MS and PhD

The Master of Science (MS) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees are highly individualized programs directed toward students who plan to teach and perform research in a university setting. Once accepted into either program, students will select a special committee of graduate faculty members (two for MS candidates and three for PhD candidates), who will guide the candidate in developing a course of study suited to his or her background and interests.

Candidates for either degree will develop a broad-based knowledge of hospitality management; learn research methodology, including statistical methods; become proficient at in-depth research; and acquire teaching and administrative skills.

The major subject for both degrees is Hotel Administration. Minor subjects may be chosen from any of the academic areas within the school, or from any of the graduate fields throughout the university.

Each MS candidate will:

  • Complete a minimum of 16 courses that the student's special committee has decided are appropriate, including methods, theory, and application.
  • Be in residence at Cornell for a minimum of four semesters.
  • Prepare a master's thesis, according to the guidelines set forth by the Cornell Graduate School.
  • Pass the final examination for the master's degree, an oral exam given by the student's special committee, covering the student's master's thesis.
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0

For further information about degree requirements, please refer to the Master of Science(MS) page in the Student Handbook.

Each PhD candidate will:

  • Complete all course requirements that the student's special committee has decided are appropriate.
  • Pass the Examination for Admission to Candidacy. The content and form of this exam are determined solely by the student's special committee. This exam, known at Cornell as the "A Exam," can be taken any time after completing two semesters in residence, but before the beginning of the seventh semester. Passing this exam means the graduate faculty believe the student is prepared to continue with a dissertation.
  • Be in residence at Cornell for a minimum of six semesters.
  • Prepare a doctoral dissertation, according to the guidelines set forth by the Cornell Graduate School.
  • Pass the oral defense of his/her dissertation. This exam, known at Cornell as the "B Exam," is taken after all other degree requirements have been met. The candidate must be in residence at Cornell for a minimum of two semesters between the A Exam and the scheduling of the B Exam.

Resources for PhD Students