The 20 Best Tourism Degree Programs

tourism degreeBy some measures, tourism may already be the world’s largest industry, with annual revenue approaching $500 billion.

(peopleandplanet.net)
 

A bachelor in Tourism and Hospitality Management or a Master degree in Tourism and Hospitality Management provides a major step in getting a foot in the door to this massively growing industry and once inside, people have extensive career options.

A tourism and hospitality management degree program provides students the business skills and cultural education necessary to run travel agencies, organize cultural attractions, operate a food service business, plan meetings as well as large conventions and events, facilitate operations at hotels, theme parks, casinos and resorts, promote tourism, and arrange individual, group, or corporate trips and tours around the world.

A tourism degree allows students to work in sectors such as food service operations, visitor bureaus and conventions, recreational business, tourism development agencies, hotels, resorts, theme parks, international travel and tourism agencies, airlines, and casinos. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 44% employment growth for hotel meeting planners from 2010 to 2020.

Tourism and hospitality management programs vary widely across the universities and colleges. Tourism and hospitality degree programs offer bachelor and master degrees in many different concentrations and specializations, such as tourism, hospitality, travel, recreation, and event/meeting management.

Programs in the field offer courses such as tourism and hospitality marketing, food service management, brand management, travel law, international travel, hospitality and tourism management, sustainability in hospitality and tourism, operational management, corporate finance, and economics of travel and tourism.

taj mahalTo earn a tourism degree students usually take required general business courses and decide on a program track in areas such as hospitality management, tourism management, or a related field. In most tourism degree programs students take all required courses as well as electives, complete an internship, and finalize their studies with a comprehensive capstone course which includes a practicum and/or research paper.

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The 20 Best Tourism Degree Programs Ranking Guidelines

We selected the tourism and travel management degree programs based on the quality of the program, the types of courses offered, the faculty, rankings, awards, and reputation.

The schools are listed in alphabetical order. The list includes mainly bachelor degree programs and a few master degree programs.

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arizona-state-universityArizona State University, W.P. Carey School of Business (Phoenix, AZ)

Founded in 1885, Arizona State University (ASU), a space-grant research university, awards both undergraduate and graduate degrees from 16 colleges peppered across four campuses. The Higher Learning Commission has provided accreditation to all campuses.

The W.P. Carey School of Business’s Bachelor in Tourism Development and Management degree program provides students with the marketing techniques and solid business foundations necessary for success in the tourism industry and related professions.

The Tourism Development and Management bachelor’s degree program includes core courses in areas such as tourism planning, convention sales and management, tourism and recreation policy, tourism marketing, and community development.

To complete the program students must take an honor’s thesis course and finish one–12 credits of an internship working in the tourism field. Upon graduation, students can seek employment in resorts, commercial recreation businesses, tourism development companies, and travel bureaus.

The W.P. Carey School of Business is ranked #30 overall, and #70 for its undergraduate program, by U.S. News & World Report. In addition, the magazine ranked ASU #139 out of 280 “national universities” (2013). The university was also  ranked in the top 10 for “Up and Coming” universities in the U.S. by Forbes magazine for the fourth year in a row. Moreover, Forbes named ASU as one of “America’s Best College Buys.” Finally, ASU ranks #5 among public universities in National Science Foundation grants for graduate study, and #11 among all universities, in 2012.

byu-hawaiiBrigham Young University Hawaii (Laie, HI)

Founded in 1955, Brigham Young University (BYU) Hawaii—located in the northern part of the island of Oahu—offers programs in areas of liberal arts, management, and mathematics. The university’s main focus is on undergraduate education. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints owns and operates the university.

The BYU Hawaii Bachelor’s in Science (B.S.) in Hospitality and Tourism Management degree prepares students for one of the world’s largest industries. Students learn fundamental business principles to understand and execute the challenging demands of the tourism industry and to produce a high level of quality in a hospitality setting.

Graduates can apply for positions in settings such as hotels, resorts, food service operations, visitor bureaus and conventions, recreational business, and tourism development agencies.

