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Tourism Management M.T.M.

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Degree Overview Open Accordion

CSU's online master's in tourism management helps you develop your business management acumen, enhance your knowledge of industry practices, and understand the social and environmental impacts of global tourism — so you can live the lifestyle you love while working to create positive experiences for others.

Gain the advanced skills to thrive in an evolving industry

Global events, an evolving market, and new technology have all changed the way people engage in tourism activities. As a result, more consumers now seek regional experiences with greater personalization and a focus on sustainable, meaningful, and authentic experiences.

Start building the industry-specific knowledge you need to become a well-rounded leader in a tourism management role.

Learn a whole-system approach

Gain foundational skills as you study a holistic, integrated approach to sustainable tourism management. Explore technological and strategic business solutions that can help you operate a more agile, streamlined operation. Investigate the social and environmental impacts of this evolving industry as you learn to balance the ethical treatment of people and resources while running a profitable venture.

Throughout this master’s program, you will learn:

  • Financial management processes and tools
  • Effective marketing and communication strategies
  • How to use data to gain insight and guide business decisions
  • How to strategically and ethically manage both people and resources
Explore Careers Open Accordion

Inspired by exploring the outdoors or regional cultures? Looking to align who you are with what you do? Tourism offers many options for shifting into a new career or advancing into a management role within the industry.

Build the specialized skills to make a meaningful impact on the world while doing something you love.

Gain a competitive career advantage with employers specializing in:

  • Hospitality and resort management
  • Outdoor and adventure travel
  • Tourism management
  • Destination management or marketing
  • Event management
  • Cruise management
  • Agritourism

Start your own tourism venture

Exciting and lucrative opportunities in tourism exist for professionals with the right entrepreneurial skills. Business course electives in marketing strategy, managing human capital, supply chain management, and more have been integrated with tourism-specific coursework in this program to provide you with a solid foundation.

Our graduates have established roles in a variety of tourism settings all over the country and world. Some examples are numerous hotels, City Parks and Recreation Departments, and more specifically – Beaver Creek Resorts, The Cliff Lodge – Snowbird, Visit Fort Collins, Vail Resorts, U.S. Forest Service, Into the Vineyard - Wine-Inspired Travel, Adventure Sixty North, Natural Habitat Adventures, Colorado Forest Restoration Institute, Yellowstone Campgrounds, Cruise Norway, Steamboat Spring Chamber of Commerce, Universal Studios Beijing, and Taiwan Ministry of Tourism.

Graduates work in tourism positions relating to marketing, operations, event planning, and some have even founded their own companies. This program has helped students enter the tourism industry, as well as elevate their career if they were already in the tourism field.

Hear from Our Students Open Accordion
Grant L

Grant L.

Current role: Operations, Yellowstone Campgrounds

"I am immensely grateful for the opportunities my graduate program at CSU has provided me. The skills I acquired in general operations, personnel management, social media, and resource management have been indispensable in my current role. The convenience of the online program, coupled with its rich content on the tourism industry, has fueled my career growth. While I missed the in-person graduation due to COVID, I eagerly look forward to visiting Fort Collins someday to celebrate my accomplishments."

Caroline R

Caroline R.

Current role: Assistant General Manager, Cliff Lodge: Snowbird, Utah

"My graduate program at CSU has been instrumental in my current position, where I oversee multiple departments within a hotel/lodge. The ski area management certification and MTM skills I gained are vital in running a successful resort. Learning about resort finances, creating memorable guest experiences, and fostering guest loyalty have been invaluable. Connecting with professors, like skiing with one at Snowbird, provided valuable insights. My advice to current and prospective students: Engage with professors to gain informative career guidance. CSU's program equipped me with the knowledge and tools necessary for success in my industry, particularly in hotel operations and finance."

Learning Experience Open Accordion

As a student in CSU’s online tourism management master’s program, you receive the same education, learn from the same faculty, and earn the same regionally accredited degree as students on campus. Additionally, you can expect:

  • The Ability to Graduate in Less than a Year: In just nine months you can earn an industry-specific master’s degree that helps set you apart when seeking employment or advancement in the tourism industry.
  • A Focus on People and the Planet: Learn to provide meaningful travel experiences for clients while making business decisions grounded in sustainability and social responsibility. Explore the types and extent of tourism impacts on natural resources. Discover methods for reducing the ecological footprint of tourism activities and destinations. Learn how to increase tourism's contribution to natural resource conservation while improving human welfare in the process.
  • Preparation in Fact-Based Decision-Making: This program incorporates courses in global tourism policy (NRRT 662) and two courses in quantitative analysis (NRRT 601 and 602) to equip you with the knowledge needed to make smart, meaningful business decisions driven by data.
Faculty Open Accordion

Alan Bright, Ph.D.

