Jun 27, 2022  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
    
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog ARCHIVED CATALOG: CONTENT MAY NOT BE CURRENT. USE THE DROP DOWN ABOVE TO ACCESS THE CURRENT CATALOG.

Doctor of Philosophy - Hospitality Administration


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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 William F. Harrah College of Hospitality. Applications available on the UNLV Graduate College website.

Applicants need to meet the following requirements below to be considered for the program.

  1. 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. It is preferred that applicants have completed a thesis-based master’s program.
  2. An overall GPA of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale for all work completed at the post-baccalaureate level.
  3. A minimum of one year of full-time work experience in a management/supervisory capacity in the hospitality industry, or three years of full-time, front-line experience is preferred.


To apply, applicants must submit the following materials by the application deadline to be considered for admission into the program.

  1. Complete and submit the online UNLV Graduate College admissions application and pay the required admission application fee.
  2. Submit all post-secondary transcripts from all institutions attended. Unofficial copies of these transcripts must be uploaded into the online application system. 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 Graduate College approved 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 must be uploaded into the online application system by the application deadline.
  3. International applicants must submit the results of the TOEFL or IELTS as evidence of English proficiency.Test scores must be less than two years old at the time of application in order to be valid. For more information, visit UNLV English Proficiency . Students who are completing a master’s degree at an institution in the United States must submit a copy of their TOEFL or IELTS scores at the time they applied to that institution.
  4. Submit either GRE or GMAT scores. A satisfactory composite score on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) (UNLV institution code 4861), with a preferred score of 155 on the quantitative portion and 148 on the verbal portion of the exam. Or, the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) (UNLV institution code 71T, Harrah College of Hospitality College code 71T-TD-68), preferred score of 550 with at least 25% on the verbal portion. Applicants are required to submit exams scores that have been completed within the last 5-years by the application deadline.
  5. Submit a two-page Statement of Purpose that addresses the following: why you want to earn a PhD, your research interests, and what faculty you are interested in working with and why.
  6. Submit a resume or CV that outlines research experience, conferences, published papers, internships, full-time employment in the field of hospitality, and leadership experiences.
  7. Submit three Letters of Recommendation. 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.
  8. Applicants must complete the KIRA Virtual Interview. After submitting the UNLV Graduate College admissions application, applicants will receive an email invitation from KIRA Talent to complete a virtual interview. This invitation will be sent to the applicant’s email address that was provided in his or her admission application. KIRA interview submissions MUST be completed no later than 5 days after application deadline.
  9. Applicants may be required to participate in an online recorded video, Skype, or other personal interview at no cost to the applicant.
  10. All domestic and international applicants must review and follow the Graduate College Admission and Registration Requirements.


Applicants must submit all application materials by the application deadline through the online application system to be considered by the admission committee.

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


Primary and Secondary Area of Study Coursework – Credits: 15


Select coursework in consultation with your Chair and the Faculty Ph. D. Program Coordinator.

1. Major Area of Study: Three 3-credit courses

2. Minor Area of Study: Two 3-credit courses

Elective Courses – Credits: 6


Complete 6 credit hours of advisor-approved 700-level elective coursework. 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


Degree Requirements


  1.  Must have at least 24 credits in the William F. Harrah College of Hospitality (excluding dissertation credits) and 12 credits outside of the College of Hospitality. 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, students will complete the Q-Exam. Students will be given two attempts to pass this exam. Failure to pass the exam can result in dismissal from the program. For details on the exam process, please see the PhD Program Handbook.
  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 Faculty Ph.D. Program Coordinator, and the Associate Dean for Graduate and International Programs.
  5. In consultation with his/her advisor, a student will organize a dissertation committee of at least three departmental members and a fourth member from outside the department, known as the Graduate College Representative. 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 coursework (non-dissertation credits), students must pass a primary and secondary area comprehensive exam. This exam must be taken within five years of the admission date. For details on the exam process, please see the PhD Program Handbook.
  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. If necessary, students may spend the equivalent of two semesters completing an approved internship.

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. After the dissertation defense, the student must electronically submit a properly formatted pdf copy of their dissertation to the Graduate College for format check. Once the dissertation format has been approved by the Graduate College, the student will submit the approved electronic version to ProQuest. Deadlines for dissertation defenses, format check submissions, and the final ProQuest submission can be found here

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