State Higher Education Coordinating Board Approves New Hilton College Ph.D.

By Marisa Ramirez

Students at the University of Houston Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management can now pursue doctoral studies. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved a doctorate in hospitality administration at the college to begin in fall 2015.

“Not having a Ph.D. program has been a shortcoming of our academic offerings,” said John Bowen, professor and dean of the college. “This will help ensure our national prominence going forward.”

The college will begin taking applications for the program in fall 2014. The doctorate will be a rigorous three- to four-year program with a core curriculum that focuses on the development of students’ research, leadership, teaching and grantsmanship skills. The degree can assist students in a variety of career paths, including academics or industry consultants.

“Just looking at the data for last year, there were about 40 students in the country who earned Ph.D.s in this discipline, but there were 150 academic positions available, ” said Ki-Joon Back, professor and director of graduate programs for the college.

Back says the college began working on developing the doctoral program in 2006. He expects top students from around the country to now make the college their top choice for doctoral studies.

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