University of Delaware Announces New Hospitality Business Analytics Ph.D. Program

There is no industry where data analytics play as important of a role in a customer’s overall experience than hospitality. By tracking and analyzing a customer’s behavior and preferences, hotels and restaurants can create more personalized experiences. The demand for professionals who can analyze this data and faculty who can educate these professionals has never been greater. That’s why the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics is launching a three-year, 54 credit-hour Ph.D. in hospitality business analytics.

Registration is now open for the fall semester.

The first of its kind doctoral program in hospitality business analytics is designed for those seeking academic and research careers in the field of hospitality at top-ranked institutions. The program draws on the resources and faculty expertise available at the Lerner College and its Department of Hospitality Business Management and Institute for Financial Services Analytics, as well as UD’s Data Science Institute.

“Data science is essential to the continued success of the hospitality industry,” said Srikanth Beldona, director of UD’s hospitality business management graduate program. “In the last 10 years, over 50 data analytics faculty positions were advertised by universities to meet industry demand, and 90% of these were on the tenure track.

From forecasting and probability assessments to harnessing information for strategic financial decisions, hospitality business analytics professionals are in demand.

“Our program will provide a strong academic foundation in business analytics to students,” Beldona continued. “Our faculty conduct in-depth research in various areas of study that apply to hospitality business analytics, such as revenue management, digital marketing, finance, customer experience management and human resources management.”

Beldona is currently a member of the editorial board of the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly. He and fellow faculty members from UD’s Department of Hospitality Business Management have published in top journals including Tourism Economics, Journal of Revenue and Pricing ManagementJournal of Travel Research and the International Journal of Hospitality Management.

“The program emphasizes analytics, which is possible because our faculty has access to the large amounts of data being generated by information and communication technologies in the industry,” Beldona concluded.

In this program, students will experience high-quality instruction through a curriculum that includes hospitality business, analytics and methodology courses, research and seminars. Students will also have access to two living research labs on campus: the Courtyard Newark at the University of Delaware, a Marriott hotel owned by UD, and Vita Nova, a gourmet student-operated and managed restaurant.

The hospitality business management Ph.D. program admits students annually and fully-funded assistantships are available based on merit. To be eligible for the program, students will have completed the requirements for a master’s degree and have at least three years of managerial experience in the hospitality, tourism or related industries.

Students with bachelor’s degrees will also be considered under exceptional circumstances with demonstrated excellent academic credentials and rich industry experience at the managerial or executive level. Prospective students will also have the option of enrolling in the master’s in hospitality business management (thesis track) to solidify their foundations before progressing to the Ph.D.