To earn the hospitality and tourism management bachelor degree, students must take a departmental mini-course and then decide on a program track in either hospitality or tourism management. Courses within these tracks include topics in marketing and entrepreneurship, human resources management, marketing communications, operations management, and corporate finance.

All students must complete an internship or other practicum of one–12 credit hours and a capstone course.

Brigham Young University Hawaii was ranked #17 in the 2013 edition of Best Colleges in Regional Colleges (West) and was listed as the #1 “best value” in the region in 2006.

drexel universityDrexel University, Goodwin College School of Technology and Professional Studies (Philadelphia, PA)

Drexel University (DU), a private accredited university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, offers over 70 full-time undergraduate programs and accelerated degrees, as well as over 100 masters, doctoral, and professional programs.

The Goodwin College School of Technology and Professional Studies’s Bachelor in Hospitality Management with a concentration in Travel and Tourism offers students courses on the international and tourism business end of hospitality to prepare them for careers in management in the U.S. and around the world. The program offers training in four key areas: customer service, innovative management, technology, and international operations.

To graduate, students must take the required hospitality foundation courses in areas such as hospitality law, commercial food production, and food safety, as well as select a major and the additional concentration courses of study, business minors, and other electives for a total of 182 credits.

The travel and tourism major focuses on tourism economics, convention management, cultural and heritage tourism, and current issues in travel and tourism. It also includes a guest lecture series.

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings placed Drexel University 190th in the World and 76th in North America. U.S. News & World Report ranked Drexel #83 among all universities of the United States (2012) and third on the 2012 U.S. News & World Report “Best Colleges: Up-and-coming National Universities” list. Princeton Review named Drexel University #6 on their list of “2010 Top Entrepreneurial Programs: Undergraduate.”

Drexel University is well known for its cooperative education program, which is currently ranked as one of the best in the United States.

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florida international universityFlorida International University, Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management (University Park, FL)

Founded in 1965, Florida International University (FIU) is an accredited, top-tier research institution regarded as a high research activity school by the Carnegie Foundation. FIU awards over 3,400 undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees annually.

The FIU Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management’s Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Travel and Tourism Management degree program includes a comprehensive set of core educational courses and hands-on practical experiences, which provide a solid foundation in business management, accounting, operations, and more, preparing future leaders to begin a career in the tourism industry.

To graduate form the BS in Travel and Tourism Management program, students must complete the required tourism concentration courses, including topics such as international travel and tourism, sustainable tourism practices, and destination marketing, as well as complete an advanced internship program and a senior seminar in hospitality management.

U.S. News & World Report ranked FIU as one of “America’s Best Colleges” overall (2010) , the Landon Undergraduate School’s undergraduate international business program as #10 in the nation (2013), and the Chapman Graduate School of Business as #11. Bloomberg Business Week ranked the Landon Undergraduate School #8 in international business and Forbes included FIU in its “America’s Top Colleges List” in 2013.

george mason universityGeorge Mason University (Fairfax, VA)

George Mason University (GMU), founded in 1957, is named after the American revolutionary father George Mason. GMU is known for its economic, business, law, and creative writing programs; faculty members have won two Nobel Prizes in Economics.

The school enrolls over 32,500 students, making it the largest university in Virginia with respect to student population.

The Tourism and Events Management undergraduate program provides students with skills and knowledge in all areas of tourism and hospitality, including programming, marketing, finance, administration, policy, and planning.

The Tourism and Events Management (TEM) bachelor’s degree curriculum consists of general courses, professional sequence courses, and tourism management concentration courses, altogether totaling 120 credits.

The Bachelor Degree in Tourism provides concentration courses such as:

  • Women and tourism
  • Ecotourism
  • Resort management
  • Hospitality sales
  • Cultural tourism
  • Meetings and conventions

Internship and practicum field experiences are also a part of the TEM program.

