Graduate Catalog
2019-2020
 
Policies, Procedures, Academic Programs
Business, Hospitality and Tourism Management
Pamplin College of Business
Wallace Hall, an academic building on West Campus Drive, contains classrooms, offices, and laboratories that support various departments in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. The original building, constructed of red brick like adjacent Hillcrest Hall, was under construction in 1966 and was occupied in January, 1969. Named for Maude E. Wallace, state home demonstration agent 1929-38; assistant director of Extension 1938-59.
362 Wallace Hall, 295 West Campus Drive Blacksburg VA 24061
Wallace Hall
Degree(s) Offered:
• PhD
PhD Degree in Business, Hospitality and Tourism Management
Minimum GPA: 3.0
Offered In:
Blacksburg
• MS
MS Degree in Business, Hospitality and Tourism Management
Minimum GPA: 3.0
Offered In:
National Capital Region
Web Resource(s):
Phone Number(s):
540/231-5515
Application Deadlines:
Fall: Jan 15
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Department Head : Nancy McGehee
Graduate Program Director(s) : Mahmood Khan (MSBA-HTM, Northern VA), Juan Nicolau Gonzalbez (Ph.D. in Business - HTM, Blacksburg)
Professors: Mahmood Khan (National Capital Region); Nancy McGehee; Juan Nicolau Gonzalbez; Richard Perdue
Associate Professors: Manisha Singal; Zheng Xiang
Assistant Professors: Hee Jung Kang; Eojina Kim; Florian Zach
Visiting Faculty: Kristin Lamoureux
R.B. Pamplin Professor of Hospitality and Tourism Management: Richard Perdue
J.Willard and Alice S. Marriott Professor of Revenue Management: Juan Nicolau Gonzalbez

Graduate Progams in the Business of Hospitality and Tourism Management

The Virginia Tech Hospitality and Tourism Management (HTM) graduate programs are consistent with the mission of a comprehensive research university; our program emphasizes developing student ability to generate new knowledge through research and to apply that knowledge to the challenges and problems of hospitality and tourism businesses. HTM is one of six departments in the Pamplin College of Business. Our vision, which permeates throughout our graduate program, is to build on a legacy of teaching and research excellence and to create global leaders in the business of hospitality and tourism management.

We offer two graduate degrees:  Masters of Science in Business Administration (MSBA) with a concentration in Hospitality and Tourism Management, and a Ph.D. in Business with a Concentration in Hospitality and Tourism Management.  The MSBA is offered primarily at our National Capital Region Campus in Falls Church Virginia but with availability via online capabilities on our Blacksburg campus. Three graduate certificates are also available at our National Capital Region Campus in revenue management and data analytics, international strategy, and entrepreneurship. For more information, go to the certificate tab in the graduate catalog. The Ph.D. is offered exclusively at the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg. 

Our graduate program is widely recognized as one of the premier programs of its kind in the world. Graduates are prepared for challenging Hospitality and Tourism Management careers in academic and/or industry positions. Two principles permeate our graduate programs.  First, our graduate programs focus on the application of theories and methodologies from a variety of disciplines to the critical challenges and problems of hospitality and tourism management businesses; the department provides extensive opportunities for graduate students to partner with faculty to conduct research on significant industry problems. Second, the program is customized to the student's interests; degree candidates and their advisory committees plan individual graduate programs pursuant to the student’s career goals and degree requirements. 

For MSBA graduate students, the program provides an opportunity for growth as a student and as a career-directed individual. The goal is to provide advanced knowledge and tools to middle management personnel, consultants and researchers in the hospitality and tourism industry. This goal is accomplished by providing a stimulating environment that encourages seeking knowledge and applying it to the needs of the industry. Fulfillment of the goal occurs as a result of considerable interface and focus, in the classroom and out, with industry and educational leaders on issues of immediate and long-term importance to the industry. The degree includes opportunities in three primary areas of specialization: revenue management and data analytics, international strategy, and entrepreneurship.

