Master of Science in International Sustainable Tourism

“Our mission is to educate students for management and leadership positions in the tourism industry”

The Masters of Science in International Sustainable Tourism (MIST) is a Joint Master’s Degree between UNT’s College of Merchandising, Hospitality & Tourism, and the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE) in Turrialba, Costa Rica.


Travel and tourism is the faster-growing service industry in the world, with the industry being one of the world’s largest employers. Sustainable tourism — tourism development that strives to meet the needs of the present tourism market without compromising the resources of future generations — is a tourism specialty that balances environmental, economic, and socio-cultural benefits and concerns.


The MIST program was conceptualized in 2008/2009 and was developed and put in place by Fall 2010.  Abril 2020, the program will graduate its X cohort.


Program Outline


Students in the MIST program begin and end their studies as cohort groups.  Their first two semesters (Fall and Spring) are spent at UNT where studies focus on statistical methods, sustainability and sustainable tourism theory, planning and policy in tourism, and operational aspects of tourism operations with an emphasis on hospitality management.  Students transition to CATIE immediately after the summer semester and begin their studies in Costa Rica by the last week of August.  The students’ studies at CATIE focus on natural resource management, sustainable development, environmental policy, and social-cultural issues in tourism development.


Our students interact with operators, governmental agencies, and non-governmental agencies, but most importantly see and experience firsthand the impacts of tourism development from an economic, social/cultural, and environmental perspective.


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Changing the world one student at a time