The Tourism and Events Management program prepares students to work in many areas of tourism and hospitality including wedding planning, tour operations, visitor services, cruise ships, entertainment venues, cultural attractions, eco-tourism, operations, and consulting.

U.S. News & World Report ranked GMU Tier 1 among National University rankings (2011) and #1 in the Up-and-Coming National University category (2012). George Mason University was also ranked #70 in the top public schools list by U.S. News & World Report. Its graduate programs were ranked #24 by Public Policy Analysis (2012) and Princeton Review ranked GMU #4 in the most diverse university in the nation list.

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george-washington-universityGeorge Washington University (Washington, DC)

Founded in 1821, George Washington University (GWU), the largest accredited institution of higher education in the District of Columbia, offers 20,000 students a vast range of disciplines from forensic science and medicine to international affairs and public policy.

The GWU School of Business offers the Master of Tourism Administration (MTA) program. The MTA program prepares students for international management positions in hospitality, sport management, event and meeting management, and tourism.

Through field-based and classroom education in the foundations of tourism, students are prepared to work in management jobs in commercial, public, or non-profit industries offering services at the local or international level.

The Master of Tourism Administration program consists of 36 credit hours comprised of core courses, electives, and a capstone course (including a practicum and thesis). Students typically complete the degree program within one to two years.

The Master’s of Tourism Administration degree program core courses include subjects such as:

  • Sports marketing
  • Event management
  • Hotel market analysis
  • Tourism research
  • International hotel management
  • Sports law
  • Destination planning and management

GWU’s graduate programs was ranked #41 for Global MBA Programs by the Economist, and #50 in the best national university category (2012) and #7 on the International Businesses Rankings list by U.S. News & World Report. George Washington University was also ranked #54 in the Best Business Schools in the United States category in 2012 by Bloomberg Businessweek and #76 among private colleges and in research universities by Forbes.

indiana-universityIndiana University (Bloomington, IN)

Founded in 1820, Indiana University is a public research university whose flagship campus is located in Bloomington. Indiana University has more than 40,000 students.

The university has numerous schools, including the Jacobs School of Music, the School of Public Health, the School of Informatics and Computing, the School of Education, the Kelley School of Business, and the Optometry School.

The Bachelor in Recreation Tourism, Hospitality, and Event Management program at IU prepares students in several sectors of the tourism and hospitality industry, including transportation, marketing, management, and food and lodging. Students in the program primarily focus on the administration, budgeting, and marketing side of tourist facilities and destinations, which include resorts, convention centers, hotels, theme parks, visitor centers, cruises, government tourism, and airlines.

Completing the Bachelor in Recreation Tourism, Hospitality, and Event Management program requires general education requirements plus 124 credit hours in the major and concentration courses.

Some of the specialization courses include legal aspects of recreation, green operations in hospitality management, event management, program development, and strategic planning. Internship placement and study abroad programs provide students special opportunities to expand their understanding of foreign tourism and travel.

U.S. News & World Report has ranked IU #83 on its National Universities list and # 22 in its Best Business Schools category. Indiana University Bloomington was ranked #58 among all research universities by Forbes.

johnson-wales-universityJohnson & Wales University (Providence, RI)

Established in 1914, Johnson & Wales University (JWU) is a private, NEASC-accredited institution serving nearly 11,000 students from 70 countries. JWU has five campuses and offers over 40 undergraduate and graduate programs in areas ranging from culinary arts and hospitality to business and education.

The Travel, Tourism, and Hospitality Management Bachelor of Science (B.S.) program at JWU prepares students to work in all facets of tourism, from managing high-end resorts to negotiating tours packages all over the world. Students learn strategic tourism and hospitality management skills, as well as ethical standards. After graduation students work in settings such as cruise ships, tourism offices, airlines, resorts, and other tourism operations.

Students in the internship program gain experience related to their field of study. The school provides international internships and six study abroad programs. Also, faculty members serve as personal career mentors.

