Graduate School for Event Planning: How to Choose

Aspiring planners can enroll in event-planning certificate programs or degree programs in tourism with a focus on event planning. Programs may focus on teaching environmentally sustainable techniques or include internship opportunities.

Graduate students who wish to study event planning may earn a graduate certificate, master's or doctoral degree in the field. These programs are found through the continuing education departments and graduate schools of many 4-year colleges and universities.

Schools with Event Planning Graduate Programs

This table outlines the tuition costs and types of programs offered by schools with graduate studies in event planning.

College/University Location Institution Type Graduate Degrees Offered* Tuition (2015-2016**)
Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis Indianapolis, IN 4-year, Public Master's $8,136 (In-State), $22,985 (Out-of-State)
University of Massachusetts-Amherst Amherst, MA 4-year, Public Certificate, Doctoral $12,782 (In-State), $28,002 (Out-of-State)
Florida State University Tallahassee, FL 4-year, Public Certificate $9,684 (In-State), $24,116 (Out-of-State)
University of Central Florida Orlando, FL 4-year, Public Certificate, Master's, Doctoral $6,916, $25,759 (Out-of-State)
George Washington University Washington, DC 4-year, Private Master's $27,810
University of North Texas Denton, TX 4-year, Public Master's $5,450, $12,470 (Out-of-State)

Sources: *School website, **National Center for Education Statistics

Graduate School Selection Criteria

Some considerations for students in the process of selecting an event planning graduate school include the following:

  • Whether or not the program allows students to specialize in certain kinds of events, such as weddings or conferences.
  • If the school's career services offers any internship placement programs or similar employment support.
  • Whether the program focuses on socially responsible or environmental sustainability event planning.

Certificate in Event Planning

Event planning graduate certificate programs, usually offered by the continuing education departments of colleges and universities, provide a brief, focused introduction to the considerations of planning various types of events. Most certificate programs can be completed in 1-2 years of part-time study and do not require that applicants demonstrate previous related coursework or professional experience.

Master of Tourism Administration with Event Planning Concentration

Students looking for a comprehensive, degree-granting graduate program may enroll in a tourism master's degree program with a focus on planning events and meetings. Programs are currently rare, but some options exist, including online programs. Master's degree programs generally take 2-3 years to complete and require that applicants hold bachelor's degrees.

Students looking to continue their education in event planning can earn a graduate certificate, which usually takes about 1-2 years to complete, or a master's degree. Master's programs for this area of study are rather rare, but students might be able to complete their MA through an online program. Some schools also offer Ph.D. programs in this field.


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