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Student Highlight

Leah Joyner, MS-STLeah Joyner

Leah's passion for food and agritourism inspired the second year MS-ST student to co-host (with Dr. Carol Kline) the Sustainable Farm Tour this past year in the Greenbriar Valley of West Virginia. Leah recently gave her mid-semester presentation on the experience. This is one presentation you will not want to miss out on! View it now!!

As pictured above, Leah also has a profound passion for photography. Her work is amazing and you can view her collection here.

INTRODUCTION

East Carolina University offers the nation's first interdisciplinary Master of Science in Sustainable Tourism (MS-ST) degree. 

Sustaining environments, businesses, and social and cultural identities requires an interdisciplinary approach and perspective. The MS-ST program draws upon emerging sustainability sciences ranging from the physical to the social to address complex sustainable tourism issues. Science and education are critical partners in the sustainable, long-term management of tourism, and this program provides the foundation for this new approach to sustainable management.

The program is anchored on four core sustainability and tourism courses—an introductory course, a science course, a business course, and a planning and policy course. In addition, students will choose from a set of electives and can opt for independent study or internship experience. Both thesis and non-thesis options are offered.

Electives for the program are drawn from disciplines across campus, utilizing the expertise of faculty at ECU. Electives are chosen to fit the career aspirations of the student and reflect the "triple bottom line" of sustainable tourism—economic, environmental, and sociocultural viability. Courses from the management, social, and biological sciences are taken to provide a broader understanding of the complexities of tourism and the challenge of sustainability.

These courses provide students the opportunity to study sustainability within a research-intensive tradition balanced with innovative planning, development, and management solutions for the growing challenges that face the future of sustainability and tourism.

We have had good luck placing our students after graduation.We have students working in state tourism agencies, hotels/resorts managers (including sustainability coordinators), even NASCAR® and those who have started their own businesses.  Many students have also gone on to pursue a Ph.D. in top programs across the country.There are internship opportunities in the summer along with other networking events.  Students will have a support group that will do their best to help them find a job or a doctoral program after graduation.

 

Program Goals

  • Provide a strong foundation for career advancement, future doctoral studies, and executive and senior level positions within the many and varied public, private, and nonprofit tourism entities;
  • Provide recent graduates from undergraduate programs at both ECU and across North Carolina, an outstanding graduate degree program opportunity in tourism, most specifically, sustainable tourism;
  • Provide technical consultation and planning advice to local communities, businesses, and non-governmental organizations interested in improving and expanding their tourism potential;
  • Provide culturally diverse coursework specific to the unique business practices needed in tourism that will prepare students to meet the challenges of living and working in a global community;
  • Meet emerging industry demand for degreed professionals who can manage complex sustainable tourism environments;
  • Provide for individuals who are interested in transitioning from their current level of employment to higher positions in tourism that call for more advanced study;
  • Provide educational advancement and applied research opportunities to the emerging numbers of community college personnel needed to prepare students for jobs and careers in tourism; and
  • Recruit and support outstanding faculty committed to quality teaching, research, and community activities in all components of sustainable tourism including (but not limited to) leisure and recreation, hospitality, social and physical sciences, medicine, business, information technology, and the arts.

Sustainable Tourism | Graduate Studies

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