Students have interned for notable companies such as:

  • Royal Caribbean
  • Walt Disney World
  • Marriot, Ritz-Carlton, and Double Tree
  • Doral Gold Resort & Spa
  • Democratic national conventions
  • ESPN
  • MTV
  • Stadiums of New England Patriots, Denver Broncos, Miami Heat, and Charlotte Bobcats

The four-year Bachelor of Travel, Tourism, and Hospitality Management program offers courses in areas such as:

  • The Hospitality Field
  • International Policies of Tourism
  • Dynamics of Tourism
  • Hospitality Strategic Marketing
  • Destination Management Organization
  • Hospitality Sales and Meeting Management
  • Food & Beverage in the Travel & Tourism Industry

The bachelor’s degree in travel, tourism, and hospitality management also includes a Familiarization Tour, a group project where teams research, schedule, and implement a tour to an exciting destination, either in the U.S. or overseas.

JWU is considered the largest food service educator in the world and was ranked #98 in Best Regional (North) University by U.S. News & World Report. Forbes also ranked Johnson & Wales University’s Providence Campus among the top undergraduate institutions in the nation.

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new york universityNew York University (New York, NY)

New York University (NYU), founded in 1831 and one of the nation’s largest private educational institutions, is known for some of its more famous graduates, such as 36 Nobel Prize–winners, 16 Pulitzer Prize–winners, and 30 Academy Award–winners.

NYU has 18 schools, colleges, and institutes with Art and Science the largest academic section of the university.

NYU offers a B.S. in Hotel and Tourism Management from the Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism, and Sports Management. The undergraduate degree prepares students for management positions in some of the world’s fastest-growing hotel, conference, and tourism sectors.

The tourism degree program provides the skills to lead ecotourism initiatives, manage tourism bureaus, and operate catering businesses and special events. Students select a concentration which suits their field of interest.

The Hotel and Tourism degree program consists of general courses, electives, and specific concentrations (15-credits each) in event management, hotel development, marketing and revenue management, organizations and operations, and tourism development.

The B.S. in Hotel and Tourism Management degree include subjects such as:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Conferences and special events
  • Lodging development
  • Brand management
  • Sports tourism
  • Casino operations

The Bachelor in Hotel and Tourism Management degree program requires students to complete 600 intern hours at two to four organizations.

NYU’s Stern School of Business’s undergraduate program was ranked #5 by U.S. News & World Report and #12 by Business Week. The Stern’s Executive MBA program was ranked #6 by U.S. News, #11 by The Economist, and #16 by BusinessWeek.

purdue universityPurdue University (West Lafayette, IN)

Purdue University, founded in 1869, is the flagship university of a six-campus accredited college system. Well known for its engineering program and world-class research, Purdue offers both undergraduate and graduate programs in 211 areas of study. The university has the fourth-largest international student population of any college in the U.S.

The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Tourism and Hospitality Management degree program offers a well-rounded, hands-on learning experience which prepares students to work in any facet of the tourism and hospitality industry, including lodging, food service, and tourism. Upon completion of the degree, students can enter work settings such as cruise lines, conventions centers, casinos, theme parks, and state tourism.

The Bachelor in Tourism and Management degree program includes general and major courses of study, internships, and a capstone course which total 120 credit hours. The paid internship program requires 400+ hours of field experience.

The Bachelor in Tourism and Hospitality Management program includes core courses such as:

  • Financial accounting for service industries
  • Lodging management
  • Human resource management
  • Cost controls in foodservice
  • Tourism law

Purdue University was ranked #23 in the list of the top public schools by U.S. News & World Report and #38 in the Midwest by Forbes.

rochester institute technologyRochester Institute of Technology (Henrietta, NY)

The Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), founded in 1829, is a private, accredited university in the Rochester, New York, metropolitan area. RIT, comprised of nine colleges, is widely known for its fine arts, engineering, and imaging science programs.

The Master of Science (M.S.) in Hospitality and Tourism Management program focuses primarily on branding, economic management, hospitality business planning, and development of quality processes.

