Travel and Tourism Schools in the U.S.

Students selecting a travel and tourism school have a multitude of considerations to take into account. Important factors include the types of degree programs available, concentrations within the field and availability of internships. Read on to learn about how to choose a travel and tourism school that best fits your needs, and to view schools in the U.S. that offer degrees in these fields.

Programs in travel and tourism are available at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Student's may earn an associate's, bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree in the field; certificate programs are also available.

Schools with Travel and Tourism Degree Programs

The following schools offer degrees and/or certificates in tourism and travel:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition and Fees (2015-16)*
Arizona State University - Downtown Phoenix Phoenix, AZ 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Undergraduate Certificate Undergrad: $10,158 in-state, $25,458 out-of-state
Miami Dade College Miami, FL 4-year, primarily associate's, Public Associate's Undergrad: $2,834 in-state, $9,661 out-of-state
Texas A&M University - College Station College Station, TX 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's Undergrad: $10,176 in-state, $28,768 out-of-state
Grad: $8,658 in-state, $18,183 out-of-state
College of Southern Nevada Las Vegas, NV 4-year, primarily associate's, Public Associate's, Undergraduate Certificate Undergrad: $2,805 in-state, $9,450 out-of-state
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Indianapolis, IN 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Undergraduate certificate Undergrad: $9,056 in-state, $29,774 out-of-state
University of Texas at San Antonio San Antonio, TX 4-year, Public Bachelor's Undergrad: $7,447 in-state, $17,169 out-of-state
University of South Carolina-Columbia Columbia, SC 4-year, Public Bachelor's Undergrad: $11,482 in-state, $30,298 out-of-state
George Washington University Washington, DC 4-year, Private not-for-profit Master's Grad: $27,851

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator

School Selection Criteria

It's helpful to consider the following while choosing a travel and tourism school:

  • Take into account whether the school offers specializations within the broader field of travel and tourism. Examples of emphasis areas within the field include beverage, lodging and food service management.
  • Different degree programs may be appropriate based on your previous educational background and your desired position within the travel and tourism industry, such as management or accounting.
  • The availability of internships or partner programs may also influence a student's decision to attend a particular school. Gaining real world training is a valuable educational experience and gives students a foot in the door to the working world.
  • If you are already working full-time but want to earn a certificate or master's degree to redirect your career, you may want to try to find a program that offers part-time scheduling options or online coursework.

Associate's Degree Programs

Two-year associate's degree programs in travel and tourism provide an introduction to the industry, covering the industry terms, business practices, marketing strategies, legal issues and software that students will need to understand in order to get an entry-level job in the field. These programs also include general education requirements. Depending on the school, they may award an Associate of Science (AS) or Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree.

Certificate Programs

Certificate programs typically cover the same introductory topics as associate's degree programs, but they do not include general education coursework. Some programs also focus on a single topic within the field, such as destinations or sustainable travel. Usually, certificate programs usually take one year or less to complete.

Bachelor's Degree Programs

Bachelor's degree programs in tourism, hospitality or tourism management can lead to a Bachelor of Science (BS) or Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree. These programs include the same basic training as associate's degree programs, in addition to more specialized elective coursework. At some schools, students can choose a focus area such as tourism promotion, sport and adventure tourism, culinary tourism or sustainable tourism. In addition, many programs require students to complete one or two internships prior to graduation.

Master's Degree Programs

At the master's degree level, programs are offered in tourism management or tourism administration. These advanced programs prepare students for leadership positions in the field by focusing specifically on the management-related aspects of hospitality industry. They may also allow students to choose a particular concentration, such as sport management, hospitality management or event & meeting management. In order to accommodate working professionals, programs may be offered part-time or entirely online.

Doctoral Programs

At some business schools it is possible to earn a PhD in Business with a concentration in travel and tourism. Students in these programs take advanced courses in relevant topics such as hospitality, statistics, management, marketing, sociology and psychology, and they research and write a doctoral dissertation on a tourism-related topic. These programs usually take four years to complete.

A variety of travel and tourism programs, from certificates to graduate degrees, are available at schools across the country. When finding a school, take a look at the available programs, degree levels and specializations offered, along with opportunities to gain industry experience.

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