At the Ph.D. level, the program emphasizes the research applications of business concepts and strategies to hospitality and tourism management. The goal of the Ph.D. program is to develop the next generation of faculty for Hospitality and Tourism Management Business programs at major research universities throughout the world.  We accomplish this goal by producing doctoral graduates who have both conceptual and methodological knowledge and significant research experience in the applications of that knowledge during their Ph.D. program.  Students develop the knowledge, skills and research abilities to become successful scholars by engaging in close and collegial research collaborations with a faculty comprised of internationally renowned scholars, journal editors, and professional leaders.

Faculty

The Virginia Tech HTM faculty is one of the premier faculty worldwide.  Our faculty are consistently ranked in the top five globally in terms of research productivity and leadership.  Areas of specialization include, but are not limited to, Hospitality and Tourism Marketing, Service Management and Strategy, Information Technology and Business Analytics, Food and Beverage Management, Sustainable Tourism, Hospitality Finance and Strategy, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and Human Resource Management. The Pamplin College of Business has research and education centers focusing on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Business Intelligence and Analytics, and Global Business. 

HTM faculty are currently serving or have served on the editorial boards and boards of directors of all top tier HTM research journals and professional organizations.  Included in the faculty are an elected fellow in the International Academy for the Study of Tourism, an elected fellow in the Academy of Leisure Science, a previous editor of the Journal of Travel Research, and the current editor of The Journal of Information Technology and Tourism.  HTM faculty currently serve on more than 30 editorial boards for hospitality and tourism management research journals.  Members of the faculty have served on the boards of directors of the International Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education, the Travel and Tourism Research Association, the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International, The Volunteer Tourism Society, The International Federation for Information Technology and Travel and Tourism, The International Academy for the Study of Tourism, Meeting Planners International, the National Tour Association, and the International Franchise Association. 

Career Opportunities

Upon completion of the MS in Business Administration with a concentration in HTM, numerous career options are available, focusing primarily on research and data analytic positions in medium and large corporations, domestic and international hospitality consulting firms, or entrepreneurial activities.  Since the course of study emphasizes research and data analytics decision making, students may also find positions with social media and technology firms.  Additionally, many of our MSBA graduates go on to pursue a Ph.D. degree and academic career.  

Our Ph.D. program focuses on placing our graduates in top tier hospitality and tourism management academic positions.  The department currently has Ph.D. alumni serving as faculty members, department heads and deans at over 50 universities worldwide.

Graduate Hospitality and Tourism Association

The Graduate Hospitality and Tourism Association serves as a forum for graduate student engagement and as a liaison between graduate students and the faculty. Some activities that this association plans and implements are new student orientation, information packets and social events. All graduate students are invited to participate actively in this association.  A member of the Graduate Hospitality and Tourism Association serves ad hoc on the Graduate Curriculum and Policy Committee. 

Graduate Assistantships

The Department awards a limited number of teaching/research assistantships to graduate students on a competitive basis. Full-time assistantships normally require 20 hours of work weekly on assignments related to the teaching and research functions of the Department. Stipends are extremely competitive and include full tuition remission.  Presuming acceptable progress toward the degree and budget availability, graduate assistantships are renewed annually for four years. For Ph.D. students, summer research grants are provided for the first two years and available competitively for the following years, presuming continued budget availability and the successful completion of a research grant proposal approved by the student's committee chair and the HTM Graduate Curriculum Committee. Additionally, research scholarships and dissertation research grants are available on a competitive basis. This assistantship package is even more attractive when coupled with the low cost of living in Blacksburg

Admission Requirements

Students are admitted to the HTM graduate programs each fall semester. Applications are submitted via the Virginia Tech Graduate School website.  To be considered for admission, applicants must create an account on the VT Graduate School Applicant System and submit their materials directly via that website, https://gradapp.stl.vt.edu/pages/login.php.