The Master in Hospitality and Tourism Management program provides students the advanced skills they need to deliver excellence in leadership within many corporate settings, government policy positions, and tourism agencies, as well as postsecondary academic institutions.

The Hospitality and Tourism Management Master degree covers a range of courses, such as strategic organizational change, financial and service performance metrics, development and marketing of resorts and hotels, and brand management.

To graduate from the Master in Hospitality and Tourism Management program, students must complete undergraduate work, 30 credit hours worth of core program courses, and a graduate project or exam.

Several of the school’s fine arts programs continually rank in the “Top 10″ according to the U.S. News & World Report. In addition, U.S. News ranks RIT #30 among Best Engineering Colleges by Salary Potential in the U.S. Princeton Review ranks RIT’s video game design program as one of the top 10 programs in the country.

saint leo universitySaint Leo University (St. Leo, FL)

Established in 1889, Saint Leo University is an accredited, private, Roman Catholic liberal arts university named after Pope Leo the Great. The university now manages 17 continuing education centers in seven states and offers over 40 undergraduate and graduate degrees.

The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in International Tourism and Hospitality Management program includes a heavy emphasis on international studies. The program prepares students for an extensive range of positions in the hospitality and tourism industry, such as:

  • Restaurant management
  • Event management
  • Hotel & resort management
  • Tourism management

The B.A. in International Tourism and Hospitality Management degree includes general liberal arts courses, combined with specialization courses and electives which total 120 credits. Some of the course topics include introduction to hospitality management, meetings and event management, lodging operations, and guest services management.

Saint Leo was named by U.S. News & World Report as one of the “Top Universities in the South.”

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temple universityTemple University, School of Tourism and Hospitality Management (Philadelphia, PA)

Temple University, an accredited, public university, ranks among the nation’s largest professional education institutions offering over 300 academic degree programs at seven campuses and sites in Pennsylvania and around the world. Temple’s Fox School of Business is one of the largest business schools in the region and the country.

The School of Tourism and Hospitality Management’s Bachelor of Science (BS) in Tourism and Hospitality Management program prepares students for entry- and mid-level occupations in hospitality and tourism management. Students are prepared to work in convention and visitors’ bureaus, conference centers, resorts, casinos, hotels, theme parks, and theaters.

To earn a B.S. in Tourism and Hospitality Management, students must complete three courses within their major concentration area, a capstone course, and an internship in a position closely related to their chosen major.

The Bachelor in Tourism and Hospitality Management degree program offers classes such as:

  • The Business of Tourism and Hospitality
  • Global Issues in Tourism and Hospitality Management
  • Managing Organizations in Tourism and Hospitality
  • Financial Issues in Tourism ands Hospitality
  • Legal Issues in Tourism and Hospitality
  • Hospitality Management Systems

Temple University was ranked #60 on the top public schools list, #9 among undergraduate international business programs, and #58 on the best graduate business schools list, by U.S. News & World Report. Temple’s Fox School of Business undergraduate program was ranked #56 in the nation by U.S. News, while Fortune magazine named Temple in their “America’s Best Colleges for Entrepreneurs: 25 top programs for undergrads.” According to Princeton Review, Temple is considered one of the “Best Northeastern Colleges” and has the #35 best entrepreneurial undergraduate programs in the nation.

texas-a-mTexas A&M University (College Station, TX)

Texas A&M University, a public, accredited research university founded in 1876 and located in College Station, Texas, has one of the largest campuses in the U.S., covering 5,500 acres. The campus includes the George Bush Presidential Library. Texas A&M University is known for its contributions to such fields as animal cloning and petroleum engineering.

The Texas A&M’s Bachelor of Science (B.S.) with a major in Recreation, Park, and Tourism Sciences (RPTS) curriculum includes an initial two years of building a foundation in the arts and sciences, as well as the history of recreation, tourism, and park sciences. The last two years focus on preparing students with the necessary skills and training for entry-level and professional positions within the field.

