PhD in Hospitality Business Management

Washington State University Carson College of Business

Program Description

PhD in Hospitality Business Management

Washington State University Carson College of Business

PhD in Hospitality and Tourism

The PhD in business administration with an emphasis in hospitality and tourism management is designed to prepare graduates for careers in research and teaching at institutions throughout the United States and abroad. Applicants with strong hospitality and tourism business background are preferred. Incoming students are expected to have both good written and oral communication skills, as well as good analytical skills to facilitate the mastery of research methods and statistics. The course of study requires a battery of hospitality and tourism business management courses as well as a group of research design and statistics courses. Students are also expected to take courses from supporting fields of inquiry such as psychology, sociology, management, marketing, etc. The degree normally takes four years to complete and involves taking courses, developing an area (2nd-year) paper, passing a comprehensive exam, and the completion of a doctoral dissertation.

Admission Requirements

Candidates must reach a minimum admissions index score of 1250 to be considered for admission. The index is based on the formula GPA x 200 + GMAT. There is not a minimum GMAT score. However, sucessful candidates typically exceed 650. GMAT score report code 09D-TL-81 Pearson Test of English score report code: 8Z2-GT-38.

General Competency
In general, students accepted in the program need to satisfy the following requirements:

    •    A Master's degree (M.S., M. A. in a related discipline, or MBA), although outstanding applicants with bachelor's degree will be considered.

    •    A minimum GMAT score of 600 is recommended for admission.

    •    GPA higher than 3.25 on a 4.00 scale.

    •    A minimum TOEFL score of 580 for ESL students.

    •    Some hospitality and/or tourism related background (educational or professional).

    •    Fit between applicant and faculty areas of interest, and also compatibility of applicant's goals with the doctoral program's goals

    •    Letters of recommendation

    •    Work experience (while not necessary, appropriate experience can make an applicant more attractive to the program.)

While applicants can have diverse profiles, an educational or business background that reflects an understanding and interest in hospitality and tourism create a stronger applicant. Students with an MBA or good business experience are preferred. Since the program is focused on producing research ready faculty that can be placed at peer or better research institutions, incoming students should additionally have both good written and oral communication skills, as well as a reasonable level of skill in mathematics to facilitate the mastery of research methods and statistics.
Also, it is expected that students entering the doctoral program will possess competencies in math, hospitality and tourism business management in addition to accounting, economics, finance, management, marketing, operations management, computer skills and have a good command of the English language. If the student is deficient in any of these areas, additional course work and preparation (beyond the major course of study) may be required. Those requirements will be determined by the student's committee.
Research Tool Requirements (12 credit hours)
A minimum of 4 research methods courses to be selected by the student with the approval from his/her Ph.D. committee. These courses will give sufficient preparation to the student in each of the following areas:

    •    ANOVA (e.g. Psych 511, Stat 512, Stat 530, Stat 507, Soc 522)

    •    Regression/Econometrics (e.g. Soc 521, Stat 513, Stat 533, Stat 535, Econ 511, Econ 512)

    •    Psychometric Theory (e.g. Psych 513/514, Stat 520)

    •    Multivariate Statistics (e.g. Psych 512, Stat 519, MgtOp 519, MgtOp 591)
The suggested courses above may be substituted for other courses that treat each of the above topics in a comprehensive fashion, as approved by the student’s program committee. Although four research tool courses are required, additional research courses may be taken as part of the student’s supporting field requirements.
Major Field Requirements (13 Credits)
Ph.D. students are required to take 2 Hospitality and Tourism doctoral seminars (6 credits) and the 3 credit college wide Survey of Research Methods course (currently MKTG 593), based on the following:
 Ph.D. students are also required to take 1 credit college wide Research and Professional Development Seminar (currently MgtOp 598)

    •    MgtOp 598 Research and Professional Development Seminar (1 credit course)

In addition, Ph.D. students in Hospitality and Tourism Business Management are required to complete an independent research paper (the "second year paper") for an additional 3 credits.

    •    HBM 600 Independent Study (Second-Year Research Project)

Business Electives (9 credits)

 Ph.D. students are required to take at least (3) three of the following graduate-level business courses:

    •    EconS/Fin 596 Advanced Topics in Financial Economics

    •    HBM 581 Services Management

    •    IBUS 580 International Business Management

    •    MgtOp 597 Seminar in Organizational Behavior

    •    MgtOp 597 Seminar in Organizational Theory

    •    MgtOp 597 Seminar in Strategic Management

    •    MIS 572 Database Management Systems

    •    MIS 574 Telecommunications and Networking in Business

    •    MIS 582 Systems Analysis and Design

    •    MKTG 590 Seminar in Consumer Behavior

    •    MKTG 591 Seminar in Marketing Management

    •    MKTG 592 Seminar in Marketing Foundations

Supporting Field Requirements (15 Credits)

Coursework in the area of specialization is intended to provide necessary skills and knowledge to conduct research in a chosen field. Courses must be related to an area of study selected by the student and approved by the doctoral student’s committee.

Supporting doctoral level coursework may be selected from areas such as (but not limited to) research seminars in anthropology, psychology, sociology, economics, management, international business, information systems, marketing, communication, etc.

Additional coursework in Hospitality and Tourism Business Management may also be taken, with approval from the doctoral student’s committee. 
Annual Review and Comprehensive Exams
The goal of the annual reviews and comprehensive exams is to assess the candidate’s overall mastery of the core body of knowledge in the field and the degree of preparation to undertake research independently or with minimal supervision. The Ph.D. Program director and committee along with appropriate advisors will annually review the progress of the students in terms of publications and research effort. This may entail a qualifying exam each year depending on the program committee’s review of the candidate. The Comprehensive Exam (scheduled sometime during the third year in the program) will test the candidate’s knowledge in five areas:

    1.    Hospitality and tourism major field requirements: Hospitality and Tourism core knowledge includes a thorough understanding of hospitality and tourism, and behavioral research methods.

    2.    Business electives: The student should be able to demonstrate an appropriate level of understanding of theories and research methods aligned with those business disciplines chosen for further study, including finance, information systems, international business, management & operations, and/or marketing.

    3.    Hospitality and tourism research: The student should be able to demonstrate a thorough understanding of hospitality and tourism research, including explanatory theories and past research findings. In addition, the candidate is expected to demonstrate command over the relevant literature from his/her supporting field.

    4.    Hospitality and tourism research methods and statistics: The student should also have an extensive knowledge of statistics and the research methodologies that can be employed to study hospitality and tourism phenomena from a behavioral standpoint.

    5.    Oral and written communication skills: Given the program’s focus on producing hospitality and tourism scholars who can be successful at other accredited, peer or better research universities, the student is also expected to show a high level of written and oral communication skills exhibited in the written and oral comprehensive exams, research presentations at national/international conferences, and publications in hospitality & tourism journals.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated May 11, 2016
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2017
Full time
Start date Sept. 2017
USA District of Columbia, District of Columbia
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