Best Event Planning Schools: List of Top U.S. Schools

Read about the best event planning schools at top U.S. colleges and universities. See school rankings, degree possibilities and location info to compare and contrast your school choices. View article »

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  • 0:02 School Information
  • 0:38 Champlain College
  • 1:27 Grand Valley State University
  • 2:08 California State Polytechnic
  • 2:50 Top Event Planning Schools

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Video Transcript

School Information

Event planners arrange a variety of activities, from meetings and conventions to social events like sports competitions and weddings. Usually, programs for aspiring event planners lead to certificates or undergraduate degrees. Let's take a look at the event planning programs offered at Champlain College, Grand Valley State University, and California State Polytechnic University. These three schools stand out for the rankings they received from U.S. News & World Report for 2017.

Champlain College

Ranked 3rd among the most innovative schools in the North by U.S. News & World Report for 2017, Champlain College in Burlington, VT, offers an online Advanced Management Graduate Certificate program that can be completed in less than a year. To accumulate the required 15 credits, students can choose from among a handful of courses that might cover such topics as financial decision making, leadership, and planned change. The school also offers an event management specialization to students in the communications bachelor's degree program. Coursework covers such topics as event publicity, public relations, and event planning.

Grand Valley State University

U.S. News & World Report ranked Grand Valley State University in Allendale, MI, as the 3rd-best public school in the Midwest for 2017. The school offers a meeting and event management concentration through its bachelor's degree program in hospitality and tourism management. The concentration requires 15 credits, including a minimum of 6 credits in elective courses such as responsible beverage management, festival management, and special event management. Employment opportunities in the school's Hospitality and Tourism Management branch are available to program graduates.

California State Polytechnic

Through the Collins College of Hospitality Management, students at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona can earn a Bachelor of Science or Master of Science in Hospitality Management. For aspiring event planners who are particularly interested in weddings, the university also offers a wedding consultant professional development certificate program that consists of three courses. U.S. News & World Report ranked Cal Poly 4th among public schools in the West for 2017. The school's hospitality programs are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration.

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Top Event Planning Schools

These schools also offer relevant event planning training opportunities:

College/University Name Location Distinction
College of the Ozarks Point Lookout, MO Offers a concentration in meeting and special event management through its Hotel and Restaurant Management bachelor's degree program
Ferris State University Big Rapids, MI Certificates, associate's degrees, bachelor's degrees and minors are available in several areas of study
Florida International University Miami, FL Bachelor's degree program in hospitality management is available in online and face-to-face formats
Florida State University Tallahassee, FL Offers graduate, undergraduate and certificate programs
Johnson & Wales University Providence, RI Students can earn a bachelor's degree in sports, entertainment, and event management at campuses in North Miami, Denver, Charlotte and Providence
University of Denver Denver, CO Offers an on-campus event center where students can get hands-on experience
University of Massachusetts Amherst Amherst, MA Isenberg School of Management offers online and campus-based bachelor's degrees in hospitality and tourism management in addition to certificate and doctoral programs in the field
University of South Carolina Columbia, SC University has 18 student organizations related to hospitality, retail, and sport management that allow students to network
Washington State University Pullman, WA International business and hospitality students can spend the summer studying in Switzerland

Whether students want to enroll in a short certificate program or earn a full degree, there are excellent educational offerings in event planning at well-regarded colleges and universities.

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