Students within the RPTS program take general courses and electives, as well as concentration courses.

The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) with a major in Recreation, Park, and Tourism Sciences provides courses including management development, planning, financing and fundraising, marketing, and social and behavioral sciences.

Upon completion of the RPTS program, graduates may enter fields such as private sector enterprises, government agencies, non-profit organizations, youth camps, program planning and evaluation, and environmental education programs.

Texas A&M was ranked #23 on the top public schools list by U.S. News & World Report. The National Science Foundation recognized Texas A&M as one of 20 premiere research institutions.

university central floridaUniversity of Central Florida (Orlando, FL)

Founded in 1963, the University of Central Florida (UCF), an accredited public research institution, is the second-largest university in the nation by enrollment. In addition, the University of Central Florida, well known as a space-grant school, has made several important contributions in optics, modeling and simulation, digital media, and engineering research.

The Master of Science (M.S.) in Hospitality and Tourism Management degree provides professionals with an interactive learning environment to build upon their existing strengths, as well as broaden their industry knowledge for future growth.

The Master in Hospitality and Tourism Management program consists of electives and a minimum of 36 credit hours for students who choose the thesis option, and 39 credit hours for students who choose the non-thesis option. Students choosing a non-thesis option need to complete capstone course which includes a project and paper.

The Master in Hospitality and Tourism Management program includes core courses with subjects such as:

  • Lodging management
  • International tourism
  • Food services management
  • Strategic issues in tourism and hospitality
  • Financial analysis of hospitality enterprises
  • Research methods

U.S. News & World Report ranked UCF as the fifth-best “Up-and-Coming” national university (2013), #97 among public universities, and #174 overall on the list of Tier I National Universities. Kiplinger rated UCF #42 among the “Best Values in Public Colleges” in the United States (2013), and Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report both ranked UCF as one of “50 Best Value Public Universities.” In addition, UCF is also listed among “The Best 376 Colleges” and the “Best Southeastern Colleges” by Princeton Review.

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university-hawaii-manoaUniversity of Hawaii (Honolulu, HI)

The University of Hawaii, established in 1907, is an accredited, public, research university system. The system’s flagship campus, located in the Manoa neighborhood of Honolulu, consists of four Arts and Sciences colleges. University of Hawaii Manoa is known for its marine biology, oceanography, underwater robotic technology, and astronomy programs.

The Bachelors in Tourism Industry Management program focuses on strategic issues and applications of theory related to transportation systems and tourism destination management. Undergraduates may take a combined course load of tourism and transportation courses or choose classes which focus on one area.

The tourism and transportation core courses focus on various subjects such as:

  • Travel and transportation distribution systems
  • Tour operations
  • Cultural aspects of tourism
  • Cultural destination management
  • Airline management
  • Distribution and industry trends
  • International air and marine transportation

To complete the program students must take a capstone course on advances in tourism and transportation policy and finish an internship which encompasses 800 hours of work experience.

University of Hawaii Manoa was ranked #83 on the Top Public Schools list by U.S. News & World Report.

university massaachusetts amherstUniversity of Massachusetts (Amherst, MA)

The University of Massachusetts (UMass), founded in 1863 as a public land-grant university system, is the largest public university in New England with more than 27,000 students. Its flagship campus is located in Amherst. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching reports the University of Massachusetts Amherst has very high research activity.

The Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management (HTM) at Umass Amherst, regarded as one of the top hospitality programs in the world, is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration.

The Bachelor of Hospitality and Tourism Management program with a concentration in tourism, convention, and management at the UMass Amherst Isenberg School of Management provides a challenging combination of hospitality and business curriculum and a choice of concentration within a specific field such as Tourism/Convention/Event Management. The concentration covers the economic, social, and commercial philosophies of tourism and travel, and includes all aspects of hospitality.

To graduate with this degree, students must satisfy several requirements, including completing 120 credits in all general and concentration courses, apprenticeship with professionals in the hospitality field, and a study program. Some of the major courses include hospitality research methods, hospitality real estate, labor resources, and resort management.