The deadlines for application are January 15th for the Ph.D. program.

The size of our Ph.D. program is strictly controlled to allow for intensive faculty – student collaboration. As a result, the program is highly selective. Admission decisions are made by a committee of faculty based on a number of criteria including:

1. Fit with departmental mission and faculty research interests – a statement of research interests and experience is required. In this statement, an applicant should articulate her / his areas of interest and specialization.  Additionally, students should also describe their research experience and background. Prior to being accepted, at least one member of the graduate faculty must agree that the applicant’s research interests are a good fit with her / his interests.

2. Standardized test scores, while GMAT scores are preferred, GRE scores can also be submitted.  GMAT scores are submitted along with the application as a supplemental document.  GRE scores must be sent directly to the VT Graduate School – Virginia Tech’s institution code is 5859 (there is no departmental code).   

3. Previous academic work (official transcripts for all previous academic work are required).

4. Curriculum Vita, reflecting both academic and professional experience.

5. Letters of recommendation (3 letters are required).

For students where English is a second language, TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) scores are required. Applicants should have a minimum TOEFL score of 600 (paper based) / 250 (computer based) or 100 (internet based). As with the standardized test scores, the TOEFL scores must be sent directly to the VT Graduate School.  This requirement is waived for Ph.D. applicants who have graduated from an MS program from an accreditated English speaking university. While TOEFL scores are preferred, IELTS (International English Language Testing System) scores are also accepted.

In general, students admitted to our Ph.D. program have a GMAT score well over 600 or approximately similar GRE scores (verbal-150, quantitative reasoning-150, & analytical writing 4.5), a GPA of 3.5 or greater in their MBA or MS program, very strong letters of recommendation, and more than two years of industry experience.

Students admitted to the MSBA program generally have a GMAT score over 550 or approximately similar GRE scores (verbal 145, quantitative reasoning 145, and analytical writing 4.0), a GPA of 3.0 or greater in their undergraduate work, strong letters of recommendation and at least one year of industry experience.

Please note that admission into our graduate programs is competitive.  While there are basic requirements as articulated above, the final admission decisions are made by the HTM Graduate Curriculum Committee based primarily on the applicant’s fit with the Department’s needs.  As such, please do not submit materials for an informal review as it is impossible to provide such a review without knowing the mix of applicants and their interests.

International Students

Graduate students from different countries frequently enroll in the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management Graduate Program. International students whose first language is not English or who do not hold an MS or MBAdegree from an accredited university where English is the language of instruction are required to submit results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). While TOEFL scores are preferred, IELTS (International English Language Testing System) scores are also accepted.
Offered In (Blacksburg)

Degree Requirements

Minimum GPA: 3.0
Institution code: 5859
Testing Requirements:
  • GMAT

Virginia Tech’s Hospitality and Tourism Management Ph.D. in Business emphasizes the research applications of business concepts and strategies to hospitality and tourism management. 

The goal of our program is to develop the next generation of faculty for Hospitality and Tourism Management Business programs at major research universities throughout the world.  We accomplish this goal by producing doctoral graduates who have both conceptual and methodological knowledge and significant research experience in the applications of that knowledge during their Ph.D. program.  Students develop the knowledge, skills and research abilities to become successful scholars by engaging in close and collegial research collaborations with a faculty comprised of internationally renowned scholars, journal editors, and professional leaders. 

More specifically, our curriculum emphasizes (1) the understanding of business theories and practices in hospitality and tourism management and (2) the conceptual skills and understanding of research design, measurement, and statistical analyses necessary to be effective and productive researchers.  The faculty has developed the doctoral program to provide challenging research and learning experiences for students seeking the skills to become leading researchers. The key ingredients to the program's success are excellent students, a dynamic, research-oriented faculty who publish regularly in top-tier journals, and research collaboration between students and faculty. The specific curriculum and research program is customized to the individual student’s interests; each student works with an advisory committee to develop a program of study and a research dissertation focusing on her / his specific areas of interest. 

