Hospitality Management

Admission Requirements

Applicants apply for admission to the program via the Graduate School application for admission. Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-300 Admissions Policies.

Entry into the program requires a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution as well as a minimum of one year of work experience in the hospitality industry.

Scores for the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE), Graduate Management Aptitude Test (GMAT), or from a comparable substitute examination accepted by the Hospitality Management graduate program are required for admission. [Submission of GRE scores is optional for Fall 2021 admission.]

Students with a 3.00 junior/senior grade-point average (on a 4.00 scale) will be considered for admission. Exceptions to this minimum average are sometimes made for students with special backgrounds, abilities, interests, and circumstances. Students are expected to have managerial competency in accounting, marketing, economics, human resource management, management information systems, and computer technology prior to entry into the program. Deficiencies in any of these areas must be made up in the first year that the student is enrolled (and will not be counted toward the program's degree requirement).

Degree Requirements

Master of Science (M.S.)

Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-600 Research Degree Policies.

The master's degree program is designed to help students develop solid graduate-level research skills within a focused hospitality research area. Each student must complete a core of 12 credits of Methods Courses to include HM 503, STAT 500, and 6 credits of Methods Courses. In addition, students must take a minimum of 4 credits of HM 590 Colloquium. Students also complete a minimum of 15 credits of concentration area course work that is custom tailored to the student's hospitality research interests and academic and professional background.

A master's thesis is required of all students. Students must register for at least 6 credits in thesis research (HM 600 or HM 610), and a total of 37 credits is required for the degree, with at least 18 in the 500 and 600 series, combined. The thesis is based on original empirical research. A master's committee of three persons who oversee the master's thesis is appointed for each student. This committee gives the final master's exam, which is an oral defense of the master's thesis.

Required Courses
12 credits in Methods courses, including:12
Research Methods in Hospitality Management
Applied Statistics
6 additional credits of Methods courses
HM 590Colloquium (4 credits total)4
A minimum of 15 credits of concentration area course work that is custom tailored to the student's hospitality research interests and academic and professional background15
Culminating Experience
HM 600Thesis Research6
or HM 610 Thesis Research Off Campus
Total Credits37

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-600 Research Degree Policies.

The doctoral program is an advanced graduate research program designed for students who want to become educators, researchers, and knowledge-based professionals in the hospitality field. Students' programs are individualized to ensure in addition to a mastery of the scope of knowledge in hospitality management they will also have the ability to complete significant research in a focused hospitality management area. A student must complete the following courses prior to scheduling the Ph.D. comprehensive examination:

Required Courses
HM 585Seminar in Hospitality Management3
HM 586Data Analysis in Hospitality Management3
HM 590Colloquium (total of 4 credits)4
12 credits of quantitative and statistical analysis12
18 credits in an HM concentration area18
12 credits from an outside supporting area12
Total Credits52

The language or communication requirement for the Ph.D. can be fulfilled by:

  1. demonstrating proficiency in an approved foreign language, or
  2. demonstrating proficiency in computer programming, or
  3. completing a minor.

The demonstration of proficiency is determined by an HM faculty committee.


Dual-Title M.S. and Ph.D. in Hospitality Management and Operations Research

Requirements listed here are in addition to requirements listed in GCAC-208 Dual-Title Graduate Degree Programs.

Admission Requirements

Students must apply and be admitted to the graduate program in Hospitality Management and The Graduate School before they can apply for admission to the dual-title degree program. After admission to their primary program, students must apply for admission to and meet the admissions requirements of the Operations Research dual-title program. Refer to the Admission Requirements section of the Operations Research Bulletin page. Doctoral students must be admitted into the dual-title degree program in Operations Research prior to taking the qualifying examination in their primary graduate program.

Degree Requirements

To qualify for the dual-title degree, students must satisfy the degree requirements for the degree they are enrolled in Hospitality Management. In addition, students must complete the degree requirements for the dual-title in Operations Research, listed on the Operations Research Bulletin page.

The qualifying examination committee for the dual-title Ph.D. degree will be composed of Graduate Faculty from Hospitality Management and must include at least one Graduate Faculty member from the Operations Research program. Faculty members who hold appointments in both programs’ Graduate Faculty may serve in a combined role. There will be a single qualifying examination, containing elements of both Hospitality Management and Operations Research. Dual-title graduate degree students may require an additional semester to fulfill requirements for both areas of study and, therefore, the qualifying examination may be delayed one semester beyond the normal period allowable.

In addition to the general Graduate Council requirements for Ph.D. committees, the Ph.D. committee of a Hospitality Management and Operations Research dual-title Ph.D. student must include at least one member of the Operations Research Graduate Faculty. Faculty members who hold appointments in both programs’ Graduate Faculty may serve in a combined role. If the chair of the Ph.D. committee is not also a member of the Graduate Faculty in Operations Research, the member of the committee representing Operations Research must be appointed as co-chair. The Operations Research representative on the student’s Ph.D. committee will develop questions for and participate in the evaluation of the comprehensive examination.

Students in the dual-title program are required to write and orally defend a dissertation on a topic that is approved in advance by their Ph.D. committee and reflects their original research and education in Hospitality Management and Operations Research. Upon completion of the doctoral dissertation, the candidate must pass a final oral examination (the dissertation defense) to earn the Ph.D. degree. The dissertation must be accepted by the Ph.D. committee, the head of the graduate program, and the Graduate School.

Student Aid

Graduate assistantships available to students in this program and other forms of student aid are described in the Tuition & Funding section of The Graduate School’s website. Students on graduate assistantships must adhere to the course load limits set by The Graduate School.

The School of Hospitality Management provides competitive funding for admitted Ph.D. students. Funding is typically guaranteed for the first three (3) years of a student’s full-time participation in the program, and paid teaching opportunities generally offered in the fourth (4th) year, upon completion of structured teaching development program and approval of the faculty. In addition, other funding through the School partially supports graduate student travel and registration to leading conferences, as well as financial support with University-wide research competitions. Other funding opportunities also frequently exist for additional summer research, for varying lengths of time.


Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 699 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.

Hospitality Management (HM) Course List

Learning outcomes

  1. KNOW: Students will be able to demonstrate mastery of their specific research area. Students will demonstrate in‐depth knowledge of the primary literature in their specialty area including comprehension of research designs, methods, results and significance to the specialty area.

  2. APPLY/CREATE: Students will be able to design and carry out a major research project in their field. Students will be able to read the research literature in their area of specialization and generate ideas for an original research project. Students will be able to design a research plan and implement it carry it to completion successfully.

  3. THINK‐ Students will be able to think critically about research in hospitality management and their areas of specialization. Students are able to identify the research question, understand the research method and conclusions in a scientific article. Students will be able to use knowledge of statistics to explain and critique conclusions in a scientific paper.

  4. COMMUNICATE: Students will be able to use standards of field in written and oral communication. Students will be able to present results of their dissertation research in clear, concise oral presentations.

  5. PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE: Students will be able to identify ethical issues in research and teaching. Students will demonstrate knowledge and comprehension of research ethics issues including knowledge of ethical principles related to authorship, research reporting, data fabrication, plagiarism, conflicts of interest, peer review, data sharing and other areas of misconduct.


Campus University Park
Graduate Program Head Donna L Quadri
Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) or Professor-in-Charge (PIC) Anna S Mattila
Program Contact

Ashley Lynne Medina
201 Mateer Building
University Park PA 16802
(814) 863-1448

Program Website View