CSU now offering a master’s degree in tourism

Many CSU students come to the university for a piece of the state’s well-known outdoor scene. Now they’ll be able to profit from the local tourism industry in the classroom as well as outside.

CSU’s Warner College of Natural Resources, in collaboration with the College of Business, is offering a master’s degree in tourism management.

The nine-month program seeks any who wish to have a background in tourism with even deeper backgrounds in business management and natural resource conservation.

“We are unique with our focus on the nature based tourism which has a lot of demand after talking to people in the industry,” course designer Allan Bright said.

One of the distinguishing characteristics of the master’s program is how it collaborates with the College of Business.

“This degree is strongly business-oriented with research methods and data, but we also try to focus on natural resources-based tourism, sustainability and the use of natural resources,” Bright said.

The growing field of tourism has placed a lot of demand on students to have a background in sustainable tourism, often seen as the confluence of business management and natural resource conservation.

“As tourism grows and depends more heavily on natural resources, it is increasingly critical for tourism professionals to have applicable knowledge of sustainable tourism management practices,” CSU professor and department head Mike Manfredo said.

Students will go through a hybrid of online and on-campus classes because of the length of courses. The eight-week long tourism classes will be offered through CSU OnlinePlus, while the semester-long business courses will take place on-campus.

For those who aren’t familiar with online classes or who may not like them may not have much to worry about. The tourism section which has a majority of courses online will have weekly meetings for discussions and student help.

“We are excited to have students take three credits in the College of Business. They were very helpful to us and were willing to put our students into elective classes to make this degree possible,” Academic Support Coordinator Jacqie Hasan said.

Students don’t have to be well-versed in the field of business to get into the program, but will have to provide three letters of references and transcripts if they are applying from a school other than CSU.

Degree seekers will start out with an Intro to Tourism Principles class for those who may not have much background of the industry and classes such as Natural Resource Management and Tourism, Global Tourism Policy, Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation.

“We want to be as interdisciplinary as possible, allowing our students to go with another college,” Hasan said.

As such, master’s candidates can count on having strong backgrounds in business and tourism for prospective jobs in the future upon graduation.

“Tourism is big in Colorado right now, with a background in business and tourism, we want to help people hit the big points in the industry today — private or government,” Bright said.

 

Collegian Writer Moonier Said can be reached at news@collegian.com.