Online Master of Sustainable Tourism

Sustainable tourism centers around identifying and mitigating the potentially negative results of travel on local communities. The ultimate goal is to make tourism more equitable and enriching for everyone involved. By completing a sustainable tourism degree, you’ll learn how to:

  • Design effective strategies to lessen or eliminate the impact of travel on local communities.
  • Discover and interpret travel-related issues.

Why earn a master’s degree in sustainable tourism?


A master’s degree in sustainable tourism affirms your knowledge and capabilities in the travel sector. It shows that you can:

  • Balance the need for profit with the importance of sustainability.
  • Craft equitable, environmentally-conscious responses to issues and opportunities in the travel industry.
  • Take all stakeholders into account when making decisions.

Travelers, communities and businesses are paying more attention to sustainability, as are government agencies and nongovernmental organizations. Demand for sustainable tourism will likely continue to increase, leading to growing opportunities for qualified professionals.

What industries are hiring sustainable tourism professionals?


You’ll have many possible career paths to consider with a degree in sustainable tourism. Because sustainable tourism considers all stakeholders when working to address issues associated with travel, the tourism industry is a major employer of students who graduate from ecotourism degree programs. However, the tourism industry is far from the only economic sector where you may find a career. A range of government departments and nongovernmental organizations have interests in sustainable tourism, and these groups employ skilled graduates to fill a variety of roles.

What skills will I earn in this online sustainable tourism degree program?


As a student working toward a sustainable tourism degree, you’ll learn about the foundational concepts of sustainability and how they apply to the travel industry. One key area of focus is the three pillars of sustainability: social equity, protection of the environment and economic viability. Along with specialized knowledge and talents, you’ll develop more broadly applicable skills, like critical thinking and effective communication.

Program Field of Study
Master of Sustainable Tourism
Program Focus
Sustainable Tourism
Program Name Abbreviation
Sustainable Tourism (MST)
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A sustainable tourism degree holder engages in fieldwork in a desert environment.
Program Description Intro

Sustainability is an increasingly important topic across the globe. Through Arizona State University’s online sustainable tourism degree, you’ll learn about the environmental, social and economic aspects of travel. After completing this degree, you’ll be prepared to create pioneering, sustainable solutions for the various challenges facing tourism today.

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The curriculum for the sustainable tourism degree emphasizes courses focused on the unique issues in this field. As the culminating experience for the degree, you’ll prepare a project that combines theory and practice. Featured courses include:

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Multiple enrollment sessions throughout the year.
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Sustainable Tourism, Master of, Online
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Online sustainable tourism degree courses
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Educators emphasizing a sustainable future

The impressive faculty in the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions are inspiring the next generation of public service leaders through real-world solutions to issues around child welfare, safety, city management, human trafficking and water scarcity. Recent faculty highlights include:

  • Researchers for the Center for Sustainable Tourism.
  • Director of Hainan University – Arizona State University International Tourism College
  • Fellow of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.
  • Fellow of the American Psychological Association.
  • Member of the National Academy of Public Administration.
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A college dedicated to positive change
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The Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions is a comprehensive public service college dedicated to addressing social problems through teaching, research and service. Our public service programs, from public policy to social work and criminal justice to emergency management, are designed to help prepare our diverse student body to make a difference in the community.

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in the U.S. and #7 in the world for hospitality, leisure, sport and tourism, according to the Center for World University Rankings.

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Top 3
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best homeland security programs, according to U.S. News & World Report.

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Master of Nonprofit Leadership and Management in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report.

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Top 10
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best online master’s in criminal justice programs, according to U.S. News & World Report.

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Top 15
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best public affairs programs, according to U.S. News & World Report.

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Top 10%
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of graduate programs in social work, according to U.S. News & World Report.
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research centers.

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academic programs offered online.

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Top 5
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best online master's in criminal justice programs for veterans, according to U.S. News & World Report.

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Master of Sustainable Tourism admission requirements
Admission requirement description

Applicants to the Master of Sustainable Tourism program must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions.

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Application requirements

Applicants must have a minimum of a 3.00 cumulative GPA in the last 60 hours of their bachelor's program. Alternatively, prospective students must have a minimum of a 3.00 cumulative GPA in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  • Graduate admission application and application fee.
  • Letters of recommendation.
  • Official transcripts.
Letters of recommendation requirements

The online application will require three letters of recommendation. These should be from current or former employers, current or former faculty members or others familiar with the applicant's scholarly and professional abilities. Required are the names, email addresses, titles and organizations from whom the student will be requesting recommendations. The three referees will be emailed a link to complete an online recommendation form.

Additional admission information

An applicant whose native language is not English (regardless of current residency) must provide proof of English proficiency.


Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree in criminology or criminal justice, public administration or public service, sociology or social work, public safety or fire service management, parks and recreation management, applied sciences or another closely related field from a regionally accredited college or university.

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What is sustainable tourism?
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Will my sustainable tourism degree say 'online'?
No, Arizona State University’s diplomas don’t specify whether you earn your degree online or in person. All diplomas and transcripts simply say “Arizona State University.” That’s because ASU Online students learn from the same faculty and receive the same course content as in-person students receive.
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