Skip Navigation
Oklahoma State University
School of Hospitality and Tourism Management

Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University

Doctor of Philosophy Degree


Be prepared with the competencies and confidence needed to teach and conduct research and apply research findings in teaching and the hospitality and tourism industry. This program in emphasizes flexibility, independence and inter-discipline to accommodate the needs and research interests of each student. The philosophy of the program is to encourage each student to take an active role in developing a plan of study suited to his/her own areas of interest and future career goals. 

Assistantship funding is available to the qualifying candidates on a competitive basis.

APPLY NOW!  Request More Information

Degree requirements

A minimum of 60 hours past the master's degree must be completed. If a thesis was not completed as a part of the master's program, a thesis or equivalent must be completed in addition to the minimum 60 hours past the master's degree.

Doctoral students must take at least 30 hours at Oklahoma State University. However, no more than nine hours with a grade “B” or better in each course may be transferred from departments that do not grant doctoral degrees. 

All requirements must be completed within 9 years and 4 years from the passing of Qualifying Exams. No course on the plan of study may be more than 10 years old at the time of graduation.

Admission requirements

  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25 on a 4.0 scale is required.
  • In exceptional circumstances, students with a lower GPA may be admitted if there are other indications of ability to complete graduate-level work.
Letters of recommendation
  • Applicants should submit three (3) letters of recommendation which strongly support the applicant’s interest in and promise for successful work in a graduate degree program.
Applicant’s statement of purpose and goals
  • This statement must address why the applicant is interested in pursuing a graduate degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management at Oklahoma State University.
  • Must explicitly address career goals and an area of research intended for the thesis/dissertation. 
  • The applicant is asked to identify at least two Hospitality and Tourism Management faculty members they would prefer to work with and explain why.
  • An explanation of how career goals have evolved; examples of prior professional and/or educational work; a description of participatory research experiences, if any; and a description of any professional or significant volunteer experiences which have shaped interests in graduate studies. This statement will help the admission committee assess the fit between the applicant’s background and goals, and the graduate program for which they are applying. 
Resume or CV
Official GRE scores or GMAT scores
  • Submission of scores from either the Graduate Records Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Aptitude Test (GMAT) is a requirement for admission into the graduate program for all applicants. There are no exceptions to this requirement, and an application will not be considered for admission if an official GRE or GMAT score is not submitted
  • For the Ph.D. program, there are no minimums however, the following threshold is recommended (GRE: verbal - 150 or higher; quantitative - 147 or higher; analytical writing - 4.0 or higher) (GMAT: verbal - 28 or higher; quantitative - 35 or higher; analytical writing – 4.0 or higher).
  • Test scores are valid for five years from the date of the original test.
English proficiency tests
  • Applicants for whom English is a second language are required to demonstrate an acceptable level of spoken English by submitting a TOEFL or IELTS score.
  • A minimum score of 79 on the internet based TOEFL or a 6.5 on the official IELTS examination will satisfy the English proficiency requirements for admission
  • Test scores are valid for two years from the date of the original test.
Prior academic work
  • To be adequately prepared for a graduate degree, Ph.D. applicants should have successfully completed a thesis during the masters degree and at least one college-level course in both research methods and statistics.
  • Applicants without these core requirements for admission may be admitted on a provisional basis.
Industry experience
  • Ph.D. Program prefers at least two years of industry experience.


February 1 to be admitted for the following fall semester.

PhD Program Information

Graduate Handbook

Meet Some of Our Students! 

Kiyan Kiyan Shafieizadeh
Kerman, Iran

“While I was searching for universities to apply for my Ph.D., I learned that the hospitality graduate program at Oklahoma State was a top-rated university in the U.S. and internationally, which was very appealing to me. The research output of our school is outstanding among other hospitality programs.”

Allison CarrAllison Carr

Fayetteville, Arkansas

“I chose OSU because of the students. While at a conference I had the chance to meet and speak with them and I was impressed by their welcoming and supportive attitudes. I knew it was a direct representation of the program’s culture and it was something I wanted.”

Haemi KimHaemi Kim
Seoul, South Korea

“The doctoral program at OSU offers an optimal academic program and opportunities to attend classes of eminent professors who have distinguished research and teaching experience. Equally important, the program offers graduate students a broad range of financial assistance options.”