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College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management

Degree Programs

Ph.D. in Hospitality Management

The University of South Carolina’s Ph.D. program in Hospitality Management produces world-class leaders who are trained at the highest level of hospitality and tourism research and education to serve in critical roles with industry and academic institutions around the world.

What makes us unique

  • USC is ranked among the top 10 programs in the U.S. for hospitality and tourism management.
  • South Carolina’s School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management is home to world-renowned faculty and research centers — providing exceptional opportunities for graduate student research and publications.
  • Ph.D. students have the opportunity to get involved in funded grants and industry research projects and work with institutes and faculty.
  • The program allows doctoral students to teach, providing experience needed for industry and entry-level faculty positions.
  • HRTM is a home to 3 top tier journal editors: Ercan Turk, Ph.D. — Tourism Analysis; Robin DiPietro, Ph.D. — Journal of Foodservice Business Research; Miyoung Jeong, Ph.D. — Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Education.
  • Our graduate students have found positions at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, University of Houston, University of Central Florida, among others.

Admissions process

The application deadline for this Ph.D. program is January 15.

All applications for the Ph.D. program must be submitted online through The Graduate School. Applications will be reviewed and assessed individually by the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism’s graduate faculty based on the applicant's:

  • Academic record (work done at a Master's level)
  • Professional experience
  • TOEFL / IELTS scores (for international students)
  • GMAT / GRE or writing sample (thesis, manuscript or conference presentation)
  • Promise of ability to adequately pursue advanced study and research
  • In-person and / or phone interviews
  • Identification of HRTM faculty member(s) willing to champion their application process. Please contact HRTM faculty whose research interests align with yours. Faculty bios can be found here. 

Assistantship and fellowships

Assistantships and fellowships are awarded to graduate students on a competitive basis. A fellowship makes you a vital part of the college through teaching, research and other meaningful educational experiences. Stipend rates are competitive, tuition reductions are included and assistance is provided for research conferences. More information about assistantships can be found here.

Degree requirements

The Ph.D. in Hospitality Management is based on a four-year period of residential study following the completion of a master’s degree with an undergraduate or graduate degree in hospitality and tourism management or related fields. The Ph.D. program requires 60 credit hours. To complete the Ph.D. program, a student must successfully complete a qualifying exam, comprehensive exam, propose and complete a dissertation study, and successfully pass a final examination on the dissertation administered by the advisory committee.

Additional information on degree requirements can be found at the academic bulletin.

For more information, contact:

Kawon (Kathy) Kim
Associate Professor and Ph.D. Program Director
Phone: 803-777-0451
Office: Close-Hipp 631

Do you have questions about the Ph.D. program in hospitality management? Fill out our form and the Ph.D. program director will call you!


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