Cornell, Marriott partner to offer hotel-design program

The course is available through Cornell’s online learning unit, eCornell. Photo credit: Getty Images/SeventyFour

Marriott International is working with Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration to launch the Marriott Global Design certificate, a custom corporate program for architects and interior designers.

Available through Cornell’s online learning unit, eCornell, this new certificate program provides architects and interior designers the background and skills needed to plan and effectively design viable hotels.

“The art of successful hotel design is multi-faceted,” said Ron Harrison, global design officer for Marriott International. “The Marriott Global Design certificate program grants learners unparalleled insights and perspective on how to best serve hotel guests, and how to design a hotel that thrives into the future.”


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Stephani Robson, a faculty member at the School of Hotel Administration, authored five of the six courses in the certificate program. The sixth course is self-paced and led by Marriott International architect Michael Wang.

Students will have an opportunity to explore such topics as hotel types, marketing concepts, branding practices and development roles, followed by a study of initial planning, the application of functional area requirements and planning metrics. The focus then turns to specific design considerations for guestrooms, public spaces and back-of-house areas.

Courses include:

  • Foundations of Hotel Planning
  • Initial Hotel Planning Decisions
  • Hotel Guestroom Design
  • Hotel Public Space Design
  • Hotel Back-of-House Design
  • The Marriott Approach to Hotel Planning

“We are excited to partner with Marriott to provide a learning solution which, upon completion, uniquely positions participants for success in the hotel planning and design industry,” said Kate Walsh, dean of the School of Hotel Administration.

Upon successful completion of the Marriott Global Design certificate program, participants will receive a certificate from the School of Hotel Administration. This program serves as one of several collaborations between Cornell University and Marriott. Cornell also provides hospitality-leadership-development solutions through eCornell to Marriott employees across the globe.

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