’s existing concentrations in revenue management and analytics, real estate and finance, digital marketing, and innovation and entrepreneurship.

Required course in senior living operations, monitoring the resident journey experience, and the business of senior care will be in addition to hospitality administration requirements in leadership, financing, and branding and marketing. Optional electives also will be available in hospitality real estate financing and feasibility, and through the Schools of Social Work and Public Health.

“This concentration focuses on the core requirements for hospitality executives to understand how skills can be transferred from traditional hospitality operations to those in senior living communities,” Lanz said.