Oct 17, 2021  
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog 

Doctor of Philosophy - Hospitality Administration

Plan Description

The Ph.D. program is a multi-conceptual and research-based degree program designed to produce top quality hospitality and tourism educators and researchers. It focuses on preparing students to be excellent teachers at the university level, and engages them in scholarly research in hospitality and tourism management. Upon graduation, students will be able to teach and conduct research at the university level, and work at industry research institutions. The Ph.D. program is highly competitive, seeking motivated individuals who are committed to pursuing academic and research careers in hospitality and tourism. The program is partly supported by the Ace Denken Co. Ltd. Endowment.​

For more information about your program, including your graduate program handbook and learning outcomes, please visit the Degree Directory.

Plan Admission Requirements

Application deadlines

Applications available on the UNLV Graduate College website.

The student must satisfy the minimum admission requirements of the Graduate College and the Harrah Hotel College including:

  1. Completed online application found on the Graduate College home page and payment of required application fee.
  2. Official transcripts sent directly from all educational institution(s) attended after high school are required by both the Graduate College and the Harrah Hotel College Graduate Studies Office. Unofficial transcripts may be uploaded to the online application. Please note: it is a requirement of the UNLV Graduate College that students with class credits and/or degrees from educational institutions outside the United States must provide a course-by-course evaluation of those credentials by a NACES Evaluation Agency. This is to obtain an evaluation of the courses, verification of degrees, and establish accreditation of the schools and/or universities. A copy of this evaluation should be sent to both the UNLV Graduate College and the Harrah Hotel Graduate Studies Office.
  3. Master’s degree from an accredited institution with at least 24 credits in hotel administration, food service administration, tourism-convention administration, or a closely aligned field.
  4. An overall GPA of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale for all work completed at the post-baccalaureate level.
  5. Three or more years of management/supervisory experience in the hospitality industry.
  6. GRE or GMAT test results sent directly from the testing center to the Harrah Hotel College Graduate Studies Office. Students must make a satisfactory  score on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), UNLV institution code, 4861, Harrah Hotel College Code 7549, with a minimum score of 155 on the quantitative portion and 148 on the verbal portion; or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), UNLV institution code 71T, Harrah Hotel College code 71T-TD-73, with a minimum score of 550 with at least 25% on the verbal portion. 
  7. A statement of 500 words outlining what the applicant expects to accomplish during the Ph.D. program and the applicant’s particular research interests.
  8. Current resume (must have three or more years of management/supervisory experience in the hospitality industry).
  9. Three Letters of Recommendation are required. It is preferred that these letters come from two college faculty members and one current or former employer. However, recommendations from one faculty member and two employers will suffice.
  10. Applicants may be required to participate in an online recorded video, Skype, or other personal interview at no cost to the applicant.
  11. A master’s level thesis or the equivalent.
  12. All domestic and international applicants must review and follow the  Graduate College Admission and Registration Requirements.

Application Deadline: Refer to the Graduate College website for specific deadlines.

This program does not admit for the spring semester. All documentation and application materials must be in the Graduate College and the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration Graduate Studies Office by the deadline for the application to be considered.

Students are accepted into a degree program as described in the Graduate Catalog. The faculty and corresponding sub-disciplines and sub-plans within the described programs are subject to change at any time.

Plan Requirements

Total Credits Required: 60

Course Requirements 

Required Course – Credits: 3

HOA 794 - Issues and Trends for Hospitality Educators 

Additional Required Courses – Credits: 18

HOA 798 - Readings in Hospitality Management 

HOA 797 - Philosophy of Science in Hospitality Research 

HOA 795 - Research Seminar in Hospitality Education 

HOA 735 - Research Methodology 

HOA 796 - Advanced Research Methodology 

EPY 718 - Qualitative Research Methodologies 

Required Statistical Analysis Courses – Credits: 6

Complete two of the following courses:

STA 713 - Experimental Design 

STA 715 - Multivariate Statistical Methods 

EPY 722 - Inferential Statistics and Experimental Design 

EPY 732 - Multiple Regression and Path Analysis 

EPY 733 - Multivariate Statistics 

EPY 734 - Latent Variable Models: Factor Analysis and SEM 

EAB 763 - Linear Statistical Models 

EAB 783 - Multivariate Methods for the Health Sciences 

PSC 702 - Advanced Quantitative Methods I 

Major and Minor Area of Study – Credits: 15

Complete five courses authorized by your Chair and Academic Advisor.

Major Area of Study: Three 3-credit courses

Minor Area of Study: Two 3-credit courses

Electives – Credits: 6

Courses used to fulfill prerequisite requirements can count toward these elective credits if the courses are at the 700-level or higher.

