If you want to work at a travel agency, you can complete an undergraduate degree or certificate in travel and tourism, or a closely related field. Relevant programs are available at two-year colleges and four-year universities.
10 Schools with Travel Agency Programs
Following is a list of universities and colleges that offer 2- and 4-year degree options.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition (2015-2016)*|
|University of North Dakota||Grand Forks, ND||4-year, Public||Undergraduate||$7,965 (resident), $18,899 (nonresident)|
|Ashworth College||Norcross, GA (online)||2-year, Private||Certificate||$659|
|University of Central Florida||Orlando, FL||4-year, Public||Undergraduate, Graduate||$6,368/$6,916 (undergraduate/graduate, resident), $22,467/$25,769 (undergraduate/graduate, nonresident)|
|Penn Foster Career School||Scranton, PA||2-year, Private||Certificate||$659|
|George Mason University||Fairfax, VA||4-year, Public||Undergraduate||$10,952 (resident), $31,598 (nonresident)|
|Brookhaven College||Farmers Branch, TX||2-year, Public||Training||$1,795|
|City College of San Francisco||San Francisco, CA||2-year, Public||Certificate, Undergraduate||$1,598 (resident), $7,554 (nonresident)|
|University of Massachusetts (Amherst)||Amherst, MA||4-year, Public||Undergraduate||$14,171 (resident), $30,504 (nonresident)|
|Miami Dade College||Miami, FL||4-year, Public||Undergraduate||$2,834 (resident), $9,661 (nonresident)|
|Houston Community College||Houston, TX||2-year, Public||Certificate, Undergraduate||$1,632 (resident), $3,360 (nonresident)|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
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School Selection Criteria
Consider the following when looking for travel agency schools:
- Prospective students who want to learn the basics of travel and tourism but not invest too much time or money may prefer an undergraduate certificate or associate's degree option.
- A bachelor's degree program can help prepare individuals for management positions at travel agencies.
- Students may want to look for schools that facilitate internship opportunities or include them within the curriculum.
- A school that is located in a common tourist destination, such as Florida or California, may offer a wider variety of internships, as well as increased employment opportunities after graduation.
Undergraduate Certificate Programs
Undergraduate certificate programs provide focused career training for aspiring travel agents. They typically last for one year or less and include classes on topics such as travel geography, hospitality marketing and tourism planning. Often, courses are available in the evenings or online, in order to make scheduling more convenient for students. In addition to general undergraduate certificates, some schools also offer more specialized certificates on topics such as tourism management and sustainable travel.
Associate's Degree Programs
Individuals who are interested in becoming travel agents can get a relevant education through an associate's degree program in travel and tourism. These programs cover many of the same topics as general undergraduate certificate programs, but they also include general education coursework. In addition, some schools allow students to specialize their studies in a particular area of the tourism field, such as marketing, management or destination development.
Bachelor's Degree Programs
Because they last for four years instead of two years, bachelor's degree programs in travel and tourism are more comprehensive than associate's degree programs. Students have a chance to take courses in more specialized tourism-related topics, such as tourism transportation systems, special events planning and international tourism. In addition, they take more general business courses, which can provide preparation for management roles at travel agencies in the future.
For prospective students wanting to pursue careers travel, there are several options available in hospitality and tourism at various degree levels. Students can choose between undergraduate certificate, associate's degree and bachelor's degree programs.