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Tourism Degree Programs for International Students


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The United States is home to hundreds of schools offering different undergraduate and graduate degrees in hospitality and tourism. International students also have the option of completing certificate programs at a hospitality school or university for a more specialized study of these industries.

Thousands of international students choose to pursue a hospitality and tourism degree in the United States for many reasons. One of the main reasons is the fact that there are hundreds of top hospitality schools located in the U.S. With so many educational options, international students are able to choose between earning a graduate or undergraduate degree. Students who don't have a lot of time to dedicate to earning a degree also have the option of participating in a certificate program.

According to U.S. News & World Report, some of the top hospitality schools in the United States are: University of Denver, University of Central Florida, and Oklahoma State University. Some other prestigious hospitality schools are Fairleigh Dickinson University, Georgia State University, University of Massachusetts Amherst, and the list continues on. Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration is one of the top-ranked hospitality schools in the country. These schools offer both graduate and undergraduate programs. An associate's degree is a common type of undergraduate degree that usually only takes one to two years to complete. Earning an associate's degree can be a good alternative for students who want a hospitality and tourism degree but who don't want to spend four to five years earning one.

Some of the top hospitality schools offering associate's degrees in these subjects are Pennsylvania College of Technology, Broward College, and University of Phoenix. If a student decides to further her education, the courses taken to earn an associate's degree can count as credits towards a graduate or undergraduate degree in the future. The most common type of undergraduate degree is called a bachelor's degree. A bachelor's degree usually requires a student to complete between three to five years of courses. An international student can also earn a graduate degree (Master's or Doctoral degree) in two to three years, following the completion of an undergraduate degree. An undergraduate degree involves gaining general knowledge of a certain area of study while graduate degrees focus on a specific or specialized field of study.

Certificate programs are another option for international students who want a hospitality and tourism degree but don't have the time to earn one. Although these programs do not offer an actual degree, a certificate of completion is awarded to an individual who passes the required courses. Certificate programs are intended to complement the knowledge an individual already has about the industry. Normally these certificate programs are used by individuals who already have an undergraduate or graduate degree, or industry professionals who want to learn more about a specific area of the hospitality or tourism industry. Two top hospitality schools that offer certificate programs are Cornell University and Georgia State University. Some examples of the certificate programs offered by these schools are Strategic Leadership for the Hospitality Professional, Hospitality Management, and Hotel Administration. There are several benefits of completing a certificate program: most programs can take less than a year to complete, some schools allow individuals to participate in a certificate program while earning a graduate or undergraduate degree at the same time, and certificate programs can help an individual gain knowledge in a specific area of study within the tourism and hospitality industry. Be sure to check with your school about their certificate program, as some schools require professional experience or an undergraduate degree before participate in the program.

In conclusion, international students have several options when it comes to earning a hospitality and tourism degree in the U.S. There are hundreds of different universities and colleges offering graduate and undergraduate degrees in this area of study. Certificate programs are also another option for students who want to learn about a specific aspect of the tourism and hospitality industries in a shorter amount of time.


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