 

Degree Requirements (66 Credits plus the MS or MBA)

Core Requirements (15 credits / 12 graded credits, see note 1)
* HTM 5944 Graduate Seminar (taken each semester in residence with 3 credits toward the degree)

* 12 credits of coursework in research methodology, ethics, and data analysis taken at the Ph.D. level at Virginia Tech

HTM Requirements (6 credits / 6 graded credits)
* HTM 6434: Theory Development for Hospitality & Service Management (3 credits)

* HTM 6464: Research Foundations in Hospitality and Tourism Management (3
credits)

Specialization/Major Area (15 credits / at least 9 credits must be graded)
* At least 3 credits need to be at the HTM 6000 level

* Remaining credits (12) can be either within or outside HTM, and can be at the 5000 or 6000 level.

* Students are encouraged to include at least one section of HTM 6974 Independent Study, whereby the finished product is a manuscript to be submitted to a top-tier academic research journal. Students are also encouraged to take GRAD 5114, Contemporary Pedagogy, if they and their committee feel this would assist them with improving their teaching skills.

Dissertation (30 credits)

Total Credits – 66 Credits

Notes: 

1)      Depending on the student’s specific research interests, the Pamplin College of Business offers a series of behavioral, financial, data analytic, and econometric methodology courses.  Additionally, students may substitute other Ph.D. level methodology courses from elsewhere at Virginia Tech.  All substitutions must be approved by the student’s primary advisor and the HTM Department Head.  

2)      A minimum of 9 credits of coursework are required each semester of the first two years of the program.  Students receiving either GTA or GRA support are required to take 12 credits of coursework each semester they are funded.

3)      Courses should be taken in consultation with the committee and approval of the Head of the Department.

4)      Courses cannot be counted twice under any of the above mentioned categories.

5)      No more than 9 hours can be taken as independent study courses.

6)      Consult graduate catalog for the number of courses that can be transferred.

 

Ph.D. Degree Progression and Requirements

Advisory Committee

Students selected for admission to the Ph.D. program are accepted by a faculty member who will be their major professor. This selection is based primarily on the potential of a match between the professor's expertise and the student's interest as expressed on the application for the program. An Advisory Committee consisting of the major professor and at least three other members will be recommended by the student and his / her major professor to the Department Head to be recommended to the Graduate School. This committee advises the student in planning a program of study and in other degree requirements. It also serves as the examining committee for the preliminary and final examinations. A typical committee consists of a minimum of three faculty (including the major professor/chair) from the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management. It is expected, but not required that the committee include at least one faculty member from outside the Department reflecting the student’s cognate area. Preference is given to on-campus faculty.  The makeup of the advisory committee may be different for the preliminary exams and the dissertation.

The student should consult with his/her major professor in determining the makeup of the advisory committee. Additional information about the advisory committee can be found in the Graduate School catalog. 

Program of Study

A Program of Study refers to the plan of course work and any other related experiences that prepare the student for successful completion of the preliminary exams and dissertation defense. 

A program of study meeting all department requirements should be submitted to the Graduate School prior to completing the third semester in residence beyond the Masters degree at this University. The program of study must be approved and endorsed by the student's advisory committee, the Department Head, and the Graduate School. 

Qualifying Exam

The HTM Qualifying Exam for first year Ph.D. students is comprised of a research project completed during the spring and summer of their first year.

Research Proposal:

During the spring semester, students will work with their primary advisor to develop and submit to the HTM Graduate Coordinator by April 1 a five to ten page research proposal that includes:

  1. Applied and theoretical justification for the research study (including the study’s managerial contribution and theoretical foundations which are supported by a summary of the literature)
  2. The specific research questions, problem, and/or hypotheses
  3. Research methodology
  4. A detailed timeline for the research project
  5. As this work will commonly extend beyond the end of the summer, the proposal should include a statement articulating the deliverables which will be provided by September 1 as part of the preliminary research report
  6. The contribution of the proposed research to the student’s Ph.D. program of study
  7. Anticipated target journal

Prior to submission, this proposal must be approved by the student’s committee chair.