Alan's teaching responsibilities include on-campus and distance coursework for the M.T.M. program and courses in the natural resource tourism program. Alan's primary research interests center around theoretical applications of social psychological constructs toward the management of natural resources, including values, attitudes, behavior, and the complexity with which people think about issues. These constructs are also considered in the context of attitude and behavior change. Alan's teaching interests focus on development and administration of coursework in the tourism undergraduate and graduate programs.

Christina T. Cavaliere, Ph.D.

Cavaliere is an environmental social scientist with a focus on linking tourism and biocultural conservation. Her areas of research involve the human dimensions of socio-ecological systems including tourism impacts. She serves as an Assistant Professor of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources in the Warner College of Natural Resources at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. Dr. Cavaliere investigates aspects of sustainability and climate change impacts related to gender, conservation, aviation, wildlife, and governance. View Dr. Cavaliere’s full bio.

Stuart Cottrell, Ph.D.

Stuart teaches courses in ecotourism, sustainable tourism development, protected area management, and research in human dimensions of natural resources. His research focus includes sustainable tourism, travel and tourism behavior, visitor impact management, and public perceptions of landscape disturbance issues. Present projects involve a National Science Foundation grant to examine land management agency and water provider perception of pine beetle impacts on water quality. As a former resident fellow with the School for Global and Environmental Sustainability, Stuart conducted a preliminary study of the impacts of mountain pine beetle infestation on recreation and tourism, which led to the present NSF project. One of the highlights of Stuart's teaching involves the monitoring of diseased corals and volunteer based conservation projects for an NGO in the Bahamas.

David Knight, Ph.D.

David has developed a unique transnational skill-set in sustainability and tourism management living and working in the U.S., Spain, the Philippines, Peru, and China. Drawing from experience as director, educator, researcher, consultant, collaborator, and confidant, David’s growing university-level leadership underscores his passion for partnerships and diversity in working with real-world organizations and communities to provide tangible, experiential learning opportunities for students. His research and consulting projects for organizations operating from local to international levels have analyzed a variety of sustainability and tourism issues pertaining to National Parks, Chinese tourist behavior, marine protected areas, and rural (e.g., Machu Picchu) community development. Ultimately, David hopes to employ his experience, compassion, and intellect to support institutions of higher learning in empowering diverse communities through exceptional outreach, student recruitment/retention, advising, teaching, and research activities.

Mike Manfredo, Ph.D. Head

Michael’s research focus is on understanding human thought about wildlife and natural resources. The goals of his current research program are: to increase the availability of human dimensions information relevant to wildlife and natural resource management; to provide for increased understanding of the role of human dimensions information in natural resources decision-making; to facilitate the integration of human dimension information into the natural resource decision-making process.

Sam Martin

Sam has more than 25 years of industry experience, having owned and operated several tourism-oriented businesses. He has also held senior marketing and management positions in upscale resort and lodging properties, and in institutional fundraising. Sam is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Heritage Tourism in the department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, with a focus on heritage values, learning theory, and their relationship to visitor motivation.

Dr. Bastian Thomsen

Dr. Bastian Thomsen is a conservation social scientist whose research intersects conservation, social responsibility, and tourism. He was most recently an Assistant Professor of Social Entrepreneurship at Boise State University, and holds a Ph.D. in Management from Central Queensland University. He is nearly finished with a second Ph.D. in Environmental Anthropology from the University of Oxford. Bastian is the Strategy & Innovation Editor for the Journal of Ecotourism and has recently had articles accepted for publication in top tier journals such as the Journal of Sustainable Tourism and Annals of Tourism Research. He taught in the MTM program as an Affiliate Faculty last year and is eager to teach in the program full-time, engage with community stakeholders, and to work collaboratively with board members to tie industry needs to classroom lessons. His wife, Dr. Jennifer Thomsen will start her second doctorate in CSU’s DVM program this fall and they love to travel and get outdoors with their two border collie rescues, Bella and Zoey.

