Hospitality Management

Graduate Program HeadDonna Quadri-Felitti
Program CodeHM
Campus(es)University Park (Ph.D., M.P.S.)
Degrees Conferred

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Master of Professional Studies (M.P.S.)

The Graduate Faculty


The graduate programs offered in Hospitality Management (HM) are widely considered to be among the most competitive in the world. The research-focused Ph.D. program is primarily designed for students pursing careers in advanced research and academia. Students in this program are expected to work closely together with faculty members who are leading researchers in their respective fields. These mentorships provide first-hand training on how to successfully conceive, design, conduct, and report forward-looking research, while simultaneously providing a comprehensive understanding of the classroom environment through a structured teaching development program.

The M.P.S. in Hospitality Management program is a unique program of study designed for professionals aspiring to advance in the hospitality management and related careers. Careers in the global hospitality industry are rapidly changing and industry professionals are looking for ways to acquire new skills quickly and in a flexible format. The curriculum blends residential experiences in the School of Hospitality Management’s first-class facilities with streaming technologies, blended and effective formats, web residential MBA courses offered by the Smeal College of Business. The MPS in HM will also have an industry internship component enabling students to gain first-hand managerial experience in the field, where necessary.

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.

Applicants must submit the following materials:

  • Penn State Graduate School application form and nonrefundable application fee
  • A statement of career and educational goals including documentation of a minimum of two years of related full-time work. The statement should be an essay (2-3 pages in length) that demonstrates the applicant’s written communication skills, along with a resume attached as a supplement.
  • Three letters of recommendation that attest to the applicant’s readiness for graduate study and that he or she has the requisite minimum of two years of work experience
  • Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended
  • TOEFL/IELTS score, if applicable

The language of instruction at Penn State is English. English proficiency test scores (TOEFL/IELTS) may be required for international applicants. See GCAC-305 Admission Requirements for International Students for more information.

Admissions decisions for the program are based on the quality of the applicant's credentials. The decisions are based on a review of the complete application portfolio.

Degree Requirements


Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-700 Professional Degree Policies.

The professional master's degree program is designed to provide students with a solid foundation on hospitality leadership practices, and thus, offer a unique opportunity for students looking to advance their careers in both the U.S. and internationally. A minimum of 33 credits at the 400, 500, or 800 level is required, with a minimum of 18 credits at the 500 or 800 level, and at least 6 credits at the 500 level. Each student must complete a core of 24 credits in HM and 12 credits through Smeal College of Business. A Hospitality Graduate Internship (3 credits) is required, but this requirement may be waived by the program head based on the student’s previous industry experience and qualifications. A capstone course HM 880: Analysis of Future Trends in Hospitality Management (3 credits) serves as the culminating experience).

Required Courses
HM 550Hospitality Applied Research and Consulting3
HM 560Hospitality Data Analytics3
HM 800Dimensions and Directions of the Hospitality Industry (Executive In-Residence Weekend at UP)3
MBADM 571Global Strategic Management3
MBADM 816Managing and Leading People in Organizations3
MBADM 811Financial Accounting3
MBADM 820Financial Management3
HM 820Corporate Officer and Investor Perspectives3
HM 830Hospitality Profit Optimization3
HM 840Hospitality Customer Journey and Digital Reach3
HM 895Internship 13
Culminating Experience
HM 880Analysis of Future Trends in Hospitality (Capstone Course)3

The internship requirement may be waived by the program head based on the student’s previous industry experience and qualifications.

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.

Ph.D. students must successfully pass a qualifying examination, a comprehensive examination, and a final oral examination (the dissertation defense). To earn the Ph.D. degree, doctoral candidates must write a dissertation that is accepted by the Ph.D. committee, the head of the graduate program, and the Graduate School. 


A graduate minor is available in any approved graduate major or dual-title program. The default requirements for a graduate minor are stated in Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-600 Research Degree Policies and GCAC-700 Professional Degree Policies, depending on the type of degree the student is pursuing:

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.

Students in the professional master’s program may be eligible for financial aid; however, financial support is not guaranteed and is subject to the terms and conditions of the Tuition & Funding resources outlined on The Graduate School’s website.


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: Graduates will master advanced knowledge of the global hospitality industry and can distinguish the unique factors characterizing hospitality businesses as compared to businesses in other industries.
  2. APPLY/ CREATE: Graduates will be able to apply data analytics and related research skills to solve problems facing the various segments of the hospitality industry. They will be able to use these skills to enhance brand value in competitive business environments.
  3. COMMUNICATE: Graduates will display outstanding communication skills. They will be able to write business documents of professional quality and deliver persuasive oral presentations, commensurate with positions of advanced responsibility.
  4. THINK: Graduates will demonstrate the ability to think critically about current and future challenges in hospitality management. They will be able to adapt to and lead others in managing change. Graduates will be able to integrate advanced ideas, skills, knowledge, and experience to positively impact their organizations.
  5. PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE: Graduates will be able to conduct themselves in accordance with the highest ethical standards and be able to demonstrate the relevance of advanced hospitality education to any managerial environment. They will be able to motivate others by example and guidance.


  1. KNOW: Students will be able to demonstrate mastery of their specific research area.
    1. They will demonstrate appropriate breadth and depth of disciplinary knowledge, and comprehension of the major issues of hospitality management and related areas of study.
  2. APPLY/CREATE: Students will be able to design and execute a research project in their field of study both independently and with others; they will also be able to teach a course following sound pedagogical principles.
  3. THINK: Students will be able to think critically about research in hospitality management and their areas of specialization.
    1. They will demonstrate analytical and critical thinking in hospitality and related fields.
  4. COMMUNICATE: Students will be able to use standards of field in written and oral communication
    1. They will effectively communicate scholarly outcomes both orally and in writing.
  5. PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE: Students will be able to identify ethical issues in research, teaching and the profession.
    1. They will know and conduct themselves in accordance with the highest professional standards and demonstrate the value of inclusion and diversity.


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

Amina Atkins
(814) 863-1448