Sustainable Tourism Graduate Certificate Programs

Updated: Dec 27, 2023

Several educational institutions offer graduate certificates in sustainable tourism, which allows students to enhance their career opportunities or start a new career in the growing field of sustainable tourism. Some prospective students may wonder what sustainable tourism is and where to pursue a graduate certificate in sustainable tourism.

The United Nations quotes the World Tourism Organization, which defines sustainable tourism as "tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment, and host communities.”

What Are the Online Sustainable Tourism Graduate Certificate Requirements?

East Carolina University offers an online graduate certificate in sustainable tourism that consists of 12 semester hours of courses. Students learn about the foundations of sustainable tourism, both at home and around the globe.

Students must comply with general admission requirements, which include submitting an application to the school and the program. Applicants are also required to complete and submit other required documents. The university indicates that the requirements that are specific to acceptance into the online graduate certificate in sustainable tourism program include a minimum of at least one, but is not limited to one of the following:

  • A minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.7
  • Enrollment in a graduate degree program at the school
  • Completion of a graduate degree
  • Five years of progressive professional experience and an undergraduate degree

What Type of Classes are Included in the Online Sustainable Tourism Graduate Certificate Curriculum?

Arizona State University indicates that students enrolled in the online sustainable tourism graduate certificate program learn sustainable planning and management for businesses and destinations. Students develop skills to integrate the social, economic, and environmental aspects of tourism into "new and existing ventures," and learn to balance the need for profit. The students learn the importance of sustainability and other skills as they complete program courses.

Arizona State University explains that the courses in the online sustainable tourism graduate certificate program were "built from the ground up." There are five required core courses. Students also choose one elective course from two options.

  • Sustainable Thinking in Tourism I
  • Sustainable Thinking in Tourism II
  • Sustainable Tourism
  • Sustainable Tourism Destination Planning and Management I
  • Sustainable Tourism Destination Planning and Management II
  • Managing the Sustainable Tourism Business or Sustainable Food Management in Tourism

What Type of Careers Can I Pursue with an Online Sustainable Tourism Certificate?

One of the newest colleges that grants degrees and graduate certificates at the University of South Florida is the Patel College of Global Sustainability. The mission of the college is to achieve sustainable development, both on a local and global level, through the fostering of social, environmental, and economic sustainability.

The school strives to prepare students for a variety of career options by offering a dynamic curriculum, featuring "top-notch" internship experiences, and through other opportunities that are available to students who are enrolled in the sustainable tourism certificate program. The university lists career openings on the site, which provides an example of career possibilities for graduates. Some examples include:

  • Sustainability Program Manager: Responsible for managing sustainability strategies at a company or organization that includes enacting and enforcing policies that will sustain both current and future generations while assuring compliance with environmental legislation.
  • Venue Sustainability Coordinator: Works with venue leaders, a government agency, or a nonprofit organization to create and implement a comprehensive zero waste plan and provides administrative and executive support to help the organization or client achieve sustainability goals.
  • Ecotourism Specialist: A specialist who is devoted to sustaining nature, demonstrating how to see the world while causing little harm to the environment, planning, coordinating, and overseeing the development of an ecotourism strategy and action plan. Some ecotourism specialists or guides work in a specific region or geographical area and have expertise related to wildlife, ecosystems, and climate.

Sustainable Tourism Graduate Certificate Programs List

Interested in a sustainable tourism graduate certificate program? Check out our listings below to find a traditional, online, or hybrid program near you.


Arizona State UniversityTempe, AZOnline - Sustainable Tourism


San Diego State UniversitySan Diego, CASustainable Tourism


University of South FloridaTampa, FLHybrid - Sustainable Tourism

North Carolina

East Carolina UniversityGreenville, NCSustainable Tourism

Do we need to add to or update any of the information listed? Please contact us so we can keep our site updated.

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