Aspiring party planners can earn a certificate or undergraduate degree in meeting and event planning. Graduates of event planning programs hold various jobs such as travel agent, hotel manager, wedding planner and executive assistant.
10 Schools with Meeting and Event Planning Programs
|College/University||Institution Type||Location||Degree Offered||Program Costs|
|California State University-San Marcos||4-year, Public||San Marcos, CA||Certificate||$1,490 (2016)*|
|SUNY Oswego-State University of New York||4-year, Public||Oswego, NY||Certificate||$349 (2015)*|
|Edmonds Community College||2-year, Public||Lynnwood, WA||Certificate, Associate||$3,758, in-state, $9,096, out-of-state (2015-16)**|
|Temple University||4-year, Public||Philadelphia, PA||Certificate, Bachelor's|| $2,250 (certificate)*;
$15,188, in-state, $25,494, out-of-state (2015-16)**
|University of North Carolina-Charlotte||4-year, Public||Charlotte, NC||Certificate||$1,895 (2016)*|
|San Francisco State University||4-year, Public||San Francisco, CA||Certificate, Bachelor's|| $1,500 (certificate*;
$6,476 in-state, $17,636, out-of-state (2015-16)**
|San Diego State University||4-year, Public||San Diego, CA||Certificate, Bachelor's|| $149/course (certificate, 2017)*;
$6,976 in-state, $18,136, out-of-state (2015-16)**
|Johnson & Wales University||4-year, Private, not-for-profit||Providence, RI||Bachelor's||$29,566 (2015-16)**|
|Austin Community College||2-year, Public||Austin, TX||Certificate, Associate's||$2,550, in-district, $9,210 in-state, $11,340, out-of-state (2015-16)**|
Sources: *School websites; **National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
Consider the following when looking for a school for party planning:
- Though often taught together, specializations include leisure industries and corporate events.
- Professors certified by professional organizations, such as Meeting Professionals International, may provide future networking opportunities within the field.
- Certificate programs are most acceptable for students breaking into the field or earning separate degrees; management positions may require a degree.
- Some certificate programs count towards continuing education unit, which may be viewed as a commitment to career development.
Event and Meeting Planning Certificate
Many community colleges and universities offer event and meeting planning certificates, often through continuing education programs.
Associate's Degree in Meeting and Event Planning
Associate's degrees may be completed in two years. Students may earn degrees such as an Associate of Applied Science in Meeting and Event Planning or an Associate of Applied Business in Administrative Management Technology with a concentration in meeting and event planning. An internship is included as part of the program.
Bachelor's Degree in Meeting and Event Management
Undergraduate degrees at the university level include a Bachelor of Science in Tourism, Conventions and Event Management or a Bachelor of Science in Sports, Entertainment and Event Management. Bachelor's degree programs usually include an internship.
Students considering a career in party planning can pursue degrees from both associate and bachelor programs, while shorter certificate programs may offer professional credentials. Most programs include internships and practical applications.