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College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management

  • Hospitality and tourism Ph.D. students pose for a photo with school faculty.

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.

Ph.D. Program Highlights

  • USC is ranked among the top 12 programs in the U.S. for hospitality and tourism management.
  • South Carolina’s School of Hospitality 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.
  • The School of Hospitality and Tourism Management is home to three 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, and University of Central Florida, just to name a few.

  • Stamp logo #1 in the SEC for hospitality and tourism management

    Atop the SEC

    The University of South Carolina ranks among the top 12 schools in the U.S. and atop the SEC for hospitality and tourism management according to the ShanghaiRanking's 2022 Global Ranking of Academic Subjects.

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  • Diego Bufquin headshot

    Career Success

    Diego Bufquin earned his Ph.D. from USC in 2015 and is now an associate professor in the Rosen College of Hospitality Management at the University of Central Florida.

    Current Ph.D. Students

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    Here to Help

    Want more information or to speak with someone regarding our Ph.D. in hospitality management? Fill out our form and our program director will reach out to you.

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Admissions Process

The application deadline for the Ph.D. program is Jan. 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 Hospitality and Tourism Management'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
  • Promise of ability to adequately pursue advanced study and research
  • In-person and / or phone interviews
  • Identification of School of Hospitality and Tourism Management faculty member(s) willing to champion their application process. Please contact hospitality and tourism faculty whose research interests align with yours.

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 finish 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 and details on degree requirements can be found at the academic bulletin.


Ph.D. students regularly collaborate with our faculty and present their research findings at major conferences such as the 28th Annual Graduate Education & Graduate Student Research Conference in Hospitality and Tourism hosted by The Collins College of Hospitality Management at Cal Poly Pomona over Jan. 5-7, 2023.

Assistantships 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. Visit the Graduate School to learn more about assistantships.

Get in Touch

Kawon (Kathy) Kim headshot

Kawon (Kathy) Kim, Ph.D.

Ph.D. Program Director and Associate Professor
School of Hospitality and Tourism Management
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