Hospitality PhD Program Information

A Ph.D. in Hospitality is a research-based graduate degree program that teaches students to apply conceptual research methods to hotel management, tourism and other areas of hospitality.

Essential Information

A doctoral degree program in hospitality prepares students for high-level careers in hospitality, restaurant and hotel management. Ph.D. graduates often pursue postsecondary hospitality teaching positions, independent research opportunities or management positions with national hospitality corporations. Most programs require a master's degree in hospitality for admission, although a graduate degree in business or management may be acceptable.

A Ph.D program in hospitality offers traditional hospitality courses and independent research studies. Most programs require a completed dissertation on a specific aspect of hospitality management. Program length varies by school, but programs can take anywhere from 3-8 years to complete. A doctorate degree in hospitality can be broad or have a special area of focus, such as international hospitality or tourism management.

  • Program Levels in Hospitality: Bachelor's degrees, Master's degrees, Ph.D degrees
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree, Master's degree in hospitality often required although master's degrees in business and management are also common, GRE scores
  • Program Length: 3-8 years
  • Other Requirements: Dissertation is usually required

Ph.D in Hospitality

In addition to a doctoral dissertation, students in a Ph.D program in hospitality take traditional courses that combine business knowledge and high-level hospitality concepts. Most Ph.D. programs allow students to complete internships or work opportunities with restaurants, hotels, casinos or other hospitality organizations. Because many Ph.D. students seek research positions after completing the program, courses on statistics, quantitative and qualitative research are common. Additional courses may include:

  • Hospitality research methods
  • Economic trends in hospitality
  • International hospitality
  • Leadership principles in hospitality management
  • Hospitality marketing and promotion

Popular Career Options

Most Ph.D. candidates seek research or teaching positions after receiving a doctorate degree in hospitality. These positions are research-intensive and require a solid understanding of hospitality trends and concepts. Common career options include:

  • Postsecondary hospitality educator
  • Hospitality administration researcher
  • Hospitality coordinator
  • Chief executive officer for hospitality organization

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Job openings for postsecondary teachers in general are projected to increase by 19% between 2012 and 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This increase corresponds to growing enrollment in postsecondary schools. Although the BLS does not provide salary data for hospitality teachers directly, it includes them in the salary category for postsecondary teachers with non-specified specializations. These teachers earned a median annual salary of $62,330 as of May 2014, per the BLS.

Continuing Education Information

With a Ph.D. in hospitality, individuals can seek research opportunities with universities, private companies and government agencies. Many professionals seek grants and funding for hospitality research studies and independent projects in conjunction with universities or hospitality organizations such as the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) and the Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA).

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