Preliminary Research Report (due September 1)

With the guidance of their Ph.D. committee chair, students will develop and submit to the HTM Graduate Coordinator a report of work completed during the summer.  This report should coincide with the approved list of deliverables provided in the proposal.  Deviations from the approved list of deliverables would be considered only as a rare exception and must be explained and justified.  Prior to submission, this report will be approved by the student’s committee chair.

Final Research Report Draft Manuscript (due by December 31)

Under the guidance of their Ph.D. committee chair, students will develop and submit to the HTM Graduate Coordinator a final research report draft manuscript being prepared for journal submission, reporting on the approved summer research project.  While it is anticipated that this report may not yet be completed, it should include, at a minimum, a well-articulated introduction, a substantive review of the literature, a detailed description of the research methodology, and preliminary results.

Prior to submission, this report must be approved by the student’s committee chair.

During the fall semester, students will be required to present the research to HTM 5944 Graduate Seminar.

Preliminary Examination

This examination is designed to determine the candidate's ability to progress into the dissertation phase.  The written portion of the examination is to be completed within 6 months of completion of coursework.  The oral examination phase requires that an examination card be obtained. The graduate student is responsible for the completion and submission of all paperwork required from the Graduate School at least two weeks in advance of the exam date.  

The examination is given in two parts:
1.      Written Examination
2.      Oral Examination – scheduled within 30 days of successful completion of the written examination. 

Student Qualification Requirements
Students sitting for all preliminary exam components, i.e. written and oral examination parts, must have completed the following;
1.      Approval of the Student’s Chair and Committee members
2.      They must have fulfilled all requirements for taking their preliminary examination as stipulated by the Graduate School (see Graduate Catalog). 
3.      They must have an approved plan of study on file with the Graduate School.
 
Written Preliminary Examination - Specialization (Major) Area
The preliminary exam, oral and/or written, is conducted by the student's advisory committee. It is comprehensive in nature and is intended to test a student's ability to integrate, synthesize, and apply concepts, facts, and techniques in solving new and complex problems associated with hospitality and tourism management. The student may be tested on any aspect of their plan of study. It is recommended that the student meet with his/her advisory committee prior to preparing for the exam to discuss the nature of the exam, the format, and the evaluation procedures that is the best fit.
 
Dissertation

Candidates for the Ph.D. are required to carry out original research which will add to the present body of knowledge in the field of hospitality and tourism management.  Students are required to defend their proposal for their dissertation research to their dissertation committee.  Prior to this defense they must present their proposal in the HTM 5944 Graduate Seminar.  The purpose of this exercise is to provide students with the opportunity to get feedback from peers and faculty before actually defending the proposal to his/her committee. Guidelines for this seminar are available in the HTM Department. The department supports both traditional and article-style formats for dissertations. See departmental policy for process.
 
Final Examination

This oral examination is primarily a defense of the dissertation, although the examining committee may test the candidate on any material relevant to the field of study. The examination is scheduled through the Graduate School in the same manner as the written preliminary examination. A final presentation of the dissertation in Graduate Seminar is also required. Graduate School requirements must be met for submission of dissertation. Refer to the Virginia Tech Graduate School Policies and Procedures for further information.

Offered In (National Capital Region)

Degree Requirements

Minimum GPA: 3.0
Institution code: 5859
Testing Requirements:

The MS in Business Administration (MSBA) with a concentration in Hospitality and Tourism Management is in the Washington DC metro area, the nations’ hub for hospitality business; it is offered exclusively at the Virginia Tech National Capital Region Campus in Falls Church VA.  The MSBA is a professional degree designed to either help students advance their professional career in HTM or as an important step to pursuing a Ph.D. and a subsequent academic career.