In 2012, U.S. News & World Report ranked UMass Amherst #94 for America’s Best Colleges on their list of “Best National Universities,” and #42 among public universities. The same magazine also ranked UMass Amherst among the Top 10 Great College Towns in America in 2012.

university new hampshireUniversity of New Hampshire (Durham, NH)

The University of New Hampshire (UNH), an accredited university with over 15,000 students, is the largest university in the state. UNH has seven colleges and a graduate school and offers more than 2,000 courses in over 100 majors.

The Bachelors in Science (B.S.) in Tourism Planning and Development program combines a liberal education with a professional curriculum to create a broad understanding of subjects in tourism, as well as global and social development.

All students must complete a core curriculum and select from one of two focus areas: international tourism development or regional tourism planning. In addition, seniors must complete a Capstone project either by taking a course, creating a project, or working in a professional internship which involves a 14–16 hour work week.

The Bachelors in Tourism Planning and Development program includes core courses such as:

  • Community planning
  • Marketing
  • Statistical methods of planning
  • Tourism planning and development
  • Economics of travel and tourism
  • Tourism and global understanding

UNH is the only public institution in New England to place in the top 10 for number of Fulbright fellowships awarded. The university was ranked #10 in Best Entrepreneurial College in the nation by Princeton Review, while U.S. & World Report ranked UNH #106 in national universities.

university-north-texasUniversity of North Texas, College of Merchandising, Hospitality, & Tourism (Denton, TX)

The University of North Texas (UNT), founded in 1890 and formerly known as North Texas State University, is an accredited, public research university with an enrollment of more than 35, 778 students, making it the fourth largest university in the state of Texas.

The College of Merchandising, Hospitality, & Tourism Master of Science (M.S.) in International Sustainable Tourism (MIST) degree program, a joint program between UNT and CATIE (The Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center in Turrialba, Costa Rica), is the first of its kind in the nation. Students complete the first two semesters at the University of North Texas and the last three semesters at CATIE.

The coursework prepares students for management positions in the international sustainable tourism industry and provides knowledge of policy aspects in operational and hospitality management. To complete the Master in International Sustainable Tourism program, students must earn a minimum of 36 credit hours, take a capstone course with professional field experience, and complete all concentration courses in subjects including tourism services management and marketing, planning and policy in sustainable tourism, environmental impact assessment, natural resource management, and sustainable tourism.

In 2013, U.S. News & World Report ranked UNT #20 in the “Best Online Education Programs” among the Best Online Graduate Business Programs in the nation.

university southern maineUniversity of Southern Maine (Portland, ME)

The University of Southern Maine (USM), founded in 1878, is an accredited, public, comprehensive university with about 7,500 undergraduate students and 2,320 graduate and law school students. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business has provided accreditation to the USM School of Business.

The Bachelors of Arts (B.A.) in Tourism and Hospitality degree provides an educational base in areas such as social and natural sciences, recreation, business, and planning to provide a comprehensive understanding of tourism as a world-wide industry and source of economic and social change. Undergraduates can select from several concentrations within the degree including:

  • Tourism Products and Promotion
  • Managing in Tourism and Hospitality
  • Sustainable Tourism and Hospitality
  • Tourism Development and Planning
  • Nature-Based Tourism and Ecotourism
  • Cultural, Arts and Heritage Tourism

In addition to these concentrations, students take electives drawn from a number of disciplines, as well as a capstone project or an internship which allows them to apply their education in a real-world situation. Students are also required to demonstrate intercultural skills through completing a cultural project or taking a language other than English.

Some of the required concentration courses include global issues in travel and tourism, product development, tourism and hospitality management, nature-based tourism, and research in tourism and hospitality.

According to Princeton Review, the university is among the “Best Northeastern Colleges,” and is cited among “America’s Best Value Colleges.” The University of Southern Maine was ranked #41 on the top public schools list by U.S. News & World Report.

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