Dr. Sarah Walker

Dr. Sarah Walker’s research uses an environmental justice lens to investigate the role well-being can play in helping us better understand people’s relationships with their environments. Specifically , she studies human well-being in the context of climate resilience and adaptation in vulnerable communities around the world. Her work also investigates the well-being benefits of spending time in nature. Sarah received her PhD from Colorado State University and is currently completing her post-doctoral training at University of Colorado Boulder. She’s an avid hiker and cyclist, and loves being in the classroom with students.

Lina Xiong

Lina Xiong, Ph.D.

Lina Xiong is an assistant professor in the Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources. She is also called "Dr. Bear," because her last name in Chinese means bear. Dr. Bear came to the U.S. in 2006 from mainland China. Lina completed her Ph.D. in Business Administration from Temple University in Philadelphia. Before coming to CSU, Dr. Bear had taught many business courses in the College of Business at Marshall University. Her teaching assignment at CSU includes tourism strategic management, tourism marketing, and advanced lodging in the Master of Tourism Management program. She is also responsible for developing several M.T.M. courses in mandarin. Dr. Bear's research interests include service management, internal branding, employee brand motivation, and customer loyalty. She has published several articles in hospitality management journals. Recently, Dr. Bear's dissertation, titled, "Employee Brand Internalization: The Central Route to a Brand Aligned Workforce," has received a Highly Commended Award of the 2014 Emerald/EFMD Outstanding Doctoral Research Awards in the Hospitality Management category. This is a prestigious international annual award presented by Emerald and the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD). She has worked in hospitality and tourism businesses in both China and the U.S.

Frequently Asked Questions Open Accordion
What is tourism management?

Tourism management is a field of study that explores the theory and practice of creating, overseeing, and marketing tourism ventures. Management professionals in the tourism industry typically require skills in leadership, finance, and business operations. The online tourism management program offered by CSU has a unique focus on natural resource management and tourism policy.

What can I do with a degree in tourism management?

As the industry continues to evolve, there are many new and unique opportunities for professionals with an advanced tourism management degree. Graduates of the online Master of Tourism Management program will be qualified to work in fields that include: hospitality and resort management, outdoor and adventure travel, event management, agri-tourism, ecotourism, and more. Anyone intending to create their own tourism enterprise will also benefit from completing this program.

Why study tourism management?

There are numerous rewarding career opportunities in the tourism industry for people with the right skills. In the U.S. alone, tourism supports more than 15 million jobs and generates nearly $2 trillion in economic output, according to the U.S. Travel Association. Working in this industry is often appealing to individuals with a passion for travel, exploration, adventure, and the outdoor lifestyle. The primary goal of tourism ventures is to provide customers and clients with positive experiences.

What jobs can I get with a tourism management degree?

Graduates of the tourism management master’s program gain the managerial skills to create entrepreneurial ventures, or take leadership roles in the industry. Career opportunities in tourism management range from agri-tourism to hospitality and resort management. Students gain the skills to build careers as tourism program directors, event coordinators, sales managers, account executives, marketing managers, customer experience managers, and many others. Visit the Career Opportunities page to learn more.

What is the average salary for hospitality and tourism?

Salaries vary widely in the hospitality and tourism industry depending on the specific job, region, and other factors. According to Glassdoor, the average annual salary (U.S.) for a tourism marketing manager is $80,673, and the average salary for a hotel manager is $59,461. The median annual salary for a resort manager is $46,342, according to

What is sustainable tourism management? What is ecotourism management?

Sustainable tourism management is an approach to the business of tourism that values the environment and social responsibility as much as profit. Ecotourism is a subset of sustainable tourism that primarily focuses on exotic, remote, and/or threatened natural areas such as rainforests, coral reefs, and other fragile ecosystems. The typical goal of ecotourism is to promote the conservation of these areas by helping tourists experience them while creating minimal or no environmental impact. A portion of profits from some ecotourism ventures may also be used to help fund various conservation efforts.

Can I get a graduate certificates along with this master’s degree?

Yes. You can apply up to 6 credits from a certificate program toward the online Master of Tourism Management. There are two certificates offered online:

What is the average timeframe to complete the program?