The MSBA focuses on three areas: Hospitality and Tourism Business Analytics and Revenue Management, International Hospitality and Tourism Strategy, and Entrepreneurship in Hospitality and Tourism Management. The MSBA program is designed to allow students to pursue specializations in each of these focal areas. Many of the MSBA courses are taught by industry professionals with a strong focus on professional practice and case studies. 

The student's plan of study is designed and approved in conjunction with a graduate advisory committee comprised of a chair and a minimum of two graduate faculty members. On admission into the graduate program, an initial advisor is assigned by the Graduate Program Director. The student can change this advisor after s/he has the opportunity to better know the faculty and articulate her/his interests. The following reflects the general framework of the MSBA plans of study.

Master of Science in Business Administration:  Hospitality and Tourism Management

I. Business Core Course:  (15 hours of coursework)   
BIT 5724 Managerial Statistics                                               
ACIS 5104 Fundamentals of Accounting                    
FIN 5024 Principles of Finance                       
MGT 5314 Dynamics of Organization Behavior 
MKTG 5104 Marketing Policy and Strategy

II. HTM Concentration: (15 Hours of coursework selected from the following areas.)

HTM courses should constitute at least 50% (three courses) of the concentration hours.

Students are encouraged to complete at least one of the specializations.  Students may opt to take additional hours to complete all three specializations, or they can take additional hours to complete complimentary graduate certifications. For more information, go to the Certificates section of the Graduate catalog.

Hospitality and Tourism Business Analytics and Revenue Management Specialization
Offered during the Summer, 9 hours (100% online)

Required:
HTM 5564 Information Technology and Business Analytics in Hospitality and Tourism Management
HTM 5574 Revenue Management for Hospitality Services

Choose a third course from either MGT or BIT :
MGT 5804 Strategic Leadership in Technology-based Organizations
BIT 5594 Web Applications and E-Commerce

International Hospitality and Tourism Strategy Specialization
Offered during the Fall semester, 9 hours

Required:
HTM 5534 Strategic Management and Competitive Strategy in the Hospitality Industry
HTM 5024 International Service Management

Choose a third course from the following:
MGT 5784 International Management
MGT 5794 Strategic Management
MKTG 5704 International Marketing Strategy

Entrepreneurship in Hospitality and Tourism Management Specialization
Offered during the Spring semester, 9 hours

Required:
MGT 5814 Entrepreneurial Leadership

Choose two courses from the following:
HTM 5424 Human Resource Management
HTM 5464 Franchising in Hospitality Management
HTM 5444 Financial Management in the Hospitality Service Industries

TOTAL HOURS REQUIRED FOR M.S.B.A. DEGREE: 30 HOURS
Time to completion: 12-15 months

 

Departmental Facilities

Our graduate programs are offered on two campuses.  The Masters of Science in Business Administration and the associated Certificate Programs are offered primarily at our National Capital Region Campus in Falls Church Virginia but with availability via online capabilities on our Blacksburg campus.  As a professional degree, this location in the nation’s leading hospitality hub provides easy access to many of the world’s major hospitality corporations. The Ph.D. in Business is offered exclusively on the main Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, providing easy access to our research library, research and statistical support systems, and our research community of leading scholars both in the Pamplin College of Business and in other departments and colleges across campus.

On the Blacksburg campus, the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management occupies the third floor of Wallace Hall.  The Ph.D. student facilities include private carrels and a dedicated computer lab with access to a full range of office, graphical, scientific, and statistical software.  All Ph.D. classes are taught in a dedicated classroom with comprehensive technological equipment and software.  The Department partners with the Inn at Virginia Tech, the Virginia Tech Dining Service, and the local and regional hospitality and tourism industry to provide research and internship opportunities. 

University Research Facilities

Virginia Tech is a comprehensive research university with world class technology, computing, and library resources.
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