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PhD Degree

The PhD program is designed to be one of the strongest research-based programs in the world. The program, which includes a strong element of statistics and research design, prepares students for careers in major research universities or research-based agencies. Upon graduation, students are expected to have a curriculum vita which includes teaching experience, publishing experience in research journals, and a record of presentations to industry and research societies. The program has a limited enrollment to allow for exceptionally close working relationships between faculty and individual students.

Program Requirements (PhD)

Requirement Category Credit Requirement Notes

Hospitality and Tourism Courses

a) - see Notes section

b) - see Notes section

15 credit hours

a) 9 credits of HTM courses at the 600 level.

b) one (1) HTM 590; Graduate Industry Practicum (for 1 or 3 credits) may be used to fulfill part of this requirement.

Outside Specialization 9 credit hours  
Statistics/Methodology 9-12 credit hours Dependent on M.S. coursework
and previous thesis experience
Department Research
3 credit hours  
Supporting Research
6 credit hours This required special project is developed to strengthen research techniques or topic knowledge important to the development of
the dissertation. This work will lead to a published paper.
Dissertation 15-24 credit hours A typical 18-credit program would include 0-3 credits per semester for the 2nd year and 6-9 credits per semester for the 3rd year.

This summary does not include any prerequisite requirement made at the time of admission or preparatory work required before any particular class. In addition, Purdue University requires a minimum of 90 credit hours of work for the combined MS and PhD degrees.

For course descriptions, visit the HTM Graduate Courses page

Time Requirement

The PhD program is designed for a three-year period of residential study following a MS degree. No guarantee of program completion in three years is made. During the program at Purdue University, you will be given guidance and opportunity to develop:

  • Record of publication in leading journals
  • Record of presentation for academic societies
  • Record of assistance to industry groups
  • Record of successful teaching
  • Strong competency in your area of interest
  • Strong competency in research skills
  • Body of research upon which a national reputation can be built


Traditionally, Purdue has been able to fund all PhD students with academic year funding for three years. For this funding, students follow a pattern of teaching and other department support activities. The goal is to expose students to the full range of concerns and activities that will mark future academic employment or agency research assignments. A change has occurred in that now several students receive sponsored funding from employers or government agencies, limiting the opportunity for department roles. Some students also choose to become self-funding to allow for individual goals as to period of study in the program or to allow pursuit of a special interest for which there is no department funding.

If students are accepted with funding, funding is limited to three years. If students require or choose to use additional time to complete the degree, funding can no longer be expected.

Part-Time (In-Absentia) Study

HTM normally does not approve part-time study or research done away from the campus. All students are expected to be full-time resident students throughout their programs.

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