UNT and Costa Rican institution to offer graduate degree in international sustainable tourism

DENTON (UNT), Texas — Travel and tourism is the second-largest services export industry in the U.S., with the industry being one of the nation’s largest employers. Sustainable tourism — tourism development that strives to meet the needs of the present tourism market without compromising the resources of future generations — is a tourism specialty that balances environmental, economic and socio-cultural benefits and concerns.

A new master’s degree in the University of North Texas School of Merchandising and Hospitality Management will educate students for management and leadership positions in this specialty as UNT’s first joint international graduate degree.

The degree is the first of its kind in the U.S., offering students an interdisciplinary perspective on sustainability and tourism with one year of study at UNT and one year of study in Costa Rica.

Recently approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the master of science degree with major in international sustainable tourism will provide students with 36 hours of coursework at both the UNT campus and CATIE, an international higher education, research and development center in Turrialba, Costa Rica.

The degree program will begin in Fall 2010, and competitive scholarships are available. Students are strongly encouraged to apply for the program and scholarships by July 1.

The students will spend the first year of the degree at UNT, completing courses in sustainable tourism and hospitality operations taught in the Hospitality Management program. They also will take courses in environmental impact assessment and environmental ethics.

The students will complete their second year at CATIE. Their courses, including natural resource management and environmental policies, will be taught in English. During their second year, they also will spend a final semester on a capstone Field/Practical/Professional Experience with Research and complete a comprehensive examination.

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