Sustainable Tourism Certificate

The International Ecotourism Society (TIES): Sustainable Tourism Certificate with PRT

The certificate is designed to enable students and participants to undergo a focused concentration within their major or professional position on international issues in ecotourism and sustainable tourism development and acquire a unique pedagogical opportunity in experiential, service, and theoretical learning.

The TIES curriculum is flexible and provides a creative alternative course of study for students interested in ecotourism within the context of sustainable development, from a political, developmental, entrepreneurial, operational, or management perspectives. The blend of unique learning opportunities and academic and professional disciplines will provide students with holistic experiences, international perspectives, and service learning encounters in ecotourism.

In addition, as part of this certificate program, you will be associated with a cohort of professionals with visible, homogeneous and credible credentials in the eyes of the broader tourism industry and especially the ecotourism sector.

The TIES incorporates the following into a comprehensive study plan for either the student or professional:

  • at least one international course provided through a university consortium member;on-campus course work;engagement in at least one internationally focused seminar through TIES (e.g., web-based or onsite, Eco-certification, Community Development, Sustainable Development Law);an internship focused on some aspect of ecotourism/sustainable tourism development consisting of 400 hours.

Timeline for Program Completion

Students enrolled in the program must complete the Certificate Program within approximately two consecutive years from the time of enrollment.

Who are TIES Participants?

This program (TIES-UCFC) is for those who want to develop a holistic understanding of ecotourism and sustainable development. We unite the resources that currently exist in university programs with those of The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) to offer a field certificate in ecotourism. This certificate will ensure an educational foundation in ecotourism, with a combination of flexible and standardized components, including experiential and service learning opportunities, and internationally diverse opportunities.

What is the TIES Vision?

All travel professionals will demonstrate an inherent, reality-based understanding of the principles of ecotourism within the context of sustainable development.

What is the TIES Mission?

Our mission is to foster a holistic understanding of ecotourism and sustainable development through the education of multi-disciplinary students and professionals.

What are the Program Benefits to TIES Participants?


  • Industry-wide and Academically Recognized Endorsement;
  • Access to Potential Employers and Research Projects;
  • Practical hands-on experiences, projects, and skill development;
  • Experiential education focus which is appropriate to a range of professions engaged in tourism;
  • Enhanced awareness of issues and problems that face natural resource managers;
  • Expanded opportunities in relevant Study Abroad Programs and Coursework;
  • Several opportunities to network and learn from professionals;
  • Internship and professional employment opportunities through direct field contacts assisted through the TIES international database of organizations and programs;
  • Engagement in international perspectives on sustainable tourism issues;
  • Exceptional experiential learning opportunities;
  • Resume builders for their professional development “toolkit”.

In addition, participants enrolled in the certificate will receive the following:

  • 2 year membership to TIES
  • Certificate of Completion – Suitable for Framing
  • Participation in Annual International E-Symposium
  • Access to International Ecotourism Internship Placement Opportunities
  • Streamlined Processing and Administration

TIES Program Requirements for Student Participation

The following are program requirements for the student-based certificate*.

  1. Student Program Fee: $250 University of Utah Students
  2. Program Components:
    • 9 Credits of Coursework
      • Tourism Development Class with Emphasis on Sustainable Development and Ecotourism (GW/TIES Certificate on Sustainable Tourism Development would apply)
      • Two additional courses from the following areas:
        • Sustainable Social/Cultural Development
        • Sustainable Economic Development
        • Sustainable Environmental / Land Management Development
    • International Study Abroad Course (3 Credits - Minimum)
      • To qualify as a TIES requirement, the study abroad course must offered through a consortium member university.
    • Internship approved by the TIES (400 Hour Minimum)
    • For graduates: Project or Thesis
    • Final Project in Conjunction with Internship
      • Applied Project (Note: most internship programs already have this requirement, for those that do not, this would be in addition to the program)
      • Project Evaluation

* The TIES plans to develop a “Professionals Certificate” during the next 3 years.


Applications are cleared by the university representative, or the Academic Consortium Advisor (ACA). Each potential participant will be interviewed by the ACA prior to the application submission.  The steps for applying to the program are as follows:

  • The certificate program is for students who have completed their Freshman and Sophomore year and hold the equivalent Junior or Senior standing;
  • Review the TIES website and download the application
  • Meet with the University ACA;
  • Complete application and submit to ACA;
  • ACA submits qualified student with recommendation for acceptance to TIES-UCFC Representative by October 15 or February 15;
  • Student is notified of acceptance within one month of application.

We look forward to hearing from you and receiving your application for this exciting new consortium!


Kelly S. Bricker
TIES Certificate Representative

Undergraduate Advising

Eric Gardner

Undergraduate Advisor

Phone: 801-585-0832

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Online ST&HM Program

Preston Tanner

Online Program Coordinator 

Phone: 801-587-7357

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