The Master of Science (MS) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees in hotel administration are exclusive, highly competitive, and exceptionally rigorous programs. Successful candidates come to SHA with outstanding academic records, and typically possess both research experience and a working knowledge of the hospitality industry.

MS Degree Requirements

Students interested in applying to the MS program must have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent from an accredited university. Competitive MS applicants demonstrate a combination of strengths, including:

  • An exceptional academic record, with a rigorous curriculum, top-10% class ranking, and no failing grades
  • Research experience
  • A competitive GRE score or GMAT score above 700* *The Master of Science program is test optional for the GMAT/GRE for the fall 2023 admission cycle. When considering whether or not to submit the GMAT/GRE, please consider the following:
    • Compelling applicants to the MS program will demonstrate strong quantitative skills and English language proficiency.
    • Our admissions committee uses a holistic approach to review applications, and will seek evidence of quantitative exposure through your resume, academic transcript, essay, and letters of recommendation. The GMAT/GRE is one way to demonstrate quantitative competency and English language proficiency to the admissions committee. Unless your transcript clearly demonstrates quantitative ability, you should strongly consider taking the GMAT or GRE. Examples of quantitative classes include microeconomics, finance, accounting, calculus, and statistics with regression.
    • If your secondary school transcript includes examples of quantitative coursework you are welcome to include that in your application as well.
    • All applications will be considered “complete” without GMAT/GRE test scores. If you plan to submit test scores, please schedule them to be sent to us well in advance of the application deadline so they can be reviewed with your application.
  • Relevant hospitality experience
  • A well-articulated statement of purpose

Since the MS is designed for students pursuing an academic career in teaching and research, most MS students subsequently apply to a PhD program. Your graduate faculty advisor will decide which courses you should take to complete your MS degree program to best support your academic plan. If your bachelor’s degree is not in hospitality management, your advisor may require some of the core courses of the Master of Management in Hospitality (MMH) as part of your program.

PhD Degree Requirements

With the exception of those who have earned a bachelor’s degree in hotel administration from our undergraduate program, students interested in applying to the PhD program must already have earned a master’s degree from an accredited university or have earned a master’s degree from an accredited university before matriculation. Competitive PhD applicants demonstrate a combination of strengths, including:

  • A competitive GRE score or GMAT score of 700 or higher
  • A top-10% class ranking in bachelor’s and master’s study with no failing grades
  • Prior coursework in statistics, economics, and research methods
  • A clearly articulated career objective focused on teaching and research
  • A record of published hospitality papers or articles in relevant journals or trade publications
  • Experience in teaching and research

Once you are admitted, your committee of graduate faculty members will advise you on which courses you should take to fulfill your PhD degree-program requirements.