Dissertation – Credits: 12

HOA 799 - Dissertation 

Degree Requirements

  1. Must have at least 24 credits in the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration (excluding dissertation credits) and 12 credits outside of the Harrah Hotel College. All credits must be from 700-level courses.
  2. Successful completion of all courses approved on the student’s graduate program of study with a 3.00 GPA or better. Any credits completed with less than a 2.00 GPA may result in the student’s termination from the program.
  3. After the first year of course work, but before the end of the fourth semester, a Qualifying Exam (Q-Exam) must be passed:
    1. The Q-Exam is based on the material covered in two courses required of all students over their first two semesters in the program: HOA 730 – Statistical Analysis for Hospitality and HOA 735 – Research Methodology; or their equivalent.
    2. The Director of the Ph.D. Program solicits exam questions from the faculty teaching the required courses, conducts the exam, and distributes the completed exams to the faculty who wrote the questions for grading. The final grade determination will include a review by the Director of the Ph.D. Program.
    3. Students will be given two opportunities in the college computer lab without resources to pass the exam at a standard criterion of 75% on each question.
      1. The first administration of the exam (two-½ days) will follow students second semester in the program (May). Students that are determined to be below standard on one question of the entire exam will be given the opportunity to rewrite that question in a second sitting one week following the rewrite decision.
      2. If the student does not meet the standard on the rewrite, the student will need to retake an entire new exam at a second administration (August) and will be placed on probation. Students retaking the exam at a second administration must meet the standard on all questions. There is not a rewrite option for those retaking the exam. Students who do not pass the exam on either attempt or do not meet their conditions of probation will be recommended to the Graduate College for separation from the Ph.D. program.
  4. The student must file an approved degree plan before the start of the third semester after admission to the program. The degree plan must be developed in consultation with the student’s Doctoral Advising Committee Chair, the Doctoral Advising Committee, the Director of the Ph.D. Program, and the Executive Director of Graduate Studies and Research.
  5. In consultation with his/her advisor, a student will organize a dissertation committee of at least three departmental members. In addition, a fourth member from outside the department, known as the Graduate College Representative, must be appointed. An additional committee member may be added at the student and department’s discretion. Please see Graduate College policy for committee appointment guidelines.
  6. Simultaneous to the last semester of content-related course work (non-dissertation credits), the student must pass a major and minor area comprehensive exam. This exam is designed by the student’s Doctoral Advising Committee under the direction of the Doctoral Advising Chair. This exam must be taken within five years of the admission date.
    1. The form of the written comprehensive exam shall be committee-driven. That is, it is up to each member of the committee to decide how she or he wishes the student to demonstrate content mastery. However, a minimum of one question should address each of the student’s major and minor areas of study as indicated in their approved program of study. Two to three questions must be solicited from each member of the committee. In the event that there is redundancy among the questions, the chair should request a replacement question(s) from the appropriate committee member(s). Should the committee members decide to do so, they may solicit questions from other graduate faculty from whom the student has taken class. Inclusion of any questions non-committee members submit is at the discretion of the committee.
    2. The written comprehensive exam will be offered two times per year at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters and may be completed off campus. After the committee chair has finalized the exam, it will be submitted to the Director of the Ph.D. Program. The Director will release the exam to the student at a designated date with a return of the completed exam to the Director within 48 hours. The Director will then disseminate the exam to the committee chair, who will distribute to committee members. The grading system for the exam will be a satisfactory – unsatisfactory. Each committee member determines whether the student’s answers are satisfactory. The Director will inform the student of unsatisfactory answers that require a rewrite. The rewrite will follow the same procedure as the original exam and in consultation with the student will take place within 2 weeks of the unsatisfactory notification. Unsatisfactory answers require a rewrite by the students within 48 hours after receiving feedback from faculty. Students who are not satisfactory after the rewrite will be placed on probation and will need to retake the comprehensive exam at the next available sitting. Students retaking the comprehensive exam the second time must be satisfactory on all questions. There is not a rewrite option for those retaking the exam. Students who are not satisfactory on either attempt or do not meet the conditions of probation will be recommended to the Graduate College for separation from the Ph.D. program. The committee chair shall inform the Director of the Ph.D. Program of the student’s grade.
  7. The student must successfully write and orally defend his/her dissertation proposal and the completed dissertation. The dissertation must be of substantial quality and length, original in thought and research, and make a significant contribution to the body of knowledge in the field of hospitality administration. Upon approval of the Doctoral Advising Committee, the student will orally defend both the dissertation proposal and the completed dissertation.
  8. All students admitted to the program may spend the equivalent of two semesters completing an approved internship if necessary.

Plan Graduation Requirements

  1. The student must submit all required forms to the Graduate College and then apply for graduation up to two semesters prior to completing his/her degree requirements.
  2. The student must submit and successfully defend his/her dissertation by the posted deadline. The defense must be advertised and is open to the public.
  3. Student must submit his/her approved, properly formatted hard-copy dissertation to the Graduate College, and submit the approved electronic version to ProQuest by the posted deadline.