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Columbia Campus    
2018-2019 Graduate Studies Bulletin 
  Jul 16, 2024
2018-2019 Graduate Studies Bulletin [Archived Catalog]

Hospitality Management, Ph.D.

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The Ph.D. program in Hospitality Management is designed to meet the demand by industry and educational institutions for high quality academicians with a hospitality and tourism management background. Students will be given the opportunity to generate significant industry-specific knowledge through exposure to and participation in the highest levels of academic research, and subsequently, as professors and managers, to disseminate such knowledge to all stakeholders and to the public.

The Program is based on a three to four year period of residential study following the completion of a Master’s degree with an undergraduate or graduate degree in hospitality and tourism management or related fields. To meet its objectives, the Program will consist of a minimum of 60 credit hours in five components: (1) Hospitality Management Core, (2) Research Core, (3) Concentration in Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management (HRTM), (4) Cognates, and (5) Dissertation. The associated credit hours are a minimum of 60 hours.

This program of study provides students with the opportunity to generate significant industry-specific knowledge through exposure to and participation in the highest levels of academic research. The Ph.D. program requires 60 credit hours beyond the master’s degree, including a minimum of 15 hours devoted to original dissertation research. To complete the Ph.D. program, a student must successfully complete a comprehensive exam, propose and complete a dissertation study, and successfully pass a final examination on the dissertation administered by the students advisory committee.

The School of Hospitality and Tourism Management is home to world renown professors who have significant publication records in the most prestigious journals in hospitality and tourism. The college hosts several research centers and institutes, and collectively provides excellent opportunities for students to get involved in research projects with organizations like:

  • South Carolina’s only Center of Economic Excellence in Tourism and Economic Development (CoEE)
  • International Institute for Foodservice Research and Education
  • International Tourism and Research Institute
  • Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Travel & Tourism Industry Center
  • Culinary and Wine Institute
  • Center for Event Research and Education

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will develop a general understanding of common research designs and methodological tools (quantitative and qualitative) used in the field of tourism and hospitality research, and become familiar with a wide variety of research publication outlets and quality standards. 
  • Students will be capable of critically evaluating published articles and existing research products in tourism and hospitality.
  • Students will be familiar with a wide variety of ethical issues in research, collaboration, and institutional review board standards and practices. 

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements conform with the general regulations of The Graduate School and regional and national accreditation standards. Admission to the Ph.D. program is voted on individually by the School of HRTM’s graduate faculty after consideration of a number of factors. These factors include the applicant’s academic record (especially work done at a Master’s level), promise of ability to adequately pursue advanced study and research, performance on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT), sufficient preparation to enter graduate study, professional experience, willingness of HRTM faculty to work with the student, recommendations, the applicant’s personal statement outlining career objectives, research interests, and career aspirations and expectations, which all may be verified through a personal and/or phone interview. Admitted students must have a HRTM faculty member who is willing to serve as their dissertation committee chair. Therefore, some qualified students may not be admitted if a faculty member does not agree to be chair.

Applicants must submit to The Graduate School an application along with a $50 nonrefundable application fee; official transcripts (mailed to the USC Graduate School) showing their complete academic record; two letters of recommendation; personal statement of purpose; resume; records of immunization (if born after December 31, 1956); and reports and examination scores on the GRE or GMAT.

International applicants whose native language is not English are also required to submit a satisfactory score on the TOEFL or the IELTS Intl. Academic Course Type 2 exam. The minimum acceptable overall score on the IELTS Intl. Academic Course Type 2 exam is 6.5.

Degree Requirements (60 Post Masters Hours)

Research Core (15 Hours)

These core courses expose students to the critical methodological and topical foundation that is crucial for anyone engaging in top-level hospitality research. The Program will include strong elements of statistics and research design.

  • Three courses in Statistics (two courses have to be in multivariate statistics) (9 hours)
  • Two Research Methods courses (one qualitative and one quantitative research) (6 hours)

Concentration in Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management (HRTM) (12 Hours)

Students will also be required to take 12 credit hours in their area of interest based on the list of graduate courses offered in the School of Hotel Restaurant and Tourism Management.

Cognates (12 Hours)

Each student will take 12 hours of graduate-level cognates offered by other programs within the College or other academic units within the University of South Carolina. This is intended to encourage interdisciplinary synergy between College and University academic units and will enhance the concentration area of the program.

Dissertation (Minimum 15 Hours)

A minimum of fifteen credit hours will constitute the dissertation, which provides students with the opportunity to identify and rigorously analyze a relevant issue within their specialized field, with an aim toward generation of original knowledge.

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