Jun 21, 2024  
2009-2011 Graduate Catalog 

Hospitality Administration Ph.D.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Academic Units

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 not only focuses on preparing students to be excellent teachers at the university level, the program also engages them in conducting scholarly research in hospitality and tourism management. Upon graduation, students will be able to teach and 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.

Admission Requirements

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

  1. Submission of a completed application and required application fee.
  2. Submission of official transcripts from all institutions attended after high school.
  3. Master’s degree from an accredited institution with at least 24 credits in hotel administration or business administration, food service administration, tourism/convention administration, or a closely aligned field.
  4. Three or more years of full-time management/supervisory experience in the hospitality industry.
  5. An overall GPA of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale for all work completed at the post-baccalaureate level.
  6. Completion of the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) with a minimum score of 550 (only official scores will be accepted).
  7. Three letters of recommendation, two of which must come from faculty members with whom the student has previously studied, evaluating the student’s ability to perform at the Ph.D. level of study. The third letter is to come from a current or former employer. If the applicant is no longer in touch with faculty members, letters from two employers will suffice.
  8. A statement of 500 words outlining what the applicant would expect to accomplish during the Ph.D. program and his/her particular research interest(s).
  9. An M.S. level thesis or the equivalent.
  10. A current resumé.

International applicants: if English is not the applicant’s native language  and his/her baccalaureate degree was not from a school where English was the language of instruction, the applicant must complete one of the language tests listed below with the minimum score indicated or above:



Paper-based Test: 550 (minimum writing score: 58)


Computer-based Test: 213 (minimum writing score: 24)


Internet-basted Test: 80 (minimum writing score: 21, minimum speaking score: 21)

Michigan Test:

85% (minimum scores: 40 out of 50 speaking; 40 out of 50 writing)



Unofficial scores may be submitted with the online application, but official scores must be sent directly from the testing center to the Graduate College to complete the application.

Degree Requirements

Total Credits Required for the Hospitality Ph.D.: 60
All requirements listed below must be completed successfully as defined by the College and the Graduate College.
Required Core Courses (Total Credits: 12)


(to be repeated three different semesters - one credit each)


Required Quantitative Methodology and Qualitative Methodology (Total Credits: 9)
Required Statistical Analysis (two courses from the following for a total Credits: 6)
Major and Minor Area of Study (Total Credits: 15)
Courses to be approved by student’s chair and the academic advisor.
Major area course
Major area course
Major area course
Minor area course
Minor area course

Electives - Total Credits: 6           

Elective course
Elective course
Can be used to fulfill a prerequisite if the courses are at the 700 level or higher.
Dissertation - Total Credits: 12
  1. Must have at least 24 credits in the Harrah Hotel College (excluding dissertation credits) and 12 credits outside of the 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 2.00 or better. Any credits completed with less than a 2.00 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 must be passed.
  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, the Doctoral Advising Committee, the Doctoral Program Committee, and the Executive Director of Graduate Studies and Research.
  5. 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 committee under the direction of the dissertation chair. This exam must be taken within five years of the admission date.
  6. The student must successfully write and defend his/her dissertation program 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.
  7. All students admitted to the program may spend the equivalent of two semesters completing an approved internship if necessary.

For additional information, please contact Dr. Billy Bai, Director of the Ph.D. Program, Harrah Hotel College, at (702) 895-4844 or by e-mail at billy.bai@unlv.edu.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Academic Units