Hospitality PhD Program Information

Apr 11, 2021

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 GRE scores and 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.

Ph.D in Hospitality

In addition to a doctoral dissertation, students in a Ph.D program in hospitality take 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 9% between 2019 and 2029, 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 $71,950 as of May 2020, 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).

A Ph.D. program in hospitality will prepare students with the detailed knowledge of hospitality management, marketing and research methods. Graduates most commonly work as postsecondary educators in the field or other research-centered careers.

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