Due to Covid-19, we ask those inquiring about residential programs to contact htm@purdue.edu for a quicker response. 

Hospitality and Tourism Management - 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 vitae that 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 Plan of Study in HTM

PhD Plan of Study

Requirement Category

Credit Requirement


Hospitality and Tourism Courses

15 credit hours

a)    9 of the 15 credits must come from HTM courses at the 600 level. (HTM 602, 690, and 699 do not count towards this fulfillment.)

b)    The remainder of the 15 credits not spent can be fulfilled with HTM courses at the 500 level. One HTM 590; Problems in Hospitality and Tourism (for 1 or 3 credits) may be used to fulfill part of this requirement.

Outside Specialization

9 credit hours

Courses at 500-600 levels


9-12 credit hours

Dependent on M.S. coursework
and previous thesis experience

Department Research

3 credit hours

Three sequential HTM 602 - Topics include: Research, Teaching, and Professionalism

Supporting Research 

6 credit hours

HTM 690 -This required special project is developed to strengthen research techniques or topic knowledge important to the development of the dissertation. This work may lead to a published paper.


15-24 credit hours

HTM 699 - A typical 18-credit program would include 1-3 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. Credits earned during the master’s program will be applied after the student has completed the above plan of study (all but dissertation) and before they take their preliminary examination. Up to 30 master’s credits of non-thesis coursework can be counted. The Graduate School requires a grand total of 90 credits (HTM Program Course Credits + Dissertation + Master's Credits) in order to award a doctoral degree.  

For course descriptions and pre-approved outside special electives, visit the HTM Graduate Courses page

Time Requirement

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

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

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.

Research Committee

The plan of study requires a minimum of three committee members at the time of the preliminary examination and four upon the final. The members of the committee may all be HTM or CSR faculty, although students may be encouraged to include one member from another department. The chair must be an HTM faculty member. 

Preliminary Examination (Prelim)

To ensure timely academic progress, the preliminary examination is to be taken by PhD students at the end of their second of or beginning of their third year of the program before the date outlined in the Graduate School Deadline Calendar in which prelims needs to be passed in order to graduate in a particular term.

Prelim Deadlines

To graduate in:

Prelims must be passed before:

Fall 2022

December 11, 2021

Spring 2023

May 10, 2022

Summer 2023

August 5, 2022

To request the Preliminary Examination (form 8 – Graduate School Web Database), the following three conditions must first be fulfilled:

  • The Plan of Study (ePOS) for the degree must be submitted and fully approved.  
  • Students must have at least 3 of the 4 committee members selected by the time of their preliminary examinations. These three members will need to be present for the prelim. A fourth committee member can be added later if yet to be determined.
  • Students must be registered for HTM 699/CSR 699 in the semester in which the prelim will take place.

Since one of the goals of the preliminary examination is to provide research direction and feedback, it should be taken early enough to allow the graduate research committee to make an effective contribution. The written proposal should be submitted to members of the graduate research committee no later than 14 business days before the examination. This is also the latest date on which a student can initiate a form 8 in the Graduate School Database. To initiate the student will need to enter information regarding date, time, and place. 

During the preliminary examination, the student is typically expected to exhibit:

  • Student’s general understanding of the field, including appropriate theoretical constructs, and how this field fits into concerns of the overall industry
  • Student’s depth of understanding of his/her particular segment of focus within the field
  • A degree of mastery of the methodological approaches and statistical tools appropriate for the student’s field of concentration.

If you pass the preliminary examination, the graduate research committee certifies that you have passed the examination by signing off on the form through the Graduate School Web Database. 

If you fail the prelim, at least one academic session (Fall, Spring, or Summer) must elapse before a re-examination is permitted.

Final Examination

PhD students are eligible to take their final examination at least three academic sessions (or one academic year - counting summer sessions) for which they are registered HTM 699/CSR 699 before taking the Final Examination. As an example, if a student passes their prelims in Spring, the earliest opportunity to take a Final Examination would be the following Spring if they are registered for 699 in the Summer, Fall and that next Spring terms after the prelim. 

After at least three academic sessions (counting summer sessions) with research, registration has passed upon completing a successful preliminary examination, a student can then schedule their final examination through the form 8 process again in the Graduate School Web Database.

To request the final examination, the following conditions must first be fulfilled:

  • Students must be registered for HTM 699/CSR 699 in the semester.
  • If you are planning to graduate during the same semester, you must declare your candidacy before the term’s deadline (see Graduate School Deadline Calendar).
  • Complete the recommendations from the graduate research committee based on comments from the preliminary examination and other progress meetings.

Like the preliminary examination, students must arrange their final exam with their graduate research committee (and graduate secretary if booking a space in Marriott Hall) at no later 14 business days before the desired date and initiation of the form 8.

It is not unheard of that students may pass their final examination with the understanding they first must complete some minor edits to their dissertation which may take a few days to complete so please keep this in mind and plan accordingly.

Once a final examination has been passed by all the committee members, the student can start the process to deposit. You can start this process by initiating the Electronic Thesis Acceptance Form (ETAF) in the Graduate School Web Database. Upon initiation, this form turns into two forms for the committee to sign off on, which are:

  • Form 9 Thesis Acceptance (located in the Graduate School Database – committee approves, then graduate secretary after a format check, followed by program director before it proceeds to the Grad School).
  • Form 32 Thesis/Dissertation Agreement, Publication Delay, and research Integrity & copyright Disclaimer (iThenticate)(major professor/chair approves).


Without the forms 9 and 32 completed by the major professor, committee, and the graduate program, the PhD student cannot continue onto their deposit process with the Thesis Office. It is recommended that students provide themselves adequate time between the final exam to the deposit deadline to make the appropriate edits needed. We find that the allot time built in the Graduate School Deadline Calendar is often not enough time for those needing to make serious edits to their dissertation.


Thesis Office | Thesis Template | Thesis Workshops | ETAF Guide



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