The online Master of Tourism Management can be completed in two semesters. However, for students who are working full-time, this is likely an unrealistic timeframe. The average student completes the program in two years, but some students may take longer. The flexible, online program allows you to earn your degree at a pace that suits your lifestyle and goals.

Are summer classes an option?

No. All coursework in the program is during the fall and spring semesters.

What fees should I expect to pay in addition to tuition?

In addition to the tuition, students will pay a $32/semester technology fee. There will also be an added cost for books and texts.

Curriculum Open Accordion

The Master of Tourism Management requires completion of 30 credits, with a minimum of four elective credits.

All courses are eight weeks with some courses offered the first part of a semester and others in the second part of a semester. There is also an option to incorporate an Adventure Tourism or Ski Area Management gradate certificate into your MTM degree. Please work with a Program Coordinator to determine your approved course plan:

Kathryn Metzger
Program Coordinator, Tourism Enterprise Program
(970) 491-7617

Linda Sawyers
Program Coordinator, Tourism Enterprise Program
(970) 491-7592

MTM Curriculum

Fall Semester: First 8-week Session

Fall Semester: Second 8-week Session

Spring Semester: First 8-week Session

Spring Semester: Second 8-week Session

Elective Options:

Students can take the electives listed below or other electives may be approved by an advisor.

You may substitute some of the MTM courses with electives from the Adventure Tourism, Ski Area Management, or Communication for Conservation graduate certificate programs.

The are some additional options, such as RRM 520 – Lodging Management, available as well. Please contact your Program Coordinator to determine your approved course plan.

How to Apply Open Accordion

Application Deadlines

Fall semester July 15
Spring semester December 1

Start your application online and upload materials directly into the online system. You can save your progress and return any time.

Apply Now

Applications are reviewed once they are completed. You can expect to be notified of your application status within two weeks of submitting all application materials.

1Review Admission Requirements

The tourism management master's degree requires that students have the following:

  • Bachelor's degree from a regionally-accredited institution.
  • A 3.0 GPA on all undergraduate coursework. Exceptions to this are made on a case-by-case basis.
  • GRE scores are not required.

2 Prepare Application Materials

Three letters of recommendation (professional and/or academic):
Three professional recommendations are required. You will provide information about your recommenders in the online application. CSU will contact them with instructions and a link to a secure form they will submit on your behalf.

Statement of purpose:
Please provide a one-page letter addressing: 1) why you selected this program, 2) what you hope to gain from the program, and 3) your future career goals.

3 Complete Online Application

Complete the online graduate application and pay the nonrefundable application processing fee (payable online). As soon as you have completed the required information, please submit your application. Your application will not be reviewed until it is complete and all required materials have been received.

  • Select "Tourism Management (M.T.M.) – Distance" when choosing the program of study.

4 Request Official Transcripts

Request one official transcript of all collegiate work completed from all institutions attended. Transcripts from Colorado State University are not required. Transcripts must be received directly from the originating institution to be considered official.

Electronic (preferred):
Digital Transcripts must be submitted by the originating institution using a secure service such as parchment, eScrip-Safe, the National Student Clearinghouse, or e-Quals. Transcripts received via emails are considered unofficial.

Use institution code 4075 for Colorado State University or if the secure service requires an email address.

Mail (if necessary)
Graduate Admissions
Colorado State University – Office of Admissions
1062 Campus Delivery
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1062

Check Your Application Status

View your application status at any time to ensure your application checklist is complete or to check on updates.

For International Applicants

Proof of English language proficiency is required for applicants from countries or United States territories where there are official languages other than (or in addition to) English. This includes the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and Puerto Rico.

Learn more about English language proficiency requirements.


We love learning about your goals and answering any questions you have.

Morgan Parsley
Tourism Management M.T.M.
Prospective Student Support Coach
Schedule Time to Talk

Program Details

$794 per credit
Same in-state tuition for all.
Learn more about financial aid and scholarships
Estimated Additional Educational Costs
Tuition and fees are just part of the costs to attend Colorado State University online. Please view additional elements that may be factored into your cost of attendance.
Degree Awarded
Master of Tourism Management
Time Frame
Can be completed in 9 months
Admission Reqs.
  • 3.0 GPA on all undergraduate coursework
  • Math Entrance Exam scores recommended for applicants who have not taken the required prerequisites within the past 10 years

Application Dates

Fall semester
July 15
Spring semester
December 1

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