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Graduate Programs Overview

Concentration Options

The Department of Retail, Hospitality, and Tourism Management offers two concentration options.  You may choose your specific concentration of study which can be tailored to your chosen expertise.

Hospitality and Tourism Management
Retail and Consumer Sciences

PhD Program

Our PhD program incorporates a consumer perspective into the changing world of retailing, hospitality, and tourism industries. Our program has historically been recognized as a top PhD program as evidenced by many of our successful graduates in major universities. We are proud of having renowned faculty, providing rigorous academic training to prepare students to become leaders in academic and executive research fields. The program offers advanced doctoral courses and exceptional experiences for students to achieve teaching excellence and gain an in-depth knowledge of key theories, source relevant literature information, employ appropriate research methods, and apply them when conducting research.

Plan of Study

RHTM Grad Handbook 2023-2024

Admission Requirements

A complete file for review includes the Graduate Application for Admission file, Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores for the general section, and three Graduate Rating Forms completed by individuals who can attest to the graduate education. For the concentration either in retail and merchandising management or hotel, restaurant, and tourism management, students should have an adequate background in each area supported by course work in marketing and statistics. Superior students deficient in one or more of the above requirements may be admitted at the discretion of the department’s graduate faculty. Deficiencies may need to be addressed through undergraduate coursework.

You must begin the application process at the University of Tennessee Graduate Admissions:

  • Graduate Application for Admission.
  • A $60 nonrefundable application fee by credit/debit card or electronic check.
  • Uploaded copies of original transcripts of all prior undergraduate and graduate coursework and degree confirmations (if applicable).
  • Uploaded departmental requirements as indicated in the online application system.
  • Uploaded degree certificates (if applicable).

Submit the following with your Graduate School application. You can upload all departmental materials with the graduate school file:

  • Three rating forms
  • Personal goal statement
  • If applicant is applying for an assistantship, a statement of intent is also needed.
  • The GRE requirement has been waived for the Fall 2025 admission cycle

Applicants whose native language is not English must:

  • Submit official TOEFL scores directly from ETS to the University of Tennessee (code 1843) OR
  • Submit official IELTS scores directly from the IELTS administrator to the Office of Graduate Admissions:

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Office of Graduate Admissions
201 Student Services Building
Knoxville, TN 37996-0221 USA

To meet deadline for consideration for financial aid, you must have a completed file in the office of the Department of Retail, Hospitality, and Tourism Management by March 1 (Feb 1 for international students). Applications are valid for one year.

Graduate Contacts

Michelle Childs, Ph.D.
Director of Graduate Studies

Junehee Kwon, Ph.D.
Department Head

Marcia Johnson-Lane
Graduate Secretary