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Best Masters Degrees in Travel and Tourism: School List

See which highly ranked schools offer master's degree programs in tourism and travel. Learn more about these schools and the programs they offer, and find out why they stand out. View article »

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  • 0:04 School Overviews
  • 1:05 University of Central Florida
  • 1:54 George Washington University
  • 2:59 Arizona State University
  • 3:45 Top Master's Programs

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Video Transcript

School Overviews

At the master's degree level, travel and tourism programs may be offered as Master of Science, Master of Business Administration, Master of Advanced Study, or professional degrees. They provide the training necessary for upper-level jobs in the industry. A master's degree program in hospitality and tourism management qualifies graduates for management and administration positions in the industry. Two of the schools discussed in this lesson offer students a front row look at the travel and tourism industry because of their location. The University of Central Florida is located in the hub of a tourism community, with over 75 theme parks and other travel destinations in the area. George Washington University is in the heart of downtown Washington, D.C., where students have access to international tourism organizations, firms, and events. The third school offers a convenient online study option. Each school was also nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report.

University of Central Florida in Orlando

School Highlight: The University of Central Florida was ranked #93 among the best public schools in the country for 2017.

The Rosen College of Hospitality Management offers a Master of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management with thesis or non-thesis alternatives. The thesis option is designed for those interested in the science of the tourism industry and plan further doctoral study. Students preparing for leadership roles in the travel and tourism industry might benefit by taking more elective courses rather than completing a research thesis. Classes include tourism information technology, law and ethics, travel and tourism economics, and managerial accounting.

George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

School Highlight: The World Tourism Organization awarded the TedQual certification to George Washington University, recognizing the quality of the education offered in the school's Master of Tourism Administration program.

U.S. News & World Report ranked the university's business school 51st in the country for 2016. The Master of Tourism Administration (MTA) offers a concentration in sustainable tourism destination management. Classes include environmental management, ecotourism, cultural heritage tourism, and marketing. The school also offers an accelerated, distance-learning MTA program for mid-career professionals.

GWU's School of Business also offers a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a specialization in tourism, hospitality, event, and sport management. The program is designed to prepare students for management positions in commercial or entrepreneurial ventures.

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Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ

School Highlight: The school offers an online master's program in sustainable tourism.

Arizona State University offers a Master of Advanced Study in Sustainable Tourism degree entirely online. The program is highly interdisciplinary, combining topics in environmental studies, economics, food management, and cultural studies. The program concludes with a final project in which students apply their knowledge to a real-world situation. Depending on the track they choose, students can complete the program in either 12 or 24 months. For 2017, ASU's online graduate non-MBA business programs were ranked #3 by U.S. News & World Report.

Top Master's Programs

Here are some more universities that confer master's degrees in travel and tourism management.

College/University Name Distinction Location
East Carolina University Operates the Center for Sustainable Tourism that performs research and community outreach Greenville, NC
Florida International University Students can get experience through the department's collaborative Marriott Tianjin, China, program Miami, FL
New York University Students can learn from and interact with industry professionals through the program's Distinguished Lecture Series New York, NY
North Carolina State University Online professional master's degree program features seven-week semesters Raleigh, NC
Purdue University Department runs two restaurants, a catering business, and coffee shop where students can get hands-on hospitality industry experience West Lafayette, IN
Temple University Graduate students participate in consulting projects with industry professionals before graduation Philadelphia, PA
Texas A&M University Extension service includes tourism programs that offer students opportunities for industry experience College Station, TX
University of North Texas Offers a joint master's degree in sustainable tourism with an institution in Costa Rica Denton, TX

Master's degree programs in travel and tourism are available at schools around the country. Some of the best schools are located in tourism hot spots, while others offer particular specialty areas, like sustainability.

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