Program type:


On Campus
Est. time to complete:

2 years
Credit Hours:

Make a career out of protecting the planet.
Sustainable tourism strives to meet the needs of the present tourist market without compromising the resources of future generations. This leading-edge tourism specialty balances environmental, economic, and socio-cultural benefits and concerns.

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Why Earn an International Sustainable Tourism Masters?

This program is a joint Master of Science degree in International Sustainable Tourism (MIST) between UNT and CATIE (The Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center) in Turrialba, Costa Rica.

Our MIST program provides you with unique opportunities such as:

  • Analysis of sustainable tourism in the USA and Costa Rica
  • Hospitality applications of sustainable tourism
  • Operational and policy perspectives of sustainable tourism
  • International instruction from industry experts and experienced researchers
Marketable Skills
  • Understanding of sustainable tourism development
  • Application of appropriate research methods
  • Research presentation
  • Governmental strategic planning
  • Best practice identification and facilitation

International Sustainable Tourism Master's Highlights

CATIE has strategic alliances with public and private universities, research centers, nonprofit organizations, corporations, and government entities around the globe.
The UNT-CATIE joint master’s degree is the first of its kind in the U.S.
In this two-year program, you will spend the first two semesters at UNT and the last two semesters at CATIE in Turrialba, Costa Rica. All courses are taught in English.
The Graduate Student Writing Support office can help you with writing, and the Center for Interdisciplinary Research offers assistance with statistical research.
The Toulouse Graduate School® offers several professional development workshops, many of them available online for your convenience.
CATIE combines scientific research, graduate education and technical cooperation to create equilibrium between conservation and sustainable production.

What Can You do With a Master's in International Sustainable Tourism?

The travel sector is one of the world's biggest industries. One of every 10 jobs globally comes from the travel and tourism sector, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council. It's vital for tourism development professionals to understand the interdependencies of economic benefits, environmental impacts, and social and cultural resources. The course work will prepare you for management and leadership positions in the international sustainable tourism industry or advancement toward a doctoral degree.

International Sustainable Tourism Master's Courses You Could Take

Planning and Policy in Sustainable Tourism (3 hrs)
Examines strategic policy development and implementation as it relates to sustainable tourism development and management. Emphasis is placed on public and private policy, planning strategies and techniques, and strategic management as process in sustainable tourism development.
Environmental Impact Assessment (3 hrs)
Principles and practices of preparing environmental impact assessments and statements. Addresses how to understand the effects that projects, plans and policies have on the environment and the impact those effects have on specific resources, ecosystems and human communities.
Sustainable Natural Resource Management (3 hrs)
Examines the fundamental changes affecting the world that impact institutions and attitudes toward more sustainable natural resource management. Problems with the depletion of the ozone layer, global warming, deforestation, species decimation, coastal erosion, wetlands protection, acid rain, water pollution, solid and hazardous waste disposal, toxic air emissions, and other environmental problems of similar magnitude require changes in industry.
Environmental Policies in a Changing World (3 hrs)
Comprehensive overview of the theory and application of environmental policy. Policy instruments for environmental and natural resource management are explored in an industry-based context. Explores Costa Rica’s national strategy for sustainable development and its policy implications for the sustainable tourism industry.
Socio-Cultural Contexts of Sustainable Tourism Development (3 hrs)
Examines social and cultural elements that contribute to the complexity of sustainable tourism development and management. Emphasis is placed on understanding the tourist, considering the tourist-host relationship, and the socio-cultural and socio-economic impacts of travel and tourism.
International Sustainable Tourism (3 hrs)
Examines the philosophy, concepts and attitudes prevalent in practices of sustainable tourism in global destinations. Emphasizes the social/cultural, environmental and economic elements of sustainable tourism development. The variety of ways sustainable tourism activities are organized internationally and best practices are explored.

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