Hospitality Management Distance Doctor of Philosophy

The Distance Doctor of Philosophy (DDP) program is designed to meet the needs of professionals employed in industry, education, and other hospitality-related professions who want to obtain a terminal degree for their career advancement. Students must participate in the hybrid program for 2 consecutive summer sessions on campus (maximum of 3 weeks each) and enroll in courses delivered via the web during fall and spring semesters. Students completing requirements of the program will earn a Ph.D. in Foodservice and Lodging Management. 

A complete application must include the following:



  • Completed application form
  • Official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended
  • 3 letters of recommendation, at least one from a supervisor and one from a college/university teacher
  • Personal letter of application describing your professional goals and how this degree will help you accomplish those goals
  • Resume or curriculum vita
  • GRE general test or GMAT, taken within the last 5 years
  • TOEFL score within last two years, for international applicants with degrees from non-English institutions

After submitting application

  • Once an application is submitted, the ISU Office of Admissions reviews the application (two to three weeks), followed by a program-level review by the Foodservice and Lodging Management Graduate Faculty Review Committee.
  • Once these reviews turn out favorable and when the decision is approved by the Dean of the Graduate College, the Office of Admissions will send an official acceptance letter to the candidate.

Curriculum requirements

72 total credit hours:

  • Up to 30 credit hours may be accepted from the master’s degree coursework, depending on types of courses taken and fit with your goals
  • 24 credit hours must be taken at Iowa State University over 4 semesters to earn residency
  • 15 credit hours are required for research/dissertation
  • Sample Ph.D. Plan (PDF)

The Iowa State University course catalog lists course descriptions of graduate courses offered.

Coursework example

Scholarships and financial aid

Scholarships and graduate teaching/research assistantships are available for on-campus students.


Contact the Assistant Director of Graduate Education (DOGE) for hospitality management with any questions.

Tianshu Zheng
9W MacKay Hall